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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.