Eurail travel across Europe

Landscape from Warsaw to Berlin - Eurail travel across Europe

Landscape from Warsaw to Berlin

Eurail travel across Europe

In front of my window is a sea of yellow and greens, slighty blurred images of golden mustard and green forests with rolling hills of the Polish countryside unfolding before me. I’m taking a morning train from Warsaw to Berlin which is a comfortable five hour journey on a regional train that connects the two cities. Train travel is one of my favorite ways of discovering Europe through Eurail which makes it very easy and convenient to create a personalized travel plan which offers a lot of flexibility. I really treasure small moments like enjoying the views of a countryside and getting a glimpse of an area from a comfortable vantage point. Not only is there a lot of flexibility and ease of travel on the Eurail system, but you can choose from many options including:  pick and choose the best times to travel, ability to make a personal travel itinerary,  create flexible plans based on your itinerary and ability to do changes quickly while you are already traveling between destinations. Part of what makes it easy to plan your Eurail travel is using their travel app which you can download and use offline on any electronic device.  You can easily input your starting and ending points and dates and quickly get all the search options at your fingertips. The app makes it easy to create itineraries on the fly and help  maximize your travel time and quickly find the best solutions.

 

 

Vienna Hauptbahnhof - Eurail travel across Europe

Vienna Hauptbahnhof – main train station

Centrally located downtown locations

One of my favorite parts of traveling by train is that each city’s railway station are typically located in the central downtown districts. This is very is convenient since the main stations are a hub connection to local transport, tourist information and other travel services.  Another aspect of traveling by train is the romance of coming and going through the main railway hubs. Ranging from grand and classical inspired architecture to completely modern and beautiful structures. Each city’s main train station is a unique and beautiful structure that creates an identity and symbolic icon for that city. I really love the experience of traveling departing and arriving at each city’s main train station because it evokes such a wonderful and personal travel experience.

While today’s trains are modern and fast with extensive train connections, there’s still an adventurous aspect to train travel. It’s more relaxed and can sometimes be shorter than flying depending on the distance and routes you take in Europe. Also, when you travel by plane, you need to add some time getting to and from the airport, checking in, security check in and then include your transit time for your destination.

 

 

 

Regional train service from Vienna to Budapest, Hungary

Regional train service from Vienna to Budapest, Hungary

 

 

Train travel for me is also more personal and offering an easy way to enjoy a scenic ride and possibly meet other train travelers who may share compartments, dining cars and other public spaces. It’s easy to start conversations with complete strangers and end up sharing stories and personal travel experiences to places, sharing information and tips of things to do at a destination. It’s these simple shared experiences and conversations that make train travel so personal and accessible to connecting with others in the same compartment.

 

 

Hamburg's main train station

Hamburg’s main train station

Eurail travel details

While traveling on a two week Eurail pass, I found that you can create an easy and flexible itinerary that spans up to two months in a calendar year. This can be a great savings for a traveler that may be going to many locations or have longer travel stays in Europe. There’s no worries or penalties if you choose to change your routes or itineraries which to me is one of the best features of using the Eurail system.

I am a fan of fast speed trains and I loved the entire experience of traveling by high-speed and seeing the landscape transform quickly from a busy metropolitan environment to rolling hills and lovely green landscapes. You can easily check the Eurail app to see a range of travel modes from fast speed trains to local trains based on your travel times and destination.

 

 

 

Berlin Hauptbahnhof - Eurail travel across Europe

Berlin Hauptbahnhof

 

 

Most local and regional trains have an open seating system, but for longer international and popular routes, a reservation is mandatory. You can make a reservation online (which is a paper confirmation that has to be mailed out) or you can buy directly from each train station ticket counters.  I found that using the app will give you a better idea about the options of reserving a seat or just looking for open seating on the trains. When you travel first class on the Eurail system, you can have a mobile office set up with certain trains offering free wifi service, electric charging stations at each seat and drop down or pullout trays to put your laptop or other portable devices. It’s a perfect set up if you want to do some work while you are in transit.

