Amsterdam to Rome by train....
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Nov 5, 2007 2:07 PM Last Post By: NSCGardner
Nov 4, 2007 12:10 PM
I'm going to be in Europe for a couple of weeks over Christmas and the New Years and am trying to plan the last leg of my journey. I will be flying into Amsterdam on Dec. 31 for New Years Eve, hanging out for a couple of nights, and then heading out. I am trying to figure out the best way to get back to Rome in time for my flight home on Jan. 8. I have looked at possibly getting a Eurail Select Pass for Benelux, France, and Italy, but I am not sure if it would be better to use point-to-point tickets. Basically I need to leave Amsterdam on or around Jan. 3 and get back in time to fly home. I'm not sure how long of a trip it is, but I know that I don't want to be rushed. Is 4 or 5 days long enough to do this? And what type of tickets/pass would be best?
Thanks so much.
Oh, and I would like to be able to have sleeping arrangements on any long or overnight train rides. Will this be difficult?
Nov 4, 2007 1:01 PM
1If you don't want to visit any place between Amsterdam and Rome, you better take the plane. Ryanair offers flights from Eindhoven (Netherlands) to Rome for about 50 Euros (incl. taxes) in the first week of January 2008: www.ryanair.com.
Trains take between 18 and 24 hours, with at least two changes (change of the railway station in Paris or changes in Frankfurt and Milan). There are sleeping cars (Paris - Rome or Frankfurt - Milan). Book your bed well ahead for the first week of January.
Nov 4, 2007 1:40 PM
2Thanks for the quick response. I have used Ryanair several times in the past so I have considered that for this trip as well. However, since I will have 4 or 5 days to burn on my way back to Rome I started thinking of taking trains instead. If a train trip straight to Rome is 24 hours at most, it seems like I could break it up with at least 1 stop? One country I haven't made it to yet is Switzerland. So I wouldn't mind hitting that up for a day or two. I enjoy seeing Europe from the ground and would also love to go through the Alps, if not stop in somewhere and catch a train the next day. What kind of expenses would I be looking at to book a sleeper from Amsterdam to say, Zurich? And from there go straight back to Italy?
Nov 4, 2007 2:03 PM
3There is a very useful new direct night train from Amsterdam Centraal to Milan. I am sure where #1 has the info about two changes being necessary. In fact you can train directly from Amsterdam to Milan, from where it is a short hop to Rome.
The direct train leaves every day at 5 pm, and gets you into Milan about 8 am the following morning. The train has reclining seats (much, much better than a regular train seat), couchettes and sleeping cars. The train also has a good restaurant car. For 3 Jan (the date you mention), the fares are not the cheapest as I guess at that time a lot of folk will be travelling on that immediate post-holiday weekend. For that day, the current fares are (one way):
In a reclining seat €39 without a railpass (€10 with a railpass).
In a couchette €109 without a railpass (€20 with a railpass).
In a sleeper €199 without a railpass (€100 with a railpass).
***If you decide to get a railpass, it must be valid for the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
Unless you are planning lots of other travels, this is not really a journey where you'd get good value for money from a railpass.
Hope this helps.
Nov 4, 2007 2:21 PM
4Thanks that is very helpful! I mentioned in my first reply that I would be interested in going through Switzerland. Would there be an easy way to incorporate a stop in Zurich or Bern for 1 or 2 days on my way back? Or maybe another city I have not thought of, as long as I can go through the Alps during the day?
Nov 4, 2007 2:47 PM
5Yes, there's a night train to Zürich, too. €139 one way in a smart sleeping car, with crisp linen sheets. Arrives Zürich 12 hours later. You could continue as follows:
4th: Zürich to Zernez (3 hrs)
5th: Zernez to Bergamo via Tirano (6 hrs)
6th: Bergamo to Rome (5 hrs)
About €100 from Zürich to Rome buying separate tickets for each leg of the journey.
