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4 Day Train Ride Around Europe?

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posts: 12
4 Day Train Ride Around Europe?

We are still in the planning stages of our trip to Amsterdam.

Party of 5 thirty something adults travelling from 03/29/06 - 04/12/06 + or - a couple weeks. Dates are variable for better deals.

Originally we planned 10 days in Amsterdam. Everyone else in my group, including my wife of 16 years, wants to take a train ride around Europe. Her thought is we may never get back so this is a once in a lifetime chance. So now we are thinking of extending the trip to 12 days, 8 in Amsterdam and 4 travelling Europe.

We are considering a mad dash from The Netherlands to Frankfurt,Germany to Geneva,Switzerland to Milan,Italy to Paris,France to Brussels,Belgium (possibly a detour to London if time allows!) and back to Amsterdam.

It is not important for anyone to stay anywhere long, they just want to go to major cities, have breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on time of day, get souvenirs, and have a passport with all the countries stamped.

We are all hardy adults up to the task and can sleep on the trains.

Is this do-able or do we need to reconsider our plans?

Will the 5 countries Eurail Selectpass get us everywhere we want to go?

If we buy a rail pass for this purpose will it also be good for local sight-seeing in The Netherlands?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
posts: 35,652
reviews: 144
1. Re: 4 Day Train Ride Around Europe?

Well, can only judge on travel schedule, dunno much about the passes. (But for the fact that such passes usually don't allow for all high-speed trains, like German ICE and French TGV, or only with heavy surcharge; and it is those trains which make your goal a LOT more easy to attain...).

NL-Frankfurt: only by ICE (see above), 4 hours

Frankfurt to Geneva: about 6-8 hours

Geneva - Milan: 4-5 hours

Milan-Paris: 10-12 hours by normal train, though parts of the route are almost monopolised by TGV and then maybe 6-9 hours altogether.

Paris-Brussels: 90 minutes (!) by TGV

Brussels-Amsterdam: 2-3 hours because only normal rail track.



PS You and party will not get extra stamps in the passports, sorry, almost all countries are in Schengen zone and Swiss customs does hardly check in trains (and again no stamps at least not for Europeans). Will have to find different tangible souvenirs, euro coins of each country could be nice ones...

posts: 12
2. Re: 4 Day Train Ride Around Europe?

Thanks for the response ErikdR.

I didn't know that the pass doesn't cover the high-speed trains.The Eurail website map shows trains going to all those destinations and made no mention of ticket upgrades.

I will have to research this some more and try to find out prices on the high speed tickets.Thanks for the heads up.

Oh well, some will be dissappointed about the passport stamps, guess they'll just have to collect shot glasses.LOL

Thanks again

P.S. Anyone out there tried a trip like this and if so how did it go?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
posts: 35,652
reviews: 144
3. Re: 4 Day Train Ride Around Europe?

Hi Phamilyguy,

Doublechecked about the surcharge and found following on the FAQ:

'Can I travel for free on all trains in the countries in which my Eurail Pass is valid? Are there any supplements?

On most trains, you can travel for free. However, there is a

number of high quality trains on which supplements have to be paid. This supplement includes the compulsory seat reservation and sometimes a meal on board the train or other amenities. The following trains require a supplement:'

And then indeed the ICE and International TGV (e.g. Eurostar). Seems most domestic TGV's in France are exempt but even for those usually a reservation (--> surcharge) is recommended. Surcharges MIGHT be not as much as I feared, but better check before doing; e.g. we did two short stretches on Cisalpino last month (on Swiss-Italian holiday) and it was really not material worth any reservation or surcharge...