We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

Mooloolaba...
Level Contributor
51 posts
29 reviews
Save Topic
Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

Hello,

Unfortunately we have done something silly - it is now a month and a half out from our three month long travels around Europe and we haven't booked any of our rail tickets.

We had checked ticket prices before and they were at least a quarter of what they are now. I am wondering if we go ahead and buy the unlimited global pass for the three months that we are travelling for? We are aware of the seat reservations in countries though it looks like this might only apply our Paris to amsterdam train for 36 euros, Budapest to Salzburg for 35 euros and Madrid to Barcelona for 25 euros.

These are the standard seat reservation prices given by eurail.

Here is our itinerary with prices we have found in euros, I didn't have much luck with the Italian or Spanish websites which makes me think it might be more hassle booking with each of these websites than eurail.

Geesh, you'd think it would be easier than this!

Looking forward to some advice :)

Paris - Amsterdam (2nd May) €135

Amsterdam - Berlin (5th May) €123

Berlin - Prague (9th May) €70

Prague - Budapest (12th May) (couldn't find price)

Budapest - Salzburg (17th May) €87

Salzburg - Lauterbrunnen (21st May) €150

Lauterbrunnen - Genoa (24th May) (couldn't find price/route)

Genoa - Naples (29th May) (couldn't find price/route)

(Spend three weeks in Greece/Croatia)

Ancona to Amalfi Coast (23rd June) couldn't find prices

Amalfi Coast to Rome (28th June) couldn't find prices

Rome to Ibiza (flight)

Ibiza to Barcelona (flight)

Barcelona to Madrid (10th July) couldn't find prices

Madrid to San Sebastián (12th July) couldn't find prices

San Sebastián to London (16th July) most likely flight

Liverpool, United...
Destination Expert
for Liverpool
Level Contributor
15,504 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

"Amsterdam - Berlin (5th May) €123"

Where did you see that price?

I assume you mean €123 for 1 person?

I have just looked on www.bahn.de and the prices I can see from Amsterdam to Berlin for 5th May vary between €44 and €79.

Yes, if you had booked earlier it would have been a bit cheaper, but I would love to know where you are seeing this price for €123.

And I can see prices as low as €79 on www.thalys.com for Paris to Amsterdam on 2nd May - not €135.

Hang on, I see that you are from Australia and have mentioned "Eurail" - oh dear!

Have a good read ASAP of this: http://seat61.com/Europe-train-tickets.htm

Brno, Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
Level Contributor
29,197 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

... continuing from the above

Berlin - Prague (9th May) €29 www.cd.cz/eshop

Prague - Budapest (12th May) €19 www.cd.cz/eshop by day train or from €39 on the night train (with couchette)

Budapest - Salzburg (17th May) €39 return europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Buy-Trai…

Salzburg to Lauterbrunnen involves lots of changes or train/bus and takes from 8 - 12 hours. It costs nowhere near €150. Likewise Lauterbrunnen to Genoa - a long and complicated journey. Do you have a particular reason for going there?

FORGET YOU EVER HEARD OF EURAIL/RAIL PLUS/RAIL EUROPE!!! They are all rip-off resellers, not operators, as you can see from the outrageous prices you have found.

Only ever go to the rail company of the country in which your journey commences.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 23:21
Mooloolaba...
Level Contributor
51 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

Hi Matt,

Re: Amsterdam to Berlin can see that I can scroll down further on the bahn website now, although I can see you are quoting the saver fare, I didn't know that an Australian could apply for a bahn 25 card, even so it costs 62 euros which brings the price right up again.

Re: Paris to Amsterdam, I'm guessing the price is coming down that low for you as you are a TheCard owner. I cannot look at these prices but it seems like purchasing one of these cards will cost a lot?

Brno, Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
Level Contributor
29,197 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

For working out your times use a timetable such as www.idos.cz (English bottom right)

I don't know if a Bahn25/Rail Plus card is valid on the Thalys (you can get them anywhere in Europe - not to be confused with the Australian company called Rail Plus, which should NOT be used) https:/…20Card

Adelaide
Level Contributor
4,621 posts
205 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

Oh dear! Have you ever been misled!

