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Confused about trains in Switzerland and Italy - please help!

Confused about trains in Switzerland and Italy - please help!

Aug 16th, 2010, 11:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 223
Confused about trains in Switzerland and Italy - please help!

Okay, maybe I am going about this the wrong way so please help.

I thought I would go point to point and find out the price of every train, add them up and see if the Eurail pass is worth it or not for my trip. However, are there more than 1 train company there? I have searched on sbb.ch and http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en and get different results... maybe someone can help me... please!!

Any word of wisdom????

here is our plan for the trip:
All prices are for both of us and in US $$

Day One: Thursday 5/12
Arrive in Zurich from the US at 8:40am
Get luggage, customs, find train etc… done by 11
Train to Chur
Train leaves at :12 ad :37 past every hour
$72 for both
Train Ride: 1 1/2 hours
Night: Chur

Day Two: Friday 5/13
Take the Glacier Express from Chur to Zermatt
Glac. Exp. $400 (25% off with Eurail pass)
½ price with Swiss half fare card (2 cards are $190)
That would make the G.E. 200 + the 190 for the Swiss card
Arrive in Zermatt around 16:52
Depart Zermatt at 19:13 and arrive in Milan at 22:35
Train ride: 3 ½ hours
Night: Milan

Day Three: Saturday 5/14
Day in Milan
Train to Cinque Terre (city TBD)
Train ride: 3 hours
Night: C.T.

Day Four: Sunday 5/15
Day in C.T.
Night: C.T.

Day Five: Monday 5/16
Morning in Cinque Terre
Depart Cinque Terre in the early afternoon
Arrive in Rome
Train ride: 3-4 hours
Night: Rome

Day Six: Tuesday 5/17
Day in Rome
Night: Rome

Day Seven: Wednesday 5/18
Day in Rome
Night: Rome

Day Eight: Thursday 5/19
Day trip to Naples
Train Ride: 1 ½ hours
Night: Rome

Day Nine: Friday 5/20
Depart Rome
Train to Rimini (San Marino)
Train ride: 3 ¾ hours
Bus to San Marino
Bus ride: 1 hour
Afternoon in San Marino
Train to Ancona
Train ride: 1 hour
Ferry departs at:
Night: Overnight ferry to Ancona


Depart Rome 07:43
Train to Ancona arrive at 10:35 am
Train ride: 3 hours
Train to Rimini
Train ride: 1 hour
Afternoon in San Marino
Train to Ancona
Train ride: 1 hour
Ferry departs at:
Night: Overnight ferry to Ancona

Day Ten: Saturday 5/21
Arrive in Split
Day in Split
Bus to Dubrovnik
Bus ride: 4-5 hours
Night: Dubrovnik

Day Eleven: Sunday 5/22
Day in Dubrovnik
Night: Dubrovnik

Day Twelve: Monday 5/23
Day in Dubrovnik or on an Island near Dub.
Night: Dubrovnik

Day Thirteen: Tuesday 5/24
EXTRA DAY??? Add this day to C.T.? Croatia?

Day Fourteen: Wednesday 5/25
Depart Dubrovnik (at 06:25)
Fly to Zagreb (arrive in Zagreb at 07:20)
Train to Ljubljana
Train Ride: 2 – 2 ½ hours
Afternoon and evening in Ljubljana
Night: Ljub. Or area?

Day Fifteen: Thursday 5/26
Night: Ljub. Or area?

Day Sixteen: Friday 5/27
Night: Ljub. Or area?

Day Seventeen: Saturday 5/28
Night: Ljub. Or area?

Day Eighteen: Sunday 5/29
Fly from Ljubljana back to the US
europe2011 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,157
Another place to check prices: Input your entire itinerary at Railsaver.com. It will do the math for you and let you toggle back and forth between "all pass" versus most economical, which might be point to point.

The actual Italian rail site is:

ellenem is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,863
Each country runs it's own train system - they are connected & schedules coordinated across Europe

sbb.ch is Switzerland
bahn.de is the German rail system
trenitalia.com is Italian
J62 is online now  
Aug 16th, 2010, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,473
I think you may want to look at an Italy Railpass and a Swiss Railpass and not just the classic Eurailpass- a Swiss Pass, which would cover the Glacier Express route in full - 100% except for the mandatory seat reservation fee

Add the cost of a Swiss Pass and an Italian Pass and you get many more days at a cheaper overall prices.

