Leaving Your Trip in MULHOUSE
2014

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on leaving your trip. Topics include...

  1. Where you leave your trip (see immediately below).
  2. The closest airports.
  3. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you with your ongoing travel.
  4. Suggestions on how to time your ongoing travel, whether you are having us arrange it, or doing it yourself.
  5. Service information regarding train travel from your trip end location.
  6. Suggested post-trip visits, especially when these are not geographically obvious, but are rendered economical and convenient by direct rail connections.
  7. Hopefully helpful hints for those setting up their own travel from the trip.

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.



1.  WHERE and WHEN Do You Leave Your Trip?

The trip disbands at the Mulhouse railway station, between 11a and 12n on Saturday.  Mulhouse is a large town in southern Alsace, and an important railway junction.  The cycle trip to Mulhouse from Thann, our previous night’s stop, takes about 2.5 hours at an easy pace, so nothing prevents you from getting there earlier, if you wish, at the cost of an early start.

If you wish to arrange your own ongoing travel (in other words, you do not want to set up any ongoing travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints regarding ongoing travel are offered at the bottom of this page. Otherwise...



2.  The CLOSEST AIRPORTS

Mulhouse shares an airport with the Swiss city of Basel (the airport is called “Bâle - Mulhouse,” and its code is BSL).  The city’s air service is thus overdimensioned relative to its small size, but it does not include any intercontinental flights:  you must always change planes at a bigger European airport if you are flying intercontinentally.

If, as we do, you prefer direct flights, Zurich is the closest “real” airport.  But any of Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva, Munich, Luxembourg, Milan or Brussels (in rough order of travel time) can be reached by train in a few hours.



3.  Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of January 5, 2014

Our “Access Package” is simply a train ticket, to Zurich (downtown; add 10€ for a ticket to the airport rail station).  Tickets to downtown or the airport in Paris, Frankfurt, Geneva, and other regional cities are available for a small additional cost.  Other destinations are available on request.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  49€ to downtown, 59€ to airport.
To see what this means in your currency, look here: http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is guaranteed until the day prior to trip start (payment received by us).   Some extra-cost options have higher prices if ordered within 35 days.


Included:

  • Train tickets to Zurich (specify downtown or airport).  Other destinations available at additional cost. 
  • A printed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • All taxes, booking charges, baggage charges (unlimited baggage is authorized as carry-on).

Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)
Prices are in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price.  For a general discussion of train upgrades, see here.  Topics include the relative comfort of first versus second class, and different types of accommodation available on overnight trains.

  • Seat reservations:  10€ / seat. 
    Required on direct trains to Zurich (see service information, below).
  • 1st class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class):  +27€.


Alternate Arrangements (subject to availability)
Prices are complete (in other words, they are not in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price)..

  • Tickets to Paris, or to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport.  77 €.  A seat reservation is included in the price.
    These tickets are train-specific, not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  Higher fare code tickets are available for an additional cost, allowing a local change in plan.  See below.
  • Tickets to Frankfurt, to Frankfurt Airport, Geneva, Geneva Airport, or to Luxemburg.  88 €.
    Tickets to Frankfurt or Luxemburg are train-specific, not refundable or exchangeable once ordered (extra cost flexible tickets are available, see below).   Geneva tickets are “open,” valid on any departing train.  Seat reservations are included in the price on trains which require them, are offered at additional cost to Luxemburg and to Frankfurt.
  • Tickets to London.  Add to Paris prices:  +79€ if you are also purchasing tickets from London at the start of your trip, +109€ if not, or if you prefer a changeable ticket (in 1st class, add 119€ or 159€; 1st class tickets include meal service).
  • Tickets to Brussels, Milan or Munich:  109 €.  To Amsterdam:  129 €.
    Tickets are train-specific, not refundable or exchangeable once ordered (extra cost flexible tickets are available, see below).
  • 2014 Special:  tickets to Orange (connect for bus to Sablet):  79€ 2nd cl, 99€ 1st class.
    Tickets are train-specific, not refundable or exchangeable once ordered (extra cost flexible tickets are available, see below).
  • Modifiable tickets to any point:  +25€.  Tickets can be changed or refunded until the eve of departure (10€ to change, 20% fee to refund).
  • Seat reservations.  Trains to Luxembourg and Frankfurt offer seat reservations as an option:  10€.
  • 1st class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class):  +27€ to Paris or Luxembourg; +35 € to Frankfurt, Brussels, Geneva, Milan or Munich; +45€ to Amsterdam.
  • Overnight sleeper trains to points further afield are available:  Venice:  +59 €.   Prague, Vienna, Copenhagen, Berlin, Florence (Italy):  +79 €.  Rome:  +99€.
    Prices include a "Comfort Couchette” sleeper berth on board.   Sleeping car upgrades are available if desired.
  • Tickets on the Paris airport train, from anywhere in Paris to Charles de Gaulle or Orly.  Follow this link for details.



