Book train Spain to France

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I'm just finalising my plans for my Europe trip in July and August, from Australia. I will be catching a couple of flights but using trains for most of the trip and I am just wondering who has views on the best way to book. i.e is it better to buy tickets when we are there and for individual trips, or should we get a Eurail pass?

For the first train trip, from Barcelona to San Sebastian, I will be with two friends. For the rest of the journey, until Rome, I will be with one friend. Train trips will include:

- Barcelona to San Sebastian
- Antibes to Monterosso
- Monterosso to Padua
- Padua to Venice return (not sure I would need to count this as a day for a Eurail pass as I expect the trip will be quite cheap and easy enough to book on the morning we visit Venice?)
- Verona to Rome (this one isn't certain and we plan to get a car for a few days after Padua and head into the Dolomites and then either go to Florence or Verona for a couple of days. But if driving is hectic in these towns we will probably leave the car somewhere before either Verona or Florence and then get the train up the rest of the journey)

So that adds up to between four and six days of train travel.

After Rome I fly to Paris and may take a day trip somewhere but I will decide that when I am there. And then I go to London and have already booked the Eurostar for that trip.

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How long does it take to get from Madrid, Spain to Paris, France by train?

Transportation directions to Madrid, Spain 1,274 km - about 12 hours 5 minutes. -

Night Trains Around Spain, France, The Netherlands and Germany - How do I book them?!? | Yahoo Answers

since you have a rail pass, you only need to pay for reservation premiums on night trains, the cost of which depends on your class of accommodation. Rail Europe ( is a good place. Remember to make only a reservation, not purchase the entire fare.
For Paris-Amsterdam and Amsterdam-Berlin, also try (since the trains are operated by CNL, which can be reserved through this site).