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Eurail is so confusing!! please help

Travel Forums Europe Eurail is so confusing!! please help

1. Posted by parkkibum (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Hey guys, I'm planning to go to england,france,switzeland,italy. so i bought select pass for 3 countries.
i went to eurostar to make a reservation from london to paris.
here's a problem now.
i'm going to interlaken from paris.
and i know that i have to take tgv to basel then switzeland rail to interlaken
i went to tgv.com and clicked on us and it led me to raileurope.com
and i searched paris to interlaken and total fee was $23 for tgv and $11 for between basel and interlaken.
here's my question. i went to germany railways website because it seems like everybody is saying that's really accurate website but what i don't get is, it comes up with lots of options that are not in raileurope.com website.
so i'm confused is raileurope.com the only website that i can make a seat reservation?
i came across lots of lots of sites that sell EURAIL pass but not reserve a seat.
and just out of curiosity, assuming that seats are available if i just go to paris station to take tgv, do i still have to pay for that $23 reservation fee? because way i see it i don't have to because technicaly i didn't have to reserve it.
and i also read that $11 is avoidable if i just go to basel station and get it there rather than reserving since i have select pass.
i've read so many websites about eurail pass but i still dont understand fully.
thanks in advance

2. Posted by parkkibum (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

oh and is there another website besdies raileurope.com to check reservation fee?

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

i went to germany railways website because it seems like everybody is saying that's really accurate website but what i don't get is, it comes up with lots of options that are not in raileurope.com website.

Yes, because raileurope.com sucks. Nobody who knows the ins and out of rail travel ever uses it. Their prices are way too high. There are so many special offers from the national rail companies raileurope.com does not cover, thus their website is almost completely useless.

is raileurope.com the only website that i can make a seat reservation?

No. You can make seat reservation at a lot of places. The best place is usually at the ticket desk inside the train station. It all depends upon the train.

and just out of curiosity, assuming that seats are available if i just go to paris station to take tgv, do i still have to pay for that $23 reservation fee? because way i see it i don't have to because technicaly i didn't have to reserve it.

IIRC seat reservation is mandatory for TGV trains. Unless you are travelling on a very busy day you should be able to show up at the train station in Paris and then get a seat reservation from the ticket office. You will have to pay a reservation fee, but I don't know huch much. I doubt it is 23 USD. If you buy a normal ticket seat reservation is usually included, so I cannot tell.

BTW, have you read this?

http://seat61.com/Switzerland.htm#Zurich

Especially interesting to you should be this advice from that website:

Alternatively, to buy tickets at cheaper European prices, buy the London-Paris Eurostar online at www.eurostar.com, selecting the option to pick up tickets at the station. Remember that on Eurostar, a return ticket is often cheaper than a one-way! Then book the Paris-Switzerland train online at www.voyages-sncf.com (...). It allows you to pick up tickets on the day of travel at the ticket office at any main station in France, including Paris Gare de Lyon or Gare de l'Est.