Best Options for 5 Days in Paris (with trips to London and Amsterdam) and 5 days in Italy (Milan, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome)

We fly into Paris as home base for the first 6 days. We'd like to take 2 day trips to both London and Amsterdam (seems like long day trips?). We head out for Italy the remaining 7 days with lots of stops there. (Milan, Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Rome for the last 3 days). I have two questions. (1) Should we buy two 5 day passes or... what seems to be the best option for this much traveling? (2) I don't see where London is included in Rail passes - Is it? Thanks!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 13, 2018 17:20
    Hi Spencer,

    It is not possible for the UK to be combined on a rail pass with countries on the mainland continent of Europe. However, as of just last year, the Eurostar is now covered by any Eurail Pass that includes France (with the exception of the dual country option for France and Italy). The Eurostar is the train connects Paris and London. In addition to a rail pass, this train would just require reservations, as would most of your other trains.

    For that much travel, it would be in your interest to get a rail pass. For this itinerary, the pass to cover you would be the 3 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include France, the Benelux, and Italy. The Netherlands is included as a part of the 'Benelux'. The Benelux covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and counts them as one country for the purpose of rail passes. For the 3 country Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-select-pass-3-countries-8037

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations by searching a route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Select Pass 3 Countries’).

    Paris to London

    The ride on the Eurostar from Paris to London takes just over 2 hours. As mentioned above, this train does require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. Generally, the Eurostar can be booked 6 to 9 months in advance of a departure.

    Paris to Amsterdam

    From Paris to Amsterdam, you would take a Thalys high-speed train. Thalys trains also require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass. The ride from Paris to Amsterdam takes just under 3.5 hours. Generally, Thalys trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Paris to Milan

    During the day, the direct day train from Paris to Milan is a France-Italy TGV on which reservations would again be required as a supplement to a rail pass. The ride takes just over 7 hours. Generally, the France-Italy TGV trains can be reserved within 120 days of an intended departure.

    There is also an overnight train called the Thello from Paris to Milan; however, this particular train does not accept rail passes. With a rail pass that includes France and Italy, you would only be able to get a 25% discount on regular tickets. This particular discount is not able to be booked through our website. If you'd like to book these discounted tickets on the Thello night train from Paris to Milan, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays. Generally, the Thello night train can be booked within 120 days of an intended departure.

    Milan-Venice-Florence-Rome

    Between these cities are high-speed Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, Frecciabianca, and Italo trains. Italo trains are privately owned and therefore do not accept rail passes. Therefore, for these trips you would want to be sure to choose any Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, or Frecciabianca train when you go to book your reservations, so that your pass will be valid. These trains do require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass. Generally, these trains can be reserved within 120 days of an intended departure date.

    Florence-Pisa

    Between Florence and Pisa, you would take a regional train. Regional trains do not even accept reservations, so the rail pass would be all you'd need to board.
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