10 Reasons to Travel by Train

Travelling by train is a unique experience. Be it for the thrill of high speed, the comfort, the scenery or the attractive fares, there are hundreds of reasons for choosing to travel by train in Europe. Here are the 10 reasons most commonly quoted by our customers (backpackers, families, couples, older travellers, businessmen and women, and more).

Avoid the endless queues at crowded airports, or the stress of driving in a different country, with its own rules of the road and lots of traffic jams…
If you travel by train, you’ll go from city centre to city centre, smoothly and efficiently. On top of which, all major European stations and trains provide information in English, as well as in the local language… So just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Europe by rail means freedom. Choose the pass most suited to your needs from our range of passes, starting with single country passes to regional passes and even the Eurail Global Pass, which covers 33 countries. Tickets are also available for a large choice of routes.

Whether you opt for a ticket or a pass, you can always benefit from attractive prices. Tickets can be very cheap when booked in advance,
and passes not only offer various discounts (children, youth, senior, parties of two adults or more) but also come with a range of “bonuses” (free or discounted local transport, attractions and services).

Planning some holiday travel? Think about making that trip a little greener by travelling by train. The well-established high-speed rail systems in use today are more environmentally friendly than air or road travel. When you travel by train, you’re making a responsible, nvironmentally friendly choice.

Board the train early in the morning, have a look around the city, stop for lunch, do some shopping and come back late afternoon. From Brussels, for example, it’s a piece of cake to go to London, Paris, Cologne or Amsterdam for the day. And there’s no luggage to carry or hotels to book

Comfort is always welcome, whatever the length of the journey. Treat yourself and upgrade to First Class, you’ll have more room to stretch your legs, larger seats, and a higher level of service to make your trip memorable. Check the prices, you’ll be surprised to see how small the difference between First and Second Class can be.

Optimise your time and budget by taking the night train: you’ll save on hotel costs, get a safe, comfortable night’s sleep, and wake up the next morning at your destination, refreshed and ready to explore.

With 240,000 kilometres of track, rail reaches into virtually every corner of Europe through forests, fields, and mountains that just aren’t accessible by road.

In Europe, the train is very popular. Everyone goes by train, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet local residents, learn more about their country, and pick up tips on the best secret destinations.

With multiple train services every day on most routes, you have plenty of opportunities to make the most of your trip. Stay longer in Venice and
take a later train to Rome, or arrange a day trip to Mont Saint Michel from Paris… No need to adapt your schedule, the trains will adapt to yours.

Europe’s 10 most famous high-speed trains and main hubs

High-speed trains are by far the easiest, most comfortable way to discover Europe’s main cities. Wide seats, on-board catering and other dedicated facilities, depending on the route, combine to make it a truly enjoyable experience.

Save considerable time by taking the train and getting off in city centres. Avoid the hassle of spending hours waiting at the airport or the fatigue of driving for hours.

Train tickets for all trains can be booked from two to six months in advance. E-tickets are available in two formats, Print at Home and Print at Station. Rail pass holders can get discounted rates when reserving their seats for highspeed trains. Note that reservation before travel, on board high-speed, scenic and night trains, is compulsory for rail pass holders.

famous high speed train

Types Of Train

A wide variety of trains are available for travel throughout Europe. Whether you’re travelling a short distance on a local train, whizzing through beautiful countryside at 320km/h, enjoying Alpine vistas on a scenic train or taking an overnight «hotel-on-wheels», train travel in Europe boasts not only efficiency and comfort, but also a relaxing environment where you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Day Train

There’s a wide range of schedules, destinations and service options on offer. Many InterCity and Express trains, as well as most high-speed
and scenic trains, require advance reservation.

Perfect for long-distance travel, high-speed trains connect all the main cities of Europe. They generally run at a speed of 300km/h.

They cover long distances at an average speed of 170km/h. Intercity trains or Intercités are the way to enjoy the countryside and admire wonderful landscapes. They stop at every little town or village, offering you the possibility to discover the heart of a region.

These trains travel shorter distances and make frequent stops, connecting smaller cities and towns.

To take in some of Europe’s most exceptional vistas, there’s no better way than to board a scenic train and enjoy the ride. From Norway’s Bergen Flam and Rauma Railways to Switzerland’s Bernina Express, Glacier Express and GoldenPass Line, the experience is worth every penny.

