If you want to see as much of Europe as you can, travelling by train is one of the best options – here’s how to do it more efficiently.
Europe has a fantastic railway system and while you may need to do some hopping between stations, it’s still one of the best ways to explore the continent.
Not only are European trains frequent and reliable but they’re comfortable too. Plus, it beats having to hire a car and drive everywhere yourself.
If you’re planning to see your favorite European countries by train this year, we’ve outlined a few tips that will help you make the most of this transport option.
Europe’s Railway Lines
Here are the websites you can visit to purchase your train tickets through Europe. Each of the railways have different routes and operate at different times though, so you might want to do some research and comparisons depending on where you want to go.
Recommended Read: How to Eat Like a Local on Your Next Vacation
European Train Trips for the Travel Lover
- Consider Getting an Extended Pass
If you’re looking for flexibility and more freedom of choice, you can’t go wrong with a rail pass. The passes can be a little confusing to understand at first though because your country of residence as well as your destinations will need to be taken into account. Prices can also vary depending on your age or if you want to travel on a high-speed or night train. Some sites might lead you to believe that a rail pass will work out cheaper but this isn’t always the case. It’s always best to compare a pass with individual tickets before you book anything.
- Don’t Try and See It All
When you have the option to zip between cities it can be tempting to try and see as much as you can but this isn’t always the best idea. Travelling 5 hours to get to another city isn’t much but these blocks of time can really eat into your day and take time away from sightseeing. If you’re travelling to a fairly large city, aim to stay at least 3 nights if you really want to explore. Many travellers also make the mistake of thinking that because two cities look close together on a map, the travel time will be minimal. The reality is you could actually end up travelling for most of the day in some instances. If you need to make a lot of changes on an indirect route, your journey can take much longer.
- Opt for the Scenic Route If You Can
When you first start searching for tickets, you will be met with the fastest routes. However, it’s definitely worthwhile looking into the more scenic routes, even if they do take a little longer. The European countryside is filled with breath-taking scenes that you shouldn’t miss out on if you can help it.
- Bring Some Food Along
Depending on how long you’ll be in your train compartment, you might want to take a small picnic along. Yes, most trains do have a restaurant car or have snacks for sale onboard but nothing substantial. If you want to eat something proper, stock up on some bread, ham, cheese and other snacks before your trip. Some lines will even allow you to bring some wine onboard.
- Don’t Forget about the Smaller Cities
When people start planning trips to Europe, bigger cities such as Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam tend to land on their lists first. However, there are so many unique and beautiful towns and villages that you can reach by train that should definitely be included on your list. Something that many travellers tend to do is stay in a smaller city and take day trips out from there, which generally allows them to see much more.
Choosing to travel by train is an excellent way to get around and with a little pre-planning, this could end up being one of the most scenic vacations you’ve ever been on.