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Transportation between Barcelona, Paris, Rome

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Mar 23rd, 2011, 09:40 AM
  #1
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Transportation between Barcelona, Paris, Rome

Does anyone have any advice about the best ways to get around between these three cities? We might also want to visit a few additional places in Spain or Italy. Should we purchase Eurorail passes or just point-to-point for everything? I'm confused about things I've read. Some say the rail passes are great. Others say you can't use Eurail passes as easily in Spain and Italy, that you have to spend additional money to use those countries' rail systems and that a Eurail pass doesn't guarantee a seat. What is correct? Also, we've heard mixed things about using Ryanair, Easyjet, etc. so we're unclear about whether those are truly a good option or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 10:07 AM
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Those train rides would be VERY long - Barcelona to Paris is at least 8 hours, incluidng a change of train and paris to rome is at least 11 hours.

If it were me I would look into low cost flights instead.

For smaller distances - for instance within Italy, just get point to point tickets as you go.
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 10:32 AM
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there are overnight trains between Barcelona and Paris - arriving about 9am in Paris - save a night's hotel cost to boot. These are comfy hotel trains (www.elipsos.com)

As for your pass questions - the only pass you would consider would be a Eurail Select Saver (if two or more people traveling together) for 3 countries - Spain, France and Italy. (And if you buy this pass before the end of March 2011 you get an extra day free I think - and this is a first-class pass and in my many years of incessant European rail travel I emphatically say that for the average traveler on the trip of a lifetime first class is the way to go so IMO compare pass prices with first class fares.

Now if you only take a few train trips, say Barcelona to Paris and Paris to Rome then no a pass would no be cost effective. But if you are doing other rail trips in Spain, France or Italy it could well be - especially with the free bonus day aspect.

IMO it is not hard to get on trains with a pass in Spain nor Italy but you do need to buy a mandatory seat reservation for a few euros as the pass will not cover that but jsut the basic train fare. In France the supplement is 3 euros and at times in France only on main TGV lines it can be hard IME to just show up and get a passholder fare as these are limited in number on some French TGV lines - so if buying a pass I would have the agent also book the TGVs, like the day train to Milan (Artesia Day Train) at the same time - you could always change the reservation once in France, subject to availability.

Anyway peruse these fantastic sites IMO for answers to such questions and more than you ever want to know about trains in those countries - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com.
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 10:32 AM
  #4
 
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there are overnight trains between Barcelona and Paris - arriving about 9am in Paris - save a night's hotel cost to boot. These are comfy hotel trains (www.elipsos.com)

As for your pass questions - the only pass you would consider would be a Eurail Select Saver (if two or more people traveling together) for 3 countries - Spain, France and Italy. (And if you buy this pass before the end of March 2011 you get an extra day free I think - and this is a first-class pass and in my many years of incessant European rail travel I emphatically say that for the average traveler on the trip of a lifetime first class is the way to go so IMO compare pass prices with first class fares.

Now if you only take a few train trips, say Barcelona to Paris and Paris to Rome then no a pass would no be cost effective. But if you are doing other rail trips in Spain, France or Italy it could well be - especially with the free bonus day aspect.

IMO it is not hard to get on trains with a pass in Spain nor Italy but you do need to buy a mandatory seat reservation for a few euros as the pass will not cover that but jsut the basic train fare. In France the supplement is 3 euros and at times in France only on main TGV lines it can be hard IME to just show up and get a passholder fare as these are limited in number on some French TGV lines - so if buying a pass I would have the agent also book the TGVs, like the day train to Milan (Artesia Day Train) at the same time - you could always change the reservation once in France, subject to availability.

Anyway peruse these fantastic sites IMO for answers to such questions and more than you ever want to know about trains in those countries - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com.
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Mar 23rd, 2011, 01:56 PM
  #5
 
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There is also an overnight Artesia train running between Paris (Bercy station) and Venice, Florence and Rome.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 09:48 AM
  #6
 
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Also, we've heard mixed things about using Ryanair, Easyjet, etc. so we're unclear about whether those are truly a good option or not>

IMO it is a good option to fly between far removed bases, like from Barcelona to Italy - but to Paris you may land in Beauvais, 40 or so miles north of Paris - so you want to know the exact airport - and the major complaints I've see regard extra fees - like for checked bags and onboard services - Ryan Air's chief even wanted to install pay toilets onboard but that was a little too much for customers to swallow! But even with the fees and remot airports at times these fares can be so cheap that they can be much cheaper than the train for long distances. But those two airlines do not serve all cities - try www.whichbudget.com to see which discount airlines connect any two cities.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 10:04 AM
  #7
 
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Easy Jet flies from BCN to CDG.
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