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Best Travel Transport For The Most Popular Routes | RatePunk

Some people believe taking flights is the best travel method because it saves time. Others prefer traveling by train because it boasts spectacular views and is more sustainable and comfortable. But, of course, some love driving by themselves and stopping whenever they want. For the past few months, I have been thinking about summer vacation, what kind of travel transport I should take, and what has the best price, time, and comfort.

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By Eglė

Published: Feb 28, 2023 min read

Best Travel Transport For The Most Popular Routes | RatePunk

I bet many of our readers have been wondering if taking the fast train is better than a flight. So I handpicked the most popular travel routes based on the busiest flight and the most popular train routes, which can be done by car/bus, train, or flight.

In this blog post, you will find how much time it takes to travel from X to Y, how much time it takes, and how much it costs. I want to mention that transportation prices were taken from Google Flights & Trainline app, and petrol prices were based on the current date. 

#1 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Singapore

One of the most popular flight routes is from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Singapore (Singapore). Over the past 12 months, this route had 2,443,176 scheduled fight seats. Taking a direct flight to mentioned route usually takes about 1 hour and typically costs $14-$20. Even though traveling by train is slightly cheaper, the trip takes about 8-10 hours. Plus, it could be more comfortable. The driving distance between Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is 358 km, so approximately 3h 47m of tiring driving in an unknown country. So even if you need to come to the airport 2 hours earlier, you still save time, and the price doesn't make a significant difference. 

Results: taking a flight is way better than traveling by train or car. 

#2 Sydney - Melbourne

If you are wondering how to get from Sydney to Melbourne, you'll soon find out. There is 877 km between these cities, and it takes 13 hours by bus, and the average bus ticket price costs $115. Traveling by train is slightly shorter - you'll only spend 11 hours there, costing $75 - $250. Driving directly between Sydney and Melbourne, the trip will last about 9 hours and should cost around $102, excluding parking and car rental service. Finally, taking the flight is the shortest way for this trip. It only lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes; the lowest price is $57. So even if you spend a few hours for the security check, it is still way shorter than the rest of the transportation options. 
RatePunk experiment for the most popular routes

#3 Tokyo - Fukuoka

The driving distance between Tokyo-Fukuoka is 1084.7 km, and it takes around 14 hours to reach the final destination. If you drive by car, you'll spend approximately $99 on gasoline, and don't forget rental service fees. There are one-way trips directed by Nozomi trains, which take 5 hours and cost around $168 (23,000 yen). Finally, flight prices vary, but the average price for a flight is around $54 for 2 hours flight. Comparing the time and the cost of various types of transport, again, taking a flight is the best way to travel between Tokyo-Fukuoka. 

#4 Tokyo - Sapporo

Google maps show that it takes around 17 hours (1.167,5km) to reach Tokyo from Sapporo, costing around $105. There is no direct train route from Sapporo To Tokyo, so travelers must transfer to the Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto train station to the Hokuto limited express. The entire one-way trip costs around $212 and takes around 8 hours. Finally, the average flight time from Tokyo to Sapporo is 1 hour and 40 minutes. Usually, the price for a flight ticket is around $45. Once again, airplanes win. 

#5 Paris-Rome

It won't be any surprise knowing that one of the most famous European routes is from Paris to Rome. A high-speed train is from Paris Gre de Lyon train station to Rome Termini. The trip takes slightly more than 10 hours (the transfer spot in Milan) and costs average €55. If you genuinely are on a tight budget, the cheapest option to take this route is by bus. However, this kind of travel usually takes 22-23 hours and costs around €47. Finally, you can take a direct flight, and in 2 hours you'll reach your destination, and it doesn't cost much average cost of this season €75- €160. It is up to a traveler to decide which is the most suitable traport for a Paris-Rome trip. 

Milan Train Station RatePunk

#6 Madrid- Barcelona

Spain's two biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, are well-connected by various types of transportation. Let us tell you your options and how you can have a pleasant journey between the most iconic Spanish cities. It takes around 3 hours to finish this route by high-speed train, and the price is ridiculous- €9-€14. You can also take a bus, spend 8 hours on it, and pay €38. Finally, you can also take a flight which usually lasts around 1h 25 minutes and costs €23-€80. Don't forget that you also need to come early for the security check, so approximately 3 hours and 25 minutes. You are wondering how about taking a car? Google maps show you'll drive 623 km in 6 Hours and a half. I bet I shouldn't include driving expenses since they will definitely be higher than a high-speed train ticket cost.

#7 Amsterdam - Brussel

Travelers can take a regional train from Amsterdam to Brussels with one stopover in Rotterdam. However, it lasts 30 minutes longer than the high-speed train, and you'll reach your destination in 2 hours for €26. You can travel by bus if you are not tight with your time. It usually takes around 3 hours and costs €15. Some direct flights from Amsterdam to Brussels take 45 minutes, and the flight price starts from €40. Well, indeed, not a good bargain. 

#8 Rome - Florence

Some foreign travelers have only one month to see the most beautiful European cities. That's why they often search for the best ways to reach Florence from Rome or reverse. Traveling between these two cities is easy, affordable, and fast. Travelers can choose the type of train - regular or High-speed train. A standard train drives for 3 hours 20 minutes and costs around €8, but a high-speed train ticket costs €15-€25 and takes only 1 hour and 30 minutes. Taking a flight lasts around an hour, and the price depends on the flight date. The cheapest option to have a Rome-Florence trip is by taking a bus. The bus ticket costs € 7 (it is possible to find one for €4.5, and it takes 3 hours and 115 minutes. 

#9 London - Paris

At the top speed of 320km/h, a bullet-speed Eurostar train crosses the most famous underwater tunnels in the world (the Channel Tunnel) in over two hours, and you are already in London or Paris. Usually, it takes 2 hours and 16 minutes to reach Paris by high-speed train. The average price for this kind of trip starts at €57 if you book in advance. That 344 km can also be finished by taking a bus. But it takes 9 hours of sitting still in an uncomfortable seat and costs approximately €42. Finding a direct flight for $37, which lasts 1 hour and 10 minutes, is possible. Even if it looks great, don’t forget that you must come to the airport a few hours earlier, so still. A high-speed train is a cheapest and most comfortable transportation for a London-Paris trip.  

#10 Vienna - Budapest

Exploring the capitals of Austria and Hungary is a must if you are traveling around Europe. These two cities have their charm and jaw-dropping attraction worth seeing once in a lifetime. Taking a bullet train will take 2 hours and 30 minutes, and the average ticket price is €20 if you book at least a month in advance. The fastest bus trip from Vienna to Budapest takes less than 3 hours and costs €12. If you want, you also can take a flight. The average flight time from Vienna to Budapest is 45 minutes, and ticket prices start at €80. 


We have reviewed the most popular routes worldwide that can be done by train, bus, car, and airplane. Planes are the most suitable transport with a good time and money value ratio if you travel outside Europe. Surprisingly, even in Japan, some routes save more time by flight than a high-speed train. However, if you plan a trip inside Europe, you should travel by train. European high-speed train tickets usually cost less and take less time than flights. You must book them at least a month in advance if you seek a more affordable price. 

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Feb 28, 2023

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