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Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  Train fares and tariffs  |  Berlin-Prague-Budapest-Salzburg-Munich-Switzerland-Italy
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Author Topic: Berlin-Prague-Budapest-Salzburg-Munich-Switzerland-Italy  (Read 4184 times)
1_am_tim
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« on: April 03, 2013, 01:35:32 pm »

Thanks for your reply that is really helpful! It looks as though the best option is to wait for a little while longer before we purchase tickets.

We are actually looking at doing some more rail travel from Berlin through to Rome. But I am still trying to work out whether it is better to get a rail pass or to get individual tickets from the country railway authorities. Our current plan is to travel this part of the journey in two weeks (14 days) and our planned stops are listed below. A 15 day eurail pass would cost AUD621 per person. I am still trying to work out what the cost of travelling this journey would be based on purchasing tickets from the railway websites. I have included what I have found below, but if you there are any links or better prices that you can suggest that would be greatly appreciated.

Berlin to Prague - 39 euro per person (bahn.com)
Prague to Budapest - ?? (http://www.cd.cz/en/ has timetables but I cant find prices)
Budapest to Salzburg - 39 euro per person (mavstart.hu / buy from ticket window)
Salzburg to Munich - 35 euro per person (internationalrail.com.au)
Munich to Switzerland (Interlaken or Saas Fee) - ??
Switzerland (Interlaken) to Venice  - ?? (sbb.ch has timetables but I cant find prices)
Venice to Rome - 30 to 40 euro per person (trenitalia.com)

Without knowing exact prices and additional fees for booking (it would be good to do some overnight trips, so I am assuming there would be additional fees for a sleeper?) if I say on average each trip would cost 45EUR that is equivalent to approx 56AUD, therefore 7 trips, at this price, would work out better than the rail pass. But it would be good to know if this is a decent assumption?

I really appreciate your response, it is so helpful for planning a trip like this.
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tUt
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 09:14:19 pm »

...is better to get a rail pass or to get individual tickets from the country railway authorities.
That is one of the most essential & important questions many travelers ask, so let's just simply look at all your journeys and find the answer:

Berlin to Prague - 39 euro per person (bahn.com)
Website is correct, German Railways Ticket Shop is the place to buy such tickets, however discounted tickets purchased in advance start not from 39 euro, but from 29 euro per person. Ticket sale starts 92 days in advance
Prague to Budapest - ?? (cd.cz/en/ has timetables but I cant find prices)
Again, the website is correct - official Czech Railways (CD) page is the place to buy, you just need to go from general page to CD eShop - cd.cz/eshop Tickets Prague to Budapest start from only 19 euro if bought in advance. Here you can actually travel overnight, won't give you a lot of time to sleep (00:01-8:35), but will save precious 7 hours during day time
Budapest to Salzburg - 39 euro per person (mavstart.hu / buy from ticket window)
Already discussed options in the other topic ;)
Salzburg to Munich - 35 euro per person (internationalrail.com.au)
Forget about agencies like that, they just take advantage of inexperienced travelers and serve as a middle man, obviously charging their own commission. The thing you need for Salzburg to Munich journey is German group ticket for Bavaria - Bavaria Ticket (more about DB Lander Tickets on our Germany page). Bavaria ticket is valid from Salzburg and sold in Salzburg, so you can buy it simply before departure - 22 euro for one person, 26 for two, 30 euro for three and up to 5 passengers, traveling with Bavaria Lander Ticket will be cheap and easy
Munich to Switzerland (Interlaken or Saas Fee) - ??
Here you have two options: a) easier will be just to buy in advance discounted ticket via mentioned above DB website, tickets like Munich to Interlaken start from 39 euro per person; b) more complicated and time consuming option will be again to take advantage from Bavaria Ticket - for instance use it from Munich to Lindau, then take a nice ferry ride over the lake Constance from there to Switzerland, while for Swiss part just get SBB SuperSaver tickets, in total it will end up cheaper than 39 euro per person + more fun
Switzerland (Interlaken) to Venice  - ?? (sbb.ch has timetables but I cant find prices)
Well, here it's not very easy to get the ticket and price you want, since there are no direct trains from Interlaken to Italy. Nearest direct train to Venice is from Brig (roughly an hour from Interlaken), while train to Milan is from Spiez (roughly 15-20 min. from Interlaken). Discounted tickets like Spiez to Milan start from only 27 CHF (app. 22 euro) and can be purchased via Swiss Railways (SBB) website, you'll need SBB TicketShop and section "Trips in Europe" --> "The lowest fares for direct services to major cities in Europe"
Venice to Rome - 30 to 40 euro per person (trenitalia.com)
Purchase in advance via trenitalia website can get you tickets for as low as 19 euro person actually (or 9 euro when we speak about Milan to Venice in case you go Interlaken-Spiez-Mian), if you don't catch those, then next price level is 29 euro, these ones are much easier to get. Also besides Italian Railways (TrenItalia) the route from Venice to Rome is served by new train company Italo, because of competition with TrenItalia their fares time to time might be better, so check both companies

...and additional fees for booking (it would be good to do some overnight trips, so I am assuming there would be additional fees for a sleeper?)
If you book via mentioned above official websites of railway companies (and not via various rip-off agencies) then you won't be charged any additional booking fees. Regarding sleeper reservations, the only journeys where you can count on more or less potential overnight trip is Prague to Budapest and Venice to Rome, in both cases reservation fares are rather mild (20-30 euro)
if I say on average each trip would cost 45EUR that is equivalent to approx 56AUD, therefore 7 trips, at this price, would work out better than the rail pass. But it would be good to know if this is a decent assumption? 
Well, as you can see from the above, the average is even less than 45 euro, so in these terms pass is useless. However remember that almost all the point-to-point fares mentioned are discounted tickets requiring in advance purchase + with some exceptions they are nonexchangeable & nonrefundable, thus will save you money, but won't give much flexibility with your itinerary.
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1_am_tim
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2013, 12:19:48 pm »

So the booking has begun and has been pretty successful so far. Mostly thanks to your information below. Although we have also made some changes to the things that we will be seeing and doing. I have a few more questions as some prices and routes.

