For the past month, we’ve been traveling through Europe and using ACP Rail’s Eurail Global Pass to hop from city to city by train. It honestly made it so much easier to be able to see more cities and go to more places in a shorter amount of time than we normally would be able to.
When we’re traveling, we love to see as much as we possibly can. We jump around a lot and sometimes we only spend a day or two in one location. As much as we’d love to spend a week or a month everywhere we go, it’s not always realistic to make that a possibility. What we loved about traveling through Europe by train was the ease of being able to go from city to city and we were also able able to see so much more of the country than we would’ve had we been limited to flights or rental car. It isn’t always feasible to fly within a country when you’re trying to go to small cities, and the alternative would be renting a car. Not only would renting a car take longer, but it also involves more personal liability and then there’s also the hassle of having to return it in the same city you picked it up from or paying a ridiculous fee for dropping it off in a different city. Not to mention Ryan loves to both drive and look out the window, which obviously isn’t the best combo, haha.
We used the 10-day Eurail Global Pass, so it works for 10 days of traveling by train. The 10 days don’t have to be consecutive, but they do need to be used within a 60 day time frame. This was perfect for us, because we knew we wanted to travel through Europe for over a month, but weren’t going to be hopping around every day. We did travel every few days and some days even back-to-back, but the 10-day pass was perfect for our time frame. The best part is that the pass can be used in over 25 European countries, so it’s amazing if you’re planning a European adventure.
We started our trip in Berlin, Germany and we were able to go from Berlin to Cologne to Füssen all without ever having to get on a plane. We also loved getting to see the German countryside out the window. It was a really peaceful experience. Germany is so much greener and more naturally beautiful than I expected, and getting to see it by train really opened our eyes to the amount of incredible nature and adventure Germany has to offer.
After we spent some time in Füssen exploring Neuschwanstein Castle, we took an overnight train to Budapest and it was so cool, because if we hadn’t had our Eurail Pass, we never would’ve made it to Budapest, and even though we were only there for one day, we absolutely fell in love with the city and can’t wait to go back!
We found a cheap flight from Budapest to Greece, spent a week in Greece, and then flew to Milan. From Milan, we took the train to the French Riviera, and because the pass works for intra-city trains, we were able to easily hop on and off the train to Monaco, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Nice without having to worry about booking extra tickets. Had we had more time, we definitely would have spent more time exploring the beautiful towns of the French Riviera. Honestly taking the train along that coast line was so beautiful. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the perfectly blue ocean water. If you get a chance to take the train along the coast of France, I highly recommend it.
Traveling by train also has a lot of perks to it versus flying. You don’t have to get to the airport two hours early or worry about checking your bag in on time or whether or not the line for security is going to be long or whether your bag is going to fit in the overhead bin or be overweight, etc. It’s also a lot more comfortable to work on a train or even just sit and relax, because the seats are wider and there’s a lot more leg room than on a plane. It obviously takes longer to travel by train, but it’s also a different experience and, in our opinion, it’s an experience worth having. Also, unlike airports, train stations are much more centrally located in each city, so it’s way easier to get to your hotel and explore the area without spending 30-45 minutes plus money on a taxi or metro to get you to and from the airport.
We only had a few problems with trains being on strike in France, so I would definitely advise being a bit flexible with your schedule, because public transportation has its drawbacks, but flights get cancelled and delayed too, so being flexible and adapting to travel changes is also kind of just part of traveling.
Some trains do require reservations, which carry a small fee, especially overnight trains and trains between countries, but you can make them online or at a ticket office at the train station and sometimes even with the conductor once you get on the train. Most of the overnight trains are sleeper trains that have different types of seat options, like private rooms with beds, and shared rooms with bunk beds, or seats, so you can choose how comfortable you want to be.
ACPRail Eurail Global Pass makes it so easy, because you don’t have to stop and figure out how to get around or if you’re paying for the wrong ticket. It made for the perfect way to help us move from town to town all around our favorite countries in Europe!
*Be sure to have your Eurail pass on you whenever you’re traveling by train, because the conductors will come by and check it and you will be fined or have to pay the fare of the ticket if you don’t have it with you. They also check your passport sometimes, so have that on you when you’re riding the train as well.
Thanks ACPRail for giving us the opportunity to explore Europe by train!