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Transportation: England, Austria & Italy

We will fly San Francisco to London- buses around London? Rent car go to countryside. Train/fly? to Salzburg train to Hallstatt- train to Venice train to Tuscany-rent car- train to Cinque Terre train to Rome- buses or train around Rome?- fly Rome to SF. Good idea-bad idea- any suggestions?

Posted by
21709 posts

What is you length of time? Have no idea what buses or train around Rome means. Rome has buses that work pretty well but has a limited and nearly worthless subway/train system. And Rome is easy to walk in. Remember they all walked two thousand years ago. On the other hand London has both a great subway and bus system --- not sure how that helps you !

Posted by
61 posts

No, we have never driven a car in England. We would like to hit the big cities for a few days but spend most of the time in the countryside. Seems Rick says to rent a car for the English countryside and Tuscany. I'm really clueless as how to get around best in all three countries. Which is the most cost effective mode of transportation: cars? trains? cheap flights? And how about London to Salzburg?

Thanks for any help...sorry my question sounded confusing.

Posted by
61 posts

I just don't know the best way to get around. We plan to fly to London spend 3 days, go into the countryside (Cotswolds area) for 3-4 days, then go to Salzburg 3 days, on to Hallstat 3-4 days, then to Venice 2 days, Tuscany 5 days, Cinque Terra 5 day, on to Rome 3 days, then fly from Rome to San Francisco. We hope to be gone 3 plus weeks (depending on what we can afford) We thought the Eurail select pass would be best for most of our travel, but then a car rental in Tuscany and Cotswolds, etc. in England. Does that seem wise? Once in a large city do you use the Eurail or bus to get to around the city center? Also, how would it be best to get from London to Salzburg?

Thanks for the help! Sorry to make it so confusing.

Posted by
390 posts

In London, get an 3-day travelcard and use the tube and buses to get around. Also be sure to walk! It's a great city for walking. Rent a car for the Cotswolds if you'd like, but I'd probably just take the train to Moreton or a National Express coach to Stow on the Wold, and then bike, walk, and take the local bus around. Renting a car in England can be very stressful if you've never driven on the left side, and you will likely be given a manual car, unless you request an automatic, which will cost you almost double.

The best way to get to Salzburg would be to fly - otherwise you'd have to take the Eurostar to Paris or Brussels, and then catch a train onward, which would be expensive and time-consuming. Look into flying from London to Salzburg or Munich (Take train to Salzburg), and then take the train to Hallstatt. Try www.skyscanner.net or easyjet.com for cheap flights.

Train to Venice, then to Tuscany - rent car. Train to Cinque Terre - are you sure you want to spend 5 days in CT?? I can't imagine spending longer than 2 -not a lot to do and it's awfully touristy in the warmer months.

I don't think I'd buy a rail pass - just do point to point tkts - Cont.

Posted by
390 posts

Do a search for buying train tickets and you'll find lots of info. Do a comparison for the 5 point to point tickets vs. a rail pass and find out what is cheapest.

As far as getting around in the cities - Rome is very walkable. All of the main sites are fairly close to each other. The subway is not very useful, but there are several buses if you can figure out how to use them :) You shouldn't have a problem walking though, assuming you're in reasonably good shape.

Posted by
61 posts

Thanks Jennifer, your ideas sound great. I love the idea of taking National Express to Stow and then walking/busing around the area. We basically just want to see the countryside.

We'll re-think CT. We want to make sure to have time to relax and not have it be hustle and bustle trip.

Any ideas how to make London more affordable?