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datsikk
12-04-2009, 11:53 AM
Has anyone used the train/bus network in europe and did you buy your tickets online and where from?

I have found Eurorail but it seems quite expensive. (Eurail Select Pass 5 Countries | Eurail Select Pass (http://www.eurail.com/eurail-select-pass-5-countries?currency=aud))

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Barfridge
12-04-2009, 12:05 PM
I found it too expensive, especially when you look at the prices of EasyJet and Ryan Air. The only train trips I had was Munich -> Prague and Prague -> Berlin. I flew everywhere else.

jules_1972
12-04-2009, 12:54 PM
I used Euro rail to go between Frankfurt, Paris, Nice, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt.

Was something like $500 AUD for first class seats.
Recommend it 100%, good service, fast, clean and neat.

Top it off, most train stations are in the center of the cities.

My 2c.

magwitch
12-04-2009, 09:13 PM
Where are you going? It may be cheaper to buy normal tickets direct from the train companies.

Germany: http://www.d-bahn.de/ (http://www.d-bahn.de)
France: SNCF : Voyage, Transports et Logistique (http://www.sncf.com) (sncf.co.uk if you need it in English)
Belgium: NMBS - SNCB (http://www.b-rail.be)
Netherlands: Dienstverlening voor iedereen die met de trein reist. NS voor reizigers NS reizigers (http://www.ns.nl)

Don't bother getting the train in Britain. It would be easier, quicker and cheaper to travel by solid gold rollerblades.

Calamity
12-04-2009, 09:47 PM
I travelled all around Germany, Munich, east Germany, Kassel, Cologne etc. bought the tickets at the train stations, service was quick and relitavely cheap, well I tought so.

Professor Redfern
12-04-2009, 11:20 PM
Yep all over Europe, Make sure you have some killer books cos you can be on trains for 10 hrs and stuff sometimes.


The way airfares are at the moment it may be quicker to fly around though.

Mizer
13-04-2009, 08:42 AM
Used rail travel round Europe and found Eurail pass great value, just be careful as its not valid in some countries like the Czech republic and you will have to buy another ticket on top of your pass

Go the full cheap option and beware, lots of suss characters in the cheap seats. I saw the outcome of many peeps being robed during the night. To the point where people had even broken into our sleeper cabin in the middle of the night. Me and the wife were way up the top of the cabin (6 per cabin) so our gear was with us and safe out of reach. So if you’re in a sleeper try and get up near the roof.

In my opinion it was worth the extra few Euro to upgrade to first class, way cleaner and no so many suss people.

Brougham
13-04-2009, 08:46 AM
Eurail was great value.

Sure, compared with cheap-ass people like Ryanair etc it might seem more exxy.
But a few things that make it worth while:

No weight costs (cheap flights = low allowance and very $$$ to get more kilos)
No stupid security screening = doesnt take 3 hours to get on a plane for a 30min flight
Being able to see the country side and enjoy your holiday.

Mizer - Eurail pass is valid in Czech, as we used it to get to Prague and back and travel within Czech.

quinn
13-04-2009, 09:26 AM
I had a quote from a few travel agents over here before I went, but found that most had restrictions on when yo could use the tickets. I bought all my tickets at rail stations as I wanted them and saved a fortune......

Ozboy
13-04-2009, 09:37 AM
Haven't travelled through Europe on a train but did southern Italy from Rome. Its a great way to see the countryside. Was the cheapest way to go in Italy.

Surely the train would be cheaper than coach?? And flying? Well its all over so quickly, you don't seem to take much in up there.

Its always cheaper to buy train tickets as you need them, cut out the middle man.

Hope you have a great trip.

Neil-51
13-04-2009, 10:12 AM
We looked at eurorail pass and was expensive. Just buying tickets as you need them is a cheap option.

We never traveled in a sleeper, so don't know about the risks there, but found the normal class of travel fine and first not worth the money.

We got a couple of really cheap tickets asking for discount prices on the day. For some reason Munich to Frankfurt was expensive and it turned out cheaper to hire an Audi A3 and drive with one way drop off.

Bus is sometimes cheap.

datsikk
13-04-2009, 02:50 PM
Thanks for the advice and links.

I might buy a cheap car or bike to get around between countries and use the local public transport to get around cities.

=Stevo=
13-04-2009, 03:14 PM
I might buy a cheap car or bike to get around between countries....

Does anyone know what the legalities are of buying a cheap car or bike in Europe and then driving it around the place between countries?
How difficult is it? I've got a few friends in London and Germany who can help me out with the purchase, I'm just concerned about how difficult it is to get around and make border crossings etc etc

I'm looking at a round-the-world trip mid next year with a couple of friends... For the Europe section we are tossing up between buying an old car/van, bikes, flying or bus/train...

sathid
13-04-2009, 05:57 PM
I have done Europe twice by train. Both times by Eurail, both times first class.

It is an excellent way to travel. Much more interesting than flying IMHO. You get to see people going about their normal weekly travel. See places you wouldn't otherwise see, and you can just walk on, and walk off.

It's worth the price for how easy it is.

