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1st or 2nd class train travel France/Italy

We are travelling by train from Avignon to Cinque Terre and there is quite a difference in fares between 1st and 2nd class. What are the advantages/disadvantages?

Posted by
11450 posts

I wouldn't bother with 1st class unless you are the type that ,, well that sort of thing matters,, LOL
Save the money for better wine and cheese.
Second class is fine.

Posted by
111 posts

I rode first class and I admit it is nice. However, second class will do just fine. I'd probably go first class again if my train journey was very long. If you are going to be on the train for 2-4 hours save your money for a sunny day and hang in 2nd class.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks. Sounds like good advice to me. More wine and cheese - yay!

Posted by
23 posts

I'm a different Jeff from San Diego!

We took 2nd Class Eurostar, previously had taken 1st Class - there is a little less legroom in 2nd Class, the cars are a little more crowded but I'd have to agree, 2nd Class is value enough, save the money and buy better wine & cheese, makes the trip so pleasant.

Also took TGV 2nd Class from Montparnasse to St. Pierre des Couer(Corps?), although only an hour, same thing, less legroom than 1st Class. Car was just as clean, unless you require the "airline" food, save the money, travel 2nd Class and buy a picnic.

In October, we didn't bother to buy our train tickets (except the Eurostar of course) until we got to Paris. We just stopped at an SNCF office, told them where we wanted to go and it took about 15 minutes before we were back on our way. Couldn't have been easier!

Posted by
8984 posts

Jeff, Do you happen to work for Rail Europe :) Regulars on this board will tell you that RE is the worst place to buy rail tickets. It's much cheaper, and you get a better selection of trains, if you buy tickets directly from the websites of the rail companies: DB, SNCF, Thalys, Eurostar, Swiss Rail, etc.

Posted by
2065 posts

The train selection is greater on the Deutsch Bahn site; RailEurope only has a few in comparison.

Posted by
3551 posts

Its all no smoking ad 2nd class to me is just fine. It can be a little hot during summer months in second class.