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  1. Jane Valens
    February 4, 2020 @ 11:56 pm

    we want to take a first class train from London to Florence Italy. Is this possible?
    Do we need to change trains ?
    If so is it within the same train station. ?
    thank you so much

    Reply

    • Ali Garland
      February 5, 2020 @ 4:46 pm

      Hi Jane! There aren’t really first class trains, but most fast/long distance trains have 1st and 2nd class cars/wagons. You will definitely need to switch trains to get from London to Florence. It might even be longer than you want to do in one day, but there are multiple options. I usually look at Deutsche Bahn first because they’re great at showing you routes all over Europe, even though you wouldn’t be able to book a journey like this one since it starts and ends outside of Germany. But it’s a good starting point, and then you can book your tickets on the site for the country you need. You will need to book the Eurostar to get from London to either Paris or Brussels.

      The faster, cheaper option is to fly. Looks like British Airways (from London City Airport LCY), Iberia, and Vueling (both from Gatwick) all have direct flights from London to Florence.

      So here are a few things I found if you’re really interested in doing this by train:
      1) London – Paris Nord, then switching from Paris Nord to Paris Gare de Lyon (so yes, in this case you would have to switch train stations to make your connection…not my favorite). Then Paris Gare de Nord – Basel SBB – Arth-Goldau – Milan – Florence. This route leaves London at about 7am and gets to Florence at about 11:15pm, so over 15 hours for the total journey. This is kind of your best option if you really want to get there in one day, but I probably wouldn’t do it, especially with having to switch train stations in Paris. You could split this up and stay overnight somewhere along the way, and if you did that, I’d recommend giving yourself more time in Paris to make that switch.

      2) Another thing to consider is taking a night train. You could book the Eurostar from London to Brussels Midi/Zuid (Midi and Zuid are the same station) and then get on the NightJet train from Brussels to Innsbruck, Austria. (That train has normal seats and sleeper cars, so make sure you book the right option.) I just picked a random day, but it looks like it leaves Brussels at 6pm and arrives in Innsbruck a little after 9am. BUT night trains are often delayed, so leave yourself plenty of time before your train out of Innsbruck. My husband and I recently did the NightJet from Berlin to Basel and it arrived almost 2 hours late. There are a few options to get from Innsbruck to Florence with only one switch. One option switches in Verona, another switches in Bologna, no switching train stations though, and both give plenty of time to make the connection. Each option is about 6 hours or so from Innsbruck to Florence.

      Here are some sites to help you book tickets:

      Eurostar: London to Brussels or Paris

      NightJet: Brussels to Innsbruck night train

      French rail site: if you want to book a train starting in Paris (or anywhere in France)

      Swiss rail site: in case you go with option 1 but split the journey and stay overnight in Switzerland, you’ll probably need to use this site to book onward from Switzerland

      TrenItalia: Italian rail, and you can use this to book Innsbruck to Florence

      Also: Florence is Firenze in Italian and often shows up that way on the train sites. Especially the TrenItalia site, even on the English version of the site, still shows it as Firenze, not Florence. And Firenze S.M. Novella is the main station.

      Reply

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