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So you’ve booked your flight to Europe, but once there, how do you plan to explore? Flights are one of the most obvious ways to hop between countries, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the most affordable, comfortable, or even the most memorable way to get around. Best way to travel Europe.

In fact, there are many other methods of transportation for making your way across Europe, and we’ve come to realize that train travel is the winner.

But why train? When breaking it down, Europe by rail is ultimately much cheaper, easier, flexible, time saving and comfortable than other options. Sounds too good to be true? Let me break us down for you. Europe train travel.

Train Travel: The Cheaper, Easier Way to Roll Through Europe

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More Flexibility

Once arriving in Europe you may have your destinations all mapped out. Or perhaps you know which countries you’d like to visit and are keen to move from place to place as the time feels right. Either way, if you’re planning to travel by plane you’ll be wanting to book your tickets at least 8 weeks in advance to avoid the nasty cost of last minute flights. Book train tickets Europe.

Or, as we’ve found, you could instead choose to travel by train and enjoy both flexibility and cost saving with something like a Eurail Select Pass. These passes are fantastic in that you can choose the duration of your trip and the countries you’d like to include, and then jump abroad trains going to and from any location in the countries you’ve selected at your own whim!

One of our top tips for cheap travel is to have the ability to move slowly. A rail pass allows you to do this. And, with prices starting at just $151 euros for 1 month of travel, international travel has never been cheaper.

Pro Tip: Take note that some trains do require pre-booking and additional fees for reserving seats.

Still Cheaper Without a Rail Pass

If the idea of purchasing a rail pass is not really your thing or you’re not sure you will use it enough to cover the cost, we’ve still found that booking trains as you go is a cheaper option than last minute flights.

With travel search engine sites like GoEuro you can easily search for the easiest and cheapest train options and book your ticket on the go, plus, they also book in local US$ currency saving you currency transaction fees.

When traveling Europe we also can’t emphasise enough how wonderful it is to see more than just the ‘highlights reel’ of each country’s capital. Of course all these cities are a must see, but their surroundings are also just as magical! And when traveling by train, it’s not much more pocket money to include them into your city trip. These 10 cheap day trips you can add to any european vacation demonstrates exactly this. Cheapest way to travel europe by train.

See Naples for only $10 when you’re in Rome, or take a day trip from London to Oxford for only $8. And of course, don’t miss the stunning beaches of Cadiz for a measley extra $17 from Seville. The destinations that train travel opens up in Europe are endless. Europe train tickets point to point.

When breaking it down, train travel is ultimately much cheaper, easier, flexible, time saving and comfortable than other options.

See More of Europe

Our bucket-list for Europe has substantially grown since we’ve realised just how cheap and easy it is to see more when choosing train travel. We’ve realized it’s realistic to aim to see more. Rail Europe reviews. Train travel in Europe.

So what new destinations do you have on your European bucketlist now? Has the idea of traveling by train expanded your possibilities? If you’re ready to start exploring travel options for your ultimate Europe trip, you better do so now. Summer is on the way so it’s time to get on the move!


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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured photo & first Pinterest image by Mariano Mantel. Second pinterest image by photo by Christopher Ruud. Brighton train station by Roger Marks. Stazione Centrale di Milano by Lorenzoclick.


  1. Megan, it is amazing how many people don’t even consider train travel for their holiday. Flying into one airport (or training it from London) and then flying home from another with several train journeys in between is my idea of heaven. In two weeks time I will be doing just that – into Bologna and out of Zurich. Thanks for the article but don’t shout too loud so as not to crowd the trains too much! Wilbur

    • Hi Wilbur – happy to hear you’re also a fan of taking trains! Train travel is the highlight of each of my trips to Europe, and I was blown away by how easy it is to organize a multi city trip that way.

      Have a wonderful time in Europe this summer … I’ll be sure to try and not tell too many people about the trains lol :D!

  2. Train travel in Europe is the best way to get around in my opinion. You get see so many cool things and unlike in the US, it is very cheap to get from city to city by train.

    • With you 100%! We’ve seen so much more of Europe than I ever would have imagined because we’ve decided to travel by train. Even when exploring the one country – did the whole of Italy and Switzerland by train, when it would have been a lot more hassle and cash to have tried to take the same in by flight :)

  3. I absolutely love train travel and take them all the time in Italy. Unfortunately, for long distances I’ve always found it more cost-effective to fly, so I’ve never done really long journeys through multiple countries.

    That being said, Europe really does have a great rail system and, especially if you take local trains, they will not break the bank usually. I really wish the US had a similar rail infrastructure.

    • Italy was the first country I traveled by train, loved it! We did the local trains to explore as much of the country as possible and turned out to be a great trip – much easier to navigate than I thought it would have been.

      The US really could learn a lot from Europe in terms of their rail infrastructure – Europe has to have the most efficient system I’ve seen.

  4. I love travelling by train. In the UK it is worth being flexible about timings. Off peak booked in advance is usually quite reasonable. Peak fares can be astronomical!

    • Thanks for the tips Fiona!

  5. Very good advice Megan!
    I love traveling by train, I love the views and the commodity of the train compared to a bus. I never bought a eurorail pass since my trips inside Europe are punctual, but as you say in most countries it’s affordable to buy them on the go.
    I would certainly recommend traveling by train in Europe!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Laia! The views and the commodity are definitely two good reasons to love train travel over anything else.

      Definitely consider buying a ticket for travel by train on the go if you ever find yourself with a couple of extra days :) Happy travels!

