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  • Harpreet Singh
  • "Train or Plane during Europe trip?"

Harpreet Singh

New Delhi, India

Train or Plane during Europe trip?

Hello my fellow travellers,

After wondering the whole day, i finally decided to seek help.

I am planning to visit Europe in October. Will be travelling through multiple cities, i.e. Paris-Rome-Florence-Venice-Zurich(maybe)-Lucerne(maybe)-Amsterdam-Bruges(maybe)

Is it recommended to fly everywhere or go by train? or would a combo would be better?

Please consider Budget and Time as a constraint :)

Relying on your comments!

Who knows I might catch you in Europe! God Bless! 

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  • Lala B.

    Lala B.

    If you could give a more definite itinerary it would be easier to make suggestions. How many days do you have to see all the places? You are trying to cover a lot of territory and will spend a lot of your time traveling and not actually being there unless you have a lot of days. Give everyone a bit more information and I am sure you will get some help planning your perfect trip. · (0 likelikes)

 

					
					
					
				

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  • Emily Barros

    top answer by

    Hello Harpeet,

    I have done both & I would recommend the train for most inter-European travel.

    Pros of train travel:

    • For the same, or sometimes less money you can travel in first class comfortable seating
    • There is no need to arrive two hours ahead of time
    • Most train stations are located centrally in the cities, which means no costly taxi ride to the airport
    • Beautiful views!

    I would only recommend airplane if the train trip is very complicated (lots of switching) or much longer than the flight (taking into consideration the 2+ hours needed for the airport check-in). For example, when switching from Sevilla to Amsterdam, a flight was MUCH faster & even cheaper than the train ride. But...much more cramped and required travel to and from the airport.

    I would also recommend you look into taking the night train between cities that are far apart, like between Rome and Paris. This will save you a night in hotel & you'll get the traveling out of the way while you sleep! Plus, there are beautiful views when dawn breaks!

    Lastly, I recommend you look at the eurail pass and see if it makes financial sense for your itinerary. It all depends on the amount of trips you will be taking and the price for those trips individually. I've done both (with/without eurail pass).


    Hope this helps!


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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      Love night trains--they're such a great way to save on a hotel and travel time!!! · (2 likelikes)

    • Jerome V.

      Jerome V.

      Emily makes good points. I've travelled all over Italy via First Class trains. It's definitely worth experiencing it. The scneary is amazing. The trains are very comfortable and fast. · (1 likelikes)

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  • Molly S

    answered first by

    Hi Harpreet,

    Sounds like an exciting itinerary! It really depends on how much time you have. Assuming that time isn't really tight, I would recommend a combination of plane and train in between the cities that you mentioned. Plane from Paris to Rome - plenty of airlines fly including easyjet, RyanAir and Air France, all of which are fairly cheap especially if you book in advance. It's probably then easier and just as quick to take the train within Italy to Florence and Venice.

    If you've got the time, the train from Venice to Zurich goes through some spectacular scenery, but it takes about 7 hours.

    From Zurich, I would then fly to Amsterdam (KLM goes regularly).

    A good site for checking out European train travel is Rail Europe - you can search for all routes and book tickets.

    Enjoy your trip!

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  • Ross Sparks

    answered by

    If you have a LOT of extra money and are in no hurry take the train (you mite as well take a bag of cash and set it on fire!). But if you are smart you will look up a a little airline called Ryan Air, flights to everything city in Europe for nothing!

    Flew from Barcelona to merriecsh for $60. If you know about Ryan you will save time and $$!!!!

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    • Juli L.

      Juli L.

      Just be careful about baggage. They are ruthless if your bag is even one kilo overweight, and how they handle it is nasty. · (1 likelikes)

    • Ross S.

      Ross S.

      This is true but I thought everyone traveled for months with only a carry on like me? Lol. I haven't checked a bag in years! · (1 likelikes)

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  • Laura Weber

    answered by

    I love trains because the stations are in the center of the cities and you don't have to go to the airport, plus they are very comfortable but the travel time is longer and they aren't always cheap.

    In your case I'd take the night train from Paris to Rome, trains also for Venice and Florence, then flights and, if you finnally go to Bruges, a train from Amsterdam.

    You should check out prices and travel times in Edreams or Easyjet and Raileurope for trains although, in that case, don't buy through that page, it's usefull for research but is more expensive than the local trains pages. In Italy Trenitalia, in France SNCF or Thallys.

    Good luck!

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  • jon Callaghan

    answered by

    I would train it, both for the time, beauty,and experience of it all.


    Time-wise, for all but the longest legs, beat planes in Europe in terms of time door to door. Airports are usually out of the main city, versus train station a central (because train stations came first and when planes showed up European cities were already built up),trains depart regularly to everywhere, and space is never an issue, for you of luggage, and we just seem to have had so many more unexplained airport delays and problems in inter-Europe flights, not to mention the extra check in time required in the summer crowds.


    We have had far more plane delays than train delays on various trips, and trains seem less stressful overall. Maybe because you can get a coffee and walk around on most trains.

    Can't beat the scenery too! Good luck!

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  • Mauricio Sampaio

    answered by

    Hi Harpreet,

    I also suggest you a combo, but all depends of your itinerary. You have to compare prices and travel time for each of your "moves"

    I read all the answers and just wanna add some quick tips.

    1) No matter how you go, go light ! Budgets flights charge you to carry many piece of luggage and trains don't even have this option and also room for that.

    2) Once i bought many tickets by raileurope and when i arrived in Italy decided to change some routes and they said that wasn't possible because i didn't buy my tickets by TrenItalia.

    3)About budget flights do a little research how far is the airport. Ryanair for instance attends only in the far away airports. Usually in another close city.

    Have fun !!!


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  • Stef Poessel

    answered by

    I'd recommend you to take the train for most of your journey. You probably get a good Eurail deal for Italy and Switzerland. If you find cheap flight, I'd suggest you catch them from Paris to Rome (there will definitely be something cheap) and from Lucerne to Amsterdam. Here you can look from nearly every airport in Switzerland as everything is really close. Basel is the airport with a lot of budget airlines though.

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  • Zara Zinzalian

    answered by

    In my opinion, a combo is better, for example: fly from Paris to Rome; take a train from Rome to Florence, from Florence to Venice and Lucerne-Zurich (between these cities traveling by train is cheaper and also faster than by plane)

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  • Piyush Agrawal

    answered by

    You can get very cheap flight tickets on budget European Airlines if you book early, try skyscanner.com. Keep in mind however that budget airways are no frills airways and will penalize you for anything extra.

    Another option is a eurail pass.Check out various pass options on eurail.com. Procure this pass before reaching Europe as it's slightly costlier getting this in Europe. You may consider a 3 country pass.
    After having this pass you just need to have reservations for a particular journey.

    Check out http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/ -good website for rail travel planning

    Or you may skip buying pass and do a mix of point to point train and flight tickets.

    Hope this helps!

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  • Hans Vanstechelman

    answered by

    Definately by train!

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  • Bati Patel

    answered by

    Hi Harpreet, if you are traveling through so many cities, I would recommend you take a Eurail pass. I know rail fare is sometimes more expensive than flying. OR!!! You could also check out Ryan Air or Easy Jet, since October is not peak season and you have plenty of time to organize and buy your tickets. Maybe fly Delhi to Paris and train to Bruges, Amsterdam and then fly from there to Venice. And do Venice Florence Rome by train and fly back to Delhi. Not much to see in Zurich ( plus very expensive). Lucerne is beautiful - you can cover in one afternoon. Bruges is super! Don't miss.

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  • Gail Ho

    answered by

    Hey! I'm not sure about all the places, but I would definitely go by train for the Paris - Amsterdam part. This is cheap, 30 euros if you book early and faster than going to the airport, flying etc. ;) The train is called Thalys.

    Personally I think that for trips that would take more than 5-6 hours by train, flying is better as train and plane tickets are about the same price and flying is faster. Hope this helps a bit.

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  • Steve Dickey

    answered by

    Train for most of your trip, but you can find cheap flights from Amsterdam to Romeif that's what your itinerary dictates.

    If you plan your trip smartly and in a nearly straight line, you can use discount train tickets purchased from capitainetrain.com on the national railways. Buy early for the best prices. Rail Europe is well known for limited schedules and higher prices.

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    • Gloria B.

      Gloria B.

      You won't see much from 30,000 feet, so train for sure. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Shrirang Joshi

    answered by

    Harpreet,

    I am planning a similar trip next year. My plan is confirmed and so I researched the following combinations

    return flight to any airline hub in Europe (London, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam etc.). All the travel within Europe through the following options:

    - point to point train tickets

    - Eurail pass

    - local low cost flights

    Fly in to one airline hub and fly out of another. All the travel within Europe through the following options

    - point to point train tickets

    - Eurail pass

    - local low cost flights

    Since my plan is confirmed, for me, point t point trains wit group tickets worked out the best (cheapest and fastest). I am flying in to Munich and flying out of London.

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