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5 country pass or p2p tickets?

Hi, We will be first time train travelers in Europe in a August and are unsure as to what Eurail pass to buy (and if we can use the Eurail pass on the routes we have chosen)? Or should we just get point to point? We're a bit unsure as to how to do seat reservations with a Eurail pass... Below is our draft itinerary.  TO    FROM Munich    Fussen Fussen    Munich Munich    Zurich Zurich    Ilanz (Vals) Ilanz    Milan Milan Florence Florence    Venice Venice    La Spezia La Spezia    Nice Nice    Avignon Avignon    Barcelona Barcelona    San Sebastian San Sebastian    Paris Paris    Giverny Paris    Poissy Paris     Rennes Rennes    Paris Paris     London We were thinking of an eleven day 5 country pass.... Regards,
Jasmine

Posted by
2767 posts

Hi Jasmine, it would helpmate know if you bothnqualify for the Youthnpass price as that might make a difference. But in general, by the time you add reservation fees where needed, a pass is not cost effective. Also is does not cover Paris to London but maybe there is a discount. One thing I suggest is that younrearrange the Italy cities to avoid backtracking. So go Milan to Venice to Florence to La Spezia. Last question, how much time in total do you have for this trip? You are moving around a lot, which is OK if you have enough time. Also, going to Spain takes younquite a bit out of the way and adds lots of extra travel time ( and expense). You might reconsider those two-steps and just stay in France. Just a thought.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Sasha, Unfortunately we are above the youth limit (we would have wanted to travel several years ago but wasn't able to) so we would be getting the adult pass. The reason we were thinking of getting the pass is for convenience in that we have not been able to book trips 90 days in advance so getting the pass would give us flexibility in our travel dates. Though we are unfamiliar with what routes require quite advanced seat reservations for rail pass users. We are visiting Barcelona specifically for Gaudi and Bilbao for the Guggenheim. We are staying at least one night in each place but understand we will be traveling on the trains a LOT. Regards
Jasmine

Posted by
8700 posts

If you are thinking of buying 11-day passes, then you must be planning to take multiple rides on some of those 11 days or else buying point-to-point tickets for short rides on days you won't use your passes. How many actual days will you be riding the train? Can you be more precise on your itinerary for each of those days?

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Tim, Sorry about the confusion but here is the itinerary with dates: 8/1/2012 Munich Fussen 8/1/2012 Fussen Munich 8/2/2012 Munich Zurich 8/2/2012 Zurich Ilanz (Vals) 8/4/2012 Ilanz Florence 8/7/2012 Florence Venice 8/8/2012 Venice La Spezia 8/10/2012 La Spezia Nice 8/10/2012 Nice Avignon 8/11/2012 Avignon Barcelona 8/14/2012 Barcelona San Sebastian 8/15/2012 San Sebastian Bilboa (return) 8/16/2012 San Sebastian Hendaye 8/16/2012 Hendaye Paris 8/18/2012 Paris Vernon-Giverny (return) 8/19/2012 Paris Poissy 8/21/2012 Paris Rennes 8/22/2012 Rennes Paris
8/22/2012 Paris London Thanks for your help! We have added up the costs and p2p tickets costs in total 1000 euro for 2 people which includes Eurostar.

Posted by
8700 posts

Munich-Fuessen and Fuessen-Munich: Buy a Bayern-Ticket (€29) at the station in Munich. It's good for 2-5 people traveling together all day anywhere in Bavaria, but you must leave after 09:00 on weekdays and limit youselves to regional trains. It also will cover all forms of transportation in Munich (U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and bus) on the day you use it. Munich-Zurich: If you book today on the German Rail site, you still can get a Europa-Spezial Schweiz fare of €49 for certain departure times. Zurich-Ilanz: The standard 2nd class fare is 49 CHF. No discount for advance booking. Buy your tickets in Zurich. Ilanz-Florence: Book Ilanz-Milan on the Swiss Rail site. The standard 2nd class fare is 96 CHF, but you still can get a discount fare of 84 CHF. Book Milan-Florence on the Trenitalia site. The standard 2nd class fare on a high-speed EuroStar Italia train is €53. The cheapest MINI fares are gone, but if you book today you still can get a slightly lower fare. Florence-Venice: The standard 2nd class fare is €43. MINI fares still are available. Venice-La Spezia: The fare for Venice-Florence is €43. The fare for regional trains from Florence to La Spezia will be around €12. La Spezia-Nice: The standard 2nd class fare on IC trains is €9.50 for La Spezia-Genoa and €17 for Genoa-Ventimiglia. Booked now on the Trenitalia site, you can get a MINI fare of €9 for each leg. The 2nd class fare for a regional train from Ventimiglia to Nice is €7. Buy your tickets in Ventimiglia. Nice-Avignon: Depending upon the departure time, the standard 2nd class fare for a direct TGV ranges from €53 to €62. Booked now on tgv-europe.com, you still can get a Prem's fare of €25 for the 17:34 train.

Posted by
8700 posts

Continuing from my last post. Why do you want to go all the way from La Spezia to Avignon in one day? You'll only have a few hours in Nice and it deserves at least two nights. Consider skipping Avignon and flying directly from Nice to Barcelona on either Vueling or easyJet. Booked today at eurostar.com, you can get a discount fare of $67 US for Paris-London. That's less than a passholder fare ticket which can only be bought by calling the Eurostar office in London or at Eurostar stations. And there is a quota for passholder fare tickets so it wouldn't be wise to wait until you get to Paris to buy them.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks Tim! It looks like we will be buying individual tickets then ;) We have also decided to stay two nights in Nice as you have suggested. We have also found cheaper tickets from Zurich to Milan, so will train it from Ilanz back to Zurich, then Zurich to Milan. What do you suggest for our travels in France? Are there day passes that can be purchased on the day for multiple trips from Paris? Also, is the best way from San Sebastian to Paris, a train to Hendaye, then a train onto Paris? Regards,
Jasmine

Posted by
8700 posts

The fastest way to get from San Sebastian to Bilbao is by bus. You also can take trains run by Euskotren, the Basque Country train network. Yes, the fastest way from San Sebastian to Paris is via Hendaye. Poissy is at the end of the line of one of the branches of the RER A. A ticket from anywhere in central Paris using the Metro and RER costs €4.65. Vernon, the station closest to Giverny, is well beyond Paris. A ticket on a regional train costs €13.30. The standard 2nd class fare for Paris-Rennes is €63. Booked now at tgv-europe.com, you can get a Prem's fare of €20. Since your time in Paris is limited, buy ten-ticket carnets (€12.70) as needed and share the tickets. Each ticket is good anywhere the Metro goes (some lines end in zone 3) and on the RER in zone 1 (all of central Paris). A ticket provides unlimited transfers until you exit the system. Each ticket provides unlimited bus transfers up to 90 minutes after boarding the first bus but you cannot transfer brtween bus and Metro/RER on one ticket.