Which pass suits me? Paris-Montreux-Zermatt-Interlaken-Zurich-Salzburg-Vienna-Venice-Rome-Florence-Milan (France to Switzerland to Austria to Italy to France)

Below is my Europe Itinerary for 22 Days

Paris -> Switzerland -> Austria -> Italy -> Paris

1. Paris, France (3 Days)
2. Montreux, Switzerland (1 Days)
3. Zermatt, Switzerland (2 Days)
4. Interlaken, Switzerland (2 Days)
5. Zurich, Switzerland (1 Days)
6. Salzburg, Austria (2 Days)
7. Vienna, Austria (2 Days)-Planned to take night train to Venice
8. Venice, Italy (2 Days)
9. Rome, Italy (2 Days)
10. Florence, Italy (2 Days)
11. Milan, Italy (2 Days)
12. Paris, France (1 Days)

Total = 22 Days

I would like to have suggestion which pass is suitable for me.
Thanks.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 20, 2015 16:06
    Hi Medeleine.

    For the intended itinerary, your best option would be to purchase the 'Eurail Select Pass'. The 'Eurail Select Pass' is a pass that covers travel in 4 bordering countries of your choosing. Therefore, you would purchase your 'Eurail Select Pass' to include France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. You would purchase the 'Eurail Select Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    Most of the trains you'll be taking will require reservations in addition to the rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass you'll be traveling with (i.e. a 'Eurail Select Pass').

    For planning purposes, you can just view the schedules for unreserved trains by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' (instead of 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations') on our homepage and entering the route; this time not indicating that you'll be traveling with any type of rail pass when you're prompted.

    Paris to Montreux

    The shortest connections from Paris to Montreux take about 4 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Lausanne en route. The trains from Paris to Lausanne are high-speed 'TGV Lyria' trains that do require reservations. Trains from Lausanne to Montreux don't accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    Therefore, you would purchase reservations only for the segment from Paris to Lausanne. You would do this by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. Generally, these trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    Montreux to Zermatt

    A connection from Montreux to Zermatt takes about 2.5 to 3 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Visp along the way. However, multi-country rail passes (like the 'Eurail Select Pass'), are actually not valid to cover the rail line between Visp and Zermatt.

    To be covered between Visp and Zermatt, you would purchase a special ticket called the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare'. For your inbound trip to Zermatt from Montreux, you would purchase the 'Visp-Zermatt' option of this ticket. You would purchase the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/glacier-express-eurail-passholder-fare/index.html.

    The trains themselves don't accept reservations, so the 'Eurail Select Pass' is all you'd need to be covered between Montreux and Visp, and the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' is all you'd need to be covered between Visp and Zermatt.

    To view the schedules for these trains, you would have to do a search for the full route from Montreux to Zermatt, rather than breaking up your search in Visp. If you do a search the segment from Montreux to Visp by itself, nothing will display. By searching schedules for the full route from Montreux to Zermatt (after clicking 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage), the schedules that display will reflect the train change in Visp.

    Zermatt to Interlaken

    A connection from Zermatt to Interlaken takes 2 to 2.5 hours in duration and involves 2 train changes along the way; once in Visp and then once in Spiez.

    Since the 'Eurail Select Pass' does not cover the rail line between Zermatt and Visp, you would have to purchase another 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket in order to be covered for this segment. For your trip out of Zermatt to Interlaken, you would purchase the 'Zermatt-Visp' option of this ticket.

    Like the connection from Montreux to Zermatt, the trains comprising of a connection from Zermatt to Interlaken also don't accept reservations. Therefore, the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket is all you need to board a train from Zermatt to Visp, and the 'Eurail Select Pass' is all you need to board the trains from Visp to Spiez and Spiez to Interlaken.

    You can view the schedules for these trains either by doing a search for the full route from Zermatt to Interlaken or by searching each segment individually.

    Interlaken to Zurich


    The shortest connections from Interlaken to Zurich take about 2 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Bern along the way.

    Otherwise, if you wish, you can go with an alternate option that would have you traveling along the 'GoldenPass' scenic route part of the way, and it would only add about an hour to your total journey time from Interlaken to Zurich. With this option, you would take the 'GoldenPass' scenic train from Interlaken to Lucerne. In Lucerne, you would switch to another train that will take you take to Zurich.

    Reservations are not necessary on any of the trains that comprise of these connections. If you search schedules for the full route from Interlaken to Zurich, only the options that go via Bern will display. Therefore, if you'd like to view schedules for the options via Lucerne, you would do a separate search for each segment (i.e. one search for trains from Interlaken to Lucerne and another search for connecting trains from Lucerne to Zurich).

