Once you receive a visa for Europe, the next thing you have to consider is the transportation in the city you're traveling to and how it works; this is usually one of the most stressful parts of a trip. Luckily you're reading this and we can ease your stress to ensure that you have a fantastic holiday!
Air travel is considered to be the one of the fastest ways to commute either within or across countries. In almost every European country, the airport to which international flights arrive to and depart from is located outside the capital city. Some countries have a smaller airport that handles the arrivals and departures of domestic flights and flights within the European Union that are located further away from the city centrum. When considering flying into a country by air, research ahead of time the location of the airport to your hotel/hostel and be prepared to add approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour or more of travel time to accomodate the distance.
A trick in order to buy the cheapest flight ticket, is to use the website Skyscanner, which compares flight tickets from each airline available for the destination and date of your choosing. On this website, you can modify your trip plan as you wish, including the number of stops, departure time, journey duration, and arrival at which airport. Some of the most popular websites that offer cheap flight tickets across Europe are RyanAir, Vueling, and EasyJet. Also, there is another platform from STA Travel where you could also find the reasonable price for different locations in Europe including the flights, train and other discounts for your trip to Europe.
In order to assure that you make your plane on time, you should plan to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the departure of your flight to allow time for the security and immigration process in case there is a long line. If you get through quickly, you can spend your time shopping at the duty-free shops, reading, or watching Netflix stress free!
Once you land, the most effective transportation is the train. Europe has very convenient and accessible train routes that allow touritsts to easily cross Europe and the United Kingdom. Each country has its own specific train company that operates within that country. In order to get the best price for a train ticket, we recommended that you book the ticket in advance on the train company's website. If you wait until the last moment, you risk paying for an expensive ticket; especially during rush hour (Friday and Sunday evening) and busy season. It is best to plan your travels ahead of time to save the most money.
Besides the local train operators in each coutry, there are the two following train operating companies that have specific discounts if you plan to travel Europe by train:
The Interrail Pass allows those who are residents of Europe (European citizens and non-Europeans who are official legal residents of European countries) to travel at ease by hopping on the train, exploring, and discovering more than 40,000 possible destinations by 38 railways and ferry companies in 30 countries! Interrail Pass has partnered with almost all the train companies in Europe. Some train companies allow you to hop on the train, but some require you to reserve your seat ahead of time. Check the interrail website for a list of all companies that require you to reserve a seat, and to book the seat. Once you are ready, you can jump on the train, sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning landscape from the train window.
There are 3 different types of Interrail Pass:
(1) Interrail Global Pass (from 168€)
This pass will suit you best if you wish to explore several countries at your own pace of up to 30 countries across Europe. What is helpful is that Interrail Global Pass also includes the Eurostar train commute between Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Brussels! How could you ever resist that opportunity!? The pass is available for 3 days of travel up to 1 month, and travelers under 27 years old also get an extra discount!
(2) Interrail One Country Pass (from 59€)
This pass is perfect if you want to immerse yourself in one country and discover sights and experiences that are outside of the capital. This pass is available in 30 countries that include Italy, Switzerland, the Benelux, France, Germany, Norway and much more.
(3) Interrail Premium Pass (from 123€)
The word "premium" says it all. Interrail Premium Pass allows you to travel comfortably without worrying about the possibility of not having a seat on the train. You can also book your seat in advance with this pass without paying any extra fees. Children can travel for FREE with an adult who has this Interrail Premium Pass. How premium is that!?
You can only reserve your Interrail Pass via the Interrail website at www.interrail.eu/en/interrail-passes.
Similar to Interrail Pass, but the Eurail Pass is for non-European residents who live outside of Europe and can be used across 31 countries. There are additional discounts if you are younger than 28 years old and plan to travel in a pair or a group! When reserving a seat, reserve online in advance to assure a spot if you are traveling dury the busy season.
There are 2 different types of Eurail Passes:
(1) Eurail Global Pass (from 337€)
This pass is ideal if you would like to experience a cross-Europe adventure, accessible up to 31 countries with just 1 pass, available for a short trip from 5 days to a long stay of 3 months continuously. Pack your bags and off you go!
(2) Eurail One Country Pass (from 77€)
Pick one of your favorite countries among 27 countries of choice and spend your whole vacation experiencing the culture, food, people and who knows what other great adventures await?! Some of the most popular destinations for Eurail One Country Pass are Italy, France, Spain, The Benelux, Portugal, and Sweden.
You can only reserve your Eurail Pass via Eurail website at www.eurail.com/en/eurail-passes.
If the train does not suit your style of traveling or if you find the train ticket more expensive than you expected, we reccomend to travel by bus! The upside is that the bus tickets are usually cheaper, but the down side is that the travel time is longer. There are many bus operators in Europe, however, the major bus companies in Europe are FlixBus, OUIBUS, Eurolines, and National Express. If you cannot decide which company to go with, you can use the website ComparaBus or GoEuro where they compare the bus ticket prices from all the bus operators available for your desired destination and time.
There is also a choice of a night bus from the start of your journey in the late evening and arriving at your destination the next morning. This is a great alternative if you are traveling on a budget as you wouldn't need to find accommodation for that night of travel.
Finally arriving at your dream European destination, the most common public transport will be the metro (or tube as they call it in England), tramway, and bus. Some cities might have a bicycle or scooter rental services scattered around the city that offer a fun way of exploring. Nowadays technology has made it so easy to travel, with the help of the Citymapper , application or website, you can find the best way to get to your desired destination. Once on the website/application, select your city and where you want to go, and Citymapper will list all the possible ways available.
Citymapper is available in 19 countries and 39 cities worldwide. In Europe, it is available in England (London and Birmingham), France (Paris and Lyon), Belgium (Brussels), The Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Randstad), Germany (Köln-Düsseldorf-Ruhrgebiet, Hamburg, and Berlin), Italy (Milan and Rome), Denmark (Copenhagen), Sweden (Stockholm), Spain (Barcelona and Madrid), Portugal (Lisbon), Turkey (Istanbul), and Russia (St. Petersburg and Moscow).
Apart from the application that surely can be a great help, each city has a transportation pass that allows unlimited travel during a period of time that you can buy at a low price. This can be purchased at a public transport station upon your arrival. You can also purchase a tourist pass for access to the major attractions and museums for FREE and receive discounts for any admission fees, hotels, restaurants, and so much more. I amsterdam City Card for Amsterdam, Copenhagen Card for Copenhagen, and Lisboa Card for Lisbon are great examples.
In case you are traveling in a big group, the cheapest and funnest way to travel may be to rent a car and enjoy a fun drive down the highway, singing, sightseeing and enjoying your time. The major car rental companies in Europe include Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Budget, Enterprise, Dollar, and Thrifty. Not sure which company offers the best price? Simply go to Rentalcars, the website that will helps you search and compare the price of a car rental in order to save more money!
The age requirement of a driver is usually between 21-70 years old. Note that if you are under 25 years old, you may have to pay an additional fee as a young driver. In order to drive in Europe, you must hold a valid international driving license. Most important thing is, don't forget to check whether the country you are exploring drives on the left or the right hand side - this important!