The only drawback to not having personal transport, is that there are places it is hard (or just inconvenient) to go by public transport.

If you are going city to city, and have the time to sit on the train, then do it.



If you go to switzerland, it will get you free travel on the Golden Pass Panoramic trains - first class on those gives a view that is simply amazing (glass right the way up to the ceiling, and further)

Rider
13-04-2009, 06:08 PM
DO NOT USE BUSES you will waste a lot of time

sista
13-04-2009, 06:29 PM
iv used eurail passes a few times, (x countries for a period of x days). Sometimes u need to book certain routes before u leave or other times u just go without reservations
i thought they were great, easy and fast.
sometimes its quicker or cheaper to fly tho so u just gotta do ur research before deciding

steve9119
13-04-2009, 07:55 PM
Hi, I've done Europe 3 times, and dont think i could recomend a eurail pass, I bought train tickets on the station and got better value (divide the pass cost by the munber of days and you soon realise it its only good for long train trips, if you are doing 2 hour journeys to the next city its wasting a day on the pass). i looked into buying a car but its almost impossible for rego and insurance if ur not actuly a resident of that country. One thing to consider is Peugeot Open Europe - Peugeot Leasing by DriveAway Holidays (http://peugeot.driveaway.com.au/home) good value for traveling for over a month or two. but driving into cities is not so much fun, also parking and tolls add up. but if you want to drive in the swiss alps or the french country side u must have a car for part of your travels. otherwise just enjoy trains for the rest of the holiday.

Ozboy
13-04-2009, 08:01 PM
Does anyone know what the legalities are of buying a cheap car or bike in Europe and then driving it around the place between countries?
How difficult is it? I've got a few friends in London and Germany who can help me out with the purchase, I'm just concerned about how difficult it is to get around and make border crossings etc etc

I'm looking at a round-the-world trip mid next year with a couple of friends... For the Europe section we are tossing up between buying an old car/van, bikes, flying or bus/train...

Its the EU now, no border guards.

Last time I went to Europe all the old border stations were closed. The coach just drove on through.

Tom V.
13-04-2009, 11:27 PM
Train Travel in Europe is quite expensive but I must say its worth it. You get to meet a bunch of interesting people and see the country side at the same time.

If Germany is your hub, go to DB-Konzern - Home (http://www.deutschebahn.com/site/bahn/en/start.html)

Bulbous
14-04-2009, 08:07 AM
Train travel in Europe is piss easy to use, goes (almost) everywhere, and is worth paying the 1.5 euros to book a seat on a trip..... :D

I used an Interrail pass to get round - at the time (2003), it was cheaper than Eurail, and better, cause it was good for one month continuously, and good for all commuter trains, intercity trains, most of the private railways in Switzerland, etc..... it cost me 200 pounds at the time, but they have recently changed the setup of the pass...... you also need to have either a european passport or a work visa, as it is only for European citizens...... having a British passport comes in handy sometimes...... :)

kralster
14-04-2009, 09:19 AM
lol i read the thread title and thought it said "time travel in europe"
And I was thinking sweet you can travel through time in europe now.

magwitch
14-04-2009, 08:43 PM
Does anyone know what the legalities are of buying a cheap car or bike in Europe and then driving it around the place between countries?
How difficult is it? I've got a few friends in London and Germany who can help me out with the purchase, I'm just concerned about how difficult it is to get around and make border crossings etc etc

I'm looking at a round-the-world trip mid next year with a couple of friends... For the Europe section we are tossing up between buying an old car/van, bikes, flying or bus/train...

Assuming you're on an Australian passport you won't need any visas there are no border crossings at all in the Schengen zone. If you're crossing out of the Schengen Zone into other EU countries in the A8 like from Germany into the Czech Republic then there is a border crossing but it's just a passport check and desultory wave 99% of the time. They are mainly looking for Nigerians smuggling heroin and people trafficking Eastern Europeans with teenage prostitutes welded inside 45 gallon drums not young Australian tourists in search of their next beer.

=Stevo=
14-04-2009, 09:00 PM
what about the legalities of purchasing a car/bike?
Do I need to get rego/ownership papers and carry them with me?

magwitch
14-04-2009, 09:13 PM
what about the legalities of purchasing a car/bike?
Do I need to get rego/ownership papers and carry them with me?

You can buy and register one quite easily in the UK; less so in other European countries, it will depend on how handy you are with the local language. When you buy a bike or car in the UK you complete the V5 registration document with your name and address and send it to the DVLA and they will send you a new reg document in your name. If the seller doesn't have the V5 run away. You'll need a UK address to do this but I assume your mates can help you with that.

It also needs to be taxed and if it's over 3 years old tested. You can save yourself hassle by buying something that still has plenty (more than 6 months) tax and test on it.

Once it's registered then you just need to insure it online and wait for your "green card" insurance document to come in the mail. This will demonstrate your insurance status in various countries. You'll need to carry this and the registration docs wherever you go.

Some countries (Czech Republic and Switzerland come to mind) require you to buy a sticker for road tax at the border. Swiss cops love it when you don't do this.