True London to Europe by train

London to Europe by train

London to Europe by train
Travelling from London to popular destinations in Europe by train is obviously a great idea in theory, particularly when destinations can be reached in a single day, or over the course of one night.

Although, most of these train journeys from London to Europe, which can be completed in 24 hours, require connections between trains.

This can can lead to a multitude of journey options being offered by the ticket agents.

Which is just one confusing aspect of making these longer train journeys, because they're often more complicated than they should be - better timed connections in Bruxelles and Lille are near the top of our wish list.

Hence we thought some context, enabling travellers to better understand these journey options would be usesful; trust us we've done our utmost to keep things simple, though it may not look that way.

To access the nuggets of info most pertinent to your journey, you can click these short cut questions below.

Where Can I Travel To On Direct Eurostar Trains from London?

LONDON TO BELGIUM and beyond


What do I need to know about changing trains in Brussels?

Where can I travel to with one change of train in Brussels?

What about tickets for journeys which involve a change of train in Brussels?


LONDON TO FRANCE and beyond

Where can I travel to from London with one change of train in Lille?

What do I need to know about changing trains in Lille?

What do I need to know about the train tickets if I'll be changing trains in Lille?

What if the Eurostar arrives too late to make a booked connection in Lille?

What destinations can be reached only by changing trains in Paris?

 

What do I need to know about changing trains in Paris?

What do I need to know about train tickets if I’ll be making a connection in Paris?


LONDON TO THE NETHERLANDS

Where can I travel to from London with one change of train in Rotterdam?

Where can I travel to from London with one change of train in Amsterdam?


LONDON TO GERMANY

Where can I travel to in Germany from London with only one change of train?

What do I need to be aware of when making connections in Bruxelles on London to Germany train journeys?


Where can I travel to in Germany from London if I change trains in both Bruxelles and Koln/Cologne?

Where can I travel to in Germany from London if I change trains in Paris?

Where can I travel to in Germany to if I change trains in both Bruxelles and Frankfurt (Main)?


LONDON TO SWITZERLAND
 

How do I travel by train from London to Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich?
 

How do I travel by train from London to other destinations in Switzerland?

LONDON TO ITALY

How can I travel from London to Italy during the day by train?

How do I travel from London to Italy overnight by train?


LONDON TO SPAIN

How do I travel by train from London to Barcelona, Madrid and destinations in eastern Spain during the day?

How do I travel overnight by train from London to Barcelona, Madrid and destinations in eastern Spain?

How do I travel by train from London to destinations in northern Spain during the day?

How do I travel by train from London to destinations in southern Spain?


LONDON TO AUSTRIA

How can I make a daytime train journey from London to Vienna/Wien and Linz?

How can I travel by train from during the day from London to Salzburg?

How can do I make a daytime journey by train from London to Innsbruck?

How can I travel overnight by journey by train from London to Austria?


LONDON TO DENMARK

How can I make a daytime journey by train from London to Denmark?

How do I make an overnight journey by train from London to Denmark?


LONDON TO POLAND

How can I travel by train from London to Warsaw/Warszawa?

LONDON TO CZECHIA

How do I travel from London to Prague/Praha by train during the day?

How can I make an overnight train journey from London to Prague/Praha?


London to Europe by train
As can be seen below, only 12 destinations are served by direct Eurostar trains from London, so to travel to other destinations in Belgium, France and The Netherlands, or to travel to anywhere in Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Switzerland requires connections.

And these connections between trains often aren't as simple as they could be, so there can be minor obstacles to overcome and some situations best avoided - hence our efforts to explain how you can take the train to Europe and make your journey as stress-free as possible.

It can be a wonderful way to travel, but six London to Europe train journey issues which can’t be avoided are:

(1) In Paris the Eurostar trains arrive at the Gare Du Nord, but trains to destinations to the east, south and west of the French capital depart from other stations in Paris.
 

(2) At Lille-Europe station, timetable planners evidently put little thought into the timings between the arrival of a Eurostar from London and the departure of a TGV on to other cities in France.


Often the interval between trains is too long for the ticket agents to consider offering these ‘connections’ as an end-to-end journey option.
 

(3) At Bruxelles-Midi station, the typical time to make the transfer between an arriving Eurostar and the ‘connecting’ ICE train on to Germany, is only around 20 mins.

Perfect IF the Eurostar arrives on time, but a problem when it doesn’t.
 

(4) There are now no overnight trains from Bruxelles or Amsterdam.
 

(5) In recent years the overnight trains from Koln/Cologne to Prague and Warsaw have also been discontinued.
 

(6) The international overnight trains from Paris to a swathe of destinations including Barcelona, Berlin, Florence, Madrid, Munich, Rome and Vienna also no longer operate.
 

But don’t give up – taking the train remains a great travel option on many international routes from London, you don’t have to be travelling to Amsterdam, Bruxelles or Paris.

Back to the list of questions.

WHERE CAN I TRAVEL TO BY  DIRECT EUROSTAR TRAINS?

Year round you can travel by direct Eurostar trains to:

Amsterdam       Bruxelles        Lille

Marne La Valléé 
(for Disneyland Paris)

Paris                  Rotterdam

On certain dates only you can travel to

Aime-la-Plagne**      Avignon*         

Bourg St.Maurice
**      Lyon*               

Marseille
*                 Moutiers**       

*Until Nov 4th (not Nov 3rd) = Mon/Fri/Sat and Until Sept 3rd = also on Thurs/Sun

** Fridays and Saturdays Dec 21st - April 6th

Back to the list of questions.

TRAVELLLING FROM LONDON BY TRAIN VIA BRUSSELS/BRUXELLES:
Arriving by Eurostar at Bruxelles-Midi

Brussels/Bruxelles is a gateway to a swathe of other destinations in northern Europe when travelling by train from London.

There are direct trains from Bruxelles to virtually all other major towns in cities in Belgium and trains from Bruxelles to Luxembourg, Germany and The Netherlands -  the latter provide useful connections if the timings of the timings of the direct trains to London don't suit.

What do I need to know about changing trains in Brussels?
 

(i) The Eurostar trains arrive at Bruxelles Midi station (French), which is also known as Brussel Zuid (Dutch).
 

(ii) Both French and Dutch, as well as English, is used on the signage and departure screens at the station.
 

Some place names are very different in the Dutch or French languages, but the different names are rotated on the departure screens - so don’t be alarmed if at first you can’t see your destination listed.
 

(iii) Bruxelles-Midi isn't one of Europe's glamorous railway terminals, it's more of a functional commuter hub - though you shouldn't have long to linger between trains.
 

(iv) If you will be taking a regular, non-high speed train service on from Bruxelles/Brussels, then the making the onward connection is fairly conventional
 

You check the details of the next departure and make your way to the platform/track (voie) that it will be departing from.
 

Though that can be easier said than done - hence the additional info, which you can find HERE.
 

(v) However, connecting into another high speed train on from BruxellesMidi is slightly different.
 

The ICE trains on to Germany, the Thalys trains to Germany, Paris and The Netherlands (and the TGB/TGV services to other cities in France) all depart from a specific part of Bruxelles-Midi station.
 

