By Rick Steves
How much would you pay for train tickets if you didn’t buy a rail pass? These maps are your best tool for quickly getting a fairly accurate estimate of how much it’d cost to just pay for separate tickets for each leg of your itinerary.
Connect the dots and add up the fares to get an approximate cost for your tickets. Don’t worry if one of your destinations isn’t shown on any of these maps: Ticket prices are mostly based on distance, so you can estimate fares. For example, if you’re going to Italy’s Orvieto, about halfway between Florence and Rome, it’s safe to assume the train fare to Orvieto from Florence or Rome is about half the total shown for the whole Florence–Rome stretch.
These maps show point-to-point, one-way, second-class train fares in $US. Add up fares for your itinerary to see whether a rail pass will save you money.
For first-class fares, add 50 percent. Buses (dashed lines) and ferries (dotted lines) are generally not covered by rail passes.
Fares are shown for the fastest trains on a given route; prices are drawn from each country’s own railway website and converted assuming an exchange rate of €1 = $1.25. (Those willing to lock in tickets ahead, shop around in Europe, or avoid the fastest trains will find some cheaper deals.) All said, these estimates are accurate enough for comparison purposes.