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Thread: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

  1. #21

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Suggest lotsa cash friends. You don't want to have an issue of no cash and your card does not work.
    Cheers
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by Shen siung View Post
    I'm 100% sure I am on the right cabin, right class (1st class are very 'class', so is not the one I was in) Maybe the train just not 100% full.

    I purchase a point to point ticket (no rail pass involved) the counter staff ask me for 10 franc reservation fee for the cross border train.

    When I board the train, I cannot find my seats with the "reserved equivalent" tag but some other seats were labeled. But nobody were sitting on it so I just sit on it.
    Ah i see, you only reserved at the counter so they wouldnt have time to actually put the labels. Most people reserved the seats prior to reaching the train station, i.e. back in SG or the day before at the train station.

    In your case, they prob just indicate your seat reservation on your tickets. Thus, in your case, really no need to reserve already cause if they can sell you the ticket, there will be enough seats.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32 View Post
    Ah i see, you only reserved at the counter so they wouldnt have time to actually put the labels. Most people reserved the seats prior to reaching the train station, i.e. back in SG or the day before at the train station.

    In your case, they prob just indicate your seat reservation on your tickets. Thus, in your case, really no need to reserve already cause if they can sell you the ticket, there will be enough seats.
    Ha ha, interesting.
    Actually I bought the ticket 24 hours prior to departure at train station.
    I wasn't think a lot when the person asked me to pay for reservation, just give the extra money...

  4. #24

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Right now, train travel is a little troublesome with the weather, but it maybe a better option than air travel...

    Just plan your toilet trips
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Hi friends, i need some help.

    Thinking of going to europe in mid-may this year. My planned route would be SIN-PARIS-BARCELONA-MADRID-SIN.

    Have some questions. is it cheaper to buy a rail pass or just direct tickets for each leg of the journey? The rail pass seems quite ex..about 200 euros for 5 days.

    Also, would it be worthwhile to stop at lyon or valencia along the way? not sure whether there are lots of things to see in those places.

    thanks for the advice
    cheers

  6. #26

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    The pass is useful if you stop and do a lot of travel.
    If you are on a tight schedule, just get tickets. Lyon is a quiet town, it may be better to spend quality time in the better destinations.
    Cheers

  7. #27

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    A good article:
    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/your-ca...730-10zbm.html

    Your carriage awaits, sir


    The Zagreb-Vienna EuroCity train bursts out of the Semmering Tunnel, high in the Austrian Alps.
    The view takes my breath away. The railway clings to the mountainside, the summits tower above and the valley floor is a Toy Town vision thousands of metres below. The wheels beneath me screech against the rails as the train curves first one way then the other among the fir trees, the waiter bracing himself expertly as he makes his way to my table with my Zagreb schnitzel.

    We reach Vienna right on time, just after lunch. It's a world-class experience without the worldclass expense. The ticket costs 213 Croatian kuna ($42.50), including reservation fee, bought at the station the previous day. The two-course meal with two small bottles of wine and coffee costs 23 ($33). Nor is it a particularly time-consuming way to travel from Croatia to Britain. I leave Zagreb at 7.25 on Sunday morning, spend a sunny afternoon in Vienna and board the Euro- Night sleeper for Cologne (from 49 with couchette). I sleep well and emerge from my compartment on Monday morning to yet another breathtaking view, the Rhine River Valley's Lorelei rock, followed by a succession of vineyards and pretty Rhine villages with castle after castle perched high on the hilltops.
    The journey reminds me yet again why I don't fly within Europe. But what I cannot claim, of course, is that European train companies make it easy to find out about and book long-distance journeys across Europe. Indeed, the gap between how easy it is to travel by train (and affordable, too, if you know where to look) and how difficult it can be to find out how to do it, is precisely why I started a website called The Man in Seat 61 (seat61.com). Named aftermy own preferred seat in Eurostar's first class, it explains how to travel by train or ferry between Britain and almost any country in Europe, and beyond.
    It certainly helps to have had inside experience of the rail industry.

    Here are some of my favourite train journeys across Europe and some of the tips I've acquired on the rails.