However, this ‘international terminal’ isn’t particularly obvious, it’s a seating area to the right of SNCB international ticket office - which has red and purple tinted windows.
 

So once you have descended from the platform/track (voie) that the Eurostar will have arrived at, make your way to it - you’ll find it on the right hand side of the main passage beneath the tracks.
 

Confirm the details of your onward train on the TV style departure screens, which you’ll find in the international departure area - they’re easier to make sense of, than the main departure board of the station.
 

Another key difference with taking a high speed train on from Bruxelles-Midi, is the need to pass through security checks.
 

This may seem unnecessary when making a connection from a Eurostar, because you will have already passed through security in London, but the staff at Bruxelles-Midi won't know that.
 

(vi) Be aware of your connecting time between trains.
 

Many end-to-end London to Germany train tickets sold by the ticket agents allow only around 20 mins to make the connection between trains at Bruxelles-Midi.
 

If you will making such a journey you need to head directly to your connecting train - don't pause to use the shops in the station etc.
 

More info is available on our guide.

Back to the list of questions.

Where can I travel to with one change of train in Brussels?
 

(i) ​Pretty much every other town and city in Belgium.

Ypres/leper is one of the few exceptions - to reach Ypres from Bruxelles you need to make a second simple change of train at Kortrijk.
 

(ii) ​There are also direct trains from Bruxelles to Luxembourg's capital and the city of Arlon.
 

(iii​) The German cities which can be reached on direct trains from Bruxelles/Brussels are - Aachen, Cologne/Koln, Dusseldorf, Essen, Dortmund and Frankfurt (Main).
 

If you will travelling on to any other city in northern Germany, including Berlin, Bielefeld, Hamburg and Hannover you need to make another change of train - usually in Cologne/Koln.
 

The trains to Frankfurt (Main) also call at Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen and some of them also call at Siegburg/Bonn station - which has public transport connections to Bonn city centre.
 

(iv)​ The Dutch cities served by direct trains from Bruxelles/Brussels are - Amsterdam (all trains to Amsterdam also call at Schiphol airport), Breda, The Hague/Den Haag and Rotterdam.

Back to the list of questions.
 

What about tickets for journeys which involve a change of train in Brussels?

These three things in particular are worth being aware of:
 

(1) Bruxelles-Midi station is some distance from Bruxelles/Brussels city centre, but tickets for London to Bruxelles journeys by Eurostar can be used to travel on to other train stations in central Bruxelles
 

They're not valid on the Bruxelles Metro, but the optimum connection on to many areas of the city centre is by the frequent main line trains - Bruxelles Central station lives up to its name.
 

(2) Eurostar also sells 'any station in Belgium' tickets.
 

If you want to buy train tickets between London and any town in Belgium other than Bruxelles, including Antwerp, Brugge, Gent and Liege, you will be offered one of these tickets.
 

If you have one of these tickets, then on arrival in Bruxelles-Midi station you can take any train that day on to your final destination in Belgium.
London to Belgium by train
Therefore you don't have to rush for the next train that will be departing, most Belgian towns and cities have 2 or 3 x trains per hour from Bruxelles-Midi.
 

So an option is to take your time and explore the Belgian capital before heading on to your final destination.
 

Some towns in western and southern Belgium have faster end-to-end train journeys if you were to travel via Lille in France - but the availability of these 'any Belgian station' tickets means that it is cheaper to travel via Bruxelles.
 

(3) If you have booked end-to-end tickets for high speed train journeys between Britain and Germany or The Netherlands, then the ICE or Thalys train you will be connecting into at Bruxelles, will be specified on your ticket.
 

If a delay on the Eurostar causes you to miss a booked connection, you can be issued with alternative tickets free of charge at the SNCB international ticket desk.

However, if you’ll be travelling to Aachen or Koln, the next train to depart from Bruxelles may be an ICE OR a Thalys train – but seems as though you cannot swap your tickets between these two train services (for the time being)
 

Travelling with a rail pass:
 

If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass, you’ll have to pay the reservation fee to travel on the Eurostar, but the only trains on from Bruxelles on which rail pass users also have to pay to reserve seats are the Thalys trains.
 

However, you can avoid these Thalys trains if you will be travelling on to The Netherlands by taking the Intercity Brussels trains.
 

If you will be travelling on to Germany you can avoid these fees on the Thalys trains by targeting the ICE trains.

Back to the list of questions.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary - London to Brussels/Bruxelles train tickets are sold by:

EUROSTAR      B-EUROPE      NS International   

LOCO2      TRAINLINE

Eurostar, B-Europe and NS International also sell tickets for train journeys between London and all major towns in Belgium.

Back to London:

Brusssels/Bruxelles to London by train

 

TRAVELLLING FROM LONDON BY TRAIN VIA LILLE:
London to Europe by train via Lille
If you make connections between Eurostar and TGV trains at Lille-Europe station, you can avoid the need to make transfers in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to other stations in the city.
 

Where can I travel to from London with one change of train in Lille?
 

The towns and cities in France which can be reached by taking a Eurostar to Lille and a TGV train on from the city are:
 

Aix-en-Provence*; Angers; Angouleme; Antibes; Avignon**; Bordeaux; Cannes; DijonLyon**; Marseille**; Montpellier; Nantes; Nice; Nimes; Poitiers; Rennes; St Pierre des Corps (Tours); Strasbourg and Valence*

*The TGV station and not the town centre station.

** On certain days of the year, this destination also has direct trains from London.


French towns and cities with either no direct trains from Lille, or no viable connections from a Eurostar include: Annecy; Chambery; Grenoble; Mulhouse, Reims and Toulouse.

Back to the list of questions.

What do I need to know about changing trains in Lille?

These are three things that we think are worth knowing when making connections in Lille.
 

(1) The Eurostars will arrive at Lille-Europe station and most of the TGV trains to other cities in France from Lille also depart from here
 

However, the departure details of the TGVs, such as which platform/track (voie) they will leaving from, aren't usually confirmed until around 15 mins before they are due to depart.
 

So on arriving at Lille, you will have to ascend up into the departure halls to wait for your onward connection.
 

(2) What can be frustrating is that the connecting time between the arrivals of a Eurostar and the departures of the TGVs is usually very random.
 

So the potential time advantage of avoiding the need to transfer between stations in Paris, is usually negated by lengthy waits between trains in Lille.
 

How long you are prepared to wait between trains in Lille is of course a matter of personal preference, but we'd rather spend up to 90 mins in Lille-Europe station than cross Paris by public transport.
 

(3) Many trains from Lille leave from a separate station, Lille Flandres - a few of the TGVs to other cities in France also depart from here.
 

The relationship between the two main stations in Lille is a case of quite near, yet quite far.
 

Too near for public transport connections to be an obvious choice, though in bad weather we resort to making the one-stop-hop on the Lille Metro, but far enough away for walking with luggage to be literally a bit of a drag.

Back to the list of questions.
 

What do I need to know about the train tickets if I'll be changing trains in Lille?
 

