European Rail Skills with Gretchen Strauch | Rick Steves Travel Talks

European Rail Skills with Gretchen Strauch | Rick Steves Travel Talks
Planning a European trip by rail can feel daunting. In this travel talk, Rick Steves’ Europe rail expert Gretchen Strauch explains all you need to know about Europe’s railways. Gretchen explains what a rail pass is and how it works, walks through the steps of figuring out which rail pass (if any) is best for your trip, and shares tips on reading timetables, buying point-to-point tickets, reserving seats on premium trains, finding your way to the correct platform (and the correct train car), sleeping on night trains, and making your train travels smooth and fun.

Planning a trip to Europe by rail? You’ll find lots of free travel information — including many of the tools and resources mentioned in this talk — and can buy rail passes and point-to-point tickets at

Recorded on March 3, 2018 • Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Center

Written and Presented by Gretchen Strauch
Produced by Cameron Hewitt
Filmed and Edited by Zen Wolfang
Photography by Gretchen Strauch, Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli, Rick Steves, and others
Graphics by Heather Locke and Rhonda Pelikan
Special Thanks to Laura Terrenzio

© 2018 Rick Steves’ Europe, Inc.

European Rail Skills with Gretchen Strauch | Rick Steves Travel Talks

2 thoughts on “European Rail Skills with Gretchen Strauch | Rick Steves Travel Talks”

  1. As a UK citizen, I'd like to compliment Gretchen on an informative video. However, second class rail travel in the UK is often over-crowded on the popular routes, especially the routes going in and out of the London area. I would strongly recommend seat reservations on these routes. If you are organised enough, purchasing Advance first class tickets is a good idea for long journeys, because second class seating in the UK is more cramped than on the mainland European trains. You also get complimentary food and drink in first class, irrespective of whether you purchase a good value Advance ticket, or whether you pay on the day for a (very) expensive first class ticket. You may need to buy your first class Advance ticket two months or so ahead of your travel date, since they sell out quickly. Happy travels 🙂

  2. Very nice explanations for train passes, regular and advance ticket purchase. Pictures for first and second class coaches were mixed up unfortunately. First class has a 2-1 layout, while second class has a 2-2 layout, unless you have compartments in the coaches.

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