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Question for problem solvers regarding Eurail Pass

Travel Forums Europe Question for problem solvers regarding Eurail Pass

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

Ok here's my problem.

I arrive in Europe on Jan 7th. (flight from U.S. to Lisbon) and leave April 5th for a total stay of around 3 months.

I have a Eurail Pass that I purchased, 15 days to be used over a 2 month period. This is a youth pass I purchased.

I am currently 25 years old but turn 26 on Jan 21, meaning I will have to use this youth pass before my birthday.

My question is, what would be the best use of money regarding purchasing an additional train pass to meet my needs? I still have enough time to cancel my current pass if need be since it has not been shipped yet

Here is my travel schedule.

Lisbon - Madrid (train) *Start Jan 7*
Madrid - Granada (train)
Granada - Seville (train)
Seville - Barcelona (train) *Must use Youth Pass on or before this day*
Barcelona - Dublin (fly)
Dublin - Edinburgh (fly)
Edinburgh - London (train - cannot use Eurail pass)
London - Paris (eurostar)
Paris - Strasbourg (train)
Strasbourg - Brussels (train)
Brussels - Amsterdam (train)
Amsterdam - Copenhagen (train)
Copenhagen - Berlin (train)
Berlin - Prague (train)
Prague - Vienna (train)
Vienna - Munich (train) *Last day if I begin Jan 7th*
Munich - Zermatt (train)
Zermatt - Florence (train) *Last possible day I can use pass if I begin at Seville - Barcelona*
Florence - Naples (train)
Naples - Rome (train)
Rome - Sparta (fly)
Sparta - Athens (boat or train?)

I know this is alot of information to process. What would be the best way to go about saving money booking my additional train passes?

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

1)Definitely use the pass in Switzerland.

In Spain you can fall back on the cheaper bus if train is out of your budget. In Switzerland you got no such option.

2) To be on the save side pull up,, and and compare prices for

Lisbon - Madrid (train) *Start Jan 7*
Madrid - Granada (train)
Granada - Seville (train)

with the prices for

Munich - Zermatt (train)
Zermatt - Florence (train)

3) For Florence to Naples I suggest buying the ticket in Munich, this can give you lower rates if you know what you are doing.

4) The prices for the train tickets Florence - Naples (train) Naples - Rome (train) Sparta - Athens (boat or train?)
shouldn't be that bad btw since rail prices in Greece and Italy are relatively low compared to other European countries. You can look them up on and

5) If possible consider rearranging your route. If you put London and the UK last you'll have more chances to use the pass and are less restricted by the 2 months. Also instead of using the pass for Berlin-Prague you could buy one of the special offers from online and have another pass day, Berlin-Prague can be had for 19 EUR. This can be cheaper than using a pass day, but it only works if you got enough time to use the additional pass day freed up by the purchase of this special offer.

6) Look into the 3 months pass. Although the price looks steep at first this pass is the best value for money.

The 15 days in 2 months youth pass costs 515 EUR, so a travel day costs 34.33 EUR.
The 3 months continous youth pass costs 933 EUR, so a travel day costs 10.37 EUR.

I am sure you can see the difference.

Also, using pure and simple logic you should use the 15 days in 2 months pass for train journeys which cost more than 35 EUR and pay for all train journeys which cost less seperately - unless the pass day would go to waste otherwise.

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

I remember advising you previously to not start using the rail pass until you're in Paris, so not to waste the days of the 2 months period while travelling UK/Ireland. I didn't know you have age limitation given your birthday is in January.

1) Knowing that you're starting in Lisbon, where are you flying your return leg from? Is it Athens?

2) Would you consider putting your UK/Ireland travel ahead of the rest? If so, how about travelling from Lisbon to Porto, then fly to Dublin, and travel Dublin-Edinburgh-London first. From London (Stansted), you can then fly to Seville. Travel Seville-Granada-Madrid-Barcelona, follow by direct night train from Barcelona to Paris. From then on, continue as per schedule. Will this rejiggling helps with pushing the date to start the pass reasonably?

3) While t_maia makes sense in calculating the per-day rate for the use of pass, that calculation strictly speaking is only you travel every day. Chances are, you are going to be in each cities for a number of days. So even 3 days will already bring up your "travelling cost" by €30+ even though you're not on the road.

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

@t_maia - Great advice. Especially on the tip from Berlin to Prague.

@lil_lil - I plan on beginning my journey home (Dallas, Tx) from Athens. Yes I rearranged some of my travel stops based on your advice. I wasn't aware that you must verify before turning 26 in order to qualify for the youth pass. Meaning I'd have to begin using sometime before Jan 21st.

I rather not rearrange my trip any further since I've already scheduled tentative meetings.

Based on reccomendations I have decided to cancel the flex 15 day 2 month pass and replace with the 3 month global pass. The difference in pricing between a youth pass and adult pass is rather significant and I wanted to take advantage of pricing before turning 26. Eventhough I did have to eat the 15 EUR cancelation fee this should get me where I need to be.

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

Well, yes, if you're not rearranging the trip, then you make the right call in switching the pass. So now you can travel all legs of the journey (except UK) with that one pass. Good luck with your travel!