I am planning a trip to Europe and was wondering if somebody can provide me with train information. I plan on visiting Rome,Florence,Pisa,Venice then fly to Paris and possible a day trip to Belgium. Is there a particular train pass I should purchase? Should I buy in advance?
A rail pass doesn't make a lot of sense in Italy these days. This guide on The Man in Seat 61 explains why in detail, but essentially Italian point-to-point tickets are inexpensive and high speed trains attract an additional fee for pass holders: http://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-Eurail-pass-guide.htm#Should%20you%20buy%20a%20railpass%20or%20pay-as-you-go You should use the Trenitalia journey planner to check for yourself, but here is one example. Pisa to Venice via Florence, travelling in 2 days time, would cost €52.80 if I get the 07.54. If I travel a bit later, there are a number of departures that would cost €36.80. If I book that same journey to travel on June 5th, the 07.54 departure would cost €36.80 and the later departures are only €26.80. Repeat that process for each of the Italian journeys you plan to take, and compare the prices with the daily cost of a pass. For Paris to Belgium, Thalys high speed trains can get you to Brussels in about 1 hour 20 minutes. On www.tgv-europe.com I can see early June departures from €29, but even 2 months out they have only a few seats left at that price, so it pays to book as soon as you can. If you have problems with tgv-europe and you can manage basic French, then you could try www.capitainetrain.com instead. It offers the same trains and prices as tgv-europe.com. You can also try http://www.thalys.com