Please sign in to post.

Select Pass and travelling through countries

I am planning a trip from Amsterdam (Benelux), to France, then Germany and finally end up in Italy . . four countries. When I start entering data for my pass, it asks the countries I want. Italy shows up as being available from Germany. I don't see how, as Austria is in between. I though the flex pass only works for adjacent countries. The point of this question, is that it looks like I need to get the 5 country pass to visit the 4 countries. Am I correct? As a side note, I had originally planned on going from Paris to Venice by a night train, and had the same problem as every train seemed to travel through Switzerland. Would appreciate any comments. Thank you

Posted by
18055 posts

If you don't have Austria as a country and want to go from Germany to Italy, you can purchase a point-point ticket through Austria. I believe some of the night trains between Venice and Paris go through Switzerland during the night without stopping and, therefore, do not require Switzerland to be on the pass.

Posted by
18055 posts

RailEurope sells reservations on the night train (EN221) from Paris to Venice. This train stops for the last time in France in Dole and then doesn't stop again until Milan, Italy. It goes through Switzerland (Lausanne, Montreux, Brig) without stopping. The fare rules for RailEurope say that you must have a Eurail pass (either 2 country or Select) for Italy and France, but doesn't require Switzerland.

OTOH, trains, including night trains, between Munich and Verona stop in Innsbruck, thus an Austrian ticket is required.

Posted by
400 posts

thanks for all the replies. If I understand correctly, as long as the train does not stop in a particular country, it would not require a country pass?

On another topic, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemberg are all considered one country?

Posted by
8700 posts

Here's a quote from the Railpasses section on this site which pretty well matches what Lee found on the Rail Europe site:

"Crossing Switzerland on daytime connections from Paris to Italy (e.g., connecting in Basel, Geneve, or Lausanne) costs $60 or more, but direct Paris-Italy day and night trains are covered even without Switzerland on the pass."

Warren - What are your routes and scheduled stops? If you can commit to specific departure dates and times, booking well in advance on the various national rail sites can get you discounted point-to-point tickets that will be cheaper than a pass.

Posted by
400 posts

I used the information from Rick Steves Europe through the back door and came up with the 5 country pass being about $250 less than point to point. I did not take any discounts into account. I will re-look at it. Thanks

Starting from Amsterdam July 21 to Paris. July 25 to Fussen. July 26 to Venice (night train) July 28 to Florence and July 31 to Rome.

Posted by
400 posts

Just re checked everything based on Rick's point to point map: $680. The 5 country, 6 day pass is $519 (based on select saver, 2 people). I expect I will have to use 2 days on our trip from Fussen, because the train from Munich stops at Innsbruck before 4:00 AM.

Posted by
4555 posts

Rick's point to point prices aren't anywhere near close to the deals you can get on the national rail websites.
Amsterdam-Paris can be had for as low as 35 Euro on the Thalys website...ticketless bookings available 90 days out.
Paris-Fussen (which will take you most of a day) can cost as low as 39 Euro at the German Rail website.
A bunk in a 4-person compartment on the overnight train to Venice can be had for as little as 49 Euro (don't forget, you'll pay a hefty supplement on top of your pass for sleeping accommodations on this train.) Same website.
Walkup prices for fast trains Venice-Florence and Florence-Rome will cost you about 86 Euro....50 Euro if you opt for slower InterCity trains. You can't get tickets in advance via the web with a U-S credit card....but if you're from Castlegar, BC, try your Canadian card....mine has worked for me in past years to get even better advance purchase deals. Click here for the Italian national rail webpage to at least check schedules and fares.
So far, that's a total of 209 Euro per person, or about $300.
With a pass, you'll have to pay a supplement on the Thalys, the Italian high speed trains, and a sizeable sum for your sleeping accommodations on the overnight train.

Posted by
18055 posts

"Just re checked everything based on Rick's point to point map"

With all due respect to our benefactor, as I have documented repeatedly on this board, that "point-point map if terribly inaccurate. It is, at best, a worst case approximation. First, it's in US$, and most of Europe uses Euro. It's accuracy depends partially on the exchange rate. For the fastest, most expensive trains, ICE from Frankfurt to Munich, it is only a little high, $130 vs today's rate of $124. However, it does not take into account more favorable fares. For example, you could go from Frankfurt to Munich on an IC, and only spend $100. If you purchased a Sparpreis ticket in advance, online, from the Bahn, it would only be $42 per person. And if you were willing to use regional trains, it would only cost you about $27 pP. So that map over-estimated the cost by almost 5 times!

The map is an oversimplification. To get a good answer, you have to, as Steve said, do your homework. Look up the real prices on the national rail websites.

And, please explain "I expect I will have to use 2 days on our trip from Fussen, because the train from Munich stops at Innsbruck before 4:00 AM." I understand the 4 AM rule, but I can't see why you think it applies here. You do know that you can get fares from Munich to Venice for a little over €40 pP?

