Rail pass recommended for Venice to Innsbruck, Innsbruck to Salzburg, Salzburg to Munich, Munich to Zurich, Zurich to Zermatt, & Zermatt to Paris (5 Countries, 7 Cities, 14 Days)

Is there a pass you can recommend we buy if we are travelling from Venice to Innsbruck, then to Salzburg, then to Munich, then to Zurich, then to Zermatt, then to Paris? We are two adults and one 21 year old.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 04, 2016 19:10
    Hi Catherine,

    For the requested itinerary, you can purchase a 4 country Eurail Select Pass to include Italy, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. In addition to the pass, you would just have to purchase regular tickets for a train from Switzerland to Paris.

    For the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticke....

    To go along with your pass, you would also need to purchase reservations on some of your trains. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations by entering the route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) and indicating the type of pass with which you'll be traveling with (i.e. a 'Eurail Select Pass'). In certain cases, you made to call us for reservations.

    Venice to Innsbruck

    A connection from Venice to Innsbruck takes about 4.5 to 5.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Verona en route. In addition to the pass, reservations would be required on the trains from Venice to Verona and the trains from Verona to Innsbruck.

    When purchasing reservations for a trip from Venice to Innsbruck, you would do one search for trains from Venice to Verona and another search for connecting trains from Verona to Innsbruck.

    Trains from Venice to Verona are high-speed Le Frecce (Frecciarossa or Frecciabianca) trains, and trains from Verona to Innsbruck are 'Brennero' EuroCity (EC) trains.

    Innsbruck to Salzburg

    From Innsbruck to Salzburg, you would take a direct Railjet train. Reservations are recommended on these trains, but not required. The ride from Innsbruck to Salzburg takes about 1.5 to 2 hours in duration.

    Salzburg to Munich

    The trains from Salzburg to Munich are Railjet trains, EuroCity (EC) trains, and Meridian trains. On the Railjet and EuroCity (EC) trains, reservations aren't required, but they are recommended. The ride from Salzburg to Munich would take 1.5 to 2 hours.

    While it is generally the cases that passholder reservations can be purchased on our website, they are not able to be purchased there at this time for the Railjet and EuroCity trains from Salzburg to Munich. Instead, reservations for one of these trains can only be purchased by calling us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.

    The Meridian trains don't even accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you'd need to board one of these.

    When you do a search from Salzburg to Munich on our site, the Railjet trains will be labeled accordingly, while the other trains on this route can be distinguished by their train numbers. A EuroCity (EC) train from Salzburg to Munich would have a 3 digit train number, while a Meridian train from Salzburg to Munich would have a 5 digit train number.

    Munich to Zurich

    To get from Munich to Zurich, you would take a bus ('InterCity Bus') or a direct train (EuroCity train). The bus ride from Munich to Zurich only takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes, while the ride on a EuroCity train from Munich to Zurich takes just over 4 hours in duration. On these buses, reservations would be required. On the EuroCity trains, reservations would be highly recommended.

    Passholder reservations for the direct trains can be booked on our website, but the buses are currently only able to be reserved by calling us. Once again, we can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.

    Zurich to Zermatt

    A connection from Zurich to Zermatt takes just over 3 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Visp along the way. The Eurail Select Pass covers trains from Zurich to Visp; however, the rail line from Visp to Zermatt is part of a privately owned portion of the 'Glacier Express scenic route' on which the Eurail Select Pass would not be valid.

    To be covered on the privately owned segment from Visp to Zermatt, you would purchase the 'Visp Zermatt' option of a special ticket called the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare'. You would purchase the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities....

    The trains from Zurich to Visp and Visp to Zermatt don't accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass and the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket are all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can still just check schedules for these trains by entering the routes on our homepage, www.raileurope.com (i.e. one search for trains from Zurich to Visp and another search for connecting trains from Visp to Zermatt).

    Zermatt to Paris

    A connection from Zermatt to Paris would take about 7 to 7.5 hours in duration and involves 2 train changes along the way; once in Visp and then once in either Lausanne, Geneva, or Basel. The options via Lausanne would take the least amount of time, clocking in at just under 7 hours. With a rail pass that includes Switzerland, you would also be eligible to receive a discounted rate called the 'Passholder 3' for a ticket on the Lausanne-Paris train (this same discount would not be offered on the trains from Geneva to Paris and Basel to Paris.)

    Since the rail line between Zermatt and Visp is not covered by the pass, you would need another one of the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' tickets to cover you for your trip out of Zermatt. For your trip out of Zermatt, you would purchase the 'Zermatt Visp' option of the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare'. Once again, the link for the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket is here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/glacier-express-eurail-passholder-fare/index.html

    Reservations are not necessary at all on trains from Visp to Lausanne, Visp to Geneva, or Visp to Basel. Therefore, the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board for this segment of the connection.

    You would then just need to purchase regular tickets for a train from Geneva to Paris or Basel to Paris. You would purchase regular tickets just by entering a route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) and not mentioning that you'll be traveling with a rail pass.

    It is currently the case that the discounted 'Passholder 3' tickets for a train from Lausanne to Paris are not able to be purchased on our website. At this time, you would have to call us in order to purchase tickets at a Passholder 3 rate for this train. Once again, we can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.

    These trains from Switzerland to Paris are high-speed TGV Lyria trains.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) December 28, 2016 17:36
      Update:

      Starting in 2017, a Eurail Select Pass that includes Switzerland will begin covering ticket costs for the stretch of railway between Disentis/Visp and Zermatt. Therefore, the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket would no longer be necessary.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 20, 2018 15:38
      Update:

      As of April 2018:

      ‘Passholder 2’ and ‘Passholder 3’ rates on TGV Lyria trains (i.e. Lausanne-Paris) are no longer valid. For a TGV Lyria to be covered, Eurail Passes must now include both countries being traveled through.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 04, 2016 19:26
    If you plan to head up to Gornergrat when you're in Zermatt, you would purchase the 'Zermatt to Gornergrat Full Fare Ticket' option of a pass called the 'Gornergrat Mountain Peak'. This would cover you on the 'Gornergratbahn' cog railway from Zermatt to Gornergrat, where there is an observatory with spectacular views of the Matterhorn. You would purchase this pass here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/gornergrat/index.html
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