Traipsing Through Europe

Transport options for making your cross-continental journey stress-free, speedy, and gentle on the wallet.
Now this is a window seat: Cruising through the Swiss Alps on the Glacier Express (courtesy, Glacier Express)

In the United States it's commonplace to travel vast distances to reach distant locales. Beyond that, it's supremely simple to make most any journey: catch a plane or rent a car, and you're golden. Europe—a vast patchwork of countries, cultures, and languages from end to end—is not so simple. Each country will likely have its own plane, train, coach, and automobile operators, varied rules of the road, and cultures of travel. The result for the unsavvy traveler is a potentially confusing and budget-breaking place to get around.

Fret not. There's been a recent explosion in budget transport options that makes traversing Europe much easier on the wallet. Additionally, a well-embedded transport infrastructure of rails, roads, and even seaways makes what could be a hodgepodge nightmare across the many borders a supremely seamless experience. So whether you prefer planes, trains, or automobiles, there are plenty of choices to suit every pocket. And to help you, here's a cheat-sheet guide to mapping your journey around the distinct lands and cultures that make up the European landscape.

Published: 13 May 2005 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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