Europe is THE destination for many would be travellers and backpackers looking to take a gap year or just spend a summer break abroad. Many of those travellers also want to do it as cheap as possible so having experienced Europe myself I wanted to share what I’ve learnt to be the cheapest ways to travel Europe whether you are taking a bus, train or aeroplane.
Now there are many more ways to get around Europe on the cheap such as hitchhiking, car sharing or even hiring a car but for the sake of keeping it simple I’m going to stick to what is most practical for first time European travellers.
Depending on what country you are in bus travel could be the main form of getting around or it could be playing second best to the train. However almost always the bus is going to be the cheapest way to travel from point A to point B. In my travels I found the bus was much more prominent in the baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania due to the lack of train transport. Perhaps as a way to make up for the lack of trains all the buses I caught in that region had free wifi as well as a coffee machine.
The most prominent bus provider in Europe is easily Eurolines. With connections covering all of Europe, the UK and Ireland you’ll always be able to find somewhere to go. Pricing is always fairly competitive whether you book in advance or last-minute with tickets from London to Paris around 40 Pounds ($66 AUD July 2013) and Berlin to Prague costing around 41 Euros ($58 AUD July 2013).
Eurolines also offer a travel pass which can boost your savings even more if you plan to spend up to 30 days travelling around Europe. Full details can be found on their site.
If you’d prefer to have something a bit more tour group based without being a tour group you can look into Busabout. These guys run a great Hop On, Hop Off service with a variety of routes around Europe. The basic principle is you book a particular route and just hop on and hop off the bus as it crosses countries. There are some set requirements for travel days vs non-travel days and they don’t cover all over Europe, but for first time travellers looking for a tour without it being a tour this is a great setup and still a cheap way to travel around Europe.
Costs do vary and you’ll often find they have sales leading up to peak season but at the moment student tickets for the flexitrip package which offers the most freedom costs 335 Pounds ($515 AUD July 2013).
There are also more location specific bus companies such as Megabus in the UK. These guys can get you from London to Glasgow for as little as 15 Pounds ($25 AUD July 2013) but the trip will take some 9 hours to complete. Not the most luxurious trip by far but much cheaper than the train for the same journey so ideal for those on a tight budget.
Train travel is my FAVOURITE way to get around Europe. They go just about everywhere, deliver you to the center of the destination city, often have food carriages, have big windows for taking photos and best of all you can get up and move around much more freely than a bus or plane. The only downside to train travel is that it can be expensive.
For many people the Eurail Pass is the go-to option for keeping your train costs down. The problem is that is only half-true. If you are 25 years of age or younger then the Eurail pass is a sweet deal. If you happen to be over 25 years of age however then I’d think really hard about getting the pass. The cost just doesn’t add up because you are forced to buy a first class ticket instead of a second class ticket which are much cheaper and can be bought once you arrive in Europe. Of course thats just my opinion and I’ll save the full story for another post, just know if you are over 25 years of age the rail passes require a lot more research into your costs to see if you’ll save money.
Travellers that are 25 or younger however are getting a great deal taking a railpass, especially since you can buy them before leaving home. The guys over at Rail Europe offer the best deals on passes with the current Global Pass offering 10 days of train travel over 2 months costing just $615 AUD (July 2013). The only thing to keep in mind is that this won’t be the final cost of your train travel in Europe. Many journeys using your Eurail pass will need you to make seat reservations prior to your travel at the train station. Some are free, others cost a few euros while a select few can be upwards of 20 euros.
If you feel the rail pass isn’t for you then don’t despair, I’ve found you can often buy train tickets in Europe at the train stations for a cheaper rate when taking short journeys, especially if you are willing to book your tickets in advance. The choice of pass vs buy on the road comes down to convenience in my mind, if you want easy get a pass if you want to seek out the best deals and take it as it comes then buy your train tickets on the road.
A really useful way to start planning your trip is lookup the German Railway Website which offers a timetable and occasionally pricing for tickets right throughout Europe. It’s an amazing tool when your are still at home planning how you intend to get around Europe.
