One of the best things you can do when visiting Europe is traveling around the continent via train. It is romantic. It is inspiring. It is super-efficient. It is comfortable. Some might say it is almost magical. Trains are the way to get around Europe; whole trips can be organized purely around rail travel.
Here we are going to demonstrate how to travel Europe via train. First, let us demonstrate some advantages and disadvantages of traveling Europe by train.
Unlike airports, European train stations are located right within the middle of town. You do not need to spend time and money traveling into the town because you’re already there. In contrast, traveling from the airport into the town can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes and costs between $10-$80.
There are not any lengthy check-in procedures or security screening for many train travel. You simply show up a couple of minutes before the train leaves, buy a ticket if you do not have one (often from a ticket machine with English instructions), and hop on the train.
There are not any luggage weight limits or extra fees for multiple pieces of bags. Just confirm that you are ready to lift your bag onto the train.
Many rail services now offer electronic tickets that are sent on to your phone. meaning no waiting in ticket lines and it makes planning your train travel even easier. Note: Not every country has adopted e-tickets but it is becoming more popular once a year.
You can just bring whatever you would like on a train — including alcohol. You are bound to make a couple of friends if you provide a few away to your fellow travelers. So stop by the local grocery and devour some cheap food for the journey.
Europe’s rail network is extremely vast so it is possible to visit even small towns by train. Most destinations offer multiple trains a day. The most popular routes usually have a train each hour so going to where you would like to travel is never difficult.
If you are traveling an extended distance, consider taking an overnight train. A bunk during a sleeper car will cost about $35-$65 extra (about an equivalent as an evening during a hostel), but you will not lose out on an entire day of travel. Overnight trains even have normal seats if you do not want to hand over the additional cash for a bunk but it is quite uncomfortable.
Train travel allows you to be spontaneous so you’ll show up at any railway station, buy a ticket, and get on your way.
Europe features a lot of lovely countrysides so traveling by train may be a good way to ascertain some fantastic views.
The train is the perfect place to take a seat back and relax. There is something very peaceful about staring out the window as you ride silently at 170MPH through the European countryside. The train is additionally an honest time to write down a postcard to your friends and family, read a book, write in your journal (you will be glad you did), or continue planning your future travels.
Train seats are usually larger and more comfortable than plane seats (especially when compared to many discount airlines). You’re also liberal to move about the train whenever you are feeling love it. Many trains also have seats that face each other and have a table between the seats. These are perfect for groups or if you just like the tablespace. Unless it is a holiday or you are on a very popular route, the train is often uncrowded so there is a good chance you will be able to get two seats to yourself.
Many European cities showed off their wealth and standing by building grandiose train stations. While it is not a huge deal, it is one of those nice little perks.
Eurostar links London’s St Pancras International station with Paris’ Gare du Nord (2¼ hours, up to 25 a day) via the Channel Tunnel; Brussels’ international terminal (one hour 50 minutes, up to 12 a day); and Amsterdam Central Station (three hours 40 minutes; up to 2 daily) via Rotterdam. Some trains also stop at the stations of Lille and Calais in France. There also are several trains hebdomadally from London to Disneyland Paris, and seasonal service from London to Marseilles via Lyon and Avignon (May to September); and London to the French ski resorts (December to April).
Within Europe, express trains have the symbols ‘EC’ (Euro City) or ‘IC’ (InterCity). The French TGV, Spanish AVE and German ICE trains are even faster than the express trains, they can reach up to 300km/h. Supplementary fares can apply on fast trains (which you regularly need to pay when traveling on a rail pass), and it’s an honest idea (sometimes obligatory) to order seats at peak times and on certain lines. The same applies to branded express trains, like the Thalys (between Paris and Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, and Cologne), and therefore the Freccia trains in Italy.
If you do not have a seat reservation, you will still obtain a seat that does not have a reservation ticket attached thereto. Check which destination a seat is reserved for – you would possibly be ready to sit in it until the person boards the train.
If you are covering many grounds, you ought to get a rail pass. But do some price comparisons of point-to-point ticket charges and rail passes beforehand to form absolutely sure you’ll reach. Also, go searching for rail-pass prices as they are doing vary between outlets. When weighing up options, check out cheap deals that include advance-purchase reductions, one-off promotions or special circular-route tickets, particularly over the web.
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