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Is the Eurail pass worth taking than buying single point to point tickets?

  • 27 October 2023
  • 6 replies
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My husband and I, along with 2 of our friends are planning a trip to Italy and other countries in December. Our route would look like this:

Venice- Vienna

Vienna- Salzburg (round trip)

Vienna- Budapest

Budapest- Prague

Prague- Rome (considering an overnight train)

I was wondering if it makes sense to take a Eurail pass or book single point to point tickets? Also would my pass be valid on any and every train that goes between these countries. Would appreciate suggestions on the above, since in some instances I am still not able to see a timetable which makes buying tickets impossible this early on.

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Best answer by ralderton 27 October 2023, 17:58

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You can check the cost of individual tickets on www.thetrainline.com for most of those journeys (except the Czech Republic - probably best to look on www.cd.cz for those) so you can compare that with the cost of a rail pass + compulsory reservations.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend booking through the Trainline, but it’s a good first place to check.

Yes, your pass is valid on all trains on those journeys. You should budget extra fee of around €13 on any high speed legs in Italy, and any trains between Italy and Austria/ Switzerland. You’ll also have to pay the cost of a sleeper or couchette on the overnight train. You can see a good summary of extra fees here: https://www.seat61.com/interrail-and-eurail-reservations.htm

Userlevel 7
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There’s a big timetable change after the 9 December, and it’s possible that not all trains and fares have been loaded yet.

If in doubt, search for a date before 9 Dec to give you an idea of timings and prices. The dates in late December should ve available soon.

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It’s also worth remembering that even if the pass isn’t cheaper, it does give you a lot of flexibility.

Except for those trains which you need to reserve, you have a lot more freedom with a pass.

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With the night train the pass should be good value. Book the night train ASAP, especially if you want to stay in the same compartment (or 2 doubles). Expect 42€ per person for a 4-people couchette compartment and 90€ for double sleepers.

I also agree that you've got more flexibility as reservations are optional in this part of Europe. They're even free with a 1st class pass (which doesn't cost much more btw).

What would be the travel dates for the night train ? It would be the first thing to book, they're very popular especially to Italy.

The itinerary could look as follows :

Option 1 :

- EC Prague - Linz/Donau Hbf 14:21 - 18:06

- RJ Linz/Donau Hbf - Salzburg Hbf 18:30 - 19:49 or 18:45 - 19:53

- dinner near the station

- NJ Salzburg - Roma Termini 22:02 - 09:10

Option 2 :

- RJ Prague - Vienna 12:44 - 16:49 or 13:15 - 17:21 (14:44 - 18:49 is too close for a night train connection)

- NJ Vienna - Roma Termini 19:18 - 09:10

Could you maybe go the other way around ? Vienna, Prague and then Salzburg. So you have all day there and take the night train after dinner.

By taking the direct night train to Rome you only use a pass day, the departure day. :)

Don't hesitate to ask further questions !

Thank you so much for your replies @ralderton and @thibcabe. This has been super helpful. I have been comparing tickets and pass options. And does the pass allow the freedom to not use it for 4/5 consecutive days? I may be spreading the days over a week period.

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Yes that’s the beauty of the pass.

If you buy a ‘4 days in 1 month’ pass, then you can use those days whenever you want in that month.

If you buy, say, a ‘15 day continuous’ pass, then it’s valid for 15 consecutive days.

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