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Question for transportation on a 90 day trip through Europe.

Travel Forums Europe Question for transportation on a 90 day trip through Europe.

1. Posted by goldenbook (Budding Member 34 posts) 6y

Hi.

I'm going to be gone to Europe for a total of 90 days and am having a hard time finding the right transportation for getting around. I want to use Eurail but I'm finding that some of the locations just won't work. i was wondering if you all could lend some insight on additional trains and or cheaper options. Heres my schedule. Days in ().

Madrid (5) - Granada(2) - Seville(2) - Barcelona(5) - Paris(4) - Normandy(2) - Strasbourg(2) - London(5) - Dublin(4) - Edinburgh(2) - Brussels(3) - Amsterdam(5) - Berlin(5) - Munich(5) - Copenhagen(5) - Prague(4) - Vienna(3) - Zermatt(5) - Florence(4) - Rome(5) - Naples(4) - Palermo(2) - Athens(4) - Sparta(2)

I'm 25 and qualify for the youth pass. What do you all think?

2. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 6y

Is this schedule fixed or can it be rejiggled? To minimise backtracking, if it's up to me for the schedule, trying to keep closely to yours as possible but with some changes:

Madrid - Granada - Seville - Barcelona - Dublin - Edinburgh - London (- Lille, passing through only) - Normandy - Paris - Strasbourg - Brussels - Amsterdam - Copenhagen - Berlin - Prague - Vienna - Munich - Zermatt - Florence - Palermo - Naples - Rome - Athens - Sparta

(Travels between Barcelona - Dublin - Edinburgh - London using budget airlines. From Italy to Greece, you may look into going to perhaps Bari or Brandisi, catch a ferry to Igoumenitsa then take a train to Athens; alternatively fly from Rome to Athens.)

Eurail pass is great for long distance travels (that's when it really pays off), and for short local train rides (e.g. Granada - Seville) you're better off buying them point to point. Note that supplementary charges may be applicable for certain fast trains and night trains.

Days you definitely want to use the Eurail and the estimated time for one-way journey depending on connections:

  • Seville - Barcelona (there's a direct night train, 11.5h; day trains usually with connection in Madrid, 6-7h)
  • Amsterdam - Copenhagen (there's a direct night train, 15h; day trains with multiple changes, 11-12h)
  • Copenhagen - Berlin (direct train in morning, 6h45m; other trains with multiple connections, 7-15h, no direct night train)
  • Munich - Zermatt (multiple connections regardless day or night trains, 8-14h)
  • Zermatt - Florence (night train 1 connection, 8.5h; other trains with multiple connections, 7-13h)
  • Florence - Palermo (direct slow night train, 15h; other trains with multiple connections, 13-14h)

You can't use the Eurail from London to Lille. The 9 remaining Eurail days should be able to cover most of your rail days as well, come to think of it, such as the journeys for:

  • Madrid - Granada
  • Normandy - Paris
  • Paris - Strasbourg
  • Strasbourg - Brussels
  • Brussels - Amsterdam
  • Berlin - Prague
  • Prague - Vienna
  • Vienna - Munich
  • Palermo - Naples

(Use regional trains for Granada-Seville, Lille-Normandy and Naples-Rome - they should be relatively cheap.)

I hope this is helpful.

Edit: I was thinking re this planning based on 15 Eurail days (which is reasonably cheap), but obviously that's silly since you're travelling over 3 months time and not 2 months (which is the condition for buying 15 non-consecutive travel days ticket). This means you're getting 3 months consecutive use of Eurail pass. That will be used for all your rail journeys, so forget about the talks on separate tickets on regional trains. The point is, of course, moot.

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Nov-2009, at 23:31 by lil_lil ]

3. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 6y

Additional note:

Alternatively, to saving some money, if based on the schedule I listed, is to get an Eurail for 15 non-consecutive travel days in 2 months (€515) and while in Spain, buy the tickets from point to point. That means, you're not wasting travel days during the period you're in UK/Ireland, and you can push the start date of the Eurail when you get in to France after London. That should fall quite nicely then for 2 months for the rest (considering in Greece you won't really be using rail travel).

Compare :
3 months Eurail : €933
15 days in 2 months : €515
Price difference : €418

The €418 price difference should be more than enough to cover Madrid-Granada, Granada-Seville and Seville-Barcelona, and should actually save you some money. If you plan ahead, you can get reasonably cheap web prices.

E.g. a quick search based on 2nd class standard ticket to travel on a random day in December:

  • Madrid-Granada : €25.70 (web price), €64.20 (standard)
  • Granada-Seville : €22.70 (standard)
  • Seville-Barcelona : night train - €57.10 (star price, seat only), €95.10 (standard); €74.40 (star price, with sleeper), €124 (standard)

So you can see, you can save quite a good bit of money there, with a little advance planning and purchase ahead. If you manage to get al the cheapest tickets (including sleeper for overnight train), you'll be spending about €124 - take that away from €418, you'll have €294 extra on hand which will be very handy to pay for any supplementary charges that you may have during the period when you use Eurail.

4. Posted by goldenbook (Budding Member 34 posts) 6y

Wow epic response! Thanks for putting in the time and effort in this reply.

A quick question.

You reccomend flying through these citites:

(Travels between Barcelona - Dublin - Edinburgh - London using budget airlines. From Italy to Greece, you may look into going to perhaps Bari or Brandisi, catch a ferry to Igoumenitsa then take a train to Athens; alternatively fly from Rome to Athens.)

What is the benefit of flying between barcelona - Dublin - Edinburgh as compared to taking train?

Thanks again for response!

5. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 6y

Errm, well, for a start, there's no train from mainland Europe to Dublin ;)

You may, however, combine rail and boat travels. You can take train to the north of France from Barcelona, then ferry to Rosslare in the south east of Ireland, before travelling by train again to Dublin. Similarly, from Dublin to Edinburgh, there are options to get ferry to England first, then train up to Edinburgh. But they are going to take a really long time (e.g. ferry from Cherbourg to Rosslare is some 18 hours of sea travel, and that's not adding time for train from Barcelona to Paris to Cherbourg). Flights will cut down the travel time significantly.

You can certainly take train from Edinburgh to London, but note that the Eurail pass does not work in UK. So I guess that up to you to decide, depending if you can find a cheaper flight with, say, Easyjet, or if the train ticket is cheaper.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Nov-2009, at 10:57 by lil_lil ]

Post 6 was removed by a moderator