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Train vs. Plane vs. Bus in Europe?

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Mar 8th, 2012, 07:14 PM
  #1
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Train vs. Plane vs. Bus in Europe?

I am wondering which would be the cheapest and best option when travelling through Europe on this route? Train, Plane or Bus? It would be London-Amsterdam-Paris-Barcelona-Rome-Naples-Bari. Which method of transportation would be the cheapest and the best option? and should I try a mix including a ferry? Thanks.
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Mar 8th, 2012, 07:43 PM
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In that order? Daytime trips?

Rome/Naples is a hour on the fast train (1 hour), but you can save about 1/2 the fare by taking a bit slower train (2 hours). On some of these routes, you can book discount tickets in advance with each countries train website if your itinerary is set and you don't plan to make changes. Some train tickets in Italy can be purchased for a 9€ Mini Fare special.

You can search budget airlines on several websites.
www.skyscanner.com
www.whichbudget.com

Some of the budget airlines have very strict check-in times and really limit luggage weight. Try to use the airlines that have convenient airports. Ryan Air's Paris airport (BVA) is on hour (by bus) outside of Paris, where Easy Jet's airport is the closest in the city (Orly).

There is a ferry from Barcelona to Rome, but it will be cheaper to fly.
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Mar 8th, 2012, 07:56 PM
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You don't need a bus for those cities. And why waste time on a slow ferry when you could be exploring in a city?

I'd think about changing the order of your first 3 cities to London, Paris, Amsterdam and take the Eurostar from London to Paris, and the Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam.

From Amsterdam you should look into budget flights to Barcelona. Then flying to Italy from there would be most convenient.

Between those 3 cities in Italy, you'd want to take the train.

In other words, you want trains and airplanes. Not buses and ferries.
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Mar 8th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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Sorry I wasn't clear in my post. No it's not in that order. I was hoping someone would tell me the least expensive order for those cities along with the best transportation options. It can be any order, which ever is cheapest. Thanks for you posts!
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Mar 8th, 2012, 11:30 PM
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London-Amsterdam try overnight train and ferry, as it's time-effective, very comfy and saves expensive accommodation costs in either London or Amsterdam - from £39 plus £30 for a single-bbed private cabin with shower, toilet, satellite TV and free WiFi - www.seat61.com/Netherlands.htm

Amsterdam-Paris starts at just 35 euros if you pre-book at www.thalys.com (booking opens 90 days ahead), journey just 3 hours by 186 mph train.

London-Paris it's Eurostar of course, www.eurostar.com, from £39

Paris-Barcelona there's an overnight trainhotel, www.elipsos.com - a bed in a 4-berth sleeper costs 74 euros if pre-booked, again an interesting ride and saves a hotel bill.

Barcelona to Livorno or Salerno in Italy there's a cruise ferry - www.grimaldi-lines.com. Or there's an Elipsos three times a week Barcelona to Milan, www.elipsos.com from 74 euros including a bed in a 4-berth Torist sleeper.

Within Italy, use www.trenitalia.com to find trains and buy tickets - 'base' fare is what you'd pay at the station, 'Mini' is the advance purchase limited-refund, limited changes fare. Rome-Venice strats at just 9 euros with a Mini fare, for example, centre to centre.

You may also find the Paris-Venice 'Thello' sleeper train useful, departs central Paris 19:45, arrives in central Venice actually on the banks of the Grand Canal itself at 09:34 next morning, from 35 euros in a couchette or from 145 euros in a 2-bed sleeper, www.thello.com
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Mar 8th, 2012, 11:35 PM
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Oh, and just in case you thought of using a Eurail pass, remember:

- it doesn't cover Eurostar

- it doesn't cover the Dutch Flyer train & ferry London - Amsterdam;

- Doesn't cover the Thello sleeper train;

- Passholders must pay a 39 euro surcharge on Amsterdam-Paris Thalys, when you can buy a regular ticket from 35 euros INCLUDING reservation.

- Passholders must pay a 10 euro surcharge on all high-speed trains in Italy, rendering it more expensive than even the fully-flexible rate Rome-Florence, for example, let alone the cheap 'Mini' fares.

- Passholders must pay a 74 euro supplement for a bed in a 4-bed sleeper on the overnight Elipsos 'trainhotels' Paris-Barcelona and Barcelona-Milan, which is exactly the SAME as the cheap fare you can get in advance by pre-booking WITHOUT a pass. So why buy a pass?
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Mar 9th, 2012, 02:22 AM
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you can get a bed in a four-bed couchette for only 74 Euro?
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Mar 9th, 2012, 02:27 AM
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well taking the train in Europe was by far the most popular way to hang around and it helped that it was also cheap and providing good scenery, but now many airlines connecting major cities at low cost is also not a bad option for traveling.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 03:44 AM
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and by the way that is www.skyscanner.net not .com
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Mar 9th, 2012, 05:27 AM
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If you are short of money and want to use the bus, then you might try eurolines.com

But only if you are able to endure long night journeys in a bus seat. Otherwise, take the train (at least you can walk around) or fly.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 06:20 AM
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>>>Dukey1 on Mar 9, 12 at 6:44am

and by the way that is www.skyscanner.net not .com<<<

By the way, no it's not. It's .com and has been for awhile. You can enter the old skyscanner.net, but it rolls over to the dot com address (look at the url in your search bar).

>>>Or there's an Elipsos three times a week Barcelona to Milan, www.elipsos.com from 74 euros including a bed in a 4-berth Torist sleeper.<<<

This 74€ fare for the Elipsos train says Mini Couple Offer which implies it's only for a couple traveling. Is that not the case?

The OP was not going to Milan so to take the train from Barcelona to Milan and then have to get a train to Rome (the destination) would cost more than 74€ and take longer. Sometimes when you are traveling you have to weigh savings against the value of your time. You can get cheap flights Barcelona/Rome and be there in a few hours. I saw cheap flights on Vueling from Barcelona to Rome (they also fly Barcelona/Naples) for only 19€ for random dates in May. Travel time is under two hours.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 06:42 PM
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Alright Thanks for all the replies! Is taking the train much more cheaper than plane? I don't care if the plane takes longer with security and getting to the airport and all and I like flying. But I'm more concerned with price. Would taking the train on those short routes be much cheaper than just taking the plane to all of the cities? I gave up on the bus. XD
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Mar 10th, 2012, 08:07 PM
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You'll have to do your own research to answer that- people have already posted several websites. The costs are never fixed, they change all the time. Generally speaking, the earlier you book your ticket, whether for a train or a flight, the cheaper it is. Sometimes there are sales. And with flying, you have to factor in the cost of getting to and from the airport.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 09:02 PM
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You just need to check flight prices and train fares on each route.

You're not going to fly between Rome and Naples for example, that's too close you'd go by train. But you'd probably want to fly Paris to Barcelona. London to Amsterdam could go either way. Etc.
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Mar 12th, 2012, 08:20 AM
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I think it is hard to generalize, one time we were three of us, and decided to save may be 60 euros among the three of us, by taking a train that took only half an hour more or so, between Rome and Firenze.
Distances are usually short in Europe and the time saving between a fast train and a regular one some times is minimal, that same trip I was coming back alone by train and took the fast one Rome Firenze, it suit me better,I bought the ticket earlier and got a discount.
I have taken several trains in Spain which were not the AVE, the distances are short and I felt I had not wasted any time. Budget planes are great if you get the lower fares and for larger distances. It is a good deal Paris Barcelona for instance.
So the answer for me is check, do your homework and choose accordingly.
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