Rail Pass Itinerary: Popular Cities

London  →  Amsterdam  →  Berlin  →  Prague/Praha  →  Vienna/Wien  →  Venice/Venezia  →  Roma/Rome  →  Geneve  →  Barcelona  →  Paris  →  London

WHY CHOOSE THIS TRIP OF A LIFETIME:

This suggested routing enables you to visit many of the most popular cities in Europe by taking as few trains as possible.


Though taking the minimum number of trains means that additional reservation fees can’t be avoided, but despite those fees, using rail passes on this trip can be great value for money - particularly if you opt to go 1st class.


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 two months 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.

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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 1:
St Pancras is the start and end point of this rail pass itineraty

Train 1:
Depart: London St. Pancras International at 08:55
Arrive: Bruxelles-Midi at 12:05


Train 2:
Depart: Bruxelles-Midi  at12:52 (Mon - Thurs only)
Arrive: Amsterdam Centraal at 14:44

OR 

Train 2:
Depart: Bruxelles-Midi at 12:44
Arrive: Amsterdam Centraal at 15:38


Good to know:

(1) If you will be travelling with a 2nd class pass, the reservation fee for the London to Bruxelles Eurostar is approximately equivalent to the cheapest one way ticket.

However, if you will be travelling with a 1st class pass, the reservation fee is (much) cheaper than buying a ticket.

(2) The second of the two suggested options for travelling on from Bruxelles to Amsterdam is an Intercity Brussels train service, on which rail pass users don't have to pay reservation fees.

The faster (Mon-Thurs) option is a Thalys train service, on which comparatively expensive reservation fees are charged to rail pass users - so you'll save at least €15 by taking the Intercity Brussels train instead.

(3) The reservations can be booked online on B-Europe - reservations for rail pass users aren't available on the direct London to Amsterdam trains, hence the need to change trains in Bruxelles.

If you select the London to Amsterdam journey, B-Europe will offer the reservations for both the Eurostar and the Thalys train.

Or you can look up the London to Bruxelles journey and just book a reservation for the Eurostar - because you won't need to book a reservation for an IC train on from Bruxelles to Amsterdam.
 

(4) Alternatively if you can find the cheapest tickets on sale for the direct London to Amsterdam Eurostar, you could book those tickets and use the day saved on your rail pass to add another destination to your itinerary.

For example, you could head from Amsterdam to Copenhagen on the first day of using your pass and then from Copenhagen to Berlin on the second day.

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Day 2:

Depart: Amsterdam Centraal at 09:00 or 11:00
Arrive: Berlin Hbf at 15:34 or 17:34


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Day 3:

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, shown above, after Dresden.

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Day 4:

Depart: Praha Hln at 08:51 or 10:51
Arrive: Wien Hbf at 12:49 or 14:49

 

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 5:

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

 

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 6:

 

Depart: Venezia St Lucia at 09:25
Arrive: Roma Termini at 13:10 – direction 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 and  2nd class = €10


Rail pass reservations for this Frecce train can be purchased from the Trenitalia (Italian Railways) website.

This page includes the step-by-step instructions for booking these reservations online.
 

Or book the reservations at the Reisezentrum travel desk at Berlin hbf station when you arrive there on day two - why this is an option worth considering is explained below.

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Day 7:
From Milan to Geneva on an amazing rail pass itinerary

Train 1:
Depart: Roma Termini at 08:20
Arrive: Milano Centrale at 11:45

 

Reservations – 1st and  2nd class = €10

Train 2:
Depart: Milano Centrale at 12:23
Arrive: Geneve at 16:21

Reservations – 1st class = €13; 2nd class = €11
 

Rail pass reservations for BOTH of these trains can be purchased from the Trenitalia (Italian Railways) website.

This PAGE includes the step-by-step instructions for booking these reservations online.
 

Or book the reservations at the Reisezentrum travel desk, back when you arrived at Berlin hbf on day 2.

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Day 8:
A Spanish high speed AVE train in Lyon Part Dieu station
Train 1:
Depart: Geneve at 11:31 (not Saturdays until May)
Arrive: Lyon –Part Dieu at 13:22

Train 2:
Depart: Lyon –Part Dieu at 14:24
Arrive: Barcelona Sants at 19:30


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 9:
Barccelona to Paris as part of a suggested rail pass itinerary
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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Day 10:

Depart: Paris Gare Du Nord at 10:04 or 10:06
Arrive: London St Pancras International at 11:30


You don't have to take this specific train from Paris to London, you can book reservations for any departure on your travel date online at B-Europe.

If you will be travelling with a 2nd class pass, the reservation fee for the Paris to London  Eurostar is approximately equivalent to the cheapest one way ticket.

So if you can find the cheapest tickets for sale, an option is to book these tickets - and then use your rail pass for an alternative journey, such as day trip from Venice to Verona.

However, if you will be travelling with a 1st class pass, the rail pass reservation fee is guaranteed to save you money on the Eurostar.

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APPROXIMATE TOTAL TRAIN TRAVEL COST: 

Based on the rail pass costs = reservation fees:

InterRail 1st Class Adult = €722
InterRail 2nd Class Adult = €553

InterRail 1st Class Youth = €599
InterRail 2nd Class Youth = €460

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Eurail 1st Class Adult = €719
Eurail 2nd Class Adult = €551

Eurail 1st Class Youth = €597
Eurail 2nd Class Youth = €459

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APPROXIMATE* cost comparison with purchasing tickets:

Cheapest 1st class tickets = €726
Cheapest 2nd class tickets = €392

1st class tickets when booked a few days ahead of the travel date = €1294
2nd class tickets when booked a few days ahead of the travel date = €838

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.

Note that despite the amount of reservation fees required, 1st class passes can be particularly good value if you follow this itinerary.

It's likely that you will make a saving, even when compared to the costs of going through the hassle of booking the cheapest possible end-to-end tickets, for each of the suggested days of travel.

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THE OTHER SUGGESTED ITINERARIES: 

SCENIC JOURNEYS

HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN EUROPE

NO ADDITIONAL FEES

DIRECT TRAINS ONLY


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Tips to help ensure your trip will be stress-free:

These EXTRA TIPS can help you:

(1) Save money when booking overnight accommodation.

(2) Know what the 'rules' are

(3) Have more comfortable journeys.

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

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Our other guides likely to be of use to rail pass users:

Our General guide for Eurail and InterRail Pass Users

Using stations in France

Using stations in Germany

Using stations in Italy

Europe's Daytime Trains

Europe's International Rail Routes

24 Tips for European Rail Travel

Europe's Most Fantastic Journeys by Express Trains

Travelling With Children on European Trains