London-Paris, Paris-Bern, Bern-Interlaken, Interlaken-Bern-Venice, Venice-Rome

Trying to buy our Eurail pass, but unsure of what to do. Our Itinerary is: London to Paris, Paris to Bern Switzerland, Bern to Interlaken, then back to Bern to go to Venice, then Venice to Rome.Do we need to buy a separate pass for London to Paris? Confused on when it asks "How many days do you plan to travel by train?"
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) February 07, 2017 20:35
    Hi Sara,

    As of this year, Eurail Passes that include France do cover the trains between London and Paris (Eurostar trains). These trains would still just require reservations in addition to the pass.

    The question "How many days do you plan to travel by train?" is asking for the number the of days you'll be riding a train. Based on the information you provided above, you would be riding the train on 5 or 6 separate days (I'm unclear if you're planning to go from Interlaken to Venice in 1 day or go back to Bern first and then head down to Venice on a different day).

    For the itinerary you laid out, you would purchase the 3 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include France, Switzerland, and Italy. For the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase any reservations by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass').

    London to Paris

    Trains from London to Paris are high-speed Eurostar trains. These trains do require reservations in addition to the rail pass. Generally, the Eurostar can be reserved 6 to 9 months in advance of a departure. This train can sell out quickly, so it is recommended that reservations be purchased as soon as possible.

    Paris to Bern

    A connection from Paris to Bern takes about 5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Lausanne en route. The trains from Paris to Lausanne are high-speed TGV Lyria trains. TGV Lyria trains require reservations in addition to a rail pass. Trains from Lausanne to Bern don't even accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    When purchasing reservations, you would only search the segment from Paris to Lausanne. For planning purposes, you can then do a separate search just to view schedules for the segment from Lausanne to Bern. Generally, TGV Lyria trains can be reserved once within 120 days of an intended date of departure.

    Bern to Interlaken

    Direct trains from Bern to Interlaken take just under 1 hour. On these trains, reservations are not necessary, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. You can still use our website in order to check schedules for these trains.

    Interlaken to Venice

    You don't have to go back to Bern for a connection down to Venice. If you do, you would just hop on another one of those trains that take just under 1 hour, and reservations would not be necessary.

    However, the most feasible connections from Interlaken to Venice take 6 to 6.5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes en route; once in Spiez and then once in Milan.

    Trains from Interlaken to Spiez only take about 20 minutes and don't require reservations. Therefore, the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    In contrast, reservations are required on trains from Spiez to Milan and Milan to Venice.

    On our website, you would do a separate search for each segment, only booking reservations for the segments from Spiez to Milan and Milan to Venice.

    Trains from Spiez to Milan are EC (EuroCity) trains, and trains from Milan to Venice are Frecciarossa or Frecciabianca trains. Generally, these trains can be reserved once within 120 days of an intended date of departure.

    Venice to Rome

    From Venice to Rome, there are Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, or Italo trains. Italo trains do not accept rail passes, so you would want to be sure to choose one of the Frecciarossa or Frecciargento trains. The Frecciarossa and Frecciargento trains do require reservations in addition to a rail pass. Generally, these trains can be reserved once within 120 days of an intended date of departure.
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    • Jeff (Official Rep) February 07, 2017 21:29
      Harder Kulm

      When visiting Interlaken, it is also common to take the Harderbahn funicular. The Harderbahn takes you to a viewing platform at the ‘Two Lakes Bridge’ (Zweiseensteg) for spectacular views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz below, as well as incredible panoramas of the surrounding Alps, including Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. There is also the Harder Kulm Panorama restaurant offering more stunning views.

      With a Eurail Select Pass that includes Switzerland, you would be able to receive a 25% discount on the Harderbahn funicular. To receive this discount, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’ option of the ‘Harder Kulm Top of Interlaken’. For this pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/harder-kulm/index.html.

      Grindelwald-First

      Also popular is the Firstbahn aerial cableway and the 'First Cliff Walk (by Tissot)'. The Firstbahn departs from its base station in the nearby village of Grindelwald. The ascent consists of a cable car from the base station to Bort, another cable car from Bort to Schreckfeld, and then another cable car from Schreckfeld to the summit station of First. Once you’ve ascended to the First summit station, you would have access to the 'First Cliff Walk (by Tissot)', a 131 ft long suspension bridge leading to an observation platform that offers spectacular panoramic views of the valley below and the surrounding mountains.

      To reach Grindelwald, you would have to take a train along the famed 'Bernese Oberland Railway' from Interlaken. The Eurail Select Pass does not cover the Bernese Oberland trains from Interlaken to Grindelwald, nor does it cover the Firstbahn cable cars. To be covered on the 'Bernese Oberland Railway' (Interlaken-Grindelwald) and the Firstbahn cable cars, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’ option of a pass called the ‘Grindelwald-First Top of Adventure’. You would purchase this here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/grindelwald-first/index.html.

      Schynige Platte

      Lastly, there is the short excursion to Schynige Platte via the nostalgic ‘Schynige Platte Railway’. The 'Schynige Platte Railway' runs from the nearby village of Wilderswil to the Schynige Platte station. Wilderswil is only a 4-minute train ride from Interlaken on the 'Bernese Oberland Railway'.

      The 'Bernese Oberland Railway' from Interlaken to Wilderswil and the 'Schynige Platte Railway' from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte are both not covered by the Eurail Select Pass, but the pass would enable you to receive a 25% discount.To receive the 25% discount, you would purchase the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland' option of the 'Schynige Platte' pass. For this pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/schynige-platte/index.html.

      From Schynige Platte, you’ll have more amazing views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, as well as Niesen, Stockhorn and Jura. By the station is also Switzerland’s only Alpine Botanical Garden and the Schynige Platte Panorama Restaurant.

      Please note, the 'Schynige Platte Railway' only runs from May 27th to October 22nd for 2017.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) February 07, 2017 21:39
      For time spent in Paris, you can view various city passes and tours offered by clicking here: https://www.raileurope.com/en/activities/france/paris/.

      For city passes and tours in Venice, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/en/activities/italy/venice/.

      For city passes and tours in Rome, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/en/activities/italy/rome/.
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