10 Reasons why Traveling Europe by TRAIN is Awesome!

cles train - val di non - italy

Europe is probably the most inter-connected continent in the world: low-cost airlines, long-haul buses, generally well-maintained roads, and of course…trains!

The European rail network is extremely vast, as trains have played a major role in developing the whole continent since the beginning of the 19th century. 

Today, regional trains in Europe are widely used by commuters, while long-haul international routes are ideal for both business trips and tourism. 

Suppose you’re looking to spend a few months crossing the beauties of Europe while traveling cheaply with public transport. In that case, trains are surely the first option you should consider: cost-effective, capillary, flexible, panoramic…

In this article, you can find 10 advantages of choosing trains to travel to Europe 🙂

Let’s dive right in!

1. By Traveling Europe by Train,

you can witness a HUGE variety of unparalleled sceneries

train finland eu

Europe is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, and taking a European train holiday allows you to witness this variety of wonders firsthand.

Whether you choose to explore the picturesque stunning Alps between (Italy-Austria-Switzerland and France), the warm Mediterranean coast (in Italy, Spain, France, and Greece), the welcoming Balkan Peninsula (Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, etc.), the medieval towns in central Europe (with Germany, Belgium, Holland, Poland, etc.) or the big North of Scandinavia, the trains provide a comfortable and convenient mode of transportation that allows you to sit back, relax, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.

Because Europe is too packed with different attractions, trains that cross it usually traverse very different locations, from bustling cities to pretty villages.

Unlike flying, train travel allows you to witness this ever-changing scenery up close and enjoy the journey itself 🙂

2. The Rail Network in Europe is Capillary,

and it’s Easy to travel from City-Centre to City-Centre

sri lanka draw by me as a teardrop of india

With over 200.000 kilometers (!!!) of rails, Europe boast a density of rail network (rails compared to the total geographical area) like no other continent in the world.

Trains allow travelers to reach all corners in Europe with relative ease while enjoying all the journey and the panorama between their starting point and their destination.

That’s a major advantage of choosing the train in Europe: unlike airports, train stations are typically located in the heart of cities, making it convenient to access popular tourist attractions and accommodations without the need for lengthy and expensive transfers.

Last but not least, Europe is home to some of the most well-known and historic train routes in the world, including the Orient Express (from Paris, all the way to Istanbul), the Glacier Express in Switzerland (which crosses the picturesque and post-card worthy villages of including Zermatt, Brig, Andermatt, and St. Moritz), and the Eurostar (the tan underwater train that connects London to continental Europe).

These routes can surely enhance your travel experience with a touch of nostalgia and history.

Furthermore, train travel also provides an opportunity to experience the local culture in a more immersive way.

You can interact with fellow passengers, try regional cuisine onboard, and explore cities and towns at a leisurely pace.

3. Trains in Europe offer plenty of Flexibility,

and they are often the cheapest travel option too!

adams peak sri lanka

In Europe, trains run very often, multiple times a day (on the main connecting routes between cities even every 20-30 minutes!).

With trains, you don’t have to worry about airport check-ins (but don’t forget to convalidate your tickets before jumping on board), security lines, or delays (well…except in Italy, where the national train company “Trenitalia” achieved the not-so-ambitious worst rating -1.3/5- on Trustpilot in Italy…damn Italy!).

Additionally, trains often stop at numerous city centres along the way, allowing you to explore new destinations and immerse yourself in the local culture without the need for lengthy airport transfers (thus, reducing overall travel time).

Flexibility in schedule, flexibility in stops, what about cost?

Contrary to popular belief, European train holidays can be quite cost-effective and many train companies offer inclusive packages!

When comparing the price of a train ticket to the cost of flights, trains often emerge as the more affordable option.

Depending on the distance and the type of ticket, train travel can be more cost-effective than flying. Additionally, by opting for a rail pass (more about this later!), you may save money compared to purchasing individual tickets for each leg of your journey.

4. By Traveling Europe by Train,

you’ll have greater chances of Social Interaction

peak of luxury

A major advantage of choosing trains is the chance to meet people on the way: especially if you’re wandering Europe on your own, trains are surely the mode of transport that can give you more exposure to locals.

While Europeans share 24 official languages (quite a puzzle!), most people (almost all youngsters under 30) can communicate in English with relative ease, so if you start a chat in English chances are high that people will understand you, no matter which EU country you’re crossing.