 

 

Eurail train and ferry service from Germany to Denmark

Eurail train and ferry service from Germany to Denmark

 Eurail by ferry

There are so many unique experiences you get traveling by Eurail in Europe. One of my favorite train experiences was taking a regional train from Germany to Denmark which actually enters a ferry ship which crosses the channel dividing both countries. It was fascinating to see how a train can enter the lower cargo deck of a large ferry and then quickly exit the ferry through different ends of the ship and connect flawlessly and quickly to the adjoining rail lines.

The huge ferry transport offers regular service to both countries in less than an hour, which allows plenty of time to shop the duty free, specialty shops or go to any of the bars or restaurants in the ferry. I enjoyed going all around the ferry and outside to an open observation area to get some fresh air and check out the scene and coastlines on both ends. The Eurail ticket allows for free ferry services or reduced fares in different countries, you can easily find the ferry services offered through their app or on the Eurail website.

 

Classical designed train stations -  Budapest main railway station

Classical designed train stations – Budapest main railway station

 

 

 

It really is nice to be able to travel and see a variety of landscape and metropolitan areas you pass along the way to your destination. I enjoy watching the scenery constantly change and you get a peak at smaller cities or towns that’s not on your radar, but may look interesting enough to visit. There’s a glamour and sexiness traveling by train that exists if not in reality but also subconsciously to a time when train travel was indeed an elegant travel mode. Even in today’s rushed and busy culture and means of traveling quickly from point A to point B, train travel offers a more relaxed, refined and a real experience of traveling to a destination from the time you leave a station, find your seat, order some refreshment or just relax out in the train aisles looking out the windows and soaking in some wonderful views.

 

 

 

Beautiful landscape views taking a regional train to Copenhagen, Denmark

Beautiful landscape views taking a regional train to Copenhagen, Denmark

 Advantages to Eurail

Just to cap off traveling by Eurail train services to Europe, you may find it a better way of transportation in Europe for the following reasons:

 

1) The ease of creating and booking your own itinerary and making reservations online

2) Flexibility of travel where you can make instant changes in your itinerary

3) Depending on the travel times, train travel can be faster through certain locations in Europe

4) Train travel can also be cheaper based on distance and frequency of train service within countries

5) Ease of getting to each city’s central district

6) No waste of time getting to the station, checking in, security checks and actual transport time

7) More relaxed and easy way to travel with ability to move around, go to the dining car or not having to be tied down to a seat for the entire journey

8) All in one price point

9) Enjoy the scenic views and changing landscape from urban to rural environments

10) Arrival at the central hub offers easier transfer points to other regional or local areas

 

I hope that this has inspired you to try train travel through Europe. The Eurail system and services is a great system and easy way to travel throughout the continent.  Thanks for visiting and hope this post on Eurail travel across Europe was helpful. If you enjoyed the post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post, thanks so much.

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Thanks to Eurail for letting me experience their train travel service, all opinions and thoughts were my own and I really enjoyed traveling by trains throughout my European journey.

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16 Responses to Eurail travel across Europe

  1. Suzanne Fluhr July 31, 2015 at 5:01 am #

    On our last trip together to Europe, my husband and I opted for the train to travel from Munich to Vienna and after a few days, from Vienna to Budapest. With all the hassles attendant to air travel these days, the train is infinitely more relaxing. We also met some interesting people, and, fortunately, the young Irish guy upon whom I spilled my Coke, took it in stride.

  2. Claudia July 27, 2015 at 12:22 am #

    I would love to do a Eurorail, but the bad thing about it for me is that I live on an island and would have to fly somewhere else to take a train… and this would blow my budget to begin with 🙁

  3. Corinne July 26, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    Noel, We are heading out tomorrow on our Eurail through Eastern Europe trip. We are beside ourselves with excitement. Even though we love trains, we’ve never really taken advantage of it as much in Europe since we have a car. Love your photos as always!

  4. Stacey jean Inion July 26, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    These are beautiful photographs and inspiring text on the Eurail pass. We are looking forward to Europe and using the train system.

