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How to Travel Comfortably and Safely by Rail in Europe

Updated on September 17, 2016
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European High Speed Rail

A great way to see the beautiful scenery in Europe is to travel by train. This is a very affordable option, and there are trains connecting all the major cities of Europe. High speed rails link London to Paris and Brussels via the Channel Tunnel. A whole network of trains cover most of Western European and Central Europe. Trains tend to run on time and there are a variety of discount passes available making travel by train affordable.

There are also several scenic train journeys, such as the Eastern European rail, which is a nine hour starting in Prague and traveling to Krakow, Poland. There is also the Glacier Express, which tours the Swiss alps. The Bergen Railway travels from Oslo to Bergen in Norway giving travelers a chance to view Norway's beautiful scenery. The French TGV train runs at 200 mph, stating in Paris and reaching dozens of French city, as well as, Bern, Brussels, Zurich, Milan, Venice and Florence, Italy. Many of the high speed rails go 250 kmph and that quickly move you from one country to the next.

Map of Some Train Routes

wickimedia
wickimedia

Planning a Safe, Comfortable Trip

Planning ahead for your trip by purchasing all the items necessary for travel. European trains are known to have comfortable seats and run by the scheduled timetable. If you plan on biking in Europe, trains have a special coach to store bicycles. The bikes should be labeled with your name, address and destination. Use a bike lock for safety as well.

Other ideas to travel safely;

  1. Label each suitcase or travel bag, then buy a lock for each case. There are also luggage straps that can be purchased to tie your luggage together.
  2. Check out the different trains in European to learn what amenities are available. For instance, the Artesia Night is a sleeper train. Locate luggage racks. bathrooms and showers, and buffet cars.
  3. As trains in Europe tend to fill up early it is a good idea to arrive early and stow your baggage on a rack near your seat. Lock you luggage with a chain and lock.
  4. If you bring a small carry on make sure you take it with you to the rest room or the buffet car.
  5. When exiting a train you may get help from a train attendant as necessary.
  6. It is ideal to pack light to cut down on the amount of baggage. Pack sensible walking shoes and several shirts to match one pair of slacks.

The train stations have yellow posters at the stations that will answer many of your questions. Trains typically take you into the heart of the city of your destination.

European Travel

Europe by Eurail 2012: Touring Europe by Train (Europe by Eurail: How to Tour Europe by Train)
Europe by Eurail 2012: Touring Europe by Train (Europe by Eurail: How to Tour Europe by Train)

This time-tested book provides the information on fares, schedules, and pass options. It is also packed with travel tips, including information on keeping costs down, traveling light, conquering jet lag, and exchanging currency.

 

Eurail Pass

There are different types of rail passes available. Some passes are offered at a lower price for travelers from other countries. Also some passes for seniors and children are also lower priced. The Eurail Select Passes are sold for a particular number of travel days, which shows you how important it is to plan you trip ahead of time. There is also the Eurail Global Pass, which is available in two forms. One type of pass is flexible and is either for ten or fifteen travel days. The other allows unlimited travel to Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland within 10 or 15 days, or one, two or three months. There are also passes available if you are only going to see two countries that have a common border. The bottom line is you don't have to have a pass at all, but you may buy a ticket from one city to another. This may be the cheapest way to travel!

Travel: Travel in Europe

European Travel Tour

Obviously there are some clear reasons to see European by rail. The scenery is spectacular. A little planning can allow you to travel at an affordable price. It is not difficult to see a number of countries with one Eurail pass.The French train travels at 200 miles at hour which will quickly get you to a new destination if that is your choice. You can also take a scenic train tour to several beautiful counties.

© 2012 Pamela Oglesby

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  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Penelope, That sounds like a wonderful trip. Thanks so much for your comments and the share.

  • GoodLady profile image

    Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

    Thanks for your invaluable Hub which I'm bookmarking and pinning because there are journeys by rail that I would love to take, Venice to Budapest to start off with.

    Voting and sharing too.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Carolina, It is great seeing you again and I appreciate your comments. How you are still writing somewhere as I haven't seen you around for a while. I miss your sense of humor.

  • carolina muscle profile image

    carolina muscle 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    Nicely done, Pamela ... great information, plus this was easy to understand and well organized.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Audra, This is in my bucket list. I would love to travel by train in Europe. Thanks so much for your comments.

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    AudraLeigh 4 years ago

    Wow, that train in the Swiss Alps picture is soooo far up! Those views must be spectacular! Love the map of the routs...gives me a great idea where to go! I went on the Euro-star from England (when my sister lived in London) to France...was exciting! Cool hub!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    b. Malin, I hope to go someday also. I appreciate your comments.

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 4 years ago

    What a Wonderful, Educational read, Pamela. Having Never been to Europe...Maybe Someday, I feel so Enlightened, and have heard from Friends as well,j how Easy it is to travel by Rail in Europe. How Beautiful to be able to look at the Scenery that way. It does sound like it would be Fun, and so European! Thanks for Sharing such an Informative read.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    prasrtio, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I appreciate your comments.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Very informative hub and I really enjoy your advice. Thank you very much for share with us. Voted up!