Whether you’re sharing stories, exchanging travel tips, or simply engaging in friendly conversation, the communal nature of train travel gives you time and creates a warm and welcoming environment 😀

 

5. Train is an Eco-Friendly way

to Travel with a Lower Carbon Footprint

sri lanka unesco sites

According to EU statistics, buses have a carbon footprint that averages 20% compared to flying, while trains pollute 15% compared to flying, getting the crown in being the most sustainable mode of transport from an environmental perspective.

Knowing that trains emit less greenhouse gases per passenger compared to planes and automobiles, could be an incentive to choose this mode of transport in an effort to reduce our impact on the environment: as the travel industry produces around 8% of all carbon emissions in the world, it’s our duty as travelers to always try to improve the way we move and choosing more sustainable options when feasible.

6. In Europe there is a vast network

of smaller panoramic trains that offer unique experiences!

tangalle beach sri lanka - unknown beaches in sri lanka

Main railroads connect most of European major cities and towns… but that’s not all!

In Europe, you can find also a vast variety of smaller regional trains, which cross remote areas and serve displaced communities (in the Alps, in the vast middle-Europe countrysides, and in the less touristy east.

This smaller train companies, often cover smaller distances (up to 100-200km), but they provide a more comfortable and atmospheric experience compared to other forms of transportation.

Seats are usually spacious and comfortable, and windows are made purposefully large to allow travelers and locals to admire the panoramas. One of those train companies runs also in my home town, it’s called Trento-Malè and it’s one of the most panoramic trains in Italy!

 

7. Traveling Europe by Train allows Relaxation,

and it’s stress free!

stilt fisherman in sri lanka

With trains you don’t have to worry!

If you get a regional ticket in Europe, you usually can jump up on any train that covers your booked route section (just remember to tick it!).

If you got an international or express ticket and you miss your journey, you can usually get re-booked for the next one too!

Compared to buses and planes, on trains it’s much easier to enjoy your journey by reading a book, enjoying the passing scenery without the stress associated with airport security checks and boarding procedures.

All in all, it provides a more leisurely and enjoyable travel experience.

 

8. If you’re a Digital Nomad,

you can use your travel time for working!

baby turtle

That’s another major one!

Most express, intercities, and international trains nowadays are equipped with AC plugs, USB-Plugs, and convenient tables where is possible to comfortably place a laptop for working.

As a digital nomad myself, I find trains great for working while on-the-go, and each time that for some reason we are not traveling with our orange campervan, trains are my second to-go option (I like that, as I am not driving, I can use that time for something productive!).

9. With Trains,

is Easy to Book your tickets on the Go!

ceylon tea in sri lanka

Booking a train ticket online in Europe is pretty easy too, and it usually requires less than a minute. 

You can check out trains on the apps Omio, Trainline, or on national companies websites (here you can find a list).

Once you found the right route for you, all you need to insert is your name, surname, and book!

For trains, you don’t need to insert your passport data, age, etc…

Last but not least, as most European countries are part of the free-movement Schengen agreement, you can circulate in all the EU without stopping at any border or frontier: it’s just that smooth! 😀

 

10. You can get a single Interrail Ticket,

that will bring you through all of Europe!

interrail pass for europe

Did you know?

In Europe, there’s a ticket called “Interrail“, which can bring you to over 40.000 destinations in 33 countries while letting you choose the way you prefer!

It costs around 70-80 euros/day (depending on the time of the year), and it allows you to take ANY train from anywhere to anywhere in the continent (here you can see all the tariffs).

While not always the Interrail ticket is the most convenient option (if you’re not moving much, you’d likely better off booking tickets one by one), it’s an ideal option for open road trips and those travelers without a fixed schedule looking for adventure! 🙂

Conclusion

colorful village in sri lanka

Convenience, cultural exploration, environmental sustainability, and the opportunity to take in the visual grandeur of the continent in a comfortable and laid-back way are all good reasons for opting for a European rail vacation.

Train traveling in Europe is an incredibly rewarding experience that provides unmatched scenery, flexibility, comfort, and social contact in addition to cost-effectiveness, eco-friendly advantages, and one-of-a-kind experiences. 

Before going I would like to ask you:

  • Have you ever crossed Europe by train?
  • How was your experience? 🙂
  • Do you have tip from your journey you would like to share with other travelers?

LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! (We always love receiving feedback and exchanging a chat 🙂

Last but not least, before going, I will leave you here some articles you might want to check out too:

As always, thank you for reading,

And see you in the next article! 😀

 

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