I'm booking 2 tickets from Salzburg to Venice on oebb.at. The train leaves at 10 AM. I've been given the option to reserve seats. I don't know if it costs to reserve but I'd rather not spend the extra money unless I have to. Is this a popular train - should I reserve? Also, how's the scenery on this train. If it's good, is there a better side to sit on? Thanks
Seat reservations are not particularly expensive, a few Euro. I'd advise it; that's a long way to stand. I know Munich to Italy are popular routes. I've seen night trains on those routes sold out a month in advance.
I'm sure that train goes over Brenner Pass (?). Some people think the scenery is spectacular; for someone from Colorado, it's ho-hum. I sat on the right hand side. I think most of the time the train was against a hillside on the left side, so I got a better view.
ETA: Actually, looking at the Austrian Rail website, it looks like that connection is by train to Villach, then by bus over the Julian Alps to Venice. I know nothing about that route. If you are getting a SparSchiene fare, it might come with an automatic seat reservation.
Are you booking through the ÖBB website? You could book the train from Rosenheim to Venice on the Bahn website and take the train from Salzburg to Rosenheim. That way you would go over Brenner Pass and all the way by train.
Thanks Lee for the info. I'm looking at oebb.at so if that is OBB then that's what I'm looking at. I'm going to look into the alternative route so we could go through the pass. Thanks again!
There are four trains daily (ECs, 2 hrs apart) from Munich to Italy (Bologna, Verona, Milan, Verona). There used to be one direct train all the way to Venice, but it now only goes to Verona. On the German Rail website, if you enter from: Rosenheim to: Verona Porta Nuova (not Venice), you should see some €39 savings fares. You will still have to pay for and take an Italian train from Verona to Venice. Reservations for the German part are €2,50. I'm not sure if that also includes the Austrian and Italian parts, but, unless someone in Austria or Italy has reserved your seat, you'll be in it. Or, you could try for reservations for the Italian part at the station in Rosenheim.
For Salzburg to Rosenheim, use a regional trains and a Bayern-Ticket.
Thanks Lee! So, i'm not sure if I did this right but I looked up all the point to points (our travel is 5/16 but it wasnt up yet so I used 5/15):
Oebb: Salzburg to Rosenheim 42euros/2pp (I was given many choices for the station but it defaulted to "Rosenheim in Bayern")
Bahn: Rosenheim to Verona 78euros/2pp + 5euros/2 reserv
Trenitalia: Verona to Venise 26euros/2pp
That comes out to be about 151 euros/2pp.
I'm not sure its worth the extra euros to see the pass? Is the pass really worth it? It looks like Oebb for Salzburg to Venise is either 78 or 112 euros/2pp. The Julian Apps are starting to look better. I can't really find anything on this route through the search though.
I don't know anything about the Julian Alps, but they might be pretty. As for the Brenner Pass, as I said, I was under impressed, but the mountain passes in Colorado are so spectacular, so I might be jaded. Here is an example of the scenery on Brenner Pass, pretty, but, IMO, not breathtaking.
Salzburg to Rosenheim is €28/2pp with a Bayern-Ticket and regional trains, but that doesn't make up the entire difference.
It is beautiful but I don't think it's worth it. We're going to see beautiful scenery everyday so we can forego a pretty train ride. Do you know anything about that bus for the Villach - Venice leg. I see on Oebb that that leg is about 3 1/2 hrs log on ICB 835 from Villach HBF (Bussteige 1-4 <--not sure what that means) to Venezia Piazzale Roma (is that the same as Venezia St. Lucia?) Will the bus be comfortable? Under reservation it says "wird reserviert" which I translated as "is reserved" sothis means we definitely have a seat right?
For that particular route, my preference would be to travel entirely by rail. I had a brief look at the bahn.de website (using an arbitrary date) and this is the route I'd probably use:
08:57 - Depart Salzburg Hbf, ICE 660
10:46 - Arrive Innsbruck
11:27 - Depart Innsbruch, EC 85
15:07 - Arrive Verona Porta Nuova
15:59 - Depart Verona Porta Nuova, ES 9727
17:10 - Arrive Venezia Santa Lucia
Total travel time is a bit longer at 8H:13M, but it avoids the Bus portion. Reservations compulsory for at least the EuroStar Italia (and probably the other legs as well).
That route does in fact travel through the Brenner Pass, and even though our scenery here in B.C. is at least equal to Colorado, I alway enjoy the scenery on that trip.
Wow that is a long day but I like it. Is that 45 minutes at the train changes enough to walk around a bit and see any of the towns we're in, maybe grab a quick bite? Also, are you recommending we try to avoid the bus or is that itinerary if we want to see the pass? If the bus will be at all uncomfortable I'm all for doing the longer haul.
If you can get a SparSchiene fare from Salzburg (or Innsbruck) to Venice (or Verona), that would be good, but the only thing I saw on the Austrian Rail website was the route via Villach, using the Intercity bus (ICB). That's why I suggested the Rosenheim connection, because with that routing you can get a Europa-Spezial fare, from €39, from German Rail.
