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giggityg
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1 comments

Posted 2 weeks ago

Hiya, I am a new user from Australia. My son and I have dreamed of a central and eastern european holiday in winter for 15+ years. We have a basic plan and I was wondering if we could get some suggestions on whether the below is feasible or good. We also really need some advice on when to use and not use our 10 day Eurail Global Pass and or seat reservations (we have a 1st class pass).
Our original plan has been Rome-Innsbruck-Vienna-Bratislava-Prague-Krakow-Budapest-Ljublana-Zagreb-Belgrade-Bucharest-Istanbul-Sofia-Rome. We arrive and leave in/from Rome, hence the start and end points. We are coming for a month in winter as we want to see mountains, cities, food. We are not skiiers, so don't worry about that lol.

Thanks

Gavin and Son

We really appreciate any advice/suggestions/queries/help

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MisterSteve
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938 comments

replied 2 weeks ago

what you will the most of is the inside of trains, especially with winter daylight being limited. Seeing Rome in winter may have some plus points, it won't be as cold as other places and the summer crowds won't be there. Otherwise journeys will have to be planned for darkness from 16:00 - if you travel Rome to Innsbruck in one day you could miss the mountain scenery (which begins north of Verona). And don't expect to see much snow before January at altitudes where the trains go.

Vienna to Bratislava is so short it's a shopping trip for many, the cheap flight airport for Vienna is at Bratislava. Anything involving Serbia is a bad idea because their rail network has basically collapsed. Zagreb is also a problem because of poor connections, even to Ljubljana. Istanbul only has one international train per day (not Sofia in winter) and it's overnight, it's also very slow and almost impossible to reserve on out of Turkey or Bucharest station.

I would suggest you drop Croatia, Serbia and Turkey from the plan and add time in the long sections, like a night (or 2 nights and a day!) in foodie heaven of Bologna. That then sets you up for a daylight ride throught to Innsbruck. To really get into mountains by decent quality trains, from Innsburck allow a day for a round trip to Lindau via the Arlberg line and Bregenz (first daylight train of the day) and back via Kempten and Garmisch (in Bavaria) and Mittenwald.

Reservations for Italy are possible throught the Eurail website but in winter if you start with some no travel days in Rome you can do them on day one at a station. For Austria, Germany you won't need them, the rest might be possible thorugh the website although as you go east they lack IT facilities and may only be possible at ticket offices.

Use www.bahn.com for the schedule planning - it won't have the winter timetable from December until at least October for some lines but journey durations won't change much from summer.

and have a look at www.seat61.com for some extra details (itineries are usually from London but large sectiosn of each have a wider use).

And don't forget Youtube, there are a lot of useful expereince videos there. Try https://www.youtube.com/@SimplyRailway/videos or the new https://www.youtube.com/@Europe-By-Train/videos

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giggityg
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replied 2 weeks ago

Thanks so much for your feedback and opinions and suggestions. We really do appreciate them!!