Do you want to explore the beauty of Southern Europe by train without breaking the bank? If the answer to that question is a firm “Yes” then you’ve come to the right place! Country-hopping through European destinations like Spain, Italy, Austria, and Hungary is easier (and cheaper) than you think.
In this comprehensive travel guide, we will uncover some of the most breathtaking and budget-friendly train routes that will take you on an unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes of Southern Europe. Find cheap train tickets in Europe at Rail Online and get ready for an adventure you’ll remember for the rest of your life!
Why Choose Train Travel Through Europe?
Before we delve into the specific train routes, let’s take a moment to appreciate why train travel is the ideal choice for the budget-conscious traveller. Train journeys offer a unique blend of convenience, comfort, and affordability. Unlike other modes of transport such as planes, trains often take you directly to the heart of the cities, saving you both time and money on airport transfers.
Furthermore, the panoramic views from train windows are simply unparalleled, allowing you to soak in the scenic beauty of the diverse landscapes of Southern Europe. Travelling through Europe like this is like paying to get from A to B while experiencing a picturesque tour at the same time.
Related Articles for Southern Europe
- What clothes should you pack and wear on a trip to Southern Europe?
- The 7 best wine tour destinations in Europe: Italy, Spain, Portugal…
The Ultimate Southern Europe Train Itinerary
Starting Point: Barcelona, Spain
Our journey begins in the vibrant Spanish city of Barcelona. Known for its art, architecture, and culinary delights, Barcelona is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. If you’ve been following our travel blog for some time, you’ll know how much we love the food here and have sampled some of Barcelona’s best restaurants. To continue your budget-friendly adventure, consider taking the train from Barcelona to Valencia, our next destination.
Must-haves for every city break! Don't forget to pack these travel essentials for your Southern Europe trip
Exploring Valencia, Spain
Valencia, with its stunning mix of medieval and modern architecture, is a city that will capture your heart. The City of Arts and Sciences (pictured above), the historic Valencia Cathedral, and the bustling Central Market are some of the must-visit attractions here. From Valencia, our next stop is the enchanting city of Rome, Italy.
Unravelling Rome, Italy
Rome, the Eternal City, needs no introduction. As you stroll through its ancient streets, you’ll encounter iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City. Don’t miss out on indulging in mouth-watering Italian cuisine at local trattorias. Next up, we hop on another train and venture to the beautiful city of Florence.
Discovering Florence, Italy
Florence, renowned for its rich artistic heritage, offers a feast for the eyes and soul. You may have seen that we featured Florence as one of our 10 best city breaks in Europe for couples. There’s just so much to see and do (and eat) in this Tuscan city! Admire Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery, walk across the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge and marvel at the stunning Florence Cathedral. From Florence, we head to the enchanting city of Vienna, Austria.
Exploring Vienna, Austria
Vienna, the imperial capital, boasts a plethora of historical and cultural treasures. Immerse yourself in the opulence of Schönbrunn Palace, appreciate the architecture of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and relish a slice of Sachertorte, a famous Viennese chocolate cake. Our final train journey takes us from Vienna to the picturesque Hungarian city of Budapest.
Embracing Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, a city of thermal baths and stunning architecture, will mesmerise you. Soak in the healing waters of the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, take a leisurely cruise along the Danube River, and marvel at the majestic Hungarian Parliament Building. As our journey comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the incredible memories made along the way.
4 Top Tips for Budget-Friendly Train Travel
Book in Advance
Booking in advance is essential to get the best deals on train tickets. Many railway companies offer early bird discounts, allowing you to save a significant amount of money on your journey. So, plan ahead and secure your tickets to make the most of your travel budget.
Utilise Rail Passes
If you plan on exploring multiple destinations in Southern Europe, consider investing in a Eurail pass. Eurail passes offer substantial cost savings, allowing you the flexibility to hop on and off trains within a specific region or even across multiple countries.
Travel During Off-Peak Seasons
Travelling during the off-peak seasons can lead to substantial savings on train fares and accommodations. Moreover, you’ll experience fewer crowds at popular tourist spots, making your journey even more enjoyable. To experience these benefits, try to travel outside of the European high season for tourism, which falls between the summer months of June and August.
Opt for Night Trains
Night trains (or sleeper trains) are an excellent option for budget travellers. You not only save on accommodation expenses but also wake up refreshed and ready to explore a new city. Embrace the adventure of overnight travel, let your train seat be your hotel bed for the night and wake up in a new destination, ready to seize the day.
Are You Ready to Take Your European Adventure by Train?
Embarking on a budget-friendly train journey through Southern Europe is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. From the captivating streets of Barcelona to the romantic charm of Budapest, each destination offers a unique and unforgettable adventure. By following our comprehensive guide and money-saving tips, you can fully enjoy the splendours of Southern Europe without worrying about exceeding your travel budget.
So, pack your bags, grab your train tickets, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime. Let the scenic beauty, rich history, and vibrant cultures of Southern Europe enchant you as you embark on this extraordinary train adventure.