Travelling by Train in Europe
Travelling by train in Europe is one of the most efficient, cost effective means of transportation. It's also the local way. Many Europeans use public transportation such as buses, subways and trains as their primary mode of transportation. In the U.S., travel by train is much less common and accessible, so there is some important information to consider before trying to use a train.
Things to Consider Before Travelling By Train
- Using trains is much cheaper than flying or renting a car.
- Travelling by train is a quicker form of transportation than rented cars.
- European trains are more reliable than in the US, allowing greater flexibility for the traveler.
- Trains offer more space than one would have in planes, with the added ability to walk around, grab a drink and relax.
- Taking the train often brings travelers by scenic, relaxing views they might miss out on in tourist centers.
Before planning an adventure in Europe by train, there are a few important things to consider. A lot of these will vary by country, or sometimes city, so it's a good idea for travelers to research train travel in their specific destination.
Travelers think that language barriers will prevent them from travelling by train. This isn't the case. A lot of ticket vending machines will have an English option. It is also recommended that travelers research buy a phrase book or write down specific train-related words such as "exit," "ticket," etc. that will help them bridge the barrier.
Many vendors offer tickets online that can be purchased well in advance. If travel plans are firm, purchasing in advance can be a cheaper option. Tickets for regional trains can't always be purchased online, but oftentimes travelers will find that buying them at the station is not such a complicated process. Waiting until the day of travel is also recommended for travelers who are not sure of their exact travel time, or who want more flexibility.
Before travelling by train, the wise traveler equips themselves with all the tricks of the trade. Compiling a list of tips is a good idea in this case. For example, in many European countries it is considered ill-mannered to put your feet on the seat while on a train or bus. Also, in some countries, on local or regional trains there is an increased risk of theft. In many cases, buying a ticket at the station requires the ticket to be validated in a machine on the platform. The consequence for forgetting this step is a hefty fines, and transportation authorities don't take it lightly. Researching these things beforehand can make travelling by train in Europe simple, safe and fun.
Top 5 Routes for "Traveling by Train in Europe"
- Ricksteves.com This website covers many travel topics. Rick Steves instructs travelers on traveling in Europe by train and offers many useful tips.
- Raileurope.com This website allows users to purchase European train tickets from the United States. They also provide useful maps and train schedules that can be used for planning.
- Eurail.com This website provides helpful resources that will aid in trip planning. It allows users to view itineraries by city. It also provides maps, schedules, tips, and a trip planning app.
- Lonelyplanet.com Lonely planet produces helpful articles about every aspect of international travel. They provide helpful travel tips, and in-depth guides that can be helpful when planning to travel by train.
- thesavvybackpacker.com This website offers useful travel information by writers who are experienced with train travel in Europe. Their articles on train travel can guide travelers through the ticket buying process.
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