Holiday trips abroad by train from 9 euros

Why the train? Convenience first. Train stations are generally located in city centers. No tiring airport transfers, check-in queues and flight stress are eliminated. We are not stuck in a traffic jam, like in a car we do not have to focus on the road. We open a book, a laptop and relax … we can even unfold the bed and go to sleep – whether it’s an overnight train with a sleeping car or a sofa bed. If it’s a night train, we wake up refreshed and relaxed in the morning.

We have good traditions: almost a hundred years ago there was a steam express train from Warsaw – Berlin – Paris. During the reign of Władysław Gomółka it was possible to take a direct train from Poland to Zagreb or Belgrade (then Yugoslavia) or to the famous Golden Sands in Varna. There was a train to Amsterdam from Warsaw to Gdansk. Today we can only dream of it. Polish railways only provide connections to neighboring countries, not all of them. A consolation can be the Intercity Super Promo International rate with tickets from 14 euros.

You can dream of a much faster, cheaper and more extensive network of connections. I must admit: I often buy tickets from Polish operators abroad on the non-Polish operator websites and it is much cheaper. Nevertheless, it is worth seeing and comparing for yourself, starting from the Polish carrier’s side.

I also recommend the websites of regional, national airlines from border areas. Many promotions allow us to travel from Poland to entire regions of our neighbors at a price of several dozen zlotys for a group of several travelers.

Here is my personal and subjective, yet personally verified compilation of current travel deals for railway enthusiasts in Europe.

Of course, first of all, the trip for 9 euros is legendary and described in many places. From June 1 to August 31, 2022, the 9-Euro-Ticket is valid throughout Germany. Buying this will allow us to travel around Germany for a month on regional rail and public transport. These include city buses, DB regular buses, trams, railways, metro, regional trains (2nd class) and regional express trains (I especially recommend these).

But that is not everything. It is worth mentioning that children up to the age of 14 travel for free on fast and super-fast trains, also abroad. By buying tickets in advance, at promotional prices, we can go to Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and many other countries at prices from 19 Euro for the whole group: parent and children.

I myself drove with my son on a Deutsche Bahn connection from Paris to Frankfurt (Oder) for 69 euros. On the French side, the train was traveling at 300 km/h and was very comfortable, much more comfortable than our Pendolino. Later we switched to an overnight warehouse with compartments. It was very nice to sleep there on fold-out armchairs. Then we drove from Berlin to Frankfurt with a regional express (very comfortable double-deck Bombardier carriages, which we know from our holiday Sunny Express). Then I just “cross the Oder” over the bridge and we are already in Poland.

The ticket prices of Czech state traveler Ceske Dachy are comparable to ours – Polish. However, there is Skupinová jízdenka! By buying a week ticket for CZK 890, ie about PLN 169, you can travel unlimited on trains of all categories throughout the country. We also continue from the Czech Republic with fast and comfortable trains on routes connecting the capital with all neighboring countries, for a price from 7 euros in the Včasná jízdenka fare, following the principle that applies to most train price lists: the sooner the better. better.

The Czech Railways will surprise you with the number and quality of the connections. In addition, private carriers operate.

RegioJet – known for its interesting domestic offer and cheap night trains to Croatia, and Leo Ekspres, which operates from Poland, among others. Despite the hopes and the first enthusiastic announcements, LeoExpress trains leave infrequently and do not look particularly favorable in terms of prices. RegioJet has not launched connections from Poland to date, despite the licenses obtained.

I love Austrian Railways! Not for speed or innovation, but for tradition in the best sense of the word. OBB Railways is the European leader in night connections. I have ridden these trains many times. The cost of tickets from 19 euros, an extensive network of connections and classic compartments with the so-called slippers (armchairs that, when unfolded, connect to the opposite seat, creating a sofa). Nightjet trains operate in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Croatia. I strongly recommend: you do not pay for the night and you arrive in the morning refreshed and well rested, in addition, the children do not pay the ticket. I love these trains!

The country that was the first in Europe to put on high-speed trains, today the legendary TGV … surprises with high connection prices. In fact, many French citizens are excluded from communication, not because of the number of trains or the network of connections (these are really satisfactory), but because of the ticket prices. Fortunately, things are slowly changing and there are already two low-cost rail lines – comparable to low-cost airlines. The worn-out TGV trains were repainted and sent to the Izzy company – on the Brussels – Paris route – from 9 euros and Ouigo – from 10 euros for a classic train on the Lyon-Paris route and from 29 euros for fast connections to Nice .

They compete hard with Germany in terms of speed and quality of connections. Their high-speed railways are great, although they required huge investment. Traveling by train is breathtaking, not only because of the speed (here I was the fastest – 350 km/h), but also because of the views. Italy is known to be a beautiful country, but the number of tunnels and bridges that had to be built to make it all work… On the new Naples – Salerno high-speed route, you almost always drive over a viaduct, a few meters above the ground.

Thanks to numerous Trenitalia promotions, even these high-speed trains are available to everyone. My favorite promotion is Bimbi Gratis (kids don’t pay), but it also offers a lot of discounts at the same time and every now and then. There is almost always a promotion! Especially slower, classic intercity connections are really cheap and you can ride with your children on an Italian shoe for a dozen euros. In Italy, in addition to the Trenitalia state railway, there is a private carrier Italotreno. It is their F1 style black and red trains that break speed records. I often bought tickets for the busiest routes for about ten euros, and in the premium class. In the varied landscape of the Italian regions, there are countless small carriers and transport associations. Sometimes it’s trains like from horror movies – spray painted, looking like “Mater” and rickety, but traveling on regional railways is always cheap and affordable.

I am certainly not objective. I just love Italy, I also love Trenitalia and Italotreno for sustainable development and connecting the poor with the rich, for the sensational frequency of connections, for the working style of Italian conductors and their “nessun problema”.

I’m going to take a long trip this summer, traditionally with children. We start in Warsaw with a night train to Vienna (we buy tickets on the Obb website – children don’t pay). In the afternoon we left (a picturesque route through the Alps, full of tunnels and spectacular viaducts) to Venice. On the way back we will go on a spectacular route through the Alps to Munich where we will stay overnight and from where we will go to Garmish Praktenkirsen (where we will visit the amazing Partnachklamm gorge among others).

From there we go to Dresden with the monthly ticket mentioned above for 9 euros. There is a promotion of Koleje Dolnośląskie from Dresden to Wrocław – a ticket for a group of five costs PLN 70. For this whole round trip of a group of four we pay less than 200 euros. In a month he will describe this journey. But today, right now, you can still plan a trip abroad by train. Tickets are available and the prices are still favorable, especially if you – like me – are traveling in a group.

I wish all readers of Onet and Damosfera a happy and ecological holiday!

Private archive of Przemysław Krajewski / damosfera.pl
German RailwaysPrivate archive of Przemysław Krajewski / damosfera.pl

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