train pass- should I buy?

Hi I was wondering if pre-booking the flights separately is better, or buying a train pass is better. I will be travelling with my sister together all the time, and we are students. I noticed there are youth passes. However, i will be taking 2 sleeper trains that I will need to pre-book.

The trains I will need are:
Paris->Barcharach sleeper
Koblenz->Munich sleeper

Its England, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Also, what is the average train cost for Koblenz to Munich? When I searched it up online, the sleepers are cheaper for some reason... is 151 Euros for 2 people for a couchette a reasonable price?

Thank you!!!!

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
5926 posts

Ditto Paris-Bacharach. It can be done in 5 hours and 12 minutes. No need to for a night train. There is no pass that works on the London-Paris Eurostar, but advance purchase nonrefundable tickets can be reasonable. Italian trains can be cheap as well. Cheaper if you prebook.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
14112 posts

" 151 Euros for 2 people for a couchette a reasonable price?"

If you are talking about the cost of a "reservation" (additional surcharge for accommodations) along with a railpass, 65€ for two in a 6 person couchette would be the reasonable price.

Without a railpass, the advance purchase price for two would be 120€. That would include both the rail ticket and the accommodations.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
9883 posts

The price of point-to-point tickets can depend on how early you buy them, locking in travel dates and times. For an easy overview of regular fares, see Rick's Train Cost & Time Map. London-Paris always requires a separate ticket, which should be bought early for best price.

With a rail pass, booking ahead for the Paris-Germany leg is also important, since the faster French trains restrict the number of places for pass holders. If you travel Paris-Koeln on a Thalys-brand train via Belgium, the seat reservation with a pass that includes Belgium is about $50. From Paris to another change point near the German border (Stuttgart, Kaiserslautern) has a more normal seat reservation fee of about $14 and doesn't cross another country. Other German and Swiss day trains don't need reservations and Italian reservations can be made locally on short notice.

If you're going for a 4-country Select pass covering France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, then it is not valid for Thalys trains across Belgium (so choose the other route) and you'd also have to buy a ticket for any small incursion you might make into Austria. Cost for a youth pass is currently $404 per person for 6 days or $471 for 8 days of travel within 2 months. A pass also covers K-D Rhine and Mosel boats and Swiss lake boats on the same days that you use for trains; and gives you 25% discounts on many Swiss mountain lifts (without using a travel day).

For trains within Germany, you can book sleepers through the usual DB schedule link and during the process, select "book only extra charge."