Rail tours of europe - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by EX_STAB, Oct 11, 2010.

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  1. I've been discussing the possibilities of doing a rail tour of europe with my gf. Probably ten days to two weeks and we'd particularly like to see Switzerland.

    Other destinations that occurred to us are Berlin and Vienna. I'd like to make some stops in rural France too.

    This will probably be this time next year but we'd like to plan it well ahead.

    Am open to suggestions......
     
  2. Some very good info on a web site called "the man in the 61 seat" more to do with getting very good value from rail travel.
     
  3. Germany is pretty good on the trains Munich is a must, if it this time next year then the Octoberfest is on the card (Middle of September to the first weekend in October)
    Check the trains out first because they have ICE and IC which are the fastest and have dining car (I travel first class on them, they are much better than the first class in the UK (You can order a beer in a proper glass at your seat), The RE are regional and although clean very basic and shouldnt be used if you are going over a certain distance. On a weekend you can buy a family ticket for up to five people for about 20 euro (that for the ticket, not per person) and travel allday,anywhere on the RE trains for that day.

    Travels Through Germany
     
  4. The Rhine from Bonn to Koblenz (West Rhine Railway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    Oslo to Bergen, especially the branch from Myrdal down to Flåm (On the World's top 25 train list - NSB)

    Panoramic-Express – Montreux-Interlaken (Panoramic-Express)

    The World's Top 25 (just to make you drool): World's Top 25 Trains: Luxury, First-Class, Steam

    I remember Vienna-Ljubljana being quite dramatic too - lots of narrow gorges.

    For maximum contrast, you could do Harwich-Hook of Holland-Basel and on into Switzerland from there.


    Sorry if this is too much info ... I used to work for the railways and still love rail travel!
     
  5. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Head to Paris first, it’s the easiest to get to with lots to see and do. Brussels is simple to get to from there, some great food and you can get to see the great European Parliament.

    If you are a party type drop by Amsterdam, if not go to cologne, the Hyatt with its fine dining is not to be missed.

    Berlin should not be missed. From there you can do Prague, I haven’t been for 10 years so don’t know if it is as good as it used to be. Vienna is great, but again I lived there almost ten years ago, although I suspect it hasn’t lost its lustre.

    Switzerland is something that can be ignored, there’s not a lot there that can’t be seen elsewhere, you’d be better off checking out Northern Italy on your trip in my opinion.
     
  6. The nord express runs from Calais to Stockholm dining car and couchetes available, if memory serves me right stops at Brussels. Koln, Osnabruck, Bremen, Hamburg then on to Denmark.
     
  7. wedge_cadman

    wedge_cadman War Hero Reviewer Book Reviewer

    One suggestion, a friend of mine bought a euro ticket and rather than take a circular route, she flew no frills to Greece and travelled back via train. This meant she could spend more time at choice locations without feeling rushed and sticking to a schedule.
     
  8. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    If you want to do Europe by rail here you go NS Hispeed Online Boeken

    Its much more enjoyable than by Ryanair or easyjet, they are so yesterday, and lets be honest waaaay much less trouble. It's not like they are even faster these days. A bunch of arrogant teenage arrseholes who think they actually count.

    The UK may be shit when it comes to rail travel but the rest of Europe is pretty spot on. Flying is a waste of time and effort these days, Ryanair, faaack off, catch the train. Faster, cleaner, more polite and definitely more enjoyable. You can bin the crap at airports as well, what a relief.
     
  9. If you get the chance get the cog railway up to the Jungfraujoch in Wengen, Switzerland, sit on the right hand side of the train as it leaves the station to head up the hill for the best views.

    A few years ago now we got the overnight train from Vinkovci, Croatia (Eastern European train stations are very very depressing) and woke up next morning as the train was crossing the lagoon into Venice. Obviously you don't have to start from Croatia but arriving in Venice at dawn by train was a memorable experience.
     
  10. An interrail ticket, some backup money, a backpack, a YHA membership, and an imagination are all you need. Trust me.
     
  11. I can back that up, apart from the YHA membership, but try to do it by sleeper train and wake up in a different country each day, I did it years ago (pre 1985), was great fun especially getting your passport stamped in all the old Iron Curtain countries and then trying to explain that to the recruiting officers :)
     
  12. Agreed. I did something similar. Caught the train from Zurich to Luzern and then the cog railway up to Engelberg, and then the cable car up to the top of the Titlis. I would like to claim I went there for the funny name but I actually had a wedding there. View is incredible.

    Re Eastern Europe. I had a fantastic rail trip between Prague and Bratislava, really enjoyed the trip. Then caught th 1 hour train to Vienna. You can cover three countries in a very short period of travel time. Train stations weren't that great but the trains were fantastic. Even tiny Bratislava is worth seeing for a short period of time.
     
  13. The first one doesn't sound like it's on Ex-Stab's route. I agree it is a fantastic journey over the Hardangervidda. Probably one of the best train journeys I've done. But out of his way. I'd get straight to Geneva via Paris and then on to Zurich, Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, Berlin and Home. If you're willing to fly from Berlin you could probably throw Budapest in too if you really cut down on your countryside time and concentrated on cities. If you want to do more countryside I'd sack the French countryside off as Switzerland and Austria is way prettier, then do Vienna, 1/2 day in Bratislava (it's nice in the old town but not very big) and Prague and then head home. That's managable in two weeks if you're clever with Sleeper services, any more and it will be a "Its Tuesday, It must be Belgium" type tour.
     
  14. Marseille to Milan is a nice train journey. Calling at Cannes, Antibes, Nice and Monaco.

    All are touristy type places which are worth a visit in themselves, well maybe not so much Marseille, which is the French version of North Africa but at least you can say you have been there.

    Milan station is also very impressive. Treat yourselves to a pizza and a bottle of hearty red wine on arrival.

    You can probably get a first class ticket for about £70, it may seem expensive (ish) but it will be worth it.^_~

    Oh and make sure you sit on the right hand side of the train for the coastal views. ^_~
     
  15. Try the seat 61 website!!,london to paris, then amsterdam, zurich,vienna ,berlin, rome, and venice 2 nights b&b in each city, 2500pounds for 2 people including return flight to london stantead