Travelling by train in Europe was once the preserve of Eurorailers and backpackers, but since the Channel Tunnel opened it’s become a popular and speedy way to reach the continent from London.
With high speed rail routes continually being developed and expanded, and increasing growing environmental awareness, more and more people are deciding to take trains from Europe to London and explore further afield by rail.
What makes travelling by train to Europe from London so good?
Starting from London, you can reach a whole host of top European destinations in a surprisingly short time by rail. It’s never been so easy or green:
- train travel is better to the environment than flying – electric trains emit up to 10 times less CO2 than planes
- no wasted time spent checking in and waiting around at the airport – train travel can actually end up the faster door-to-door option
- no lengthy transfers – unlike airports, train stations are in the heart of cities
- get straight to your destination – trains directly reach many, many more destinations than there are airports
- quite simply, travelling by train is the more elegant and relaxing way to travel, plus you get to see some stunning scenery on the way
Reach Europe’s most exciting cities by train
From London, you can travel surprisingly quickly to a whole host of exciting European cities, including:
- Paris – 2 hours 15 minutes direct
- Lille – 1 hour 20 minutes direct
- Bruges – 3 hours 20 minutes
- Strasbourg – 5 hours 15 minutes
- Cologne – 4 hours 59 minutes
- Amsterdam – 5 hours 5 minutes
- Milan – 9 hours 15 minutes
- Barcelona – 15 hours
So whether it’s a city break to Paris or the gateway to your summer holiday, European train travel has never been this easy. For longer journeys you could even book a sleeper and arrive relaxed and in style.
Booking your European train travel – the options
Booking train travel in Europe is much simpler than you might think, and different rail operators co-operate to produce convenient timetables and pricing options on all major routes. One of your best bets is booking through Eurostar.
Booking with Eurostar
If you want to travel straight to Paris, or perhaps fancy a long weekend in Brussels or Lille, then booking directly with Eurostar is the easy answer. Book in advance and you’ll be able get return travel to Paris from just £69.
Booking with Rail Europe
Booking train travel with Rail Europe is particularly convenient, as Rail Europe aggregates ticket information from all the continent’s major rail networks. Rail Europe is actually run and owned by several of the European train operators, so you know you’re getting accurate information straight from the horse’s mouth.
InterRail passes for extended European rail travel
There are now several types of InterRail pass – choose how long you want to go for, how many day’s on the train you’re planning and if you want to explore just one country or the whole of Europe.
So if you are a gap year traveler looking for a European adventure, or fancy taking a break from work, look no further for European rail pass information.
More InterRail Articles
We’ve put together a collection of articles about InterRail, including InterRail tickets, suggested itineraries, advice and what to bring.
- InterRail Pass and Tickets Guide
- InterRail Advice for Your Trip
- InterRail: What To Bring
- Itinerary Idea: European Capital Cities Tour
- Itinerary Idea: Eastern Europe
- Itinerary Idea: Northern Europe
- Itinerary Idea: Balkans and Back
- InterRail: Three Ways to Travel
- Eurostar to London to Paris at £69 Return
- Travel to France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland with Eurostar