Why take a weekend break to Europe by train?
Gone are the days when budget flights were the only way to travel to Europe for a short break away. Taking the train is now an extremely viable option – it’s quicker, and cheaper, than you probably think. Travelling by train to Europe will open up a host of new destinations and you’ll arrive straight into the city centre.
When to go
Spring is a great time to take a weekend break in Europe. Get away from it all and experience carnivals, sporting events, festivals, romance and culture in Europe’s vibrant cities.
Go back in time to Strasbourg
Eurostar’s high-speed services will get you to Paris in just over two hours and Brussels in just under two hours. If you were to travel by plane, would you have even left the airport after two hours?
With Eurostar and high-speed European trains you could be in the heart of Europe in just under six hours. Just six hours and you could be climbing the steps of the Dom in Cologne, enjoying Michelin-starred food in Lyon, or even going back in time with the medieval castles of Strasbourg.
Compare this time to flying and you may think it’s slower but when you take into consideration the time spent getting through security, waiting for your luggage the other end and getting from the airport to the city centre, the difference isn’t all that much.
Value for money
With such a wide range of tickets available taking the train can also be great value for money – book early for the best fares. If you’re heading to Belgium or the Netherlands, think about buying an Any Belgian Station or Any Dutch Station ticket. These allow you to travel to any Belgian or Dutch station on just one ticket. These are often cheaper than buying your ticket from London to Brussels and then another ticket from Brussels to Amsterdam, for example. Fares start from £81 return in standard class to Belgium.
Other benefits of travelling by train
Enjoy the amazing scenery
It’s not just about speed and value for money, travelling by train has a host of other benefits. Think about the experience as a whole; comfy seats, lots of leg room, plenty of opportunity to get up and walk about, the amazing scenery as you travel through the European countryside. Instead of arriving tired and grouchy you’ll be completely refreshed, relaxed and ready to start your weekend break.
If you’re conscious about the environment, taking the train versus the plane wins hands down. A train will produce far fewer carbon emissions and will use up to a third of the energy a plane would for the same journey.
Travel in style
To experience the very finest service, wider seats and extra leg room, why not treat yourself and upgrade? On some services, first class fares include food and drinks served to you at your seat too. They’re actually more affordable than you think, upgrade to Standard Premier on Eurostar and travel to Paris from £159 return.