I’m confused!!!! help!!!

London-Paris-Bern-Strasbourg-Frankfurt. Can you do just separate passes for each country instead of eurail passes?

I am starting my trip in London for 2.5 days then on to Paris for one day only. Then on to Bern Switzerland for 8 days. Up to Strasbourg France for 8 days then up to Frankfurt Germany for 1 day( maybe day trips to Germany while in Strasbourg) Which passes are suggested? Can you just have a separate pass for each? Does each pass cover rail travel to each Country?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) November 02, 2015 17:56
    Hi Helen.

    For this specific itinerary, the most economical option would be to purchase regular point-to-point tickets (as opposed to any rail pass), although it would probably depend on the day-trips you decide to do out of Strasbourg. If you do plan on doing a few day-trips while you're in Strasbourg, then it would probably be more in your interest to purchase a rail pass, as opposed to regular tickets.

    You would not purchase separate rail passes for each country you'll be traveling to. Instead, you would purchase one rail pass to cover as many countries as possible. With regard to your itinerary, It would be important to note that there is no rail pass that combines Great Britain with any countries on the mainland continent of Europe. However, by purchasing a rail pass that includes France, you would be able to receive a discounted rate called the 'Passholder' rate for a ticket on the 'Eurostar' train, which is the train that connects London and Paris.

    To cover the countries you'll be traveling to on the mainland continent of Europe, you would purchase a 'Eurail Select Pass'. The 'Eurail Select Pass' covers 4 bordering countries of your choosing. Since the 'Eurail Select Pass' is a 4 country pass, you would end up including one other country even though you wouldn't necessarily be traveling to it. Therefore, you would purchase your 'Eurail Select Pass' to include France, Switzerland, Germany, and one other bordering country.

    You would purchase the 'Eurail Select Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticket....

    London to Paris with a Eurail Select Pass

    You would purchase tickets at the Passholder rate on a 'Eurostar' from London to Paris by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of pass you'll be traveling with (i.e. a 'Eurail Select Pass'). Incidentally, this is also how you would book passholder reservations for trains in continental Europe that are covered by rail passes.

    It would not use up a day of travel on your pass to receive the Passholder rate for tickets on the 'Eurostar'; however, your pass would still have to be validated at the station prior to boarding. The 'Eurostar' is unique in that it can generally be booked up 6 to 9 months in advance of a departure. In the other countries you plan on traveling in, reservable trains can generally only be booked within 90 days of an intended date of departure. The Passholder rates on the 'Eurostar' can sell out quickly, so it would be recommended that these tickets be purchased as soon as it's possible.

    Paris to Bern with a Eurail Select Pass

    There is a direct high-speed train from Paris to Bern called the 'TGV Lyria'. However, most connections from Paris to Bern would involve changing trains once in Basel along the way. The trains from Paris to Basel are also high-speed 'TGV Lyria' trains. 'TGV Lyria' trains require reservations in addition to the rail pass. Trains from Basel to Bern don't accept reservations, so the rail pass would be all you'd need to board. The direct 'TGV Lyria' from Paris to Bern takes about 4.5 hours in duration, while the connections that involve changing trains in Basel take about 4 hours.

    Bern to Strasbourg with a Eurail Select Pass

    A connection from Bern to Strasbourg takes about 2.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Basel en route. The trains from Bern to Basel and Basel to Strasbourg don't accept reservations, so the rail pass would be all you'd need to board.

    Strasbourg to Frankfurt with a Eurail Select Pass

    A connection from Strasbourg to Frankfurt takes 2 to 2.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Offenburg en route. The trains from Strasbourg to Offenburg don't accept reservations, so the rail pass would be all you'd to board. The trains from Offenburg to Frankfurt are high-speed 'InterCity Express' (ICE) trains on which reservations would be recommended in addition to the rail pass.

    Purchasing the Reservations for Travel with a Rail Pass and Checking Schedules for the Non-Reservable Trains

    For travel with a rail pass, you'd purchase reservations on the 'TGV Lyria' (Paris to Bern or Paris to Basel) and the 'InterCity Express' (Offenburg to Frankfurt) by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass you'll be traveling with (i.e. the 'Eurail Select Pass'). Generally, these trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    For planning purposes, you can just check schedules for the non-reservable trains (i.e. Basel to Bern, Bern to Basel, Basel to Strasbourg, and Strasbourg to Offenburg) by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' (instead of 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations') on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) and entering the cities. Since you wouldn't be purchasing actual reservations for these trains and your objective would just be to view their schedules, you would not indicate that you'll be traveling with any type of rail pass when entering your search criteria. Incidentally, if you decide not to purchase a rail pass, you would purchase regular tickets by following this same procedure for each of the trains you'll be taking.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 12, 2018 20:51
      IMPORTANT UPDATE

      As of this month (April 2018):

      The following rail passes no longer qualify passengers to receive ‘passholder’ rates for reservations on the Eurostar:

      Any single country Eurail Pass, including:

      • Eurail France Pass
      • Eurail Benelux Pass

      Any 2 country option of Eurail Select Pass, including:

      • Eurail France-Italy Pass
      • Eurail France-Switzerland Pass
      • Eurail France-Germany Pass
      • Eurail Benelux-France Pass
      • Eurail France-Spain Pass
      • Eurail Benelux-Germany Pass

      BritRail Passes and the France-Italy combination of the 2 country Eurail Select Pass continue to not be valid on the Eurostar.

      Passengers traveling with any of these rail passes would need to purchase regular tickets to take the Eurostar.

      Passholder rates will continue to be offered (depending on availability) to any passenger traveling with a Eurail Global Pass, a 3 country Eurail Select Pass (that includes the country of arrival or departure, be it France or the Benelux), or a 4 country Eurail Select Pass (that includes the country of arrival or departure, be it France or the Benelux).
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