Buying a Eurail pass...

My wife and I are leaving on May 12th. We'll be landing in Geneva. We want to take the Eurail from Geneva to Milan then to Salzburg then to Munich, spending a day in each city. The problem is this: France is not covered by the Select Eurail Pass. We have to end up in Dijon because I'll be working there for the next 2 1/2 weeks. The Select Eurail Pass won't get us to Dijon. Can someone help me plan this properly? Thanx.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

I hope you haven't bought a Eurail Pass. You will do much better with point to point tickets. Salzburg to Munich, for example, is only 26 to 29 euros for both of you, depending what kind of train you take. Much less than using a day on a railpass. Geneva to Milan is 95 CHF (unfortunately you have missed the discount tickets that are available 2 months in advance). That is still less than a day on a S e l e c t pass. I didn't price Milan to Salzburg, but you may still be able to get Super Economy tickets on Trenitalia from Milan to Verona and Verona and a Smart Fare from Verona to innsbruck.

Posted by Steve
Durham, North Caro, United States
4 posts

Lola: Thank you very, very much. Can you tell me the procedure for buying the tickets you suggested? Website, etc.?

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Certainly. Geneva to Milan you would purchase on the Swiss rail site, SBB.Ch or use www.rail.ch to go directly to English. MIlan to Verona porta Nuova and Verona to Innsbruck you could buy on Trenitalia, the Italian national train site. Innsbruck to Salzburg, on the Austrian rail site, www.oebb.at Salzburg to Munich, on the German site, www.bahn.de. You can also buy part of the Munich to Dijon trip here; for the last leg into Dijon on the TGV you could buy on tgv-europa. Now, the question is, should you buy in advance? I looked around on most of the above sites and did not see any discounted tickets left for your time frame. But I didn't know the exact day of travel so it is possible there are a few discounts left (most of the national rail sites offer a limited number of discounted tickets, and when they are gone you pay regular price). If no discounts are left, you could just as easily buy your tickets in Europe, if you have any trouble using the national rail site or don't want to commit to specific trains at this time. What we have done in Italy is buy our tickets for the outbound train when we arrive in a city, or the day before we depart if we aren't sure when we arrive. This has worked well and we have never encountered a sold-out train in either Switzerland or Italy, where we have traveled a lot. The one discount I did find left for mid- to late May is for the Salzburg to Munich train on bahn.de. Two people can travel on a Bayern ticket on the regional train for 26 euros (for both), and no advance purchase is required. If you want the faster EC or Railjet train (1.25 or 1.5 hours instead of 2), you can get a Sparpreis ticket on the website of 29 euro for the 2 of you. But again, then you are committed to a specific train. The Bayern ticket has the advantage that you can use it on any regional train, and also on the Munich S-Bahn the same day and evening.

Posted by Steve
Durham, North Caro, United States
4 posts

Lola: You are wonderful! Thanx very much indeed! You cannot know how you've helped me. God bless you.