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Czech Republic, Czechia, Prague

Europe by rail: train journeys linking great European cities for less than a meal out

With the price of train travel in the UK skyrocketing, it's understandable that we'd discount rail as a transport option when exploring other countries for fear of it being too expensive. But that's not the case. 😎

Many of mainland Europe's best cities are connected by rail, and tickets are much more reasonably priced than in the UK. We've found a bunch of train journeys that link great European cities for under £37... that's less than most of the trains from London to Leeds!

Published by
Grace·08/04/2024
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1. Budapest to Prague:

Experience the beauty of Central Europe. In Budapest, you should delve into the history of the city, exploring the area formerly-known as Buda (home to Fisherman's Bastion and Buda Castle) as well as the Pest side of the City (where the Parliament building, Jewish quarter and Basilica are). No trip to Budapest is complete without a relaxing trip to the thermal spas, a stroll along the Danube and experiencing the impressive culinary scene or the unique ruin bars.

Next up, we have the fairy-tale charm of Prague. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason - the variety of architecture across the city is impressive. What we love best though is grabbing a cold one in summer and soaking up the cosy atmosphere in the cafés and underground jazz bars.

2. Munich to Vienna:

Not only is this train route cheap, but it's scenic as you traverse the Austrian countryside, giving you panoramic views en route to Vienna.

Despite being a bustling city, Munich has many green spaces, including the Englischer Garten, one of the world's largest city parks in the world, so it's a great city if you want the best of both worlds. Other than that, get into the local way of life by tasting local delicacies like pretzels, sausages and, of course, the world-famous beer.

Vienna is the city of music, so it'd be rude to visit without seeing a performance at the Vienna State Opera or the Musikverein. Just like Munich, Vienna is overflowing with amazing art museums so you can go full culture-mode on the twin-centre trip. If you really want to get into the swing of it in Vienna, swap beer for coffee as the city's café culure is on another level.

3. Zurich to Milan:

What's better than a scenic journey through the Swiss Alps? When that journey ends in the fashionable city of Milan.

Both of these cities are paradise for luxury shopaholics and foodies alike. Zurich has the stunning backdrop of the Swiss Alps, with Lake Zurich bringing nature all the way into the city. Visitors can stroll along the lake's promenade, take a boat cruise, or go hiking or skiing in the nearby mountains. Milan, on the other hand, has a vibrant nightlife scene and plenty of art and culture. It's also a great base for onward train journeys to other Italian cities, such as Bergamo.

4. Venice to Rome:

What a Roma-ntic train journey! Lose yourself in Italy's charm as you travel from the historic canals of Venice to the majestic capital city of Rome, home to ancient ruins and world-class art.

With journeys between these two cities from under £20, think about how much more pasta and wine you can get. 😉

5. Prague to Berlin:

Journeying from the medieval streets of Prague to the vibrant urban landscape of Berlin.

There's no question that both of these cities are filled to the brim with history. Berlin's tumultuous past leaves the city's streets steeped in history. From the iconic Brandenburg Gate to the remnants of the Berlin Wall. Visitors can also explore museums such as the DDR Museum and the Topography of Terror, which provide insight into the city's divided past. As well as history museums, there are plenty of art museums in Berlin.

But, some of our favourite things to do in the city are just to wander around the cool, eclectic neighbourhoods and stroll through the parks. A must-do in Berlin is to immerse yourself in the legendary, edgy nightlife, whether you prefer big nightclubs like Bergain or more intimate underground cocktail bars.

6. Genoa to Monterosso (Cinque Terre):

If you're dreaming of the ultimate Italian break, try linking these two cities in one trip. Genoa is a port city and is a part of the old Italian industrial triangle, so is steeped in maritime history. Explore the medieval alleyways and impressive palaces before heading to the colourful town of Monterosso, the first of the five towns that make up the instagrammable Cinque Terre on the Italian riviera.

You can then continue your train journey between each of the small towns, or even hike between them if that's more your thing. Just take enough water if you're planning a summer trip.

7. Paris to Lyon:

Oh la la. If you want to visit the French capital and what is arguable the French foodie capital, then lucky you. Trips between these two cities will cost you under £15... so you have more to spend on the Michelin-starred restaurants. Lyon also has a UNESCO-listed Old Town and has fabulous architecture.

8. Paris to Bordeaux:

Another must-do French multi-city trip is Paris and Bordeaux. If you love wine, this is the combo for you. With a slightly more relaxed vibe than Paris, sit along the river or indulge in some wine tastings at the nearby vineyards. We think you'll love these two charming cities.

9. Barcelona to Madrid

Mix the vibrant city of Barcelona, with its unique Catalan culture, impressive Gaudí architecture and beautiful beaches for the dynamic capital of Spain, filled with world-class museums, grand boulevards, and lively plazas.

10. Malaga to Seville

After visiting the hub of the Costa del Sol, where you can lounge on the beach as well as take in the rich cultural heritage, visit the charming city of Seville. Seville has a lively flamenco scene as well as an impressive history, with its Moorish architecture and impressive Cathedral.... not to mention, some of the best tapas there is!

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