How to travel within Europe by train: best routes to take!

How to travel within Europe by train: best routes to take!

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Have you always been interested in travel within europe by train, but have no idea which routes are the best, cheapest or most recommended? Or do you want to board a train for the first time, for new experiences? We know that if your desire is to admire the proposed landscape, having the freedom to move around in the wagons, besides saving some money, for sure, transport by rail is a great recommendation, but many of the times we don’t know the most accessible or exciting routes.

If you want to know more about these subjects, here is the ideal article for you. Train travel in Europe: The best route to take will answer your questions, as well as providing you with valuable tips on how to travel Europe by train, spending little, being a good and affordable price for you!


Train travel in Europe: the best route to take!

  1. How do trains in Europe work?
  2. Countries to travel by train in Europe.
  3. Most popular train routes.
  4. 8 Most beautiful train journeys in Europe.
  5. 5 other routes to discover.
  6. Advantages and disadvantages of travelling by train in Europe.
  7. Tips for travelling to Europe by train!
  8. Types of trains.
  9. Best rail companies.
  10. Best websites to buy tickets.
  11. All you have to do is buy your ticket and enjoy!


Did you know that most countries in Europe do not require you to check in or x-ray your bags? Not even baggage clearance? In fact, to travel by train, all you have to do is buy the pass and board the train. Your suitcases are usually medium-sized and they are kept on the rack above your seat or in the bays beside it. There is only a ticket search and the whole process for journeys that leave the Schengen area.

However, bear in mind that there are places that require seat reservations, it is of paramount importance that you are aware of the restrictions and rules that the city or country you are going to visit, so you will not have spent money unnecessarily or wasted time. Before buying the ticket, there are important points to be defined:

Be with the itinerary fully ready, also research the length of each trip so that it fits with the tour time you have in Europe.

Now, understand how the tickets work and which one is the most advantageous to buy:

  • Ticket by Route ( Origin – Destination )

Did you know that you can get up to 70% discount by buying in advance through the rail company‘s website? This option is more worthwhile for regional destinations, as fares are already cheap and do not change in price. As there is no seat reservation, the ticket can be bought on the spot. Generally, fares of up to €29 are available for purchase 90 to 120 days before the travel date, however, do not buy VERY early, as the discount may not be applied. Keep in mind that to make and finalize the purchase, you must have a credit card that participates in the Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode systems (there are some sites that accept paypal).

  • Multiple ticket with single pass for several sections

Through this option, you can travel through several cities using the same ticket. If you don’t have a set itinerary and want to visit several places in the country you are located in, this is a perfect way for you, as it gives you the freedom to define what the next destination is and the best time to do it. In other words, by not having a set schedule, any trip at any time suits you.

The fare is differentiated for people under 26, so children travel free and when adults travel together, there are discounts of up to 15% on each ticket. The purchase is made by card and confirmation comes by email for printing.


Train travel in Europe is very worthwhile, as this locomotive has spread across the continent and its various countries. So, if you have a great route, for sure, you will witness an unforgettable and very comfortable trip. Certainly, the rail coverage of Europe is very vast, having a glaring diversity of countries available for this travel option, given this, check out the places that can be visited by train in Europe:

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Netherlands
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • United Kingdom
  • Czech Republic
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

Now all you have to do is choose!


Do you have any idea that it is possible to travel across the continent by train? After all, it is cut by more than 250 kilometres of railways, making it possible to form itineraries of various cities and countries. Because there are so many and varied routes, some end up standing out, becoming popular. In case you have no idea which one to take, here lie some of the most popular train routes, you can choose the one that best suits you and your style!

