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Eurail or Swiss Pass for multi-country travel?

My friend and I are traveling to Europe this summer. We are traveling around Italy, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Our itinerary is:
Fly into Milan, train to Venice
Venice (2 days)
Innsbruck (2 days)
Munich (2 days)
Bern (1 day)
Berner Oberland Region (3 days)
Montreux (2 days)
Milan (1 day), Fly out Milan

We are two youths traveling second class. So I was wondering what you think is the best deal for train travel with this itinerary? In Switzerland, there seem to be multiple passes to choose from and I am not sure which one is best. In the BO region we will probably stay in Murren and take a trip to the Jungfrau which I read adds extra costs. We will also be taken the Golden Pass train. From my calculation, it seems like the Eurail 15 day continuous Global Pass is the best deal. Does that include most travel we would be doing? I know there will be extra fees for the BO region to travel to the alps. Thank you

Posted by
795 posts

The Eurail Select Pass might work well for you. It can cover your choice of 4 countries and since you are going to 4 countries, you will have your bases covered for one price. Some routes in Switzerland might not be covered so you might have to pay extra for those.

Posted by
7209 posts

Eurail Passes have gone the way of Traveler's Cheques and dinosaurs. They're overpriced, don't cover the cost of mandatory reservations, and some countries even ration the number of passholders allowed on a particular journey. Your itinerary is simple and if you purchase your train tickets early as soon they're posted you stand to get a very very good deal. Use trenitalia.com for your Italian travels, sbb.ch for your Swiss Travels and bahn.de for your German travels. Make sure you can print your tix at home for simplest use. Likewise you can choose to pick up at the train station...just make sure to keep the credit card you used to purchase them (even if it expires before you arrive).

For Switzerland you can purchase a half fare card which gives you 1/2 price tix on every trip you make. If you actually travel to the Jungfraujoch then the savings from the half fare card would probably pay for itself. Anyway, use those particular sites to purchase your tickets.

Posted by
16894 posts

Both passes cover the Golden Pass route and both passes offer a 25% discount from Wengen to Jungfaujoch. Other coverage and discounts in the Berner Oberland are more extensive with the Swiss Pass.

I can't tell exactly the window your Swiss travel fits into; it probably is more than 4 consecutive ($223) and less than 8 consecutive days ($342), so 4 days flexi ($255) might be the best fit. The Swiss pass costs about the same as buying 2nd class tickets locally for border-Bern-Lauterbrunnen-Montreaux-border (estimate $225), but the additional transportation coverage and discounts during your stay in Switzerland would be a benefit, along with fewer stops to buy tickets.

Versus my rough estimate of $460 to buy all the main train tickets in stations as you go (to Interlaken, not Lauterbrunnen), the Eurail Select Pass costs $352 for 6 flexi days or $410 for 8 days or Global Pass is $451 for 15 consecutive days. The pass gives you hop-on convenience for most trips, but your 3 trips in Italy will require seat reservations of about $15 each. These passes also give you 25% discounts around the Berner Oberland.

Posted by
4554 posts

Just to start a fire, if you look at other forum posts you might wish to shorten your stay in Montreux