When looking up tickets for train journeys between London and cities in France, all of the agents that sell such tickets, combine journeys via Lille with the journeys via Paris, on their search results.
 

So the journeys with a change of train in Lille can require seeking out -though if you're heading to any of the destinations in France listed above, there will be at least one daily option via Lille, so keep looking.
 

Three things worth keeping in mind are:
 

(1) Travelling via Lille is usually more expensive than travelling via Paris, there are fewer trains on from Lille than on from Paris, so the cheapest tickets on the trains from Lille tend to sell out faster.
 

(2) As the journeys via Lille avoid the time required to transfer between stations in Paris, you might expect journeys via Lille to be typically faster than those via Paris, but they're not.
 

The connecting time between trains in Lille tends to be similar, or longer, to the time it takes to cross Paris on the metro or RER.
 

(3) The ticket agents rarely sell end-to-end journeys via Lille which involve waiting more than 1hr 15mins between trains.
 

However, there are often TGV trains on to other cities in France which depart around two hours after a Eurostar has arrived from London - we said the timetable is random!
 

If you would prefer to spend around two hours waiting in Lille-Europe station for a connecting train, rather than making a cross Paris transfer, then the only option can be booking two separate tickets.
 

One for the London to Lille journey and the other for the journey on from Lille - our journey guides point out when this is an option.

Back to the list of questions.
 

What if the Eurostar arrives too late to make a booked connection in Lille?
 

This is a very unlikely scenario, but if you have booked end-to-end tickets, your tickets will be re-issued free of charge for the next available train(s) on to your final destination.
 

However, if you have booked separate tickets for each train, you may need to buy replacement tickets in Lille and then claim a refund.
 

Though the only scenario in which you should be booking separate tickets, is if the connecting time between trains in Lille is more than 75mins - so it’s highly unlikely that you will find yourself in this situation.

Travelling on from Lille to nearby towns:
London to Lille by train

If you’ll be making a train journey from London to other towns in northern France such as Amiens, Arras or Douai, you’ll be connecting into a TER train, which will depart from Lille Flandres station.
 

You may as well as book the ticket for the onward journey by TER train, when you’re at the station in Lille, as you won’t save by booking the ticket for the TER train journey in advance online.

Back to the list of questions.

TRAVELLLING FROM LONDON BY TRAIN VIA PARIS:
London to Europe by train via Paris

There is no main central station in Paris, the city centre is surrounding by seven terminus stations, each of which serves different destinations.

So when making train journeys from London to destinations to the east, south and west of the French capital, changing trains in Paris means changing stations too.

What destinations can be reached only by changing trains in Paris?


(i) Travelling via Paris is the best option if you want to travel from the UK by train to Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

Destinations outside of France which have direct daytime trains from Paris include Barcelona; Basel; Figueres; Geneva; Girona; Lausanne; Milan; StuttgartTurin and Zurich.
 

(ii) Paris has lost nearly all of its overnight train services, but connections are still possible into a train which heads for Venice - and also calls at Brescia, Verona, Vicenza and Padua.
 

(iii) Having to transfer between stations in Paris is also the best option for travelling between the UK and a swathe of French towns and cities by train.
 

Popular destinations which fall into this category include: Besancon, Belfort, Biarritz, Brive, Clermont-Ferrand, Colmar, Hendaye for north-west Spain, La Rochelle, Mulhouse, Orleans and Toulouse.
 

(iv) On most of days of the year, travelling via Paris is also the optimum routing if you’re heading to destinations to the east of Lyon - including Aix-les-Bains; Chambery and Grenoble.

However, on the days when the direct London to Lyon train is operating, it’s worth exploring your options for making the much simpler connections at Lyon Part-Dieu station.

Back to the list of questions.
 

What do I need to know about changing trains in Paris?
 

The Eurostars arrive at the Gare Du Nord in Paris, but the only other long distance trains from this station are heading north, back towards Lille and Bruxelles.


Trains heading east, south and west from the French capital, depart from six other stations in Paris - Austerlitz, Bercy, Est, Lyon, Montparnasse and St Lazare.
 

(1) Austerlitz is the station that Intercités trains on to Toulouse via Limoges and Brive depart from, as well as trains to Orleans and Tours.

It is directly linked from the Gare Du Nord by line 5 of the Paris Metro - take trains heading towards to ‘Place d’Italie’


Though the connection isn’t step free, you’ll have to heave luggage down two flights of stairs at Gare d’Austerlitz metro station

It’s also a nine station journey, so allow 30 - 40 mins from stepping off of a Eurostar to departing by train from Austerlitz.
 

(2) Bercy is the station that the Intercités trains to Clermont Ferrand via Nevers and Vichy depart from.

The easiest public transport route from the Gare Du Nord to Bercy station is to take a RER Line D (Sud) train to the Gare De Lyon and connect there for a Line 14 Metro train (direction Olympiades).

Allow 45 mins to make this transfer between the two stations, though you may make it in around 30 mins if time is tight.
 

(3) Paris Est also known as Gare de l’Est, is unsurprisingly where trains to destinations to the east of the French capital depart from.

So you’ll need to make the somewhat awkward transfer between the Gare Du Nord and Gare De l’Est if you’ll be heading to Metz, Nancy, Reims and Strasbourg and other destinations in Alsace.

(If you’ll be travelling between the Britain and some cities to the east of Paris, including Frankfurt (Main) and Luxembourg - then the easiest journey option is to travel via Bruxelles).

On a map the Est and Nord stations seem very close to each other, but that’s partially why for the time being*, it’s an awkward transfer.
The 7 - 12 min walk between the stations is made complicated by a steep flight of stairs and it’s also not the smartest part of town.

Purchasing a Metro ticket for a one-station hop on Line 5, or resorting to a taxi for a 5 min ride can actually be options worth considering - our guide explains why.
 

*Construction work has started on a dedicated walking route between the Gare Du Nord and the Gare De l’Est.
 

(4) The Gare Du Nord is linked to the Gare De Lyon by the RER, the Parisian commuter trains which cross the city in tunnels.

The Gare De Lyon lives up to its name, as it is indeed the station in Paris that the TGVs to Lyon leave from - but it’s also the station where the TGVs to Burgundy, Franche Comté and other destinations in Rhone-Alpes depart from.


It is also the only Paris station used by trains to Barcelona, Languedoc, Provence, The Cote D’ Azur, The French Alps, Italy and Switzerland.


From Gare Du Nord it’s a two station, 10 minute ride on any Line D (Sud) train - follow the signs in the RER station and make sure you’re NOT on a Line D (Nord) train or a Line B train.

We’ve produced a guide to making the transfer between the two stations, which you can find HERE.


The headline news that this transfer by RER isn’t as grim as it used to be - efforts have been made to brighten up the RER station at Gare Du Nord and there are also usually a lot more station staff visible.


Allow a minimum of 40 mins from a stepping off a train at Gare Du Nord to stepping on a train at Gare De Lyon - though if time is tight, it can be done in around 25 minutes.
 

