As in the Articles on sustainable travel described, rail travel is a nice way to get to your destination gently and in an environmentally friendly way. Sometimes it even is günstiger and is a great alternative to long car journeys, especially for children.
The nice thing about traveling by train is that everyone arrives stress-free. Because when traveling by train you don't have to worry about jostling drivers on the motorway. Rather, you can make yourself comfortable and enjoy the wonderful view that some railway lines offer. Rail travel is also ideal for families and groups. Getting there is already a pleasant experience by spending time together, playing games or simply having a cup of coffee together.
Here you can read about what to look out for when traveling by train in Europe and where there are particularly beautiful train routes.
Tips for traveling by train in Germany
A reservation for train journeys in Germany is usually not necessary. Nevertheless, it can be worthwhile to reserve a seat, especially during travel-intensive periods or peak times. It is also worthwhile for families or groups, because this way you can be sure to sit together with everyone. For a single reservation you pay 4,50 euros per person, families pay a total of nine euros for up to five people.
By the way: if you forgot to book a seat directly, you can do so later.
The whisper symbols and crossed-out telephones on the doors indicate the rest compartments of the train. This should also be respected, so the quiet compartments are not really suitable for groups. The trolleys with toddler area are ideal for families with babies. Here or in the nearby toilet there is a nappy changing facility and a designated space for the stroller.
In the so-called "lounge" of the first and second class, which are located directly behind the engine driver, some ICEs offer very special seats. Here you sit a little higher and can enjoy the view through the large glass windows. A seat reservation is almost a must here.
Affordable and relaxed to your destination
If you uncheck the "Fastest connection" option in the Deutsche Bahn's "Sparpreisfinder", trains that are not ICE and are cheaper are also displayed.
It is worth looking for savings offers in first class. Especially on weekends, when there are hardly any business travelers, it can even be cheaper than the normal second-class prices.
If you are flexible in terms of travel times, you should definitely find out whether there are any remaining tickets. Always be two weeks before your planned departure here Tickets sold for a really good price.
In the default setting at Deutsche Bahn, ten minutes are always planned for the transfer time. This can be stressful, especially for families with children, elderly people and groups who want to grab a quick coffee in the station café. Therefore, it is better to plan a generous transfer time of around 30 minutes so that you can reach your destination with the tour group in a relaxed manner.
Rail travel in the south of Europe
Seat reservations are usually compulsory on trains in the south of Europe. In countries like Spain, Italy and Portugal you have to reserve a seat, if you don't do that, you risk being kicked off the train. This applies to almost all trains, with the exception of regional trains. It is therefore essential to inform in advance whether a seat needs to be booked. As a rule, you have to plan between five and ten euros for the reservation.
In addition to Deutsche Bahn's saver fare for Europe, it can also be worth checking the websites of the rail operators for the respective travel destination to see whether there are any cheap offers.
Discover the diversity of Europe with Interrail
For vacations that include several stops, tickets from InterRail at. Depending on your passport, you can travel by train in one or more countries of your choice for a certain period of time. You can choose which pass is suitable for you here find out. There are discounts for under 28-year-olds and seniors, children up to 12 years even travel free of charge with their parents.
Here, too, it is important to reserve a seat in a country in advance. This can save a lot of stress in popular countries such as France, Spain and Italy, especially in the main travel season in the summer months.
In some night trains, such as the international night train Trenhotel, which runs between Madrid and Lisbon, there is a gender segregation. These Overview informs you about the different night trains and gives information about the special features of the respective trains.
Beautiful routes across Europe
Many a railway line runs along breathtaking natural landscapes and panoramas. We have put together a small but fine selection of beautiful railway lines for you below.
Germany: Hamburg to Sylt with Deutsche Bahn
This route leads from Hamburg through marshland, crosses the Northeast Sea Canal and drives through the Wadden Sea in the grand finale before finally reaching Sylt. This trip is pure northern Germany.
Germany / Austria: Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Innsbruck with the Mittenwaldbahn
The Mittenwaldbahn runs through the Northern Limestone Alps. The stops between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Innsbruck are ideal as a starting point for hikes through the beautiful mountain landscapes.
Switzerland: Zermatt to St. Moritz with the Glacier Express
This railway line runs across the Swiss Alps. The high Oberalp Pass and the Rhine Gorge cut deep into the rock are also crossed. A wonderful journey through the mountains.
Spain: Barcelona to Bilbao on Renfe trains
This beautiful route runs through different provinces and almost all climatic zones in Spain. On the route you can marvel at barren steppes and desert landscapes, but also lush wine and vegetable regions and steep mountains. In Castejon de Ebro, the train makes a stop and splits. One part continues to France, while the other part continues to Bilbao.
After all the train journey, there is nothing better than coming to rest in wonderfully sustainable accommodation and starting the next day freshly rested. You can find an overview of accommodations that can be easily reached without a car at Good travel. You can filter this selection further, for example according to your travel destination. We wish you a lot of fun on your next train journey!
Have you ever traveled by train? Do you have any further tips and suggestions about traveling by train in Europe or have you already had experience with Interrail? Let us know in the comments, we're excited!