Posted by
400 posts

This website is awesome! Thanks for the replies. I did go to the individual railway sites at work and got a price of about 300 Euros per person. This did not include the Munich to Venice because the DB website said fares were not available. Since we are going in July, many of the dates did not work so I used May to get my estimates. One thing I noticed on the Amsterdam to Paris run is that the fares are "only if space is available". Is this something to be concerned about?

As far as using up 2 days, I understood that if you get on a night train after 7:00 PM and have to make a transfer before 4:00 AM the next day, you would need to use up 2 days of your pass. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by
18055 posts

"I expect I will have to use 2 days on our trip from Fussen, because the train from Munich stops at Innsbruck before 4:00 AM."

OK, lets try this again. I'm having trouble following it. You are going from Füssen to Italy and taking the train from Munich, and, yes, it does stop in Innsbruck before 4 AM. But you are not getting off in Innsbruck, right?

If you mean that you are catching the Munich-Venice train in Innsbruck, then, yes, you will have to cover the fare from Füssen to Innsbruck. But that will be much less than a day of your railpass, just get a p-p tickets. Or, use a Bayern-Ticket to go to Munich to catch the train.

Posted by
400 posts

okay, I had a chance to redo my math (gotta stop trying to do this at work). If I book all point to point, and get the discounts currently offered, my total cost in Canadian dollars is $481. I think all the reservation fees are included. The select pass I am looking at is $545 plus reservation fees plus a sleeping berth fee. Point to Point is definitely cheaper!!!

I guess I am confused with the way flex passes work with night trains and the 7:00 oclock rule. I thought that if you board a train after 7:00, you could not make any transfers before 4:00. When I had checked on the DB website, all the night trains were showing up as needing a transfer at 3:30 in Innsbruck.

Posted by
12040 posts

RE Benelux: Carefully calculate the point-to-point fares on the two national rail websites (NMBS for Belgium http://www.b-rail.be/main/E/ and NS for the Netherlands http://www.ns.nl/cs/Satellite/travellers). With the exception of the multi-trip tickets sold by these companies, I have never researched a 3rd party railpass that is more economical than buying point-to-point for travel within these two countries. Ticket prices here are well below the Western European average, so before you add a Benelux option to a railpass, carefully consider if you need it.

Posted by
4555 posts

Warren....that $481 still seems high. Are you travelling first class? If you are, maybe consider second class. Second class seating on all the trains you mention is very comfortable, much more room than 'economy' on the airlines, and the difference with first class is, IMO, not worth the premium you'll pay.
Any of the tickets you buy from the national rail websites will include any necessary reservations.
The "space available" is really just a warning that the lower priced tickets are limited in their availability, and when they're gone, they're gone.
I got the non-stop overnight Munich-Venice trip to show up on Bahn for a date in early June. Don't forget, you want the train labelled CNL (City Night Line) so you don't have to make any transfers. Tickets will be offered for that train on-line. For that journey, you can go directly to the CNL website.

Posted by
400 posts

those were all 2nd class prices at the end of May

Posted by
4555 posts

Hmmm...taking your journeys, I still come up with about 209 Euro, which should be about $300 CDN. Maybe check into early June, which'll give you a better look at the discount fares available...many may have already gone for the May date you picked.

Posted by
18055 posts

I can Edit this, but I can't Delete it!

Posted by
18055 posts

"When I had checked on the DB website, all the night trains were showing up as needing a transfer at 3:30 in Innsbruck. "

I checked the German Rail website for Innsbruck for four days in May, and it shows only these 2 trains leaving Innsbruck between 2 and 4 AM:
2:17 EN467 from Zürich to Budapest via Salzburg, Vienna
3:40 EN466 from Budapest to Zürich

Where are you going?

CNL 363, direct from Munich to Venice, goes through Innsbruck at 11 PM, but you don't have to change there.

Posted by
400 posts

Norm,

thanks for all the help. I've already decided to go with point to point and will start booking when I get 90 days before the trip. When I priced the Munich to Venice, trip, I went with the 4-berth fare.

Lee,

I am wanting a night train from Fussen to Venice. I've been on that DB website so many times, its all foggy now, but when I had first tried, I kept getting transfers in Innsbruck. Last night, when I tried a Munich to Venice, I got a direct train, no transfers, all the way to Venice. I think I was messing around with dates, some in a few days and some a few months from now.

Posted by
18055 posts

If you wait until 7 PM to leave Füssen, there is a night train from Munich, D499, which connects to EN237 in Villach, Austria (3:51-4:45). Is that the one you're thinking of? If you leave Füssen at 18:05, you get to Munich in time to catch the direct CNL train to Venice.

In either case, you still have to pay for the regional train(s) to Munich. A regional train from Füssen to Munich is not covered by the 7 PM rule since it is not a night train. You can get to Munich using a Bayern-Ticket-Single, for €20.

Posted by
400 posts

Another quick question. Making reservations on the individual train sites. Do I get at ticket/reseration number from the website, or would I still need to pick something up at the station.