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Intinerary for Dummies (me)

Experts, does this plan sound "do-able"? Fly to Paris,on the 4th day take early train to Nice, spend 4 days, take train to Santa Margherita, spend 3 days, take early train to Rome, spend 4 days, fly home.I've read that I should buy train tickets once we're over there,is it easy to get on the train we want or do they get booked up full? Can I buy all our train tickets ahead (including for Italy)at the train station in Paris when we travel to Nice? Going in July, our 1st trip to Europe.

Posted by
39 posts

The Santa Margherita south of Genoa and near Portofino. Do you know if there is a direct train into SM from Nice, and also a direct train out to Rome? Or will we have to change trains? I have had trouble getting information from the trains sites I have tried to navigate.Taking the trains is what I fear the most about this adventure.

Posted by
39 posts

Thanks Kent, that helped.....a little :o/ Fear of the unknown and all that. Do you know if I will be able to reserve and purchase our train tickets for all our destinations at the same time (including Nice to SM and SM to Rome)in Paris before leaving for Nice?

Posted by
32227 posts

Debbie,

To begin with, I'm assuming you're referring to Santa Margherita Ligure, in the Cinque Terre region?

Regarding your question on tickets, I've never tried to purchase all tickets and reservations at once, but I believe this IS possible (I usually travel with a Rail Pass, and just buy reservations for the next trip). When in Paris, visit the nearest SNCF Boutique (check www.communitywalk.com/sncf_boutiques_in_paris/map/59822#00041Wb= ) for the nearest location. They should be able to take care of the tickets and reservations.

As Paris has a number of stations, be sure to allow enough time on the Metro to reach your departure station (possibly Gare du Lyon to Nice).

I haven't researched the cost of P-P tickets for the routes you'll be using, but a simple rail pass might be another option to consider? Reservations of course have to be paid separately (mandatory on the TGV). One Rail Pass I checked was priced at $337.00, so weigh that against ticket costs.

Hope this helps?

Posted by
32227 posts

Debbie,

One more thought. As you're so close to Edmonds, you might find it worthwhile to stop by the ETBD offices to speak with Rick's rail experts. If you decide to opt for a Rail pass, you can purchase it on the spot (ETBD is one of the largest vendors of Rail passes in the U.S., so they certainly have the expertise!).

Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by
39 posts

Thanks, I will feel more confident about it all if I do that. I appreciate all the advice. You all will probably hear from me again on this helpline with other questions!!

Posted by
486 posts

Debbie,

Go to one of the European rail sites (German rail is generally the best) BEFORE you leave here. Look at your choices of trains, classes available, features (dining cars), departure/arrival times, cost.

Print out alternative choices & take the lists with you. You then can simply point to the train you want as you hand the list to the agent, makes it clear to you what it will cost and when it leaves/arrives so you can plan. At the site, see if you are getting an advanced fare price. Consider even buying the tickets from sncf (French rail) or DB (German rail) or Trenitalia (Italian rail) over the net if there is a significant discount.

Even if you decide to buy a pass, the schedule of the trains you want is a big help both because you will have to separately purchase a reservation and to pick and show the agent which one you need reservation for. And if for some reason you miss your train, you can easily see when the next one is at a time when you will likely be up tight.