Europe Trains Guide Forum
User Info
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
June 25, 2018, 01:52:32 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
News
Welcome
Forum Stats
2790 Posts in 513 Topics by 749 Members
Latest Member: brightontwo
Home Help Search Login Register
Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  Travel plans, routes and timetables  |  Train in Switzerland then Zurich to Budapest, and Prague to Paris
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Train in Switzerland then Zurich to Budapest, and Prague to Paris  (Read 6811 times)
Bella
Newbie
*
Posts: 4

View Profile
« on: March 18, 2013, 04:53:43 am »

Hi, I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. We will be in Europe in June, we are wanting to travel on the Golden Pass in Switzerland during our 5 days there. We start at Basel on 9th June then need to be in Budapest on 14th June to start a tour which finishes in Prague on 23rd June. We would then like to travel to Paris for 4 or 5 nights before heading to London for a week. Would the train be the best way to get between these cities or should we opt to fly for some of the legs?

Thanks so much for your help in advance.
Logged
tUt
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1226

View Profile EuropeTrainsGuide
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 02:18:01 pm »

Ok, so let's take a look at rail options first (while then we'll try to see where it might be better to fly):

Trains in Switzerland: if you have more or less fixed itinerary in Switzerland, then we usually suggest to go with Swiss Railways (SBB) SuperSaver tickets (discounted tickets that you purchase two weeks in advance for almost any route in Switzerland), obviously you won't be able to buy them for tourist Golden Pass Panoramic train and apparently it is also not offered for leg from Montreux to Spiez, but you can purchase Supersaver tickets for ordinary trains on leg from Spiez to Lucerne without any problems. Same Supersaver tickets can be used for journeys from Basel or from Lucerne to Zurich (in order to catch train to Budapest) etc. If your itinerary is not fixed and you would like some flexibility, then it might make sense to think about Swiss pass
Zurich to Budapest: from Zurich there are two direct trains to Budapest - one is during the day (10:40-21:54, allows to enjoy the scenery) and one is during the night (22:40-10:32, allows to save time & hotel night). For both trains there are discounted tickets available, although in both cases you can't purchase them directly from SBB Ticket Shop, but need to do it via email or by phone (again discounted tickets require purchase in advance, since they are in limited number per departure)
Budapest to Prague: here we aren't sure what you mean by the tour? You want to stop at some interesting destinations on the way? Or you already booked a tour from some tour company? If it is the later, then guess no help from us needed, but if you want to arrange trips between Budapest and Prague yourself, then just give us a hint at what destinations you want to include, so we could advise on how to handle transport side of the tour
Prague to Paris: no direct rail connection to Paris from Prague, but you can get direct trains from either Munich or Berlin and good discounted fares (even as low as 39 euro) from almost any German station (if booked in advance via German Railways (DB) website), while getting from Prague to Berlin, Munich etc. isn't very complicated and can be done rather cheaply (again with a help of discounted tickets or passes like Bavaria-Bohemia ticket)
Paris to London: a good choice here is to take fast & convenient EuroStar train, when you book tickets in advance (can be done either via www.tgv-europe.com or EuroStar.com) it's possible to get relatively cheap discounted tickets (from 50 euro)

Now a few words regarding flights. In regards to your itinerary there is probably two legs which can be substituted (or at least considered to be substituted) by flight, first one is from Switzerland to Budapest & second - from Prague to Paris. 
Switzerland to Budapest: luckily enough there is a low-cost company EasyJet operating flights from Basel and Geneva airports to Budapest, tickets for both connections start from only 54-56 CHF, which is a really good price a flight. Besides Easyjet there is also Wizz Air company operating from Geneva, their ticket fares start from even less
Prague to Paris: flights here are a bit more expensive compared to Switzerland to Budapest, but at the same time not extremely expensive. Once again EasyJet offers direct connection and also available local airline SmartWings, so at the end it won't be a problem to get tickets for like 50-75 euro for late June (considering that you purchase them some time soon)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 02:28:47 pm by tUt » Logged
Get 10% off your next hotel stay (+ support our forum) by using our Booking.com referral partner link for your next hotel booking!
Bella
Newbie
*
Posts: 4

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 07:56:01 am »

Thank you so much tUt, this information is SO helpful!

I will be making firm plans for Switzerland, that is, booking all accommodation before we go. If I understand correctly, I can book all my train travel within Switzerland two weeks before to get the Super Saver tickets, would they normally be available or do I have to get on there the minute my date comes available to secure our seats? Do you have any information about buying the Golden Pass tickets?

Thank you also for the airline information, I didn't realise we could fly from Geneva to Budapest, that looks like an option for us. Do you recommend Wizz Air, their flights were CHF 61 (all inclusive) and EasyJet was CHF 98. Is there any catch to using Wizz Air? EasyJet was cheaper than Smart Wings for the Prague-Paris leg and it seems it is also cheaper than the train. Would the train ride from Zurich to Budapest be very scenic and enjoyable or would it not be so spectacular after seeing the scenery in Switzerland? I'm sorry to be asking so many questions!

You are correct in that we have booked a tour from a tour company for Budapest to Prague, sorry for being vague.

