Updated date:

Travel Comfortably and Safely by Rail in Europe

I love beautiful scenery and the changes of the season offer us some scenes of beauty and I love to travel. Learn from travel experience.

Italian FSE 444

how-to-travel-comfortably-and-safely-by-rail-in-europe

Safe Travel

If you are traveling in Europe you want to be safe. Much of Europe is probably a safer place to travel than many of the big U.S. cities, however, big cities like Paris are not as safe as the countryside.

Avoiding a bar fight eliminates one half of the injuries that happen in Europe. That does not mean you have to avoid visiting various pubs, but choose a safer area while only drinking in a moderate fashion.

Terrorism is rarely problem for visitors. It is always good to be alert to your surroundings, and stay out of dangerous areas. There is a great deal of information on the internet that you can explore before you travel to any country.

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. The planning should begin long before you hop on the train.

Proper validation of your ticket is necessary. You simply slip your card into the validation machine at your train's platform for acceptance of your ticket. A rail pass is automatically stamped when purchased, so the validation at the train platform is the second stamping. The flexi passes must be filled in correctly as well, and it will show the day, month and year.

If you are traveling on a train at night can be difficult unless you have booked a sleeper car. Always confirm your stop on a map ahead of time if you are not fluent in the language of the country where you are traveling. You do not want to get out on the wrong stop. Watch your valuables carefully as well.

You can purchase a meal on the long distance trains, but you may be better off picking up food before you board the train, at least from a financial perspective. Dietary restrictions may also be a consideration.

Europeans travel light with smaller suitcases, which may be a consideration for you when traveling as well. In addition, Europeans tend to speak softer, so if the car is very quiet be respectful of this distinction.

London to Paris by Eurostar e320

Great Choices for Travel by Train

There are several wonderful scenic train journeys available. The Eastern European rail, which is a nine hour trip starting in Prague and traveling to Krakow, Poland is beautiful. Another great choice is the Glacier Express, which tours the Swiss alps from Zermatt to St Moritz.

The Eurostar is only three hours and will get you from London St Pancras to Rotterdam, and if you add Amsterdam it will take just one more hour.

The Bergen Railway travels from Oslo to Bergen in Norway giving travelers a chance to view Norway's beautiful scenery. The French TGV train travels at 200 mph, starting in Paris and reaching dozens of French cities, as well as, Bern, Brussels, Zurich, Milan, Venice and Florence, Italy. Many of the high speed rails go 250 kmph and will quickly move you from one country to the next.

Map of Some Train Routes

wickimedia

wickimedia

Planning a Safe, Comfortable Trip

Plan ahead for your trip by purchasing all the items necessary for travel in Europe. European trains are known to have comfortable seats, and they run by their 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 tips to travel safely;

  1. Label each suitcase or travel bag, then buy a lock for each suitcase. There are also luggage straps that can be purchased to tie your luggage together.
  2. Check out the different trains in Europe where you plan to travel to learn what amenities are available. For instance, the Artesia Night is a sleeper train. Locate luggage racks. bathrooms and showers, and buffet cars when you get on the train..
  3. Trains in Europe tend to fill up early, so it is a good idea to arrive early, and stow your luggage on a rack near your seat. Lock your 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 if necessary.
  6. It is ideal to pack light to cut down on your amount of baggage. Pack sensible walking shoes and several shirts to match one pair of slacks.

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

How to Plan a European Train Trip

Eurail Pass

There are different types of rail passes available in Europe. Some passes are offered at a lower price for travelers from other countries. Also, some passes for seniors and children are offered at a lower price.

The Eurail Select Passes are sold for a particular number of travel days, which shows you how important it is to plan your trip ahead of time.The Eurail Pass is good for 33 countries, which allows you to have a very flexible travel plan that allows you to see up to 40,000 destinations across Europe.

When traveling from one city to another, you may choose between a city-to-city ticket or a rail pass. A city-to-city may be purchased as an open ticket for a month, so it depends on the flexibility of your travel plans. A rail pass "can be either consecutive (valid for unlimited train travel) or flexi (valid for a fixed number of travel days)".

There is also the Eurail Global Pass, which is available in two forms. There is one type of pass that 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 as you may purchase a ticket from one city to another. This may be the cheapest way to travel!

Swiss Alps - July Pass

Swiss Alps - July Pass

European Travel Tour Summary

Obviously there are some clear reasons to see Europe 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.

An exmple is the French train that travels at 200 miles per 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.

Travel by Train in Europe

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 18, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

I would love to tske the trip by train. I have only been on a a train a couple of times but I did enjoy it.

I appreciate your comments.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 18, 2020:

It would be so much fun to tour Europe by train. I was once on a short leg of the Glacier Express train that took my friend and me up to the Matterhorn. It was an enjoyable experience.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 12, 2020:

Thank you Robert.

Robert Sacchi on January 12, 2020:

I appreciate your article. Good information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 12, 2020:

Hi Robert, I think may of Europe's rails have been modified as their trains go so fast. I know people who do travel occasionally by rail in the US but thery are older citizens and like looking as scenery.I think you are right about traveling by car in the US. I appreciate your comments.

Robert Sacchi on January 11, 2020:

Interesting. In the U.S. traveling by road seems a much better option then by rail. The view by rail can be ugly in some places. Are the rail routes in Europe modern or the same routes that have been around since the early days of rail?

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 07, 2013:

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

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on February 07, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 13, 2012:

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 from Charlotte, North Carolina on December 12, 2012:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 27, 2012:

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

AudraLeigh on November 27, 2012:

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!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 02, 2012:

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

b. Malin on November 02, 2012:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 31, 2012:

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

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on October 31, 2012:

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

Prasetio

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 30, 2012:

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

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on October 30, 2012:

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!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 28, 2012:

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.

lovedoctor926 on October 27, 2012:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 27, 2012:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 27, 2012:

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

Dianna Mendez on October 27, 2012:

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.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 27, 2012:

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..

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 26, 2012:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 26, 2012:

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 from Arlington, TX on October 26, 2012:

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

Angela Joseph from Florida on October 26, 2012:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 26, 2012:

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

breakfastpop on October 26, 2012:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 26, 2012:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 26, 2012:

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

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 26, 2012:

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

point2make on October 25, 2012:

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 and sherry from south Florida on October 25, 2012:

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.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on October 25, 2012:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 25, 2012:

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

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on October 25, 2012:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 25, 2012:

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.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 25, 2012:

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.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 25, 2012:

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!

John C Thomas from Chicago, Illinois, USA on October 25, 2012:

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.

Krys W from Abertawe, Cymru on October 25, 2012:

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.

Related Articles