I’m undecided!!

Zurich to Lucerne, Luceren to Interlaken, Interlaken-Jungfrajoch, Interlaken to Florence, Florence to Riomaggiore, Riomaggiore to Merano, and Merano to Venice

Hi! We are having some trouble determining what is covered by the Eurail Global pass. We're currently thinking a three day global pass would be best. Although potentially a two country pass may be advisable. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Here is our Itinerary: Zurich to LucerneLucerne to InterlakenInterlaken to Jungfraujoch (round trip-As I understand not covered by Eurail global pass)Interlaken to FlorenceFlorence to RiomaggioreRiomaggiore to MeranoMerano to Venice
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) January 08, 2019 17:16
    Hi Kristen,

    Eurail is no longer offering the two-country passes, so the rail pass for you would be the Eurail Global Pass. For the Eurail Global Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-global-pass-5880.

    The objective of a rail pass is to cover (the ticket costs for) trains running ‘inter-city’ (between different cities) within the valid countries. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass.

    Of the trains making up your itinerary, only the trains between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch are not covered by the rail pass.

    Some of your individual trips are pretty involved and will have you taking multiple trains, so please bear with me. I'd just suggest reading each one-by-one.

    Zurich to Lucerne

    Trains from Zurich to Lucerne depart very frequently throughout the day, and the ride only takes 45-50 minutes. Trains from Zurich to Lucerne do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For planning purposes, you can still use the route search feature under 'Book Train Tickets' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) just to view schedules for trains from Zurich to Lucerne. Generally, when you're just trying to access schedules for non-reservable trains, you would have to be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.

    Lucerne to Interlaken

    Trains from Lucerne to Interlaken represent one segment of the famed GoldenPass scenic line. On the trains from Lucerne to Interlaken, reservations are possible but not necessary.

    If you want reservations, you would purchase the reservations from Lucerne to Interlaken by searching the 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’). However, there is currently an error on our website preventing 1st class from being offered for these particular trains. Until the error is fixed, you would have to call us to book 1st class reservations for these trains. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM CT Monday to Friday. Generally, these trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    All trains from Lucerne to Interlaken have panoramic windows for taking in all the surrounding scenery.

    Interlaken-Jungfraujoch

    As you're already aware, the Eurail Global Pass does not cover the trains between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch. However, with the Eurail Global Pass you would be eligible to receive a discount of about 25% on these trains.

    To receive this discount, you would purchase the 'JUNGFRAUJOCH/TOP OF EUROPE Interlaken to Jungfraujoch Eurail Pass Holder' (Low season, Mid-season, or High-season depending on when you'll be taking the trip) option of a pass called the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe'. For this pass, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe-8315.

    This pass covers the 2 routes up to Jungfraujoch. These routes are as follows:

    The Grindelwald route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Grindelwald on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -Train from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg on the ‘Wengernalp Railway’
    -Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch on the ‘Jungfrau Railway’ (the highest railway in Europe)

    The Lauterbrunnen/Wengen route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -Train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg on the ‘Wengernalp Railway’ (Wengen is a stop along this rail line)
    -Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch on the ‘Jungfrau Railway’ (the highest railway in Europe)

    On the 'Jungfrau Railway' segment between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch, reservations are highly recommended for travel between the months of May and October. The reservations are a small cost in addition to the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' and have to be made locally at the stations in either Interlaken (Interlaken Ost), Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen.

    Expect stunning views throughout the entire trek between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch, whether you take the route via Grindelwald or the one via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen. To get the most of your Jungfraujoch experience, you might want to consider making your ascent one way and your descent the other. The ‘Jungfrau Railway’ itself runs mostly through a tunnel (the ‘Jungfrau Tunnel’), but there are two ‘sightseeing stops’ in the tunnel (‘Eigerwand’ and ‘Eismeer’) where passengers can exit their train and take in the views through windows built into the side of the mountain.

    At the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station, you have access to the Sphinx Observation Terrace and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier). The Jungfraujoch station (Top of Europe) is the highest rail station in Europe, the Sphinx Observation Terrace is one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier) is the longest glacier in Europe.

    Interlaken to Florence

    A connection from Interlaken to Florence would take about 5.5 to 6 hours in duration and involves at least 2 train changes along the way; once in Spiez and then once in Milan (otherwise, the connection may involve an additional train change in Brig in between Spiez and Milan.)

    On the trains from Interlaken to Spiez or Interlaken to Brig, reservations are not necessary or even accepted (the same would be the case if you need to take a train between Spiez and Brig.) Therefore, the rail pass is all you would need to board these trains.

    In contrast, the trains from Spiez to Milan (or Brig to Milan) and Milan to Florence do require reservations in addition to the rail pass. Generally, reservations from Spiez or Brig to Milan can be booked on our website, but there is currently an error preventing these particular reservations from being booked there. Generally, these trains can be reserved once within 90-120 days of an intended departure date.

