Cologne Station (Köln Hbf), Germany

Traveling Europe by train is a great option when you want to visit multiple countries during your trip abroad. From our recent experience, here are 5 tips we'd like to share when choosing to go by rail.

  • Always have your ticket with you at all times. Usually, most euro train lines will scan or stamp your ticket throughout the duration of your journey. It’s because you will pass by different cities and countries. It’s helpful to download the mobile app if you have a smartphone and can easily show your pass to the ticket officer.
  • Buy your tickets ahead of time when possible to ensure reserve seating. Some train lines will get packed with dozens of travelers with lots of luggage. Be mindful that some trains have small cabins that will only allow for a small carry-on. Trains are the most popular method of transport to travel from country to country so passengers will often grab any empty seat they can find. If you booked a reserved ticket ahead of time, this will ensure you a seat.
  • Arrive at your station at least 30 min early! This one is a must because we’ve seen trains leave earlier than their departure time. Also, usually trains will have platform and track changes so early arrival will guarantee that you get to your destination as planned.
  • Pack light. Most European trains are high-speed trains that can get you faster from one country to another. They have a streamlined design and cabins are usually quite small. You can put a small carryon overhead but that's about how much you can take with you. Also, when boarding and leaving the train it helps to have a small lightweight luggage that gets you on and off the train with ease. Another note is that many train stations have minimal elevators and rely on stairs.
  • S#tty WiFi - It’s tough when you want to check emails, catch up on your social media or even load up your itinerary for your destination but the train wireless system is very inconsistent and often choppy. Make sure to download your itinerary ahead of time, have music available offline and pack an extra battery for convenience.

Know More, Be More, Do More

Subscribe to the Perpetualist Field Notes

By checking this box, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our terms of use regarding the storage of the data submitted through this form.