Plus do not think any railpass covers the boat to Dubrovnik and the Zagreb-Ljublana fare is dirt cheap.

And do not swallow the Fodor's mantra that an Italy Railpass is never cost-effective - for someone traveling as much as you are it should well be i would think.

Even with only three days of use the 4-consecutive-day Swiss Pass (Saver) could be cheaper than the point to point tickets and cheaper than the Half-Fare Card, which costs $100 or so to buy and then you still pay 50%

For loads on trains and passes in these countries i always spotlight (and may have for you as this post seems really similar to one someone asked recently) these info-laden sites - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.seat61.com; www. ricksteves.com; www.swisstravelsystem.com- this one has links to the Glacier Express official site and to www.sbb.ch for real fares in Switzerland in Swiss Francs to compare to the pass and point to point in Switzerland could be your best option. And www.trenitalia.com for regular fares in euros for your Italy trains to compare against the pass. Note that most trains in Italy charge railpass holders a seat reservation fee - mainly 5 euros a pop for most trains you seem to be taking but 10 euros for Rome to Naples and one to Rimini and Ancona. Even then the Italy Pass can indeed be cost-effective -contrary to the usual mantra on Fodor's- which is outdated since Trenitalia- the Italian train system jacked up fares substantially on its major routes.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,473
½ price with Swiss half fare card (2 cards are $190)>

Are they not 99 Swiss Francs each?

If so that is over $100 each if you factor in the 3% most credit cards charge for foreign purchases and that you never get the exchange rate you see in the paper as banks make money on foreign exchange.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Each country has it's own train system and while bahn.de is reliable for schedules all around europe it provides prices only for trips beginning in Germany. to get specific prices for all those trips you would need to go to the rail company for each county - or try railsaver.com.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,670
Hi europe2011,

You can buy a Day Card when you have a Half Fare Card, and it costs 64 chf (2d class); this day-card will cover your travel on the GE.

Don't forget that you also have to make reservations for the GE, and I think they are around 30 chf.

Have fun!

swandav2000 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,473
For such limited travel would buying the Half Fare Card for say $100 and then the Day Card for say $65 make sense? Look at regular fares first IMO and also whatever the 4-day consecutive Swiss Pass costs.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
You know, given all of the advice you've received above I think you could very EASILY allow someone else whom you can actually talk DIRECTLY to HELP you trapse your way through ALL of your issues and without ANY obligation whatsoever:

Pick up the phone

CALL 800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387 and ask for BYRON

This is Budget Europe Travel Service..they can compare the costs and suggest all the possible money-saving combinations. I've used them for years and PalQ is VERY familiar with them.

Give it a try or keep up the frustration...up to you
Dukey is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
Nobody has said you're spending too much time traveling, not enough time enjoying your destinations. Sounds like your main aim is to get the most out of your train pass.

Especially in countries like Italy and Croatia, life is lived more slowly. People enjoy the moment, savor a glass of wine at a sidewalk cafe, people-watching. If you just zoom through, you'll see a few of the main sights, miss the ambiance.

So I'd prune this itinerary. Maybe skip Naples and San Marino, spend more time in Croatia and Switzerland. As it is, you will probably be jetlagged and out of it your whole time in Switzerland.

Another concern is relying on Italian trains. There are relatively frequent strikes and equipment disruptions. What if you miss the boat from Ancona?
Mimar is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
I would agree, spend as much time enjoying as possible! Naples was not the highlight of our trip...we were supposed to be there for a few hrs and actually left early. We found it dirty and not much to do. If you are heading south that way you may want to consider Sorrento/Capri instead bc there is so much more to do and there is FAR more ambiance.

Cinque Terre: I would actually go all the way to Monterosso al Mare first and then head back towards Riomaggiore. I'm not sure how adventurous you are, but we walked/hiked (its pretty flat w the exception of lots of stairs,not sure if you're up for that) between the villages and it was amazing. It is a few miles, but its worth the views. Or you can hike between one or two. We started in Riomaggiore and went all the way towards Monterosso al Mare. We then took a ferry back and that was a great way to see the coastline and everything from the water. Beautiful! Vernazza was one of our favorites and had lots of cute shops and bars to go to, more so than some of the others.
ZTAngel937 is offline  

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