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Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  Train fares and tariffs  |  Cheapest train travel for Europe trip
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Author Topic: Cheapest train travel for Europe trip  (Read 8346 times)
SannySmith
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« on: August 30, 2010, 06:42:02 pm »

Hi,

I am in the planning stages of a 11 day trip for a family vacation w/wife and 18 mth old to Europe in October. I would like to know what is the fastest and cheapest way to commute between countries by Eurail and if I am better off buying one-way trips or getting a Eurail select pass for visiting 3-4 countries.

I need to know if how much time it takes to commute with connections in between so we can plan our trip accordingly. Our trip plan includes London - Rome - Pisa - Lucerne - Paris. Should we take the train from Pisa to Lucerne or plan a day trip from Rome - Pisa and then travel from Rome - Lucerne?

Since this is our first trip to Europe and time and money saving tips are appreciated.

Thanks
Sanny
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tUt
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 10:38:17 am »

In order to get from London to Rome you will need to use Eurostar train from London to Paris, where you can catch overnight to Rome.
For London-Paris connection any type of pass doesn't make sense, since standard supplement for passholders is huge there - 57 British pound, while regular tickets can be much cheaper, especially if you buy those in advance (eurostar.com)
Paris-Rome: special discounted tickets available, but you will need to book those in advance. For October there are tickets starting from 55 euro (www.tgv-europe.com)
Rome-Pisa: same story with discounted tickets. Purchase in advance gives you up to 30% discount, so you can ticket for Eurostar train will cost as low 28 euro (trenitalia.com), for InterCity train - as low as 20 euro. Or you can use Regional train - fare for it is standard and doesn't depend on time of ticket purchase, it will cost you 18.05 euro
Pisa-Paris: you don't actually need to go all the way to Rome in order to catch Paris train, because it stops in Florence, which is only an hour away from Pisa (ticket 5.8 euro). Florence-Paris discounted tickets start from 45 euro, but again you need to purchase them quite long time in advance.

About timetable: All the timetables you need can be found in on the official websites quoted above. Just wan to mentions, that your key train is overnight Paris-Rome, since it is the only direct train between Rome and Paris. You will use it twice - on the way from London to Rome and from Pisa to Paris, thus you need to plan you itinerary according to that overnight train. Means leave London in the afternoon, so you can catch it in Paris and leave Pisa in early evening, so you can catch it in Florence. Train connection Rome to Pisa and Pisa to Florence is really frequent, so no problems there.

If you have any specific preferences - we can reconsider timetable and choice of trains, but it will definitely require more changes on the way.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 02:40:38 pm by tUt » Logged
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kat
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 06:38:27 am »

Hallo,

also need some advice please....

We are planning a trip for our honeymoon to Prague-Budapest-Vienna-Salzburg- and back to Prague for 12days in early Nov..
Considering to buy the European East pass…It cost us US$410 (for 2 person) but will cover all national rail networks of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary.
is it still not worthy to buy the pass and cheaper to buy the point to point tickets?
We are thinking to include Ceske Budejovice/Český Krumlov OR Brno in our itinerary... but can't decide which one is better or will it become to much... any suggestion?

Thanks so much in advance
Kat

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tUt
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 07:23:58 am »

Let us look at simple math:
Prague-Budapest: cheapest ticket on the route is Czech e-Ticket (https://www.cd.cz/eshop/international/search_int.aspx?tt=4), from 19 euro per person. Purchase in advance required.
Budapest-Vienna: discounted tickets start from 13 euro per person, but those need to be purchased as well in advance and only at the station in Budapest. Regular one way fare on the route is 23 euro.
Vienna-Salzburg: regular domestic tickets are rather expensive for the route (47.5 euro per person), but you can do a small legal trick - buy not domestic ticket Vienna-Salzburg, but international Vienna-Munich/Zurich. Those international tickets sold from 29 euro per person if you buy some time in advance (http://www.oebb.at/pv/en/Servicebox/Online-Ticket/index.jsp). Other option is Einfach-Raus-Ticket, it is day pass for all regional trains in Austria. Cost only 28 euro for a group up to 5 passengers. The only inconvenience with such pass is that you will need to travel with changes and a little bit slower since it is regional trains, but at the end you pay only 28 euro.
Salzburg-Prague: discounted tickets start from 39 euro per person. There are way to do it cheaper, but you will need to use Einfach-Raus-Ticket till Austria-Czech border and purchase then domestic Czech tickets.

Resume: 19+13+29+39*2 persons= 200 EUR (or 260 USD for two passengers). The only thing you need is to purchase your tickets some time in advance. With use of Einfach-Raus-Ticket it will be even cheaper, but less convenient in time of travel because of regional trains use and changes.

Additional stops in Brno or C.Krumlov will increase you ticket expenses maximum on the fare of Praha-Brno/C.Krumlov 2 person ticket (20 or 15 euro respectively), but it is possible to design the trip, so those stops won't even increase the sum.
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kat
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2010, 08:25:23 am »

Thanks so much for the advice!
 ;D

Kat
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