I am going to Italy this summer in August, since I am a student, I need some cheap accommodation in Italy. Tentatively, I am planning to land on Rome from Montreal, spend 3 days in Rome, proceed to the north east to Venice, spend another 2 days and finally I will end up in Milan and spend at least 2 days there. After spending a few days in Milan, I am planning to cross over to Marseilles and spend a few days there, North to Lyon and finally in Paris. And from Paris, I will take a flight back to Montreal.
I am just wondering, is it cheaper for me to buy the Eurail pass to travel using train to all of these destinations or is it cheaper if i just buy the train tickets there? Also, can any locals or anyone who had been to those places before recommend some cheap accommodations, maybe a hostel for me?
I am just wondering, is it enough for me to spend 3000 Canadian $ on my trip (not including Eurail pass and air tickets). Or do I need more? I am planning to travel by train and foot, no taxi, and I am planning to stay in hostels.
I stayed at Hotel Vertigo in Marseille. It was really cheap for a hotel. At the time (last summer) it was even cheaper for two people to share a room there than at a hostel. That may be different if you are traveling alone or depending on when you are traveling though, but I'd look into it. It was a great location and very nice: http://www.hotelvertigo.fr/
In Paris I stayed at Hotel Marcleau and I cannot stress how awesome that place is! I will definitely be staying there the next time I go. The guy who runs it was super nice and you got free coffee and bread in the morning. I loved this place so much that I'm going to stay there every time I go to Paris, even if I have the money to stay somewhere else (it's a budget hotel and some rooms share a shower/toilet). Here is there website: http://www.hotel-marclau.com/us/index.html
As far as Rome is concerned, there are a lot more options. I stayed at Pensione Ottaviano. It was ok. I'm not saying not to stay there, but it was pretty average so I'm not as excited about it as the other two places I recommended. It's right next to the Vatican, which is nice.
I haven't been to the other locations.
When it comes to Eurail passes, I had an Italy-France pass: http://www.eurail.com/eurail_france_italy_pass?currency=usd
I'm not sure if it's the most cost effective for you, but for me it was. I had five travel days: Naples-Rome, Rome-Florence, Florence-Marseille, Marseille-Nice, Nice-Paris. It worked out well for me.
Edit: Oh, I should also mentioned I had a BritRail travel pass, and thus one of the two passes was discounted because of it. I can't remember which one got the discount, but it was really REALLY worth it because of that discount.
[ Edit: Edited on 17-Feb-2009, at 23:21 by slugtrek ]
I live in Milan, so i could tell you that Milan in august isn't funny at all. You will find a lot of shop, bar, restaurent close and
few people around. So if you want to see museum, see palace you can do it but there's no a lot of other things to do (if you want to visit Leonardo's "cenacolo" you have to book it in advance).
Also in Rome sitaution is similar but is so beutyfull that is no a matter.
If you have to move from venice to france you could stop in visit lago di garda and verona, it's beutyfull and more touristic.
About eurorail, i know that is cheap and funny, but once it allows you to take only slower train (no high speed).