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10 replies
Eurail Pass Necessary? - AMS, BER, PRG, PAR
ruggedzephyr
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Hey all,

Please help – this is my first ever Eurotrip! This summer, I plan to hit 5 cities in 4 countries in 14 days. Regarding transportation within Europe, here’s what I intend to do:
1) Fly out of London during afternoon to Amsterdam via easyjet.
2) Take overnight train from Amsterdam to Berlin
3) Early morning, take a day train from Berlin to Prague
4) During the evening, take overnight train from Prague to Paris.

What type of Eurail pass should I be purchasing for this journey? I am under 26 years old. Should I even be buying one? I was considering purchasing the 4-country Youth Select Pass…Thanks in advance for your replies!

I am leaving from JFK with $1400 for 15 days
London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
oldlady
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Since you have an exact itinerary use www.railsaver.com Follow the “i have a good idea of my itinerary” route and click “I prefer using railpasses (to point to point tickets) ‘only when it saves money.’” That should give you a pretty good recommendation — although it’s based on regular fare for the train tickets, not any specials you might be able to buy in advance.

You will probably need to buy reservations to use with your railpass on all of these routes.

ruggedzephyr
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Thanks oldlady! I’m a bit confused though…should I be looking at 4-country passes for this trip (or more…don’t I stop somewhere in between Prague and Paris?)?
Amsterdam —> Berlin —> Prague —> Paris.
Thanks!

I am leaving from JFK with $1400 for 15 days
London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
augustin25
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Four countries should do it unless that train from Prague to Paris gets routed in some weird way, but I’m really not sure a pass will make sense financially. Right now, the Amsterdam-Berlin ticket is 69 or 79 euros for a berth in a 6 or 4 person couchette, and if you book now the Berlin-Prague ticket is 29 euros. The wildcard is the Prague-Paris ticket, but it can’t be that bad. Plus, you’ll pay passholder supplements/reservations on the night trains, so add that to the cost of the pass.

oldlady
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It will probably be cheaper to buy a 3 country pass and point to point tickets for the part of your route that’s in Czech Rep.

ruggedzephyr
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Thanks for all the replies! Augustin, where can i get that Amsterdam-Berlin couchette ticket for 69-79 Euro?? And also that 29 euro Berlin-Prague ticket?? I was browsing online and used Rick Steve’s book to find the following information about point-point tickets for these cities:

  • Amsterdam – Berlin ($150 for 6 hours)
  • Berlin – Prague —> ($80 for 5 hours)
  • Prague – layover in Frankfurt – Paris ($145 for 7 hours, then $145 for 4 hours)

All that traveling comes out to $520 total, which was far more than the $360 Eurail pass (reservations included) that I was originally planning to buy.

However, I was thinking of tweaking my itinerary so that I’ll be flying out from Prague to Paris for about $80 instead…So it looks like I’ll just be taking the train from AMSBER, and then BERPRGAm I simply looking in the wrong places for these cheaper point-point tickets?? Thanks!!

I am leaving from JFK with $1400 for 15 days
London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
oldlady
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Quote:
I was browsing online and used Rick Steve’s book to find the following information about point-point tickets for these cities:

* Amsterdam – Berlin ($150 for 6 hours) * Berlin – Prague —> ($80 for 5 hours) * Prague – layover in Frankfurt – Paris ($145 for 7 hours, then $145 for 4 hours)

All that traveling comes out to $520 total, which was far more than the $360 Eurail pass (reservations included) that I was originally planning to buy.

These are the “global fares” that travel agents charge. They’re about 1/3 more than you’ll pay if you buy a regular priced ticket at the station in Europe or from the national rail company websites. Sometimes you can find even better “specials” on the websites or if you ask at the station. Railsaver.com uses an approximation of regular prices for comparisons.

You can use the german rail website: http://reiseauskunft… for tickets that are at least partially in Germany. You might find better prices on some trains on the dutch site: http://www.ns.nl/cs/… Use www.thalys.com for the thalys trains between Paris and Amsterdam and www.sncf.com for other tickets in France.

augustin25
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Yep, I got those prices directly from the rail service websites that oldlady posted.

ruggedzephyr
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Thanks so much for the insight – so helpful!
I looked online using the German rail website (DB) and found indeed the tickets at the prices which augustin mentioned. however, do those prices include reservations? For example, I plan to take the 9-hour overnight train from Amsterdam to Berlin via CityNightLine train (arrives at 4AM in Berlin!). The price on the website for a 6 or 4 person couchette ranges from 59-69 euro per person. Because this is an overnight train, must I purchase reservations separately, or is it already included in this ticket price? Thanks so much!

I am leaving from JFK with $1400 for 15 days
London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
oldlady
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Quote:
however, do those prices include reservations?
Yes, when you buy a ticket for a specific train (date and time) it will include the reservation if required. This is pasted from the information on the page that you get when you click on a special price to check availability:
Quote:
All displayed offers contain the ticket and the reservation for the night train.
The cheapest priced specials (usually 29 or 39 euros) on overnight trains are for seats (somtimes it will say “day coach” which is a regular seat, sometimes it will say it’s a reclining seat) — there are limited seats and these usually sell out fast. You’ll have to pay more for a couchette. If it says the price is for a 4 person couchette, (which would typically be the case for the 59 to 69 euro tickets) the couchette reservation is included in the price. You should buy these as soon as you’re sure of the dates (up to 90 days in advance) as the special prices sell out.

On many of these specials there are no refunds and no exchanges — although you can sometimes use the ticket on another train for just the cost of a new reservation if you change before the original train time. Read the fine print carefully if you’re concerned about being able to change your plans.
ruggedzephyr
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Will do…Thanks so much for all the insight, this was fantastic! I’ll keep you all posted on my itinerary.

I am leaving from JFK with $1400 for 15 days
London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights