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Flying into Frankfurt - where to go from there

Flying into Frankfurt - where to go from there

Aug 11th, 2007, 08:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11
Flying into Frankfurt - where to go from there

First time poster here. My wife and I will be flying into Frankfurt in May. We'd like to go to Bologna, Italy so can you suggest a train route for us so that we end up in Bologna. We'd like to stop in a couple of places along the way, and we prefer smaller towns, with beautiful scenery. We'd appreciate any advice you can give us. We have ten days before we have to be back in Frankfurt to catch our return flight. Thanks.
crinkle is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Welcome to the boards. There are a slew of rail experts here that will help you with your rail trip from Franfurk to Italy and back.

I am assuming you are going to Italy via Frankfurt because that was the only way by virtue of FF miles. Yes?
bardo1 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Frankfurt airport has a train station. Going south to Bologna you will have to change in Basel and/or Milano. There are not too many options. I suggest the early evening train to Basel and overnight there. Next day go over to Zug for the night, changing trains in Zurich along the way. Next take a train to Locarno or Lugano and spend the night in one of those cities. The train ride from Zug to Lugano is probably the most scenic in Europe. It doubles back on itself several times to get through the mountains. From Lugano to Bologna change in Milano.

If this is your first time on the trains in Europe I suggest a look at http://tinyurl.com/eym5b. For train schedules start with the German Rail site at www.bahn.de, Swiss at www.sbb.ch/en/, and Italian at www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html.

International ticketing on the internet is not easy. Perhaps someone else can help with that. I either use a rail pass or buy my tickets on arrival. Your routing might justify a Eurail Saver Pass or another a pass with limited country useability. If not the economics, the convenience and freedom a pass gives you may be irrestible.

hopscotch is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,258
Hi C,

I wouldn't go direct to Bologna.

I suggest Fraakfurt to Munich, Munich to Salzburg, Salzburg to Bologna via Innsbruck, stopping off in Munich, Salzburg and Innsbruck,

Returning, I suggest Bologna to Venice, Venice to Fuessen, Fuessen to Frankfurt. If you have time, go Fuessen to Lindau to Frankfurt.

You can buy Frankfurt to Salzburg, Venice to Fuessen and Fuessen to Frankfurt at www.bahn.de.

You caan buy Bologna to Venice at www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

If your German is good, you can buy your Salzburg/Vienna tickets at www.oebb.at/vip8/oebb/en/index.jsp

Otherwise try www.budgeteuropetravel.com

They can help you with your entire itinerary, and also with railpasses vs point to point tickets.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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Posts: 11
Yes, the reason for flying into Frankfurt is because we're using frequent flyer miles. It was the only destination I could find for the dates we want to go. Thanks for your suggestions, although I don't think we want to go to so many different places. We prefer to spend a few days per place so we don't have to constantly switch hotels. With that in mind, where would you suggest, and how many days in each place? Thanks.
crinkle is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 09:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Why is Bologna your destination, i.e. is it art, architecture, food, relatives or something about that region of Italy which interests you? These would help me in giving better advice.

While the train down may be interesting, you still have to take it back to Frankfurt, and you are looking at a 10-12 hour journey each way. Not sure I want to do that both ways and especially in one hop to make the return flight. IMO you should look into flying to Bologna. What I would do is this: I would take a train from Frankfurt Airport to Cologne (1 hour) and spend a day or two in that interesting little city with its very lovely cathedral. Then hop on a cheap Germanwings flight non-stop to Bologna in 1.5 hours. If you take the really off peak fares the round trip is about US$130 per person, which may seem expensive, but if you compare it to the round trip train fares I think it will be competitive. Go to http://www.germanwings.com. Once in Italy, it you donít want to move hotels very often, I would spend the rest of the time based in Bologna and make day trips around, OR split time between Bologna and say Florence (1 hour by train) or a smaller country town. Then take a Germanwings flight back to Cologne and train it back to Frankfurt airport. There are train stations in both airports so it may be possible to go right from one flight, train, to the next flight if the schedules work out.

You could consider an overnight train trip from Bologna or Florence to Frankfurt as an alternative. Go to rail.ch for schedules.

If you want to do the whole thing by train, towns on the direct route that would be "worth" a stop for a few days would include Thun (on a huge lake in the Jungfrau Valley of Switzerland with a vista of the Alps, could base yourself there or go up into the mountains), Brig (a quick train ride up to Zermatt from there), Lake Como (beautiful donít have to say much else), or Milan (the Last Supper, other great museums, the Duomo, great restaurants). The Lake Lugano area is also on that route and would be another thought as mentioned above.

I donít believe there are many discount airlines operating out of Frankfurt, but it is worth a look. Also look into prices of ďregularĒ airlines like Lufthansa between Frankfurt and Florence, as it is so easy to get to Bologna from there. (Bologna is not really a major airport so you may not find a lot of direct flights there, but look into connecting flights if you want.) Even flying cheaply into Milan may be worth it, itís under 2 hours by train, but a little bit of a pain because Milanís airports donít have a train station like Frankfurt and Cologne/Bonn airports do, you have to go into downtown Milan to get a train, which adds about an hour to the journey.

Cicerone is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11
We'll be attending a wedding in Bologna; that's why we're going there. Thanks for your suggestions. I'm thinking maybe we will work our way toward Bologna by train, and then fly back on germanwings to Cologne and then train to Frankfurt for our return flight. Thun and Lake Lugano sound nice. Will try and find some information of those places.
crinkle is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Three months have passed since my post, and my planning got put on a back burner due to some medical issues, but now that that's cleared up, it's time to start getting some plans made. I have topped this post so if there are any other suggestions out there, please feel free to add them. Thanks.
crinkle is offline  
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