  5. Bill Christen July 26, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    We spent three weeks tour Europe (Sweden, Denmark, eastern Germany, Switzerland, the Alsace region of France, The Netherlands and Belgium by train and bus using our First Class Global Eurail pass. We traveled from the end of May until the middle of June 2015. We ended our trip by crossing the English Channel by P&O Ferry and then traveling by train to Southampton, England where we boarded the Queen Mary 2 for the crossing home. We were on our own family history trip and had no problems reaching some remote areas (sometimes with the help of friendly and adventurous taxi drivers). When we got back to the US, we took Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited from New York City to Toledo, Ohio. Our daughter picked us up there and we drove back to the Detroit area.

    The only problem I had was in making reservations using Eurail. The response was slow and in one case non-existent. I ended up using other sources as our itinerary was complicated and we did not use a travel agent. I made the reservations for First Class accommodations using RailEurope most of the time.

    We enjoyed our travels and would do it again with a Eurail Pass. All the trains were clean and we encountered many helpful railroad employees. We found the Thaylys trains and service to be the best.

  6. Rhonda Albom July 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    Somehow we never figured out the Eurorail system, – or should I say, we never figured out how to make it affordable. We looked at several times, but for the four of use it was usually cheaper to hire a car. I don’t know why we couldn’t get our head around it, as we took trains on other continents with no trouble. Your photos, as always, are wonderful, and your words make me want to give it another try next time we find ourselves in Europe.

  7. Karilyn July 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    My first trip was on my own, backpacking around Europe via Eurail. It was amazing. We were just in Europe last year with our son and loved the kids cars on many trains some even with playgrounds!

  8. kami July 25, 2015 at 5:55 am #

    I’ve been traveling around Europe by train for past 18 years (my job gives me a similar ticket to Eurail once a year) and just a month I tried Interrail for the first time – it’s the Eurail but for Europeans and I have to say it’s the best way to explore the continent! Nothing can beat train travels! I’m glad you enjoyed your travels! 🙂 and well, I took the morning Berlin-Warszawa Express countless times, I don’t even pay attention to what’s outside the window anymore 😉

  9. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers July 25, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    Train travel is my favourite way to get around, so much more comfortable than short haul flights and you get to see beautiful scenery as you go. I’ve done very little in Europe though so it’s great to know that it’s as fast, comfortable and convenient as it is in other places.

  10. zof July 25, 2015 at 12:15 am #

    Train travel is the most comfortable way to see Europe. I used to take a lot of trains in Central Europe when I was studying in Czech Republic and taking weekend trips on every occassion. I’d recommend it to everyone. It’s comfy, affordable, and you get amazing views…

  11. Dale July 25, 2015 at 12:06 am #

    I’m really excited about the Eurail trip we should be taking in just a couple of months time. It’s clearly so much fun, plus you meet many great locals along the way.

  12. Bethany Dickey July 24, 2015 at 11:46 pm #

    I absolutely love train travel. I’m actually sitting on a train from Trieste to Verona right now, and despite over an hour of delays it’s still been so pleasant! Nothing like sitting on a stuffy, uncomfortable plane for hours with no idea what’s wrong.

  13. Elliott July 24, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

    Train travel will always be my favourite. I hope I can explore some of Europe when I visit my girlfriend’s family in Finland this year. It feels like true travel, seeing the different landscapes pass by.

  14. Fiona @ London-Unattached July 24, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

    I’ve traveled across Europe by train quite a lot for work reasons – in the winter it is generally a lot more reliable too, less liable to long delays for fog or snow. And, it somehow seems much more relaxing.

    I’d love to try the ferry! That sounds amazing

  15. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru July 24, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    Hi Noel – We’re big fans of the Eurail Pass, as you know. You’ve enumerated all the advantages of this way of travel. We absolutely love it, and would choose it over air or car whenever possible.

  16. Suze The Luxury Columnist July 24, 2015 at 4:41 am #

    A great round up of the advantages of using Eurail, Noel. I did Interrailing as it was then when I was at uni and it was a brilliant way of seeing several countries in one trip

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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