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combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

Sisters, Oregon
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combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

We will be travelling in the Fall. Looks like a Eurail pass for Austria, maybe 2 country pass w/ Czech Republic combined with a Swiss Pass. It's all very confusing and I can't find the answer to my specific question.

Here is my question:

I need a specific train route from Salzburg to Zurich to avoid travel into Germany. Because I want or need that specific route/time, I need a reservation. How do you make a reservation to travel on 2 different passes? What happens when we cross into Switzerland from Austria- do we need to get off the train to validate the Swiss Pass? We're tying to avoid getting off the train at the border.

thanks.

Mannheim, Germany
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for Zurich, Mannheim
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1. Re: combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

>Because I want or need that specific route/time, I need a reservation.

No, you don't. It may be a good idea during peak travel times but not mandatory.

>How do you make a reservation to travel on 2 different passes?

Reservations are as mentioned independent from tickets and not mandatory. You basically go to the counter and ask for a seat reservation for the connection of your choice.

>What happens when we cross into Switzerland from Austria- do we need to get off the train to validate the Swiss Pass?

No idea about the Swiss Pass but that would make no sense at all.

>We're tying to avoid getting off the train at the border.

There is no "border" as such. Just make sure that you don't waste massive amount of money with the two passes in parallel - the Eurail passes are rarely worth their price. Simply buying a ticket straight through (via Innsbruck), especially if you can get an advance discount, is probably cheaper than a pass day on two passes.

Edited: 20 April 2013, 21:53
England, United...
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2. Re: combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

The advice from the experts on this site is always to buy a ticket with the particular country's rail network and not to buy a pass. These are sold by agents and are often more than the total cost of booking individually.

www.oebb.at (Austrian railways)

www.sbb.ch (Switzerland)

Use "Antarctica" as your country of origin - to avoid being redirected to RailEurope which is an agency.

Let your credit card company know that you intend to make an online foreign transaction purchase. This will avoid your card being rejected due to your cc company thinking something fraudulent is going on.

With a little bit of careful planning, you can book the tickets yourself and print them off at home.

You can then present them at the station/to the conductor and get them validated.

For good advice visit the website of The Man in Seat 61 www.seat61.com

Brno, Czech Republic
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for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
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3. Re: combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

A Eurail pass is a huge waste of money for the Czech Republic and pointless if you know your itinerary as you can do advance bookings with the respective national rail companies and save lots of money.

From Salzburg to Zurich there is no need to go through Germany - just buy a ticket from www.oebb.at/en - cost from €29 bought in advance.

No need to worry about the Antarctica bit with this company - that trick is only valid for www.tgv-europe.com (which you won't be using) :)

Where else will you be going? From Prague to Salzburg, for example, it is easier and quicker by bus to Linz and then the Westbahn service to Salzburg.

Edited: 21 April 2013, 01:01
Sisters, Oregon
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4. Re: combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

We are travelling the following routes:

Prague to Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov to Vienna

Vienna to Hallstadt

Hallstadt to Salzburg

Salzburg to Zurich

Zurich to Chur

Chur to Zermatt (Glacier Express)

Zermatt to Geneva

Does that change anyone's advice on booking with each country and skipping a pass? Thanks everyone!

Brno, Czech Republic
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for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
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5. Re: combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

Definitely skip the pass - Prague to CK is by bus www.studentagency.eu and then to Vienna either by private shuttle (lots of info in the Czech Republic forum) or by train with two changes (or bus and train) which only costs €29 (buy on the day) - it is quite a complicated journey ti the uninitiated.

Vienna to Hallstatt - again, nothing direct, price from about €19 bought in advance, but even bought on the day would be way cheaper than a pass.

Hallstatt to Salzburg - I understand there is a direct bus which costs a few euros, otherwise you need to get boat, train and then another train, buy as you go along, still much cheaper than a pass. Plenty of information on the Austria forum.

Etc. A pass is hardly ever a good deal.

Sisters, Oregon
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6. Re: combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

Great info! Thank you. I will definitely look into the bus options.

7. Re: combining Eurail & Swiss Pass

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