Get ready Europe, tourists are coming! It’s that time of year again where recent graduates backpack through Europe as they live like natives with their broken Spanish gallivanting from country to country, discovering what to do next with their lives. I was that person back in college after doing my semester abroad, except most of my travels happened by plane, forgoing on the adventure that is travelling by train.
Last year, on my six week tour of Europe, I took advantage of the train system with the Eurail Global Pass. Eurail Global Pass is basically the smartest way to traverse through Europe, without breaking the bank. Most of my train trips throughout the allocated 24 countries were free due to having the Eurail Global Pass. The others, like my trip from Paris to Angers was reduced from 126€ to 66€ roundtrip. Still offering the same roomy seating, beautiful scenic view, and prompt departure and arrival.
Which brings me to my next point. Don’t sleep on the view.
The views you see, whether it be raining or the sun is shining bright are nothing less than enchanting, breathtaking, and fit for fairytales. On my way to Zurich from Brussels, I remember the sun rising over this deep blue water. As we quickly passed the Rhine River in Basel and the sun became a glistening reflection, the 12th century Romanesque architecture emerged. The semi-circled arched windows and barrel vaults were an anomaly for me, but an everyday sight for the natives, giving away my non-residential status oohing and awing with every discovery.
Earlier I mentioned roomy seating. Seriously lay back and enjoy the ride.
When going from Frankfurt to Brussels, I sat near the nose of the train looking on the conductor through the glass paneled window. It was raining out, and after an hour or so of watching the rain pitter-patter away, I wanted to just lay back and read. There was a young man behind me and couple in front, and not one was disrupted by my seat adjustment. Unlike planes where you’re concerned with your surrounding neighbors, the available leg room and arm space was unbelievably gracious.
Not all Eurail Passes are created equal.
As I had the Eurail Global Pass for 1st class, I had more seats to myself, chicer travel design and more quiet time. Eurail Global Pass for 2nd class start around $620, allowing travel throughout 24 European countries, all dependant on the sort of travel package you desire. If you have a list of places you want to see, you can customize your pass to explore one to four countries starting at $208.
No matter what package you choose, choose the scenic route unless in a hurry. In that case I recommend the high speed trains. Make sure to notice the design of each station. And most importantly – HAVE FUN!
For more information on Eurail Pass, please visit them online Eurail.com