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International Trains in Europe inc Eurostar

Rail Pass Itineraries in Europe - An Introduction

Save hours of time and money when planning a Eurail or InterRail schedule thanks to therebytrain.com's unique itineraries and destination ideas.

If you're considering using a rail pass to holiday across Europe by train, selecting your destinations from the spider’s web of rail routes can appear to be daunting.
Therebytrain.com has therefore produced a series of suggested pan-European itineraries that can be used by Eurail or InterRail pass holders.

We've based out itineraries on three key criteria
(1) all our schedules are for at least 10 days of travel in order to extract more value from a rail pass;
(2) we know that supplements (additional compulsory train reservation fees etc) can be off-putting so we've come up with both itineraries that don't involve supplements and clearly explained additional charges to those that do;
(3) the train journeys are in a logical order, we've minimized the amount of time that you will be travelling for, but we show how to make the most of any scenic routes.

The Eurail and InterRail Rail passes that are recommended for saving money on these itineraries are open to anyone, whether you're a backpacker on budget or want to travel in comfort and style across Europe - anyone can and will have the trip of a lifetime if you follow our schedules.

THE ITINERARIES

An experience of a lifetime is guaranteed if you follow any of these suggested schedules.

Click here for itineraries that don't require payment of any additional supplements

Click here for itineraries that involve 10 days of rail travel

Click here for longer itineraries suitable for rail passes valid for one month (or longer)

IDEAS FOR USING FIVE DAY RAIL PASSES

These suggested itineraries are likely to save you money - if you can book in advance for train travel to/from Austria, Germany and Italy (in particular) separate tickets for each journey MAY be cheaper - but you will have a fantastic trip if you make the most of a Eurail or InterRail pass that is valid for 5 days of rail travel

From Paris:

  • (via Luxembourg) to Koblenz - Berlin - Prague - Munich - Paris
  • Bruges (via Lille) - Amsterdam (via Antwerp or Brussels) - Copenhagen - Berlin - Paris (via Cologne)
  • Amsterdam (via Aeroport CDG and Brussels) - Lucerne or Interlaken (via Basel) - Venice (via Milan) - Nice (via Milan) - Paris
  • Berlin (via Cologne) - Prague - Munich - Lucerne or Interlaken (via Zurich) - Paris (via Basel)
  • Madrid - Barcelona - Geneva - St Moritz (via Zurich Landquart and Davos); Paris (via Chur and Zurich

From Amsterdam

  • Copenhagen - Berlin - Prague - Munich - Amsterdam
  • Berlin - Prague - Vienna - Zurich - Amsterdam
  • Munich - Venice - Florence - Lucerne or Interlaken (via Milan) - Amsterdam (via Basel, Cologne)
  • Copenhagen - Berlin - Munich - Paris - Amsterdam (via Aeroport CDG and Brussels)
  • Paris (via Brussels and Aeroport CDG) - Nice - Verona or Venice (via Milan) - Munich - Amsterdam

From Frankfurt (Main)

  • Amsterdam - Berlin - Prague - Vienna - Frankfurt
  • Berlin - Prague - Vienna - Munich - Frankfurt
  • Munich - Venice - Florence - Lucerne or Interlaken (via Milan) - Amsterdam (via Basel, Cologne)
  • Munich - Verona or Venice - Lucerne or Interlaken (via Milan), Paris (via Basel) - Amsterdam (via Aeroport CDG and Brussels)

From Munich/Munchen

  • Vienna - Budapest - Ljubljana - Salzburg - Munich
  • Berlin - Prague - Vienna - Budapest - Munich
  • Ljubljana - Vienna - Verona (via Innsbruck) - Lucerne (via Milan) - Munich (via Zurich)
  • Verona or Venice - Rome - Turin - Paris - Munich

BASES FOR DAY TRIPS BY TRAIN

Alternatively if you'd prefer to remain in cities for several consecutive nights and use a rail pass for making day trips by train, then these destinations listed below are ideal bases for rail exploration.

