Fall Fling from Hamburg to Paris, Paris to Geneva, Geneva to Milan, Milan to Monaco, Monaco to Barcelona, & Barcelona to Madrid

My granddaughter and I are traveling over the course of a 30 day period in September/October from Hamburg, Germany to Paris. From Paris to Geneva, then onto Milan. Next will be Monaco, Barcelona and last to Madrid. The dates are set. My questions are 1. Is the Eurail Global Pass also valid for museums, local buses and subways? 2. Would reservations be required for travel between any of these cities? 3. Can the Eurail Global Pass be used for SNCF and other European Rails? Thank you
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 06, 2017 21:02
    Hi Vickie,

    Eurail Passes do not cover museums, local buses, or subways.

    Although there are some exceptions, the objective of a rail pass is to cover the ticket costs for trains running ‘inter-city’ between different cities within the country or countries included on the pass. Therefore, the Eurail Global Pass does cover trains operated by SNCF, which is the national rail network of France.

    For the Eurail Global Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-global-pass/index.html.

    A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass. If you were to purchase regular point-to-point tickets (instead of a rail pass), the value of any necessary reservations would still be embedded into those costs. Therefore, a rail pass still can often work out to be the most economical option for travelers taking multiple trains while in Europe.

    With regard to your itinerary, most of your trains will require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. 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 Global Pass').

    Hamburg to Paris

    A connection from Hamburg to Paris can take anywhere from 7.5 to 9 hours in duration and involves changing trains along the way.

    The shortest options, taking just over 7.5 hours in duration, involve changing trains only once in Karlsruhe along the way.

    Trains from Hamburg to Karlsruhe are high-speed ICE (InterCity Express) trains on which reservations would be highly recommended as a supplement to the rail pass.

    Trains from Karlsruhe to Paris are France-Germany High Speed (TGV Est) trains, which require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass.

    When booking reservations for this connection, you would just have to break up your search once in Karlsruhe. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Hamburg to Karlsruhe and then another search for connecting trains from Karlsruhe to Paris.

    The trains from Hamburg to Karlsruhe can now generally be booked up to 180 days in advance of a departure, while the trains from Karlsruhe to Paris can be booked within 90-120 days of an intended date of departure.

    Paris to Geneva

    From Paris to Geneva, you would take a direct high-speed train called the TGV Lyria. With a Eurail Global Pass, you would be eligible to receive a discounted rate called the 'Passholder 2' on a TGV Lyria from Paris to Geneva.

    It is currently the case that the discounted 'Passholder 2' tickets for trains from Paris to Geneva are not able to be purchased on our website. At this time, you would have to call us in order to purchase tickets at a 'Passholder 2 rate' for this train. 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.

    Geneva to Milan

    The shortest connections from Geneva to Milan take just over 6 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Brig and then once in Domodossola.

    Reservations are not accepted on trains from Geneva to Brig and Brig to Domodossola, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For the segment from Domodossola to Milan, there are either EC (EuroCity) trains or regional trains. On the EC trains, reservations would be required as a supplement to the rail pass. In contrast, the regional trains don't even accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass would be all you'd need to board.

    Even though two of the segments are not reservable, you can still view the schedules for these trains on our site. To do so, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Geneva to Brig, another search for connecting trains from Brig to Domodossola, and another search for connecting trains from Domodossola to Milan.

    On the segment from Domodossola to Milan, the EC trains can be distinguished from the regional trains by their train numbers. The EC trains have train numbers with 2 digits, while the regional trains on this segment have train numbers with 4 or 5 digits.

    Generally, the EC trains from Domodossola to Milan can be reserved once within 90-120 days of an intended departure date.

    Milan to Monaco

    A connection from Milan to Monaco would take just under 4.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Ventimiglia along the way. There are direct Thello Day trains from Milan to Monaco; however, these do not accept rail passes.

    The trains from Milan to Ventimiglia are IC (InterCity) or EC (EuroCity) trains on which reservations would be required as a supplement to the rail pass.

    From Ventimiglia to Monaco, you would take a regional train (labeled 'TER' on our website). These trains do not even accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    When viewing a connection from Milan to Monaco on our site, you would just break up your search once in Ventimiglia. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Milan to Ventimiglia and another search for connecting trains from Ventimiglia to Monaco.

    Generally, the IC and EC trains from Milan to Ventimiglia can be reserved within 120 days of an intended departure date.

    Monaco to Barcelona

    From Monaco to Barcelona, the shortest connections take 9 to 9.5 hours in duration and involve 3 train changes en route; once in Nice, once in Marseille, and then once in Montpellier.

    From Monaco to Nice, you would just take a regional TER train. The TER trains don't accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    From Nice to Marseille, you would take a TGV train on which reservations would be required as a supplement to the rail pass. On the segment from Nice to Marseille, there are some regional TER and Intercité trains, but for the purpose of your connection it would be better to take a TGV train.

    From Marseille to Montpellier, you would take an Intercité train on which reservations would be required as a supplement to the rail pass. There are a few regional TER trains from Marseille to Montpellier, but for the purpose of your connection it would be better than one of the Intercité trains.

    From Montpellier to Barcelona, you would take a France-Spain High Speed train on which reservations would once more be required as a supplement to your rail pass.

    To view a connection from Monaco to Barcelona on our site and book any necessary reservations, you would just piece together your search segment-by-segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Monaco to Nice, another search for connecting trains from Nice to Marseille, another search for connecting trains from Marseille to Montpellier, and then another search for connecting trains from Montpellier to Barcelona.

    Generally, trains from Nice to Marseille and Marseille to Montpellier can only be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date, while the France-Spain High Speed trains from Montpellier to Barcelona can be reserved within 90-120 days of a departure.

    Barcelona to Madrid

    The trains from Barcelona to Madrid are high-speed AVE trains on which reservations are required as a supplement to the rail pass. Generally, the trains from Barcelona to Madrid can only be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date.
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    Thank you so much Jeff for your expertise. The information you provided has been and will be a great help in finalizing our European vacation!! Vickie
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