One last note if purchasing a rail passes, they aren’t valid on the Eurostar or in the UK. To get cheap travel on the Eurostar be sure to book 2-3 months in advance and you’ll receive tickets at half the last-minute price. For travel in the UK you can lookup Red Spotted Hankey online or seek out any train station to book tickets in the UK.
Coming from Australia the cheapest ways to travel the country have always been by plane. In Europe it can often work out to be the most expensive. While there is an abundance of cheap airlines available such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Wizz Air you always need to book well in advance to secure the cheap rates. One tip to keep up with cheap offerings is to sign up for their email newsletters so you get notified of any promotions they might have on offer right away.
The problem with cheap airlines is that while the sticker price may say $20 to fly from say London to Rome it’s often the hidden fees and other costs that you fail to take into account. There will be extra fees to take checked luggage as well as additional airport fees and a credit card surcharge added to your total when finalising your purchase.
The other factor many people don’t take into account is that cheap airlines regularly fly into airports located in more remote parts of the country. Instead of flying into Heathrow which is well-connected by the tube to the rest of London, you’ll fly into Luton which means a bus and a train just to make it into the city. All of these extra hidden costs can quickly add up to being the same price as the normal full price airlines. I know I’d prefer the full rate airline over Ryanair any day of the week.
So to help keep the costs down when thinking of flying it comes down to doing the research. There is an army of online flight search tools around these days like Skyscanner and lesser known Dohop which service Europe well.
Combining that with monitoring the airlines promotional emails and a bit of luck now and then flying around Europe can be made a bit cheaper. While it will never be as convenient as bus or train travel which deliver you to the heart of the city it’s the best way to get from one side of Europe to the other.
Train travel will always trump the rest in my book due to it’s simplicity. For those seeing Europe on the cheap and unlucky enough to not be under 25 to buy a cheap rail pass then the bus will almost always be the cheapest way to travel Europe. Air travel is best kept for weekend getaways if you’re living in the UK on a working holiday visa or for moving between the UK and Ireland or mainland Europe.
If you’ve travelled Europe what has been your experience with transport. Was the train, plane or bus your favourite mode of transport or have you got a secret tip that could help future travellers save on transport in Europe? Leave a comment below and let me know I’d love to hear it.
As an Aussie living in Germany the best solution for me was buying a “Bahn Card 50”. It is bought through Deutsche Bahn however gives you 50% of majority of train rides and through Europe. It cost me about $300 and it’s a lot more flexible for travelling for a whole year in Europe than the Eurorail pass.
However for me plane is always good as I’m not set on any location so I travel onto the next place based on what’s got the cheapest airfare and it’s a good base in Germany. Also being based in Germany I travel pretty light with a tiny backpack and most of the time I am away for max 2 weeks so I avoid baggage fees.
Other than that driving is very easy and is by far the most flexible for me travelling. It is also a preferred option for a lot of Germans.
Hi Michael that Bahn Card sounds like a worth-while investment if you are living in Germany and still want to explore Europe on the cheap.
When you are already living in Europe or the UK for that matter the means for getting around in Europe are much different compared to people looking to plan a trip while still home in Australia. What was once a daunting task just becomes easier and easier as you learn the way of the land so to speak.
This is a timely article for us. We’ll be heading to Europe next year and are increasingly thinking we’ll bus it around. We like to travel slow (it will have taken us 4 years of full-time travel to cover the U.S.) and expect we’ll keep most of our transit times to around 3 or 4 hours in Europe. We’re not in a hurry so we’ll not likely need to hop a plane or overnight train. We plan to just bob from town to nearby town and the bus seems ideal for that.
Hi Brian, if you are taking short trips then the bus can be a great option for getting around Europe. Its almost always cheaper than the train and while you lose some of the train comfort for shor trips the cost savings can be worth it. Just be sure not to stay in Europe for 3-4 years straight, pretty sure the customs folks won’t be impressed since the max stay is 90 days without a visa 🙂
Great post! I’m actually traveling with Busabout right now!
