What pass for Paris to Poperinge, Poperinge to Cologne, Cologne to Strasbourg, Strasbourg to Basel, and Basel to Paris?

Travel plans include:Paris to Poperinge, BelgiumPoperinge to Colonge, GermanyColonge to Strasbroug, FranceStrasbroug to Basel, SwitzerlandBasel to ParisTraveling in a group of 4. Which pass to buy for best deal?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 13, 2018 19:28
    Hi Betsy,

    I'm very sorry for the delay getting back to you. For the requested itinerary, your most economical option would be to purchase the 3 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include France, the Benelux, and Germany. For the 3 country Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-select-pass-3-countries-8037

    Belgium is included as a part of the 'Benelux'. The Benelux covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and counts them together as one ‘country’ for the purpose of rail passes. Therefore, to account for Belgium, you would include the ‘Benelux’ as one of the countries on your Eurail Select Pass.

    Considering that Basel is right on the border and the specific trains you'll be taking to and from there, it is not necessary to have Switzerland included on your pass.

    Paris to Poperinge

    Rail connections from Paris to Poperinge take about 4.5 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Antwerp along the way.

    Trains from Paris to Antwerp are Thalys high-speed trains, which require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations from Paris to Antwerp by searching this segment of 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 3 Countries’).

    The trains from Antwerp to Poperinge do not even accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. Schedules for trains from Antwerp to Poperinge are not able to be viewed on our website, but they depart hourly throughout the day and the ride takes about 2hr15min.

    Poperinge to Cologne

    Rail connections from Poperinge to Cologne take just over 4 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Ghent and then once in Brussels.

    The trains from Poperinge to Ghent do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. Schedules for trains from Poperinge to Ghent are not able to be viewed on our website, but they depart hourly throughout the day and the ride takes about 1hr16min.

    Trains from Ghent to Brussels also do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is once again all that would be needed to board. For your reference, schedules for the trains from Ghent to Brussels can be viewed on our website. If you see an error message that says, "The fares you requested are not available with the selected rail pass. Please select a regular fare and proceed to the next step", please disregard it, as that is not the case, Rest assured, the rail pass is valid on these trains, and you can use your pass to take any open seat.

    Trains from Brussels to Cologne are Thalys high-speed trains or ICE (InterCity Express) high-speed trains. Thalys trains require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. On the ICE trains, reservations are highly recommended.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations from Brussels to Cologne by searching this segment of 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 3 Countries’).

    Cologne to Strasbourg

    From Cologne to Strasbourg, you would take a connection that takes anywhere from 3 to 4 hour in duration and involves changing trains once in either Karlsruhe or Mannheim along the way.

    On trains from Cologne to Karlsruhe or Cologne to Mannheim (ICE or IC trains), reservations are recommended.

    On trains from Karlsruhe to Strasbourg and Mannheim to Strasbourg (TGV Est trains), reservations are required.

    When purchasing reservations for the full connection, you would just break up your search in either Karlsruhe or Mannheim (i.e. one search for trains from Cologne to Karlsruhe and another search for connecting trains from Karlsruhe to Strasbourg). Otherwise, you could just purchase reservations for the last segment if you wish (i.e. one search from Karlsruhe to Strasbourg).

    Strasbourg to Basel

    Trains from Strasbourg to Basel are regional 'TER' trains, which do not accept reservations. Therefore, the rail pass is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, schedules for the trains from Strasbourg to Basel can be viewed by doing a search on our website. Since these trains do not take reservations, you would use your pass to take any open seat.

    Basel to Paris

    Trains from Basel to Paris are TGV Lyria high-speed trains. With a Eurail Select Pass that includes France, you would be eligible to receive a discounted rate called the 'Passholder 2' on a TGV Lyria from Basel to Paris. The 'Passholder 2' rate; however, is currently not able to be booked on our website. Instead, you would have to call us to purchase Passholder 2 reservations on one of these trains.

    In the meantime, you can view schedules from Basel to Paris by doing a search for the route on our homepage.
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