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Guidance and help for Europe trip by train.

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Guidance and help for Europe trip by train.

Old Aug 17th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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Guidance and help for Europe trip by train.

Me 65 and my husband is 69.We want to have a trip in Europe.First we will go to Istanbul from Bangladesh by plane.Then we want to visit Berlin,Poland,Prague,Vienna,Venice and finally Rome by train.Now I want to know,
1. which one will be the cheapest and most convenient for us - Euro rail,rail pass,saver pass senior citizen pass or normal railway ticket ?(We will have 10 to 12 days trip.)
2.From which city should we start ?From Berlin To Rome or from Rome to Berlin.We can take our return flight from any of these two cities.
3.For buying tickets which option will be better - buying online tickets or buying tickets from particular station?
I will be obliged if any one kindly answer my questions and help us.Thanking you.
Dilara Hafiz.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 09:16 AM
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>>We will have 10 to 12 days trip
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 10:50 AM
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I agree with Janis. There is no way you can visit all these places in such a short amount of time. I suggest that you choose no more than three cities.

Look at a map and see which of your preferred cities are closest together, with probably Rome and Berlin included, since those are your choices for arrival and departure.

I can't give you any information about rail passes because I don't use them. I almost always stay in one country. I buy my tickets on-line through Renfe (Spain) or Deutsche Bahn (Germany) because of the savings. For other countries my travel companion usually made the arrangements or we rented a car.

I think you need to choose 3 cities to visit and then do some on-line research to compare prices and convenience.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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You need to help us. And give a tentative working schedule of where you want to do. Flying into Istandbul is not convenient or close to any of the other places your list. If a rail pass is even needed will depend on the countries. For example, if most of your travel is in Italy, the rail pass would not be cheaper. There are many issues to consider but first give us a realistic travel schedule.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 12:41 PM
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Hi Dilara, welcome to Fodors

Wow, looks like a very busy visit, I guess you also need to look at which airports are going to be cheap for you to fly into. For trains I'd start on seat61.com to get an overview of the train system and see what that gives you.

Berlin,
Poland, is not a city are you planning on visiting Krakow or Warsaw? Let's hope not both. If I had to chose then I'd chose Krakow
Prague,
Vienna,
Venice and finally
Rome
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 03:36 PM
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>>>1. which one will be the cheapest and most convenient for us - Euro rail,rail pass,saver pass senior citizen pass or normal railway ticket ?
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 03:46 PM
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I'm sorry to be discouraging but the trip you have outlined would take at least 5 weeks or so. It's just not possible to do it in 10 days (I'm not sure you could even get to all of these places in 10 days - never mind actually have ANY time to see or do anything).

You really need to lay out your itinerary day by day and where you will wake up, what you will see/do and if you will have to travel to another place to spend the night.

Suggest you look at bahn.de - or what bargain airlines you might find - and see how long it actually takes to get from one place to another.

When you lay it out I think you will find that you really need to cut your trip back to 2 or at the very most 3 destinations or all you will have is a very long, tiring, expensive and frustrating tour of the airports and train stations of europe

And one more thing - you can;t count the day you arrive or the day you depart. So - leaving those days out - how many days do you really have. If it's 8 - then 2 cities is your absolute max - since it will take from 1/2 to a full day just to get one city to another (Venice to Rome is a half day - as is Berlin to Prague - but some of these trips are a full day.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 01:47 AM
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Hi everyone,
Thank you so much for your useful advice.Following your advice we've changed our itinerary.We've also extended our travel period from 10 to 20 days.We are also willing to travel by budget air and bus if it is cheaper and more convenient.The new itinerary is given below.Could You please have a look and give us your valuable suggestions?

Day 1,2,3. : Sightseeing in Rome.
Day 4. : For traveling to Venice.
Day 5,6,7. : Sightseeing in Venice.
Day 8. : For traveling to Vienna.
Day 9,10,11.: Sightseeing in Vienna.
Day 12. : For traveling to Prague.
Day 13,14,15: Sightseeing in Prague.
Day 16. : For traveling to Berlin.
Day 17,18,19: Sightseeing in Berlin.
Day 20. : Departure.

Best wishes.Looking forward to hear from you soon.
----- Dilara Hafiz 66.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 05:00 AM
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For lots of great info on European trains and passes, etc I always spotlight these IMO superb sites: www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.