Nice one Amanda, I’ve not had the chance to do it myself but from everyone I’ve spoken to they rate it highly.
Great post! I´ll be heading there this january (yes! winter!) and i’m planning to stay for about 45 days. I’m really thinking hard what to do. My friends say train is the best option. I hate airplanes and I think train doesn’t require a lot of planning. But, I’m 27 years old, so, yes, is not that cheap. Anyway, I’m still thinking it. Bus can be an option…
Hi Vicki, I have to agree with your friend as the train really is an amazing way to explore Europe (especially in the winter due to its convenience). If you can plan out where you intend to go and how often you might need to use the train to get from one place to the other it would help work out the costs.
Short trips could be taken by the bus and then maybe get a pass for longer journeys.
Thanks for the answer! May I ask you one thing? Is the bus a good option in winter? I haven’t thought about that… Thank you!
Hi Vicki, I’ve never taken the bus in winter but would imagine its still quite good no matter the weather.
This is a fabulous post. Really useful. Dang those Schengen rules; 90 days and then have to be out for 90. Sure wish there was some way to get around that without having to get a job.
I’ve got to agree with you, train is very much the way to travel in style. I’m a big fan of the Seat61 website, great information on costs and routes etc.
But is there a similar resource for buses, when ever it comes to researching bus travel around Europe I’m rely on a bundle of mostly crappy Tripadvisor posts, old forum questions or travel agents with their jacked up prices…. just want a bus wiki where I can see how long/uncomfortable/expensive it’s going to be so I can compare to other options 🙂
Hi Andrew, the seat61 site is a great resource I agree with you there.
For bus travel I’ve found it’s a mix between using the eurolines website and anything else I can find. I know there is one website called goeuro that’s trying to bring all forms of transport together but so far its still in beta and not as useful as I’d like it to be.
Cheers for the tip.
I guess it requires so much effort to bring together and maintain… and then their is the SEO battle for it to get noticed… and then the need for revenue… Seat61 looks like a labour of love as much as anything!
A very comprehensive post.
It might not be the greenest suggestion, but in my opinion Europe is a great region for a road trip as well:
The streets are very good and traffic is save as well. It might be a little challenging adapting to the styles in for example in Italy or France, but if you consider yourself as a relaxed driver it´s absolutely worth trying. I also rate the flexibility of a road trip extremely high, due to the flexibility of visiting more remote places. And as soon as you are at least a travel party of two it beats the price for train tickets as well (depending also on how long you stay in a place and leave your car unused).
Furthermore it makes camping much more convenient (due to the fact that you don´t have to carry around your tent and cooker) which works well in most European countries (good infrastructure in most places) and saves lowering traveling expenses enormously.
Another good alternative, less flexible but allowing you to get in touch with locals is finding a (paid) lift for example on http://www.mitfahrzentrale.de/index.php?landnr=D&lang=GB
There are other portals as well, but I´ve choosen this one due to the fact that they have an English frontend.
Last but not least if you travel slow and are a bit sporty there are several countries that are extremely good for biking:
Suisse is almost perfect there´s lots of special bike roads where no cars are allowed to drive. And lots of signs showing you they direction for bikers. Same for Netherlands.
Germany is good and Norway is also good. Italy can be a bit challenging due to having almost no bike lanes and lots of traffic on some roads.
And you could also hike for example from Germany, Poland or Austria via Suisse to the south of Spain on a pilgrims route. The Camino de Santiago is famous for that. I´ve never done it myself but lots of people I know did it and appreciated it a lot. They say it´s not only a beautiful hiking trip, but also an intense spiritual experience, even if you are not religious. There is great infrastructure on the hike like inexpensive hostels on the way (especially towards the end). And you can be sure to meet other pilgrims heading the same direction.
Enjoy your trip to Europe! It´s such an exciting and diversified place to go.
I’m looking at spending 1-2 months traveling around Europe with my partner and potentially another couple.
I was wondering what your thoughts are on buying a campervan (I have some friends trying to sell one over there at the moment) and travelling around in that?
By the way… your site has been a HUGE help 🙂 really making me turn my dreams to reality!!
