Plane travel vs train travel
Which is a better way of traveling in Europe?
Flying can seem like a quick and easy way of getting around Europe, but are the budget prices as good as they look? Trains are a fast, comfortable alternative to cheap flights in Europe, especially when you’re visiting multiple destinations. A Eurail Pass gives you unlimited, borderless travel across Europe with just one ticket, so you can go a lot further with your money – and you'll be doing your bit for the planet, too.
No need to wait in line – just turn up and hop on board
Enjoy frequent, reliable services with no lengthy check-in or waiting around.
Airport security lines can be long and stressful, and with airlines asking passengers to turn up 2 hours before a flight, you end up spending a lot of time waiting around in the airport. You could be out there exploring!
If you’re late for your flight, it’s not as simple as just boarding the next one – you may have to pay full fare for another flight, which is unlikely to leave for at least a couple hours.
With trains, there’s no checking in or waiting around – just turn up 15 minutes or so before your departure time, find your platform and jump on board (unless you’re travelling to or from London with Eurostar, who ask you to arrive just 30 minutes before departure).
Missed your train? No problem – your Eurail Pass gives you unlimited flexible train travel on travel days, so grab a quick coffee then hop on the next service. Easy!
Sit back and enjoy a much smoother ride
Relax with more leg room, no luggage restrictions, wifi and great views.
It’s no surprise that plane travel isn’t very comfortable. Seat space is tight, leg room is limited, and you can’t just get up or switch seats whenever you feel like it. Don’t forget the turbulence!
There’s no wifi or power sockets, no fresh air or scenic views, and let’s just not mention the food.
As well as limits on liquids and other items, you’ll encounter strict size and weight restrictions on your luggage and you'll be asked to pay extra if you exceed them, even if it’s just by a small amount.
With much more space on board the train, you’ll have room to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery and the freedom to get up and stretch your legs whenever you like.
You can choose to travel in 1st or 2nd class, and things like reclining seats, power sockets, wifi and refreshment services are fairly standard features on board high-speed trains and many regional trains too.
There are generally no luggage restrictions, and there are plenty of places to store your bags safely with you on board. On night trains, you can reserve a bed for a good night’s sleep.
Speed to your destination with none of the fuss
With all that waiting around, many popular routes in Europe end up much faster by train.
Brussels to Paris
London to Brussels
Barcelona to Madrid
Arrive right where you need to be
Simply step off the train at the heart of your destination and start exploring!
Airports are often located far from the city centre, and transfers to and from the city can be expensive.
Many destinations simply do not have an airport close by, or you may have to book a ticket with a stopover, which adds more time and waiting around to your journey.
And of course, before you can leave the airport you’ll have to wait to get off the plane, wait in line for passport control and customs and wait for your luggage.
European train stations are centrally located and well connected, so you don’t need to worry about costly transfers to get to your city center hotel.
Europe’s rail networks are the best in the world, serving everywhere from busy cities to seaside towns and hilltop villages.
Once you arrive at your destination, all you have to do is step off the train and you’re there!
Make the most of your Eurail benefits and discounts
From youth and group discounts to free travel for kids, Eurail has plenty of extra perks.
Most airlines offer no discounts for youths or small groups – there’s simply one adult fare. For group travel, you may also need to pay extra if you want to sit together on your flight.
On a family trip? If you’re traveling with children, the rules vary by airline, but a child ticket can often be close to or the same price as a full adult fare. You'll even be charged for carrying an infant on your lap.
Your flight ticket is valid for one journey and that’s it – no additional perks or discounts are included.
With Eurail, if you’re 27 or younger, you can save up to 25% on standard adult prices with a Youth Pass. And if you’re in a group, adults traveling together can save 15% with a Saver Pass.
Bringing the kids along too? Children up to 11 years old can Eurail for free, making a rail pass perfect for family holidays. Up to 2 children can travel for free with every adult.
And that’s not all – with over 100 benefit partners, your Pass gets you plenty of freebies and discounts across Europe.