A Guide to Traveling Europe’s Spectacular Train Routes on a Budget: Comparing $6600 vs $127

This article is part of Traveller’s Holiday Guide to train journeys.
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Exploring Europe’s Train Journeys: A Guide for Game Theme Lovers

Europe boasts an extensive network of train lines that crisscross the continent, offering a wide range of tourist trains that traverse stunning landscapes, transport you to mountain summits, and whisk you between glamorous cities. While these special tourist trains are often marketed as luxurious experiences, they come with a hefty price tag. However, there are alternative options that can provide equally rewarding experiences at a fraction of the cost.

The Orient Express from Paris to Venice will set you back $6600 a night.Credit: Dimorestudio

For example, instead of spending $6600 on a single night aboard the Orient-Express from Paris to Venice, you can opt for a sleeper train with one change in Milan for a mere €80 ($127). Although you won’t have the luxury and meals of the Orient-Express, you can enjoy a whole week of posh hotel rooms and dinners with the same budget.

Additionally, some of the most popular tourist train routes can be experienced for free or at a lower cost by exploring the scenic parts on foot. For instance, rather than paying CHF 119.40 ($194) for a tourist train to the Jungfrau summit in Switzerland, you can embark on an all-day return hike from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg, which offers breathtaking views of snowy summits and meadows.

Regular commuter trains in Switzerland also provide stunning views at affordable prices. The train ride up Mount Rigi near Lucerne costs CHF 78 ($126) or nothing if you have a Swiss rail pass. These trains offer fabulous views without the tourist crowds and distractions found on popular tourist routes.

While tourist trains may seem enticing, regular trains have their own charms. They allow you to interact with locals, offer more flexibility in seat selection, and don’t require advanced reservations. Regular trains can take you to many destinations that tourist trains cannot, such as Snowdon in Wales or Schafberg in Austria.

Some regular commuter trains in Switzerland offer stunning views.

Some regular commuter trains in Switzerland offer stunning views.Credit: iStock

While you may miss out on high-mountain scenery, regular trains in Europe offer breathtaking landscapes at affordable prices. Some of the best routes include Lucerne-Interlaken, Salzburg-Munich, Vienne-Trieste, Rome-Nice, and Koblenz-Mainz through Germany’s Rhine gorges. These regular train journeys provide an equally rewarding experience without the need for expensive tourist trains.

In conclusion, it’s important to look beyond the marketing hype and do your research when planning train journeys in Europe. By exploring regular train options, you can save money while still enjoying stunning views and unique experiences. As a game theme lover, you’ll appreciate the flexibility and authenticity that regular trains offer. So hop on board and embark on your own European train adventure!

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