Train Trips & Transportation
For many, getting to Europe is just the beginning of the journey. Fortunately, transportation options are abundant.
For sheer European romance, nothing beats a ride on the rails. Trains are often the most efficient means of getting around, also. Europe’s rail network includes high-speed trains, local and international trains, night trains, scenic trains, and InterCity trains. All are great options for leisurely forays in Europe.
For practical travel, ferries get you quickly from point A to B. Crisscross the Mediterranean, island-hop in Scandinavia, or traverse the English Channel in the relaxed comfort of a ferry. Traveling Europe’s inland rivers, tributaries and canals on a river cruise or barge is one of the most leisurely ways to travel within the continent. Disembark on port stops in the heart of river towns. Immediately walk along medieval streets, taste wine, and browse local markets and shops.
Rent a car from any major European city and create your own itinerary, set the pace, and stay wherever you like. Drive on majestic Alpine passes, scenic routes, city streets, or on the Autobahns. Buses (or coaches, as they are also called in Europe) can help you reach remote areas not accessible by train or airplane.
Backpacking is one of the best ways to see Europe. Don a rucksack and head off by plane, coach or train. Interrail passes provide a cost-effective way to see the continent. One ticket allows unlimited travel in 30 countries.
Europe is very bike friendly. Many countries provide dedicated cycling lanes and facilities. Try cycle-touring in the Alps, enjoy the beautiful Bavarian scenery in Southern Germany, or cruise the flatness of the Baltics. Bikes are available to rent in many tourist destinations both in the countryside and in major cities.
Decide on the most effective and cost-efficient method of calling home before you depart. Check with your carrier if your phone will work in Europe and if there are fees for international roaming. Since June 2017, intra-European roaming does not contemplate any surcharges. You may wish to rent or buy a phone once you arrive. Buy a local SIM card whether you are staying in one country for a long period of time or if you’re planning to travel through many countries. If receiving calls is not important, consider a calling card to use with a landline phone since most payphones or hotel phones charge expensive international fees. If you plan to take a laptop with you, consider a Voice-over-IP service, such as Skype, to make phone calls over the Internet.
Each European country has a unique telephone code to use when dialing.
Saying “please” and “thank you” in the local language is a welcomed gesture. But be assured that English is widely spoken throughout Europe.
|Belgium||Dutch, French, German|
|Cyprus||Greek, Turkish, English|
|Ireland||English, Irish Gaelic|
|Luxembourg||French, German, Luxembourgish|
|Switzerland||German, French, Italian, Romanish|
Europe spans three separate time zones. Most European countries use the 24-hour clock, especially for train and plane schedules. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) includes Britain, Iceland, Ireland and Portugal. Central European Time (CET) is GMT plus 1 hour and includes Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Eastern European Time (EET) is GMT plus 2 hours and includes Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Turkey.