Night Train

Night trains cover long distances, allowing travellers to save time and money on hotels.
You’ll arrive in the city centre the next day, rested and ready for sightseeing. Night trains require reservation prior to boarding.
Accommodations vary by route, but most include:

  • Deluxe sleepers with one and two-berth cabins, shower and toilet in the cabin
  • Sleepers with one, two, and three-berth cabins
  • Four or six-berth couchettes
  • Reclining seats
  • Bar and buffet car for light meals & drinks

Types of Ticket

Point-to-point tickets are valid on a specific route, between two stations

  • If you only have a few trips in mind, then point-to-point tickets are recommended instead of a pass
  • Depending on the routes and the trains, you’ll be offered “open tickets” or “global fare premier train tickets”
  • Open tickets allow you to travel on a given route at a fixed price within a limited period of time
  • Global fares are tickets allowing you to travel onboard most high-speed and night trains. Travel must take place on the specific trainnindicated on the ticket and includes a seat reservation. There is a wide range of fares and discounts of up to 60% when you book in advance.
  • A rail pass gives you unlimited travel on the rail networks of the countries covered by the pass
  • Passes are usually best value if your itinerary includes three or more journeys
  • There is a wide range of passes available: from the Eurail / Interrail Global Pass (covering 33 countries) to passes covering only one country such as Swiss Travel Pass or any of the Eurail / Interrail One Country Passes. A pass is also flexible, allowing you to choose when you travel within a set period of time
  • Discounts offered: Children, Youth and Senior for Eurail Passes. Children and Youth for Swiss Travel Pass
  • Children travel for free on most passes
  • Passholder fares provide travellers with a discount on trains requiring reservations

European train offers by country


A clean train makes the journey more pleasant and exudes a sense of safety. Trains in Europe are regularly cleaned thoroughly with a special attention to the seating area. As in trains, cleaning and disinfection procedures are reinforced in stations, where teams pay particular attention to contact surfaces (handrails, self-service kiosks, elevator buttons, etc.), treated with virucidal products. Toilet areas and waste collection are also subject to sanitary measures.

Take only what you can easily manage yourself. Storage compartments are available on all trains and are most often located at the end of each carriage
and/or above the seats. Please label your luggage to avoid mix-ups and note that some major train stations do have luggage storage lockers or storage room
services. For groups of 10 or more, luggage handling is available for advance purchase on select trains.

Each station is unique, picturesque, and has its own distinct architecture; take the time to look around before you get on the train. Most stations offer services such as currency exchanges, shops, information desks, restrooms, restaurants, and more. Unwind at Europe’s longest champagne bar inside London’s St
Pancras station. Enjoy high-end fashionista shopping at Milan Centrale. How about a little art infusion at Madrid’s Puerta de Atocha train station, home to
a permanent sculpture display? You’ll also find that many of Europe’s train stations are hubs for onward travel, such as local buses and metros, or airport

On the platform
Look for the carriage (or coach) number that’s printed on your ticket or reservation and position yourself on the platform nearest to where your coach will arrive. Your ticket or reservation will also indicate whether you are travelling First or Second Class. Many train stations have diagrams located above the platforms that illustrate the location of each coach on the train.These diagrams enable you to wait on the platform very close to where your coach is due to arrive.

Seat reservation
If you have a seat reservation, your ticket will also include your seat number. Once you have boarded the correct carriage, proceed to your seat.

  • Children aged 4-11 usually pay half the adult fare. If they are under four, they travel for free unless a reservation for a separate seat/berth is required.
  • Children under 16 travel for free if they are accompanied by at least one parent in possession of a Swiss Travel Pass. Children under 16 can also travel for free with an adult who has a valid BritRail Pass. Eurail Global and Eurail One Country Passes allow two children under 11 to travel for free with a paying adult. Reservations for separate seats/berths come at an extra cost.
  • To qualify for a youth discount of up to 25%, travellers must be aged 11-25. In most cases, Youth Passes are available in First and Second Class.
  • Travellers aged 60 years and over may benefit from special senior discounts on certain passes. Good deals on point-to-point tickets are available to most travellers.
  • Special fares are available for groups of 10 or more people travelling together.

IMPORTANT: age limits vary according to the product or country of travel, so check before booking.

Travelling with a mobile Pass is simple – Just choose a mobile Pass at checkout, and we’ll send you a Pass number in your order confirmation email to load
your Pass into the dedicated Rail Planner app. All you need is your phone, our Rail Planner app, and an internet connection (at least once every 3 days).

Activating your mobile Pass
Follow the instructions in your order confirmation email to add your Pass to the Rail Planner app and activate it so it’s ready for travel. You can do both
steps at once, or you can add your Pass to the Rail Planner app and activate it later – it’s up to you. You can activate your Pass up to 11 months after your purchase date.

Travelling with your mobile Pass
Use the planner to search for journeys you want to take. Tap to save them to My Trip, where you can see an overview of your travel plans. When you’re ready to take a train, tap to add that journey to your Pass, and it will appear on your ticket in My Pass ready for inspection on board.

Seat reservations with Rail Europe will be available in the first half of 2023. Meanwhile, seat reservations can be made directly with train operators or at the train station prior to boarding.

erurotrain base

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