If you have followed our travels, you must be well aware that we have a thing for long travels. In the last 2 years, we have taken 2 trips across Europe both spanning over 50 days (almost 2 months).
On the first trip, we covered over 9 countries and 20 cities. On the second trip, we traveled across 13 countries and over 25 cities, and at least 14-day trips. And we traveled all of this by train!
Europe is definitely a backpacker’s heaven. It’s easy and accessible even while hoping cities and states. But the best part of traveling across Europe is its connectivity by train. Looking back at our trips, I don’t think there is any other way we’d like to travel across this gorgeous continent.
Let me explain why we love to travel by train across Europe in a few points:
- 9. Trains as good as an aircraft with more leg room
- 8. Scenic train rides
- 7. Value for money (luggage+ travel)
- 6. High-Speed Trains & Always on time (almost!)
- 5. Time-saving means of travel
- 4. Food on board
- 3. One pass can take you across over 28 countries with little or no additional reservation fees
- 2. A relaxing ride guaranteed
- 1. Just because it’s more romantic to travel by train across Europe!
9. Trains as good as an aircraft with more leg room
I am not sure of the state of transport system in your country/ state for inter-city/ state transfers. But if I were to take reference of Indian trains, train travels would not sound like the most appealing option considering the infrastructure. But every European train that I have traveled by, had a strange comfort level almost giving me the feels of traveling in an aircraft.
The seats are well cushioned, comfortable and maintained. Cabins or coaches, the trains are in a well-maintained shape. The leg room is a blessing and there is a trash bin and a tray for each seat. Also, majority trains have a charging point for each seat, free wifi and a hook to hang your coat. Win! Win!
8. Scenic train rides
My favorite part of air travel is traveling amidst the clouds! But when you travel by train across Europe, you’re in for real heaven. Endless stretches of picturesque train rides will make you feel like you’re traveling in paradise.
Of course, you don’t have to go by my words but these pictures don’t lie!
Check out some of the most scenic train journeys across Europe.
7. Value for money (luggage+ travel)
When you’re traveling across Europe, flights are generally an easy option because the tickets are easy on the pockets. However, the same cannot be said about your luggage, unless you’re traveling light with just one backpack! Traveling by train not just assures you a passenger seat, but room for your luggage too! Thanks to our 2 months long trip in winter, we were carrying heavy bags with warm clothes. All our bags found a place in the luggage storage racks on these trains. That’s also because most Europeans barely carry as much luggage. But the point to note is that you don’t get charged for your luggage as per the weight.
Another interesting fact is that you can also carry your bikes (cycles) in trains and most trains have space/ provision for the same. This is a key factor in making cycling such a key activity in the continent.
6. High-Speed Trains & Always on time (almost!)
Most trains in Europe are high-speed trains. Which means, they are likely to cover long distances in a record amount of time. Your journeys could span anyway between 1-5 hours.
Also, the trains are mostly as per schedule. (We’ve missed many for taking this fact too lightly) which means your schedule is easily engraved in the rock with these trains.
5. Time-saving means of travel
In case you thought air travel is only about the flight time, then you must stop and consider the travel time to the airport, check-in, luggage check, security, waiting, boarding and baggage collection time too! While traveling by train, you got to be there 20 minutes before your train. Most train stations don’t have too much scrutiny for travelers. Another notable factor is that the majority of airports are at least 30-45 minutes away from the city center. Depending on your flight timing, this could be both expensive and time taking process.
4. Food on board
The biggest relief while traveling is the availability of food on board. Even in the trains, of all major trains like Thalys, SNFC, DB, Česky Drahy, etc. you’re bound to find an onboard Restaurant. Which means you’re likely to find a coach dedicated to the ‘Restaurant’ which includes seating arrangements and a bar with coffee and beer options, and food options that differ train to train.
If you’re traveling by train with a first class pass & reservations, you’re also likely to be served breakfast. We looked forward to our coffees and biscuits onboard the trains in Italy. The better part, these snacks were served all day, which meant we got free snacks on even the evening trains that we took.
3. One pass can take you across over 28 countries with little or no additional reservation fees
Have you ever wished to pick your bags and get going? Well, rail travel in Europe is almost like that. A Eurail pass is all you need to make this dream come true! It’s a money saver, it’s convenient with all it’s benefits plus it comes with options such as single country pass, multi-country pass, all route pass. The pass calculates your travels as per your travel days (calendar day) instead of the number of journeys. So all our day trips were covered in a single day’s validity.
The Eurail pass also offers discounts/ includes free services on select cruises, museums, hotels, restaurants, etc. across Europe.
Check: https://www.raileurope.co.in for details & bookings.
2. A relaxing ride guaranteed
Given the space, speed, amenities, and the views, the comfort is the primary reason to travel by train across Europe. You’re likely to reach every destination with a fresh mood after the wonderful journey that you have experienced no matter what the time may be.
If you’re traveling to explore, it keeps your energy intact to explore without wasting time. If you’re traveling for business, you’ll love working on board with those views. (That’s my personal favorite element of these journeys)
1. Just because it’s more romantic to travel by train across Europe!
My first introduction to European trains was with Raj and Simran getting on a train for their big Euro Trip in DDLJ. I fell in love with these trains yet again, when I watched Before Sunrise. And then, it happened again in so many films. A lot can happen on a train journey! Right?
At least, the romantic in me firmly believes so! Having traveled by trains in Europe is one of the most underrated and rejuvenating experience.
We travel to Europe to explore so many interesting places!
But I for one would like to tell you that you must travel to Europe to travel by train across Europe because it’s pure romantic! Get off at destinations and wait for the journey to begin again. Sit by the window seat and enjoy the little joys of life as you watch the scenic views pass by!
Think, write, enjoy that cup of coffee on board while you fall in love with the journey. Or simply sit with a loved one, and enjoy the little conversations amidst the passing views as if your life were a movie!