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Why take the train to Europe from the UK 

That’s right, you can travel from the UK to Europe by train – no need to book a flight. It’s quick. It’s comfortable. There’s plenty of room for luggage (and your legs!) It’s more eco-friendly, AND it’s sometimes even the fastest travel option from city centre to city centre for certain European destinations.  

Try it for yourself and hop on a Eurostar train in London to connect to Europe’s extensive, modern high-speed rail network. Did you know, on the fastest services, it only takes 12 minutes more to travel from London to Paris (2h 16m) than it does London to Manchester (2h 4m)? It’s also quicker to travel by train from London to Amsterdam (3h 55m) than it is London to Edinburgh (4h 14m). 

London to Europe by train

All trains into mainland Europe from the UK start from London St Pancras International station. It’s a quicker check-in process than at the airport – taking just 20 minutes from start to finish – so you can start relaxing and enjoying your trip that little bit sooner. To find out more about the whole process, read our guide to the Eurostar check-in 

Eurostar trains offer wide comfortable seats, whichever class you travel on (there are three – Standard, Standard Premier and Business Premier). Enjoy a snack at the onboard Café Metropole while you travel at speeds of up to 200mph under the Channel Tunnel from London to Europe.   

Popular routes from the UK to mainland Europe

Take a look at some of the most popular routes from the UK to Europe by train below. You can find out more about popular train journeys in Europe on our interactive Europe train map.  

How to book train tickets from the UK to Europe  

With different train companies in each country plus the language barrier, finding the right train ticket might seem like a tough task – but we're here to make sure your ticket-buying process is totally stress-free.

Over 200 train and bus companies across Europe trust us to sell their tickets – all in one convenient place! So, wherever you want to go, you’ll be able to plan your ideal route, check train times and book tickets easily using one single platform.  Follow these simple steps to book your train tickets with us from the UK to Europe:  

  1. Research the destinations you’d like to visit on our travel inspiration hub 
  2. Enter your departure and arrival stations of choice into either our App or Journey Planner at the top of the page (or just the city if you’re unsure of the station name) 
  3. Enter the date you’d like to depart and return, along with any relevant Railcards you have and number of passengers 
  4. Hit Get times and tickets’ to start your search   
  5. Choose a train time and Class option from our search results. Once you’re happy with your choice, continue to choose your seat preference  
  6. Enter an email to send your tick confirmation to, along with the Full name of each passenger you’re booking tickets for (the name must match their IDs.  
  7. Continue to the checkout and book your tickets! 

Trains in Europe

Since most train networks in European countries are managed by one large corporation per country, often owned by the state, rail travel is relatively easy if you know the basics about the respective train company.  The rail networks are interconnected, so travelling from one country to another is easy, we’ve highlighted the main countries to travel in and around by rail in Europe, check them out below.  

France – SNCF

Most trains in France are run by SNCF – the state-owned rail companyAlthough you’ll enter the country from the UK via the Eurostar, once you change trains, you’ll likely find yourself on either an Intercité, TER (regional) or a high-speed TGV train. Find out more about taking the train to France, or check our guide to train travel in France 

Check out some of the most popular destinations to visit by train in France below. 

Germany – Deutsche Bahn

Deutsche Bahn is Germany’s state-owned rail company that runs most of the country‘s extensive rail network. Their services are divided into long-distance high-speed ICE trains, medium-distance and regional transport. Find out more on our trains in Germany page.  

Take a look at some of our favourites destinations to visit in Germany by train below. 

Spain – Renfe

If you’re travelling in Spain by rail, it’ll most likely be on a Renfe train service. Renfe is the primary, state-owned train operator in the country and their high-speed AVE trains offer speedy journeys between many of the major cities. To find out more, visit our dedicated Renfe page or check out our guide to travelling by train in Spain 

Take a look at some of the most popular destinations to visit in Spain by train below. 

Italy – Trenitalia

Trenitalia is Italy’s state-owned rail corporation. Their modern fleet of high-speed trains – known as Le Frecce – consists of three train types that can whisk you between some of the must-visit destinations like Rome, Milan and Venice. Learn more about trains in Italy

We've highlighted some of the most visited destinations in Italy by train below. 

Rail passes – Interrail and Eurail

If you’re planning to travel to more than one country in Europe by train, it’s worth checking out the Interrail and Eurail passes. Prices are calculated based on how many days you want to travel, and by the type of train you’d like to take.

If you live in Europe, you'll be eligible to purchase an Interrail pass. If you're a non-European resident or a non-European passport holder, check out the Eurail pass instead. 

In need of some inspiration? 

Whether you’re researching destinations or looking for things to do in a specific place, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of our guides to travelling by train in Europe.  

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