Hi Kanya, it could be a really fun way to see Europe and allow you to visit parts that many others would not get to without a vehicle.
You’d need to look into what’s required to buy a car abroad when you aren’t a citizen etc (believe you can but not sure) but otherwise sounds like a fun trip.
And thanks for the kind words about the site. It’s been a huge amount of fun building up so glad people get something out of it.
Hello Aussie Nomad,
Brilliant site! I’m heading over May 2014 to walk the Camino de Santiago and then explore a bit more of Europe over 2-3 months.
I was wondering if you have any recommendations on sites or airlines out of Australia to Europe (preferably Paris) that provide good deals. I’m trying to be smart (I hope!) about this and researching in advance to see where I can land the best deals.
Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge, as someone who has only begun her travel adventures, I find your site very calming in the sense that I have no idea what will be out there 🙂
It’s definitely buses as long as the distances are manageable. I’ve used budget airlines to hop regions (say brussels to rijeka, etc) but otherwise mostly relied on buses. At the end of the day it does come down to the region, for e.g. trains are very common and cheap in Czech Rep. (Student Ageny buses are really good but don’t offer the same flexibility) while Estonia & Latvia have cheap high end bus service companies like Lux Express, etc.
Hi Asim, you are right about the region. Estonia/Latvia don’t have any trains to link them but the buses there are amazing. Still can’t believe I got wifi on a bus there before anywhere else in the world.
And for the trains its the same situation. You just need to plan where you’ll be and research which is the cheaper option.
We have been walking the Chemin de Compostelle in France covering 8-10 days per year for the last four. On these and other holidays in France, I have used the Voyages-SNCF site to book tickets on-line, in advance. I am a great fan of Seat61 and he explains the booking process for the french site very well. If you have planned and booked your accommodation, it is worth booking your train fare using this french site and DB for Germany and other parts of Europe. French first class seats can often be booked for only a few Euro more than second when two months in advance…a great bargain as I would never pay full 1st class fare otherwise.
Great information. Do you have any experience using the night train? Like City night line. If yes, how was it? I accidentally booked the 2nd class seat couch in an unlocked compartment instead of locked sleeper compartmen. Now I am a bit worried about the safety.
Hi Aleka, I travelled from Krakow to Prague via an overnight train and was only in a seat in a cabin. Luckily it was only myself and another person in there but I never worried about my safety. There are train conductors walking about so the only thing you’ll probably have to worry about is the lack of sleep you will get.
My friend and I are looking at travelling around England and nearby places at the end of this year in December. We will both be 17 and I was wondering if our age will effect the places we can stay and the activities we can do? Do you have any advice for us as younger less experienced travelers?
Hi Brittany, the only thing I can think of is some hostels ( if you are staying in them ) might not let you stay as you are under 18 but otherwise I don’t see any problems for you at all. You’d not be able to participate in any pub crawls but I’m sure you know that already 🙂
Otherwise tours and so on should be fine for you to do.
Great site and excellent info . My wife and I wish to travel from Prague to Split by train but finding it a little difficult to access information, especially a about whether Eurorail passes cover such a journey . We would like to break the trip up into stages stopping over at various cities for a couple of days rather than do the trip in one long session.
Any and all clues would be very much appreciated
Hi Paul, the eurail website shows a list of countries the pass is valid in. Which for you travelling from Prague to Split should be all good as all the countries you’d pass through including Croatia is included on the pass.
With your route decided on you will then need to work out how many potential travel days you have to work what type of pass to get. So passes allow 5 days of travel in 2 months or 10 days etc. This will need you to narrow down how long you are staying for and then how often you want to move from one city to the other. On a travel day you can travel as much or as little as you like only paying for reservation fees if they are required.
With all the above decided you can then pick a pass that fits best. If you are over 26 years of age the passes can be a bit expensive so take note of how far you intend to travel on your travel days.
A bus could be a very cost effective option for some sections of your trip if you are just moving a short distance or you may find buying a train ticket at the local station will work out cheaper than using your eurail pass.
