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Based on what I read, there are 2 options to go from Berlin to Szczecin, with train or shared ride. The train costs around 30 euro if booked online, while shared ride is only around 7 euro. I have some questions regarding this:

I am wondering if it will be cheaper to buy the train ticket on spot?

Is there another better option to go to Szczecin, for example by public bus?

Does any of you have experience taking a shared ride (from blablacar.com), is it comfortable?

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The train costs 29€ for any group of up to five persons (22€ if you travel after 6pm) if you buy a "Brandenburg-Berlin-Ticket" (respectively "Brandenburg-Berlin-Ticket Nacht"). You can buy this ticket online or at the ticket-machine. The price is always the same. At the counter a 2€ surcharge applies. It is not possible to buy a ticket in the train. Don't buy a normal price ticket, except for exceptional circumstances it is never cheaper.

For ride-sharing sites you usually sit in a normal private car (I think the model is always mentioned) and you share the ride with other passengers (again, the number is usually listed). Whether that's comfortable is a subjective question and depends on the distance, car, and occupancy. I heard of drivers canceling on short notice but I have no insight in how often this happens.

There are some bus companies that take the route but I know nothing about them. But some of them seem really cheap:

  • IC Bus (Deutsche Bahn)
  • Interglobus Tour
  • BERLINeks
  • Pks Szczecin
  • Est-Lorek
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    It seems you don't have any experience with ridesharing so it does not seem appropriate to be so dismissive. As a matter of fact, for the rides I see on this route on blablacar, most drivers offer one seat less than their car allows and (so, counting the driver, that's 3 seats for a 5-seater) and they are far from being all full. That's coherent with my experience in other countries and that's what I do too when I offer rides. – Relaxed Jul 20 '15 at 15:33
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    @Relaxed: Are you seeing something that is not visible to us other users? Because the answer does not seem to have been edited, and I see nothing dismissive related to ride-sharing in this answer. The description of what could be perceived as disadvantages sounds very neutral to me. – O. R. Mapper Jul 20 '15 at 16:04
  • @O.R.Mapper Well, not to me (What's the point of writing “whether that's comfortable is up to you to decide”? It's either trivial and irrelevant or dismissive), especially considering some key facts are wrong as I just explained. – Relaxed Jul 20 '15 at 16:05
  • Just to clarify my earlier comments, if they were too critical, it's not really bad, certainly not enough to move me to down-vote the answer but I think it could be improved. – Relaxed Jul 20 '15 at 16:12
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    @Relaxed I didn't intend to be dismissive in my answer (even though I had a few bad experiences – obviously people use those rides regularly, so I was unlucky). As I can absolutely don't see see the difference in dismissiveness between "Whether that's comfortable is up to you to decide" and "it's as (un)comfortable as car travel generally is" I'm a bit baffled by your response and think it's due to English being my second language and knowing that we usually use more direct phrasing in German. I don't know how to change the answer other than already done. Feel free to edit (especially that). – neo Jul 21 '15 at 8:51
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Train tickets are never cheaper on the spot, usually they are more expensive, sometimes much more so, although on this route the price should not change very much so if you are comfortable with paying €34, you don't need to worry. As @neo explained, there are also some special tickets that might allow you to save some money, especially if travelling with a group (although it might not be evident at first, this regional ticket is valid all the way to Poland and in local buses and tramways from ZDiTM Szczecin, see this page in German for details).

Regarding ride-sharing, it's a bit more work to organise and you need some flexibility. For example, if you catch a ride with someone coming from far away and driving through Berlin, you need to agree on a meeting point, they might be running late, etc.

In practice, you are simply riding in someone's car so it's as (un)comfortable as car travel generally is. On blablacar in particular, you can see the car make and model and how many seats are offered by the driver (more often than not, the middle seat in the back of a 5-seater will be left empty) or check the reviews to have a more precise idea of the level of comfort you can expect with a particular driver.

Beside the low price, another advantage is that you often have interesting discussions but if that's not something you are looking forward to, then ride-sharing is probably not a very good option.

I don't know anything about buses.

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