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Eurail Global Pass.

  • 21 January 2024
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Hi All

First time travelling to Europe with wife and 2 kids (5 and 9 yrs old). Have finalised the itinerary but confused for how many days  should I buy flexible global pass for (10 or 15 days?)

Following are the days of travel and keen to catch fast trains on these lines, where available:

London to Paris - 1 day

Paris to Lucerne - 2 day (staying 4 days in Lucerne)

Lucerne to Zurich - 3 day (day trip)

Lucerne to Bern - 4 day ( day trip)

Lucerne to Grindewald - 5 day (starting for 4 day in Grindewald)

Grindewald to Montreax - 6 day (day trip)

Grindewald to Launtabern and around - 7 day

Grindewald to Zermatt - 8 day (Staying for 2 days)

Zermatt to Venice - 9 day (Staying 3 nights in Venice)

Venice to Rome - 10 day ( Staying for 4 night in Rome)

Rome to Florence - 11 day ( day trip)

Florence to Sorrento - 12 day (Staying for 3 days in Sorrento)

Sorrento to Naples - 13 day (Staying for 1 night in Naples before we fly to Greece)

My question are as follows:

Will Global pass cover my travel to Italy and above cities or not?

When I am Sorrento, I will be doing day trips to Amalfi and Positano - will I get some discount on ferry or transportation to these towns?

I will be doing Glacier express and Panaroma route and I believe they r covered via Global pass. Is that correct?

Keen to get some help before I buy the pass.

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Best answer by ralderton 21 January 2024, 14:10

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Userlevel 7
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Yes, the global pass will cover all of those. The kids will get a free rail pass with an adult, but you do need to add these passes to your order.

You should be aware of a few reservation fees to pay (Eurostar to Paris, TGV from Paris to Switzerland, and the Italian high-speed trains). Kids will also have to pay this. Details of costs and how to make these reservations here.

https://www.seat61.com/interrail-and-eurail-reservations.htm

You need reservations to travel on the official Glacier Express, and these are quite expensive. You can cover exactly the same route on regular trains without reservation. The views are the same!

Details here: https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/glacier-express.htm

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I don’t believe there’s any discounts for ferries near Amalfi.

You can see which companies are included here: https://www.interrail.eu/en/plan-your-trip/tips-and-tricks/trains-europe/railway-companies

And some of the (pretty weak) extra benefits and discounts here: https://benefitsportal.eurail.com/?

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Which pass to buy? You have 13 travelling days in that itinerary. I think you have two options:

Option A: ‘15 days in two months’ pass for €423. This covers all your travel, and leaves you 2 days spare if you have any ‘spur of the moment’ trips.

Option B: ‘10 days in two months’ pass for €341. This would leave you with three days that your pass doesn’t cover. Pick the three smallest days, and pay cash for those trips.

Option C/ D: 15/ 22 days continuous for €363/ 448. I can’t quite work out from your itinerary how long the whole trip is from London to Naples, but 15 days wouldn’t cover you and 22 is too many. I don’t think this would be good value.

Option B might save you a bit of money, but I think I’d go for Option A, as it’s simpler!

Thank you v much for your response. The total no of days from London to Naples is 24, hence looking for flexible pass as continuous pass will be bit more expensive.

What I am bit unsure about and not able to find, what's trains I would need to take from Zermatt to Venezia Mestre and how long it would take and will the entire journey be covered with Global pass. Can you help here?

Also, when I am looking for train between Venezia and Rome how do I make sure that I am only looking at trains that are covered by Global pass? I am looking at https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html ? Also, I need to make sure that my travel is covered via express train, so can I check?

Any help and guidance will be appreciated.

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From Zermatt, the quickest route will be via Milan.

Anywhere between 3.5 - 5.5 hours to get to Milan, depending on when you leave. And then 2.5 hours on a direct train from Milan to Venice.

You would need to pay a €13 reservation fee on the train from Milan to Venice.

In Italy, the pass is not valid on Trenitalia’s main competitor Italo, nor on Trenitalia’s service to Paris.

You can see times (for almost all of Europe) on www.bahn.com That’s the best place to search, it’s more up-to-date than the Eurail timetable.

 

Thank you.

So the Global Pass is valid on Trenitalia’s line, that's good to know. For eg: I am looking for a train from Ven to Rome for 20 Apr, the below express train would be covered by this pass and I only need to pay for seat reservation. Is that correct?

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Yep, it would be valid on that.

You can buy the reservations at www.raileurope.com. Add your Eurail pass, and it should come up with tickets for €13.

Note also that Venice Mestre is the station on the mainland. Venice Santa Lucia is the station on the island of Venice.

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What are your travel dates ? Just asking because :

  • timetables after June have not been published yet in Italy, nor earlier ones in France (but those will be soon)
  • part of the Simplon route (Domodossola - Milan) will be closed for 3 months from 9th June to 8th September. Replacement buses will run, taking 1-1h30 longer.

