Eurail Select Pass vs Point-to-point for Budapest to Vienna, Vienna to Prague, Prague to Salzburg, and Salzburg to Zurich?

My friend and I are planning to go Budapest-Vienna-Prague-Salzburg and Zurich. I checked on to the different passes and found a Eurail Select Pass (3 countries). The fare was $1074 for both of us. We were thinking of reserving the seats after purchase. I put in the dates, and checked the box w/ pass, checked the fare (1st class), the whole itinerary amounted to $1424. Do I have to add the price of the pass to the seat reservations cost? Is it advisable to do the point-to-point fare than purchasing the Select pass? Thank you.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 05, 2018 18:08
    Hi Belle,

    If you purchase a 3 country Eurail Select Pass for the itinerary you laid out, it would leave out one country. However, you could purchase a ticket from the Swiss/Austrian border to Zurich (for your last trip from Salzburg to Zurich) and still purchase the 3 country option of the Eurail Select Pass include Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic (leaving off Switzerland). Otherwise, for all your trips to be covered by the pass, you can just purchase the 4 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland.

    For the 3 country Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-select-pass-3-countries-8037

    For the 4 country option of the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-select-pass-5879

    To determine your overall total, you would need to account for reservation costs, yes. Rail passes cover ticket costs for trains running ‘inter-city’ (between different cities) within the country or countries included on the pass. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass. On each of your trips, reservations are not required, but they are highly recommended.

    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’ or 'Eurail Select Pass 4 Countries').

    Budapest to Vienna

    From Budapest to Vienna, you would take a Railjet or EC (EuroCity) train. On these trains, reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to a rail pass. Generally, trains from Budapest to Vienna can be reserved within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Vienna to Prague

    From Vienna to Prague, you would take a Railjet train on which reservations are also highly recommended as a supplement to a rail pass. Generally, trains from Vienna to Prague can be reserved within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Prague to Salzburg

    Connections from Prague to Salzburg take just under 6 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Linz along the way.

    Reservations are not required on the trains from Prague to Linz, just recommended.

    From Linz to Salzburg, you would take a Railjet train on which reservations are recommended.

    When booking these reservations on our site, you would just break up your search once in Linz. Therefore, you would do one search from Prague to Linz and another search for connecting trains from Linz to Salzburg.

    Generally, trains from Prague to Linz can only be reserved within 60 days of an intended departure date, while trains from Linz to Salzburg can be reserved within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Salzburg to Zurich

    The most common route from Salzburg to Zurich involves taking the direct Railjet on which reservations are highly recommended as as supplement to a rail pass. These trains cut through a small section of Bavaria in southern Germany, but it is not necessary to include Germany on the rail pass to take these particular trains.

    If you'll be traveling with the 4 country option of the Eurail Select Pass, then you would only need to purchase reservations for the train itself. With this pass, you would not need to purchase the 'border ticket' I mentioned above to cover you from the Swiss/Austrian border to Zurich. Generally, trains from Salzburg to Zurich can be reserved within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    If you'll be traveling with the 3 country option of the Eurail Select Pass (including Austria and excluding Switzerland), then you would need to purchase the reservations and the border ticket. To cover you from the border to Zurich, the specific 'border ticket' you need is from the town of Buchs to Zurich. For this ticket, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600 or 1-847-916-1028. 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. When you call us, you can purchase the reservations, as well. Otherwise, these reservations can be purchased on our website, but you would have to indicate that you'll be traveling with a rail pass that covers the full route (Austria and Switzerland), even though that is not actually the case.

    Railjets from Salzburg to Zurich run along a notably scenic stretch of railway called the Arlberg Railway. The Arlberg Railway starts around Innsbruck and goes up to Bludenz (just before the train crosses the border into Switzerland). Before that, these trains also cross over the Rosenheim-Salzburg and Rosenheim-Kufstein Railways through Bavaria.
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