The route will take you over the Benina Pass (to my mind the best Alpine rail crossing), more on which you can read here.
Hope this helps.
editor / hidden europe magazine
Nov 5, 2007 7:21 AM
6NSCGardner is right. I didn't think about the future CNL train Amsterdam - Milan. For the moment, one can't find it in any electronic timetable (even not in the "upgraded" DB timetable, if you are looking for the relation Amsterdam - Rome).
You can of course fly from Amsterdam to Switzerland too, it costs about 27 Euro with Easyjet (Amsterdam - Basel).
Some ideas about Switzerland:
Mediaeval town centres: Berne, Murten, Biel/Bienne
Gothic cathedrals: Basel, Berne, Fribourg
Baroque cathedrals and monasteries: St. Gallen, Einsiedeln, Solothurn
Mediaeval castles: Gruyeres, Chillon (Montreux), Oberhofen, Hallwil, Bellinzona.....
Roman excavations: Augusta Raurica (near Basel), Vindonissa (near Zürich), Aventicum (near Bern and Fribourg), Octodurum (Martigny)
Some of the 980 Swiss museums:
Swiss National Museum (History of Switzerland since the foundation of the State in 1292): Zürich
Swiss Watch Museum: La Chaux-de-Fonds
Olympic Museum: Lausaanne
International Red Cross Museum: Geneva
Celtic (lake-dwelling) Museums: Biel/Bienne, Neuchatel
Paul Klee Museum (Swiss painter Paul Klee), Kunstmuseum (Swiss painters Ferdinand Hodler, Albert Anker .....): Berne
Check opening hours with www.myswitzerland.com and the numerous links you will find there
Scenic railway trips:
Golden Pass: Lucerne (dp 6.55, 8.55, 10.55 ...... 16.55) - Interlaken - Spiez - Gstaad - Montreux)
Old Lötscherg line: Spiez (dp 6.12, 7.12, 8.12 .....19.12, 20.12, 21.04, 22.12, 23.08) - Kandersteg - Brig
Glacier Express: Zermatt (dp 10.00) - Brig (11.16) - Furkatunnel - Andermatt (12.47) - Oberalppass (2033m above sea level) - Chur (15.40) - Albulapass - St. Moritz (ar 17.57)
Gornergratbahn: Zermatt - Gornergrat (3089m)
Berninabahn: St. Moritz (dp 7.45, 8.45, 10.45, 12.45, 14.45, 15.40, 16.45) - Berninapass (2253m) - Tirano (429m)
From Tirano, you may proceed with the Italian Railways up to Milan, or you go out of the train at Varenna, cross the Lake of Como by ferry to Menaggio and continue by bus to Lugano in Southern Switzerland.
Nov 5, 2007 1:10 PM
7What would be the best way to go about getting tickets for the scenic rail trips within switzerland? Is that something that can easily be done in person? Or do trains fill up quickly. Also, I would prefer to go from Amsterdam to Switzerland by night train if possible, although I may have to resort to the Easyjey flight if there are no trains available. I booked my hostels in Amsterdam from Dec. 30 - Jan. 2. I'm thinking I could leave the night of Jan 2 and arrive in Switzerland on the 3rd. From there, take 2 or 3 days on one of the scenic routes you have outlined, and end up in Tirano and then back to Rome. The night train that NSC mentioned for €139, where can I find information about it online? I have looked around a bit but can't seem to find anything concrete.
Thanks again for all the information, this has been a great help.
Nov 5, 2007 2:07 PM
8You can book the night train from Amsterdam to Zürich online at www.nachtzugreise.de. These tickets have been on sale a while, and these are real peak travel days, so you may find that the sleeping compartments are all sold out, and you may need to settle for a couchette. For the journeys Zürich - Zernez - Tirano (or others within Switzerland) just buy them as you go. Ditto in Italy. You can check exact schedules and fares at www.sbb.ch.
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