Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Train at Christmas (

Lady Nov 16th, 2007 06:53 PM

Train at Christmas
I have a friend who travels Italy a lot who recommends us making train reservations for the Christmas holiday. We've only traveled in Europe during spring and summer before now. He says the Europeans travel at Christmas like we do and that we need reservations. We'll be traveling from Munich to Vienna, to Salzburg and Florence during the holidays. Have you ever had problems with seats on the train during Christmas holidays? We have Eurail passes for first class. What do you think? Do I need reservations more that 2-3 days in advance?

logos999 Nov 16th, 2007 07:12 PM

Dec 20-23rd are peak times, from 24th afternoon to 26 very little traffic. Moderate until new year, increasing again until the 6th of January. But nothing like the week before christmas. 1st class isn't really a problem, the vast majority travels in 2nd class.

Lady Nov 17th, 2007 07:28 PM

Thanks, logos. Do you think their peak Christmas travel is any worse than peak summer travel? We've always been able to get reservations a day or so ahead during the summer months. I just don't really want to do the reservations online. I guess just because I never have before. Has anyone else made train reservations online ahead of time?

logos999 Nov 17th, 2007 08:03 PM

At least everyone in Germany, visits the parents for christmas. The days after Christmas are a little more relaxed, (but not really empty trains like from the 24th, late afternoon to 26th).

I'd either reserve a seat on those peak days before Christmas or stand. There will be additional trains during that period to cope with the masses. But you may well end up standing, if you don't reserve.
Yes, it's worse than in summer.

But maybe GDL is still on strike :D

hopscotch Nov 17th, 2007 08:15 PM

Ditto logos999.

My only Christmas train experience in Italy was Bari to Rome years ago. I think it was two days before Christmas. I was glad to have a reservation and had to boot someone out of my 1st class seat. People were sitting on their luggage in the aisles so it was a challenge to even get to the toilet.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:54 PM.