    If you wish, you can book reservations on a 'GoldenPass' train from Interlaken to Lucerne by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. Generally, the trains from Interlaken to Lucerne can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    Zurich to Salzburg

    To get from Zurich to Salzburg, you would take a high-speed 'Railjet' train. Reservations are highly recommended on these trains in addition to a rail pass. Therefore, you would purchase reservations for a train from Zurich to Salzburg by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. Generally, these trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    Salzburg to Vienna

    To get from Salzburg to Vienna, you would take an 'InterCity' (IC) train or a high-speed 'Railjet' train. Reservations are recommended on the 'Railjet' trains. You would purchase reservations for a 'Railjet' train from Salzburg to Vienna by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. Generally, these trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    Vienna to Venice

    To travel from Vienna to Venice, you would take the 'Vienna-Venezia Express' EuroNight train. Reservations are required on overnight trains. Therefore, you would purchase reservations for the night train from Vienna to Venice by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. When entering your search, you would also want to adjust your preferred departure time to some time in the early evening. Generally, these trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    Venice to Rome

    To travel from Venice to Rome, you would take a high-speed 'Le Frecce' train ('Frecciargento' and 'Frecciarossa') or a regular 'InterCity' train. These trains do require reservations in addition to a rail pass. Therefore, you would purchase reservations for a train from Venice to Rome by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. Generally, these trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    To view the most possible options when you do this search, you would want to choose the specific hour for each set of departures you wish to view (i.e. '01 pm' for trains that depart during the 1 o'clock hour, '02 pm' for trains that depart during the 2 o'clock hour, etc). Ideally, you would be able to click the 'Later Trains' button that appears at the bottom of the list of schedules that display. However, there may currently be an error on our site that prevents more trains from displaying when you do this.

    Please note, there is also a train that runs from Venice to Rome called the 'Italo'; however, rail passes are not accepted on these trains.

    Rome to Florence

    To get from Rome to Florence, you would take a high-speed 'Le Frecce' ('Frecciarossa' and 'Frecciargento') or a regular 'InterCity' train. Once again, these trains will require reservations in addition to a rail pass. Therefore, you would purchase reservations for a train from Rome to Florence by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. Generally, these trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    To view the most possible options when you do this search, you would want to choose the specific hour for each set of departures you wish to view (i.e. '01 pm' for trains that depart during the 1 o'clock hour, '02 pm' for trains that depart during the 2 o'clock hour, etc). Ideally, you would be able to click the 'Later Trains' button that appears at the bottom of the list of schedules that display. However, there may currently be an error on our site that prevents more trains from displaying when you do this.

    From Florence to Rome, there are also the 'Italo' trains on which your rail pass will not be valid.

    Florence to Milan


    To get from Florence to Milan, you would take a high-speed 'Le Frecce' train ('Frecciarossa') or a regular 'InterCity' train, which both require reservations. Therefore, you would purchase reservations for a train from Florence to Milan by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. Generally, these trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    To view the most possible options when you do this search, you would want to choose the specific hour for each set of departures you wish to view (i.e. '01 pm' for trains that depart during the 1 o'clock hour, '02 pm' for trains that depart during the 2 o'clock hour, etc). Ideally, you would be able to click the 'Later Trains' button that appears at the bottom of the list of schedules that display. However, there may currently be an error on our site that prevents more trains from displaying when you do this.

    There are 'Italo' trains that run from Florence to Milan, as well. Once again, the rail pass is not valid on 'Italo' trains.

    Milan to Paris


    To get from Milan to Paris, you would take the high-speed 'France-Italy TGV'. These trains do require reservations in addition to the rail pass. Therefore, you would purchase reservations for a train from Milan to Paris by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Select Pass'. When you pull up the results of this search, be sure to look for the direct train, as opposed to the options involving train changes. Generally, these trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) December 28, 2016 19:20
      Update:

      Starting in 2017, a Eurail Select Pass that includes Switzerland will begin covering ticket costs for the stretch of railway on the Glacier Express line between Disentis, Visp and Zermatt. Therefore, the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket would no longer be necessary to cover this segment.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 20, 2015 16:25
    If you'll be staying in Paris for multiple days and plan on using the Métro and RER networks to get around the city, you'd want to consider purchasing either the 'Paris Pass' or the 'Paris Visite'.

    The 'Paris Pass' covers entry to over 60 top attractions, as well as public transportation on the Métro, RER, and buses in central Paris. You would purchase the 'Paris Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/en/attractions/things-to-do/paris-pass/index.html.

    The 'Paris Visite' Pass just covers local transportation in Paris, which includes the Métro and RER networks, as well as city buses. You would purchase the 'Paris Visite' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-visite/index.html.

    There is also the 'Paris Museum Pass', which doesn't cover any transportation, but does cover entry to over 60 museums and historic sites around Paris. You would purchase the 'Paris Museum Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/paris-museum-pass/index.html.

