Hi We are a family of 3 planning to travel from Vienna to Salzburg Prague Budapest and back as we have a flight back from Vienna by rail from 16th May to 27th may. Should I go for Euro rail or should I go for other cheaper rails. Also if I go for Euro rail passes for countries does my internal travelling and entries become free. Thanks in advance for suggestions - Abhijit
Eurorail doesn't run trains.
For your tickets you go to the relevant national railway company. In your case most tickets can be bought at the Austrian railway company: fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en? From Prague to Budapest you need the Czech railways: www.cd.cz/eshop/
Advance buying might give considerable discount; tickets can, of course, also be bought at the station.
Eurail is just a cooperative effort of the various national rail companies in Europe to package, market, and sell rail passes. The trains themselves are run by the national railways, the Bahn, French Rail, etc.
The cheapest rail pass that covers your whole trip (Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary) is the European East Pass, starting from any 5 days of travel within a month for $210 US per person, extra reservations not required, except maybe for Budapest-Vienna. This is not a Eurail-brand product. If you're not in North American, then it's sold at http://www.raileurope-world.com/pass/european-east-pass for home delivery in other countries. Rail passes cover all trains between towns on your counted travel days, but not buses, subways, or sightseeing in cities.
$210 doesn't sound like a bargain. Laura, explaim the time limitations. I would check that against the national rail sites online.
Also, Prague to Budapest, in my opinion, is best done with Czech Air. If you book far enough in advance it can cost as little as $125 and even with the longer lead times of air travel can save you several hours.
OBB is/has implemented a new booking website making ticket descriptions harder to find. The OBB ticket website will show you discounted prices for point to point travel. With 3 (more than one, up to 5) the Einfach-Raus-Ticket is a bargain (37 EUR for 3) for regional travel within Austria and can be bought the day of travel at a staffed ticket counter or by machine.
OeBB offers special pass for mini-groups of travellers called
Einfach-Raus-Ticket. Einfach-Raus Ticket is a daily group pass for 2-5
passengers traveling together, on weekdays (Monday till Friday) valid
from 9 am till 3 am (next day), while on Saturdays, Sundays & holidays
validity period is even longer - from midnight till 3am next day.
Einfach-Raus Ticket pass is valid for trips in all the ÖBB S-Bahn &
Regional passenger trains (meaning R, REX, S-Bahn).
Einfach-Raus-Ticket price for two persons is 33 euro, three passenger
- 37 euro, four - 41 euro & five passengers - 45 euro. Einfach-Raus Ticket can be easily purchased online via OeBB e-Shop
www.ticket.oebb.at (you can also buy it with a help of OeBB ticket
vending machines or at the ticket counter)
James, I don't understand your point about time limitations. What do you feel is missing? Five travel days covers their four listed trips, plus one more day to play with, and more days are available for purchase. The traveler can also see https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/using-your-rail-pass. The pass is cheaper than full-fare tickets on this route and convenient to use. I already provided individual ticket purchase links on the OP's last thread.
Laura, never bought one. Just trying to understand what 5 travel days meant. With Budapest to Vienna being 19 euro, the rest of the route is more than $200? Any additional seat reservation charges or limitations?
Seat reservations may be required with a pass on the Budapest-Vienna RailJet, a new rule this year, for 4 euros per person; no other reservations necessary, as I mentioned above. Each counted rail travel day is valid for train connections until midnight.
As usual, the trade-off with nonrefundable advance-purchase discount tickets is whether (or when) you are ready to commit to travel dates and times, as well as a taking a bit of time to buy them from multiple web sites for a multi-country trip.
The Einfach-Raus option is a good value for regional trains within Austria, but I'd be more likely to choose the RailJet and InterCity trains on these routes.
So full fare Prague to Budapest is 84euro
full fare Budapest to Vienna is 29euro
Vienna to Salzburg full fare is 25euro
Salzburg to Prague full fare is something in the 40euro range?
That's something less than 180 euro and its pretty infinitely flexible or am I missing something? Pre booking might cut the cost by 25% to a third??
I don't use trains except for short hauls (3 to 3.5 hours at most) and I don't try and hit 4 cities by train on any one trip so this really is new to me. My numbers must be bad?
What? Going from Vienna to Budapest this year requires a mandatory seat reservation along with the ticket? One more expense not required in the past. Last year's trip to BP I could just hop on with the ticket without having a mandatory seat reservation.
Fred, might have something to do with border control. At least going north.
Thanks. She did say a reservation when with a rail Pass, which is not what I use when going from Vienna to Budapest. But given the experience of last June, I ought to pay out that extra 4 Euro since the coach I hopped on (with the ticket) was surprisingly full, and that was a Saturday! I practically went through the entire coach before finding a seat, ie, barely lucked out.
I called OeBB. A seat reservation is required from the Austrian border to Budapest. The cost of the reservation is included in the ticket price.
Yes, even when you add up the walk up fares, a pass is still more expensive. Buying in advance, online will cut the walk up fare in half as well.
Thanx for the suggestions. It does make a difference to book on Oebb rather than Raileuro. It is cheaper to buy tickets on austrian rail website
My daughter made a round trip Budapest to Prague earlier this week. She didn't call asking for money so I know she did it as cheap as possible. I will ask her how, and how much and how crowded (when she wakes up).