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My first trip, I want to be sure of the pass that I have to choose


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Hi,

As I am preparing my first trip alone in train, I want to be sure that my itinerary is possible with the global pass, as I don't find the instructions very clear, especially on the return day.

Here is what I planned:

First day:
20:24 PARIS EST (France) → 22:11 STRASBOURG (France)
23:42 STRASBOURG (France) → 10:13 WIEN HBF (Austria)

Second day:

23:10 WIEN HBF (Austria) → 06:07 KRAKOW GLOWNY (Poland)

Third day:

22:39 KRAKOW GLOWNY (Poland) → 01:52 OSTRAVA HLAVNI NADRAZI (Czech Republic)
Fourth day (Just after the third day):
02:28 OSTRAVA HLAVNI NADRAZI (Czech Republic) → 05:46 PRAGUE HLAVNI NADRAZI (Czech Republic)
Return:
09:33 PRAGUE-SMICHOV (Czech Republic) → 15:18 MUENCHEN HBF (Germany)
15:47 MUENCHEN HBF (Germany) → 17:59 STUTTGART HBF (Germany)
18:52 STUTTGART HBF (Germany) → 22:16 PARIS EST (France)

Did I count well and is the return counted as one day ? Should I take a 4 or 5 days global pass ?

Thanks for your answers.

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Best answer by thibcabe 4 June 2024, 00:54

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Userlevel 7
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The night train to Vienna should leave from Paris unless there are works planned. What’s your travel date?

The (Munich -) Vienna - Krakow (- Warsaw) night train has very expensive reservations. My advice to save money would be to go to Bratislava in the afternoon and board the Budapest service there:

  • REX Wien Hbf - Bratislava-Petrzalka 17:45 - 18:44 or earlier
  • walk a bit, have dinner in the city
  • EN Bratislava hl.st. - Krakow Glowny 21:58 - 06:10

Please don’t follow the itinerary with a change in Ostrava. It will be a terrible experience. Instead take the direct night train from Krakow: 22:35 departure, 07:48 arrival (times subject to engineering works). It doesn’t show on Rail Planner as the app struggles with night trains coupling/decoupling. That’s why I suggest using DB Navigator and the companies websites.

For your last day: the change in Munich is very risky as the train from Prague is always late (single tracks after the border, strict Bavarian border controls + it’s complicated). Here are the punctuality stats… https://www.zugfinder.net/en/train-ALX_358

Please take the train leaving Prague 2 hours earlier for peace of mind..

Follow this guide for the best places to book seat/couchette reservations: https://www.seat61.com/interrail-and-eurail-reservations.htm (interrail.eu charges 2€ extra per person per train). Feel free to let us know if you need help, mentioning route and travel date.

A 4 day pass should be enough but maybe get a 5 day one if you suddenly wish to make a day trip/change plans?

Thanks for your reply.

I should start my trip on Saturday 13th July and last 2 weeks. 5 days in Vienna (until 17th July), 6 in Krakow (until 23rd July) and then 3 days in Prague. I should come back on 27th July.

From Paris to Vienna there is a direct train with a 1h longer journey. I don't mind so it's perfect. I will be with 2 friends who are going to Vienna without the pass, is there a way to be with them on the nightjet train?

Thanks for the tip for Bratislava, I will probably do what you said.

For the direct night train from Krakow to Prague, should I book on DB or Ceske Drahy ? And how can I find the price on DB ? Also on Ceske Drahy, there is apparently a discount for students, can I get it as I am a student in France and is there other discounts like that for other trains ?

The duration of the trip is not completely definitive as I am still calculating its cost of it but it should be roughly that.

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On the Nightjet you can add Interrail as a discount for you and then add 2 regular travellers, it works fine. However I had a look and the Paris - Vienna night train is almost full on 13th July… only seats are left basically (not a pleasant experience sharing a tiny compartment with your 2 friends + 3 strangers).

There are a few alternatives. For example Bregenz - Vienna has shiny new carriages and it’s really cheap (subsidies). There are mini cabins left → https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/nightjet-new-generation.htm#mini-cabins

But then your friends will have to pay TGV tickets to Strasbourg, Basel or Freiburg... (and you a passholder reservation). Not ideal… let me know if you need help.

Definitely do not wait to book whichever option you choose: summer weekends are extremely popular.

Krakow - Prague: there is a student discount (ISIC card) but it applies to tickets. An Interrail reservation will be cheaper. Book through https://www.cd.cz/en/

After a quick look a couchette in a 6 ppl compartment costs 237 CZK (10€) and 353 CZK (15€) in a 4 ppl compartment.