  • Travel by train from Paris to London. This is a quick and practical way to travel, taking just two hours. If you choose this route, you will arrive in central London, without having to wait at airports, excess baggage and so on.
  • Travel by train from Paris to Brussels. It takes an average of 2 hours 34 minutes, however you can arrive earlier with the fast services. You can get cheaper fares by buying in advance and have the opportunity to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Grand-Place in Brussels.
  • Travel by train from Paris to Rome. The fastest and most comfortable way to travel from Paris to Rome is by high speed train TGV, this will take you directly to Milan. The duration of a journey in normal speed can be 11 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Travel by train from Madrid to Barcelona. The duration can vary from 2 hours 45 minutes to 8 hours 58 minutes, depending on which train you are boarding. The ticket costs €7 and there are 15 trains a day.
  • Travel by train from Madrid to Amsterdam. Lasting on average 24 hours and 4 minutes, the ticket price starts at €87, with one train per day.
  • Travel by train from Lisbon to Madrid. Tickets start at 28.15€ and the journey takes 21 hours 5 minutes, giving you the opportunity to visit the Belem Tower in Lisbon and Puerta del Sol in Madrid.
  • Travel by train from Barcelona to Paris. The journey time is 6 hours 36 minutes and the ticket costs €25 for standard class. The best choice is to travel by a bullet train which is direct and assertive.
  • Travel by train from Amsterdam to Paris. The ticket costs 35 € and the duration is 3 hours 20 minutes maximum. The Thalys train is the most recommended, being comfortable and modern.
  • Travel by train from Rome to Florence. With a price starting at 9,90 € and a journey time of 1 hour 26 minutes, it is also a very popular, fast and recommended route.
  • Travel by train from Rome to Venice. If you book in advance, the price is €11.90. Travel time is on average 3 hours and 15 minutes.


If you are looking for landscapes that look like the movies, you will undoubtedly be enchanted by these breathtaking routes. Choose yours and get ready for your next trip!

  • Train in Cinque Terre, Italy: Located in the Liguria region, you take the train from Levanto to La Spezia. The best times to visit are in spring and autumn, where in which, the landscape will give you cliffs, colourful stacked houses and turquoise blue sea. The journey takes 30 minutes and the approximate price is 15 euros.
  • Train in the Alps, Switzerland: Being one of the most famous routes in Europe, there are typical farms, snowy mountains and alpine lakes. The price is more expensive, however, you can save if you buy the Switzerland pass, but it is only worth it if you stay several days in the country. It lasts 4 hours and 30 minutes and is approximately 70 euros.
  • Black Forest Scenic Line, Germany: If you want to see castles and black forests, this is a great option as the train passes through pine forests and the lake which divides Austria, Switzerland and Germany. The duration is 2 hours and 20 minutes, and the approximate price is 25 euros.
  • North Sea Train, UK: Priced at around £15 and travelling for one hour and 30 minutes, this is a special route. After all, its landscape is filled with huge wheat fields, beaches and small farms. And the journey ends in a real open-air museum, Edinburgh.
  • Train in Asturias, Spain: If you want to venture into Spanish lands, a great option is this route. From Madrid to Oviedo, you’ll find plenty of farms, mountains and award- winning photography. The price is €30 and the journey time is 4 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Train in Lac Léman, Switzerland: The route goes around Lake Geneva and arrives in Montreux. Keeping a journey of 1 hour and 15 minutes, and the price approximately 15 Swiss francs.
travel within europe by train
  • Train in Europe, Austria route: It passes through 16 viaducts and 15 tunnels that leave anyone open-mouthed, with steep cliffs, pine forests and gorges through the landscape. The journey takes 15 minutes and costs 35 euros.

Remembering that it is of paramount importance that you look for a route that suits you and your personal tastes, to make it a rewarding and exciting trip!


If even so, no route still appeals to you, know that there is no shortage of options and combinations that, one time or another, will please you. So, if you want to visit places and see different landscapes that are not the most popular, here are some wonderful examples that are fabulous in their own right!

  • Cities of Italy: This is a good way to see the vineyards and sunflower fields of Tuscany, if you want to get around the main cities (like Milan and Florence) there is a cheap and expensive but fast option by train.
  • Paris/Interior France: There are several routes from north to south that will take you to beautiful cities in France, you can choose from the Atlantic route to Le Mans or go from Paris to Lyon to see the Festival of Lights in December.
  • Cities of Germany: You can explore the country easily by train. The Eurail Global Pass is a great opportunity as it gives you access to 31 partner countries, including discounts on hotels, attractions and free boat transport. Whether you’re heading to Munich or visiting Potsdam, you’ll love this route!
  • The Norway Train: Apart from taking the Oslo-Bergen route, you can enjoy the cold weather. The landscape features frozen lakes, waterfalls, valleys and snow-capped mountains.
  • Swiss cities: If you want to travel all over the country, there is a very affordable way: the Swiss Pass. It can be used not only on trains, but also on boats and buses! It includes discounts, free rides and entrance to museums.


