Train travel in Europe is fast, efficient, and relatively affordable. Many tourists opt for the train when traveling between countries rather than taking a plane. If you are going to be in Europe and plan to visit multiple countries, it is worth your time and effort to take a closer look at train travel. Rail passes are perfect if you are traveling with a high degree of flexibility and want to be able to access multiple locations with a single ticket. If you are looking for end-to-end transportation on fixed dates, the train is still a good and affordable option. Rail Europe allows you to plan your travel ahead of time and even purchase your ticket before you leave the United States.
In addition to determining whether a rail pass or conventional tickets best serve your needs, you will want to consider your class of travel. Many routes offer overnight travel which can be preferable if you wish to visit many places in a compressed time frame. Traveling overnight will give you more time to explore your destination city without losing any precious daylight. First class travel may be worth the extra expense if you want to be well-rested and ready to go when you arrive at your destination. Sleeping cars, as well as reclining seats, are available if you do not think the standard train car will allow you to get the rest that you desire. Be sure to purchase the correct ticket type and book your preferred seat ahead of time when that option is available.
While refreshments are served on some routes, this is not always the case. Be sure to check beforehand and feel free to pack a lunch or snack even if food is available on board. Food trolleys do operate on most routes and offer soft drinks and juices as well as sandwiches and the like. Only longer haul routes will have a dedicated dining car which may only be available to certain classes of tickets. If you are on an overnight journey and want to experience dining aboard the train be sure to schedule your meal with plenty of time to enjoy it before you reach your desired stop. Train stops are very brief and if you miss your station it may be a while until you reach the next one.
There is something romantic and exciting about rail travel, and in Europe, it is the preferred mode of transportation on many routes, even those between differing countries. If you are planning a trip to Europe be sure to take a look at the rail options between the cities that you are visiting. If you are lucky enough for your route to be serviced by high-speed service your trip can be even more time efficient than taking an airplane. In most European cities, the train stations are located in the city centers, making it even easier to get started exploring the city when you arrive at your destination.