Berlin to Prague - Booked!

Prague to Budapest - Booked!

Budapest to Salzburg - Still to book.

Salzburg to Munich - Still to book.

Munich to Interlaken - Looking for a scenic route. I have seen that a train to Lucerne and the narrow gauge to Interlaken is quite scenic. We are happy to have a lazy day on the trains as we have quite a busy itinerary before then.

Interlaken/Spiez to Rome - This is looking quite expensive through either SBB or Trenitalia, any options would be very welcome.

Rome to Venice - Booked!

Venice to Bergamo - Booked! (flying to Greece from here)!

Thanks again!   

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tUt
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 09:34:46 pm »

Budapest to Salzburg - Still to book.
As was said earlier, here no special need to book in advance, since 39 euro (Tourist Tickets --> Kirándulójegy in Hungarian) can be obtained already in Hungary

Salzburg to Munich - Still to book.
Again, nothing changed here either - Bavaria Ticket is easy, cheap and usually recommended option, buy it at Salzburg train station from DB ticket machine and don't worry.

Munich to Interlaken - Looking for a scenic route. I have seen that a train to Lucerne and the narrow gauge to Interlaken is quite scenic. We are happy to have a lazy day on the trains as we have quite a busy itinerary before then.
Well, in terms of Swiss part, then Luzern-Interlaken is definitely number one choice, with Zurich-Luzern there is nothing really special, but it short trip and it doesn't really worth looking for any complications here. While with Munich to Zurich you already have a number of choices. Standard route via Kempten & Lindau starts to get interesting closer to lake Constance, crosses for a bit in Austria - Bregenz where train goes almost by the shore. If you want something different to direct route, then, as was mentioned in the previous post, you can cross the Constance lake by ferry, it will obviously slow you down, but might be nice. Also you can go across the lake via Konstanz and continue to Zurich from there. Or even take greater detour to west and go all the way via Schaffhausen, however you should remember that all these detours will require additional changes

Interlaken/Spiez to Rome - This is looking quite expensive through either SBB or Trenitalia, any options would be very welcome.
Neither SBB or TrenItalia won't sell you good ticket, but easy trick to book everything and travel cheaply is to purchase two separate tickets - one international Spiez-Milan (via SBB website, from 27 CHF) and one domestic discounted Milan-Rome (via TrenItalia or alternatively Italo, from 9 euro). Thing is that both Swiss and Italians offer good discounted fares for direct trains and in your case it's direct trains from Spiez to Milan (transit ones from Basel) and plenty of direct high-speed, InterCity or overnight from Milan to Rome

 
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1_am_tim
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 09:30:50 am »

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. For the Switzerland to Rome journey it seems that I may have missed the discounted tickets :(

I am looking at travelling on 5 September and all I can find for Milan to Rome is tickets of 98EUR or more for two people. Is this right or am I missing something here?

Looking on SBB I can find the 27CHF ticket from Thun to Milan but unfortunately it is not at a time that would connect with any of the trains that arrive in Rome on 5 September. The cheapest connection I can find is 76CHF per person.

Thanks

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tUt
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 12:40:28 am »

I am looking at travelling on 5 September and all I can find for Milan to Rome is tickets of 98EUR or more for two people. Is this right or am I missing something here?
Evening departures (=peak time) from Milan to Rome are obviously might not be very cheap when it's three weeks  before the journey, but during the day there are still tickets for less than 98 euro two (49 per person), for high-speed train it's 86 euro, while for slower InterCity (for instance one departing 15:05) even 58 (29 per person). Also don't forget to check Italo trains, as of now for Sept.5 they have less than 50 euro (per person) tickets even for peak departures
Btw, if you don't intentionally want to use a train, then RyanAir (Bergamo airport) and EasyJet (Linate airport) offer flights from Milan to Rome (afternoon & evening of Sept.5) for as low as 20 euro

Looking on SBB I can find the 27CHF ticket from Thun to Milan but unfortunately it is not at a time that would connect with any of the trains that arrive in Rome on 5 September. The cheapest connection I can find is 76CHF per person.
Well, as of now, 27 CHF tickets are offered only for evening EuroCity from Thun to Milan, early morning one and afternoon are for 78 CHF, which is a full fare. You can save a bit if you do a small trick here - first purchase domestic Swiss SuperSaver discounted ticket from Thung to Brig (from 20 CHF when purchased 2 weeks before departure), then from Brig to Domodossola you'll use standard full fare ticket (another 15 CHF) and finally standard fare for domestic Domodossola to Milan train (9.85 EUR), but obviously with such option you'll have to change trains and have three separate tickets
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