Need Advice - First time Europe Trip

Hi Jeff,

Need your advice. I'm planning our first time Europe trip from US. I'll be flying out of SEATTLE - LONDON from Aug 12 - Sep 3. My tentative itinerary is below.

SEATTLE to London - Flight
London - Paris
Paris - Munich
Munich - Venice
Venice - Rome

Could you please advice me if I need to change the order of cities to reduce the travel time. What would be the best option - should I buy global pass, point to point ticket or select pass? Is it too late for train reservation? Also please tell me which station to get each train from?

Thanks for your advice!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 25, 2018 15:37
    Hi Steve,

    For the requested itinerary, your best option would be the 4 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include France, Germany, Austria, and Italy.

    While the UK is not able to be included on the same pass with countries on the mainland continent of Europe, the 4 country option of a Eurail Select Pass that includes France does cover the Eurostar from London to Paris.

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

    London to Paris (with a 4 country Eurail Select Pass)

    From London to Paris, you would take a direct Eurostar train. The 4 country option of the Eurail Select Pass (that includes France) is valid on the Eurostar. The Eurostar would just require reservations as a supplement to a valid rail pass.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations from London to Paris 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 Select Pass 4 Countries’).

    The Eurostar can sell out quickly, so it is recommended that these reservations be purchased as soon as possible.

    Paris to Munich (with a Eurail Select Pass)

    There is one direct train per day from Paris to Munich. This is a France-Germany High Speed train (TGV Est). The ride takes just over 5.5 hours.

    Otherwise, if you need to depart at a different time, the most feasible connections from Paris to Munich take 5.5 to 6 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Stuttgart or Mannheim along the way.

    Trains from Paris to Stuttgart and Paris to Mannheim are France-Germany High Speed (TGV Est) trains. On these trains, reservations are required as a supplement to a rail pass.

    Trains from Stuttgart to Munich and Mannheim to Munich are high-speed ICE (InterCity Express) trains. On ICE trains, reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to a rail pass.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations 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 Select Pass 4 Countries’).

    For the direct train, you can just do one search from Paris to Munich and then look for the departure that says 'Direct'.

    When purchasing tickets for the options that involve changing trains, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment (i.e. one search from Paris to Stuttgart and another search for connecting trains from Stuttgart to Munich).

    Munich to Venice (with a Eurail Select Pass)

    From Munich to Venice, there is one direct train per day. This is an EC (EuroCity) train that runs over a renowned scenic railway called the Brenner Railway.

    The train from Munich to Venice does require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for the direct train from Munich to Venice 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 Select Pass 4 Countries’).

    Venice to Rome (with a Eurail Select Pass)

    From Venice to Rome, you would take a high-speed Frecciarossa or Frecciargento train. These trains also require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a train from Venice to Rome 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 Select Pass 4 Countries’).

    With regard to routes in Italy, due to an error on our site, I also have to point out that only one or two departures show for each search you do. In addition to that, the 'Later Trains' button does not function. To get around these issues and view more departures, you would need to adjust to the specific hour of the day for which you want to view schedules when you enter the criteria of your search. For example, if you want to view trains departing after 2pm, click '2PM'.

    Please be advised that there are also trains from Venice to Rome called 'Italo' trains on which rail passes are not valid. Therefore, to use your rail pass, you would have to choose one of the Frecciarossa or Frecciargento trains.
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  • Thank you, Jeff for your detailed advice. I really appreciate it!

    Just Quick qns. my return flight to US is scheduled from London. Is there train option from Rome to back London or should I book one way flight from Rome to London so that I can catch my US flight.

    Thanks again.
    -S
    • Jeff (Official Rep) July 26, 2018 17:18
      Hi Steve,

      Avoiding Switzerland (since Switzerland would not be on your pass), a connection all the way from Rome to London would not be possible within the span of one day. You can change trains once in Milan and then once in Paris, but the trains don't sync up with one another in a way that allows for the connection to be made in a day, so you'd just have to divide your travel between two days.

      There is an overnight train from Milan to Paris that you could take, but:

      A) It does not accept rail passes. With a rail pass, you would only be eligible to receive a 20% discount for regular tickets on this train.

      B) It has had very limited availability for dates around that time.

      C) It currently can only be booked by calling us at 1-800-622-8600.

      If were to take this night train, you could just take one high-speed train from Rome to connect to it and then the Eurostar train to London the following morning.
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