Have a look over some of the resources I’ve linked to above to help you plan the trip and if you have any other questions then let me know.
next year i am looking at traveling around Europe for 6 months, and found this article very handy,
but do you have some advice for cheap accommodation?
iv never traveled before so I’m trying to get as much information as possible
Hi Menna, look to stay in hostels to keep your expenses down but also if you plan to be in Europe for 6 months look into the types of visas you can get as legally you can only be there for 3 months in every 6 months.
G’day, just wondering what you would say is the best way for myself and my family wife and 2 daughters 11,9 years of age, we land in Rome and head up through Italy, Switzerland to holland, back to Belgium, Paris, London, Scotland? I’m struggling to find best advice. Also have you ever used flipkey, was just keen to see what you think of it? Cheers David
Hi David, enjoy the trip with the family should be a lot of fun. Given the distance you are travelling I’d be inclined to travel by train. Its a great way to see the countryside and you get delivered right to the center of town. Also plenty of room for the kids to move around without feeling trapped in their seats for hours on end.
As for flipkey I’ve no experience with them I’m afraid.
G’day, I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your advice in relation to my family’s holiday in Europe, in particular using railbookers to get from country to country, we are into our last 2 weeks of a 6 week holiday and have not had a single problem with your help.
Once again thanks
Hi David – My husband and I are intending to travel to Europe for a few months, then to the UK and Ireland. My daughters are 11/13. Would love to hear about your experience with your girls. It’s out first trip to Europe and first extended trip. Been to the US for 5 weeks with them and that was a blast.
Do you have any tips you can share. I am in the early stage of research.
Hi Linda, I noticed you replied to my question a while back, I honestly recommend using railbookers for a family holiday to Europe, it’s pretty scary thinking of how it’s going to workout by doing it yourself, there is so much more than just biking a train ticket, RB made it absolutely seamless. We have gone from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, tomorrow we leave Paris by euro rail and head to London then Scotland and then home. my email address is [email protected] if you want to know more to help your family trip.
PS: It may not work until the 26th
This is by far the best travel blog for me personally. Thanks a ton on that. Me and my husband live in Melbourne and we are planning a 3 week backpack vacation to Europe this December , a cheap and best one, but I’m still struggling with where to start from!
The places, flight travel, stay (safe & cheap), mode of transport in Europe, what to pack and what not to pack, expenses, Visas. Your website is so motivating me to go ahead but I have lost focus on that start point.
Any guidelines from you will be totally loved!
Hi Rupa, when it comes to travel there sure is a lot to deal with. So my advice is pick a handful of countries you’d like to visit and map out the best way to get between them (train would be my pick). You only have 3 weeks and it will go quickly so you don’t want to stretch yourself to thin visiting a lot of places.
If you hold an Australian passport there is no need for visa, you just turn up and are good to go.The obvious hostel booking websites have an abundance of quality places to stay (not just dorm rooms) so you should be fine finding a place and just looking at the reviews and feedback on what is the best location to stay based on the city.
And last of all, enjoy it. Travel is fun so the moment it becomes confusing or difficult take a step back and look at it again.
HI, Great article you have here! So me and two other mates are wanting to travel around Europe mainly France, Italy, Germany, Austria and switzerland. We are planning to be mostly heading out towards to ski fields in these countries. Your tips about the buses and trains are really good but we were thinking maybe of buying or renting a car. What would be your recommendations on buying or renting? I know renting would be fairly expensive but are cheap but sturdy cars to buy cheap in Europe? And would fuel prices be hefty on the money? We will be on a tight budget and want to travel cheap.
A car would give us more freedom but would it be viable over buses and trains?
Thanks for the help!!
Hi Lucas, honestly if you want to keep costs down then getting the bus from place to place would be the cheapest I think. I’ve not looked at costs of buying a car but imagine there would be some expense there along with insurance and fuel etc.
Hi Aussie Nomad,
I’ve just started organising a 2 month holiday in Europe for me and my partner in April / May 2016.
I would like to hire a car to travel around Italy first for about 21 days. I also want to go to Paris, Amsterdam Greece and Turkey. But there is such long distances between these countries.
