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Wednesday 8 February 2023

Why staying on the right tracks can enhance a European travel experience

The last couple of times I have visited Europe, I have stayed on the rails as much as possible.

Trains in Europe are fast, efficient and comfortable - sometimes just a bit too popular. And they take you from city centre to city centre, rather than depositing you at some airport in the middle of nowhere.

I Italy last summer, I used several trains that were fast, efficient and on time - and they didn't lose my luggage..

There are several reasons why one should consider exploring Europe by train and the team from Rail Europe have shared their top reasons to pick trains over planes, buses and cars. They are, of course biased, but make several good points.

1. Hassle Free

With no check-in queues and traffic-related issues, one can simply show up at the train station minutes before the train departs (unless it's the Eurostar or Thalys, which require a little bit more time). The convenience of city centre to city centre connections also ensures one gets to the final destination quicker.

2. Freedom and Flexibility

With the choice of passes and point-to-point tickets, travellers can decide the options that best suit their needs, and go anywhere and at any time across 33 countries in Europe. This also makes day trips and short excursions convenient.

3. Cost Effective

When booking in advance, travellers can save a significant amount of money. And when travelling on overnight trains, there are savings on hotel costs, too. Families can also enjoy savings as children under 16 travel for free when accompanied by an adult in Switzerland, and the Eurail Pass allows free travel for children under 11.

4. Comfort and Convenience

Trains in Europe offer comfortable and spacious seats with lots of leg room across all classes. In addition on-board dining services (trolley or restaurant/bar carriage), most modern trains also have power points available for charging electronic devices - and some offer wifi. And unlike air travel, there is also no baggage limit on trains - which some guests make the most of in annoying ways.

5. The views, the views

One of the biggest highlights of train travel is the exposure to some great views. Try to get a window seat to take in the ever changing landscapes, colours, architecture and more.

6. Environmentally Friendly

Trains, especially the well-established high-speed rail systems such as the Eurostar, France’s TGV, Spain’s AVE, Italy’s Italo and many others, emit a lot less carbon than air and road options.

7. Social

Europe has an extremely efficient rail system used by most locals. To get acquainted with the people and learn more about their culture, or obtain some tips and local insights, travellers can easily strike up a conversation with other fellow passengers in the relaxed environment of a train.

For more information and bookings, check out, which has been a partner of train operators for 90 years. International travellers who want to travel by train easily throughout Europe can also book their travel - including Eurail passes - directly through the website and app. Rail Europe is headquartered in Paris.

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