Why You Should Travel Europe Via Train
10 Oct 2019
Trains are better than planes.
There, we said it. And we stand by it.
European airports are located on the outskirts of cities, sometimes so far out, that you'll be wondering if you’re still in the same country. Needless to say, they’re an expensive taxi ride to reach. On the flip side, most Eurail trains will leave from a city’s Central Station, which is as the name implies, in the middle of the city, and probably a hell of a lot closer to your hotel than the airport is.
Once you arrive at an airport, you’re pretty much guaranteed a few hours of sitting around, waiting for your flight to board. During this time you’re going to treat yourself to an overpriced sandwich, which will inevitably taste like cardboard and a beer that costs more than an entire night out in Poland. All of this trauma, and you haven’t even boarded the plane yet.
Trains require no long drive to the outskirts of town, and the check-in process is much faster than the airport equivalent. What’s more, trains in Europe are known for running like clockwork. Punctuality rates of European trains sit at about 90%, which is significantly higher than most low-cost air carriers within Europe. Fewer delays and time spent in airports gives you more time to enjoy the holiday that you’ve worked so hard for!
What’s more - most European trains on the Europe Rail Pass come standard with access to high-speed WiFi, meaning you can catch up on work (or Netflix) while you travel.
You’ll save time and money.
European trains are seriously fast - we’re talking speeds of up to 320km/h (to put that into perspective that’s Sydney to Melbourne in just three hours). Forget the idea that trains are suitable only for Slow TV - the Europeans are here to do train travel efficiently (and they’ve been doing it for a while now).
Once you tally the time spent getting to an airport, getting through security, checking in, boarding the flight, flying, disembarking, getting out of the airport and into a city, it seriously adds up. We’re exhausted just thinking about it. The truth is, flying is not going to save you a huge amount of time compared to taking the train.
Cost breakdown: Plane/Bus/Train from London to Paris.
|Plane (Budget carrier)||Bus||Train|
|Journey time||1 hour 10 minutes||8 hours||2 hours 20 minutes|
|Cost of travel ticket||$90||$20||2 hours 20 minutes|
|Check-in time||1 hour||15 minutes||30 minutes|
|City travel fee (2 way)||$25||n/a||n/a|
|City travel fee (2 way)||90 minutes||n/a||n/a|
|15kg luggage fee||$30||$15||n/a|
|Total travel time||3 hours 30 minutes||8 hours 15 minutes||2 hours 50 minutes|
You can see from the above table that buses are the cheapest way to travel Europe, but they are also the SLOWEST. Planes might seem like they’re faster, but by the time you allow for check-in and travel to and from an airport, they actually take more time and are more expensive than a train.
Explore at your own leisure, and see the countryside.
Travel when you want, on-demand. A Europe Rail pass is the Netflix of trains.
Most major routes will have multiple departures per day, meaning that you can depart when it suits you best (and gives you time for a much-needed sleep in).
Review: Pei Fun 29 Mar 2019 This pass gave us the ultimate flexibility with comfort especially on our Swiss rail journey. Totally enjoyed new found freedom with whimsical visits and last minute change of trips without having to worry about cancellation and penalty.
Most Popular Routes.
It’s important to choose your route depending on the number of travel days you have up your sleeve. There’s no good trying to cram too much into one trip. Take your time and soak it all in.
Even if you don’t have grand plans to travel all of Europe, you can still benefit from a Europe Rail Pass. There are a number of day trips that can be done from London, to all sorts of exciting European bucket list destinations.
London to Disneyland Paris: 2 hours 40 mins London to Amsterdam: 3 hours 52mins London to Brussels: 2 hours 1min London to Paris: 2 hours 15 mins London to Rotterdam: 3 hours 5 mins
Berlin (Germany) Amsterdam (Netherlands) Paris (France)
Paris (France) Barcelona (Spain) Leon (France) Bologna (Italy) Rome (Italy)
Ghent (Belgium) Rotterdam (Netherlands) Leipzig (Germany) Warsaw (Poland) Budapest (Hungary) Belgrade (Serbia) Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Zagreb (Croatia) Bologna (Italy) Lyon (France)
The above itineraries are just a suggestion, and the beauty of a Eurail Pass means that you can customise your own itinerary.
There are a number of different passes available, with varying costs, so it’s important to have a good idea of your time frame and how many countries you’d like to visit before you book a pass. For more information on how to decide which pass is right for you, visit handy guide.