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5 replies
Need Assistance for buying Eurail Reservations Online
neytiri
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Hi oldlady,

I just started researching on getting Eurail online rail schedules for my planned destinations. Not been very successful in getting the stations right. My cities are more or less fixed at this point. I am aware of the rail link posted on Transport forum. But I was wondering if you could share any guideline to follow when booking reservations online. For instance, I am aware TGV rail requires mandatory reservations. However, I am not aware of what other rail options do I have between city to city travel in order to avoid the reservation fee. That being said, time is of essence so if it doesn’t cost too much I don’t mind paying the fee online. So here is my list of questions:

1. If I purchase Eurail from your website, which other website will help me get reservations on that Eurail pass?………I don’t want to waste my time at the station getting mandatory reservations.

2. Do you think you can give me your two cents on my travel itinerary for train travel and reservations?

3. Any other assistance that my ignorant mind cannot come up with is highly appreciated! Smile

I am leaving from Newark, USA with $2500 for 24 days
Nice, Lyon, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Basel, Berne, Vienna, Prague
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
oldlady
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The most important advice is DON’T buy your reservations on-line. With shipping and handling fees, it will at least double the cost of the reservation. Reservations are usually non-changable and non-refundable so if your plans change by a few minutes, you’re out the money. Buy them at any major train station I Europe. You will “waste” very little time if you either buy them all at once or buy the one you need for the next trip before you leave the train station when you first arrive.

Now for you specific questions
1. Buy them from any web site that sells them — most sites that sell rail passes do. Cheapest (though not enough cheaper to matter) is sometimes www.raileurope.com www.ricksteves.com does not sell reservations but I think they have a link to a site that adds a single service fee (as opposed to a fee on every single reservation) so it can be a good deal, although that link/site does not always work and it is not always up to date.
2. I would skip or cut 2 days from Milan and add time anywhere else. I would visit Innsbruk between Vienna and Munich to avoid backtracking. I would either replace Vienna with Bratislava and visit Vienna as a day trip or cut 2 days from Vienna. Cut a couple of days each from Milan and Vienna and add Prague.

neytiri
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I heard you loud and clearSmile…i’ll buy my reservations in Europe…thank you so much for your valuable insights..

I wonder if you could also direct me to a website that informs me in ‘English’ all the Eurail time-table, that I could potentially use to plan my trip?

Based on your recommendation for 2nd point, I think I am lost as to whether Innsbruck is a day trip from either Vienna or Munich?….I am trying to avoid multi-entry into a country…since i’ll be on a schengan visa…which may or mayn’t allow multi-entry…

Is there a reason for your particular preference for Bratislava and Prague?…since I would love to travel less and absorb more of the local culture?

Thanks for all your help!!!!

I am leaving from Newark, USA with $2500 for 24 days
Nice, Lyon, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Basel, Berne, Vienna, Prague
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
oldlady
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The best is the German national rail company website: http://reiseauskunft…. It has schedules for all of Europe. You might be able to buy the reservations that involve at least part of the trip in Germany or Austria from them.

PS, since Milan is your last stop, you don’t have to buy any reservations at stations in Italy, the only place where it’s likely to be a hassle to buy them at the station.

oldlady
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Innsbruk is a doable day trip from either Munich or Vienna. The best alpine scenery is to take one of the RB Or RC trains at least one way from Munich. Those go through alpine scenery. The EC trains go through a less scenic valley.

Prague is, IMO one of the Can’t miss destinations in Europe. I’d cut every destination in your itinerary before I’d miss Prague.

I love Bratislava, but perhaps because I have friends there. It is interesting for a day from a sightseeing standpoint, friendly and cheaper. Unless you’re into classical music, I think Vienna is stuffy and not very friendly although I’ve found hotel staff there to be quite helpful.

You won’t even know when you cross the border between Germany and Austria. They’re both Schengen members, so it’s like going from new Jersey to New York. You will have no Schengen issues unless you try to stay more than 90 days.

neytiri
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Thank you so much for your inputs…I have tried to amend my itinerary based on your feedback…I believe you meant that the Munich-Innsbruck journey goes through Alpine scenery…and I want to make sure I don’t miss it!!..I am keeping my days in Vienna if I decide to make a day trip to Bratislava…

I am leaving from Newark, USA with $2500 for 24 days
Nice, Lyon, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Basel, Berne, Vienna, Prague
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights