General Question

troubleinharlem's avatar

What is the best way to travel in Europe?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7966 points ) April 5th, 2014

I’m spending the summer in Europe and I’m planning on traveling quite a bit. I want to go and visit Greece (Athens), Switzerland (Geneva), France (Paris and Nice), and Spain (Barcelona and Valencia and Madrid). I’m looking into rail passes, but I’m still not quite sure how they work. Is there one site that’s better than all the others, or the best deal? I want to be able to plan ahead but it’s kind of scary since I’ve never done this before!

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6 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

If you will be there the whole summer (exciting) after a week you will feel very comfotable I think, have a better lay of the land and know how things work. The train can be very convenient and efficient. Here is a link. Most of the tourist things you might want to do will have directions from a train stop. Check the train passes available. Sometimes there are special deals for Americans if you are American. I know my parents when they were in Switzerland chose to stay centrally and Interlaken and then take day trips to the surrounding cities, but you will have more time to stay a few days in each place if you want.

I recommend going to a book store and looking through the travel books. Sometimes that is more helpful than the internet tourism sites, or a good addition to help you feel more confident about what to expect. The travel books actually have the author telling you his experience, rather than an advertisement or tourism site. Although, it all is helpful.

Fluther will be helpful too. I haven’t been to Europe in years but we have European jellies who will answer your Q I am sure.

cazzie's avatar

I took an overnight train from Paris to Nice and it was very easy and it was a sleeper car. I wouldn’t bother buying train passes too much in advance, that way you can sort of take it as it comes. But here is the Eurail pass webpage. http://www.eurail.com/

janbb's avatar

Get a Eurailpass if you want to travel by train. Look into a student fare. Flybe and Ryanair are cheap airlines but the airports they fly into can be far out of the cities and there can be add-on costs. Public ferries are a good way to get out to the Greek islands. Stay at student hostels and you will meet up with other student travelers.

And hi there @troubleinharlem ! Good to see you!

johnpowell's avatar

I did the summer in Europe thing and I bought the Eurorail pass. This was before Internet was a place to buy these things so I used a travel agent. It was expensive but totally worth it. It is pretty much like a bus pass on trains. On 90% of the trains we didn’t have to do anything. We just got on and a bit later someone would come by and check our pass. For the last half of my vacation the train became our hotel. We would by some beer and hop on a train and drink and pass out and see where we would end up. At night the trains were empty so it was pretty comfortable to stretch out across the seats and get a good sleep.

flutherother's avatar

The European Rail Timetable will also be useful. See this BBC article

ml3269's avatar

For farer away destinations or short city-breaks you could take www.easyjet.com or www.ryanair.com flying to hundreds of cities around the EU… from Barcelona for a few days to… Porto, PT, Düsseldorf, DE, Edinburgh, SCO etc…

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