As for Eurailpasses you would only consider the Eurail Select Saverpass valid in any four countries of your choosing - but it would only be a good deal perhaps IF you want first-class travel and complete flexibility to chose which trains to take once there - discounted tickets inevitably are train-specific and often have severe restrictions of changing or refunding and sold in limited numbers must be booked in stone often weeks in advance.

So a pass's efficacy depends on flexibility and if you want to do first class, IME a more relaxed way to go on the trip of a lifetime - especially for folks hauling around perhaps way too much luggage - easier to stow in first class as there are fewer people in first class - usually have empty seats to put your bags on IME - 2nd class is more often quite full - anyway a pass depends on several factors - the cheapest way to line up a series of discounted tickets is not always the best for some folks - for others it is.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 05:40 AM
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I would look at budget flights between your list of cities along with looking at flights to and from Europe. It might be easiest to fly your longest distance between cities (Rome to Berlin or Prague) and then take trains between the other cities. You could fly into Venice, train to Rome, fly to Berlin, train to Prague and then Vienna,fly home from Vienna. That would be only three train rides.

You didn't say the time of year you would be traveling. That might make a difference in where I would want to start or end - north to south or vice versa(due to weather for that time frame).

For budget airlines within Europe, look at www.skyscanner.com and www.whichbudget.com. They might not have schedules listed yet for when you plan to travel and many add seasonal flights (if you are traveling in season).

I would also add a day to Rome.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 07:45 AM
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I agree w/ kybourbon re flying the long legs and trains for the shorter distances.

Your general plan is good - but I might change the length of stay in some places. All cities are not created equal. Rome is very large and has a LOT to see do, while Vienna is lovely and definitely 'worth' visiting, but IMO there is more than 3 days worth in Rome and less in Vienna

So instead of just dividing your time up equally between these cities, research what you want to see/do each place and plan the number of days accordingly. Maybe 4 or 5 days in one and 2 days in another.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 08:08 AM
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Yes, I'd subtract a day from Prague and give it to Rome. And, though I hate to say it, also subtract a day from Venice and give it to Rome. Not so sure about Vienna.

You haven't said what time of year you'll be traveling. If it's spring, I'd travel south to north as your itinerary shows. However, your trip is in the fall, I'd reverse your itinerary, starting in the north -- for better weather.

Whichever is your first stop, you probably be jet-lagged and tired when you arrive, so it's good to have an extra day or so there to recover.

Your trip seems to be restricted to cities. That's appropriate if you're traveling in the winter. But the European countryside is beautiful. If you're traveling in the spring, summer, or fall, plan some daytrips out of the cities so you can see the rural scenery.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 09:17 AM
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I don;t think flights make any sense for your trips - they're all too short - with the possible exception of Venice to Vienna. Even that has trains that take only 7.5 hours - so I'm not sure how much faster flying would be.

But key is buying discount tickets in advance - often available 90 days out - to get the best prices although you are then locked into specific trains.

Oh - and this trip is much better.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 11:54 AM
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there is also an overnight train from Venice to Vienna though it is a rather scenic route once in the mountainous areas.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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Nytraveler: I agree w/ you - if they do it in the same order. But I'm thinking along the lines of doing the longest distance - maybe Rome to Berlin or Prague by plane Nd then doing a sort of linear route by train between the nearer cities long the lines of what kybourbon suggested. Get the longest distance out of the way flying.
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 11:15 PM
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I'd take a day off Vienna and Venice and give them to Rome and Berlin/Prague. You shouldn't get much jetlag coming west but even so the shear tiredness that comes from flights needs to be wrung out and it allows you more time to catch the change in culture.

However it does a bit depend on your interests, so back to the books again.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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I'd take a day off Vienna and Venice and give them to Rome and Berlin/Prague>

I agree - a day off each and either stay in Florence for a few days or add them to Rome (and do a day trip to Florence or Pompeii, etc).
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 08:44 AM
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Hi everyone,
Once again thank you very much for all these good advice and the helpful websites.Your suggestions have given us a better idea about the trip.After analyzing everything and reviewing the costs,we will re-arrange the itinerary in a way which is best suited for us.Best wishes for all.
---- Dilara Hafiz.
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