Europe Rail Star : Help You Travel in Europe with Ease

Archive for November, 2009

The Rail Experience

If you’re travelling Europe by rail, you’ll spend a lot of time in train stations. That’s not a bad thing. Many European train stations are masterpieces of architecture, glorious palace of glass and light that will inspire your wanderlust. In practical terms, European stations are generally clean, safe and well kept, though you should keep an eye on your bags in any public place.

Rail Passes vs. Point-to-point Tickets

Ah, the great debate: to buy a pass or to buy point-to-point tickets? That depends on what kind of traveller you are. If you’re on a tight budget, are staying in only a few cities, or if you plan out your trip in advance and travel second class, you may find that point-to-point tickets are cheaper. But if you plan to cover a lot of territory, love the freedom of travelling on a whim, crave convenience, or want to know with come certainty how much your European adventure is going to cost you, you’ll find railpasses will likely save you more money and time.

Train Reservations & Supplements

A railpass means you’ve paid up front and can just hop on a train, right? Alas, no. Most high-speed trains (including some EuroCity and InnerCity), scenic trains, and all sleepers require reservations, and reservation fees will cost you over and above the price of your railpass.

European Trains: Night Trains

Most major European cities that are at least 7 hours apart by rain are connected by night trains. Not only do night trains save you the price of a hotel, they give you mode time to sight see. And some night trains even have hotel-style amenities, such as private bathrooms with showers. We recommend taking night trains whenever possible.

First Class vs Second Class

Most European trains have two classes of seats: first and second class. On local, regional and most express trains, there’s not as much difference between the classes as there is on the high-speed and premiere trains. First-class cars usually have either three seats per row (a seat on one side of the aisle, two seats […]