(5) Trains from Paris to the west and south-west including Brittany, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Nantes, Poitiers and Rennes, as well as the TGVs to Toulouse and the Spanish border at Hendaye, depart from Gare Montparnasse.

It seems to be a fairly straight-forward connection from the Gare Du Nord to Montparnasse as Line 4 of the Paris Metro provides a direct link.


However, we’re not going to gloss over the fact that it is in fact a comparatively awkward transfer, particularly if you’ll have luggage.

It’s an impossible transfer if you require step-free access - you can discover why on our guide.
 

But three things definitely worth knowing are:
 

(i) On arrival at Montparnasse – Bienvenüe metro station, you’ll need to negotiate three flights of stairs in order to exit from the the Metro.

(ii) At Montparnasse it will typically take 10 mins from stepping off the Metro to being on the main concourse.

(iii) The typical total transfer time, from stepping off the Eurostar at the Gare Du Nord to being on the concourse at Montparnasse will be 45- 50 minutes.

(6) Trains from Paris to destinations in Normandy including Bayeux, Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre and Rouen depart from St-Lazare.
London to Europe by train via Paris

The transfer to St Lazare station from the Gare Du Nord should take 10 - 20 mins - The RER Line E station at Gare Du Nord is named Magenta.

Take RER Line E, there are trains every 5-10mins to Haussmann – St-Lazare, which is also where the trains terminate.

There are short passage ways at both mainline stations connecting them to the RER Line E - but this is a comparatively straightforward station to station transfer.


Rouen is also served by trains from Lille, which avoid the need to make the transfer between the Gare Du Nord and St.Lazare, but to take these trains you will need to switch stations in Lille.

Back to the list of questions.

What do I need to know about train tickets if I’ll be making a connection in Paris?
 

These six general pieces of advice are worth keeping in mind when making a booking - they have to be general, as we don’t know the specific terms and conditions of your booking.
 

(1) If you purchase a ticket for an end-to-end train journey which involves transferring between stations in Paris, it won’t include the Metro Or RER trains.
 

(2) Keep the connecting time between trains front of mind, the ticket agents won’t sell journeys with overly ambitious transfer times, but they inevitably always assume that the Eurostar will arrive in Paris on time.
 

(3) Journey options which allow around an hour to cross Paris, can become a race against the clock IF the Eurostar is 15 mins late.

In that scenario, move towards the front coaches of the train around 15-20 mins before the new arrival time at Gare Du Nord.


The exits on to the concourse at Gare Du Nord, from where you can access the Metro and RER, will be by the front of the Eurostar - and you’ll want to be by the doors when they open.
 

(4) If you’ve booked the cheapest, most heavily discounted, tickets for an end-to-end journey via Paris, they will be valid on the specific trains only - including the train on from Paris.
 

(5) However, if you miss a booked connection on from Paris due to the late arrival of a Eurostar, you should be able to either a book a new ticket free of charge, or claim a refund for any additional tickets you need to book

That’s because both Eurostar and SNCF (French national railways) are members of the ‘Railteam Alliance’.
 

(6) However, if the Eurostar has arrived at the Gare Du Nord in good time* to make the transfer, but you miss the connection because;

(i) of a delay on the Metro or RER,

(ii) your taxi or bus got stuck in traffic,

(iii) you took the wrong Metro line…or any other circumstances not directly attributable to SNCF,

then you will have to purchase new tickets for your onward connection - and any subsequent refund request may be refused.


*It can be a grey area, if the Eurostar arrived at the Gare Du Nord 30 mins late for a 90 min connection, but you subsequently missed your onward train because your taxi got stuck in traffic, it could be argued that the missed the connection was not attributable to Eurostar or SNCF.
 

Hence a scenario best avoided, so if you want to purchase the cheapest possible tickets AND maximise your chances of a stress-free transfer, our advice is to allow two hours between the arrival of a Eurostar and a departure on from Paris.
 

Particularly if you’ll be making the connection into the final train of the day on from Paris.
 

If all goes well you can relax and have something to eat/drink** before your next train leaves, you might have traded the fastest possible journey, but it can be worth it!

**If you’ll be taking a train on from Montparnasse, the much better option is to seek out a bar/café near the station.

Back to the list of questions.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary tickets for journeys from London to all major towns and cities in France are sold by

EUROSTAR     OUI.SNCF

LOCO2      TRAINLINE

Back to London:

Paris to London 
    Lyon to London

Lille to London       Marseille to London


LONDON TO THE NETHERLANDS BY TRAIN:
London to The Netherlands by train

Amsterdam and Rotterdam are now served by direct Eurostar trains from London, which means it is now easier than ever before to travel from London to any destination in the Netherlands by train.

Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam are connected by frequent and efficient trains to other Dutch cities, but depending on your final destination, the better option is to change trains in one city and not the other.

Sometimes this choice between Amsterdam, or Rotterdam isn't particularly obvious, hence we have split the options on the questions below.

Where can I travel to in The Netherlands from London with change of train in Rotterdam?
 

The Eurostar trains from London to Amsterdam aren’t non-stop, they also call in Rotterdam and if you’re heading from Britain to many Dutch cities, changing trains in Rotterdam is often the best option.
 

A swathe of Dutch destinations can be reached in under 40 mins by train from Rotterdam, including Delft, Den Haag/The Hague, Dordrecht, Gouda, Leiden and Utrecht.
 

What can be less obvious is that express Intercity trains also link Rotterdam with some more far flung cities including Amersfoort, Eindhoven, Groningen, Leeuwarden and Zwolle.
 

So if they’re your final destinations, connecting in Rotterdam is a better option than travelling via Amsterdam.

Back to the list of questions.
 

Where can I travel to by train in The Netherlands from London by making one change of train in Amsterdam?
 

As will be seen above the easiest option when travelling from London to many Dutch cities by train is to change trains in Rotterdam and not Amsterdam.
 

However, some cities in The Netherlands that don’t have direct trains from Rotterdam do have direct trains from Amsterdam.

These cities include Arnhem, ‘Den Bosch’, Deventer and Nijmegen, so when travelling to them by train from London, going via Amsterdam is the best option.
 

Changing trains in Amsterdam is also an easy option when heading from London to destinations in north-west Holland by train, including Alkmaar, Haarlem, Hoorn, Den Helder and Enkhuizen.

Back to the list of questions.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary tickets for journeys from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam on the direct trains are sold by

EUROSTAR      B-EUROPE      NS International   

LOCO2      TRAINLINE

If you will be buying tickets for journeys to other destinations in The Netherlands, book them on NS International.

NS is the national rail operator in The Netherlands, so this website has the widest choice of journeys/tickets at the cheapest possible price.

Back to London:

Amsterdam to London - there are not yet any direct trains from Amsterdam TO London.

LONDON TO GERMANY BY TRAIN:
London to Germany by train via Brussels
Depending on the location of your final destination, you'll be travelling by train from London to Germany via Bruxelles or Paris.

The plus of travelling via Bruxelles is that the train on to Germany will be departing from the same station which the Eurostar will have arrived at.

