Rail Pass Itinerary: Direct Trains Only

Paris  →  Amsterdam  →   Berlin  →  Praha/Prague →  Budapest  →  Vienna/Wien  →  Venice/Venezia  →  Roma/Rome  →  Milano/Milan  →  Marseille  →  Barcelona  →  Paris

or 

Paris  →  Amsterdam  →   Berlin  →  Praha/Prague →  Budapest  →  Vienna/Wien  →  Munich/Munchen  →  Venice/Venezia  →  Roma/Rome  →  Milano/Milan  →  Nice  →   Paris


WHY TAKE THESE JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME:

This suggested routing enables you to visit the most popular cities in Europe by taking only DIRECT trains.


Taking these trains means that additional reservation fees can’t be avoided, but this is still an itinerary on which rail passes can be good value for money, IF booking tickets months ahead for these journeys isn't an option


The itinerary is also a continuous loop, so you can follow this itinerary if you want the start and finish point of your entire trip, to be in any of the cities where each day concludes.

If you use a 10 days of travel within one month InterRail Global Pass OR a 10 days within 2 months Eurail  Global Pass you can take breaks between your days of train travel.

You can then spend some time in some fabulous destinations including Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Venice, Rome, Barcelona and Paris.

We've also cheated slightly to include a journey that we suggest you don't use your rail pass for - you'll need to book separate tickets instead, but trust us, it will be for the best!

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THE ROUTING:

Most of the journeys are clickable, so you can access more useful info about each individual train ride including:

(1) All you need to know about the stations where you will be joining and leaving the train.

(2) What to expect when on board each train, such as catering facilities and tips for how to manage your luggage.

(3) Insights for scenic journeys - what to look out for, which side of the train to sit on for the best of the views etc.

Plus if you click the station buttons on the journey guides, you will also usually* find:

(1) Lists of overnight accommodation with easy access to the station and with high user ratings;

(2) Links to destination guides to help you make the most of each location.

*Just the big cities, for now.

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Day One:

Depart: Paris Gare Du Nord 10:25
Arrive: Amsterdam Centraal at 13:44

This Eurail and InterRail Pass itinerary takes you from city to city by direct trains
Reservation fees: 1st class = €35; 2nd class = €25

The reservations for the Thays train can be booked online on B-Europe

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Day Two:

Depart: Amsterdam Centraal at 09:00 or 11:00
Arrive: Berlin Hbf at 15:22 or 17:22


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Day Three:

Depart: Berlin Hbf at 09:16 or 11:16
Arrive: Praha Holseovice at 13:15 or 15:15

OR
Arrive: Praha Hl (Nadrazi) at 13:26 or 15:26.


Check the location of your where you’ll be staying in Praha/Prag, as either Holseovice OR Hl (Nadrazi) stations may be the most convenient for your onward travel in the city.

If possible sit on the right of the train when boarding, in order to make the most of the river valley views after Dresden, shown above, 

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Day Four:

Depart: Praha Hln at 09:50
Arrive: Budapest-Nyugati at 16:20


Note that if you do opt to leave the train from Berlin at Holseovice station when arriving in Praha/Prague, you will need to head to this different station, hl. Nadrazi, when departing from the city.

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Day Five:

Depart: Budapet-Keleti at 09:40
Arrive: Wien hbf at 12:21


Note that you’ll be departing from a different station in Budapest to that in which you arrived.

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Day Six:

Depart: Wien Hbf at 06:25 or 12:25
Arrive: Venezia St Lucia at 14:05 or 20:05.

The Vienna to Venice is included on this rail pass itinerary with no changes of train
Reservations are recommended if you want to take the train which departs Wien at 12:25.

The best of the views will be on the left of the train.

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Day Seven:

Depart: Venezia St Lucia at 09:25
Arrive: Roma Termini at 13:10 – this train should be heading to Roma Fiumicino Aeroporto

You don’t have to take this suggested train, there are 1 – 3 x high speed Frecce trains per hour from Venice to Rome.

Reservations – 1st class = €10*; 2nd class = €10.
 

Rail pass reservations can be purchased from the Trenitalia (Italian Railways) website - this PAGE has the step-by-step instructions for booking them online.
 

*The reservation fee info for the 1st class passes on the InterRail and Eurail websites is incorrect, we have just returned from Italy and can confirm that that 1st class reservation fee is €10.
 

Or book the reservations at the Reisezentrum travel desk back when you arrived at Berlin hbf on Day TWO - why this is an option worth considering is explained below.

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Day Eight:

Depart: Roma Termini at 10:00
Arrive: Milano Centrale at 12:55


Reservations – 1st class = €1-; 2nd class = €10
 

Rail pass reservations can be purchased from the Trenitalia (Italian Railways) website - this PAGE has the step-by-step instructions for booking them online.

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Day Nine - booking separate tickets for this day's travel:

Depart: Milano Centrale at 15:10
Arrive: Marseille St Charles at 22:31


Year round this train departs on Friday - Sunday only, but it departs daily between June 10th and October 30th.

This journey is by Thello train, on which rail pass users can obtain tickets at a discounted rate.

However, as these special rail pass tickets are more expensive than the most heavily discounted tickets, we suggest trying to book those tickets - you can then save a day of your rail pass for another journey.
 

Also if you will be travelling with a 1st class rail pass, you can of course opt to purchase 2nd class tickets for this journey.

Cheapest ticket prices: 1st class = €45; 2nd class = €27.

Click on the journey info above to access all the relevant information incuding the ticket booking links.

The sea views are on the left of the train after it departs from Genova, though you'll need to be travelling in summer to see them at their best.

