Transportation in Europe: Best Methods for 15 Countries
September 9, 2018
Buses, Trains, Planes: Method of Transportation I Recommend Using in 15 Different European Countries
Below is a list of 15 countries in Europe and the best modes of transportation in each country. Whether planes, trains, or automobiles are your best option, all that information is right here.
The best way to travel around Belgium is by train via this website. Cities such as Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges are great spots for a day trip from Brussels and are accessible by train in under or around one hour. You can also travel quite easily from Paris to Brussels or Brussels to Amsterdam via train. Prices range from $50 to $150 last minute for economy class and are about 1 hour 20 minutes to 3 hours and 9 minutes in duration respectively. Check out the Rail Europe website for options.
In order to get from Zagreb to Split, Zadar, Plitvice Lakes or Istria, I recommend renting a car. Be sure to rent in advance, however, as prices are high and supply is limited, even more so if you need an automatic car. You will need to take a ferry from Split to Hvar Island, but take the catamaran from Hvar to Split, Korcula and Dubrovnik. It is possible to buy the ferry tickets online; however, the times seem to change without notice, so I recommend going to the Jadrolinija office at the port of Split to purchase tickets. Once you arrive in Hvar town, head to the port to pick up the tickets for the catamaran. If you wait until the end of your stay in Hvar to purchase tickets, there is a high probability that the tickets will be sold out especially during high season. The catamaran is about a 4.5 hour ride that stops back in Split, then heads to Korcula, and finally Dubrovnik.
Train travel in France is the most effective way of going from Paris to other cities in France. Here is the website you should use to book your travel. If you wish to head northwest to Normandy to see the D-Day beaches, you can take a train about 2 hours for around 20 euros. If you would prefer to take a bus for whatever reason, there is an option from Paris to Nice which is about 6 hours in duration. The bus can be booked a couple days before for prices as low as 24 euros and as high as 100 euros depending on what time of day you plan on leaving.
I suggest that you fly into the mainland so you can see Athens for a couple of days. Visit every sight that you can as fast as you can, and then head out on a ferry toward the Greek islands. The ferries are tricky to plan around so make sure you look up the times before you decide on your itinerary. Please know that times are subject to change or the websites might not be up to date, so be as flexible as you can with your travel plans. Blue Star ferries and Hellenic Seaways are popular companies but again, be flexible and take whatever ferry is available that day. Note: the ferry from Athens actually leaves out of a port called Piraeus so don’t be alarmed if you cannot find Athens as a departure port on the ferry website. If you plan on traveling on the mainland, I suggest using the bus system.
Train travel is a fantastic means of transportation in Italy. There is no reason why you shouldn’t take the train. There are an abundance of options with really cheap prices to nice, luxurious rides and you really don’t need to plan ahead. I woke up in Milan one morning walked over to the train station and booked a train to Venice that left in 20 minutes. Just go to the Trenitalia website to get an idea of the train options before you book and you can decide whether you want to purchase online or if you would rather go down to the train station and book in person. Twenty five euros and two hours later, you will be in a new, fabulous Italian city.
Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic:
To travel between Budapest, Prague, and Vienna, I use the Student Agency Bus . This bus leaves multiple times a day and has amenities such as air conditioning, leather seats, and a stewardess who passes out hot drinks. These major cities also have trains running between them. You can go on the website to book train travel between these three countries. Geographically, please note that Vienna (Wien when booking on the train website) is in the middle of Prague (Praha) and Budapest, so plan your itinerary accordingly if you can. If you choose to fly to another city in Europe from one of these countries, be sure to check out the low cost airline Wizz Air for some good deals.
Transportation between Berlin and Munich can be tricky. The best way to travel between the two is by plane. There are budget airlines like Eurowings and Air Berlin, but if you don’t book enough in advance, prices will be pretty high. Trains are too expensive, and buses take about 8.5 to 9 hours. If you have time or want to take an overnight bus to cut costs of a hostel for the night, go to www.berlinlinienbus.de. Prices start low if you book online and the standard fare is about 46 euros for a one way ticket.
The preferred method of transportation from London is by plane. That’s because there are four airports in London—Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, and Gatwick—so there are a multitude of options for booking cheap flights. Be sure to check flights on easyjet, Ryanair, British Airways, and Flybe.
London to Paris: The quickest and most exciting way to get between these two major metropolitan cities is through the chunnel or “channel tunnel”. The Eurostar train is expensive; but, if you have some money to spare, the train ride itself is only two hours and is totally worth it. There is also a bus option, but expect the trip to be around eight hours. Bus companies include National Express and Megabus. Flights are another promising option as London has four airports to fly in and out of and Paris has two that are relatively close.
London to Dublin: If for some reason you decide not to fly between these two cities, you can take a ferry instead. Cleverly dubbed “sail and rail,” the train takes you to Holyhead, Wales and you would then take a ferry across the sea for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
London to Edinburgh: Planes once again are your best option from traveling between these two locales as train tickets would be around 60 pounds for a one-way trip. If you are trying to book flights just a couple of days before, you can get deals for as low as 40 pounds in the off season. You can also use National Express or Megabus for very cheap transport options, but expect a 9-10 hour journey.
You can walk around Montecarlo pretty easily although it is a bit hilly. If the walk becomes too much, there is a bus system that you can take. To go from the French Riviera to Monaco, you can use the French train website http://www.sncf.com/en/trains/tgv to book a trip for around 10 euros. Just be careful to check the times of the last train leaving Montecarlo for the evening if you are taking a day trip as I almost missed the last one of the evening on my way back to Cannes.
Train travel is the best method of transportation to get from one city to another in the Netherlands. Prices are relatively inexpensive as you can book a ticket through this website from Amsterdam to Rotterdam for about 15 euros and Amsterdam to the Hague (Den Haag Central) for around 11 euros. Explore each individual city in the Netherlands by riding a bike throughout with both locals and tourists alike.
Feel free to take either the bus or the train to get from Lisbon to Porto and back or Lisbon to Lagos and anywhere else within Portugal. Make sure you go to Sintra as a daytrip from Lisbon! Buses can be booked on http://www.rede-expressos.pt/ and cost about 20 euros to go from city to city. To book train travel, you can buy tickets on this website http://www.cp.pt/ or you can purchase tickets directly at the train station.
Typically, I use the Alsa Bus or Daibus companies for transportation around Spain. Although some bus rides may be long, the price is so inexpensive that I do prefer taking the bus. When traveling to the Spanish islands of Ibiza, Mallorca, or the Canary Islands, I typically fly on Ryanair (even though it sucks), Vueling, or Spainair. There is also a high speed train called the Ave which can take as little as 2 hours and 30 minutes to get from Barcelona to Madrid; however, you will be spending around $150. Renfe is the name of the train system that is less expensive and take you throughout other regions in Spain including cities in Andalucia and in the north of Spain.
Trains, trains, and only trains! To get between cities in Switzerland, go on www.sbb.ch and book your train travel through this site. While Switzerland itself is expensive, train travel is surprisingly reasonable. You can book a trip from Geneva Airport to Interlaken for about 36 Swiss Francs.
Have these forms of transportation worked for you? Are there any other European countries that you know the best means of transportation for? Please share in the comments below! Check out my Croatia itinerary and Madrid guide also!
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