Outside these works the line is still closed for a few hours every day all year round so you either need to wake up early or arrive at 7:30pm.

There is a direct train from Brig to Venice in the morning so you’d only need to pay 13€ once but it’d mean a 05:37 or 06:13 departure from Zermatt! Otherwise via Milan as said, for example leaving at around midday and arrival at 7:30pm → more relaxed choice.

Some advice in chronological order (I totally agree with what’s already been said) :

Eurostar trains (London - Paris) have a passholder quota so you should book as soon as your dates are set, especially for morning trains on weekends.

There are ways to lower the 29€ cross-border TGV fee to Basel : for example TGV to Strasbourg or Mulhouse and then regional train across the border. Feel free to ask for advice, mentioning travel date.

Trains run often in Switzerland and are easy to use. Reservations aren’t a thing : simply log the train before boarding and hop on. Use SBB for timatebales, platforms, train compositions and so on. General tip : train ends are less busy as people are lazy and hop in the middle near the stairs.

Boats on Lake Thun and Brienz are fully included using a travel day. Nice experience!

Lauterbrunnen is fairly small so I’d suggest to go all the way to Mürren to have a look too : cable car to Grütschalp + little train to Mürren itself (all fully included now).

You can do a nice loop around Montreux : either direct Interlaken - Montreux train or changes in Spiez and Zweisimmen (Golden Pass route) and back via Lausanne and Bern. A pretty long day trip, no matter what you do!

What do you mean by “I will be doing Glacier express and Panaroma route” ? The route to Zermatt is part of the Glacier Express route, sure, but it’s a tiny bit only. :) You’ll use the regular trains running every 30 min anyway.

Last thing : I’d also get the 15 days within 2 months pass for flexibility.

Noted. Thank you

Yes, I am aware about the stations. I am staying in Hilton Ven hence was looking from that side.

This is helpful. 

What are your travel dates ? Just asking because :

  • timetables after June have not been published yet in Italy, nor earlier ones in France (but those will be soon)
  • part of the Simplon route (Domodossola - Milan) will be closed for 3 months from 9th June to 8th September. Replacement buses will run, taking 1-1h30 longer.

Outside these works the line is still closed for a few hours every day all year round so you either need to wake up early or arrive at 7:30pm.

There is a direct train from Brig to Venice in the morning so you’d only need to pay 13€ once but it’d mean a 05:37 or 06:13 departure from Zermatt! Otherwise via Milan as said, for example leaving at around midday and arrival at 7:30pm → more relaxed choice.

Some advice in chronological order (I totally agree with what’s already been said) :

Eurostar trains (London - Paris) have a passholder quota so you should book as soon as your dates are set, especially for morning trains on weekends.

There are ways to lower the 29€ cross-border TGV fee to Basel : for example TGV to Strasbourg or Mulhouse and then regional train across the border. Feel free to ask for advice, mentioning travel date.

Trains run often in Switzerland and are easy to use. Reservations aren’t a thing : simply log the train before boarding and hop on. Use SBB for timatebales, platforms, train compositions and so on. General tip : train ends are less busy as people are lazy and hop in the middle near the stairs.

Boats on Lake Thun and Brienz are fully included using a travel day. Nice experience!

Lauterbrunnen is fairly small so I’d suggest to go all the way to Mürren to have a look too : cable car to Grütschalp + little train to Mürren itself (all fully included now).

You can do a nice loop around Montreux : either direct Interlaken - Montreux train or changes in Spiez and Zweisimmen (Golden Pass route) and back via Lausanne and Bern. A pretty long day trip, no matter what you do!

What do you mean by “I will be doing Glacier express and Panaroma route” ? The route to Zermatt is part of the Glacier Express route, sure, but it’s a tiny bit only. :) You’ll use the regular trains running every 30 min anyway.

Last thing : I’d also get the 15 days within 2 months pass for flexibility.

Thank you. My travel dates are 31 Mar till 5 May.

My plan was to use Glacier express train from Brigg to Zermatt and use the regular trains from Grindewald to Brigg

Yes, planning to cover the Panaarome rout from Interlaken to Monteux and on the way back take the other train to reach back quicker. Dose that sound good enough?

Taken a note for Murren and will explore that.

