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How to best travel in Europe

2 posts
How to best travel in Europe

Hi all,

Need some advice on my upcoming travel to Europe. I'm planning to go from 3rd until 26th of june with my Family (wife and 2 kids under 12) with the following itinerary: Rome - Pisa (Transit only) - Venice - Milan - Lucerne - Interlaken - Amsterdam - Paris - Avignon - London.

I'm really confused about which train to take and what sort of train tickets we should get. Have read some websites in regards to railpasses, but still really confused which type of railpass to take or is it worth it to buy railpass at all or will it be better to buy city to city train tickets instead.

Any advice?

8 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
98,135 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: How to best travel in Europe

A train pass is never a good idea in Italy or France. All the fast trains have compulsory seat reservations. Passholders have to make the reservations an pay extra for them. Buy ordinary tickets *now* direct from the train companies to get whatever discounted tickets are still available.

Rome-Pisa-Venice-Milan-Lucerne: www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

Lucerne-Interlaken: www.sbb.ch/en

Interlaken-Amsterdam: www.bahn.de/en

Amsterdam-Paris: www.thalys.com

Paris-Avignon: en.oui.sncf/en

Parfis-London: www.eurostar.com

Mestre, Italy
Level Contributor
12,079 posts
97 reviews
2. Re: How to best travel in Europe

Railpass is for the young travelers with backpack...you need much more as a family.

Level Contributor
11,359 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: How to best travel in Europe

You have way too many stops and the sequence is questionable. No way Avignon fits. Not for tickets, but quick train schedules here:


Flights on www.skyscanner.com. When there is a choice of a train or flight, and the train is direct and 6 hours or less, we take the train, no matter how short the flight is.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 17:44
Level Contributor
12,708 posts
56 reviews
4. Re: How to best travel in Europe

You have essentially 3 weeks and are planning on going to FIVE countries! and at least nine destinations...that is waaay too much. You are also traveling with children...advise to reconsider the pace and scope of the itinerary.

There is travel time in between each change in destination and it’s always more time than the posted train schedule. Plan 1/2 day for every ‘travel day’ and usually more when dealing with airports. That means 1 night somewhere does not equal 1 day in the location; it is 1/2 day and that’s because you have to get there from your previous destination (or airport arrival settle in time). 2 nights = 1-1.5 days, etc.

Many of these destinations are significant and they take time to visit. Think about what you’d like to experience, rather than what you’d like to cover.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 18:03
2 posts
5. Re: How to best travel in Europe

Ok thank you for the advice all...it was really useful...=)

p b
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
487 posts
85 reviews
6. Re: How to best travel in Europe

Go to this website it is the most comprehensive you will find


Each country has its peculiarities so its worth a thorough read .

I always tend to use the website of the train companies within the country I am travelling , for peace of mind sometimes buying a through ticket is better to ensure you are covered by the European CIV regulations meaning if anything is late and you miss a connection it gets sorted out for you .

Prices move around , offers come and go , usually if a ticket is non refundable or exchangeable it will be the cheapest , an example I booked a Barcelona to Paris ticket for two first class because I wanted to get the face to face single window seats , cost us 238 euros in total , an offer has just come up first class for 110 euros in total but its not offering those seats and the other oddity is dont assume first class is more expensive, in this case its cheaper than second class .

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
73,865 posts
476 reviews
7. Re: How to best travel in Europe

Seat 61 is an excellent site and The Man himself posts regularly in the Train Travel forum here on TA.

Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
Level Contributor
32,997 posts
8. Re: How to best travel in Europe

A transit though Pisa will increase your travel time from Rome to Venice from 3h 45 on a direct train to over six hours using three different trains, plus time taken to deposit and retrieve your luggage in the left luggage facility at Pisa. Unless you take the fast 06.05 train to Pisa in which case you might do it under six hours. Do you want to go to Pisa that much?

Note that the Trenitalia website will only sell tickets from Milano Centrale to Luzern on the one direct train per day. For the other connections, with a change of train at Arth-Goldau, use the SBB website.

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