    London to Fort William
    The cosy sleepers of ScotRail's Caledonian Sleeper leave London every night about 8 o'clock (except Saturday) for Fort William in the west highlands of Scotland. The lounge car serves excellent haggis and tatties 'n' neeps, and a wee dram will send you soundly to sleep, waking up to deer bounding away from the train over the superb scenery of the West Highland Line.
    Tickets cost from $307 one way in summer, including a berth in a two-bed sleeper. See scotrail.co.uk; raileurope.com.au.

    To Spain by 'trainhotel'
    From Paris, travel overnight to Barcelona or Madrid aboard an Elipsos "trainhotel". These little Spanish sleepers feature "gran" class sleepers with private toilet and shower, "turista" sleepers with shared four-berth compartments and an elegant restaurant and cafe-bar.
    Tickets for the Paris to Barcelona journey in gran class cost from $455 and turista-class tickets cost from $152; Paris to Madrid tickets range from $190 to $525.
    See seat61.com/Spain.htm; raileurope.com.au.

    To Italy via the Gotthard Pass
    Leave London on an afternoon Eurostar to Paris and switch to a fast "TGV Lyria" to Zurich, arriving late in the evening. Next morning, take a train to Milan through arguably the most scenic of all the main lines into Italy. The track climbs steeply, surrounded by snowcapped peaks, passing through the Gotthard Tunnel then descending through forest towards Lugano and Italy.
    Change in Milan to reach Florence, Venice or Rome by late afternoon. London-Paris on the Eurostar costs from $120 one way; Paris-Zurich costs from $148 one way; Zurich-Milan from $101 one way.
    See seat61.com/Italy.htm; raileurope.com.au.

    To southern France
    From Lille or Paris, take a TGV to the Cote d'Azur. Most Paris-Nice trains are now impressive double-deck "duplex" TGVs with great views as the train speeds along the Rhone Valley, past churches and pretty villages. At Marseilles, you glimpse the harbour and past Toulon the train runs along the coast, past millionaires' villas and harbours filled with yachts. Buy tickets at raileurope.com.au from $134. Oslo to Bergen This is Norway's most celebrated scenic rail route. Make sure you have time for a ride on the Flaamsbana from Myrdal on the main line down to Flaam. The trip from Oslo to Bergen costs from $161. A Norway in a Nutshell pass (Oslo- Voss-Bergen) costs from $254, with five itineraries combining those three destinations. See nsb.no or raileurope.com.au.

    Zermatt to St Moritz
    It's called the Glacier Express but it's express in name only, because this 290-kilometre trip takes seven hours. But you won't mind a bit, as you take in the Rhine Gorge, Mattertal Valley and the high Oberalp Pass. The panorama coaches have huge windows and an excellent lunch is served at your seat, with equally excellent Swiss white wine. Fares from $195. A train on this route derailed last week, killing one passenger and injuring 42 others.
    See glacierexpress.ch; raileurope.com.au.

    Zurich to Innsbruck
    Travelling through the Arlberg Pass, this is one of the prettiest routes in the Alps. The line hugs the valley sides, passing villages and alpine meadows that appear to have come straight from the film The Sound of Music. Fares cost from $104. See the Swiss railway site, sbb.ch, or raileurope.com.au.

    Planning your trip
    -The Rail Europe website, raileurope.com.au, includes a journey planner that covers almost all of the continent, which therefore makes it the cyberplace to visit for train times for any two points within Europe.
    -The website seat61.com shows the best routes, times and fares for journeys from Britain to most European countries and suggests the best way to buy tickets. It covers luggage arrangements, how to take a dog or bike, how to change trains using the Metro in Paris and more.
    -Published since 1873, the famous Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable has train schedules for every major route in Europe plus ferries and some bus services. See thomascooktimetables.com or branches of Thomas Cook.

    Buying tickets online
    -Most European train reservations open 90 days before departure, although Eurostar opens 120 days ahead and a few countries open reservations 60 days ahead. You can't book before reservations open - but nor can anyone else. -The easiest way to buy train tickets from London to France, Spain, Switzerland or Italy is online at Rail Europe, raileurope.com.au. It's often best to split the journey into two: for example, book the Paris to Venice sleeper train first, click "add another ticket", then book the Eurostar from London to Paris, allowing at least 90 minutes to cross Paris.
    -You can also buy tickets to France, Spain, Switzerland or Italy at the French Railways website, tgv-europe.com.
    -Sometimes you'll need more than onewebsite. For example, you can book a sleeper from Cologne to Copenhagen, Prague or Vienna at bahn.de, then buy a London-Cologne ticket at either eurostar.com or raileurope.com.au.
    -The cheapest way to buy train tickets is usually direct from the relevant national operator; for example, go to www.renfe.es for Spain, trenitalia.com for Italy and bahn.de for Germany.


