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Thread: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

  1. #1

    Default Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    Hi brothers and sisters from CS! =) I really in need of help from those who know and also if you have experience on travelling over there.

    I will be travelling in Europe for about 6 weeks at the end of August and did research on it. However, i am still unable to finalize my transportation. I found that Eurorail pass is super expensive, hence wondering if i can buy point to point tickets.

    The places i will be travelling will be as follows:

    1. Swiss (zurich, interlaken, lucerne, Jungfraujoch, zematt)

    2. from zematt, we hope to get a train to freiburg (germany)

    3. Germany (rust, blackforest, fussen, munich)

    4. from munich, get a train to prague

    5. we will hang around in prague for 4 days and may travel to Bohemian paradise (day tour)

    6. then get a train to Hungary (budapest)

    7. we will hang around in budapest for 4 days and then taking a train to Austria (Vienna, Wien)

    8. then in Vienna about 2 days and train to Salzburg and then to Italy (Venice).

    9. Then about 2 weeks in Italy.

    Sorry for this long list. Hope you guys who have travel to the following places before can provide me with some details on the transportation part?

    I know Swiss itself, they have got a swiss rail pass within the country. For Germany, it will be the Bahn rail to prague. Afterwhich from prague onwards, information on the rails is super hard to find.

    Really appreciate if you can provide some details for me and also if you know what are some areas i really need to look out for.

    Thanks alot!!!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    I mentioned this in a previous thread, for the early part of your journey, Switzerland to Germany, within Germany and on to Prague. It is possible to use trip-sharing, but it's not something you can check or book right now. It's entirely dependent on the day, time and people. You can check it out, I think they have a site option for English, the German is also not very hard to figure out.

    www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de

    It's basically people driving to and from places within Germany and to areas outside of Germany, and if they have a big enough car and/or want to earn some cash on the side, they allow people to ride with them. You have to ask about whether they have space for your luggage, but it's a generally safe practice and much cheaper than taking Deutsche Bahn. In my experience, it is fairly easy to find a ride from Munich into Prague costing something around the 20-40euro price margin per person versus 60-100euro prices for DB.

    About travel information after Prague and on to Budapest. Because I don't really plan beforehand on my trips and just go with the flow(leads to some hectic moments), the best is really to arrive and immediately approach customer service and have them print out a timetable for you on the day you are leaving the city with all the trains and the cheapest options available. Rail networks in eastern Europe are on the cheap side and are rarely fully booked, buying your tickets a few days beforehand is usually the best option, because sometimes cheaper fares are not listed on rail websites or they are unclear.

    Other than those two countries/cities, the rest of the places you're going to are easily accessible to tourists in terms of transportation at least. The only pointer to remember really is that despite the touristy-ness of Prague and Budapest, they are still eastern European countries. And common sense must be exercised even more so than in western Europe. That just means, don't walk around shady neighbourhoods and all that. It's more evident in Budapest, it's a really beautiful city, but just watch where you're going. Another nice place to see in Hungary is the Lake Balaton, and the towns around it(I stayed there for a couple of days with my German teacher).

    Freiburg is beautiful and so is Tübingen if you have the time, enjoy yourself! Oh one last thing, bring a lot of money to Venice. Unless you are budget traveller and don't mind eating most meals in a cafeteria(they are actually quite good), Venice is perhaps one of the most expensive and quite frankly overrated cities in all of Italy(I never quite got what the fuss about the Rialto bridge was all about). An example would be how an outdoor toilet costs 1,50euro to use ONE time. I always just acted like I knew what I was doing and used a toilet in a cafe for free.

    Other than that, sorry for an even longer post, but if you still need help you can ask, Austria is the only place on your list I have not yet visited, but there are many others not on your list that I have

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    Out of the places you've listed, I've visited Lucerne, Munich, Vienna, Venice.
    I recommend this nice place to eat wiener schnitzel at Vienna (see my blog post: http://goawaysam.blogspot.com/2010/0...schnitzel.html)

    For Lucerne, I bought many chocolates but 1 box was expired, so please do check the expiry date when you are buying chocs.

    For Venice, please do give their Burger King's "Chicken Fries" a try. It looks kinda like chicken tenders but tastes better.

    In Italy, eat gelato daily

    For more (much more) pics of my Europe trip, you can visit my blog here:
    http://goawaysam.blogspot.com/p/europe-2007.html

    Have fun.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    From what I know , if you buy tix from pt to pt closer to the dates , its gets more ex. Cheapest is to go by rail pass.