A potential negative is that the connections between trains in Brussels are usually, comparatively tightly timed - perfect if the Eurostar isn't delayed, but not so great if it is.

The positive of traveling via Paris is that it's less likely that you'll be rushing to change trains, but the negative is that the need to make a transfer between stations.

Back to the list of questions.

Where can I travel to in Germany from London with only one change of train?

The only destinations in Germany that can be accessed from London, with one theoretically simple connection AND no need to transfer between stations - are Aachen, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Dusiburg, Essen, Koln/Cologne, Frankfurt (Main) and Siegburg/Bonn.


Both the ICE and Thalys trains services on from Bruxelles serve Aachen and Koln/Cologne.

The ICE trains serve Frankfurt (Main) and Siegburg/Bonn.
Thalys provides the only direct trains between Bruxelles and Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Duisburg and Essen.

Back to the list of questions.

What do I need to be aware of when making connections in Bruxelles on London to Germany train journeys?

It is generally cheaper to use a combination of Eurostar + ICE trains when travelling from London to Germany, as its national rail operator DB offers discounted ‘Saver Europe/Europa Spezial’ tickets for the end-to-end journey on both trains.


However, the timetable usually only allows for around 20 mins for the majority of connections in Bruxelles-Midi station, between the arrival of a Eurostar train and the departure of the ICE train on to Germany.
 

So it's ideal if the Eurostar from London happens to arrive exactly on time in Bruxelles, but delays can mean a race against the clock, or broken connections.
 

In the event of a missed connection tickets/reservations will be re-issued free of charge, but it’s not an ideal scenario.

However, be aware that if the next train on to Koln/Cologne is a Thalys train – and more often than not it will be – then it’s likely that in Bruxelles-Midi, you’ll be told that tickets valid for the ICE, can’t be transferred to Thalys trains (for the time being).

Back to the list of questions.

Where can I travel to if I change trains in both Bruxelles and Koln/Cologne?

If your final destination is another city in northern Germany, including Berlin, Bielefeld, Bremen, Hamburg and Hannover, the easiest end-to-end journey option involves making connections in both Bruxelles and Koln.

Back to the list of questions.

Where can I travel to if I change trains in Paris?
 

If you’re heading to destinations in Germany to the south of Koln/Cologne then a viable alternative to making connections in Bruxelles is travel by train via Paris.

You’ll need to make the comparatively short transfer between Paris Nord and Paris Est stations, but there are direct trains from Paris Est to Augsburg, Frankfurt (Main), Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Munchen/Munich, Saarbrucken, Stuttgart and Ulm.

A plus of travelling via Paris is that the connections there are aren’t so tightly timed as those in Bruxelles.

Back to the list of questions.

Where can I travel in Germany to if I change trains in both Bruxelles and Frankfurt (Main)?
 

When travelling between London and other destinations in eastern and southern Germany including Dresden, Leipzig, Nuremberg and Wurzburg by train the easiest option is usually

(1) a Eurostar from St Pancras to Bruxelles-Midi

(2) an ICE train from Bruxelles-Midi to Frankfurt (Main) hbf.

(3) another ICE train on from Frankfurt (Main) hbf to Dresden, Leipzig, Nuremberg and Wurzburg
 

Frankfurt (Main) Hbf is an exceptionally easy large station in which to make connections, particularly if you will be travelling with luggage.

Back to the list of questions.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In sumnary, tickets for train journeys from London to ALL major towns and cities in Germany are sold by -

DB - Deutsche Bahn is Germany's national rail operator and it offers 'Europe Special' deals on journeys via Bruxelles.

Though DB does not sell journeys which involve taking a Thalys train on from Bruxelles/Brussels.

LOCO2      TRAINLINE

Both of these agents will sell tickets for journeys via Brussels or Paris.

EUROSTAR      B-EUROPE 

Both of these agents which sell tickets for journeys to most major cities in Germany, but only when travelling via Brussels.

B-Europe is particularly useful for looking up London to Aachen or Cologne journeys, as it enables easy comparison of the journey options which involve taking an ICE or a Thalys train on from Bruxelles/Brussels.

Back to London:

Berlin to London      Frankfurt to London

Hamburg to London      Koln/Cologne to London

Munchen/Munich to London


LONDON TO SWITZERLAND BY TRAIN:
London to Switzerland by train via Paris
The direct trains which operated between Lille and Geneva proved to be a failed experiment, so when making a train journey from London to Switzerland the need to transfer between stations in Paris nearly always can't be avoided.

How do I travel by train from London to Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich?


The only usual viable option taking a train journey from London to Basel, Bern, Geneve, Lausanne or Zurich is:

(1) Take the Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord in Paris.

(2) Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.

(3) Take the Lyria train service on from the Gare De Lyon to Basel, Bern, Geneve, Lausanne or Zurich


If you really would rather avoid travelling via Paris, then on the dates when the direct London to Lyon Eurostar is operating, an option for London to Geneva train journeys is to travel via Lyon.
There will be a connection of around 90 mins at Lyon Part Dieu station between the arrival of the train from London and a TER train on to Geneve.
 

There are no longer any direct trains between Bruxelles or Lille and Switzerland – and there are no overnight trains between Paris and Switzerland.

Back to the list of questions.

How do I travel by train from London to other destinations in Switzerland?


(i) For destinations in western Switzerland including Brig, Neuchatel Sion, Visp and Yverdon, the simplest option is to make additional connections in Geneve or Lausanne.
 

(ii) For destinations in central Switzerland including Bern (if a late in the day arrival in on the direct train from Paris doesn’t suit), Luzern, Interlaken and Olten-  make a  relatively simple additional change of train in Basel.
 

(iii) For destinations in eastern and southern Switzerland including Bellinzona* Chur*, Landquart*, Lugano*, St Gallen, Schaffhausen and Winterthur, make an additional connection in Zurich.


*These destinations also have direct trains from Basel SBB station, but Zurich HB is an easier location in which to change trains, particularly if you have heavy luggage etc.

However, if the tickets you’re looking up are routing you with a change of train of Basel SBB, then go ahead and book them, particularly if you can find a good deal – all of the platforms/tracks at Basel SBB have step free access.


Back to the list of questions.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary tickets for journeys from London to Switzerland are sold by

LOCO2      TRAINLINE

Back to London:

Basel to London       Geneva to London

Zurich to London


LONDON TO ITALY BY TRAIN:
London to Italy by train

When making a train journey from London to Italy you need to travel via Paris, but as the London to Venice overnight train is a rare survivor, from the cuts to the night trains from Paris, which have occurred in recent years - you can still choose to travel by day OR night.

How can I travel from London to Italy during the day by train?
 

When travelling by day from London to Italy by train, the journey involves;
 

(1) Taking the Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord in Paris.

(2) Making the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.

(3) Taking the TGV France-Italy train service on from the Gare De Lyon direct to Torino, Novara and Milano.


However, if you’re not heading to these cities, how far you can travel from London to Italy in a day by train depends on when you will be travelling AND how early you are prepared to get up in the morning.