    By ferry
    -A combined train-ferry ticket from London (or any East Anglia station) to Amsterdam is 35 ($60) each way by day, or 57 overnight including private cabin; see dutchflyer.co.uk. There are overnight ferries from Newcastle to Amsterdam (dfds.co.uk) and from Hull to Rotterdam (poferries.com).
    -A train-ferry ticket from any other station in Britain to Dublin costs 30.50 one way (Belfast from 42).

  8. #28

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Train travel in Europe is simple and you can get tickets online. For high seasons it is highly advisable to get tickets first.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  9. #29

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Hi there,

    Need some advice if a Eurail Germany-Switerzland pass will work for me...
    Does the railpass cover all local transportation for places mentioned below (except Salzburg)?

    Places that we plan to visit:
    Germany: Munich, Nuremberg, Heidelberg (est 4 days)
    Austria: Salzburg only (est 2 days)
    Switerzland: Zurich, Laax, Luzern, Geneva (est 5 days)

    For Salzburg, I was thinking buying point to point tickets from Munich to Salzburg (since they are not too far apart).

    Hope someone can help me out here... Thanks in advance!!

  10. #30

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Has anyone taken the Chunnel Eurostar train from Paris to London and back?
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Hi all travellers, I am planning a trip to Germany and Switzerland in Sept - Oct for 13N. Was initially thinking of self drive in Germany the Romantic Road and train journeys in Switzerland but wondering if train journeys throughout would be a better idea after going through this thread. Below is my planned itinerary so I was thinking if any guys out here can help me out in suggesting some possible routes in Germany via rail so I can make a comparison and decide which might be suitable for me. (Attractions omitted, simply including the towns/cities)

    Germany
    Day 1: Arrive Frankfurt, collect car, drive to Warzburg. Overnight Warzburg.
    Day 2: Warzburg to Rothenburg Ob De Tauber. Overnight Rothenburg.
    Day 3: Rothenburg to Ulm to Neuschwanstein Castle. Overnight Fussen.
    Day 4: Fussen to Munich. Overnight Munich.
    Day 5: Walkabout Munich. Overnight Munich.

    As for Switzerland journeys, appreciate if anyone can suggest possible routes for 8 nights there starting in Zurich and ending in Zurich.

    Thanks in advance!

  12. #32

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    I have been to Frankfurt, warzburg, rothenburg, ulm, Fussen plus the castle and Munich. All can be reached easily with the train. No need car unless u wanna visit others along the Romantic Road. Only Rothenburg do u need to walk about 10 mins, the rest of the stations r within or next to it

  13. #33

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by kuantoh View Post
    Hi all travellers, I am planning a trip to Germany and Switzerland in Sept - Oct for 13N. Was initially thinking of self drive in Germany the Romantic Road and train journeys in Switzerland but wondering if train journeys throughout would be a better idea after going through this thread. Below is my planned itinerary so I was thinking if any guys out here can help me out in suggesting some possible routes in Germany via rail so I can make a comparison and decide which might be suitable for me. (Attractions omitted, simply including the towns/cities)

    Germany
    Day 1: Arrive Frankfurt, collect car, drive to Warzburg. Overnight Warzburg.
    Day 2: Warzburg to Rothenburg Ob De Tauber. Overnight Rothenburg.
    Day 3: Rothenburg to Ulm to Neuschwanstein Castle. Overnight Fussen.
    Day 4: Fussen to Munich. Overnight Munich.
    Day 5: Walkabout Munich. Overnight Munich.

    As for Switzerland journeys, appreciate if anyone can suggest possible routes for 8 nights there starting in Zurich and ending in Zurich.

    Thanks in advance!
    I went to Germany September last year and will be going to Switzerland this year. I'd booked all my tickets and reservations through the Deutsche Bahn website, and strongly encourage you to do so up to 90 days ahead. It allows you to consider different routes, add a few hours stop overs in your point to point tickets,etc. Have listed the route I took last year below.

