Travelling by train is a unique  experience. Be it for the thrill of  high speed, the comfort, the scenery or the attractive fares, there are hundreds of reasons for choosing to travel by train in Europe. Here are the 10 reasons most commonly quoted by our customers (backpackers, families, couples, older travellers, businessmen and women, and more).

10 Reasons to travel by Train in Europe

No Hassle

Avoid the endless queues at crowded airports, or the stress of driving in a different country, with its own rules of the road and lots of traffic jams. If you travel by train, you’ll go from city centre to city centre, smoothly and efficiently. On top of which, all major European stations and trains provide information in English, as well as in the local language.  So just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Go wherever you want

Europe by rail means freedom. Choose the pass most suited to your needs from wide range of passes, starting with single country passes to regional passes and even the Eurail Global Pass, which covers 33 countries. Tickets are also available for a large choice of routes.

Save Money

Whether you opt for a ticket or a pass, you can always benefit from attractive prices. Tickets can be very cheap when booked in advance, and passes not only offer various discounts (children, youth, senior, parties of two adults or more) but also come with a range of “bonuses” (free or discounted local transport, attractions and services).

Environmentally Friendly

Planning some holiday travel? Think about making that trip a little greener by travelling by train. The well-established high-speed rail systems in use today are more environmentally friendly than air or road travel. When you travel by train, you’re making a responsible, environmentally friendly choice.

Easy Day Trips

Board the train early in the morning, have a look around the city, stop for lunch, do some shopping and come back late afternoon. From Brussels, for example, it’s a piece of cake to go to London, Paris, Cologne or Amsterdam for the day. And there’s no luggage to carry or hotels to book.

Travel in Style

Comfort is always welcome, whatever the length of the journey. Treat yourself and upgrade to First Class, you’ll have more room to stretch your legs, larger seats, and a higher level of service to make your trip memorable. Check the prices, you’ll be surprised to see how small the difference between First and Second Class can be.

Travel Overnight 

Optimise your time and budget by taking the night train: you’ll save on hotel costs, get a safe, comfortable night’s sleep, and wake up the next morning at your destination, refreshed and ready to explore.

Get off the beaten Track

With 240,000 kilometres of track, rail reaches into virtually every corner of Europe through forests, fields, and mountains that just aren’t accessible by road.

Europe’s 10 most famous high-speed Trains and main Hubs

High-speed trains are by far the easiest, most comfortable way to discover Europe’s main cities. Wide seats, on-board catering and other dedicated facilities, depending on the route, combine to make it a truly enjoyable experience.


Save considerable time by taking the train and getting off in city centres. Avoid the hassle of spending hours waiting at the airport or the fatigue of driving for hours.


Train tickets for all trains can be booked from two to six months in advance. E-tickets are available in two formats, Print at Home and Print at Station. Rail pass holders can get discounted rates when reserving their seats for high-speed trains. Note that reservation before travel, on board high-speed, scenic and night trains, is compulsory for rail pass holders.

High-speed Trains
Popular Routes
Travel Time
Booking Horizon

Paris - Marseille

Paris - Lyon

Paris - Bordeaux

3 hours

2 hours 08 mins

2 hours 04 mins

90 days
France, UK, Netherlands, Belgium

London - Paris

London - Brussels

London - Amsterdam

2 hours 15 mins

1 hour 51 mins

3hours 52 mins

120 days
France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany

Paris - Amsterdam

Paris - Brussels

Amsterdam - Brussels

3 hours 25 mins

1 hour 23 mins

1 hour 53 mins

120 days
France, Switzerland

Paris - Geneva

Paris - Zurich

Lausanne - Dijon

3 hours 12 mins

4 hours 04 mins

2 hours

180 days



Berlin - Munich

Berlin - Frankfurt

Munich - Frankfurt

4 hours

4 hours 07 mins

3 hours 19 mins

900 days



Milan - Florence

Milan - Venice

Rome - Venice


1 hour 54 mins

2 hours 27 mins

3 hours 26 mins

120 days
180 days
France, Spain

Paris - Barcelona

Barcelona - Lyon

Barcelona - Marseille

6 hours 39 mins

5 hours 05 mins

6 hours 03 mins

180 days
Barcelona - Madrid

2 hours 30 mins


90 days

Madrid - Barcelona

Madrid - Valencia

Madrid - Malaga

2 hours 30 mins

1 hour 40 mins

2 hours 46 mins

Types of Trains

A wide variety of trains are available for travel throughout Europe. Whether you’re travelling a short distance on a local train, whizzing through beautiful countryside at 320km/h, enjoying Alpine vistas on a scenic train or taking an overnight hotel-on-wheels, train travel in Europe boasts not only efficiency and comfort, but also a relaxing environment where you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Day Trains

There’s a wide range of schedules, destinations and service options on offer. Many Inter-City and Express trains, as well as most high-speed and scenic trains, require advance reservation.

High-speed Trains

Perfect for long-distance travel, high-speed trains connect all the main cities of Europe. They generally run at a speed of 300km/h.

Intercity Trains

They cover long distances at an average speed of 170km/h. Intercity trains or Intercités are the way to enjoy the countryside and admire wonderful landscapes. They stop at every little town or village, offering you the possibility to discover the heart of a region.

Regional or local Trains

These trains travel shorter distances and make frequent stops, connecting smaller cities and towns.

Scenic Train

To take in some of Europe’s most exceptional vistas, there’s no better way than to board a scenic train and enjoy the ride. From Norway’s Bergen Flam and Rauma Railways to Switzerland’s Bernina Express, Glacier Express and GoldenPass Line, the experience is worth every penny.

Night Trains

Night trains cover long distances, allowing travellers to save time and money on hotels. You’ll arrive in the city centre the next day, rested and ready for sightseeing. Night trains require reservation prior to boarding. Accommodations vary by route, but most include:

  • Deluxe sleepers with one and two-berth cabins, shower and toilet in the cabin
  • Sleepers with one, two, and three-berth cabins
  • Four or six-berth couchettes
  • Reclining seats
  • Bar and buffet car for light meals & drinks

Types of Tickets

What is a point-to-point ticket?

  • Point-to-point tickets are valid on a specific route, between two stations
  • If you only have a few trips in mind, then point-to-point tickets are recommended instead of a pass
  • Depending on the routes and the trains, you’ll be offered “open tickets” or “global fare premier train tickets
  • Open tickets allow you to travel on a given route at a fixed price within a limited period of time
  • Global fares are tickets allowing you to travel onboard most high-speed and night trains. Travel must take place on the specific train indicated on the ticket and includes a seat reservation. There is a wide range of fares and discounts of up to 60% when you book in advance

What is a rail pass?

  • A rail pass gives you unlimited travel on the rail networks of the countries covered by the pass
  • Passes are usually best value if your itinerary includes three or more journeys
  • There is a wide range of passes available: from the Eurail Global Pass (covering 33 countries) to passes covering only one country such as Swiss Travel Pass or Eurail German Rail Pass. A pass is also flexible, allowing you to choose when you travel within a set period of time
  • Discounts offered: Children, Youth and Senior for Eurail Passes. Children and Youth for Swiss Travel Pass. Saver for three to five people travelling together with Brit Rail Passes
  • Children travel for free on most passes
  • Passholder fares provide travellers with a discount on trains requiring reservations

European train offers by Country