    Munich has good beer very nice place ...
    Prague is generally cheaper than Western Europe.
    Vienna is really like "castle" , old school Europen feel
    When in Salzburg , get the Salzburg Card . Sorta tourist card , covers everything ! Even come wif a cruise down the Salzburg river .
    Beware of cold fronts though , Germany / Swiss near the Alps , trap the cold air ..rain n cold spells , bring temp down to ard 10 . Not very nice if u r in bermudas .

    One thing abt transportation services in Europe . When the timetable says 1713 , it really leaves at 1713 ( unlike wat we have here , where its a aggar ) , hence u can plan your journey nicely .

    For more info , u can email/PM me . I do have a blog last time for my trip in Europe . www.2weeksineurope.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    Please check out this website called Seat61 (www.seat61.com) as it has a comprehensive listing of train trips across Europe. Another forum website that I go to is Guide for Europe (www.guideforeurope.com), as they have a lot of forumers who travel to Europe frequently and are able to better advise matters such as planning for routes, spending time for each place, and choosing the best travel mode.

    I used both websites to help me plan for my travel around the Balkans and Germany.

    All the best! I absolutely enjoyed the planning process and seeing it turned into fruition when you embark on your journey.
    Last edited by wangwe; 11th August 2010 at 11:20 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    Why dont you try to plan a road trip instead? Rent a car for 6weeks..U can travel to lot of places and see much more thing then taking train..BTW u r traveling alone or with friends? Cos if u add up the train cost, it might be cheaper to drive...

  7. #7
    Member JiEeEe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    that time went vienna. the cathedral in the middle of the town area is really grand!

    anyway some of the town.. the trains/rails can actually "dont pay " one.. its an honour based system loh..

    cause tickets all u buy urself and punch urself de
    wannabeMusician+wannabePhotographer

  8. #8
    Senior Member dominator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    Just some points to consider

    Quote Originally Posted by stromblad View Post
    1. Swiss (zurich, interlaken, lucerne, Jungfraujoch, zematt)
    Once in swiss more or less everything the same..all the scenery are nice. I suggest you to skip lucerne(if you thinking of the famous lion and the bridge). For interlaken up to jungfrau peak and down, prepare for about Euro150. The train ride is an experience worth paying. But if you are thinking just to get a view from the peak, can always do that in Austria as you paying about Euro20 to get to their peak too.

    2. from zematt, we hope to get a train to freiburg (germany)

    3. Germany (rust, blackforest, fussen, munich)
    I suggest you spend more time exploring around munich and check out the local tour there. Fussen for Neuschwanstein castle standard place to go.
    As for blackforest..suggest you to skip unless you want to visit gingerbread house...nothing much really.


    4. from munich, get a train to prague
    Munich and prague...try check out Nuremberg to prague too.

    By the way, since so near i suggest you to pop by france!
    Cleanse your thoughts, not by the foods you eat.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    hi,

    it may not be a great idea to want to do so many things and go to so many places in one trip ...

    i have been to Germany, Austria and Prague this June and Switzerland last Sept. my take to you is to take a train to Nuremburg and hop onto one of the express buses that ply the road between Germany and Prague (took my family 3 hours though). the bus journey was peaceful and relax.

    just for your info, you need to change to local currency to travel within Czech Republic. also, the local train service is not so efficient and consistent as that of Deutsche Bahn but rustic and nice though. once out of Prague, few ppl speak English. In Prague, catch a concert at the National Museum (the experience is awesome).

    I have travelled to Austria a couple of times. Spend more time in Salzburg and Innsbruck - visit Swaroski Crystal World (free bus ride from town if you have purchased the Pass). Trek up to Unterburg (where Salzburg city draws their drinking water) and visit Eagle Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany. While in Salzburg, make time to watch their puppet show (it is incredibly authentic).

    Switzerland is an expensive place, especially Geneva and Zurich, mind you. Do hike down on some trails while in Interlaken to enjoy the scenic views, but my family agreed that Zermatt (and our whitewater rafting experience in the icy water) was really cool!