  6. I love train travel and I agree that in Europe it is often the easiest and most pleasant option. My favourite trips are overnight: you leave Rome in the evening and wake up in Paris – how cool is that? I also use GoEuro for the best connections: I find them good and since I travel with kids, the savings compared with a plane journey are significant

    • Almost like a cruise in that sense – you have a moving bedroom :D Agree that it’s very cool to wake up in a new city, and it does save on the cost of accommodation for that night too – win/win!

      Glad to hear you’ve also had success using GoEuro – savings really can be considerable :)

  7. Indeed, traveling by train is a great choice in Europe. The prices are accessible and you’ll also have the time to enjoy some beautiful landscapes (in several countries).

    • Absolutely Loredana! You get to see some of the most beautiful towns and villages along the way that you wouldn’t see from a plane :) Train is a great way to sightsee :)

  8. One of my favorite things about going to Europe is traveling by train. Just so much less stressful than dealing with airports too

    • ABsolutely Brianna – the amount of time waiting in airport queues now is starting to border on ridiculous – so nice being able to cut that completely with trains :)

  9. For sure it’s our favourite way of travel.
    It’s comfy, affordable, the stations are in the city centre(usually), there is no hassle of security screening/X-ray…
    Last year we did long journeys like Berlin to Barcelona and it was great! With a good book, a movie or even working a bit, I don’t mind the hours on the train.

    • I’m the same – I get engrossed in my book and the next thing I know, I’m at my destination :D Train travel definitely saves all the stresses associated with flying and trying to navigate your way through the airport. Saves so much time in this sense too!

  10. Train travel in Europe is fantastic and has made our extensive travel here totally feasible. But like many things, doing some research and having flexibility will help you get better fares, especially if you travel without a Eurail Pass. In the UK, for example, some of the day trips or ‘out of London’ trips are really expensive (I just spent $100 round trip for a weekend in Bristol), but if you can travel on weekdays or at super off peak times, the prices go down – like the $50 round trips that I recently saw to Paris. Cheers!

    • Thanks for the tips Drew … being flexible definitely goes a long way to being able to secure that cheapest fare. $50 for a round trip ticket to Paris from the UK is a steal!

  11. Train travel in Europe is so easy. I’ve traveled from London to Paris, Paris to Brussels and Paris to Amsterdam all via train travel and I didn’t spend an arm and a leg!

    • Fantastic Danielle! Glad to hear you’ve been able to take advantage of cheap train fares too!

  12. Train travel is indeed one of the best ways to get around in Europe. Particularly love the comfort and the different classes to choose from. Could not agree more, much better than waiting at an airport for flights, etc. Enjoy your train travels :)

    • Glad you agree Rosemary! I do particularly enjoy being able to walk straight on instead of having to wait in ghastly airport queues!!

      Happy travels :)

  13. There is something about travelling by train that brings back adventures of long gone by. Done plenty of travelling by train in Europe and it’s very convenient+ cheap. Even caught the train from Casio to Melbourne (and back) once – I had nothing better to do :)

    • Totally agree with you Barry – there’s a certain romance around the notion of traveling by train, in a very nostalgic sense. Glad to hear you’ve been taking advantage of the train networks through Europe too!

  14. Hi Megan

    Great to read that you found travelling by train cheaper in Europe. Bucks the recent trend that rail travel is expensive.

    Certainly, train travel in Europe is much more enjoyable. More opportunities to meet people, see the landscapes, arrive in the centre of cities & straight into action. ‘No-frills’ airlines often dump you in a place with no public transport and hours to get to the city centre. Always there are added financial costs of travelling to the airport.

    An Interrail or Eurail pass are ideal as it gives you freedom to move around as you like. If you don’t have a definite plan and rely on taking last-minute journeys it will always be cheaper than buying separate tickets. Walk on fares are always more in Europe and ridiculously so in countries like Britain and on high-speed routes on the continent.

    That said if you have a plan buying train tickets in advance will be much cheaper. Certainly, there’s a massive difference in price between buying in advance and walk on fares in Britain.

    Also, don’t forget that most countries have railcards/annual passes that entitle certain people can buy to get cheaper tickets off standard prices (up to 30% OFF)! You don’t have to be a resident to get them. Families, young people/students and senior people can usually benefit from them.

    • Thanks for the tips Chris! An excellent point that one of the perks is arriving in the city center ready to go – thinking back, I’ve generally been able to walk to my hotel when we get in by train as opposed to airport transfers which can take up to an hour in a cab. Big saved cost right there!

      I do love the freedom of passes like Eurrail and Interrail, though haven’t looked into annual passes for individual countries yet. That’s a great tip, especially as I usually travel with my student ID.

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge! Happy travels :)

  15. Great article Megan and wonderful comments out there. I want to plan a trip to Europe , though my first time to Europe with family. In s dilemma if to take package toiurz of go out to explore on own. Any suggestions pls .

    • Thanks Haresh, and wonderful to hear that you have a family holiday coming up soon! How old are your children? I think it would first and foremost depend on that. If they’re young kids say under 10 you might want to do your own exploring, because it’s not always enjoyable with young kids when you’re on a very strict itinerary like that of a tour. Much better to have flexibility to change the day around as you need to.

      If you have teenage kids they may love a tour and be able to keep up with the itinerary. But maybe chat to your family and see what everyone wants to do. That way they all feel like they have input too which makes it more enjoyable all round :)

      Hope that helps!


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