Exploring Europe by Rail

in Rail Travel


A high-speed train in Germany. Photo: © Ivantagan

Real travellers will tell you, it’s just as much about getting there as being there. The anticipation of not knowing what you’ll find when you get to your destination, time spent reflecting on where you’ve just left, a little alone time to enjoy the scenery and gather your thoughts. All this is possible with rail travel and in Europe the prices are still low, unlike the astronomical hike currently happening in the UK.

There is so much to see and do in countless different countries in Europe, but you’d miss out on so much if you just flew from destination to destination. Yes you may save a little on travel time, but for many travellers the enjoyment of the journey is paramount. Plus with the sumptuous scenery on offer in Europe, you’d really want to see this from ground level, not up in the air.

Taking the train round Europe was for decades considered only for students, but now it seems like a more of a savvy way of exploring the continent. With some of the best rail networks found anywhere in the world, it’s relatively fast and also comfortable. But it’s not going to be cheap if you book it last minute. You can’t just jump on and pay nothing – you’ve got to make sure you do some careful planning.

The first thing you should really do is choose a route to follow. We all know what it’s like when travelling. You’ll meet someone who says you simply have to go here and you’ll be off course for days. The unexpected destinations is one of the most thrilling aspects of travelling, so don’t discount it, but have a think about the number of countries you plan to see as you’ll be able to opt for different passes dependant on this factor. You can get yourself a pass enabling you to visit many different countries or you can simply opt for a regional pass which will be ideal for countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy.

Railing in Europe has also been made much easier since the Euro as for many destinations you’ll just need the same currency. However, when heading to more far flung Eastern European stops this isn’t the case so you’ll still need to compare currency exchange rates before and while travelling to ensure you get the best deal when changing your currency.

So, hop on; and remember – it’s just as much about the journey as the destination.


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