On Mondays - Fridays only, outside the height of summer, when taking the 05:40 from London is an option, you can connect at Torino Porta Susa station for trains heading to Bologna, Firenze/Florence, Genova/Genoa, Napoli/Naples, Padova/Padua*, Roma, Verona* and Venezia/Venice*. (*=usually).

Torino Porta Susa is the obvious location in which to make these connections as the TGV from Paris arrives in Milano at the city’s secondary station, Porta Garibaldi and NOT the main station, Milano Centrale.


So if you'll be making connections on to the likes of Bergamo, Modena and Parma you'll need to transfer between stations in Milan – and on some dates this also applies if you’ll be heading to Padova/Padua, Verona and Venezia/Venice.
 

However, during the summer (until Sept 10th in 2018) -  the necessary connection in Paris from this 05:40 departure is broken because the train on from Paris to Torino and Milano leaves earlier.
This also cuts the number of daytime train travel options from London to Torino and Milano, on a Mon-Friday, from two to one.


If you depart London on the DAILY year round train which leaves at 09:24, then the train on from the Gare De Lyon at 14:41 arrives too late in Torino or Milano to reach any other major city in Italy by the end of the day – except for Genova.

Though this train from Paris at 14:41 does connect in Torino for an overnight train to Roma, Napoli and Salerno.

Back to the list of questions.

How do I travel from London to Italy overnight by train?
 

(i) The only nightly overnight train service from Paris is the Thello train which departs from the Gare De Lyon at 19:10 (usually) for Milano, Brescia, Desenzano del Garda, Verona, Vicenza, Padova/Padua and Venezia/Venice.
 

The connecting Eurostar departs St Pancras International daily at 14:22, but as it arrives in Paris at the Gare Du Nord, you will need to make the transfer to the Gare De Lyon.
 

The Thello train arrives in Milano Central station at 06:00, but if you are happy to rise early, you can make connections in Milano to travel on to the majority of other Italian cities.
 

(ii) If you’ll be heading to Roma and destinations to the south of the capital, then an overnight stay on route can be the least stressful and most comfortable option.
 

Travelling by day and spending the night in Milan is a good choice as there is an exceptionally wide choice of decent, reasonably priced hotels, within 10 mins walk of Milano Centrale station.
 

(iii) If you’re heading to Milan and destinations between there and Venice, an alternative to taking the Thello train from Paris, is to overnight in Zurich.
 

There is now a daily EC train, which departs from Zurich at the comfortable time of 09:09, direct to Brescia, Peschiera del Garda, Verona, Vicenza, Padua/Padova and Venice.

Back to the list of questions.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary tickets for journeys from London to Italy are sold by

LOCO2      TRAINLINE

Though Loco2 tends to offer wider choice of destinations

Back to London:

Milan to London        Venice to London


LONDON TO SPAIN BY TRAIN:
London to Spain by train

The options for taking the train from London to Spain have been reduced in recent years, due to the withdrawals of the overnight trains between Paris and both Barcelona and Madrid.

Though this is partially as a result of the daytime train journey from London to Spain being faster than ever before - and despite the distance, it's no more complicated to reach Barcelona by train from London than many cities in France.

How do I travel by train from London to Barcelona, Madrid and destinations in eastern Spain during the day?

OPTION 1:

The only daily, YEAR ROUND option for travelling from London to eastern Spain by train is:

(1) Take the 09:22/09:24 Eurostar from London to the Gare Du Nord in Paris;

(2)  Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.

(3) Take the RENFE-SNCF TGV train which departs from the Gare De Lyon at 14:07 and arrives in Figueres-Vilifant at 19:36, Girona at 19:53 and Barcelona Sants at 20:34.

If you’re happy to take the chance on making a 25 – 55 min* connection into the final AVE train of the day on to Madrid, you can be in the Spanish capital by around midnight
(*How long you’ll have to make this connection, depends on your travel date).

Easily timed connections are also available on from Barcelona to Reus, Sitges, Tarragona and Zaragoza.
 

Though you won’t get to Barcelona in time to make connections into trains on to Alicante or Valencia.

OPTION 2:
 

On the days of its departure, Mon/Fri/Sat until Nov 4th and also on Thurs/Sun until Sept 3rd, an easier alternative is to make this journey by travelling by the direct London to Lyon Eurostar.

It leaves St Pancras International at 07:15 or 07:19 and has an easily timed connection at Part-Dieu station of around 1hr 25 mins into the daily AVE train on from Lyon.
 

This train departs from Lyon at 14:24 and is due to arrive in Figueres-Vilifant at 18:35, Girona at 18:50 and Barcelona Sants at 19:31.

In addition to connections from Barcelona on to Madrid, Reus, Sitges and Tarragona and Zaragoza – this train does also connect into a train on to Valencia.

Back to the list of questions.
 

How do I travel overnight by train from London to Barcelona, Madrid and destinations in eastern Spain?
 

The Paris to Barcelona night train service was discontinued some years ago, so if the making the long end-to-end journey in a single day has limited appeal, making an overnight stop en route is the best alternative.
 

If you’re heading to Barcelona, spending the night in Montpellier rather than Paris, can be a good option – you can also avoid the hassle of a cross Paris transfer if you travel to Montpellier via Lille.
 

The RENFE-SNCF train to Barcelona Sants departs daily from Montpellier St Roch at the comfortable time of 09:33 (usually) and arrives in Barcelona at 12:38 – around an hour before the first train of the day from Paris.

So this train also arrives in Barcelona in good time to make easy connections into trains to other destinations in eastern Spain.
 

Spending the night in Montpellier is a particularly viable option if you want to travel from London to Madrid by train.

There are no direct trains between Paris and Madrid, but that 09:33 train from Montpellier arrives at Atocha station in Madrid at 15:45 – it also calls at Zaragoza.

Back to the list of questions.

How do I travel by train from London to destinations in northern Spain during the day?
 

If you’re heading to northern Spain, then it’s possible to travel to cities including Bilbao, Burgos Irun and San Sebastian and Valladolid in day by train – as long as you don’t set off from London on a Sunday.
 

The routing is:
 

(1) Take the 09:22/09:24 Eurostar from London to the Gare Du Nord in Paris.

(2)  Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare Montparnasse.

(3) Take the TGV train which departs from the Gare Montparnasse at 12:48/12:52 to Hendaye and Irun*
(departs on Mon - Sat only_

*Due to works on the line, this train will be terminating at Hendaye on most dates in 2018, but the local Euskotren train service connects Hendaye to Irun.
 

If you’re heading to San Sebastian the easiest option is to leave the train from Paris at Hendaye and connect there into the local Euskotren service to San Sebastian/Donastia – you should be in the centre of San Sebastian around 45 mins after you have stepped off the train in Hendaye.
 

If you want to head to Bilbao then the only option is to also take this Euskotren service to San Sebastian/Donastia and then connect there for another Euskotren service on to Bilbao – though be aware that you’ll be travelling for more than three hours on what are the equivalent of Metro trains.
 

If you’re heading to Burgos and Valladolid, then you can connect in Irun to the ‘Sud-Express’ overnight train, which will be heading to Lisboa.
 

