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Recommended Train itinerary

My daughter and I are doing a 10–12-day European tour during her break from studying broad. She is in London and has already been to Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. We can fly from London and start a rail journey but not sure what is best. I would love ideas and recommendations. It would start on April 10th as first travel day, downside it is the beginning of holy week so might cause some problems, I have heard Switzerland has a must-see train journey, maybe Germany....anything thoughts would be appreciated.

Posted by
3189 posts

What do you (and she) want to see? There are so many option it is hard to list them all. And even if she has been to Paris, that city is worth a 2nd visit. So is Amsterdam and Brussels (although I guess some will disagree with me about Brussels) and especially the smaller towns in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Posted by
21031 posts

Does your daughter have a weather preference? The warmest easily-accessible area would be southern Spain.

Posted by
703 posts

Early April is the end of the Alpine Ski Season so the weather in the mountain regions of France Switzerland and Austria will have variable and probably wet stormy weather in the lowlands and who knows what at higher elevations. Central Germany's weather at that time is similar to the Mid-Atlantic in the US some warm, some cold (not really cold though), lots wet, etc. Perhaps not what she had in mind after a winter in London. A quick flight to Rome and working one's way back north through Florence and southern France could be a lot of fun. Or, Southern Spain (fly to Malaga-Granada-Sevilla return from Madrid). BUT you will need to book flights soon since this will be school break time and families all have plans, or will very soon.

Posted by
23 posts

My daughter has done multiple trips to Spain so that is out. She has already been to Rome and we are not going for warm weather ....mainly for sightseeing

Any specific route or train?

Posted by
929 posts

Italy is a wonderful country and is large enough that even if she's already been to Rome, there are so many other beautiful areas to visit; like Florence, Venice, Assisi, Lake Como and so on.

It's too bad that she's been to Spain - Holy Week in Spain is an experience not to be missed. Seeing the Semana Santa in all the cities and town was something I will always remember.

Where does she want to go? Has she given you any idea of what she would like to see? I'm sure that she has met other students who have traveled around and given her some ideas.

Posted by
929 posts

Having said that, Germany is lovely to visit. You could start with Munich, and visit some of the quaint towns in Bavaria like Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Regensburg, and Bamberg, then head for the Middle Rhine area, which is beautiful and has some lovely towns like Bacharach, Boppard, St. Goar (and the option of a day cruise on the Rhine).

Or after Bavaria, you could travel into Switzerland and then head over to Austria and visit Salzburg. I love Salzburg.

You also might want to think about posting on the pages of the various countries you are interested in, like Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Posted by
929 posts

I should also mention that all of these places have excellent train service between them - even the small towns. Deutsch Bahn may be a bit pricy but it gets people where they need and want to be.

Posted by
713 posts

It sounds like you're more focused on the journey rather than the destinations. Maybe poke around the 'Man in Seat 61' for loads of information about European train routes.

Posted by
1777 posts

How about flying into Zurich and taking a direct train from the airport to Chur (2h 30m). The next day hop on the Bernina Express and work your way to Lugano.
You can then take a direct train from Lugano to Milan (1 15m) and sleep there. I would also take a direct train to Varenna on Lake Como (1h 15m) for the day and hop on a ferry to Bellagio (15-minutes) while there. Both spots are nice to explore.

Posted by
23 posts

I am definitely interested in destination as well as journey. I just wanted my daughter and I to experience rail train service with beautiful views and vistas. I am trying to avoid the main destinations of warm weather where people will be on spring break but dont want to have crappy freezing weather either. I couldn't find and itenuarys on man 61 site.

Posted by
843 posts

I like MaryPat’s itinerary:

How about flying into Zurich and taking a direct train from the airport to Chur (2h 30m). The next day hop on the Bernina Express and work your way to Lugano.
You can then take a direct train from Lugano to Milan (1 15m) and sleep there. I would also take a direct train to Varenna on Lake Como (1h 15m) for the day and hop on a ferry to Bellagio (15-minutes) while there. Both spots are nice to explore.

I would continue from Varenna to Venice. If you still have more time, take a bus to Ljubljana, Slovenia. Beautiful city. Also visit Lake Bled as a day trip. Then fly back to London.

Posted by
1777 posts

You can then take a direct train from Lugano to Milan (1 15m) and sleep there.

This would be easier than sleeping on Lake Como.