Euro Rail Pass

Aug 26th, 2011, 06:24 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Euro Rail Pass

Hi guys.. I am planning for a trip with my wife to europe and here is our tentative itenary

4 days 3 nights in paris
4 days 3 nights in luzern
2 days one night in venici
2 days one night in Rome
One Day in florence - just to take our flight back..

This is our first trip and we have a basic question..
what is a euro rail pass?
Does that permit travel both within a country and from one country to another.. how does this whole system work?
Do we have to have separate pass for travelling within Paris and for travelling from Paris to luzern?

Expecting your reply and your suggestions on our itenary...
srksrk is offline  
Aug 26th, 2011, 06:38 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 356
I think you need more time in Rome and Venice. I would choose one and spend your last two nights there, you could even choose Florence as there is plenty to see there for 2-3 days. Just know that Lucerne to Venice is a 7 hour train ride so it will take up a whole day.

A eurail pass can be valid for many countries. If you get a 3-country select pass you can travel within France, Switzerland and Italy. Travel within Paris is not covered as that is on a metro, not the train system. Here is a link to some good information on railpasses http://www.ricksteves.com//rail/rail_menu.htm
lindy27 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2011, 07:03 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,577
It's called a Eurail pass and can be purchased for travel within a single country or for more than one country. You also buy for a specific number of travel days within a time frame, or as much as you want within a time frame. You need to purchase the pass before you arrive in Europe.

You would not use the pass for traveling within a city though. For that you would use the local transport, such as the Metro in Paris.

Rick Steves has really good information about rail passes and how they work on his website. You can also purchase from his site. I'd suggest doing some reading about them there, I think you'll get all of your questions answered. http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/

You may find it more cost effective to purchase point-to-point passes if you are taking the train for just 4 trips. Within Italy, train travel can be cheaper than a pass but you'd have to check. You can check Italian train fares on www.trenitalia.com, there will be a link there for English. Just plug in the dates and cities and you should be able to find a price.

I usually do basic rail research on the Germain rail site
because I find it easy to use. I use it to see how long a trip is and how frequent the trains are for that route.
http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml

About your itinerary, keep in mind that when you change locations, you will lose sightseeing time. So, you won't have as many full days as you think. For example, Luzern to Venice is about 7 hours on the train (depends on departure and number of stops). According to the schedule, you can leave Luzern at 8:18, arrive in Venice at 15:10. It will take an hour or so to get to your hotel and check in. That leaves you from maybe 5:00 on to tour Venice. Then, get up the next day and leave for Rome. So you have an evening in Venice, not a full day. And just part of the next day because you are leaving for Rome, which looks to be about 4 hours by train. I would suggest taking out Rome or Venice and spending all the time in either place. I did a quick check and it looks like Luzern to Rome is a little over 7 hours on some of the departures. Do you need to fly out of Florence? Maybe you could fly out of Rome or Venice, whichever town you're in.
cls2paris is offline  
Aug 27th, 2011, 08:36 AM
  #4  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Hi SR,

As Churchill once said in another context, "This pudding has no theme".

What is so important about Lucerne that you would interrupt an otherwise pleasant visit to Paris and Italy?

If you skip it, you will save time and money, allowing you to add two days to Paris, 1 day to Venice and one day to Florence.

It is highly unlikely that a railpass will save you money compared to a discount flight from Paris to Milan or Rome and point-to-point tickets in Italy.

You can read up on railpasses at www.eurail.com.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Aug 27th, 2011, 09:03 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 16
It would be a crime to be in lucerne all that time and just use the airport in Florence. We were there three days and didn't see half of all the glory that is there.
Steve_Harvester is offline  
Aug 27th, 2011, 11:09 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,070
I count 13 days and 8 nights in your plan. Are you planning to travel overnight between all your destinations? Otherwise your maths does not work because you are counting all travel days twice (and you are not taking into account that you will lose at least half a day for each transfer). For night trains the Eurail pass is of no use anyway.
quokka is offline  
Aug 28th, 2011, 07:39 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
For a general introduction to European trains see http://tinyurl.com/eym5b.

For specific information on rail passes see the B.E.T.S. site at http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/. Call them up, Byron or Linda, for expert advice and to buy rail passes.
spaarne is offline  

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