The train will reverese direction on departure from Genova.

On the departure screens at Milano Centrale, if you see a train heading to Marsiglia, the info will be for this train.

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Day Ten (day 9 of using your rail pass):

Depart: Marseille St Charles at 08:01
Arrive: Barcelona Sants at 12:38

Many of the direct trains on this around Europe rail pass itinerary are high speed trains
Reservation fees: 1st class = €26; 2nd class = €19.
 

The reservations for the trains to AND from Barcelona cannot be booked online and ideally you need to book these reservations before you arrive in France.
 

So an option is to book them at the Reisezentrum travel desk when you arrive at Berlin hbf – which is why we also suggest booking the reservations for the Italian trains there.
 

You won’t be charged booking fees if you use the Reisezentrum desk.

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Day Eleven (day 10 of using your rail pass):

Depart: Barcelona Sants at 09:25
Arrive: Paris Gare De Lyon at 15:53

Reservation fees: 1st class = €48; 2nd class = €34.

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THE ALTERNATIVE ROUTING via Munich:
 

An option on this itineray is to swap Marseille and Barcelona for Munich/Munchen and Nice and if you do so you will reduce your total travel time and save money - because the reservation fees on this alternative itinerary are less expensive.
 

DAYS ONE - FIVE:  As above

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Day Six:

Depart: Wien Hbf at 10:30
Arrive: Munchen Hbf at 14:27


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Day Seven:

DAILY
Depart: Munchen Hbf at 11:11 or 11:34
Arrive: Venezia St Lucia at 18:10

 

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY:
Depart: Munchen Hbf at 07:11 or 07:34
Arrive: Venezia St Lucia at 13:56

Reservation fees: 1st class = €15; 2nd class = €10


The best option for purchasing the reservations for this train is to book them at the Reisezentrum travel desk when you arrive at Munchen Hbf on the previous evening.
 

As you’ll be making use of it, it also makes sense to book the reservations for the Italian trains at this desk at the same time - you won't be charged a booking fee at a Reisezentrum.

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Days Eight and Nine: As per days 7 and  8 above

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Day Ten- booking separate tickets for this day's travel:

Depart: Milano Centrale at 11:10
Arrive: Nice-Ville at 16:00


This journey is by Thello train, on which rail pass users can obtain tickets at a discounted rate.

However, as these special rail pass tickets are more expensive than the most heavily discounted tickets, we suggest trying to book those tickets - you can then save a day of your rail pass for another journey.

Also if you will be travelling with a 1st class rail pass, you can of course opt to purchase 2nd class tickets for this journey.


Cheapest ticket prices: 1st class = €30; 2nd class = €15


Click on the journey info above to access all the relevant information incuding the ticket booking links.

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DAY ELEVEN (day 10 of using your rail pass):

Depart: Nice-Ville at 10:00
Arrive: Paris Gare De Lyon at 15:41

Reservations: 1st class and 2nd class = €10*

*These €10 reservations can sell out, when they do the price rises to €20.
 

INTERRAIL pass users can book reservations for the Nice to Paris TGV train online on Oui.SNCF - the step-by-step instructions are on this GUIDE.


EURAIL pass users book them on RailEurope - tick the 'I have a rail pass' box.

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APPROXIMATE TOTAL COST OF TRAIN TRAVEL: 

The total costs are based on standard* InterRail and Eurail prices + the costs of the reservation fees on the trains that have been included on this itinerary + a ticket for the journey by Thello train.

*Both of these passes are frequently discounted during 'sales' periods.

(1) VIA MARSEILLE and BARCELONA:

InterRail 1st Class Adult = €708
InterRail 2nd Class Adult = €526

InterRail 1st Class Youth = €585
InterRail 2nd Class Youth = €433

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Eurail 1st Class Adult = €705
Eurail 2nd Class Adult = €524

Eurail 1st Class Youth = €583
Eurail 2nd Class Youth = €432

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APPROXIMATE* cost comparison with purchasing tickets:

Cheapest 1st class tickets = €585
Cheapest 2nd class tickets = €330

1st class tickets when booked a few days ahead of the travel date = €1140
2nd class tickets when booked a few days ahead of the travel date = €791

The costs estimates based on one Adult aged 18+ travelling solo.

*We looked through 100s of departure times/dates to assess these costs and used the most 'typical' prices we could find.

However, the prices of train tickets can fluctuate, so these cost estimates do not take into sporadic promotions and other offers - nor do they include exponentially high prices at holiday times etc.

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(2) VIA MUNICH:

InterRail 1st Class Adult = €644
InterRail 2nd Class Adult = €481

InterRail 1st Class Youth = €521
InterRail 2nd Class Youth = €388

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Eurail 1st Class Adult = €641
Eurail 2nd Class Adult = €479

Eurail 1st Class Youth = €519
Eurail 2nd Class Youth = €387

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Approximate cost of cheapest 1st class tickets = €611
Approximate cost of cheapest 2nd class tickets = €363

Approximate cost of 1st class tickets when booked a few days ahead of the travel date = €1092
Approximate cost of 2nd class tickets when booked a few days ahead of the travel date = €738
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OUR ALTERNATIVE ITINERARIES:

POPULAR CITIES

SCENIC JOURNEYS

HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN EUROPE

NO ADDITIONAL FEES


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Tips to ensure your trip will be stress-free:
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These additional tips can help you:

(1) Save money when booking overnight accommodation.

(2) Know the 'rules'

(3) Have more comfortable journeys.

(4) Avoid last minute panics at the station etc etc.