Lifestyle Uncategorized

How to Travel By Train in Europe

Hi, Kate the Almost Great readers. I’m Olya, and I blog over at The Siberian American. I love writing about our travel adventures and our journey through medical school. Today, Kate asked me share some European travel tips.

For me, there is nothing better than being on a train in Europe, looking out at the beautiful countryside or reading a book while getting to my destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. When we traveled in Europe for the first time, we had quite a few mishaps. Here is what we learned:

Book early. 

Book train tickets at least three weeks in advance, especially if you are using a Eurail pass. If you are going to a popular destination like Prague or Paris, book as soon as you can. We had friends who tried to book a night train from Cologne to Prague five days in advance, and they found out every night train was booked for the next two weeks. We always tried to book as soon as we decided on our destination.

Check platforms often. 

I will never forget the name Herzogenrath-August-Schmidt-Platz. Never heard of it? Neither had I. Trains can change platforms at the last minute. When we were traveling to Berlin with a big group, the regional train in Aachen arrived before our train to Berlin. We thought it was our train because it was at the correct platform and time so we took the train and ended up in Herzogenrath-August-Schmidt-Platz. We didn’t make it to Berlin until 2 a.m. Also, be aware that some trains will split off in the middle of the trip and head in different directions. Make sure to listen to announcements that tell you if you are in the right compartment, especially if you are in the food compartment.

Write down the number of the train leaving after yours. 

Trains are sometimes late, so you should look up and record the number of the next train to take in the case of a late train. For example, when our train from Frankfurt to Brussels ran 20 minutes late we missed our train from Brussels to Liege. However, we had written down the next train we could take, so we were able to get to the platform in time to hop on the next train to Liege.

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  • Reply Kristen

    I am kinda thankful we aren't taking any trains this time! lol. just flights, because the trains werent cost or time effective, but i'll definitely keep this in mind for the future!

    March 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Courtney Dunsmore

    This is just what I needed,thank you! Heading to Spain in a couple weeks,and we'll definitely be taking trains!

    March 2, 2015 at 6:07 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ Here We Geaux

    Whoa baby…that sounds complicated!

    March 2, 2015 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply JBean

    I have been to Europe a few times and always try to take the train when there. I think it's the most romantic of travel options 🙂

    March 2, 2015 at 7:27 pm
  • Reply Kati Rose

    This was great advice! I'm looking to travel to Europe this summer/fall and I knew I wanted to travel by train. Hopefully having a few of these tips in my mind will help!

    March 3, 2015 at 6:03 am
  • Reply Amanda Elizabeth - Meet @ the Barre

    Such great points thank you so much for this!

    March 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm
  • Reply Tabitha Lee

    These are such great tips! Reading or staring at the countryside on a train ride through Europe sounds amazing. 😉

    March 3, 2015 at 4:55 pm
  • Reply Kay R.

    Great tips!!! I love Europe (well Ive only been to England) but travelling around can be a nightmare if you dont know how to do it!

    March 4, 2015 at 1:57 am
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