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Tickets, Rails and Stations: Tips for Train Travel Through Europe

Air travel and mass tourism have changed the way people discover Europe, yet to those who are travellers at heart and not mere tourists, getting on a train is what travel is all about.

If you can handle tickets, the sound of the rails, and enjoys the buzz of train stations, you’ll be better off travelling on a train. Before hopping on the next train, ride your eyes over the following information.


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Riding the train tends to be cheaper than air travel, but it’s not totally inexpensive.  So, be prepared to allocate enough funds toward travel expenses.

However, if you’re below the age of 26 or book your ticket well in advance, you can save substantially.

And, if you’re travelling long distances, it may be cheaper to ride by train, unless time is of the essence.


It gets confusing when one city (Paris) has multiple (six) stations.  Depending on you itinerary, time of day, and particular city, you may be coming from one station and leaving from another in a different locale or time zone.

Read train schedules closely, double check your tickets, and ask other travellers if you’re unsure of where and when to get off next.  There’s always another train, yet depending on your plans and responsibilities, you may not have time for it.

Additionally, though incredibly beautiful, stations can get cold or hot depending on weather.  If you’re in for a longer wait, ensure you’re wearing apropos men’s fashion and bring along the right accessories.


High-speed EMU train EVS «Sapsan» on Moscow — Saint-Petersburg railway line

Ticket prices vary, especially if you’re buying from a national versus international vendor.  For example, B-Europe is a UK distributor providing tickets to a number of European destinations.

It could save you money to buy tickets from individual country web sites, though it may require more time, waiting, and understanding nuances of language and references related to travelling.

Photo credit: Shilpy Arora


Travelling with kids is a tricky situation; plane rides get you to destinations quicker, yet small seats and limited ability to move around makes plane rides uncomfortable and undesirable to young kids.  It also places more stress on parents and caretakers.

However, though longer, train travel offers a lot more comfort regarding larger seats and ability to move about carriages.  Choose carriages with kid-accommodating amenities such as entertainment and food cars as well as seats with tables for game playing.


As mentioned above, you may need to travel due to business or other kinds of pressing necessities, making reliability a major factor of train travel.

Luckily, European trains have about a 90% reliability rate regarding run time, worker strikes, and other travel impediments.

Alternatively, plane travel has about a 65% reliability rating which is exacerbated in the winter months, vexing frequent fliers and business travellers.


Inquire about delivery methods of tickets or requirements related to pickup at respective stations.

Be very specific with questions and double check reservations.  For example, you may have to collect your ticket from the train vendor at its station at each location; so, you’ll have to get your tickets as you go along, which could be stressful and confusing.

Alternatively, some vendors offer travel applications that work with mobile devices.

Alex Outlaw, an editorial contributor and marketing director for The Idle Man, is always on the lookout for the latest news for men.

He likes to keep his eyes on the travel, fashion, music and contemporary culture scene, and then writes about it via social media and various blogs to share with others.

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