Europe by train. Need some advices!

Old Dec 9th, 1997, 05:49 PM
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Europe by train. Need some advices!

Im planning to do a 8 weeks tour by train in Europe. I was thinking about spending 3 weeks just on the contryside of Engand and the rest on other countries. If someone have any kind of advice or tip i would really appreciate. And i would like to know too if is dangerous for 3 womens to travel alone by train???
PS: Sorry my english. Im from Brazil. So i speak better than write!!!

Old Dec 10th, 1997, 03:30 AM
Caroline de Broglio
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I've travlled through Europe quite extensively. You shouldn't get hassles because you're women, especially if you're in a group. if you are though just be very clear you're not interested - it normally works. I recommend 'Lonely Planet's' and 'Frommers' guidebooks. I found 'Lets Go' outdated and not particularly useful. 'Europe By Train' is very good for train timetables, services etc. Try to aarrive in your new dfestination in the early in the morning, it's much easier to find acommodation than if you arrive late at night. On popular routes make a seat reservation - it's a lot easier to dsit for 6 hours than stand (like I did) Other than that always be very charming to all railways staff, they are more likely to help you and not to charge you surcharges, kick you out of compartments etc than if you treat them with indifference. Good luck, those 15 months I was in Europe was without any doubt one of the best experiences of my life.
Old Dec 13th, 1997, 12:09 AM
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Vanessa, If you get a Eurail pass before leaving home and a Lonely Planet guide book you will have a great holiday and have lots of fun. My husband and I are in our 60's and have just got back from semi backpacking around Eastern Europe, we used our Eastern Eurail pass (all travel was in 1st class)very comfortable and there was always a seat. We had no set itinerary except when we had to head home. We just found accommodation and went sightseeing with local transport. We always felt safe and found people always helpful.Good travelling.
Old Dec 13th, 1997, 04:43 PM
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Hi. You will be fine traveling by train. However, a couple of tips. Each time you travel check beforehand to see what kinds of reservations and supplememtal payments may be required. Many European trains require reservations, and then on top of that there may be charges for sleeping beds, etc. Always try to have your tickets in order before you board to avoid hassles.

In Eastern Europe on overnight trains it is always better for women in particular to travel first class. Finally, if you are traveling in Eastern Europe check the train routing and make sure that you do not need visa's in any of the countries you will be passing through. I have witnessed the wholly distressing sight of very nice tourists from certain countries (non-European and non-North American mainly) being pulled off of the Budapest-Prague train in Slovakia in the middle of the night by Slovak authorities because they needed transit Visa's to go through Slovakia and did not have them.

Old Dec 14th, 1997, 01:32 PM
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Thanks to everybody for your advices! They will be of great use to me.
Old Dec 19th, 1997, 02:02 PM
Ben Haines
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You've had much useful advice. May I add a couple of points ?

In any town in Britain there's as branch of Thomas Cook travel agents, and there the exchange office can sell you at nine pounds a copy of the Thomas Cooik European Timetable. This has great detail on the various trains that you'll be taking. If yiou travel with it it tells you how long you stop at each frontier or main station, and if your train is late lets you work out when you'll get to your destination. It may be in the freference library of a large city near you, but I expect not.

For accomodation in English towns and villages you can ask the nearest tourist office about bed abnd breakfast. It's a cheap and pleasant way not only to see places but also to talk with fellow-guests over breakfast.

The people who say that you should use night trains and arrive in new places early are right. But I'd say it's worth the 18 or 25 US dollars a night that you pay extra for a couchette, to get the night lying down, with pillow and blanket. When you arrive at a new city in the morning you should not leave the station straight away, but draw cash from an ATM (a cash machine. Many stations have them for Visa or Mastercard. To use them you need your usual card and a four-digit PIN code), buy that morning's local newspaper to read about music, dance and cinema that evening, buy a coffee, and see whether a tourist information office is open, for a free map of the city centre, list of museums, and notes of exhibitiions and concerts. The one place not to do this is Prague Hlavni, which has too many thieves.

Please write again if I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London
Old Dec 22nd, 1997, 06:06 AM
Larry Gaul
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I would strongly suggest you travel 1st class on trains throughout Europe - if affordable. My wife and I have visited many european countries in the height of the tourist seasons and travelled extensively by train. With 1st class tickets we always had a compartment to ourselves. It is by far the most enjoyable way to see europe. Have a great trip.

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