Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Travelling in Europe for 2 weeks, is the Eurail pass really cheaper than buying individual tickets in Europe?

Travelling in Europe for 2 weeks, is the Eurail pass really cheaper than buying individual tickets in Europe?

Old Mar 9th, 1998, 05:42 PM
Posts: n/a
Travelling in Europe for 2 weeks, is the Eurail pass really cheaper than buying individual tickets in Europe?

We are planning to be in Europe during Easter and are flying into Rome and then would take the train to FLorence and do day trips to Seina and another place near by and then move up to Bellagio near Como, then Nice, Geneva, Lucerne and finally fly back from Zurich. We are wondering if the eurail pass at $420 per person is really going to be cheaper. Also we are told that despite the pass, we would still have to pay reservation charges. Further, it seems that it is better to take a bus to Seina as it is not on the main train line.Has anyone ever carried out the cost-benefit analysis? Please suggest.
Old Mar 9th, 1998, 06:31 PM
Posts: n/a
Check www.raileurope.com , to check all rail passes costs and reservations for each train cost last year was $10-11 p/p p/train, I still believe the Eurailpass is more flexible. Try their homepage, you'll enjoy it.

Old Mar 9th, 1998, 06:37 PM
Posts: n/a

I would suggest using the automated system for Rail Europe to get fare info and add it up for yourself.

They can be reached at 1 800 4 EURAIL.

Good Luck and I found this helpful for comparisons.
Old Mar 10th, 1998, 06:17 AM
Posts: n/a
I think first you have to determine how many days you will actually use the pass. Surely there will be days, e.g. in Rome, when you won't be using it. An alternative to the Eurailpass is the Europass. This allows 5 days of travel @ $253/ person and the addition of extra days at a per day rate of $33.50. I think the biggest drawback to purchasing point to point tickets, besides the cost, is standing in line. As I recall, there was no additional charge for reservations, they are just required. A good source of information is Budget Europe Travel Service @ 1.800.441.2387. They specialize in rail travel in Europe. Also, when you arrive in Rome your pass will be valid for the train from Fumicino to Rome.
Old Mar 10th, 1998, 07:54 AM
Posts: n/a
You can do your trip point-to-point individual tickets for $363 1st class or $218 second class. I used www.eurail.com to get these prices. I used your itinerary just as you outlined it. You have to figure Florence-Milan and then Milan-Como to get to Bellagio. They don't have the fare from Como to Bellagio, but it has to be only a couple of dollars. Within Italy you might consider the Kilometric ticket. It gives the two of you a combined total of 3,000 kilometric miles for $156, which is just what your point-to-point tickets would cost for the two of you ($78 each). The Italian Rail System charges an extra $15 (Forsyth's figure, RailEurope says $25) for rail passes issued here. You won't use much more than 2,000 ks as Rome to Florence is just 316 and Florence-Milan 362. These miles are doubled for the two of you using them. The K ticket would probably cover any side trips you might want to make. You are right to go to Siena by bus from Florence. Even though we were on a train pass, we elected to go from Rome to Florence by train and then bus to Florence as it was faster and the bus drops you off at an excellent spot in Siena, whereas the train station is quite a ways out. We have traveled the breadth and length of Italy on 2nd class and have found nothing wrong with it. About the only people traveling in 1st class are those on Eurail passes, and they have no choice. You have to pay extra for reservations, no matter what class. The only difference is that you can get a reservation in 1st class on the day of travel, whereas if you are traveling 2nd class, you must get it at least a day ahead of time. It's best to do so anyway, because you don't know how long you will have to wait in line. Don't order reservations here (or point-to-point tickets) as they charge $11 for reservations, but only about $3 in Europe. If you are doing p-to-p, or kilometric pass, you have to stand in line to either purchase your ticket or have your k ticket validated. You go to the ticket counter each trip and they deduct the miles you are going to be traveling from your original 3,000 and note how many trips that makes. You are allowed 20, meaning 10 for each of you. We have used it, as well as a flexi-pass, and find they both work well. Flexi-pass wouldn't be worth the money for you on this trip. We have always bought our passes, books, etc. through Forsyth Library, a wonderful place in St. Louis. You can reach them at www.forsyth.com. E-mail me if you need more info or clarification. Your trip sounds super. Be sure to take the little tourist train ride which originates on the beach in Nice. Just about the high point of our stay there.
Old Mar 10th, 1998, 08:23 AM
Posts: n/a
I'm not sure if there is a train from Como to Belaggio, but there is a ferry that runs frequently.
Old Mar 11th, 1998, 02:11 PM
Old Al
Posts: n/a
From long experience, we have derived a law: the more you travel, the less you see. I know you "want to see it all" -- that is only human. Point-to-point fares (2nd class) will probably beat any pass, either Europass or Eurailpass. The pity of it all is that you will invest so much of your precious time getting to and from, round and about, that you will be too tired to enjoy much of your journey. Why not concentrate on Rome and Florence, do them in depth, with side trips to Naples/Capri and Fiesole, Sienna, San Gimignano? How we envy your youthful eyes, seeing these treasures for the first time. Make sure you keep a journal to help you remember that little restaurant, that rotten train ride, that rainy day when you started to think of coming home. Enjoy!
Old Mar 11th, 1998, 04:23 PM
Louis Dameson
Posts: n/a
Rail passes are ok if you take a few very long jouneys and spend a month or more in Europe. Otherwise you can always save money on point to point travel particularly if you don't demand lst class seats. In france on the TVG the second class seats are just as comforable as first class seats and half the cost. In Italy it depends on the train. If you qualify for a senior fare, you never come out ahead with a rail pass.

As suggested by another, you are perhaps trying to go to too many places in too short of time. In Florance alone, 5-7 days is about the minimum that I would want. There are short side trips form both Rome and Florance that would avoid a lot of wasted time with train travel. With only two weeks, I would suggest that you concentrate on Rome and Florance and stop in Geneva for two nights before heading home. The train trip through the Alps in the afternoon is a lovely ride.

My wife always says that a day traveling is a day lost. The first day you arrive will not be a very useful day as will be the case with the last day. Two weeks does not leave you much time to relax and enjoy yourself.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -