Cities in Europe are filled with incredible architectural beauty, unique cultures, and historical significance. These cities are incredible destinations, but to see the full breadth of Europe you need to escape them to see awe-inspiring connecting landscapes. The best way to witness these landscapes and far-spread cities is by taking advantage of the European railway system.
Where to go
The European railway system is the perfect way to affordably get from one city to the next, but the real charm is found when it is leveraged to see incredible landscapes. The travel options are endless, but here are a few to peak curiosity.
Strategically plan a trip from Paris to Milan, cutting through the towering snow capped Swiss Alps. Take a detour to Jungfraujoch to access the highest reaching point of the European railways nestled at 11,000 feet. The Glacier Express, on the southern side of the country, weaves through stunning valleys, mountains, and glimpses countless waterfalls.
Rhine River Valley
Visit the canals of Amsterdam for a few days before weaving through German countryside to Frankfurt. Plan this route to include the Rhine River Valley. The valley features hilly vineyard covered slopes, immaculate castles, and the serene Rhine River.
Book a creative trip on the French and Italian Riviera from Nice, France to Florence. Take your time, enjoying the Mediterranean views from the train and the culture of Genoa and treasure of Cinque Terre. The five Cinque Terre villages are a great day stop to enjoy cliff top views with a sparkling array of amenities.
Rail rides through Norway are great for the experience themselves or to reach the stunning national parks, or coastal villages at their ends. The Rauma Line follows the Rauma River toward the Norwegian Sea and rides parallel to the tallest vertical rock face in Europe in the Troll Wall.
Advantages of traveling by train
Taking the train offers a huge advantage in the ability to see Europe’s landscape, but also offers many other conveniences.
The price of taking a train is generally cheaper than both flights and car rentals. The comparison with the flights needs to take into account your value of time in travel. The train travel will also save you money by allowing free luggage and having centralized plazas in each city to further save travel costs.
Comfort and Time Flexibility
Getting on the train is convenient with little to no security checks. The seating arrangements have ample room to extend your legs compared to tighter airline seating. The restrictions for what you can bring on the train are minimal including alcohol so feel free to bring snacks and a local wine to enjoy the ride. If the countryside isn’t always captivating use your extra time to fill out postcards, start conversations, or catch up on sleep.
How to book
There are many ways to book tickets for the European railway system, but it’s helpful to do your research and look for helpful tips. The most common way to book tickets from the United States is from Rail Europe. This site can be convenient, but may not necessarily be the cheapest route to take. For un-inflated prices check the direct sites of each country’s railway. In many cases buying a ticket right at the railway will be easier and cheaper than third party booking sites.