Amsterdam-Giethoorn, Amsterdam-Paris, Paris-Zurich, Zurich-Interlaken, Interlaken-Riomaggiore, Riomaggiore-Pisa, Riomaggiore-Rome. What kind of pass would be best economically

Hi,I am planning to take a trip of around 14 days starting from Amsterdam to Rome.Route Details:Amsterdam->GiethoornAmsterdam->ParisParis->ZurichZurich->Interlaken or Zurich->LucerenceLucerene->Interlaken (if I choose a stop at lucerene)Iterlaken->JungfrajochInterlaken->RiomaggerioRiomaggerio->PisaRiomaggerio->RomeWe also plan to visit Bernese and Gastaad not sure about where would that fit in.Could you please suggest the best pass which I can avail. I am also contemplating taking flight if necessary for selected route if pass across all the routes doesn't fit my budget. SuggestionsThanks in advance
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) January 11, 2019 17:10
    Hi Ashish,

    These are really some great choices for your destinations!

    For the requested itinerary, you would purchase the Eurail Global Pass. For the Eurail Global Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-global-pass-5880.

    For that much travel, 1st class is recommended.

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

    There are several different segments to your itinerary, so please bear with me as I run through them.

    Amsterdam-Giethoorn

    Giethoorn itself does not have a rail station. The closest station to Giethoorn is Steenwijk, only about 4 miles away. At the station in Steenwijk, you would board a bus that will take you to Giethoorn. Just across the street from the bus stop is the canal, so you'll be able to hop onto a boat right there.

    The most feasible connections from Amsterdam to Steenwijk take about 1.5 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Almere Centrum along the way. These trains do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    Schedules for trains from Amsterdam to Almere Centrum and Almere Centrum to Steenwijk are not able to be viewed on our website. For your reference, IC (InterCity) trains from Amsterdam to Almere Centrum depart hourly throughout the day and the ride on these trains takes about 20 minutes. There are also regional trains from Amsterdam to Almere Centrum, which depart hourly and the ride on these takes about 30 minutes. IC trains from Almere Centrum to Steenwijk depart hourly and the ride takes just over 1 hour.

    Amsterdam-Paris

    From Amsterdam to Paris, you would take a high-speed Thalys train. Thalys trains do require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass.

    For travel with the rail pass, you would purchase reservations from Amsterdam 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 Global Pass’). Generally, Thalys trains can only be reserved within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Paris-Zurich

    From Paris to Zurich, you would take a high-speed TGV Lyria train. TGV Lyria trains also require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass.

    For travel with the rail pass, you would purchase reservations from Paris to Zurich by searching the route on our homepage, 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’). Generally, TGV Lyria trains can be reserved once within 120 days of an intended departure date.

    Zurich-Interlaken

    The shortest options from Zurich to Interlaken take about 2 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Bern along the way. However, if you don't mind adding about 1 hour to your journey time, there also options via Lucerne that involve following along the famed GoldenPass scenic line. If you're already considering Lucerne, I would suggest this route as your way to get from Zurich to Interlaken. This would allow you get off in Lucerne, should you choose. The segment from Lucerne to Interlaken is on the GoldenPass line.

    Trains from Zurich to Lucerne do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    On trains from Lucerne to Interlaken, reservations are possible but really not necessary.

    For planning purposes, you can use the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for these trains. For this particular route, you would just have to break up your search in Lucerne. Therefore, you would do one search from Zurich to Lucerne and then another search for connecting trains from Lucerne to Interlaken.

    When doing your search for the segment from Zurich to Lucerne, you would just have to leave the 'I have a rail pass' unchecked to access the schedules for the direct trains.

    If you want to have reservations for the GoldenPass segment from Lucerne to Interlaken, you would search the route, check the 'I have a rail pass' box, and then indicate that you'll be traveling with the 'Eurail Global Pass'. Currently, only 2nd class seats on these trains are being offered on our website. Until this is fixed, you would have to call us for 1st class reservations on 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.

    Interlaken-Jungfraujoch

    The gateway to Jungfraujoch is Interlaken. 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 and a return within 24 hours. 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-Gstaad

    I'm not sure how you want to work in Gstaad, but of the other cities you mentioned, it is closest to Interlaken.