    To browse other city passes for a stay in Paris, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/en/activities/france/paris/.

    You can browse city passes for the other cities you'll be visiting by clicking on 'Activities' on our homepage and then choosing the city and country from the drop-down menus on the screen.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 20, 2015 16:27
    While in Zermatt, you would make an excursion to either Gornergrat or Klein Matterhorn/Glacier Paradise for views of the Matterhorn. Otherwise, you can do both.

    In Gornergrat, there is an observatory with spectacular views of the Matterhorn. To reach Gornergrat, you would take the 'Gornergratbahn' cog railway from Zermatt. However, the 'Gornegratbahn' is not covered by the 'Eurail Select Pass'. Therefore, to be covered for a round-trip on the 'Gornergratbahn', you would purchase the 'Zermatt to Gornergrat Full Fare Ticket' option of the 'Gornergrat Mountain Peak' pass. You would purchase the 'Gornergrat Mountain Peak' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/gornergrat/index.html.

    The ascent to Klein Matterhorn and Glacier Paradise would involve taking a gondola from Zermatt to Furi, a cable car from Furi to Trockener Steg, and then the highest cable car in Europe from Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn. This travel between Zermatt and Klein Matterhorn is not covered by the 'Eurail Select Pass'. Therefore, to be covered for a round-trip between Zermatt and Klein Matterhorn, you would purchase the 'Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Full Fare' option of the 'Matterhorn Glacier Paradise' pass. You would purchase the 'Matterhorn Glacier Paradise' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/matterhorn-glacier-paradise/index.html.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 20, 2015 16:32
    For when you're in Interlaken, I assume you're planning on making the trek up to Jungfraujoch. The 'Eurail Select Pass' actually does not cover beyond Interlaken on the way up to Jungfraujoch, but it would enable you to receive a 25% discount. To receive the 25% discount, you would purchase the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey from Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland' option of the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' pass. You would purchase the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/jungfraujoch/index.html.

    There are 2 different routes you can take for your travel between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch with this pass; one via Grindelwald and the other via Lauterbrunnen. Both of these routes involve 2 changes along the way. The option that goes via Grindelwald involves changing in Grindelwald and then Kleine Scheidegg. The option that goes via Lauterbrunnen involves changing in Lauterbrunnen and then Kleine Scheidegg. To maximize your experience, you might want to consider making your ascent via one route and then descending via the other route.

    Reservations are not accepted for any part of this trip. The 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' is an open voucher that you would use to hop on any of these trains on the journey up to Jungfraujoch and back. The 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' is only valid for a period of 24 hours, so your round-trip would just have to be completed within that time frame.

    The Jungfraujoch excursion:

    Interlaken to Grindelwald or Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen - the Bernese Oberland Railway

    Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg or Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg - the Wengernalp Railway

    Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch - the Jungfrau Railway (the highest railway in Europe)
    • Jeff (Official Rep) December 28, 2016 19:21
      Update:

      With regard to the excursion up to Jungfraujoch, reservations are now possible for the Jungfrau Railway segment between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch. In fact, as a supplement to the ‘Jungfraujoch Top of Europe’, reservations are now highly recommended on the Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch segment for travel between the months of May and October. The Kleine-Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch reservations can be purchased locally at the preceding stations in Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen; as well as the nearby station of Mürren.

      Reservations are still not accepted for the segments between Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg, whether you take the route via Grindelwald or the route via Lauterbrunnen. Therefore, the ‘Jungfraujoch Top of Europe’ would be all you’d need to board for these segments.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 20, 2015 16:36
    The 'Eurail Select Pass' also would enable you to receive a 25% discount on travel up to Schilthorn from Interlaken. To receive the 25% discount for a trek up to Schilthorn, you would purchase the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey from Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland' option of the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' pass. You would purchase the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/schilthorn-piz-gloria/index.html.

    To begin the ascent to Schilthorn, you would take the 'Bernese Oberland Railway' from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. With the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey from Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland' option of the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' pass, there are then 2 different routes you would be able to take to reach Schilthorn from Lauterbrunnen. As is recommended for the Jungfraujoch trip, you might want to consider making your ascent via one route and descending via the other.

    One route would have you taking the 'Grütschalpbahn' cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp. In Grütschalp, you would switch to the 'Mürrenbahn' train to Mürren. From Mürren, you would then continue on the 'Schilthornbahn' up to Schilthorn.

    The other route would have you taking a bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg. In Stechelberg, you would switch to the 'Schilthornbahn' cable cars that will take you to Schilthorn. On the way from Stechelberg to Schilthorn, there are stops in Gimmelwald, Mürren, and Birg.

    'Piz Gloria’ refers to the panoramic revolving restaurant at the Schilthorn summit.
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