Rome to Amsterdam by Train

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Jan 7th, 2018, 05:03 AM
  #1
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Rome to Amsterdam by Train

We (2 x 60+) are planning a trip in Europe by train. Arriving in Civitavecchia (cruise port) we then have 6 days to get to Amsterdam. So far our Itinerary is:
Day 1 - Civitavecchia to La Spezia
Day 2 - La Spezia to Milan
Day 3 - Milan to Lausanne or Bern (stopover at Brig for Glacier Express experience)
Day 4 to 6 - Make our way to Amsterdam (not via Paris)
Ticketing is hard to understand so would appreciate some advice please.
Day tickets or rail passes, which ones covers all, if any?
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Jan 7th, 2018, 05:46 AM
  #2
 
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You'll have to get yourself to Basel or Düsseldorf to get to Amsterdam if you don't want to go through Paris, with 1, 2, or 3 changes along the way. Depending on which route you choose, and which dates, it will take 7-9 hours.

Use www.trainline.eu to figure it out and buy tickets.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 05:48 AM
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Rail passes would not be cost effective and there are no day tickets. La Spezia is an odd choice. Is there a reason you are going there?

From Civitavecchia, most of the trains are regional (no amenities) although there are a couple of Feccia trains per day. It can take anywhere from 3 hours to 4 1/2 hours. You would want to select either the intercity or Freccia train so you have no changes. Trenitalia is the train company in Italy. Depending on how far in advance you book, you can get discounts so this route could cost around 20€ per person which is cheaper than one day use of a pass. Plus passes don't cover the cost of seats which are mandatory on the faster trains in Italy (10€).

http://www.trenitalia.com/

Do you actually want to stop in Milan? You really aren't allowing any time to visit anything. Nor are you allowing any time in La Spezia so I guess I don't really see the point unless you just want to check cities off a list.

>>Day 3 - Milan to Lausanne or Bern (stopover at Brig for Glacier Express experience)<<

This makes no sense to me. I can't see how you would think you would have a Glacier Express experience.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 05:53 AM
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Suggest going here and reading about buying tickets and when rail passes are worthwhile:

https://www.seat61.com

There is a good section on Switzerland, too.

And I agree that this seems to be all train and no sightseeing, but maybe that is what you want.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 06:01 AM
  #5
 
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If your objective is to ride trains, then this itinerary would do it. You have enough time to eat supper, sleep, breakfast and continue the next train journey. To get a grasp of how long each segment takes, use www.bahn.com.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 06:16 AM
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From the OP it seems these people are getting off a cruise. Maybe they are crafting a land equivalent.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 06:52 AM
  #7
 
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No to railpass but yes to discounted tickets - yeh www.seat61.com is the site for that - for general info www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 08:06 AM
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Brig for GEX experience - you ride GEX to where or just see it in the station?

Your whole itinerary is completely unrealistic - why go to La Spezia for a few hours - go to Cinque Terre just beyond and stay a day or two. Anyone just unrealistic IMO. Sorry.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 09:16 AM
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Bern to Amsterdam: your easiest bet is to get to Frankfurt from Bern and from there take ICE to Amsterdam. Cologne or even Dusseldorf could be a very nice stopover. In one go the journey takes 9 - 10 hours. 2 - 4 changes.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 10:28 AM
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OK, I fully understand this is not the advice you are asking for, but this is Fodors and an open forum, so I am going to give it anyway, based on personal experience.
I love trains and that is about the only way we have traveled in Europe in 15 or more years.

You will not have enough time at any of your stops to see anything. It is a very long, slog and while perhaps it is more restful on the train than other ways, this will be exhausting! You will also spend time getting off the train, getting to a hotel, returning to the station the next morning, etc.

We did the train only from Karlsruhe, Germany to Brussels and across to Bruges. We were wiped out.

I am rarely so direct, but your plan is terrible. Either fly to Amsterdam and enjoy that area or choose one other place, Switzerland if that is your choice, explore, then proceed to Amsterdam.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 11:01 AM
  #11
 
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6 days

Civitavecchia to Rome - take fast train to
Florence - 2 nights

Train Florence to Switzerland - stay 2 nights

Train switzerland to Frankfurt - stay 1

Train Frankfurt to Amsterdam

Optimum itinerary IMO if wanting to see a few places - otherwise

take overnight train Rome to Munich - 2-3 nights
Munich to Rhine Gorge area - 2 nights
Train to Amsterdam.