    Frankfurt to Berlin (6.49 am) - 31.5 Euro
    Berlin to Prague with 6 hour stop over in Dresden (6.36 am) -31.5 Euro
    Prague to Stuttgart through Nurnberg (2.30 pm) - 29 Euro
    Stuttgart to Rothenburg Ob De Tauber (8.07 am) - 19 Euro
    Rothenburg Ob De Tauber to Garmisch-Partenkirchen - 20 Euro (Bavaria ticket covers local public transport and rail journeys in Bavaria)
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Augsburg - 20 Euro (Bavaria ticket covers local public transport and rail journeys in Bavaria)
    Augsburg to Frankfurt with 5 hour stop over in Wurzburg (11.32 am) - 31.5 Euro

    *Augsburg is about 40 minutes away from Munich and was my base due to extremely expensive lodging during the Oktoberfest.

    As to Switzerland, I think the best website to check the rail ticket prices and timings is the SBB website. I'll be staying 2 days in Zurich, then will be taking a train to the Jungfraujoch region through Lucerne. There is the Golden Pass train from Lucerne to Interlaken which is supposed to be very scenic. I intend to buy the Half Fare Card for 110 CHF as well. Fares below are full fare prices.

    Zurich to Lucerne - 23 CHF
    Lucern to Interlaken (Golden Pass) - 30 CHF + 5 CHF for reservation
    Jungfraujoch - 186.2 CHF

    Happy planning!

  14. #34

    Wink Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Has anyone bought prepaid mobile broadband while travelling in Europe?
    Not too sure if it's easy to get one there- planning to use it with google maps in case i get lost or to make calls via voip.
    ~Canon Digital Exhilaration Of Sight~
    Shoot-Ta|k m0r3, Zh00t |3zz~

  15. #35

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    guys....i'll go to Spain this coming August....eurail booking isn't cheap..but i prefer this rather than take all the local flight....
    i also buy some local ticket by local website (www.renfe.se)..it's cheaper rather than using my eurail pass....

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Hi, I'm heading up to Hungary, Czech Republic and Austria in 2 week's time. Trying to book my train rides now. I understand there's a East European Pass which is a lot cheaper compared to Eurorail Select for 3 countries by day but someone told me that the East European Pass goes by the number of train rides instead of by days. So I need to plan my journeys carefully and cannot have ad-hoc trips to other parts of east europe, is this correct?

    I'm kinda confused now. I know I'm heading for these 3 countries but the cities and towns that I'm going to visit, those have not been locked down yet. So should I get eurorail for 3 countries or book the east european pass instead? Help!

    Thanks.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Quote Originally Posted by efyap View Post
    Hi, I'm heading up to Hungary, Czech Republic and Austria in 2 week's time. Trying to book my train rides now. I understand there's a East European Pass which is a lot cheaper compared to Eurorail Select for 3 countries by day but someone told me that the East European Pass goes by the number of train rides instead of by days. So I need to plan my journeys carefully and cannot have ad-hoc trips to other parts of east europe, is this correct?

    I'm kinda confused now. I know I'm heading for these 3 countries but the cities and towns that I'm going to visit, those have not been locked down yet. So should I get eurorail for 3 countries or book the east european pass instead? Help!

    Thanks.
    I've travelled the Vienna to Budapest and Budapest to Prague legs recently. Eurorail is way overpriced. It is quite easy to buy online for Austrian rail
    ÖBB travel portal and they have very good but limited offer tickets (Sparshiene). My family of four paid a total of 38 Euros only for the offer tickets from Vienna to Budapest. Similarly you can also book Czech railway online
    https://www.cd.cz/eshop/default.aspx

    Hungary rail is more difficult to book online (need some knowledge of the language) but tickets can be bought from the station or upon arrival. The conventional wisdom when travelling in these 3 countries is to buy the tickets, avoid the overpriced railpasses unless for the convenience.
    Last edited by Avonez; 17th April 2012 at 10:52 PM.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Train travel in Europe - tips and info

    Hi

    I will be travelling round France in June for 13 days. Should I buy a France railpass? Do I need to top up for certain trains? Would appreciate advice form anyone here. Thank you!

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