Train Tickets. Should I buy in advance ?

Jul 28th, 2002, 07:15 PM
  #1  
Rakesh
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Train Tickets. Should I buy in advance ?

We will be travelling to Italy and Switzerland from September Ist to 15th. We will be staying 3 nights in Rome and Florence, 4 night in Venice, 2 nights in Bern and 2 Nights in Zurich. I want to ask you should I book in advance the train tickets to go to all the cities that I will be travelling ? Is it cheaper to book in advance ? Also, will the 2 country pass from Euro Rail be cost effective ?

I appreciate your response.
Thanks,
Rakesh
 
Jul 28th, 2002, 07:18 PM
  #2  
Cathy
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We just got back from italy, and bought our train tickets there. They were a lot cheaper. We just went inside a travel agency in each city, and bought them there.
 
Jul 28th, 2002, 07:21 PM
  #3  
Rakesh
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What about buying at Train/Subway station ? Is it the same price ?
When we went to Engalnd some time back, the ticket officer told us if we would have booked the ticket in advance, we would have saved quite a but. So I was just wondering if that is the case in Italy ?
 
Jul 28th, 2002, 07:52 PM
  #4  
Cathy
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I don't know about Switzerland, but it was much cheaper to buy them in Italy than it was here. I'm sure you can buy them at the train stations, but the travel agencies were just more convenient for us than going to the train station.
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 04:33 AM
  #5  
Irene
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My husband and I will travel between Rome, Florence and Venice on train. I found the best deal is using Kilometer ticket. The web site mentioned I'll need supplements for ES, IC .., but it doesn't say how much is the supplement. Would some one help me out ? additional 10%, 20% ? I need a rough idea for budgeting purpose. Thanks.
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 04:45 AM
  #6  
Alice Twain
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Tickets for Italian trains do not require booking except for Eurostar trains. Given your itinerary in Italy, I suggest booking at least the Florence-Venice trip, either on an Intercity trains or on a Eurostar train. you an also book the Florence-Rome trip, in order to be sure to get a seat (not booking you may have to travel standing, but the Rome-Florence trip is relatively short, a couple of hours more or less). Booking pon intercity trains will cost you further 3 euros, while it is free on Eurostar trains. Booking from a travel agency abroador in italy will usually cost more than booking or just buying the tickets at the station 8althiugh some Italian travel agencies do not charge furhter costs). You can buy your tickets (but not book) a few minutes before the train's departure or book the seats the day before your departure. In your ase I suggest not to use any kind of pass for Italy, it will just turn pout cheaper to buy point-to-point tickets. Also, you might buy all your Italian tickets at once as you are in Rome: this is probably the cheapest and most convenient thing to do if you want to book in advance your seats. I strongly recommend not to book seats at travel agencies: they are known for sometimes assign the same seat to two different people: much better to book at the trains station.
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 01:00 PM
  #7  
Andre
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Rakesh,

I would book tickets for all the domestic Italian routes (preferably on Eurostar trains) as well as the ride from Italy to Switzerland as soon as you arrive in Rome. You don't have to do this at the station - many travel agencies can also sell you train tickets. Many people on this forum recommend the American Express office.

You do NOT need to purchase you tickets in advance for the Bern-Zurich journey. Trains leave at least hourly and you just purchase a ticket before taking the train (the vending machines are very easy to use and take plastic).

You also don't need to purchase a pass, kilometric ticket or anything else - just the plain vanilla tickets!

I would look at the schedules and print out the connections you would prefer to take - that way you can just show the printouts when you're purchasing the tickets.

www.rail.ch
Has full schedules for Switzerland and Italy. You can also check out the Italian Railways website:
www.trenitalia.com

Andre
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 01:24 PM
  #8  
Andre
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Rakesh,

Perhaps there is one special ticket which could save you some money: the Swiss Transfer Ticket.

Details at:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/passes/swiss_transfer_ticket.htm

If you are travelling from Italy to Bern, then from Bern to Zurich, it makes sense, but ONLY if you're travelling with kids (you can order a Family Card for free with this ticket).

If you do purchase this type of ticket, you must mention that you only need a TICKT for the Italian portion of the journey (until Brig) when purchasing all your Italian train tickets. You still need a SEAT RESERVATION (this is a separate document ) for the entire journey however.

Hope I haven't confused you...
Andre
 
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