Like sass I am a train nut and like him no usually so candid but your original itinerary is one trains all the time with just going from station to hotel and back.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 12:55 PM
  #12
 
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Rail passes would not be cost effective and there are no day tickets>

what does that mean? and agreed railpasses no good for limited trains unless perhaps perhaps wanting to go full-fare first class.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 03:38 PM
  #13
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Wow, I did not expect so much feedback so quickly, what a great forum. Thank you all for your responses and recm. We are completely flexible for the 6 days so we will take your advice and re-arrange our itinerary somewhat. Getting to
Amsterdam early is no real option, been twice before, and are going this time to pick up a river cruise to Budapest then spending another 5 weeks in Europe exploring, basing ourselves near Frankfurt in Germany.
Thank you Sass and PalenQ, love your candid comments, exactly what I was looking for. Also Kybourbon and others, all great advice. Thanks so much.
So, back to square 1 and re-plan. My biggest worry was to get out of Civitavecchia and get to somewhere on the main train routes, hence La Spezia or Cinque Terre and then Milan then onwards. Any further suggestions always welcome.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 03:43 PM
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Cinque Terre could be good for 2 nights but La Spezia is just an OK seaside town. Book tickets thru www.trenitalia.com.

CT to Milan for a night

Train to Paris for 2-3 nights

3.5 hr train trip to Amsterdam?
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Jan 7th, 2018, 04:40 PM
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Where else have you traveled in Italy?
What kinds of places do you most enjoy seeing?
Is Switzerland one of your most desired places to visit?
Have you been to other places near Amsterdam or Belgium?
Are you most interested in coastal areas like CT?

Another unsolicited opinion. Frankfurt has some nice things, but is not a place to base for five weeks for travel.

Five weeks for travel is wonderful!
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Jan 8th, 2018, 05:41 AM
  #16
 
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Civit-Venice via Rome
Venice - 2 nights
Night train to Paris - 1 night
Paris 2 nights
Thalys to Amsterdam?
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Jan 8th, 2018, 08:31 AM
  #17
 
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Civitavecchia to Milan www.trenitalia.com then overnight in Milan.

Bernina Express through the Alps to Chur, https://www.seat61.com/BerninaExpress.htm

Chur-Zurich-Koblenz from €39.90 at German Railways www.bahn.de/en - great views along the Rhine Valley. Though are you doing this on a boat on the way back south?

Koblenz-Cologne-Amsterdam from €29.90 www.bahn.de/en
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Jan 8th, 2018, 09:41 AM
  #18
 
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Man in Seat 61 outlines a non-direct touring that would have you on trains the whole time but also the Bernina Pass route is awesomely scenic.
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Jan 8th, 2018, 11:53 AM
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Man Seat 61's route also gives you the Glacier Express type experience as Bernina Express trains just the same. Of course there are regular trains as well over the route with the same scenery but the official BEX has though spiffy panoramic observation nearly all-glass cars with commemntary, etc. Bernina Express is to many much more scenic than Glacier Express trains - to me Bernina Pass Railways most awesomely scenic in Europe!
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Jan 8th, 2018, 12:44 PM
  #20
 
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The quickest way to get on the road from Civitavecchia is to go into Rome, where you can get fast trains. If you want to see a bit of Rome, you could spend a night there, otherwise you could press on to Milan. You can get to Bern in one day from Rome, changing trains in Milan.

From Milan, you could get to Bern on day 2 (or day 3, if you stopped in Rome for a night).

You can reach Amsterdam in one day from Bern, changing trains in Frankfurt.

The train from Frankfurt to Amsterdam passes through Cologne and Utrecht, two possibilities for a city where you might want to spend a night, if you have one to spare. I like both, but especially Utrecht. It would depend on your interests.

One sample possibility: two nights in Rome, 6 1/2 hours on train to Bern, two nights in Bern, 8 hours on train to Utrecht, 1 night in Utrecht, doing a little sightseeing in the morning, then a short train ride to Amsterdam.
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