Backpacking/Train Travel in Europe

Feb 8th, 2016, 06:04 AM
  #1  
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Backpacking/Train Travel in Europe

Two friends and I want to embark on a backpacking/train trip throughout Europe. Unfortunately, we can only give up about 3-4 weeks for travel but would love to see as much as we can for as cheap as possible (we know it will still cost). What countries are possible to see in this time frame? Any tips or suggestions?
harwardcn is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 06:30 AM
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If you want cheap, then note that southern Europe tends to be less expensive than northern Europe, eastern less expensive than western, and rural less expensive than urban.

A bed is your biggest daily expense, so staying in a hostel will stretch your money the most.

As to where to go, do your own research first and then get come back here with ideas. We have no idea what your interests are.
Edward2005 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 06:53 AM
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Backpacking/Train Travel in Europe
Posted by: harwardcn on Feb 8, 16 at 10:04am


It looks like you just want to experience the beauty of travel and hang out in new surroundings. Consider Rome, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris. Get a copy of Lonely Planet's Europe on a Shoestring to fill in the details. Stay in hostels and use overnight trains to save time and money. See http://www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap17/rail3.htm for an illustrated introduction to night trains. Take the time to make a blog as you go.
spaarne is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 07:02 AM
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research trains and railpasses if traveling on more than a handful of trains - great sources - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - check out the latter's free online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of suggested rail itineraries.

I suppose if I were going first time I'd want to see the likes of London, Paris, Switzerland's Alps and Italy - fly open jaw into say London and out of Italy to save backtracking. Consider mixing in a few cheap flights (www.skycanner.com) and overnight trains like spaarne suggests- save travel time and the cost of a night in a hostel.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 07:53 AM
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Be aware that you are going to have to be covering some distance to even use a night train.
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 08:19 AM
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Note that in France in addition to a Eurail pass you need to buy a seat reservation for the faster trains. And there's a limited number of seat reservations available for pass holders. So you can't necessarily jump on a train at the last minute.

Couple thoughts if budget is a priority:

Unless you're making many train trips (and it sounds like that's what you want) a pass may not be a cost-saver. Buying train tickets 2 or 3 months ahead of time can be the cheaper option.

Cheaper than a Eurail pass is a Eurolines bus pass. I suspect bus riding is a better way to meet locals. BTW the English say coach instead of bus for city-to-city trips; buses travel in-city.

Switzerland, the Scandinavian countries, especially Norway, and London are very expensive places to travel.
Mimar is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 10:51 AM
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Note that in France in addition to a Eurail pass you need to buy a seat reservation for the faster trains. And there's a limited number of seat reservations available for pass holders. So you can't necessarily jump on a train at the last minute.>

Yes, good tip, but only on a few popular lines - TGV lines to Avignon and Nice especially but at times any TGV line - make your required reservation when and if buying a pass just to make sure. That said you can just jump on most trains in most countries - Italy, Spain and France being exceptions - the first two IME not a problem making such reservations as you go along but costing a bit extra on top of the pass.
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