Userlevel 7
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From Paris to Vienna there is a direct train with a 1h longer journey. I don't mind so it's perfect. I will be with 2 friends who are going to Vienna without the pass, is there a way to be with them on the nightjet train?

Make 1 booking for all 3 of you. You can do that on nightjet.com or tickets.oebb.at. You indicate the Eurail/Interrail discount for yourself and no discount for the others. On tickets.oebb.at you then have to choose "One-way tickets”. Book this night train ASAP.

For the direct night train from Krakow to Prague, should I book on DB or Ceske Drahy ? And how can I find the price on DB ? Also on Ceske Drahy, there is apparently a discount for students, can I get it as I am a student in France and is there other discounts like that for other trains ?

Book on cd.cz. DB can't book this train online. There's no student discount. On cd.cz, you have to add the Interrail discount. You'll see the seat price at first, but you can also choose a couchette or a sleeper.

Userlevel 7
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Krakow - Prague: there is a student discount (ISIC card) but it applies to tickets. An Interrail reservation will be cheaper. Book through https://www.cd.cz/en/

After a quick look a couchette in a 6 ppl compartment costs 237 CZK (10€) and 353 CZK (15€) in a 4 ppl compartment.

Interestingly, the sleeper (3-bed compartment) is the same price at CZK 353, which is a really good price.

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Are your friends under 25 by any chance? They could get the Friends Day Pass within Switzerland (for example from Basel towards Bregenz): https://www.sbb.ch/en/tickets-offers/tickets/day-passes/friends-day-pass-youth.html

Maybe Zurich - Graz could work… (but I’d prefer the Bregenz - Vienna service)

  • 45€ for a couchette for you (Interrail fare)
  • 120€ pp for a ticket incl. couchette for your friends

You’ll be in the same compartment (check the berth numbers before checkout on https://shop.oebbtickets.at/en/ticket) but there will likely be 1 person extra with you.

Then the next morning take a RJ to Vienna (9.90€ advance ticket). It’s a beautiful scenic route! ;)

Let me know.

I had a look and the Paris - Vienna night train is almost full on 13th July… only seats are left basically (not a pleasant experience sharing a tiny compartment with your 2 friends + 3 strangers).

I just saw with my friends, they are okay to have only seats and be with strangers so I guess that I will take that option even if it’s less comfortable as they want the cheapest possible. Do you think that a lot of seats will be taken even if it is a night train ? If not, I suppose that we could be only the three of us in the compartment ?

Are your friends under 25 by any chance?

Yes we are all around 20/21.

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Yes it will definitely be full on a summer Saturday. In my opinion it will even sell out in the coming days → do not wait to book. I guess the Paris - Vienna NJ is the best choice then... Bring sleep masks and don’t set your expectations too high. Bonne chance !

I had a look at other options: TGV to Mulhouse, then across Switzerland before taking the new NJ from Bregenz. It’s obviously more expensive but you’d have a more pleasant experience. For your friends:

  • 67€ TGV Paris - Mulhouse
  • 9€ TER Mulhouse - Basel SBB
  • 40 CHF (41€) for a day of all included in Switzerland
  • 3€ little ticket St. Margrethen SG - Bregenz across the border
  • 45€ Mini-Cabin couchette Bregenz - Vienna

Total: 165€ (vs 65€ for the direct train). 23€ less if they’ve got la carte avantage.

Userlevel 7
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Another middle ground could be:

- ICE Paris-Est - Stuttgart Hbf 06:52 - 10:04 64€ SNCF (49€ DB*)

- visit the city for a bit

- ICE Stuttgart Hbf - Bregenz 12:57 - 16:04 28€

- visit the city a bit, spend some time by the lake

- NJ Bregenz - Vienna 21:40 - 06:58 45€

Total: 123€. 103€ with Carte Avantage.

*you'd likely not sit together though. Unless you book with DB first for your friends and then call SNCF for your passholder fare and ask to be seated next to them.

Otherwise book everything for this train at once by calling SNCF (the only way to book tickets and Interrail together).

Thanks for your help, I have booked my trains and hotels.
About the night trains, are there dinners or breakfasts included or do I have to prepare something to eat?
And for the activities, do you know if I am eligible for discounts in Vienna, Krakow and Prague with a French student card and what prices I can expect?

Userlevel 7
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In couchettes and sleepers a little breakfast is included. Get dinner earlier.

For the discounts in museums and so on you'll have to check their websites.

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