Planning a trip to Europe this summer? These new train routes make getting around the continent easier and hassle-free.
Train travel has always been popular in Europe, with a robust network of high-speed trains linking popular cities and regional trains, making even the smallest of towns easily accessible.
Now more than ever, you may want to consider train travel as your primary method of getting around in Europe, especially if you’ll be visiting multiple destinations within a country — or several different countries.
Last summer, airport chaos in Europe led to flight delays, extremely long security lines, lost luggage, and other headache-inducing travel disasters.
Additionally, France banned short-haul flights between cities where train journeys of less than 2.5 hours are possible in an attempt to fight climate change. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that many other countries may follow suit in the coming years.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to avoid flights in Europe. Trains are often just as affordable and much more comfortable than traveling by airplane. Some routes are even just as fast as flying, especially when you factor in all the extra time you need to get to and from the airport.
And rail coverage in Europe is only continuing to grow.
These are some of the best new long-distance train routes in Europe:
1. Vienna to Paris
Travelers can now go from Vienna to Paris on a luxurious NightJet train in 14 hours with tickets starting at €30.
The train stops in Salzburg and Munich and features amenities like roomy seats, wireless charging stations, free WiFi, and bicycle storage.
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2. Brussels to Berlin
Launching in May 2023, this new route from European Sleeper will take travelers from Brussels to Berlin via Amsterdam.
This overnight train will take under 11 hours, and fares start at just €49.
3. Milan to Paris
This high-speed route on Frecciarossa has already launched, and it takes passengers between the fashion-forward cities of Milan and Paris in just under seven hours.
Tickets for the journey start at €29.
4. Madrid to Valencia
Thanks to a new service from Ouigo, travelers can now get from Spain’s capital city Madrid to the coastal city of Valencia in just 1 hour and 45 minutes for as low as €9.
In 2023, Ouigo will its service to reach other destinations in Southern Spain, including Cordoba, Sevilla, and Málaga.
5. Barcelona to Madrid
Traveling between these two major cities in Spain got even faster in November 2022 with the launch of this new rail service from Iryo.
With fares starting at €18, travelers can get from Barcelona to Madrid in just 2.5 hours.
6. Ljubljana to Budapest
This train is already running on Hungarian Railways, and it takes travelers from the capital of Slovenia to the capital of Hungary on a scenic ride that passes through Graz, Austria.
With fares as low as €16 and a total travel time of 7.5 hours, this is the most economical way to get from Ljubljana to Budapest.
7. Paris to Berlin
This new TGV route is expected to launch a little later, in early 2024, but it will connect travelers directly from Paris to Berlin for the first time.
Previously, traveling between these two European capitals required a change in Cologne or Frankfurt, but now passengers will be able to go between these two cities nonstop in seven hours.
Why Travel By Train In Europe?
Train travel in Europe offers tons of advantages. Many travelers prefer it because it’s affordable, comfortable, and relaxed.
Rather than worrying about showing up at the airport several hours in advance, you can get to the train station less than half an hour before departure.
You can also bring more luggage on a train without paying extra (and don’t have to worry about it getting lost.)
And while it can take longer than a flight, trains are much more comfortable and scenic.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com