    When the Spiez-Milan or Brig-Milan reservations are working on our site, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment (i.e. one search for trains from Spiez to Milan and another search for connecting trains from Milan to Florence).

    When doing these searches, you would just have to be sure to match the station of arrival for your train from Spiez/Brig to Milan with the station of departure for your connecting train from Milan to Florence. You will see that direct trains from Spiez/Brig to Milan only arrive into the Centrale station in Milan, while some trains from Milan to Florence depart from the Porta Garibaldi station.

    If it happens that you need to commute between the Centrale station in Milan and the Porta Garibaldi station, you would take Line 2 of the Milan Metro. The ride between Porta Garibaldi and Centrale only takes about about 5 minutes. You would pay to board the Metro locally at the station.

    For planning purposes, you can still just view schedules for the unreserved segments from Interlaken to Spiez (or, if needed, Spiez to Brig) by doing a search on our homepage and leaving the 'I have a rail pass' box unchecked.

    Note: From Milan to Florence, there are also trains called 'Italo' trains, but these trains do not accept rail passes. Therefore, you would want to be sure to choose one of the 'Frecciarossa' or 'Frecciargento' trains for this segment.

    Florence to Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre)

    The most feasible connections from Florence to Riomaggiore take about 3.5 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in La Spezia along the way. From both Florence to La Spezia and La Spezia to Riomaggiore, you would just take regional trains, which do not even accept reservations. Therefore, the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For planning purposes, you can use the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for the non-reservable regional trains. For the trip from Florence to Riomaggiore, you would just break up your search in La Spezia. Therefore, you would do one search from Florence to La Spezia and another search for connecting trains from La Spezia to Riomaggiore.

    While you're in Riomaggiore, you can travel between the villages of the Cinque Terre by using your Eurail Global Pass to take any of the regional trains that operate regularly along this route (Cinque Terre Express). If you do not wish to squander a day of travel on your pass for these short trips, you can instead just purchase these particular tickets locally.

    Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre) to Merano

    The most feasible/shortest connections from Riomaggiore to Merano take just under 8 hours in duration and involve 4 train changes along the way; once in Levanto, once in Milan, once in Verona, and then once in Bolzano (Bolzano Bozen).

    Trains from Riomaggiore to Levanto are regional trains that do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    From Levanto to Milan, you would take an IC (InterCity) train. IC trains in Italy require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass.

    From Milan to Verona, you would take a high-speed Frecciarossa or EC (EuroCity) train. On these trains, reservations are required as a supplement to a rail pass.

    From Verona to Bolzano (Bolzano Bozen), there are high-speed trains that require reservations, but you would just take a non-reservable regional train for the purpose of your trip. Since the regional trains do not accept reservations, the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. Traveling from Riomaggiore to Merano, the regional trains from Verona to Bolzano will fit better into the full connection.

    The trains from Bolzano to Merano are regional trains, so reservations are not accepted and the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For planning purposes, you can use the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for the non-reservable regional trains from Riomaggiore to Levanto and Verona to Bolzano. To display these particular schedules, you would once again just have to leave the 'I have a rail pass' box unchecked.

    Schedules from Bolzano to Merano are not able to be viewed on our website. For your reference, these trains depart about once every 35 minutes throughout the day, and the ride only takes about 40-45 minutes.

    For the trains that require reservations (Levanto to Milan and Milan to Verona), you can purchase reservations by searching each of these segments individually on our homepage, making sure to check the ‘I have a rail pass’ box and indicate that you'll be traveling with the the ‘Eurail Global Pass’. Generally, these trains can be reserved once within 120 days of an intended departure date.

    Merano to Venice

    Connections from Merano to Venice take 4 to 5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Bolzano (Bolzano Bozen) and then once in Verona.

    Once again, the trains from Merano to Bolzano are regional trains that don't accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. Schedules from Merano to Bolzano are not able to be viewed on our website, but the trains depart once every 30 minutes throughout the day, and the ride only takes about 40-45 minutes.

    From Bolzano (Bolzano Bozen) to Verona, you can either take one of the high-speed trains or a regional train. The high-speed trains on this route are Frecciarossa or EC (EuroCity) trains.

    From Verona to Venice, you can either take a high-speed Frecciarossa train or a regional train.

    The Frecciarossa and EC trains require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass. The regional trains do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For the Frecciarossa/EC trains, you wold purchase reservations by doing a search for the segments on our homepage, checking the 'I have a rail pass' box, and indicating that you'll be traveling with the 'Eurail Global Pass'. You would do one search from Bolzano to Verona and then another search for connecting trains from Verona to Venice. Generally, these trains can only be reserved within 120 days of an intended departure date. To view schedules for the non-reservable regional trains on these segments, you would do the very same thing, but you would leave the 'I have a rail pass' unchecked.
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