From each of them you can travel to an exceptional number of tourist destinations that can be reached by train in either approximately two hours or less or have multiple scenic routes that's worth a day's travel in itself (in therebytrain.com's humble opinion).
These routes also don't require too much pre-planning such as reserving seats, paying supplements. (reservations recommended for travel to destinations marked*)

  • ANTWERP to Liege, Brussels, Bruges, Gent, The Hague or Amsterdam
  • AVIGNON to Arles, Marseilles, Nimes, Montpellier, Bezier, Valence or Mirimas
  • BARCELONA to La Tour De Carol, Figueres, Sitges, Tarragona, Zaragoza*
  • BASEL to Strasbourg, Baden-Baden, Lucerne, Interlaken, Colmar, Mulhouse, Zurich or Lausanne
  • BOLOGNA to Piacenza, Parma, Florence*, Padua, Venice, Verona, Modena, Rimini, Ferrara or Ravenna
  • BORDEAUX to Poitiers, Perigueux, Bergerac, La Rochelle, Biarritz, Agen
  • EDINBURGH to Dundee, Perth, Glasgow, Stirling or Aberdeen*
  • FLORENCE/FIRENZE to Pisa, Sienna, Bologna, Assisi, Lucca or Perugia
  • GENOA to Albenga, Bordighera, San Remo, Pisa*, Monterosso, Turin or Milan
  • GLASGOW - to Arran (via Ardrossan), Dunoon, Edinburgh, Perth, Stirling or Loch Lomond (Balloch)
  • INVERNESS to Kyle, Wick, Aberdeen
  • KOBLENZ to Bonn, Boppard, Bingen, Mainz, Trier, Luxembourg, Worms or Cologne
  • LEEDS to Carlisle, York, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool*, Scarborough
  • LEIPZIG to Berlin, Dresden, (Bad Schandau, change at Dresden), Halle, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Erfurt, Weimar, (Wernigerode for steam trains) - change at Halle.
  • LYON to Valence - Geneva - Avignon - Chambery - Dijon or (Le Puy change at St Etienne)
  • MANCHESTER to Chester, Liverpool, Blackpool, Windermere, Leeds, York*, Sheffield or Buxton
  • MLAN/MILANO to Bergamo, Como, Stressa, Piacenza, Parma, Modena, Brescia, Bologna, Tirano or Verona
  • MONTPELLIER to - Nimes, Avignon, Arles, Marseilles, Beziers, Carcassonne or Narbonne
  • MUNICH/MUNCHEN to Nuremberg, Salzburg*, Obertsdorf, Fussen, Berchtesgaden, Innsbruck, Lindau, Regensburg, Augsburg, Ulm or Wurzburg*
  • NICE to Digne , Grasse, Menton, St Raphael, Cannes, Antibes, Marseilles or San Remo (change at Ventimiglia)
  • READING to Exeter, (Salisbury - change at Basingstoke), Portsmouth, Bath*, Bristol, Cardiff*, Worcester, Oxford, Coventry*
  • STUTTGART to Heidelberg - Darmstadt, Worms, Speyer, Baden- Baden, Ulm, Augsburg or Mainz
  • VEORNA to Bolzano, Padua, Vicenza, Venice, Desenzano, Brescia, Milan or Bologna
  • VICENZA to Desenzano, Verona, Padua, Treviso or Venice
  • ZURICH to Landquart, Chur, Lindau - Winterthur - St Moritz (via Chur), Lucerne or Basel

If you prefer to have a great holiday by staying in just one or two of these suggested destinations or cities then a rail pass is unlikely to save you money, even if you travel between the two destinations in which you’ll based, by train.
However, it is more likely that a rail pass will save you money if you choose to stay overnight in three or more cities and travel between them by train - particularly if they're relatively distant to each other.
Divide the cost of a rail pass by the number or days that is valid for or that you want to use it. You'll then know the average amount of money that you'll need to spend per day on rail tickets before the pass becomes worthwhile.