My wife and I are going to Europe for two weeks starting March 12. Here is my itinerary
March 12-15 Rome, includes a day trip to Pompei
March 15-18 Florence, include a day trip to Pisa and/or Siena
March 18-20 Venice
March 20-21 Milan
March 21-23 Interlaken, Switzerland
March 23-24 Geneva
March 24-27 Paris
This is not a fixed itenerary. My plain tickets to Rome and out of Paris has been confirmed though.
I am planning on using trains throughout the journey. What are my options?
I check the Eurail pass for Italy, 2nd class Saver 5 days within 2months is 156Euro, would
this be a good option? If I buy this pass would I still need to pay some amount of money
when I actually board the train? Or do I still need to reserve the actual days/time I'll be using it?
Can I use this pass to travel from Milan to Interlaken?
Is it better to get the select Eurail pass allowing to travel in 3 countries?
Or is it better to just purchase individual tickets.
Thanks a lot in advance.
1) Your options are to take a Eurail pass or to buy the tickets point to point.
2) Whether there's savings to be made or not, you'll have to do the homework yourself. Go to the relevant websites (e.g. Trenitalia for tickets to travel Italy, or Italy to Interlaken) and check prices of individual journeys and add them up. Then compare to the pass.
3) Supplements may be applicable depending on the type of train used. If you're using regional trains, then, no. If you're on the faster trains, then yes, there's supplement to pay. So when you're doing price comparison, you'll need to account for the supplement charge. Here is a good guide on what supplements may apply. This guide also lets you know if reservation is required.
4) As far as I'm aware of, single country rail pass doesn't allow inter-country travel. Depending on the train, some allows travel with payment of a supplement, other times you may need to buy ticket up until the border, then pay separate ticket for the remainder of the journey.
This is an excellent rail pass guide so have a read.
Looking at the route you are taking I think you'll be better off buying individual tickets.
Railpasses are generally a waste of money in Italy. The prices for regular tickets in Italy are low compared to other European countries. Yet with the Eurail pass you get a fare that is calculated based upon the higher average price for tickets for all participating countries.
A rail pass can be a good deal in Switzerland, but only if you travel for 4+ days.
The trip from Geneva to Paris is not worth buying a rail pass for.
Note that if you buy individual tickets in advance you might get cheaper fares.
http://www.tgv-europe.com/ is the relevant site for Geneva-Paris. If you buy online now you can find fares as low as 39 EUR one-way.