Traveling around Europe is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But if you’re hoping to see multiple cities and countries on your trip, then it’s important to plan how you’ll get from one place to another. There are many different ways to travel Europe, but some methods are more affordable or more efficient than others.
What is the best way to travel around Europe?
Traveling by train is the easiest, fastest, and most reliable way to get around Europe. If budget is a concern, taking a long-distance bus is also possible, although they’re often much slower than trains. But if you’re traveling between countries that are far apart, flying is most likely going to be your best option.
As you can see, knowing which form of transportation to use will depend on your travel itinerary. In this article, we’ll explain in which situations you should use trains, planes, cars, or buses!
Types of transportation in Europe
Before we dive into the best way to travel around Europe, let’s discuss a bit more about the different types of transportation available.
Traveling Europe by airplane
Flying is an excellent option if you want to see multiple destinations in a short time or if your itinerary includes countries that are far apart. And thanks to the number of budget airlines, flying can also be cheaper than other forms of transportation.
But before you book your flight, consider the cost of baggage fees and transportation to and from the airport.
These extra charges can be costly and quickly add up to be more than your plane ticket. However, they’re necessary to pay if you’re determined to visit places that cannot be reached in a reasonable time using trains or buses. If you’re just visiting the UK on your Europe trip for some backpacking, you’ll want to skip the airports.
Traveling Europe by train
Taking the train is one of the easiest and most scenic ways to see Europe. Most countries have well-connected and reliable railway networks, making it easy for travelers to see multiple destinations on their trip.
Train travel can be used domestically or to cross international borders. For longer distances, overnight trains can also be booked, although they can be expensive depending on the route. The railway network in western Europe is cheap and reliable, especially in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.
Other countries may have older or slower trains, but they’re still relatively easy to get around.
Traveling Europe by bus
If you’re on a strict budget, taking a bus can be an affordable way to travel to different cities or countries.
In addition to local buses, long-distance bus operators can be found all over Europe, which means you can access other cities that you normally couldn’t reach by train. Taking a bus is also a great option if you’re traveling to a rural town not served by the railway.
Most long-distance buses are quite comfortable with bathrooms and even WIFI. But if you’re planning on being on the road for more than 6 hours, it’s possible you might get a little bored and restless. Overnight journeys are better for long routes since you can simply go to sleep and wake up at your destination.
Traveling Europe by car
Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore Europe at your leisure. You aren’t bound by bus or train station locations or by strict time schedules.
But, on the other hand, cars are pretty expensive, especially when you add in extras like fuel, insurance, and one-way drop-off fees.
If you want to cross international borders, you’ll have to make sure the rental car company allows you to leave the country. Being restricted to one country can also make it difficult for you to make the most of your Europe vacation.
What is the most popular way to travel in Europe?
For travelers, the most popular way to travel in Europe is by train. Trains are not only clean and reliable, but they can also be very affordable if booked in advance.
If you’re planning on taking trains your entire journey, then we recommend investing in a rail pass. This will allow you to take an unlimited number of trips to certain countries within a certain time frame.
Flying is another popular method of transportation. If you’re traveling between two faraway cities or countries, flying is probably the most time-efficient option. You can also score great deals on flights if you book with a budget airline and you’re flexible with your schedule.
Which is the cheapest way to travel in Europe?
Taking a bus is by far the cheapest way to travel around Europe. And thankfully, there are numerous operators that can take you practically anywhere you want!
FlixBus is one of the biggest long-distance bus companies in Europe. They have half a million routes and service to more than 2,500 destinations in 35 different countries. Their buses are also very modern, with comfy seats, WIFI, and electrical outlets.
And best of all, tickets are very affordable, some starting at just 5 Euros one way.
If you’re set on taking trains, you can save money by purchasing a rail pass. There are different types of passes available to non-EU residents, but most of them will offer unlimited travel (domestically and internationally) within a specific time frame.
Flying can also be a cheap way to see Europe, especially if you’re traveling far distances. Budget airline operators like Ryanair, EasyJet, Wizz Air, and Vueling can be very cost-friendly, with some flights starting as low as 10 Euros.
How is most long-distance travel conducted in Europe?
As we mentioned, you have several choices if you’re traveling long distances. Flying is arguable the best way to get around, as it’s fast, comfortable, and in many cases, affordable.
Train travel is also possible, although long-distance trains can be expensive if you want to pay for a sleeper cabin. Some routes will also require you to transfer, which can be a hassle if you’re traveling in the middle of the night.
Taking a bus is the cheapest way to travel long distances. And while they’re well-connected and service many different cities, they may not be the most comfortable if your trip is longer than 6 hours (unless you plan on sleeping on an overnight bus).
What is the most common form of transportation in Europe?
For locals, traveling by car or train is the most common form of transportation. But for travelers, we recommend sticking with public transportation, as rental cars can be extremely pricey.
However, it’s hard to say point blank which form of public transportation is the most common. That’s because how you choose to travel will depend entirely on your budget and travel itinerary.
For example, taking a bus to multiple cities in one country may be your best option. If you’re crossing borders between two connecting countries, the train may be the easiest. And to visit those far-off countries that can’t be reached by bus or train, you can always take an airplane!
Europe has many different options in terms of travel. With a little research, you can develop a plan of action and find the best route and method of transportation for your trip! Safe travels!