What is the Best Way to Get Around Europe?

Europe is relatively easy to get around, especially when you compare it to the United States. There are many airline options that are reasonably priced, traveling by car is pretty convenient, and trains can take you almost anyplace. So, which option should you choose if you are spending time in Europe? Clearly there is no one-size fits all solution and there are definitely reasons why you might choose either one of them.

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Flying over the Swiss Alps

  1. When Time is of the Essence – When you need to get some place on a very specific schedule and you have limited time to get there, location will likely determine your selection. If you are traveling from one relatively major city to another, then traveling by air might be your best bet, but be sure to shop prices and compare reliability as the cheapest flight isn’t always the best option when you need to get there on time. If flights are not available, then a high-speed railway would likely be your second best option, but those aren’t always available depending upon where you are going. Finally, traveling by car provides you the opportunity to control your route and how often you stop, but you also need to consider other things such as weather and road construction. It might turn out that even a commuter train is a better option than traveling by car depending upon the circumstances.

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    Riding a Train from Frankfurt to Strasbourg

  2. When You Want a Relaxing Trip – For us, if you really want to sit back and enjoy the trip, not just the destination, there is no better choice than traveling by rail. Sitting back and watching the countryside go by while reading a book, catching up on social media, or having a conversation with your other travelers can make for a wonderful experience. There are some considerations, though, such as whether the train serves food, are there private cabins, is it a busy commuter train where people pack in to make their daily work commute? Under some of those circumstances, you might arrive at your destination more worse for the experience. If you can’t get trains that meet your travel criteria, then perhaps renting a car would be a better solution. Air travel is usually our least relaxing option, but there is something to be said about a little bit of hassle getting through an airport for the benefit of arriving at your destination and starting exploring more quickly.

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    Driving Towards Gibraltar

  3. Do You Want to Explore? – If you want to be on your own schedule, stop at places when you want, and perhaps take a sudden, unplanned, diversion, then traveling by car is likely the best solution for you. There is something to be said about driving around with a map in your hand and making decisions about when and where to go on the fly. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do the same when traveling by train. If you purchase certain rail passes, they allow certain numbers of days worth of travel with no limit on how many trains you take during that day. This means that you can check out train schedules the day of your trip and suddenly decide to add in different stops and side trips as long as it fits in with your total number of travel days.

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    Cargo Train at the Station in Romania

At least in Europe, you have many more travel options than we do in the United States. We have used each of these at different times and we have made the most of each option during our travels in Europe. At the end of the day, we love rail travel because of its convenience, not having to check bags, and the somewhat romantic style of travel. Traveling by car is also nice, but insurance can be expensive, although it opens up places that no other option might provide. What is your favorite way to travel?

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Flying to Athens

 

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21 Responses to What is the Best Way to Get Around Europe?

  1. Another plane vs train consideration is that trains are city center to city center, and you don’t have to be at the station ahead of time. If you fly you have to get to/from the airports which are often out of town, plus you have to be there early enough to clear security and meet the cut off for boarding. Even if the actual flight time is shorter, it is often faster by train in terms of total travel time.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jonno says:

    Great post and spot on about all the various options. We prefer trains if we can as they’re more relaxing and you get to see so much on the journey. Also as mytimetotravel says they take you right into the centre of where you want to go.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I prefer trains if I can’t drive (I love road trips).

    You forgot to mention buses. I usually take the bus in Spain due to prices.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Definitely more options in Europe. A car is sometimes the best option even here but sure nice to have the train to use when it’s mostly intercity.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. When I am in Europe, I love nothing better than riding the train. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. travelgarb says:

    Long distance I’m for flying. Otherwise, the preference is train, unless we want to go somewhere where that’s not practical. I’d be happy with buses for short distance, but after travelling through 4 countries on one, not for long distance as it was too much of an ordeal.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Amazing ideas. Will be taking this into consideration for my 12 Europe city challenge!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Himali says:

    This is very informative and detailed!! Thanks for sharing 😊 Have you written another article with your trip itinerary? Please let me know if there is any 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved the bus network in Europe…. wish the USA had something like that

    Liked by 1 person

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