As with practically everything in life, travelling by train can have its advantages and disadvantages, so you should be prepared for any situation. Analyse this information now and see if travelling by locomotive is a viable option for you!


  • There is a lot of comfort! If you opt for overnight travel, you can save the daily rate of a hotel.
  • The seat is large and comfortable, it can be mostly tilted.
  • There are no baggage limits or extra charges.
  • The stations are located in the city centres, helping you to find your place of boarding without wasting time.
  • The timetable grid is large.
  • If the route is of great tourist interest, the ticket is even cheaper.
  • You can enjoy the beauty of the landscape!


  • Rail strikes can give you a headache, so stay on top of the news.
  • Your ticket will be more expensive if you leave it until the last minute.
  • Some journeys are very long, if it is a journey time of more than 5 hours, it is better to opt for a plane or to make stops in the middle of the journey to rest.
  • There are countries that have many seasons, be careful, you might get confused!


If you want to travel to another continent, you must be prepared for everything that comes your way, right? Not only that, you should plan every detail of your trip, if you have no idea how to do that, check out How to Plan a Trip to Europe During the Pandemic. It is not only necessary to be prepared, but also to be aware of important tips that can help you, so take a look at these:

  • Be at the station 30 minutes before departure. This way, there is enough time to familiarise yourself with the boarding platform, without wasting time and money.
    • Trains in Europe are extremely punctual, so when you arrive at the station, look for the electronic timetable board and follow the signs indicating your boarding point.
    • Check the class, carriage number and your seat number in advance if you are boarding a high-speed train. If you don’t have a seat marked, just get into the right car and class, choosing a seat that’s good for you.
    • Check the company’s website for maximum baggage allowance.
    • Keep in mind the station of your disembarkation and study the itinerary if possible.


Obviously, there are several types of trains operating in Europe and you should be aware of this so that you can choose tickets that are more affordable for your pocket. So check out the three types of locomotives that exist in Europe:

  • High speed trains – These are the fastest trains, usually more expensive. They can be called ICE (InterCityExpress) AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) and Alfa Pendular.
  • Intercity trains – Cheaper than high speed trains and with fewer stops than regional trains, they are great options for short journeys within the same country.
  • Regional trains – These are the ones that take you from the centre to the small European villages. They make slower journeys and have many stops, so they have cheaper fares.


Do you want to book train tickets with the best train companies? We have a wide range of options to suit your budget. Make sure you check out the train companies of the place you want to visit! There are some of them for you.

  • United Kingdom: St Pancras Station is the main station in England. If you are in London and want to get to France, Belgium or Holland, this is a great option.
  • Italy: The main station is Trenitalia, a train operator that only covers high-speed routes.
  • France: SNCF is the main train company in France, offering both high speed trains and regional trains.
  • Spain: The main one is Renfe, which offers all kinds of trains.
  • Germany: Flixtrain is low-cost and operates only in some places in Germany.


To have a guarantee of the best ticket price, you should buy it directly on the website of the railway company of the country where you intend to start your journey. Don’t forget to check the train companies of the most visited countries in Europe:


As mentioned in Train Travel in Europe: The Best Route to Take, if you had no idea where to go and which are the best companies and ways to buy tickets, now for sure you should be aware of the system that Europe provides. So, by no means leave travelling by train, besides being comfortable, you will get a wide range of landscapes you have never seen before, you will surely daydream about every beautiful place provided by nature!

While we’re talking about the European continent, take a look at 10 days of travel to Europe: where to go if you have no idea which places to visit!

Also check out soon:

Precautions for travellers in the pandemic in 2023.

5 most affected countries by COVID in Europe

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