    Do visit the Natural Museum of History in Frankfurt, the place is very well-stock and furnished. We visited the Neuschwanstein Castle and the Hohenhoff Castle in Fussen, take the guided tour inside these buildings. My family bought a refurbished violin from an elderly craftsman in the town of Fussen (paid in Euro$, of course)

    Enjoy your planning and trip.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    wow! so many things to take note of! so LancerEx did you buy the eurorail pass?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    last but not least buy travel insurance...is a MUST esp in europe

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    Quote Originally Posted by stromblad View Post
    wow! so many things to take note of! so LancerEx did you buy the eurorail pass?
    yeah, you have to get it before you fly. get it 'chopped' when you are there at any station before you can use it. reserve your seats, even first class, if you wish to secure a seat on long journeys. of course, you have to pay some more to reserve a seat.

    good luck, guys. enjoy your trips.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    I totally agree with the rest, I think you need to cut short of the number of places you want to go and focus on a few because 6 weeks might seem long, but the time will just fly by, especially if you're spending most of the time on the trains.

    Are you a youth below 25? if you are, then in that case getting the eurail is afforable; otherwise i would advise to get point to point tickets because you dont save that much (for eg, in germany, the ICE trains have to be reserved in advance, and for Italy, just go to the counter and get the tickets in advance, you'll be able to get the discounted 20-50% tickets (Depending on which ones u want))


    1. Swiss (zurich, interlaken, lucerne, Jungfraujoch, zematt)
    --> you should get the swiss pass for this - it'll be worth it, although for the jungfraujoch ride, you'll still have to pay a supplement. I would suggest that you spend a week in Switzerland and a week in Germany, and perhaps focus just on a few places you wish to go. For eg in Interlaken, you could spend a few nights there, then take the train up to jungfrau and down again, unless you have moolah and wish to stay in grindelwald or somewhere up in the mountains. IMO, since it's not ski season, no point visiting 2 mountainous regions - zermatt and jungfrau cos the scenery is about the same. there are mountains within an hour of lucerne as well if you wish)

    2. from zematt, we hope to get a train to freiburg (germany)

    3. Germany (rust, blackforest, fussen, munich)
    I'm not sure what is rust, but which part of the black forest do you want to go to? freiburg only or the whole area? do you plan to drive? driving in germany is awesome, but a short term car rental isn't that cheap, esp if you're just one person. car rental is the cheapest in germany though, and you can consider driving all the way to eastern europe if you want - you can drive from munich towards salzburg and up to vienna.

    4. from munich, get a train to prague

    5. we will hang around in prague for 4 days and may travel to Bohemian paradise (day tour)

    6. then get a train to Hungary (budapest)

    7. we will hang around in budapest for 4 days and then taking a train to Austria (Vienna, Wien)

    8. then in Vienna about 2 days and train to Salzburg and then to Italy (Venice).

    9. Then about 2 weeks in Italy.

    As for the rest, you're going to take the train until your butt aches. I don't think you've properly thought through what you wish to do in Europe and basically you're trying to take in too much for 6 weeks. Do you like to see the food/culture or art or architecture? Transport wise, you'll face lots of time on the road - night trains are comfy, but they take a toll on you afterwards because it's really tiring to be on the road all the time.

    For the eastern european trains, my advice is just to get on the spot tickets. they're cheap anyway. if you want to save more money, consider taking the buses which are plentiful and cheap too.
    check out bahn.de for train routes and times and a general idea of prices. they are the german website, but they cover the whole of europe.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    Thanks bros!~ keep posting as i really wish to know more from personal experiences. really appreciating you guys commenting on my trip. =)

  15. #15

    Default Re: Need help on travelling in Europe =)

    My experience, the train is really expensive. I spend almost more $$ on transport than accommodation. (I didn't sleep on train)

    So just mentally prepared. And, do a lot of calculation for different cases (buy different type of passes), then compared.

    You can get some point to point ticket, sometimes cheap.

    Example, if you stay in a country for longer (compare another) look for their specific pass. Sometimes cheaper.
    example, I use Bavarian ticket and only 15 Euro? Forgot. For 2 person, 24 hours? Forgot again This allows me to go from Fussen to Munich then to Salzburg (yes, crossing borders already but still allows). Downside: Cannot use on all train. Only those slower train.

    But from Swiss Nuchatel to Fussen, it cost me about 150 Swiss franc. Just 6 hours ride. 150. Imagine.

    And, flight (budget airline) can be cheaper if you book about 2-3 month in advance, but as for now, might be late for you already

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