Italy & Austria / Malpensa Airport-Milan, Milan-Varenna, Varenna-Innsbruck, Innsbruck-Salzburg, and Salzburg-Vienna

Arriving on Oct. 4 at Milan Malpensa AirportTaking train from Milan Central to Vareena, ItalyOct. 7 - Train from Vareena, Italy to Innsbruck, AustriaOct. 9 - Train from Innsbruck to Salzburg, AustriaOct. 13 - Train from Salzburg to ViennaDo I purchase individual tickets for this trip or a rail pass? Any information would be helpful! Thank you!
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  • Hi Mary Ann,

    For the requested itinerary, you would purchase the 2 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include Italy and Austria.

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

    Milan Malpensa Airport to Milan

    You would commute from the Malpensa Airport into the city of Milan by taking the Malpensa Express to Milan Centrale station. The Malpensa Express trains depart every 30 minutes throughout the day, and the ride takes about 50 minutes to Centrale. Rail passes are not valid on the Malpensa Express. Tickets for the Malpensa Express are only able to be purchased locally upon arrival.

    Milan to Varenna

    To get from Milan to Varenna (on Lake Como), you would just take a regional 'TreNord' train, and the ride only takes about an hour. These trains do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    Varenna to Innsbruck

    The most feasible connections from Varenna to Innsbruck take 7-8 hours in duration and involve at least 2 train changes along the way; once in Milan and then once in Verona.

    Once again, the trains between Varenna and Milan do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    Trains from Milan to Verona are Frecciarossa trains on which reservations are required as a supplement to the rail pass.

    From Verona to Innsbruck, you would take a ‘Brennero’ EC (EuroCity) train, which also would require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. This train runs along the famed ‘Brenner Railway’, offering incredible views.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase 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 Two Country Select Pass'). When purchasing reservations for this trip, you would do one search for trains from Milan to Verona and then another search for connecting trains from Verona to Innsbruck.

    For your reference, you can also just view schedules for the non-reservable segment from Varenna to Milan by doing a search under 'Find Train Tickets' on our homepage. Generally, when just accessing schedules for non-reservable trains, you would have to be sure the 'No' option is checked where it asks you 'Are you traveling with a rail pass?'.

    Innsbruck to Salzburg (direct Railjet trains)

    The most feasible/fastest way to get from Innsbruck to Salzburg is to take a direct Railjet train. These trains follow another very scenic route, running over both the Rosenheim-Salzburg Railway and Rosenheim-Kufstein Railway. On these trains, reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to a rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a Railjet from Innsbruck to Salzburg by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Two Country Select Pass').

    The direct Railjets from Innsbruck to Salzburg actually pass through a small part of Bavaria en route; however, for this route, you would not need to have Germany included on your pass.

    Innsbruck to Salzburg (via Bischofshofen/Schwarzach)

    Other options from Innsbruck to Salzburg, considered even more scenic, would involve being routed a different direction over to Schwarzach and Bischofshofen, before cutting north to Salzburg. The most feasible of these options takes about 3.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains at least once in Schwarzach along the way.

    From Innsbruck to Schwarzach, you can then take a direct IC or a direct EC train that goes right from Innsbruck to Schwarzach. Otherwise, following the same path, there are Railjets to Wörgl, where you would switch to a regional train to Schwarzach. Reservations are not necessary at all on any of these trains, so the rail pass would be all you'd need to board.

    From Schwarzach to Salzburg, you would take either a Railjet or EC (EuroCity) train. On these trains, reservations are accepted but not necessary.

    For planning purposes, schedules for the trains from Schwarzach to Salzburg are able to be viewed by doing a search on our website.

    Schedules for trains between Innsbruck and Schwarzach are not able to be viewed on our website. If you'd like to inquire about schedules for this option, you would have to call us.

    Taken all together, this option from Innsbruck to Salzburg is considered the Salzburg-Tyrol Railway.

    Salzburg to Vienna

    From Salzburg to Vienna, you would take a direct Railjet train on which reservations are recommended as a supplement to the rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a Railjet from Salzburg to Vienna by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Two Country Select Pass').
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  • Thank you very much for such excellent information! I was so confused!! Can you only buy the 2 country pass on line or can you purchase it at the airport? We leave on Oct. 3 and I'm worried it won't reach us in time. Also, when I add up individual ticket prices, it comes to less than a pass. Is there a benefit to the pass that I'm not considering?
    • Hi Mary Ann,

      Generally, rail passes are not available for purchase locally. Therefore, you would purchase the rail pass before leaving for Europe.

      Any order placed on our website can take 24 to 48 hours to be processed in addition to the time it takes to ship the documents, which would be an additional 2 to 3 business days if the option of standard delivery is chosen or an additional 1 business day if the option of express delivery is chosen. If you wish to bypass the 24-48 hour processing time to ensure your documents are shipped out today for overnight delivery, you would have to call us to place your order. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday. The last shipment on any given weekday leaves our office at 5:30 PM CT.

      If you decide to purchase regular tickets, you would have to call us anyway for any of the segments for which the schedules are not able to be viewed on our website (as indicated in my response last week).

      Regular tickets are always an option. If you find the tickets to be a lower cost, you can certainly go ahead and purchase tickets instead of a pass. To make sure you get on the trains you want, it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance, prior to leaving for Europe.
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