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bhalanijigar
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hi
I along with 4 friends am planning a eurotrip from 1st to 15th September travelling barcelona-paris-zurich-pisa-rome-venice-nice-barcelona….please suggest me the best combination of rail-bus and car travel which makes the trip cheapest….

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clevelandbrown
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If you don’t already have your airline tickets, consider buying a multiple destination flight where you land in Barcelona, for example, but return from Rome. That will save you some time in what is a very crowded itinerary.

Bus is the cheapest way to travel, but also the slowest. Discount airlines are often cheap, but fly from remote airports and don’t allow much baggage and are famous for added charges, so consider that when looking at them. Trains are good; fairly fast and they deliver you to the city center. Renting a car for 5 and returning it in another country will be expensive and use a lot of time, although renting one car might cost less than buying five train tickets, you have to also consider the cost of fuel, tolls, parking, etc. (much of Europe discourages the use of cars, with low speed limits, pedestrian only zones, etc.)

I don’t know how important all of your destinations are to you, but I would consider dropping one or two and making some substitutions. If you fly into Barcelona, I think a flight to Paris would be best, with the train second. Flying will take less time. From Paris to Zurich I would take a train for the scenery, but flying would be faster. From Zurich, I would fly to Venice to save time (although a train ride through the Alps is always nice. From Venice, I would train to Florence instead of Pisa. There is much more to see in Florence, and Pisa is an easy half-day visit by train from there. From Florence, I would take the short train ride to Cinque Terre, a very scenic group of small villages on the Italian coast, which I would substitute for Nice, which is a long trip and less scenic. Rome is a short train ride from Florence, and you could fly home from there.

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bhalanijigar
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hi
thanks for the info…checked out the multiple destination flight but it is way too expensive…hence will have to stick to mumbai-barcelona-mumbai flight…got to know that the la tomatino festival in buyol is on 31st August…hence thinking of dropping paris and increasing the stay in spain….4-5 days in spain…then flight to zurich (getting 45 euros)...4 days in switzerland...then flight/train to venice....thinking of hiring a car in venice and doing the italy travel of 4 days in car...dropping the car florence/pisa…return flight from pisa to barcelona (getting @ 12 euros)….please let me know if this is fine…also i have few questions….
1) how should i plan my 4 days in switzerland…which all places are to be seen and how to commute and how about accomodation??
2) car driving in italy – as you mentioned about many hinderances like the cost of fuel, tolls, parking, etc. (much of Europe discourages the use of cars, with low speed limits, pedestrian only zones, etc.)…how will it affect in italy??
3) wat are the train options for zurich to venice??
4) shud i consider train travel from barcelona to zurich for scenery?

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oldlady
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Depending on what you want to see and do, Italy is either a great place to rent a car, or one of the absolute worst places to have a car. If you have at least a week and want to explore rural Tuscany, Umbria, etc., then a car would be great. if you want to visit Venice, Florence, Rome and maybe a smaller village or two, the train will be faster, more comfortable and actually more convenient —dozens of trains every day between major cities, no parking hassles, city center to city center transportation. Florence is a medieval city — many streets too narrow for a car. Rome is a traffic nightmare. You can’t drive in Venice, it’s not like some cities with canals and streets, there are only canals. Given only 4 days in Italy, I doubt you’ll get far enough away from the beaten tourist track of the major cities to want a car.

I’d take an overnight train from Zurich to Venice. Is there a reason, other than easy transportation, you picked Zurich?

clevelandbrown
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Many people pan Zurich, but I like it. Like anywhere in Switzerland, it is expensive, but if you like luxury clothes, they have them. They also have the best art in Switzerland that I have seen, and Zurich itself is quite scenic. But it is not in the mountains, which most people want to see. Since we just window shop, Zurich was not too expensive for us.

I think in September you will be running into mountain accomodations being closed. They often close in early or mid September for a bit over a month, then reopen for ski season. You have to look carefully in picking accomodations in September to be sure they will be open.

None of the big cities in Switzerland is in the mountains, but Lucerne has the best access to nearby mountains. Chur (see below) is a small city among the mountains and you might consider staying there; they have a train ride up to a ski area (Aroso, I think) that is very scenic.

If you want to take a train from Zurich to Venice, they will probably route you through Milan. However, one of the most scenic train rides in the world is the Bernina express from Chur to Tirano, Italy. While they charge a lot for that train, regular trains ride the same route and enjoy the same view. You could ride from Zurich through Chur to Tirano. Alas, I have never traveled from Tirano to Venice, so I don’t know the best method.

I’ve not experienced a train from Barcelona to Zurich, but that is a very long trip and you don’t see much scenery at night; I would fly. Actually, I would take a train and make many intermediate stops, since that covers a lot of France I haven’t seen in many years.

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clevelandbrown
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I just checked and their is rail service from Tirano to Venice, but it is a bit over 5 hours, so that could be a long day from Zurich to Venice.

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shweying
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Hi all,

Just a quick question,
I will be in Europe from 20th August – 27th Sept, travelling to destinations as below:
Paris 20-23 August
Switzerland 23-29August (Will take the train Paris>Zurich)
Barcelona 29-31 August (Flying from Switzerland)
Cinque Terre 31-3 Sept (Flying from Barcelona>Milan, then take the train to La Spezia)
Pisa & Rome 3-6 Sept
Venice & Verona 6-8 Sept
Salzburg 8-10 Sept
Vienna 10-12 Sept
Prague 12-14 Sept
Berlin 14-17 Sept
Munich 17-19 Sept
Amsterdam 19-22 Sept
London/UK 22-27 Sept

Now the question is, should I buy the one month Eurail global pass, seeing the destinations I am going to? is it worth buying it?

Would really appreciate any comment/opinions/suggestions from you guys.

Cheers!

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bhalanijigar
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hi cleveandbrown

you have mentioned about cinque terre…googled it and found it very interesting…but please tell how can see it in a day…should i take train ? or wat?

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clevelandbrown
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Florence, Pisa, and Cinque Terre are fairly close together. If you want to see Pisa which has the famous tower and a nice cathedral, you can do it easily in a half day from Florence by train. I would want to stay at least overnight in Cinque Terre. So bearing in mind that your time is limited, I would suggest two days in Florence and two days in Cinque Terre. If you have an extra day, spend it in Florence as there is a lot to see there.

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lesty_rod14
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Good Day!

My friends and I are doing a Spain-France-Amsterdam-Italy trip for one month on July. We want to experience the night life, do a lot of sightseeing, and just enjoy at the most minimal expense possible.

If we stay in Madrid for 5 days, rent a car and drive to Segovia, San Sebastian and Salamanca spending the whole day in each place, would that be cheaper than just taking a bus/train? We are a group of 5 and possibly more. What do you suggest?

Also, please suggest the best route for the said countries. Should we just ride a train all the way? or book a flight from Barcelona to Paris and from Amsterdam to Milan? Would really be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

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oldlady
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Lesty: You’ll get better answers in your own thread with a subject that relates to your trip.

For 2 of you, train and bus will be cheaper than renting a car. Rule of thumb is $150 each per week by train as opposed to $500 per week (divided by 2 in your case) total cost to rent a car.
You may really enjoy having a car for parts of this trip, but consider it a splurge, not a way to save money.

I would look for cheap flights from Spain to France and from Amsterdam to Italy. Train will probably be best for the rest. I would skip Milan, or stop for a day on your way from the Riviera to Rome. You’ll be backtracking through Milan a second time with your current routing. I would visit Monte Carlo as a day trip from Nice.