After Italy I was thinking I could train it from Milan, Italy or Rome, Italy to Paris. Or I could hire/ lease a car in Italy and drop off in Paris.Then train again to Paris to Amsterdam.. But then its so far to Greece and Turkey. Maybe I could fly to Athens or Istanbul from Amsterdam?
I’ve heard Rome is the cheapest to fly into Europe. Is there another city that is reasonably priced to fly to? As I’m basing my itinerary on where I fly into.
Its all just ideas at the moment! Open to any suggestions 🙂
Hi Emily, sounds like a great trip you have planned. In terms of your destinations they are somewhat spread out so getting from one to the other is a feat of planning all on its own. Given you want to start in Italy I’d look to do your trip there and then fly to Paris (I believe you could get a flight cheaper than renting a car from say Rome).
Train from Paris to Amsterdam (buy the ticket early to get it cheap) and then fly down to Greece to finish the trip. You could do all this via train as well but if you following the price of airline tickets I think you’ll get it cheaper that way.
In terms of flying into Europe I’ve flown in and out of Amsterdam but have no idea on the difference in costs over it and Rome. If you were open to changing around your trip you could fly into Amsterdam, train down to Paris then fly into Rome for your hire car travel and then hop over to Greece last before returning to Amsterdam to fly home.
Hello Aussie Nomad,
We are planning a trip in Sept 2015 on busabout doing both North and south loop, we are in our late 50’s and hoping you could give us some tips with this kind of travel? such as accommodation along the way and is busabout suited for all ages?
Hi Debbie, accommodation is not provided by busabout but they do have a list of recommended hostels that the buses stop at or you can book a hotel but you’ll need to make your way to the drop-off points for the next leg of your journey. The demographic is also far more focussed at the 18-35 solo traveller so I’m not sure if that is a worry to you but something to know.
I’ve never taken a trip on busabout myself but do know friends that have so most of my knowledge comes from them.
I am also an Aussie living in DE.
I saw someone mention mitfahrzentrale, there is also mitfahrgelegenheit.de – it’s in German but I think you could figure it out with an online translator. It’s a carpooling website. A lot of people do speak English, so you could try it out or get a German speaking friend to help you set it up.
Travelling by train is also a great option. I recommend going to the actual train station and trying to find a real person to help you get a good deal – It can be tough to figure it out on your own at the machine or online (the Deutsche Bahn website is really confusing) and you can end up missing out on cheap deals.
If you go to the station and explain where you want to go they can help you get the best price. Again, of you have German contacts, use them – they know all the tips and tricks.
For example there are weekend tickets, city tickets and other special deals that are tricky to find out about on the Deutsche Bahn Website.
The Bahncard is also a great option and usually pays for itself pretty fast – This can be complicated for non German speakers though as if you sign up for this, you automatically get registered to keep purchasing it forever into the future unless you cancel it in writing 6 weeks before it expires. This could cost you a lot of money!!! It also gets posted to you in the mail and can tke up to two months! Sounds unbelievable, but trust me, it’s a normal thing here.
Another awesome resource for you to check out is http://www.toytowngermany.com – heaps of great tips from expats (lots of Aussies) and an active forum to answer all your questions about Germany and Europe.
Also check out couch surfing – a great and cheap way to get cheap accommodation!
Thanks for the great comment Carla, thats some really useful info for anybody heading to Germany.
Thanks for replying to my last message, I booked with railbookers like you recommended and they were great and easy to deal with, you weren’t sure about flipkey, so if I was to book hotels, what is the best website to use to find accommodation, booking.com, trivago, hotels combined, Expedia, I’m hoping you have a preference?
Thanks again David
Hi David, I don’t really have a preference for booking hotels etc. I tend to like booking directly after doing my research online via the booking sites.
I plan on starting my travels the summer of 16 when done with college. ‘ I have been saving for 4 years so far and plan to stay in Europe traveling and cooking as an inspiring chef for a full year. Any tips on visa, hostels, currency, buying into tour buses to save money? I went to Ireland once 2 years ago through school so i understand a little. I will be traveling to UK Germany France Italy and Spain. Possibly Japan and Africa.
