In 2014, I had a major surgery on my Lungs and was forbidden to Fly for a while.
As an avid traveller, this was tough for me, so I decided to explore Europe by rail and it remains one of my most memorable adventures till date as I visited 10 countries and 20 cities within three weeks without breaking the bank.
Europe really springs to life during summer and most key towns and cities are conveniently linked via a vast rail network.
Quicker journey times and comfortable trains make travelling by train the perfect way to explore the continent.
British and French rail services including those of other European countries like Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Italy can usually be booked between three and six months in advance.
Below are 10 Reasons why you should explore Europe by Train:
(1) Huge train network that serves thousands of destinations.
Monaco was my first stop.
For my Europe tour, I used the classic Interrail Global Pass
It’s the most popular pass for multi country travel and valid in the following 31 European countries:
Austria (including Liechtenstein), Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France (including Monaco), Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Northern and the Republic of Ireland), Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
(2) High Speed travel in comfort and style.
The train ride from Paris to Barcelona was one of the most comfortable.
Especially as I travelled in the first class cabin on all the routes that permitted it.
I advise you purchase a first class ticket if you enjoy luxury travel, though not all routes have first class cabins.
(3) Convenient and Regular Services.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Train services are mostly regular, however there are seldom instances of delays and cancellations due to strikes etc.
For the over twenty cities I visited during my Europe by rail birthday getaway trip. I only experienced one delay and cancellation from Monaco to Florence.
This was as a result of strike in Italy, so there were no inbound trains and I had no option than to break that journey.
(4) Flexible journeys that you can start anywhere in Europe.
Duomo Cathedral, Milan
There are always multiple options to select from, irrespective of where you’re starting your journey from or ending it.
(5) Great Value for Money.
Charles Bridge, Prague
The Interrail One Country Pass is valid in one European country of your choice. This Interrail Pass was formerly known as national pass or EuroDomino ticket. You can choose from 30 One Country Passes.
(6) No Taxes nor extra Baggage Fees.
Town Square, Brussels
Unlike the airlines, there are no restrictions to baggage allowances nor any additional charges for your luggage. So you’re free to travel as light or heavy as you choose.
(7) No long Airport check ins or transfers.
Before I had my daughter, I was one of those last minute people at the checkin counters as I hated being on those long queues.
This meant that I would always have to rush through security and boarding gates.
However, with my train travels. There wasn’t such rush.
(8) Enjoy stunning Scenery enroute.
I won’t forget in a hurry the scenic views I enjoyed from Munich to Zurich.
I was like a big baby while appreciating the waterfalls and mountains in Switzerland
(9) More Environmentally friendly.
The carbon emissions from a train is nothing near what an aircraft emits.
Hence less pollution on the environment when you travel by train, instead of airplane.
(10) It’s Great Fun.
Its a fun adventure that’s worth exploring