ETA: OK, if you use the Austrian Rail website and put in Salzburg to Verona, you will get connections from Salzburg to Innsbruck by ICE or RailJet, then an EC to Verona.
There are connections out of Salzburg at 8:57, 11:02, and 13:02, getting into Verona at 15:07, 17:07, and 19:07 respectively. You can find schedules and fares from the Trenitalia website.
Because the RailJets make stops in Germany, the Austrian Rail Sparschiene does not apply; only the 8:57 ICE out of Salzburg, which goes through Germany without stopping, has the Sparschiene fare to Verona. You would still have to get the Italian train from Verona to Venice separately.
That would be the way to go.
"our scenery here in B.C. is at least equal to Colorado".
Ken, with all due respect, I have to differ with you on that. I was raised in the Pacific NW (western side of the Cascades) and am familiar with that scenery, but I was impressed all over again when I moved to Colorado in 1986. We have mountain passes here at 12,000'.
Most of the passes in the Pacific NW would be below ground here.
Since I can't buy Trenitalia now with my US CCs - will I be safe to find and purchase tickets for the Verona - Venice leg when I arrive in Verona?
Maybe someone with experience with Italian Rail can answer that question better than I can. My feeling, based on travel in Germany, is that few trains are sold out.
The first three trains after you arrive are, first, a regional train (no reservations) at 15:34, but it gets to Venice later than the next train, a EuroStar, at 15:59, which gets into Venice at 17:10, then another EuroStar a half hour later. Those trains come with a mandatory reservation, so if there are no seats, you can't get on. If there are tickets you'll have a seat. If you are really worried, you could get tickets at the rail counter in Salzburg while you are there.
I've never tried that particular trip from Salzburg, but based on my experience so far, you could find two scenarios:
1.) You'll purchase a ticket in Salzburg that will be valid from there to Venice, including the reservations that will be required for the EuroStar Italia from Verona to Venice.
2.) You'll purchase a ticket in Salzburg that will be valid from there to Verona (the first stop in Italy). From there you'll have to buy a separate P-P ticket to Venice (which will include the compulsory reservation). If this is the case, I doubt there would be a problem obtaining a ticket in Verona unless it's a major holiday or something? Based on the the schedule in my earlier post, you would have 52 minutes to purchase a ticket, which should be quite adequate.
I've found in travelling from France that the ticket agents will only sell tickets to the first station inside Italy. Once there I've had to purchase separate tickets to take me to my destination in Italy. A good example was my trip last year from Nice to Stresa. The agent in Nice only provided a ticket as far as Milan. I then had to buy a separate ticket from there to Stresa (not a big deal, really).
I probably wouldn't bother to "walk around a bit and see any of the towns we're in" as it would be a nuisance to haul my kit around. I'd probably just buy the ticket (if needed) and get a snack or a coffee and wait for the train. Especially in the case of Verona, it would be a bit of a walk from the station to Piazza Bra and back, so you could miss the train. While there are Buses or Taxi's, I wouldn't want to risk it.
Thank you all for your advice! I'm inclined to purchase the Salzburg - Verona leg now and purchase Verona - Venice when I'm in either Salzburg or arrive in Verona. Do you think I will pay significantly more than the current fares on Trenitalia online? Would there be a difference in price for where I purchase it? I want to budget as accurately as possible.
"No need to purchase tickets ahead of time."
The Sparschiene fare from Salzburg to Verona is a pre-purchase fare, limited in quantity, and the lowest fares will probably sell out before you arrive in Salzburg. Get it from Austrian Rail before you leave.
But the rest of the fares, like Verona to Venice, I agree with Steve, you don't have to get them before you arrive in Europe.
No, I was not referring to the German discount ticket. "Sparschiene" tickets are pre-purchase, online tickets issued by Austrian Rail. If you use their website, www.oebb.at, and input Salzburg to Verona (not Venice. If you use Venice, they will only show you the rail/bus connection through Villach), they will offer you online tickets for that route (Salzburg-Innsbruck-Verona) for as low as €39. That's on the 8:57 ICE (660) out of Salzburg. That ICE goes non-stop from Salzburg to Innsbruck and is considered an Austrian train. (The connections from Salzburg to Innsbruck by RailJet stop in Germany and, therefore, are not considered Austrian trains and don't qualify for the Sparschiene fare.) Then you take EC85 to Verona.
But the Sparschiene tickets are only as far as Verona, you will still need to purchase the ticket for Verona to Venice, which you can do in Salzburg.
Although not as inexpensive as the from-€39 Austrian Sparschiene fare, the German Rail website shows a discount fare from Freilassing, just across the river from Salzburg, to Verona, for €49. This connection goes from Freilassing to Rosenheim by regional train, where it connects to the same EC85 to Verona. The fare from Salzburg Hbf to Freilassing, on the same regional train that goes on to Rosenheim, is €2,10. Just buy that ticket to cover you until you get to Freilassing.
This would not be as favorable a fare as the lowest priced Sparschiene fares, but it would be something to look at if the Sparschiene fares were sold out at the lowest prices.