    Prasetio

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    suzettenaples, I think many people would like an alternative to flying these days. I appreciate your comments.

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

    Great article. The European train system is outstanding and so easy to use. I wish we had train travel in this country, especially the speed trains. We wouldn't have to rely on air travel so much. It is a beautiful way to see the scenery along the way and I have great memories of traveling in Europe by train. Well, except the speed trains; you don't see much scenery there, but at least you can get across the country fast. Thanks for an interesting and informative hub!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    lovedoctor, I know it takes about 2 1/2 hours roughly to travel from London to Paris. Each trip would depend own where your were headed. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for your comments.

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    lovedoctor926 4 years ago

    How many hours does it take to travel to Europe by train? very interesting hub. useful information

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Dianna, I am ready to go also. The Swiss train looks a little scary but I don't imagine most of the trains are like that. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Ruby, I'm sure if the opportunity presented itself you would find a way to see Europe. I appreciate your comments.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

    Pamela, I am ready to go! The pass railway photo is so awesome, but I think I would be praying and holding onto dear life as we passed over it. Thanks for the tips, which maybe some day I will get to use. Enjoyed the post. Voted up.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

    I have never gone to Europe, but I would love to. The train on the narrow track scares me, I would have to find another way. ( Acrophobia ) Thank's for the tour, enjoyed..

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Frog Prince, Your experience is what I would expect. I thought you could see so much of the countries that way and you sure can't see them by flying from one city to another. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    quildon, I think a cruise of the Mediterranean will be fabulous. If I was planning to take a train tour, I would price the various sites that are listed on the internet as they all seemed to have different prices and perks. Thanks for your comments.

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

    Having been in Europe for extended lengths rail travel is the way to go. The scale of the geography allows for Europe to enjoy what isn't feasible here due to the vastness of this country.

    Great read Pamela.

    The Frog

  • quildon profile image

    Angela Joseph 4 years ago from Florida

    Very helpful hub. A friend and I are planning a cruise to the Mediterranean next year. Not much opportunity to use the train there, but I would love to see Europe by rail some time. Maybe some info on prices would also help.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Patty, It seems no one wants to fly anymore as it is such a hassle. Thanks for your comments on the hub.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 4 years ago

    Sounds like a wonderful thing to do. Now I have to talk myself back into flying! Up, interesting, useful and awesome.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    point2make, That sounds like the perfect trip to me. I hope you have a fabulous time. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    drbj, I imagine that you did have a great trip. I would like to take that trip. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Mary, I feel the same way. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • point2make profile image

    point2make 4 years ago

    What a great hub. I appreciate the helpful tips and hints to travelling by train in Europe. My wife and I are looking forward to taking the train from London to Rome. It has been a "dream" trip for us for a long time and the time will soon come where the dream will become reality. Thanks again for the advice. Voted this hub up.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

    Sounds like a winner, Pamela. I have traveled on the highspeed train from London to Paris that goes under the 'chunnel.' That was a TRIP!

    Traveling by train is a great way to travel - perhaps one day I'll take advantage of the other tours you mentioned. Thanks for the info.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

    Oh, how I wish I could take a trip like this! I wish we had this kind of rapid transit here in the states.

    Great Hub. I voted it UP, etc. Loved your photos, too.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    bedgiulio, That is one of my dream vacations. It sounds wonderful. Thank you for your comments.

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Pam, great, great hub. We have used the train in Italy and it's a great way to get around. They are safe, comfortable and some routes can be very scenic. VU, Shared, etc.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Billy, It's on my list also, but I am in the same boat. I hope you get there some day. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    WriteAngel, I am sorry to hear that a sleeper is so much more expensive. It seemed like you could get a better deal on a planned vacation if you were a tourist from the websites I searched. Thanks for your comments.

    e-five, I am glad to hear that news. Amtrak has always lost money, so maybe this is a way to attract more riders. I do think airline travel has become a pain, so maybe that will still the interest in trains in the U.S. I appreciate your comments.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Maybe some day Pamela! It is high on my bucket list, but no money makes it a little difficult! Wonderful hub and suggestions, and you can be sure that when I do get there I will remember these tips. Thank you!

  • e-five profile image

    e-five 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois, USA

    Beautiful. I wish we had that kind of commitment to public infrastructure in the US. On a brighter note, though, Amtrak is considering a plan where their frequent travel program (Amtrak Guest Rewards) will allow you to earn and redeem credit on European trains.

  • WriteAngled profile image

    WriteAngled 4 years ago from Abertawe, Cymru

    I have to travel from the UK to Rome on occasion. I've always wanted to try doing this by train, because flying has become so unpleasant. Unfortunately, once you add in the cost of a sleeper, prices increase horrendously to about 4-5 times (or even more) the price of a flight.