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EURO TRIP

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    louchi
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    Hi there, I’m looking for suggestions on what the best rail pass is for my trip? Also any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks!

    oldlady
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    The trip planner suggests a 10 day, 4 country saver pass supplemented by one (?) point to point ticket. Is there a reason you don’t think that’s best?

    This is way too rushed. An average of nearly 3 days per city is a good rule of thumb, so You need to cut this to about 7 cities and spend more time experiencing Europe and less time experiencing trains and train stations. While the Riviera is a favorite for me, spending 2 days there — much of which is eaten up by travel time — is silly. Fly from Spain to Italy and skip this if you can’t spend more time there.

    Don’t stay in Monaco, it’s expensive and minutes from Nice by train. Visit it as a day trip.

    Why Milan? It’s a big, expensive bustling business center with very little to interest a tourist. Cut it, or make it the only 1 night stay.
    Why Berne? It’s expensive, out of the way and it’s mostly the bureaucratic capital city. IMO, Switzerland is not worth the time and expense if you don’t intend to see the Alps.
    Why Pisa as an overnight? Visit it as a day trip, or a 1/2 day stop.

    Rome, Paris, Barcelona, all need at least one extra day.

    louchi
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    First of all, thank you for your response! I knew the trip was a rush but I like to think of it as a rough draft and was hoping to get tips and suggestions such as yours! This is exactly why I asked. Smile

    So I updated my trip and cut it down to a more manageable size. The trip planner suggests a new 6 day, 4 country rail pass now. What do you exactly mean when you say a point to point ticket?

    As for Berne, I put that city because we would like to see the Alps and I wasn’t sure where the best place would be to see them? Do you have suggestions on where and how many days?

    Also we would like to see Southern Italy and its coast line and I heard Positano was a good starting point such as Nice is for the Riviera?

    Are you able to see the updated version of my trip? Sorry I’m new to this site and still figuring out how to use it! Again, thank you for your suggestions!

    Louis

    oldlady
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    Your new trip looks a lot better. I would look at a cheap flight or an overnight train from Paris to Venice to save some time and perhaps even some money. You might find that flying (or overnight train) from Barcelona to Paris and then hitting Nice on the way to Italy works out cheaper or better from a time standpoint. I would limit the total of overnight trains and intraEurope flights to 3 for this length of trip. If you decide on a cheap flight or two, put that in the trip planner as it might change the railpass recommendation. Expensive train tickets for long treks in France would be a major factor in whether or not a railpass (and which specific railpass) was best from a cost standpoint.

    A point to point ticket is just a regular train ticket that you buy at the train station for the route from point A to point B. In this case it’s probably the ticket from Madrid to Barcelona and another from Barcelona to the French border where you can start using your railpass.

    I don’t know about Positano. If you don’t get any response here, post your question under “favorite places” in the forums.

    None of the major cities in Switzerland are in the Alps. Interlaken is a good choice for getting into the Alps, but getting to/from there can be somewhat complicated when time is a big factor. Parts of Switzerland are gorgeous, but I prefer Slovenia, parts of Slovakia and parts of Austria as they are cheaper and, IMO, friendlier with equally great mountain scenery. Some of our other members are Swiss fans, so posting a question in “favorite places” will get some recommendations.

    louchi
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    Thanks for your explanation of the point to point ticket. That makes the trip planners rail suggestion of Eurail France – Italy 6 Day 2nd Class Adult FlexiPass Companion/Saver make more sense. I’m assuming its saying I’d be better off getting a point to point ticket from Madrid to Barcelona and again from Barcelona to the French border like you said where I can start using my rail pass. I saw the price of this suggestion and its much cheaper!

    I think the overnight from Paris to Venice sounds like a plan but we do like the idea of seeing the country from Nice to Paris as a day trip.

    I’ll try posting Positano under “favorite places” as you suggested.

    So do you live in Europe or do you travel there often?

    oldlady
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    The route betweenNiceand Paris is pleasant but not, as I recall, particularly scenic. The train trip is as fast as flying when you add in time to get to/from the airports and 2 hour advance check-in for a flight,so I usually recommend a day train for this trip.

    Reservations (required) on the“best” overnight train from Barcelona to Paris are particularly expensive, so I would look at a flight for that leg.

    I live in US (most of our members live in US and Canada although most of the world is represented). I’ve been to Europe 10 times including some short-term work projects. Many of our members have lived or studied there for extended periods.