London to Paris by Train and then France Italy Benelux Eurail pass for 7 or 9 days days.?
We (I and my husband) are planning to visit Paris, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice & Amsterdam (if possible). We are thinking of taking morning train from London to Paris and have a small 5 hour tour to Eiffel tower in Paris then catch overnight train to Rome -reach Rome in the morning . Spend 2 nights in Rome - Catch train to Florence and stay 1 or 2 night and visit Pisa too. Then go to Venice from Florence.
Do not want to stay in Venice.
Is the above itinerary ok? Please suggest.
Is there any overnight train from Venice to Amsterdam or Brussels? or Do I have to return back to Rome or Florence to catch overnight train to AMsterdam or Brussels.?
From Brussels or Amsterdam catch the train back to Paris and then back to London.
We would be taking first class Eurail pass. What is the extra amount we have to spend on reservations etc. Can you give some approximate idea?
Would you change the itinerary and do Amsterdam first? In which order would you do cities in Italy so as to spend less time in traveling to and fro?
Thank you both of you. We have decided to fly to Rome and get point to point tickets. Your answers were really helpful.
- conley39Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
There is no night train from Italy to either Amsterdam or Brussels. There have been trains from Milan in the past, but it's a very long ride. I live in northern Italy and fly when going that far north. There are budget airlines. One good option is Transavia who fly from Treviso (the alternative airport for Venice) to Amsterdam, but you can also check for other flights at: http://www.skyscanner.net/ If you want to take the train from Italy to Amsterdam or Brussels, the best option is to take the night train from Rome, Florence or Venice to Paris and change trains there for the rest of the trip. Note that you will also use the metro to change train stations in Paris.
You may be better off without a rail pass - particularly for the portion of your trip here in Italy. Even with a rail pass you need to make a reservation for the night train between Paris and Rome. The reservation costs 45 euro for a berth in a 4 bed compartment. The standard price for the same berth is 130 euro without the pass, but there are discounts for early purchase of tickets. The cheapest fare for a berth in a 4 bed compartment (called the smart fare) is 45 euro - the same as what you would pay on top of the cost of the Eurail pass. There are a limited number of places at this rate and you have to do additional work to get one, but there are also other discounted fares. Another thing is that the trip from Paris to Rome uses two travel days off your pass because the train leaves Paris before 7 pm. http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoi... Going in the other direction uses one travel day since the night trains leave Italian stations after 7 pm.
It is almost always cheaper here in Italy to buy individual tickets rather than a rail pass even if you do not buy tickets in advance. The supplement for a reservation on the high speed trains is 10 euro here in Italy when you use a rail pass.
There is an excellent site for rail travel in Europe that can help you determine whether a rail pass is worth it to you: http://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-Eurail-pass-gui... . In particular, read the section called "Common railpass mistakes: Italy..." about 20% of the way down the page. The site also has links to the various national train websites where you can find schedules and prices.
- BrianLv 61 decade ago
Greetings! I teach a college seminar in independent European travel and often am asked by my students how they can cram as many destinations into as short a vacation as possible. Bad idea! Go rent the movie "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium" to see how awful that way of traveling is. You will see many train stations, ticket lines, train compartments and scenery whizzing by your window. You will not get much cultural experience out of yourt trip at all.
Your itinerary is rather ambitious and does not allow much time to really immerse yourself in any of the cities you'd like to see. Five hours in Paris, for example, is not worth the effort. And Amsterdam is way out of the way for the rest of your itinerary, especially when you only have seven or nine days. I'd omit it and save it for a future trip encompassing more of northern Europe unless you can expand your vacation to at least two weeks. Since you just have, essentially, a week, stick to Italy, as that seems to be where most of your interest lies. Save more time by flying into Rome instead of London (which you don't even list among the cities you want to see even though you chose it as your entry port into Europe).
Remember, you will lose two days of your vacation just to travel to and from Europe, plus a third to jetlag once you land. By skipping Paris and Amsterdam, you can allow a bit more time in the Italian cities that deserve more than the cursory glance your current itinerary permits.
To plan your train travel, visit German Rail's very helpful, user-friendly website, www.bahn.de. Its travel planner shows almost every train in Europe. I use it even for planning train travel outside of Germany (which, incidentally, is sadly lacking in your itinerary!). You can also use it for planning overnight travel. However, if you take my advice, which comes from more than 25 years of planning my own independent trips to Europe, and stick to Italy alone, you might also check Italian Rail's website, www.ferroviedellostato.it. Both sites have English-language options.
The fee for European rail reservations varies depending on the length of the trip and the type of accommodations you'd like. Obviously a first-class hotel train compartment is going to be a lot more than a second-class couchette (berth). A friend and I used our Eurailpass on an overnighter from Bologna to Munich and the additional cost for a sleeping compartment was about €110 for two of us. While you can make your reservations in the U.S. before you leave, it is cheaper to reserve them in Europe. But by concentrating your travels on just Italy, you will not need as many overnight trains as you would with your current plan.
So you and husband can relax and enjoy a leisurely exploration of beautiful Italy, please seriously consider my advice and limit your itinerary considerably. You'll just have to plan to return in a couple years to see more of Europe! (And be sure to include Germany when you do!)