Need advice on what's the best route (Vatican City, Interlaken, Paris)

  • 23 September 2023
  • 8 replies

Hi all, I plan to arrive in ROME (FCO) airport midnight Friday (saturday), plan to spend 1.5 days around Vatican City and leave for Interlaken around noon where I would like to spend 2 days explore then head to paris for 2-3 days then fly home.

Can this community help me with my routes and would a 4 day Eurail Global pass do the trick?

Day 1 (Saturday): FCO airport to Vatican, explore Vatican

Day 2 (Sunday): Vatican breakfast and walk around
                Transit to Interlaken

Day 3 (Monday):  Explore Interlaken
Day 4 (Tuesday): Visit/explore Lauterbrunnen

Day 5 (Wednesday):  Transit to Paris

Day 6 (Thursday):  Explore Paris
Day 7 (Friday): Explore Paris
Day 8 (Saturday):  To airport (CDG) to go home (Flight at noon)


Best answer by thibcabe 23 September 2023, 07:15

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Userlevel 7
Badge +5

When are you looking to travel ? This is quite important. At last minute a pass + reservations will definitely be good value while advance tickets could be cheaper if it's far away. High-speed train tickets vary like air fares.

A 4-day Pass should do the trick. Some advice about reservations :

- 2 x 13€ Rome - Milan - Switzerland

- 29€ TGV Switzerland - Paris (can be reduced to 10-20€ if you board it after the border)

If I were you I'd spend more time in Rome so 2 nights and leave Monday morning. Lauterbrunnen is really small, you want to explore the surroundings. Interlaken is only a base for the region, there's nothing to see. If you've got time I recommend a boat ride on Lake Thun or Brienz (Eurail valid).

Eurail is not valid on Interlaken Ost - Lauterbrunnen/Grindelwald but it gives you a 25% discount, better than nothing.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

I agree, I would spend more time in Rome, if you can. I know Lauterbrunnen is very popular (I’ve never been) but it’s a lot of travel, and Interlaken itself isn’t worth your time. It’s just a connection hub really.

I might be tempted to at least spend the whole of Sunday in Rome, take a late evening train to Milan (just to sleep), then travel Milan - Zurich via the Bernina Pass the next day.

It’s stunning, and will give you a real experience of Switzerland. I don’t know what time of year this will be, but in summer there are some nice walks you can do from this train, and there are hourly trains to continue your journey. It’s fully covered by a Eurail pass.


On prices - again I agree that a pass might not be the best option. On all your three big intercity journeys, Rome-Milan, Milan-Switzerland, Switzerland-Paris, regular tickets start at €30 if you buy in advance. A pass gives you a bit more flexibility, but you’ll still need to make the reservations mentioned above.

@thibcabe thanks for the advice.  I’m landing in FCO 10/20 ad midnight.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Okay. Since you're travelling on Sunday evening/Monday morning (peak times) regular tickets are quite expensive. A 4-day Global Pass should work fine keeping in mind our previous comments.

I'd also choose Lake Como and the Bernina Express (or better said Albula & Bernina Railways) over Interlaken/Lauterbrunnen but it's your trip after all.

Do not hesitate to come back for further questions.

Ok, thanks all for your input.  My wife decided to leave interlaken for next time.  We will be in London on the 18th.  Take a direct flight from London to Tom on the light of Friday the 20th.  
stay in Rome until Monday night and head to Paris and head home on Saturday morning.  

Any rail pass that works in Rome, Paris and London?  What would be my best option for local transportation?  I booked my tickets for London to Rome but have not decided on how to get from Rome to Paris.  

appreciate any inputs

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

There is no single pass that works within cities. Each one has its own rules. London is by far the easiest : you tap on, tap off with a contactless card and the amount gets deducted at the end of the day.

I don't really know how the other works I'm afraid. I used paper tickets in Paris but they were discontinued.

Rome - Paris is a very long trip by train. If you want to experience trains, it's not a good idea to spend 16h on trains ! You'll only end up disgusted. Are you open with staying somewhere during the journey ? Switzerland would be ideal, Bern for example. :)

A pass won't be good value for a single journey. Check tickets on (Rome - Switzerland) and (Switzerland - Paris).

I'll have a look for you when I have time.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

I think Rome accepts contactless payment on metro and buses now. It's really easy. Just tap your credit or debit card when you get on and off the metro, and when you board a bus.

Your pass is valid on the Leonardo Express from FCO airport. I think this used to be only for first class pass, but I think it's for second class passes now.

Same in London - use contactless for tube and bus. This is always cheaper than buying paper tickets or a travelcard. Your Eurail pass is valid on Thameslink, Elizabeth Line, and London Overground lines. (But obviously this is not worth specially using a travel day for.)

In Paris you may be able to buy single Metro/ bus tickets. They sometimes sell them on board the TGV. Otherwise you have to queue up at a ticket window and buy a Navigo card and load it with credit. That's a bit annoying, but once you've bought it you can top it up at ticket machines or sometimes even on your phone. You just tap the Navigo card at the ticket barriers.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

I've had a look :

A flight would cost 60€ + luggage (don't take the Ryanair flight landing far away from Paris in Beauvais). Add tickets to and from each airport.

A train ticket would cost at least 200€ per person, it's the school holidays in multiple countries so trains will be busy. You'd need to add a night accommodation somewhere inbetween to make the ride more pleasant.

If you really want to take the train I could suggest a few options. Like this one :

Monday 23rd 133€ :

- Frecciarossa Roma Termini - Milano Centrale 09:25 - 12:24

- EC Milano Centrale - Lausanne 13:05 - 16:42

Tuesday 24th 69€ :

- TGV Lausanne - Paris Gare de Lyon 09:45 - 13:42