You won’t be travelling overnight to Burgos or Valladolid, but the Sud-Express conveys daytime seats.

Back to the list of questions.

How do I travel by train from London to destinations in southern Spain?
 

The only viable option for travelling from London to the south of Spain by train is to travel to Barcelona and spend the night there.
 

On day two you can travel on to Cordoba, Malaga and Seville on the direct trains from Barcelona, or by making additional connections at Madrid – Atocha station.

Back to the list of questions.

Booking Tickets:

Tickets for train journeys from London to most destinations in Spain are sold by LOCO2    

If you can't find the destination you will be travelling to, it's likely that you will have to book separate tickets for the London to Barcelona or Irun journeys and then for your journeys within Spain

Back to London:

Barcelona to London


LONDON TO AUSTRIA BY TRAIN:
London to Austria by train

Travelling by train from London to Austria by day or night involves making a minimum of two connections, so our advice is pay attention to the time you'll have to change trains, when looking up the journey on the ticket booking websites.

None of the connections will be absolutely guaranteed so on these routes, extending the time you'll have to change trains, can be the best option - increase the journey time, but minimize the stress.

How can I make a daytime train journey from London to Vienna/Wien and Linz?
 

To travel by train from London to Wien/Vienna or Linz in a single day involves:
 

(i) taking a Eurostar from St Pancras to Bruxelles-Midi
 

(ii) taking an ICE train from Bruxelles-Midi to Frankfurt (Main) hbf.
 

(iii) another ICE train on from Frankfurt (Main) hbf to Linz Hbf and Wien Hbf
 

Theoretically straightforward as Bruxelles-Midi and particularly Frankfurt (Main) hbf aren’t awkward stations in which to change trains.
 

However, it is the timing of these connections that carry a risk of, making what should be (and more often than not will be) a seamless travel experience, into what can a very fraught journey indeed.
 

The Eurostars are timed to arrive in Bruxelles/Brussels around 18-20 mins before the ICE trains on to Frankfurt are due to depart – and then the ICE trains are due to arrive in Frankfurt (Main) around 30 mins before the trains depart for Linz and Wien.
 

So absolutely ideal IF the trains are on time, but that’s a fairly big if – ShowMeTheJourney doesn’t have access to daily train running performance checklists, but in our experience there’s around a 7% chance that either one of the two connections will be missed.

Hence our advice to set off from London as early as possible, before 07:00 (not an option on Sundays) and then you can maximise the opportunities to reach your final destination in Austria by the end of the day.

Though to do so you'll probably need to book separate tickets for the London to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Vienna journeys.

Back to the list of questions.

How can I travel by train from during the day from London to Salzburg?
 

The daytime train journey from London to Salzburg and is surprisingly awkward, the optimum routing is actually to travel via Paris and not Bruxelles.

(1) Take the 09:22/09:24 Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord in Paris.

(2) Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De l’Est.

(3) Take the 13:55 DB-SNCF train to Stuttgart Hbf – which will be leaving Paris around 1hr 5 mins after you should have arrived at the Gare Du Nord

(4) Then at Stuttgart Hbf you should have 54 mins to connect into the 17:58 EC train on to Salzburg – but this train does NOT depart on Saturdays.

However, this train arrives too late in Salzburg for connections into virtually all destinations in the Tyrol and Austrian Alps.

In the unlikely event of missing this connection in Stuttgart, there will be other options for reaching Salzburg by the end of the day, but they’ll all involve an additional connection in Munchen/Munich.

Back to the list of questions.

How can do I make a daytime journey by train from London to Innsbruck?
 

To make the London to Innsbruck train journey by day, the easiest option is to travel via Paris and Zurich – though it isn’t possible to make this journey on a Sunday.
 

(1) Take the Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord in Paris – departing St Pancras at 07:01 on Mon-Fri, but at 06:18 on Saturdays.

(2) Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.

(3) Take the 12:23 Lyria train from the Gare De Lyon to Zurich HB station.

(4) Take a Railjet from Zurich to Innsbruck – these trains also call at St.Anton.

The Lyria train from Paris is due to arrive in Zurich 14 mins before the departure of a Railjet – the 16:40 train, which is heading to Wien.

If a ticket agent offers this 14 min connection, our advice is to book it,

Should the Lyria train be delayed then tickets/reservations can be swapped free of charge, to the next Railjet to leave ,at the SBB Travel Office in Zurich HB station.

Back to the list of questions.
 

How can I travel overnight by journey by train from London to Austria?

OPTION 1:
 

A Nightjet train departs nightly from Koln Hbf at 21:21, it is in effect two trains in one, with one part heading to Linz (06:33), St Polten and Wien (08:19), while the other travels to Innsbruck (09:14) via Munchen/Munich, Worgl, Kuftstein and Jenbach.
 

Note that this train does not serve Salzburg - for Salzburg you need to make an additional connection in Munchen Hbf, the train arrives in Munchen at 07:08.

To make the connection in to this night train on from Koln/Cologne, ticket agents will suggest that you depart London at 15:04 and make connections in Bruxelles for an ICE train on to Koln/Cologne.
 

However, the connecting time between the Eurostar and ICE trains in Bruxelles is only 20 mins – and if you miss the connection due to a late arriving Eurostar, you won’t make the train on from Koln/Cologne either.
 

The alternative is to leave London at 12:58 and connect into a Thalys train in Bruxelles, because then you’ll have around 80 mins to make the connection in Bruxelles - and you’ll also subsequently have nearly two hours to change trains in Koln/Cologne.

This a connection when it's better to be safe than sorry, so a good idea is to book these connections and  then find somewhere to have a meal near to Koln Hbf station.

Though you'll probably need to book separate tickets for the London to Koln/Cologne and Koln/Cologne to Austria journeys, if you do opt to leave London at 12:58.

OPTION 2:

Frankfurt (Main) is a logical choice of location If you’d prefer to stay overnight somewhere when taking a train London to Linz, Wien or Salzburg – though the only morning train to Salzburg is usually scheduled to depart at 07:39.

There are many reasonably priced hotels in the vicinity of Frankfurt (Main) hbf.

OPTION 3:
 

If you’d rather spend the night somewhere when travelling from London to Innsbruck by train, if you opt for Frankfurt, then on day two you’ll then have to make an additional change of train at Munchen Hbf.
 

The alternative is to overnight in Zurich, as it has direct trains to Innsbruck, but in order to reach Zurich, you’ll need to make the cross Paris transfer from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.

Back to the list of questions.

Booking Tickets:

Tickets for train journeys from London to the large cities in Austria are sold by LOCO2    

If you can't find the location you will be travelling to, it's likely that you will have to book separate tickets for the London to Germany or Switzerland journeys and the tickets on to your final destination in Austria.

Back to London:

Wien/Vienna to London


LONDON TO DENMARK BY TRAIN
London to Denmark by train

The days when you could take a boat train, a ferry across the North Sea and then a train from Holland all the way to Denmark are long gone - though on balance we'd probably prefer today's options, particularly when travelling overnight.

How can I make a daytime journey by train from London to Denmark?

