Its reasonable to say that most Americans have never ridden a train (discounting subways, amusement park rides, and antique railroad attractions). Unless you live somewhere that has rail service, you probably don’t even think about trains. Cars and planes are how Americans get around. In Europe, however, most people get where they need to go by train. If you’re planning to visit Europe, you need to seriously consider doing what the Europeans do.
Riding the train in Europe is simple, convenient, comfortable and inexpensive. Trains are clean, fast, and reliable (they arrive and depart on time). In short, its the best way to get around. My wife Barbara and I have visited Switzerland four times and travel extensively throughout the country and in northern Italy by train. We’ve also made five trips to Germany and travel by train throughout that country.
Best of all, you can get your tickets or rail pass before you leave home. Simply visit the Rail Europe website. It can help you reach thousands of European destinations in the most enjoyable comfortable way – by train. With it you can travel at high speed on its extensive network, which cover all major European cities and countries.
Rail Europe has access to over 11,000 routes (25.000 destinations) served by the major European train operators. Its so well connected it can help you reach your destination easily and enjoy it even more.
Some travelers enjoy getting to know more than one country and the Eurail Select Pass allows you to visit three, four or five bordering countries. The most popular countries visited with the Eurail Select Pass are France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain, which means you can see Paris, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Geneva, Venice, Rome, Cannes, Barcelona and Madrid in one amazing trip.
You can push the boundaries with its Eurail Global Pass and travel around 24 countries on our network. Wherever you decide to go, it can help you with tips and guides about the destinations you choose, just take a look on its website for information to help you on your travels.
When you arrive at the international airport of any major European city, you’ll find a rail connection in the ternimal building. Its an easy and convenient way to get to where you want to go. Its better than by rental car or taxi and less expensive. Rail Europe can also book you a hotel and a city tour. In short, its the best way to visit Europe.
If you only speak and read American English, you might be concerned, but fear not, service personnel on all the railroads speak your language and are friendly and helpful. Signs, too, are often in English as well as the local language. The universal language of numbers -- Train #3456 (to your destination) departs at 10:00 AM on Track 8-- works very well.
One of the best things about train travel in Europe is that you’re doing what people do here and can experience another aspect of local culture that many American travelers miss. Visit the Rail Europe website at
Senior Travel Editor