Spending time in Europe can be a great pleasure if you get organised in advance. Let’s take a look at the endless possibilities that become available to you when you look to travel by train.
For those flying in from North America, Australasia or elsewhere in the world, Europe can be an exciting but slightly daunting place.
It may not have the scale of larger continents but it has masses of history and culture. Visiting Europe for the first time can be difficult because it’s hard to choose where to begin. Should you travel to historic London, with the splendour associated with the Royal Family, the Houses of Parliament and St Pauls Cathedral? Or maybe opt for the romance of Paris or Venice?
If you have the time then a brilliant option is to tour Europe by train. In four or five weeks you can soak up the beauty of the continent, with all of continental Europe available to you – the rail link between France and Great Britain means that a visit to England is perfectly possible as part of your rail journey.
The first piece of advice that I can give is that you should purchase a European train travel pass. There are particularly good deals available for those under 26 years of age. The Eurail Pass Youth card, for example, allows individuals within this age group to travel widely on the European rail network for 15 days, 21 days, 1 month, 2 months or 3 months (depending on the type of pass that you purchase).
What that means is that you won’t have to worry about paying the fares involved with individual train journeys. You’ll find that this option can save you a lot of money, giving you the freedom to travel extensively without worrying too much about the costs involved.
The exact route that you take will be very much an individual decision, as will the time that you spend in each location. I would certainly suggest trying to stay a minimum of 3 days in any large European cities. Personally, I think some of the highlights of any trip through Europe would have to include London and Paris, for their architecture and historical importance.
The south coast of France, including the likes of Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo is well worth visiting as so many sights will be familiar from films. It’s also great to visit this area just to see how the other half live!
Visitors to Spain tend to opt for either Madrid or Barcelona. Madrid is obviously the capital, though I personally prefer Barcelona. Barcelona offers a charming city, dominated by the architecture of Gaudi, while its coastal location means that it is perfect for sun-lovers too. Large parts of the city were re-developed for the 1992 Olympic Games.
Italy offers many treasures, but particular highlights would have to include Naples (Napoli), Florence and Venice. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in the city of Pisa, approximately 1 hour from Florence by train and involving a journey through the countryside of Tuscany.
Central European favourites would lead to Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Krakow. Finally, two more famous northern European cities, Berlin and Amsterdam, would create a brilliant schedule for any visit.
Those would be my own personal favourites if I was plotting my own itinerary for a train trip of Europe – you’ll find your own passions as you travel. Most importantly of all – enjoy yourself!