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My boyfriend lives in Stuttgart in Germany and so far when I am visiting him I take the train from Paris where I live. However this is very pricey (> 120 € round trip) and I have to leave work early on Friday evenings to catch the last train which explains why I have missed it a couple of times.

It is pretty fast, however too expensive for visiting each other very often. I tried blablacar, it is much cheaper but there is not a lot of drivers offering the trip on Friday evenings when my weekend starts.

I was wondering if there was another way to get to Stuttgart from Paris that would be cheap and not take more than 6 hours.

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    Have you checked rome2rio.com/s/Paris/Stuttgart ? There are direct and connecting flights which might be cheap enough if booked far enough in advance, however the train will always be fastest. You are also aware of the Bahncard options for discounts with DB? – mts Oct 18 '16 at 9:52
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    To expand my example, I can get a return for the late trains on Friday/Sunday for 78€ with Bahncard25 when booking far enough in advance (checked for a random WE in Jan). Considering the comfort and the length of the trip, that is going to be among the best you can get. And for the same WE I can get direct flights at similar times for 100€ return from CDG. – mts Oct 18 '16 at 10:01
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    Actually my example above is a saver fare "Sparpreis" and the Bahncard25 does not apply to it on this international connection it seems to me (which is new to me). You still might want to look into the Bahncard50 in case you are unable to plan much in advance. Also SNCF has the same connections I found above for 84€ with the carte weekend. – mts Oct 18 '16 at 10:10
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    Flixbus.de is starting at 25 Eur, but will take 8-9 h for direct connections (some overnight). – user24582 Oct 18 '16 at 11:25
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    @mts I don't think flights are going to be much better. Low-costs airlines require a long detour. Air France can be competitive but that would still be about €100 return, with transit tickets to reach the center on top of that, you gain very little. – Relaxed Oct 18 '16 at 11:29
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In this day and age, €120 is not that pricey and it will be difficult to find something dramatically less expensive without losing so much time as to make it impractical for short visits (otherwise taking the bus would be worth considering). Your best bet is therefore getting a rail card (Bahncard with Railplus?) or Europa-Spezial fares to reduce the costs of the train ticket somewhat.

Also, book the next 2-3 trips in advance, don't wait to return to buy the next one. The earlier you book, the easier it will be to find special fares.

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    I totally agree on this. 120€ for a trip that is mostly on time is not too pricey. I would then rather find an agreement with your work which lets your either work from home/train or I guess you won´t find any cheaper. – Klettseb Oct 18 '16 at 12:30
  • @Klettseb That's a good tip, I find that leaving on Thursday instead of Friday often lets me find great deals like week-end trips for €50-60 return (mostly on flights however). – Relaxed Oct 18 '16 at 12:31

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