Date Country/City Town & Comments
31 Mar London Landing Night
1 Apr London  
2 Apr London  
3 Apr London  
4 Apr Paris  
5 Apr Paris  
6 Apr Paris  
7 Apr Swis Lucerne
8 Apr Swis Lucerne
9 Apr Swis Lucerne
10 Apr Swis Lucerne
11 Apr Swis Grindewald
12 Apr Swis Grindewald
13 Apr Swis Grindewald
14 Apr Swis Grindewald
15 Apr Swis Zermatt
16 Apr Swis Zermatt
17 Apr Italy Venice
18 Apr Italy Venice
19 Apr Italy Venice
20 Apr Italy Rome
21 Apr Italy Rome
22 Apr Italy Rome
23 Apr Italy Rome
24 Apr Italy Sorrento
25 Apr Italy Sorrento
26 Apr Italy Sorrento
27 Apr Italy Naples (Catching a flight to Athens)
28 Apr Greece Athens
29 Apr Greece Athens
30 Apr Greece Santorini (Catching a flight to Sant from Athens)
1 May Greece Santorini
2 May Greece Santorini
3 May London Santorini
4 May London (Catching a flight from Sant to London)
5 May London Fly back
Userlevel 7
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Thanks for the plan. More advice :

Eurostar to Paris : Thursday during school holidays → book well in advance.

Works : you’ll avoid the 3 months closure towards Milan so that’s good. Now the question is either leaving early at 6am or taking it slowly and leaving Zermatt at midday (I’d do that!).

Glacier Express : you’d need to pay 4 x 44 CHF reservations for the 1h20 journey from Brig to Zermatt. More expensive than a ticket! You’d also be tied to the 16:50 train, carriages will be full and loud. Honestly I would advise against that. Instead take a regular regional train running every 30 min along the same route.

For more scenery beforehand : avoid the 37km long Lötschberg base tunnel used by the Intercity trains and instead use the hourly RE along the old route (via Kandersteg). Really beautiful with a great view over the valley!

The highlight of the Glacier Express route (not train) is further east in the Alps.

Italian high-speed trains (Frecciarossas) are frequent and availability is rarely an issue. Feel free to decide closer to travel date which train you’d like to take.

Thanks for the plan. More advice :

Eurostar to Paris : Thursday during school holidays → book well in advance.

Works : you’ll avoid the 3 months closure towards Milan so that’s good. Now the question is either leaving early at 6am or taking it slowly and leaving Zermatt at midday (I’d do that!).

Glacier Express : you’d need to pay 4 x 44 CHF reservations for the 1h20 journey from Brig to Zermatt. More expensive than a ticket! You’d also be tied to the 16:50 train, carriages will be full and loud. Honestly I would advise against that. Instead take a regular regional train running every 30 min along the same route.

For more scenery beforehand : avoid the 37km long Lötschberg base tunnel used by the Intercity trains and instead use the hourly RE along the old route (via Kandersteg). Really beautiful with a great view over the valley!

The highlight of the Glacier Express route (not train) is further east in the Alps.

Italian high-speed trains (Frecciarossas) are frequent and availability is rarely an issue. Feel free to decide closer to travel date which train you’d like to take.

Thank you. Taken a note for this.

Also, would the train from Rome to Sorrento (via Naples) will be covered by Global Pass? I cant seem to find the connection on https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html. Can you pls help here?

Userlevel 7
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According to https://www.seat61.com/interrail-and-eurail-reservations.htm#Italy Naples - Sorrento is not covered but it only costs a few € anyway. Tickets available there.

Rome - Naples might be a good journey to save a pass day, I'd get cheap advance tickets (you'd need a 13€ Eurail reservation). That way you could use that pass day in Switzerland where tickets are rather expensive.

Of course if you think you'll have enough pass days no need to!

Thank you. Noted.

Also, in terms of buying the pass do you suggest buying the pass directly from Eurail website or partner website like https://www.klook.com/en-AU/ as they have discounts going on (5%).

Not sure, are there any ways to get discounts directly via Eurail for global pass?

Userlevel 7
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I'd advise to get the pass through the official site but if it's a retailer you know…

There are regularly discounts :

- 25% last Black Friday

- maybe 10% in spring ?

You could book the reservations in advance and wait to see if there's a discount on passes.

Thank U v much.

Got the pass last night, now I am trying to reserve the seats from Paris to Zurich via fast train. I am unable to find the connection rail planner app and upon looking on snfc connect, I can find the trains but then unable to enter the Global pass so that I just reseve the seat. Can someone pls help and guide what's the best way to book

Userlevel 7
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Direct trains are already available and French domestic trains will be tomorrow. Schedules will be uploaded on Rail Planner in the coming weeks but you don’t have to worry about that : the process is totally separate and you only need to log the train on the app seconds before boarding. You can’t book reservations through the app.

You can’t book passholder reservations through SNCF-Connect either (apparently too many people misused that option and travelled without a pass...). You should use https://www.raileurope.com/en → add railpass, no booking fees.

Direct TGVs to Switzerland cost 29€ in 2nd (39€ in 1st). There are ways to save money by taking a TGV to Mulhouse or Strasbourg (10-20€) and then crossing the border on a regional train → not much longer.

Btw for Lucerne you should change in Basel instead of Zurich, unless you wish to visit the city of course!

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