4.  TIMING Your Trip

If you are trying to catch a Saturday intercontinental flight, the disbanding at Mulhouse station will probably be too late for you, though late intercontinental flights are available to some destinations.

The best solution is to catch a Sunday flight, instead.  The Saturday morning ride can then be a pleasant affair, and not a stressful dash.  Mulhouse has a couple of points of interest (continental Europe’s best railway museum, for instance).

But it is also possible to depart from Thann (our Friday night stop), by train early on Saturday morning (instead of cycling into Mulhouse).  Starting from Thann at 7a allows you to reach the Zurich Airport by 10a; other airports as shown below.



5.  Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at http://www.raileurope.com/index.html.
Best trains are mentioned.  Others are slower or have multiple connections.

  • To Zurich, downtown or airport.  Travel time is 2 hours to downtown (an additional 20 minutes to the airport), and a connection is required in Basel, 30 minutes into the trip.  Service is hourly.  
    Direct express trains, saving 15 minutes and the Basel connection, depart at 10a and 1p.  Seat reservations are required for these trains, and you must specify which one you wish us to reserve.
    Local tickets may be exchanged for express tickets on the date of travel, if space is available, and at an additional cost. 
    The first Saturday morning service through from Thann departs there at 5:20a, and reaches Zürich Airport at 9:30a.  the following service departs at 7a, and arrives at the airport at 10a.

  • To Frankfurt, downtown or airport.  Travel time is 3.5 hours to either downtown or the airport, and one or two connections are required.  Service is hourly.
    The first Saturday morning service through from Thann departs there at 5:30a, and reaches Frankfurt Airport at 10a.  The following service runs 2 hours later.
  • To Luxembourg.  Travel time is 3 - 4hours.  A good direct train runs at 1:30p.
  • To Paris.  Travel time is a bit under 3 hours by TGV.  Irregular service, but with trains generally every 2 hours.
    There is a well-timed 1p train.
  • To Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport.  Service is generally via Paris.
    There are two Saturday morning services to the airport which do not require the city-center connections.  Departs Mulhouse at 10:45a (Thann at 9:30a), and reaches Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11:30a. 
  • To Brussels, downtown or airport.  Travel time is 6 hours.  Direct train to downtown at 1:30p.
    An alternate TGV service exists via Paris, and is actually 45" faster.  But it is more expensive, and requires a connection, involving a cross-city station change.
  • To Geneva, downtown or airport.  Travel time is 4 hours to downtown or to the airport.  Service is hourly, with a connection in Basel.
  • To Munich, travel time is 6 hours with one connection.  Service is irregular, but the maximum service gap is 2 hours.
  • To Milan.  Travel time is 6 hours, with a connection in Basel required (a second connection is required for some schedules).  Fast trains with a single connection operate at 11:30a and 3:30p.
    If you are targeting a flight from Malpensa, the first Saturday morning train from Thann connects to a service reaching the airport at 2:15p.
  • To Amsterdam, downtown or airport.  Travel time is 7 hours to downtown or to the airport.  Service is every two hours.
  • To London.  Add 3.5 hours to Paris times for station change, connection time, and the trip to London. Connections from all Paris trains. 
    One service a day via Lille:  trip time is actually half an hour longer, but this route avoids the Paris station change.  Departs Mulhouse at 10:45a, with connections in Strasbourg and Lille.



6.  Suggested POST-TRIP VISITS

You are in the very center of “old Europe.”   You can go anywhere you please on 300 kph trains with the carbon footprint of a ferret.  How about a couple of days of hiking in the Swiss Alps?  Zermatt is a good base....



7.  Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY After the Trip
Guests subscribing to an “Access Package” need not read this section.

See also “Timing Your Trip” and “Service Information,” above, as either of these may additionally help.

We gladly provide travel consulting (schedule or routing information) concerning post-trip individual travel. In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20€ charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10€ charge applies if the service is limited to the preparation of a routine rail ticket).  You will generally find them well-justified by the time they will save you in research, standing on line, overpaying for your tickets, or all three.  But it is always galling to pay for information.  We are sympathetic to that, and certainly won’t hold it against you if you want to “wing it.”  Indeed, this page is designed to start you on your way!

Trains.  Schedules for all routes can be consulted on this web site:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

Mulhouse is at the crossroads of three main lines:  an east-west line from Zurich to Paris, and two north-south lines: Brussels - Luxembourg - Basel - Italy, and Frankfurt - Lyon - Mediterranean.

Planes.  There is a mid-sized airport in Mulhouse, officially known as “Basel - Mulhouse,” since it serves both cities.  A rapid shuttle bus goes to the airport from the Mulhouse station (where the trip disbands), every half hour.  Air service from the Bâle-Mulhouse airport is strictly domestic European, but includes Ryanair flights to London and Dublin.  Easyjet, Ryanair's slightly less-unpleasant cousin, uses it as a major hub. 

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.

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