Hi Patrick, some countries allow for working holiday visas for Australians like the UK but otherwise there’s not much you can do to work abroad. So keep that in mind when you look to work as a chef abroad as you may not be able to work everywhere.
As for hostels, just look up on the hostel booking sites. They’ve all got reviews and feedback that can help you find the right place to stay. For transport it really comes down to how you want to get around. I really enjoyed getting around on the train and can’t recommend it enough but if you like to travel with others then the folks at busabout and their hop on hop off service might be good for you.
Hi Aussie Nomad,
Great website – well done.
We are travelling as a family (2 adults and 2 children aged 12 & 13) in Italy in September this year. We are debating on whether or not we should buy Eurorail passes or hire a car – with conflicting opinions from lots of people. We are looking at travelling from Venice to Florence, Pisa, Vernazza (where we realise we won’t use or need a car) then down to Rome, Amalfi Coast then back to Rome to fly home. What do you think our best option would be? My husband has driven from Barcelona up the coast, across France to San Sebastian without any problems so we think he could handle Italy – am I wrong here? We realise that we are travelling to major destinations and that train travel would take us into the middle of these cities and are not sure if parking would be a problem to find or expensive. Would love your thoughts. Thanks
Hi Jodi, a difficult decision as I think Italy would be amazing to drive around (all be it scary based on my experience as a passenger in a car there). All of the places you plan to visit are really really well linked via train and given the convenience and lack of needing to get parking for the car which will be difficult as there just isn’t any easy parking in the old cities so I’d be going for the train. You could maybe get the car for the trip down to the Amalfi Coast (watch out driving along the coast to Amalfi the roads are NARRRRRROW) and back but otherwise there really won’t be a need or use for one. You may find it a hindrance rather than a help.
Hi Aussie Nomad,
I am planning to travel to Europe end of July this year and the 4 countries I would be planning to visit are Netherlands –> Belgium –> France –> UK. May I know what would the cheapest option for me to travel between these cities? I am currently a student. Thanks in advance!
Hi Melvin, the cheapest would be by bus as you are travelling 3 well connected countries that are also all next to each other. You can get tickets between Paris and Brussels for as little as 12 euros on megabus last I saw. It won’t be the quickest trip but it should be far cheaper than the train.
Hi Aussie Nomad,
My husband and I are travelling to Europe in September and while in Europe we will be travelling by train my question is, can Australians by train train tickets from SNCB and DB Bahn sites? I am just wondering if any Australians have bought train tickets from the sites I mentioned, before they left for their trip to Europe. Thanking you for any advice.
Hi Mary, as far as I know you can buy tickets from SNCB and DB Bahn as the tickets are printed off on your end. The only problem may be your credit card company giving you problems buying from a foreign site. I’ve never bought a ticket that way so can’t say for sure but really don’t see it as a problem.
Hi 🙂 a friend And I Are planing a trip to Austria this juli! We wanna hike the Alps 🙂
We have no idea how to get there the smartest and cheapest. Its hard to find the right information – and then I saw your site 🙂
Maybe you have a good ide on how to travel form Denmark to Austria in the cheapest way ?
Hi Martin, the cheapest option will be the bus between countries. It won’t be quick but it will certainly be cheap.
Great site and loved reading the commentary and all the questions/responses. Considering travel to Western Europe for 3 months with husband and 2 girls (11/13). Looking at rail for transport. Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland then UK (not necessarily in that order). Do you think rail would be worthwhile? We’d actually like to continue travelling overseas for a total of 6 months.
Hi Linda, with kids coming along I think the train would be a great option. Its relatively cheap for them to travel and allows them to get up and move about on the long journeys between countries. Given all the countries you want to travel are all close to each other its works out quite well. Flying would be majorly inconvenient as all the cheap airlines fly into airports up to 2 hours from the major cities and bus while cheaper really limits the freedom of movement.
Thanks so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.