Thank you so much again, you are very generous to take the time to help travellers like me.
Logged
tUt
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1226

View Profile EuropeTrainsGuide
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 03:14:58 pm »

I can book all my train travel within Switzerland two weeks before to get the Super Saver tickets, would they normally be available or do I have to get on there the minute my date comes available to secure our seats?
Yes, you understood correctly, SuperSaver tickets go on sale 14 days in advance. Usually there is no need to buy it the very same minute, but if plan to travel during peak-hours, then better to buy your Supersaver some time during first or second day of sales, since they are in limited number per departure, thus once the quota of the cheapest Supersavers get sold, it will be more expensive (although still cheaper than standard fare). Sometimes you can get cheapest Supersaver even few days before the journey, but obviously leaving it till the very end like that is kind of a roulette, especially during summer season
Do you have any information about buying the Golden Pass tickets?
Well, there is a straight forward way - get your ticket(s) already in Switzerland before departure. You can also buy it via Swiss Railways website, but it's not necessary since the fare doesn't change depending on time of purchase. Also you can read through Golden Pass website, it will give you most of the answers
Would the train ride from Zurich to Budapest be very scenic and enjoyable or would it not be so spectacular after seeing the scenery in Switzerland?
Tricky question... from one side scenery (at least on major part of the trip) kind of the same - mountains, rivers, nice small villages etc., but on the other hand it is different mountains, rivers & villages :) Besides that, if to have time (however not sure if you do with your schedule), journey by land allows to make stopovers in very nice places (like Innsbruck, Salzburg or Vienna)

I didn't realise we could fly from Geneva to Budapest, that looks like an option for us.
Yes, because of low-cost airlines flights from Switzerland to Budapest are real competitors of rail journey
Do you recommend Wizz Air, their flights were CHF 61 (all inclusive) and EasyJet was CHF 98. Is there any catch to using Wizz Air?
From our experience there are pros & cons in using both Wizz Air and Easy Jet. Wizz Air usually has newer aircrafts, although can be a bit less reliable compared to EasyJet (there are known cases when WizzAir shifted departure times or even canceled flights). Also don't no whether you already noticed, but WizzAir have a bit more tricky policy regarding baggage & carry on, so it might make sense to take into consideration that fact as well
EasyJet was cheaper than Smart Wings for the Prague-Paris leg and it seems it is also cheaper than the train.
If you aren't big train fan, then obviously EasyJet for 50 or so euro might be the best option, since it's less hassle and no need to change trains. Using trains it is as well possible to make the journey roughly for the same money, but it definitely will be more complicated trip


Thank you so much again, you are very generous to take the time to help travellers like me.
You're welcome, we are always glad to help fellow travelers ;)
Logged
Get 10% off your next hotel stay (+ support our forum) by using our Booking.com referral partner link for your next hotel booking!
Bella
Newbie
*
Posts: 4

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 08:31:32 am »

We are now going to take the train from Prague to Munich and stay one night to meet up with a friend. I have looked at the DB Bahn site and I think I can book a ticket from tomorrow.
while getting from Prague to Berlin, Munich etc. isn't very complicated and can be done rather cheaply (again with a help of discounted tickets or passes like Bavaria-Bohemia ticket)
Can you advise me with this please. Do I just select Prague to Munich and if so will that take me to Munich City Centre? The options are Bus, ICE, EX or ALX. Which should I choose? Our hotel is Maritim Hotel Muenchen and I'm wondering if the train takes us to the station that is very close to this hotel.
Thank you again  :)
Logged
tUt
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1226

View Profile EuropeTrainsGuide
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 02:55:40 pm »

Do I just select Prague to Munich and if so will that take me to Munich City Centre?
Yes, Munich central railway station (München Hauptbahnhof or Munich Hbf) is in the city center and basically just across the street from your hotel
The options are Bus, ICE, EX or ALX. Which should I choose?
Well, direct connection is offered either by DB buses or Ex/ALX trains (on Czech part it marked as Ex, while on German as ALX, however it is the same direct train), ICE trains offered only when you travel with change in Nuremberg.
Regarding the choice, then buses are faster, but might be a bit less comfortable. However we do advise to disregard DB website for buses, since you can book bus journey for much less on eurolines.de website (tickets from Prague to Munich start from only 9 euro). In case of train again better to avoid DB website, since Czech Railways eShop (cd.cz/eshop) allows you to book train tickets for direct trains from only 498 CZK (or 19 euro) instead of min.29 euro on DB website. Although if you decide to travel by train, then it is possible not to worry about any ticket purchase in advance at all, since you can use Bavaria-Bohemia Ticket or Bayern-Böhmen-Ticket  in German, it is basically a pass allowing up to 5 passengers to travel in Western Czech Republic and Bavaria region in Germany (it is German offer, but can be bought in Prague as well), thus you can use it on direct trains from Prague to Munich, for two passengers it's just 29,5 euro in total. The only minor inconvenience is that it's not valid all the way from Prague, but only from Plzen, so for leg Prague-Plzen you would have to buy additional domestic Czech tickets (can do so for the same train, so you won't even need to change trains in Plzen or get off), those start from only 90 CZK (=3,5 euro) per person
Logged
Get 10% off your next hotel stay (+ support our forum) by using our Booking.com referral partner link for your next hotel booking!
Bella
Newbie
*
Posts: 4

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 05:52:41 am »

Oh thanks so much again tUt.  :D I will wait and get the train tickets in Prague as you suggested!
Logged
tUt
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1226

View Profile EuropeTrainsGuide
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 04:43:40 pm »

I will wait and get the train tickets in Prague as you suggested!
Ok, but remember that with buying in Prague works only option of Bavaria-Bohemia group ticket (+ domestic Czech from Prague to Plzen), which you buy via Czech Railways Travel Office (Prague main station) and not via ordinary ticket counter where you can purchase only tickets like Prague to Plzen. While with 19 euro discounted tickets for direct trains you'll have to buy in advance on-line via eShop, since discounted tickets are limited in number per each departure and even if there are some left, they aren't sold when it's less than 3 days before departure
Logged
Get 10% off your next hotel stay (+ support our forum) by using our Booking.com referral partner link for your next hotel booking!
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
 

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines