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Best option for Rome-Florence, Florence-Murren, Murren-London, and then Ireland

THIS FALL WE ARE TRAVELING FROM ROME TO FLORENCE, THEN TO MURREN SWITZERLAND, THEN TO LONDON AND LASTLY IRELAND. IS THE GLOBAL EURAIL PASS THE BEST WAY TO GO? SHOULD WE FLY FROM ENGLAND TO IRELAND? THANKS EVERYONE.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 15, 2019 18:57
    Hi Joanne,

    For this itinerary, the Eurail Global Pass would likely be your most economical option. For the Eurail Global Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-global-pass-5880.

    For that much travel, I would recommend purchasing your pass for 1st class.

    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 Global Pass’).

    Rome to Florence with a Eurail Global Pass

    From Rome to Florence, you would take a high-speed Frecciarossa or Frecciargento train. These trains require reservations as a supplement to the pass. Generally, trains from Rome to Florence can only be reserved within 120 days of an intended departure date.

    On this route, there are also Italo trains, which are privately operated trains that do not accept rail passes. Therefore, you would want to be sure to choose one of the Frecciarossa or Frecciargento trains.

    Florence to Mürren with a Eurail Global Pass

    The gateway to Mürren is Interlaken. Eurail Passes are not valid beyond Interlaken on the way to Mürren.

    Connections from Florence to Interlaken take about 5.5 to 6 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Milan and then once in Spiez.

    On the segment from Florence to Milan, you would take a high-speed Frecciarossa train. These trains do require reservations as a supplement to rail passes.

    Trains from Milan to Spiez are EuroCity trains, which also require reservations as a supplement to rail passes.

    Trains from Spiez to Interlaken do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    When checking schedules on our site, you would piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Florence to Milan, another search for connecting trains from Milan to Spiez, and then another search for connecting trains from Spiez to Interlaken.

    For the Florence-Milan and Milan-Spiez segments, you would just have to be sure to check the ‘I have a rail pass’ box when doing these searches (since these trains require reservations). Generally, these trains can be reserved once within 120 days of an intended departure date.

    For the Spiez to Interlaken segment, you would have to leave the 'I have a rail pass' box unchecked to access the schedules.

    From Interlaken, there are 2 different routes you can take to get to Mürren; one that goes via a cable car to Grütschalp and another that goes via a bus to Stechelberg.

    The Grütschalp route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -'Grütschalpbahn' cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp
    -'Mürrenbahn' train from Grütschalp to Mürren

    The Stechelberg route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -Bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg
    -'Schilthornbahn’ cable cars from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald and Gimmelwald to Mürren

    Since the Eurail Global Pass is not valid beyond Interlaken on the way to Mürren, these tickets would be purchased locally. With that said, the Eurail Global Pass should enable you to receive a 25% discount, so be sure to mention that you have the pass when you go to purchase these tickets.

    Mürren to London with a Eurail Global Pass

    For travel from Mürren to London, you would first have to get back to Interlaken by way of one of those routes between Mürren and Interlaken that I described above. Once again, be sure to mention that you have the Eurail Global Pass when you purchase these tickets so that you can receive a 25% discount.

    The validity of your rail pass would then begin once you get to Interlaken. Connections from Interlaken to London take just over 9 hours in duration at least and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Basel and then once in Paris (where you'll also need to transfer between different stations).

    On trains from Interlaken to Basel, reservations are not necessary at all, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    From Basel to Paris, you would take a high-speed TGV Lyria train, on which the Eurail Global Pass would enable you to receive a 'Pass 2' fare for reservations.

    Trains from Paris to London are high-speed Eurostar, on which reservations would again be required as a supplement to a rail pass.

    When trying to access these schedules on our website, you would again need to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Interlaken to Basel, another search for connecting trains from Basel to Paris, and then another search from Paris to London.

    For the Basel-Paris and Paris-London segments, be sure to check the 'I have a rail pass' box, so that you can purchase the necessary passholder reservations. Generally, the trains from Basel to Paris can be reserved once within 90-120 days of an intended departure date, while the Eurostar from Paris to London can be booked 6 to 9 months in advance of a departure.

    When you pull up the results of these searches, you will see that the trains from Basel to Paris arrive into the Gare de Lyon station in Paris, while the trains from Paris to London depart from the Nord station.

    To commute from Gare de Lyon to Nord, you would take Line D of Paris's RER commuter rail network. The RER from Gare de Lyon to Nord only takes about 8 minutes and departs once every 7-15 minutes throughout the day, but I would still recommend allowing yourself at least 1 to 1.5 hours to transfer between stations. You would pay to board the RER locally when you’re there.

    London to Dublin with a Eurail Global Pass

    As of this year, the Eurail Global Pass is now valid in the United Kingdom. If you don't fly from London to Dublin, you can use your Eurail Global Pass to take a train from London to Holyhead, where you can catch a ferry that would take you to Dublin.

    On trains from London to Holyhead, reservations are recommended as a supplement to the rail pass. However, passholder reservations for trains in the UK are only able to be purchased locally when you're there. You can purchase the reservations by going to the ticket window in the station and mentioning that you have the Eurail Global Pass. For trains in the UK, reservations are only recommended on individual trains that take over 2.5 hours in duration.

    For a trip from London to Holyhead, you can still use the route search feature on our homepage just to view the schedules; you would just have to leave the 'I have a rail pass' box unchecked for them to display.

    Tickets for the Holyhead-Dublin ferries can only be purchased locally when you're there. The operating companies for these ferries are 'Stena Line' and 'Irish Ferries'.

    Ireland rail with a Eurail Global Pass

    The Eurail Global Pass is also valid in Ireland. Therefore, you can use the pass there, too, if there any other trips you want to make. On trains in Ireland, reservations are not needed, so the pass would be all you'd need to board.
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