    Rail connections from Interlaken to Gstaad actually would have you continuing on the GoldenPass scenic line. The connections take just under 2 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Zweisimmen along the way. Trains from Interlaken to Zweisimmen and Zweisimmen to Gstaad both run along the GoldenPass line. Reservations are not necessary on these trains, so 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 these trains. For connections from Interlaken to Gstaad, you would just have to break up your search once in Zweisimmen. Therefore, you would do one search from Interlaken to Zweisimmen and another search for connecting trains from Zweisimmen to Gstaad. Since you would not be booking actual reservations on these trains, you would just have to be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked when doing these searches.

    When you pull up the schedules from Interlaken to Zweisimmen, be sure to refer specifically to the actual direct trains, because the options that reflect '1 connection' do not follow along the GoldenPass route.

    'Bernese' (the Bernese Oberland) just refers to region where Interlaken is. Or I'm not sure if you are referring to Bern?

    Interlaken-Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre)

    For travel to Riomaggiore, the morning departure out of Interlaken takes about 7.5 hours in duration and involves 4 train changes along the way; once in Spiez, once in Brig, once in Milan, and then once in Monterosso.

    Trains from Interlaken to Spiez and Spiez to Brig do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    Trains from Brig to Milan and Milan to Monterosso both do require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass.

    From Monterosso to Riomaggiore, you would just take a short regional train through the other villages of the Cinque Terre. Reservations are not accepted on regional trains, so 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 trains on this route (Interlaken to Spiez, Spiez to Brig, and Monterosso to Riomaggiore). Just to view the schedules, you would leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked when entering your searches.

    Currently, the trains from Brig to Milan are not able to be reserved on our website. To book reservations for this segment you would instead have to call us.

    Reservations from Milan to Monterroso are able to be booked on our website by entering the segment, checking the 'I have a rail pass' button, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Global Pass'.

    Generally, trains from Brig to Milan and Milan to Monterosso can be reserved once within 90-120 days of an intended departure.

    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 Pisa

    From Riomaggiore to Pisa, there is on direct train, which runs in the morning. The ride takes about 1.5 hours. This is a regional train, so reservations are not accepted, and the Eurail Global Pass would be all you'd need to board.

    Throughout the rest of the day, the rest of the connections from Riomaggiore to Pisa take about anywhere between 1 and 2 hours and involve changing trains once in La Spezia along the way.

    From Riomaggiore to La Spezia, you would just take a 10-minute regional train. Reservations not being accepted, the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For the segment from La Spezia to Pisa, there are IC and Frecciabianca trains, which would require reservations. However, you could also just take another regional train so you don't have to book reservations. If you take a regional train from La Spezia to Pisa, you would just hop on with your Eurail Global Pass.

    For planning purposes, you can again use the route search feature on our homepage to view schedules for the connections comprised of the non-reservable/regional trains from Riomaggiore to Pisa. If you do one search for the full connection from Riomaggiore to Pisa, the options that display will reflect either '1 connection - Regionale' or '1 connection - Multiple carriers'. The options that reflect '1 connection - Regionale' are the ones where both segments are non-reservable/regional trains. The options that reflect '1 connection - Multiple carriers' are the ones that include a train from La Spezia to Pisa that would require you to book reservations.

    Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre) to Rome

    The most feasible connections from Riomaggiore to Rome can take 4.5 or 5.5 hours in duration and also involve changing trains once in La Spezia along the way.

    Once again, the trains from Riomaggiore to La Spezia are non-reservable regional trains, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    From La Spezia to Rome, you would take either an IC or Frecciabianca train, so reservations would be required as a supplement to the rail pass.

    For planning purposes, you can refer to the route search feature on our homepage to view schedules for the non-reservable segment from Riomaggiore to La Spezia. Since you would just be viewing schedules, be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.

    You would then purchase reservations from La Spezia to Rome by entering these as your cities, checking the 'I have a rail pass' button, and indicating that you'll be traveling with the 'Eurail Global Pass'. Generally, trains from La Spezia to Rome can be reserved once within 120 days of an intended departure date.
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