The Swedish have introduced us to some great things: ABBA, Meatballs and the Billy bookcase. Last year it was ”Flygskam” (flight shame) that spread across the globe, and now it’s the 2020 buzzword “Tagskryt” (train bragging) which has just started to hit off.
Travelling by train is my favourite mode of transport – I took my first long distance train trip when I was 12 and have since done more rail journeys that I can count throughout Europe. I’ll keep some of my favourite train bragging stories for another time and focus on why you should consider taking the train.
GREEN WAY TO TRAVEL
Depending on the type of train and length of the journey, it’s one of the greenest ways to travel. We’re very lucky that trains in Europe have started using renewable energy: Dutch trains are powered by wind energy, some trains in Belgium run on solar power and German long distance trains are using green renewable energy.
One of my favourite things is that most stations are located in the city centre, so when you reach your destination you’re pretty much where you need to be, and there are no extra costs, time or stress for airport transfers.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Thanks to Europe’s wide-reaching rail network you can go off the beaten path and take the train to smaller and lesser known destinations.
THE EVER CHANGING SCENERY
For me it’s not just getting from A to B. No, it’s the journey and the ever-changing scenery that are a treat and give you a better insight in everyday life. But if we are talking about the destination, then thinking about how the train station is going to look like is something I can always look forward to: Antwerpen-Centraal Station in Belgium to St. Pancras Train Station in England and Trier in Germany are some of my favourites.
You can take more luggage with you! I usually travel with my small backpack, but I love to bring things back. Think wine, cheese and – my personal favourite: jars of peanut butter. Also…you are not giving your luggage away so there is almost no chance of losing it.
TRAIN ROUTES & DESTINATIONS
I feel like most people think they’re only limited to taking the train from London to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, but there are so many more destinations to consider. Some routes that I have been looking into are:
I was very excited to read that there is going to be a night train between Brussels and Vienna/Innsbruck from January 2020, which makes taking the train to East Europe so much more attractive. How about the below trip for Summer 2020? I’m thinking:
LONDON = BRUSSELS = VIENNA = LJUBLJANA = ZAGREB = BELGRADE = BUDAPEST = VIENNA = BRUSSELS = LONDON
Soak up some sun in the south of France, make one of the bigger towns your base and visit the smaller villages from there on. Throw in a French baguette and cheese for lunch, and I am sold.
LONDON = PARIS = AVIGNON = MONTPELLIER = PARIS = LONDON
The train in Switzerland must have the most gorgeous views in Europe! I’ve been wanting to see more of Switzerland for forever and the below itinerary has a high priority.
LONDON = PARIS = LYON = GENEVE = BERN = BASEL = ZURICH = INNSBRUCK = BRUSSELS = LONDON
The Mosel wine region is a destination that I really want to re-visit and – and try out all the Riesling. The best thing? It’s doable by train – even to some the wine tasting spots in the smaller towns
BRUSSELS = COLOGNE = COCHEM = TRIER = SAARBURG = COLOGNE = BRUSSELS
Do you have any train route recommendations worth shouting about?