Loco2 will sell tickets for a journey by train from London to Copenhagen in a single day – which is theoretically available year round


It’s possible on some days of the week to:
 

(1) Take the Eurostar to Bruxelles-Midi – departing St Pancras at 06:47 or 06:57

(2) Take an ICE train from Bruxelles to Koln Hbf

(3) Take an IC train from Koln/Cologne to Hamburg Hbf

(4) Take an EC train to Kobenhavn/Copenhagen via Nykoebing and Roskilde, which is usually scheduled to depart from Hamburg at 17:28.


However, outside of a few weeks between mid-June and mid-August this 17:28 train is the final train of the day from Hamburg to Copenhagen, BUT the ‘connecting’ train from Koln is due into Hamburg at 17:14.


As Loco 2 helpfully points out, you should only book this journey if you can be confident of making the connection, but you can’t be sure of that.


The IC trains between Koln and Hamburg aren’t exceptionally punctual – and even being on the train to Hamburg is wholly dependent on making a 20 min connection between the ICE trains back in Bruxelles


So booking this combination of trains is actually a high risk strategy, miss any of the connections due to delayed running and you won’t be able to swap tickets to alternative departures – so will have to seek out last minute overnight accommodation in Hamburg.


Though this journey becomes more viable if you will be travelling between mid-June mid-August, as during that period of time there is a later daily train on from Hamburg to Copenhagen at 19:28.

So  during that time, if you were to book the connection which involves taking the 17:28 from Hamburg, but miss it due to delayed trains, you could swap tickets to the 19:28 departure at the Reisezentrum travel desk in Hamburg.

Back to the list of questions.

How do I make an overnight journey by train from London to Denmark?

Now that the overnight trains between Germany and Denmark no longer operate, the only option for avoiding the ‘against-the-clock’ connections, when trying to make the journey by day, is to stay somewhere overnight on route.

Cologne is the logical option, as it’s located at the approximate half way point of a London to Copenhagen journey and there's a comparatively wide choice of places to stay near to Koln Hbf station.

So take trains from London to Koln/Cologne and then on the next day travel on from Koln/Cologne to Copenhagen/Kobenhavn.

Back to the list of questions.

LONDON TO POLAND BY TRAIN
London to Warsaw By Train

Travelling by train from London to Poland has never been straightforward and if those night trains, which met ferries from England, ever did convey coaches to Poland, they are now distant memories.

How can I travel by train from London to Warsaw/Warszawa?
 

Now that the long-standing overnight train from Koln/Cologne to Warzawa no longer operates, the only remotely viable option for an uninterrupted journey by train from London to Warsaw involves five pitfalls.
 

(1) It’s only possible to make the journey if you depart from London before 07:00 only on a Monday OR a Friday.

(2) The scheduled arrival time in Warszawa from those connections is at around 03:18 in the morning – so there won’t be any public transport connections and don’t expect there be taxis waiting at the rank either.
 

(3) You’ll be arriving not at Centralna station, but at Wschodnia station, which is located to the east of the city centre.
 

(4) The train you will be taking between Berlin and Warszawa conveys sleeping cabins and ordinary seats, but often only the sleeping cabins will be available when you look the journey up online – but you won’t be spending more than a couple of hours in bed.
 

(5) Even being on that train between Berlin and Warszawa is dependent on making a 20 min connection in Bruxelles AND a 33 min connection in Koln/Cologne.
 

Therefore a journey option that’s best avoided,  so it's much better to split the journey and overnight in Koln/Cologne - there's a comparatively wide choice of places to stay near to Koln Hbf station.

So take trains from London to Koln/Cologne and then on the next day travel on from Koln/Cologne to Warsaw.

There are daily connections on from Koln/Cologne to Warszawa which involve departing from Koln hbf at 07:48; 09:48 or 11:48 and making connections in Berlin Hbf.

The trains from Berlin on to Warszawa also usually stop in Poznan.


Back to the list of questions.

LONDON TO CZECHIA BY TRAIN:
London to Czechia By Train

In recent years Prague/Praha has become a destination which has become a lot more awkward to reach by train from London, due to the withdrawal of the Koln/Cologne to Prague/Praha overnight train.

Now the two easiest options remaining are (1) to make a comparatively fraught journey, which involves arriving in the Czech capital on a bus, or (2) spending a night somewhere between London and Prague/Praha.

How do I travel from London to Prage/Praha by train during the day?
 

The only remotely viable option for an uninterrupted daytime journey solely BY TRAIN from London to Prague involves three pitfalls.
 

(1) Arriving in Prague/Praha/Prag before the end of the day is dependent on making a 20 min connection in Bruxelles AND a 23 min connection in Frankfurt (Main).
 

An alternative option involves travelling via Berlin and making a 9min connection in Berlin Hbf station – but even IF the train arrives in Berlin on time, changing trains there in under 9 mins is a stretch if you’re not familiar with the layout of Berlin Hbf.
 

(2) Our preferred routing would be to travel via Frankfurt and then de-risk a third tightly timed connection in Schwandorf, by travelling via Regensburg and connecting there into the same train on to Praha/Prague – but this routing isn’t sold online

And is as complicated as it sounds!
 

(3) You can’t even make the journey on a Sunday and until Sept 21st that includes Mondays and Fridays too.

Though we’re being a tad obtuse because a faster more convenient option involves taking a bus (perish the thought) for the last leg of the journey.

A few years ago buses replaced trains on the Nurnberg to Prague route, so a journey option that's commonly offered by the ticket agents is:

(i) Journey by train from London to Frankfurt (Main) - taking the first possible departure of the day.

(ii) Travelling on by train from Frankfurt (Main) to Nurnberg Hbf

(iii) Taking a bus from Nurnberg to Praha/Prague - tickets will include the bus journey.

Back to the list of questions.

How can I make an overnight train journey from London to Prage/Praha?
 

So we don’t recommend attempting to travel by train from London to Prague during day and making an end-to-end journey overnight is no longer possible, now that the Koln to Praha/Prag train has been withdrawn.

However, if you’re happy to stay overnight somewhere and split the journey into two days of travel, you can choose between these three options:

OPTION 1: spend the night in Cologne

Day One: London to Koln/Cologne via Bruxelles
Day Two: Koln/Cologne to Berlin and Berlin to Prag

Take care to extend the connecting times in Berlin between trains when booking tickets with DB.

OPTION 2: spend the night in Berlin

Day One: London to Berlin via Koln
Day Two: Berlin to Prag

OPTION 3: spend the night in Frankfurt (Main)

Day One: London to Frankfurt (Main) via Bruxelles
Day Two: Frankfurt (Main) to Prag via Nurnberg – involves taking a bus from Nurnberg to Prag

Back to the list of questions.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

(1) We have summarised much of the info our London to Europe by train guide, but if you want or need the full details, look no futher than Seat 61.

(2) If you will taking multiple trips around Europe by train then the European Rail Timetable can be a big help with planning your routes and weighing up the journey options.

(3 )If you're not a detail person and just need quick access to departure and journey times on your phone, then download the DB Navigator app.