I am meeting a friend in Europe and we are traveling around for the 1st time. We are beginning in Amsterdam, taking the train the Paris, Flying to Milan, and then taking a train to Florence. We want to end our trip with a week in Barcelona. The Italy/Spain portion of the trip is not yet booked or finalized. Does anyone have a suggestion for travel combining Milan Florence and Barcelona, ending in Spain (Route, methodes, timetables )?
And could anyone suggest the most cost efficient way to travel from Amsterdam to Paris? I think that the train is best, but we have not yet bought tickets.
I looked into talking the train to and from all destinations. With a Select Saver Pass, 3 countries, 5 days, plus a single ticket to Barcelona, is available for $325, + the single ticket. But I don't understand the Eurail pass. It's like a buss pass right, you show it and get on the train, no fee at that time. But you aren't guareenteed a seat, and you pay more to make a reservation? I'm not sure how helpful a Europass is then. Help!!!!
You are attemtping to cover a lot of ground during your trip, so flying between cities will be your best option. It will probably be cheaper as well, what with the cheap airlines that operate throughout Europe.
Just out of interest, what are you hoping to do in Milan? For me, it was a big disappointment. There are loads of shops sure - expensive ones - but not many sights to see. I would suggest flying into Florence and then working your way up Italy, inc Milan if you have your heart set on it, then perhaps flying over to Barcelona. By train this would take a very long time indeed.
For info on train times and length of jounrneys check out
It doest give prices though.
The Eurail pass is indeed like a bus pass. You can get on pretty much any train with it and not pay. Like you say, you would have to pay for reservations - something i only ever did once - and whilst you arent guarenteed a seat, the probability is that you wont have a problem getting one. Of course, if you want to take an overnight train then you will have to pay extra for the sleeper.
Hope this is of some use.
Have any specific plans in Barcelona? If I were you, I'd divide the 5-6 days you have planned between Barcelona and Madrid. A week is a long time for pretty much any city (unless you already know what to do there). Barcelona-Madrid can easily be done by train.
Amsterdam-Paris is best by train. Not sure how much it would cost you.
I don't quite get what is included in the Saver Pass thing. You'd need it only for going from Milan to Firenze, right? I don't think it's valid for the high-velocity train from AMS to Paris, be sure to check that before you rely on it.
If I understand you correctly:
If what I think about the validity of the eurail is true, you'd be buying a eurail for only 1 trip, and the 300 km between Milano and Firenze can be passed a lot cheaper than 325 USD.
There are night trains with sleeping cars almost every evening between Paris and the main Italian cities. You take the train in the evening in Paris and wake up in Florence/Milan/Venice or Rome.
Have you considered this as an alternative to plane? You have to check but I believe that with eurail you just have to pay for the sleeping car and not for the fare. Also this saves you a night in the hotel and this is a more exciting way to travel than plane!
Regarding Spain, it is really difficult to get there by train. And I would definitely recommand to take the plane to get there.