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Travelling to Europe - Train Reservation & other advice need

Travel Forums Europe Travelling to Europe - Train Reservation & other advice need

1. Posted by techfundoo (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y

Hello,

I will be travelling to Europe with my family (5 Adults, 2 Children, we are basically 2 families).

I have more or less reserved my hotels/flights etc, but I am still very confused about Train reservation:(.

Below is a brief of my itinerary, and please suggest me which trains to take, and which not. I have already gone through EURAIL GLOBAL PASSES - but very confused about reservation etc.

24th - Reach Zurich, immediate transfers to Davos ( Have a conference there for around 4 days, but I have to be rarely present at the conference except one day, on which I have to present a presentation).

25th - Davos to Engelberg (Mt. Titlis), do I have to reserve the train (Davos - Landquart - Zurich - Luzern - Engelberg, and then coming back so return sector as well) keeping in mind we are a group of 7.

26th - Davos to Interlaken and then to Bern, and finally back to Davos again - Do I need reservations on this?

27th - Davos to Vaduz (Lecheistein) - do I need reservation.

28th - Davos to St. Moritz (Is it worth going? - and is it pretty near?, I am very tied up on this day.

28th Evening - Davos to Zurich (Staying one night there).

29th Morning - Zurich to Nice, France - Do I need reservation on this?

30th - Touring in Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo (How to travel between these places).

31st - Nice to Venice (Reservation?)

1st - Florence / Pisa from Venice, and returning back to Venice in the late evening (Reservation necessary on this?)

2nd Morning - Venice - Rome (Reservation?) - Can you please suggest me do I have to take a one day tour or what? - I will be reaching there at around 11:00.

3rd - Again in Rome (Please suggest places)

3rd Late Evening - Rome to Munich (It will be a night train, how to go about this?)

4th - Will be roaming in Munich etc.. suggestions highly appreciated.

5th - Again in Munich ( Can I go to Salzburg from here?, or any other place, place let me know about reservations also)

6th Morning - Munich to Paris ( Will be reaching Paris at Noon, do I need reservation on this?), please suggest which places should I look after reaching Paris.

7th - Again in Paris - Which places to see?

8th - Again in Paris till late evening i.e. 21:00:), so again need suggestion where to go, how about Versallies?

I also need to know, after buying EURAIL GLOBAL PASS, am I entitled for free travel on local city transport, like buses/trams etc.

Also, reservation is required on the above said train routes, do I have to pay something?, I saw in some places it was around Euro 9.00, please confirm?

Looking forward for a quick reply.

Will be highly obliged

Regards
Manuj Bharti

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Jesus Christ on a pogostick!!

That is a very very ambitious schedule and sorry - but I am glad I am not one of the poor kids. I think I would go to court and sue my parents for child abuse if they intended to inflict something that stressful on me. I've seen my share of ambitious schedules here but this is extreme.

Most Europeans going on a similar trip would plan to have at least 45 days for all the places you are trying to see in 16!

You are completely underestimating travel time. Even if you only have a 3 hour train ride from one place to the next - by the time you check out of your hotel, get to the train station, take the train, arrive and get to the hotel the day is practically gone.

26th - Davos to Interlaken and then to Bern, and finally back to Davos again - Do I need reservations on this?

Take a look at sbb.ch - travel time to Interlaken from Davos is 4 1/2 hours. You'd face a 10-hour day just travelling between Davos and Interlaken without seeing one single thing. Bern is 3 1/2 hours from Davos, not much better. If you get up at 6 am and leave Davos at 8 am you'll be in Bern around noon, which gives you just a few hours for a stroll through the city before you need to return to Davos.

30th - Touring in Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo

Utterly impossible. Pick one place and stick with it.

1st - Florence / Pisa from Venice, and returning back to Venice in the late evening (Reservation necessary on this?)

Florence is not a day trip from Venice! And combining Pisa and Florence in one day is utterly impossible. I stayed for a week in Florence and did not get to see half the sights I wanted.

If I was you I would cancel the hotel in Rome and stay in Florence instead. Skip Rome and Pisa altogether. There is a night train from Florence to Munich too.

And while you are at it, skip Nice too and spend more time in Switzerland and Italy. You are loosing 2 full days to travelling back and forth to Nice which are better spent in Florence and Venice.

am I entitled for free travel on local city transport, like buses/trams etc.

No.

Also, reservation is required on the above said train routes, do I have to pay something?,

Depends upon the route. Sometimes it is free, sometimes a small reservation fee of a few EUR (per person) is charged. Sleepers can cost up to 80 EUR.

BTW, have you thought about renting cars and driving? Should work out cheaper than 7 Eurail passes. It also would be much more practical in Switzerland, since it would drastically reduce travelling time. Davos-Engelberg for example is 5 hours by train but only 3 hours by car.

I think I would skip the trip to Nice and Munich, forget about buying a Eurail pass, then rent cars for Switzerland, use point-to-point tickets in Italy and fly from Italy to Paris. Would be a lot cheaper than the Eurail pass and far less stressfull. Twelve days for Italy and Paris are still a very rushed trip but actually doable without going mad or collapsing from exhaustion.

Train travel in Italy is relatively cheap and flights from Rome to Paris start at 45 EUR per person for early September.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 26, 2008, at 4:26 PM by t_maia ]

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

You can see whether a train needs reservation by looking at the online schedules and information provided by SBB, SNCF, trenitalia and Deutsche Bahn. Go to the train website of the country where the train departs, enter your details and look for a symbolic "R" behind the listed connections.

If you are travelling on 29th Aug 08 from Zurich to Nice only the following connection needs no reservation:

Z├╝rich HB 29.08.08 dep 08:31 duration 7:56 hrs, 5 changes type of trains IR, R
Nizza Monferrato arr 16:27

4. Posted by techfundoo (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y

Thanks a lot for your so detailed comments.

I planned for taking a car, but later I realized that it will be merely impossible for me to drive, as everywhere it's right hand drive. - Can you advise some Car with a driver (Maybe he is a type of guide). I am willing to pay around 4,000 Euro after the trip from Switzerland.

Regards
Manuj

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Car with driver for the whole holiday will be too expensive, especially if you rent in Davos. You'd need a small bus or 2 cars anyway, as most cars in Europe seat only 5.

As I already wrote, car makes the most sense for you in Switzerland. So if you do not want to drive or cannot drive I think you are stuck with trains at this point.

If you were planning to go in 6 months or so there would also be the option of hiring a travel agency. The travel agency would book the hotels, organise meals in restaurants, sightseeing tours and drive you around with a small bus. But at this point this will be difficult to organise.

BTW, are you sticking with the original plans (including Munich and Nice) or are you following my suggestions?

6. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

seat61.com is always helpful for trains!

7. Posted by zaksame (Respected Member 571 posts) 8y

I agree with Bertles86
www.seat61.com/Europe-train-tickets.htm should see you right.
Zaksame