4 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2012 9:34 PM by pluto77 RSS

Train Travel and Public Transportation in Europe

pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

I just purchased one-way tickets from Venice (Venezia) to Florence (Firenze).  It was a snap.  I thought perhaps it would be helpful to share some information regarding purchasing train tickets for travel in Europe.

 

To purchase tickets for travel from France to another country, I used the TGV-Europe website, www.tgv-europe.com .

Here's a tip for this website.  When the home page splashes, it will ask you to select your country of residence.  DO NOT, I repeat do not specify America.  If you do, it will redirect you to www.raileurope.com, a partnered company for selling rail tickets, and you will pay a higher price.  Instead, click on the UK dot, or if you do specify America, on the window that announces that you will be redirected to www.raileurope.com, instead of clicking the 'confirm' button, click the hyperlink that says 'continue on to www.tgv-europe.com.'

 

At www.tgv-europe.com , you can book all manner of trains (Eurostar, ICE, TGV, ES, etc.) to/from any country in Europe.  Some reservations can be made with electronic tickets and some reservations must be made by receiving a paper ticket.  I share this cautionary info, as I had an issue when I purchased my daughter's round trip train ticket from Germany** to Paris (Gare de l'Est), the only form of ticketing offered was a paper ticket requiring a German mailing address (the mailing was free, and the ticket was mailed to her German address without incident.)

**(She refused to fly the itinerary because Lufthansa - the cheapest carrier from Germany to CDG - requires a car set buckled into the airline seat for small children and it is a MAJOR hassle.)

 

For tickets for travel in Germany, you can also use the deutschbahn website at www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml.  On this site, if you specify your country as residence as the USA, you will not be redirected.

 

For train travel in Italy, I used www.trenitalia.com, clicked on English in the upper right hand corner, and it was a snap.  When specifying origination/destination cities, even on the English site, you need to know how the city is spelled in Italian (ie. Venice is Venezia, Florence Firenze, etc.).

 

Only once have I purchased a eurail pass, but I think I would have been better served on that trip to have just purchased tickets separately.  If you are doing heavy train travel, then it's great.  To learn more about Eurail passes, go to Rick Steves' Eurail Passes.

 

Here are some additional links regarding local transportation:

 

Venice

Busses - From the airport, City Bus number 5 takes you to Venice, number 15 to Mestre. An inexpensive option, but you probably don't want to use it when you have a lot of luggage. Like most local buses in Italy, buy a ticket at a tabacchi (tobacco store) or newsstand. There is one at the airport.

For Vaporetto information - www.actv.it | Actv - impresa e territorio, il valore dei fatti

For the Alilaguna boats to/from Marco Polo Airport and Venice - www.alilaguna.it/?lang=en

Tips for taking a gondola ride - Venice Gondola Rides - What to Know about Gondolas in Venice Italy

 

Paris.

www.ratp.fr (this site has been my best friend when visiting Paris)

 

Rome

http://www.rome.info/transportation/

 

If you have any other information regarding rail transportation in Europe, please chime in.  I will add the appropriate tags to the post.

 

Thanks, and happy and safe travels.

  • Re: Train Travel and Public Transportation in Europe
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Yo Yo Yo Pluto.... this is great stuff. Thanks

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Train Travel and Public Transportation in Europe
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Pluto,

     

    Wonderful work, and you sure did a lot of work to help us all!  This may explain why I have always gotten train tickets for less when I buy them in Europe vrs. buy them in the USA.

     

    I am going to print this out and keep it for upcoming travel.

     

    Thanks!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Train Travel and Public Transportation in Europe
    gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Pluto77,

     

    Thank you for the informative and excellent post.  I have already taken Jerrycoin's advice and printed the page.  Outstanding!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Train Travel and Public Transportation in Europe
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    You are all very welcome!  I'll post more as I learn more.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)