Sure, a croissant in Paris sounds great, but why not pair it with a pint in London, a heaping plate of frites in Brussels, and tapas in Madrid all in one go?
Europe has made travel a breeze thanks to its train system that zigzags across the content, making building a multi-nation itinerary a breeze. Here are a few counties you can pair together and get to via high-speed trains so you can have breakfast in one nation and dinner in another like it’s nothing at all.
London and Paris
The London to Paris route (and vice versa) may be the most famous and most accessible international train journey in Europe. The trip via Eurostar takes just over two hours from start to finish, beginning at London’s St Pancras station and ending at Gare du Nord station. Travelers can choose from Standard, Premier, and Business Premier seating, with the latter including hot meals designed by chef Raymond Blanc, all served with champagne. Guests on this fare level also gain access to exclusive lounges in London and Paris for the ultimate comfort. It’s so easy you could even make a day trip out of it by boarding the first train in the morning and returning the last train at night.
Paris to Zurich
Make your way from one gorgeous city to the next with a train trip between Paris and Zurich. The train takes about four hours for a direct train and five hours to complete for the more frequent train that requires a stopover in Basel (though the stop doesn’t take long). The coolest part? Travelers get to hop aboard a double-decker train, so guests can choose to sit on the top deck for a better view. There is also group seating available for those traveling in groups.
Vienna to Budapest
Traveling between Austria and Hungary couldn’t be easier thanks to the two-and-a-half-hour train ride between Vienna and Budapest. And it’s a relatively budget-friendly two-country itinerary too. According to Rail Europe, it found tickets as low as $14.56 for one-way travel, making it possible to visit both nations in a single day for the cost of a Wiener Schnitzel.
Prague to Munich
See two historic capitals in one trip with a journey between Prague and Munich. The train takes about five and a half hours to travel through verdant landscapes that will keep you glued to your window the entire time. Travelers can find tickets on Czech Railways or German Railways but are advised to check both to see who has the better price.
Connect them all
Here’s the best part about train travel through Europe: Connecting them all is easy. For example, Thalys makes it easy to travel from London to Paris, then on to Amsterdam for a three-hour ride. From Amsterdam, you can hop aboard a train to Munich, which will get you there in a little over seven hours. Then, head from Munich to Prague, Prague to Vienna, Vienna to Milan, Milan to Zurich, and on and on and on.
Or choose a luxury, multi-nation journey
Not sure you have it in you to plan this all yourself? That’s OK, because there are a few luxury train companies that are willing to do all the heavy lifting for you. For example, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has a train journey between Paris to Istanbul, with stops in Budapest and Bucharest in between that will help fulfill your multi-national dreams.
The company also offers a trip from Amsterdam to Venice, with stops in Brussels, Paris, Innsbruck, and Verona, and several other shorter journeys across Europe. Each train comes with luxe amenities, including private chefs, tea times, dedicated steward service, and more, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.
The Bernina Express also offers a high-end train ride through the Alps, with its track stretching from Chur, Switzerland, to Tirano, Italy.
The railway takes guests through stunning alpine landscapes, zooming through 55 tunnels and going over 196 bridges, and takes guests to its highest point, Ospizio Bernina, at 7,391 feet above sea level. It also comes with panoramic windows, allowing everyone to get the best view along the way. Guests can choose how long they want their journey to be by purchasing either a standalone ticket or a ticket with hotel stops included.
And, of course, there are Golden Eagle luxury trains, which offer a bevy of luxury train options. This includes its Istanbul to Venice train that stops in Thessaloniki, Belgrade, Zagreb, and many more before its final destination and the Swiss Rail Spectacular from London to Basel, with stops in Zermatt, St. Moritz, Lucerne, and more.
Each of its trains comes with almost unimaginable opulence thanks to its fine dining options, plush private bedrooms, and warm, inviting shared spaces that come flooded with light thanks to the oversized windows that allow you to experience the romance that makes train travel so popular in the first place.