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Flight-Free Travels: The Most Popular High-Speed Train Routes in Europe | RatePunk

High-speed trains have revolutionized the way people travel in Europe. These trains run on dedicated tracks, reaching speeds of 200-300 km/h, making them a fast and convenient mode of transport for passengers. The European Union has been investing in expanding the high-speed train network, connecting major cities, and providing an environmentally-friendly alternative to air travel. With the comfort, speed, and efficiency that high-speed trains offer, they have become a popular choice for leisure and business travel in Europe.

Flight-Free Travels: The Most Popular High-Speed Train Routes in Europe | RatePunk

Last month we reviewed the most spectacular railways in the world and today let’s shortly overview the most famous and popular high-speed routes. Who knows, it might happen that one day you spend your holidays in Milan when you might decide of visiting Paris. Because why not? The best part is that it is soo easy to do, there are so many high-speed train routes, and it doesn’t break the bank.  


If you are staying in Vienna and want to visit Paris for a few days, take a luxurious NightJet. The train stops in Linz, Salzburg, Munich, and Strasbourg. It is a really comfortable choice to travel because it features amenities such as roomy seats, wireless charging stations, complimentary WiFi, and bicycle storage. Travelers also chose from 3 comfort levels: have a seat in a seating carriage, book a couchette for your family or a friends group, o maybe book a standard or deluxe sleeper cabin. 

Vienna - Paris | 1400km | approx. 14 | starts at €30


Trenitalia has the high-speed Frecciarossa to provide fast journeys from Paris. The Freecciarossa is available the whole week twice per day: a morning and an afternoon train. In just under seven hours travelers can visit the most fashion-forward cities in Europe.

Milan - Paris | 881 km (547 miles) | 6h 32 min | starts at €29

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You are wandering in Madrid for the third day in searching for a good spot to enjoy the paella and someone tells you that you should go to Valencia. Without any problem, you are taking the high-speed Ouigo train to Valencia and in less than two hours you already strolling to one of the highly recommended places to taste various paellas. Sounds fun, isn't it? 

Madrid - Valencia | 303km (188mi) | 1h 50min | from €9 


Since November 2022 traveling between two major cities in Spain has become so easy. Travelers can go on a brand new high-speed Iryo train and reach another Spanish city in less than three hours. Iryo trains feature a restaurant service and free WiFi.  There are 32 daily trains (16 each way) between Madrid and Barcelona. 

Barcelona - Madrid | 506km (314mi) | 2h 30min | from €18 

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Well, this route is not so Direct high-speed RailJet trains can take you from the capital of Austria to the capital of the Czech Republic in about 4 hours. There are up to 7 daily departures from each side depending on the weekday. 

Vienna - Prague | 244km (152mi) | 4h 25 min | from €24


Exploring the capitals of Austria and Hungary is a must if you are traveling around Europe. These two cities have their own charm and jaw-dropping attraction worth seeing once in a lifetime. So why not take a ride on a bullet train and spend an awesome time there? Especially since it is quite a scenic ride through the beautiful landscape of Austria. 

Vienna - Budapest | 244km (152mi) | 2h 16 min | from €31 


There is one direct daily train from the center of Budapest to the beautiful capital of Croatia without any worries about changing trains. Having such travel usually takes around 11 hours by train although if you are taking the fastest services you can get there in 6 hours. A great option for those, who want to avoid sitting uncomfortably in a bus or driving a car by themselves. 

Budapest - Zagreb | 302km (188mi) | 6h 9 min | starts at €51
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There are many options for how you can reach London from Brussels: take a ride on a bus, have a flight, drive by yourself, or go on a bullet train. The most environmentally friendly and the fastest one is travel by direct Eurostar high-speed train. There are at least 8 train connections daily so you have plenty of various times to choose from. Lastly, the bus ticket might be cheaper but the journey will be third times longer than by train

Brussel - London | 317km (197mi) | 1h 50min | starts at €57


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 a bit over two hours and you are already in London or Paris. Depends on where was your departure. The train boasts great onboard amenities, over 15 daily departures on both sides, and comfortable seats. 

Paris - London | 344km (214mi) | 2h 16min | starts at €57

London without a doubt is one of the most vivid and cosmopolitan cities in Europe everyone should visit. It is hardly possible to visit all the monuments, museums, and other London attractions in a day or two. So you will definitely need to find a great place to reset for the next day of exploring London. We handpicked the finest budget-friendly hotelsluxury hotelsgastro-hotels, and apart-hotels in London. Don’t forget that with RatePunk browser extension you will always get the best deals and have the possibility to rebook accommodation if there’ll be price changes. 
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Some of the most famous high-speed railways in Europe

The ICE (InterCity Express) is a high-speed train in Germany operated by Deutsche Bahn, the national railway company. It connects major cities in Germany and also has international connections to Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Trains reach up to 300km/h speed and are one of the fastest alternatives to travel between cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, or Munich. The most popular routes: Berlin-Frankfurt, Frankfurt-Paris (around 4 hours), Berlin - Vienna.

Alfa Pendular High-Speed Trains connect only all the major cities in Portugal. Travelers can comfortably travel from the capital city Lisbon to Coimbra, Porto, Braga, or the seaside towns of Albufeira and even Faro. There is a possibility to purchase snacks and drinks on the train. Seat reservations on the Alfa Pendular trains are compulsory. Usually, a seat reservation costs 5 euros for 1st or 2nd class. 

Lisbon - Faro | 295km (183mi) | average 3 h | starts at €24

Porto- Lisbon  | 332km (198mi) | average 3 h | starts at €24

Lisbon - Lagos | 301km (186mi) | average 4 h | starts at €40

Thalys is the not-so-well-known high-speed railway. It connects 17 cities across Western Europe, including Brussels, Amsterdam, and Paris. Need to mention, that it provides only one fast route Paris-Amsterdam so tickets are a bit pricey because of the monopoly. However, it is still better than taking a bus and driving twice longer even spending less money than for a train ticket. 

Amsterdam - Brussels  | 212km (132mi) | 1h 52min | starts at €26 

Paris - Brussels  | 264km (164mi) | 1h 22min | from €29 

Paris - Amsterdam | 431km (268mi) | 4h 37min | from €35 

TGV is the acronym for "Train à Grande Vitesse", which translates to "High-Speed Train" in English. TGV trains are a type of high-speed train operated by the French national railway company SNCF. TGV trains are capable of reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h, making them among the fastest trains in the world. In addition to their high speed, TGV trains are also equipped with a range of amenities such as comfortable seating, air conditioning, food and drink service, and Wi-Fi connectivity, among others. The most popular routes: 

1.Paris - Lyon | 391km (244mi) | 2h 2 min | starts at €10 

2.Paris - Marseille | 660km (410mi) | 3h 40min | starts at €19

3.Paris - Bordeaux | 499km (310mi) | 2h 13min | starts at €16 

4.Lyon - Marseille | 278km (173mi) | 1h 47min | starts at €16 

To sum up, the European Union is investing in expanding the high-speed train network, with the aim of connecting all major European cities by 2030. High-speed bullet trains are a fast and convenient mode of transport in Europe, with famous routes connecting major cities. The future of high-speed trains looks promising, with ongoing investments and developments to expand the network.

Jan 31, 2023

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