Summer vacation is approaching and the need to travel far is great. This is also possible without a plane: seven places are easily accessible by train.
Having been forced to travel back home extensively for the past two years, the need to take holidays abroad is back again. If you don’t want to get on a plane, you’re in luck: Europe’s train network is constantly expanding. You can now easily reach many parts of Europe from Zurich with just one or two changes. Seven recommendations for train-friendly holiday destinations in Europe:
The capital of Slovakia is not exactly the first place that comes to mind when planning a vacation. The city on the Danube is well worth a visit. With an eclectic old town on one side of the river and prefabricated buildings for a new town on the other, Bratislava is a city contrasted with typical oriental charm. Numerous cafes and small shops invite you to take a walk and have fun, and Slovak cuisine with delicacies goes very well with a pleasant excursion. Then there are all the architecturally interesting castles and churches.
From Zurich you can fly to Bratislava in just under 10 hours during the day with two changes in Innsbruck and Vienna. Or you can take the night train from Zurich to Vienna and board the train to Bratislava in the morning and reach Bratislava in less than twelve hours. A special way to get there is by ferry on the Danube from Vienna to Bratislava – and it takes no more than a train.
The small Italian town to the north promises ham and cheese at least once. But Parma has a lot to offer: there is a cathedral to admire, and for lovers of art and culture Parma is also worth a visit as the home of the composer Giuseppe Verdi and the painters Antonio da Correggio and Parmigianino. Of course, a visit to the local market or one of the many delicatessen stores is a must; Not just for cheese and ham, but also for truffles and wine, as well as other local specialties like tortelli dirta.
You can reach Parma from Zurich in less than four and a half hours. You only need to change once in Milan to a regional train, and after 45 minutes you are at your destination.
Brussels is the city of good beer, chocolate (okay, we Swiss aren’t quite sure about that) and the home of French fries. In addition to all the delicacies, the Europaviertel restaurant gives the city of 1.2 million people a cosmopolitan vibe. Then there are the royals, who wield a certain magic on us Swiss non-royals in particular, and the many architectural eras that are represented in the city. And of course not to forget: the great cultural show. It is no coincidence that the tourism organization declares that it has more cultural events per capita than New York.
Brussels can be reached in seven and a half hours with one change in Frankfurt or in just over seven hours via Paris. Several trains run daily on both routes.
Arriving by train is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when planning an island vacation. However, this is very handy in Rügen, because the island is also connected to the mainland by a train via Rügendamm. Germany’s largest island is a popular summer holiday resort: 63 kilometers of white sandy beaches and dunes, charming little fishing villages and many nature reserves for hiking attract visitors to the island in the Baltic Sea.
Since last summer, the train journey to Rügen has been particularly uncomplicated for the Swiss: the private train company Urlaubs-Express runs a direct line from Basel Bad Bahnhof to Rügen in the summer season. Drive to Basel in the evening and reach Rügen at 10:30 am without changing trains once.
Sure, you can stay in London: a city of millions, royals, nightlife – there are many arguments about the British capital. Or you can take the train for another four hours and continue to Edinburgh. Because the small capital of Scotland, with its medieval old town Gothic architecture, countless legends and legends and last but not least its many pubs, surely competes with the big city of London as a holiday destination. There are also many festivals in the summer. From cinema, music and art to famous military tattoos, the self-proclaimed festival capital has everything to offer.
That means two changes and a seven-and-a-half hour drive from Zurich. First to Paris, where the train station had to be changed, but this was done quickly using the metro. Continue via Eurotunnel to London and then north to Edinburgh.
When it comes to holidays in Croatia, everyone immediately thinks of white pebble beaches and turquoise sea. Certainly, the Adriatic coast is alluring. But Croatia also has something to offer to vacationers inland, for example the capital. With many parks, unused green spaces, private museums, good cafés as well as trendy bars, Zagreb is a great place to stay. And if you’re looking for a little more green: The famous Plitvice Lakes National Park, which has been the backdrop to some of Karl May’s films, can be reached on a day trip from the capital.
The journey is not very complicated: there is a direct night train from Zurich to Zagreb every day. The journey takes 14 hours. There is also contact during the day. With one change in Graz, you reach Zagreb in twelve hours.
There is no need to praise Barcelona: the beach, the culture, the good food, the wonderful architecture and the serenity of southern Europe. The second largest city in Spain is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Do not forget about all the sights such as the unfinished Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell by Gaudí, the Picasso Museum or Fundació Joan Miró, but also Las Ramblas and market halls.
That means two changes from Zurich and an 11-hour train journey. First to Geneva, then to Lyon and from there directly to Barcelona-Sants main station.