The last 5 months, I’ve railed my way through 17 beautiful countries and travelled 13,000km over 30 travel days on my Eurail.com Global Passes.
Travelling through Europe by train turned out to be a brilliant choice. Not only are most train stations conveniently located right in towns, the trains are far more comfortable and spacious than buses or airplanes. To top it off, the scenery has been experience in itself, like seeing the Baltic Sea the south of France between Nice to Barcelona.
Here are some of my favourite trains and scenery I’ve had the privilege of enjoying from my 1st class seat (Eurail Global Passes are first class by default if you’re over 26 years old).
For more photos, see my Facebook album Best of 1st Class Europe Trains & Scenery.
1. Austria Railjet high-speed trains
I mentioned in my Essential Eurail Travel Tips article that my favourite high-speed trains were the German and Austrian trains. They don’t need reservations, they’re reliable and fast (the train journey is tracked by the minute), and the routes have fantastic scenery especially by the Alps, between Salzburg & Innsbruck, and Innsbruck & Interlaken.
2. Germany Intercity Express (ICE) high-speed trains
About one-quarter of my train rides have been on German ICE trains and found these trains to be extremely punctual. Similar to the Austrian trains, seats don’t require reservations, which means you can just show up at the platform and hop on. Germany’s ICE trains also go to surrounding countries, such as Italy, Belgium, Netherlands.
3. Eurocity (EC) high-speed trains
In comparison to Austria’s Railjet and Germany’s ICE trains, Eurocity trains are slightly slower (but still clock over 100km/hour), slightly less luxurious but still very comfortable. Usually no reservations are needed. See my Eurail Travel Tips article for how to check online if the train ride needs a reservation or not.
4. France TGV high-speed & regional trains
On the two trips I took on TGV, trains were completely full (on the German & Austrian trains where I always found a seat). Reservations are required and cost about 15 euros for 1st class and 10 euros for 2nd class (see Eurail.com for how to make reservations).
>> Have you been on any of these trains or train routes? If you’ve travelled by rail in Europe, would you recommend it to other travellers?
Disclaimer: My Europe train passes were sponsored by Eurail.com. All photographs and opinions are my own. If you have questions about choosing a Europe train pass, Eurail.com would love it if you asked on their facebook.com/eurorail page. They’re really helpful! :)
Other Europe articles you might like
- 9 Essential Eurail Travel Tips & Questions
- Nice to Barcelona, by Train (Photos)
- Hamburg to Copenhagen: Baltic Sea Crossing by Train on Ferry (Photos)
- Romania to Budapest on a 1st Class Train (Photos)
- Budapest Basilicas, Bridges & Small Birthday (Photos)