Eurail

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Apr 6th, 2009, 06:48 AM
  #1
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Eurail

Hello,
My husband and I are planning a last minute trip to Europe for the first time and I am a little confused about transportation.

We are headed to:
Paris (5 nights)
Lucerne (3 nights)
Venice (2 nights)
Florence (2 nights)
Rome (5 nights)

We bought a Saver Eurail pass for the three countries for 5 Days.

1. The main problem is that I do not know which station the Eurail train we need to take goes into and I'm having a hard time finding this online. I know that Lucerne, Venice and Florence basically have one station that the train comes into. However for Paris and Rome...?? If anyone has any tips on Eurail transportation that would be great!

2. We are just assuming we will use the Metro within Paris and Rome. And the other cities we would just walk. A forum I saw also mentioned buying a metro pass for those days we are in the city, is this a good idea? Or is it possible to just walk?

Thank you in advance!
cmshaffer
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Apr 6th, 2009, 07:05 AM
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1. The Paris train station from which you depart depends upon your destination. If you leave Paris for Lucern, Gare de l'Est is most likely your departure station. However, if you are using the TGV for travel, you will need a reservation. Contact the entity from which you purchased your Eurail pass for more information about the required steps for TGV travel.

2. There are options for public transportation in Paris which you will most likely use often in 5 days there. Here is an explanation of the choices:

http://www.transport-idf.com/frontal...port&langue=en
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Apr 6th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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From Florence by rail to Rome you are most likely to arrive at the Termini (main) station in Rome.

There are TGV services from Gare de l'Est in Paris as far as Zurich and changing there, Lucern is an hour more
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Apr 6th, 2009, 07:24 AM
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BTW you might want to use either the Swiss Railways on-line site or perhaps better yet the GermanRail site to check timetables


www.sbb.ch (pick the "EN" version)

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en (for GermanRail)
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Apr 8th, 2009, 06:42 AM
  #5
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Ok, so now I am starting to understand that Eurail is not a name of a train...it's just a credit that converts to a ticket on a train in the countries chosen. And sometimes we will have to pay extra. Am I on the right track?
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Apr 8th, 2009, 06:52 AM
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Yes--Eurail is a ticket/pass seller. Each country has its own train system; each system has its own name; each system may have its own requirements when using a pass based on the options available.
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Apr 8th, 2009, 07:00 AM
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Eurail passes were originally marketed by the railroads in Europe to boost ridership by travelers from abroad.

Today, the agency known as RailEurope markets these passes in plces like North America; RailEurope is still, I believe, wholly owned by a combination of the SNCF (French National Railroad) and the SBB (Swiss Federal railroad).

Your pass will be good for MOST railroads you are likely to encounter (there are some non-"national" railroads in Europe that either won't honor it or will with a partial fare discount) on your stated itinerary.
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Apr 8th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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Reservations are mandatory on some trains. If you look on the Swiss Rail site, www.sbb.ch , you will see an "R" in a box. If you hold the curser over that symbol, it says reservations compulsory.

You will need a reservation on the TGV train (Probably from Paris Est to Basel, see TGV 9215, then you can continue on to Lucerne without a reservation). You will not need any reservations in Switzerland, except for you train to Venice. All Italian trains that aren't really slow, stopping at every little station, will also require a reservation. So anyhow, you will need a reservation for all trains except Switzerland unless you pick the slower trains.
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Apr 8th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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There are also trains from Paris Gare de Lyon to Luzern, but with two or more changes. Some trips from Gare de l'Est require only one change. Your choice just depends on your goals.
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Apr 8th, 2009, 08:15 AM
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If anyone has any tips on Eurail transportation that would be great!>

some great sources: www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com

and the best online schedule site i've used is the one Dukey recommends - the bahn.de site that will give you so much useful info, including which stations you train will use.
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Apr 8th, 2009, 12:17 PM
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I love to walk and all those cities, except London, have most of their main sights in a surprisingly compact area - in Paris maybe a 3 mile by 2 mile area. So if you like to walk as i do you will not need a metro pass - and in London automatically buy an Oyster Card (talked about here to death already) and in Paris buy carnets - bunches of ten tickets at a time that cost the same as about six individual tickets - carnet - a group of ten - can be shared by anyone. www.tfl.com

Venice and Florence are eminently walkable - very compact historic centers.

Ditto for Lucerne - your railpass is valid on the boats on Lake Lucerne as well so the day you arrive take a free boat cruise on what is Switzerland's arguably most scenic lake - a fjord-like lake hemmed in by Alpine peaks.

In Rome public transport is so cheap i would not worry about a pass - though you can investigate the Lazio Pass which covers the whole Rome region is doing short day trips to Ostia Antica, Tivoli, hadrians villa, etc. (Not sure it covers all those however.

The Navigo Pass in Paris, if you visit comports with its Sun to Mon only format can pay for itself with a surprisingly few trips - www.ratp.fr
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Apr 9th, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Also the free Eurail Timetable that you should have got with your pass clearly indicates the stations for each town your train will use. It is a valuable planning tool - quickly referencing hundreds of schedules for every sizable town in Europe - essential for me to have. If you did not get one with your pass (some agents don't send them out if it increases postal) try picking one up at Eurail Aid offices in Europe - on the Eurail map you got with your pass.
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Apr 10th, 2009, 01:21 PM
  #13
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Wow, thank you, everyone! That is great information!
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