Fantastic site, thank you for all the information.
My husband (27) and I (22) will be travelling to Europe from November 15 – January 16. We fly to Amsterdam but are looking to travel through Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. Would you recommend bus or train? Are there also some bus trips to smaller towns outside of the cities, as we would love to see the ‘countryside’? Any recommendations/tips for travelling this time of year ie. Christmas & New Year?
Hi Chantel, I’m a big lover of train travel as you get to see the countryside pass you by and its quick and delivers you to the city center. Bus travel is also great but often you’ll find yourself on boring old highways and you’ll see a lot less of the countryside. They are cheaper to travel on however so you need to balance out the budget a little there.
One in the major cities you can book tours to other parts of the country to see outside the cities so maybe look into day trips and offerings like that from the main places you intend to stay. In saying that going during winter there may be less to see and do as its all just so damn cold 🙂 I’d look out for all the great Christmas Markets they have, especially in Germany and Austria.
Hi again. I have a question about the best starting point for Europe travel well have approx 3 months. We want to go to Spain, Italy, France, Germany,Austria and Switzerland. Oh and possibly Greece. Then to UK after that. Is there a best starting point. Looking at travelling to the major cities in Italy and amalfi coast. in a previous post you suggested rail for our family so I will take that advice. Thanks again. Linda.
Hi Linda, the best starting point comes down to where you want to go really. Based on you visiting Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy I’d say either start in Spain or Italy and loop around.
Hi there, I have been searching the internet for days trying to determine the best way to travel the following route. C Krumlov, Hallstatt, Lake Bled, Venice Cinque Terre, Lucca then onto the Berner Oberland. I had initially thought trains but am now thinking combining trains and buses. Eg. to get from Cinque Terre to a little village in the Berner Oberland seems like many stops and changes. We are in our early 50’s and wondered whether busabout would be suitable for some of the legs or are we too old? Any suggestions welcome.
Hi Jennifer, I believe you’d need to look at local buses and trains to complete that trip. I don’t think busabout travel all of those routes (could be wrong) and there would be a much younger group of people travelling via busabout not that it should put you off using them.
Have read lots of your info on Europe. In a bit of an information overload at the moment now though. My wife and I are thinking of going with our daughter next year when she finishes year12. We have armed ourselves with bundles of travel agent mags so we can concrete some places we want to visit in our4-weeks. Thanks for all the advice you have given others as we are taking it onboard ourselves. We also may need some help/ideas from you and your site followers as we begin to plan in more detail.
Hi Donny, glad my sites been of some use to you, feel free to ask any questions as you start planning things out.
Hi Aussie Nomad..
Me and my partner are going to europe may 2016 starting in england then getting the eurostar to amsterdam. We are wanting to do as many countries as possible so far the plan is amsterdam, paris, south france, barcelona, greece, italy (most cities here), switzerland, budapest, vienna, prague then maybe up to sweden and norway.
I am thinking because we will be travelling a lot and in the summer it may just be easier for us to both get the unlimted eurail pass.
Am i right in thinking that if we have this pass we can use it within the countries to do small trips?
Also i have heard that not all trains take the europass, do you know if we were to go to most train stations if we would be able to use our eurail pass for most trains?
And lastly! I am origanlly from england so i have a english passport, i am also an australian citizen carrying my australian passport- am i even eligible for the eurail pass? or would i have to get the interail as i have an english passport aswell?
Trying to find all this info is proving to be a little difficult!- your blog helps with lots of questions.. thank you!
Hi Rebecca, If you plan to travel a lot via train then getting the unlimited eurail pass will be your best option yes. You can use the pass then for all trips with your eurail pass yes just make sure when you go to get a ticket for the train that your eurail pass is valid. Often you still need to book a reservation or have a ticket to cover you and it’s a good opportunity to make sure your pass covers you on that train.
The eurail pass is for non-european residents yes so as long as you show your Australian passport if asked then you’d be fine I think. I didn’t have to show mine that often and they don’t go looking for entry/exit stamps so can’t see a problem using it there so you can both travel on the same passes.