You have your dates set in concrete, so you can buy point to point tickets for these journeys direct from the train operators themselves.

Don't even think of Eurail, Rail Plus or Rail Europe. Avoid them: they're all very expensive resellers of tickets on trains that they neither own or run. The advice you've been given so far is excellent.

So now to get you back on track (pun intended) use the excellent man in seat 61 site mentioned by Matt in reply #1 to find out where and how to buy your tickets from the actual operators. In general bookings open around 90 days ahead and tickets are at their cheapest at that time. In Italy bookings can be made 120 days ahead. Bought at that time some tickets, such as your Amafi Coast (Naples) to Rome can be as little as €19.

Unfortunately you are a bit late to bet the best prices for the first part of your trip, but prices will still be cheaper now than a walk up fare on the day. Most countries will allow print at home tickets too, but the man in seat 61 can explain all this better than we can on a forum.

So start buying your tickets now, before the prices go up even more.

Mooloolaba...
Level Contributor
51 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

Hi GCEK,

We most certainly have been looking at the operator in these countries, we have the links from the seat61 guy but you have provided some additional links which we haven't seen before thank you.

Re: Berlin to Prague: cheapest I can see is 1750 CZK or 1375 with bahn25 and rail plus?

Re: Prague to Budapest thank you, I found that price (we didn't have this trains website)

Re: Budapest to Salzburg: it's coming up as 29€ arriving in Salzburg at 3am is that correct?

Re Lauterbrunnen, I visited there once and loved Switzerland and the greenery, wanted to return somewhere like this - alternative suggestions?

Re: Genoa, I do need to get somewhere within the vicinity of Cinque Terra as I am meeting my family there.

Does anybody have any suggestions for Italy and Spain side of things so we can rid ourselves of eurail!

Mooloolaba...
Level Contributor
51 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

No English on that link sorry, I am on the ipad - do you perhaps have the website that I can google?

Mooloolaba...
Level Contributor
51 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

NEXT Problem - cannot book with a card outside of Europe?!?

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
9,323 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

>>1375 with bahn25 <<

To clear your other misconception - Saver fare ('Sparpreis') on the DBahn is NOT dependent on you having a Bahncard. To buy a bahncard, for overseas travellers, is usually not cost effective, since you won't be using it that much (plus it is automatically renewed for a fee).

If you are travelling that much in Germany (and long distances), the Twin German railpass is much better value.

Berlin to Prague, even to end of April is still about € 39 from www.bahn.com ('Sparpreis')

>>Genoa, I do need to get somewhere within the vicinity of Cinque Terra as I am meeting my family there<<

From Genova Piazza Principe station to Napoli Centrale station, on the 29th May, cheapest price is about € 40. Book with www.trenitalia.com

From Genova Piazza Principe to Monterosso in CT, Intercity train is € 9, otherwise, just buy on the day if using the Regionale train (for Intercity, book with www.trenitalia.com)

>>Re: Budapest to Salzburg: it's coming up as 29€ arriving in Salzburg at 3am is that correct?<<

That is the night train, it is probably better to book Budapest to Vienna, prices from € 13, but tickets must be collected in Budapest (I am assuming May 17th)

Why cannot book a card outside of Europe? All of us in this forum have booked numerous tickets for train travel in Europe, over the years (I travel every year)

Edited: 13 March 2014, 01:00
Mooloolaba...
Level Contributor
51 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Eurail questions - 1.5 months away from trip

Thank you for your help Hadiwi56a - I just purchased a ticket via Bahn and selected the saver fare (we were going to purchase our bahn25 cards later) I hope we did the right thing. It did save us the 62 euros back automatically & I think we can use it a few more times.

That does mean I can purchase the saver fares right?

I will remember to ask them to cancel our automatic subscription if that is possible.

It only seems to be the Thalys website we are having trouble using our MasterCard with. It is saying Euro Mastercards only. Shame we don't have a visa or American Express!