As summer stretches into autumn, there are still some incredible experiences in Europe. Choosing to take the train means the holiday starts the second you board, it’s often quicker than flying when you account for the end-to-end journey time, plus it’s better for the environment.
Omio – Europe’s leading travel platform for travel by train, bus, and flight – has created some inspirational itineraries to get people to explore.
An eco-conscious journey through Spain – perfect for art, history, and food lovers – 8-10 days
London – Paris – Barcelona – Girona – Figueres – Zaragoza – San Sebastian – Paris – London
Spain is an easy country to travel to by train and there are many beautiful historical towns within easy reach of Barcelona. This itinerary takes you through Gaudi’s city, medieval Girona, and food lovers San Sebastian with a pit stop in Zaragoza.
- Day 1: take the Eurostar from London’s St. Pancras to Paris with a self-transfer to Gare de Lyon station where twice daily departures take you onto Barcelona Sants station
- Day 1 – 3: Arriving in Barcelona around 10 pm for a late dinner, spend a couple of nights exploring Gaudi’s city, Picasso and Miro museums to choose from, and all the tapas, cava, and churros you can eat
- Day 3: late afternoon take a quick afternoon jaunt to Girona, the train from Barcelona Sants takes 40 minutes
- Day 4: After an overnight stay absorbing the medieval culture of Girona and its old walled city, a quick 15-minute journey will take you to Figueres to admire the imaginative Dalí Theatre-Museum
- Day 4: having admired the museum, hop aboard a train heading inland to reach Spain’s fifth largest city and a destination often overlooked on the tourist trail – Zaragoza. Journey time is approx 2.5hrs with departures three times per day
- Day 5: famed for folklore, regional cuisine, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Zaragoza is a cool destination that not everyone thinks to stop at and takes you off the beaten track
- Day 6: Board a late-afternoon train to San Sebastian, a food lover’s paradise and a place you can easily spend a few days eating your way around the city. One departure per day approx 5.30 pm, taking around 3.5hrs
- Day 6-8: enjoy San Sebastian and maybe take a quick hop (1.5hrs) to Bilbao to admire Frank Gehry’s architecture and the art at the Guggenheim
- Day 9: depart San Sebastian with a quick bus ride to Gare d’Hendaye and on to Paris’ Gare Montparnasse with a change in Bordeaux. Return to London on the Eurostar from Gare du Nord to London’s St Pancras Station
A week of slow travel, food, and fashion in the Netherlands and Belgium – 5-6 days
London – Amsterdam – Gouda – Antwerp – Bruges – Ghent – London
The Netherlands is a well-connected country and travelling by train means you can be a little more original than just stopping in Amsterdam. Get under the skin of this region by going on to destinations including Gouda, Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent for the ultimate food, fashion, and culture trip.
- Day 1: the train from London’s St. Pancras station takes less than five hours, spend the day and night in the city, exploring the canals, art, museums, and nightlife
- Day 2: board a train to the Cheese Valley – Gouda makes a tasty day trip from Amsterdam. Journey time is less than an hour with regular departures from Amsterdam Centraal. Return to Amsterdam for the evening
- Day 3: journey south around midday, crossing into Belgium in 75 minutes. Window shop for diamonds enjoy local food and the vibrant fashion scene of this city
- Day 4: the train journey from Antwerp to Bruges takes just 1.5hrs but feels like stepping back in time. Meander through quaint cobbled streets and admire the medieval buildings, and fill up on local chocolate
- Day 5: swap medieval (and slightly touristy) Bruges for its lesser-known cousin – Ghent. Reachable in less than 30 minutes by train, this university town is home to similar cobbled streets and picturesque riverside buildings, but without the crowds. It also has a contemporary art scene and buzzy nightlife
- Day 6: A quick 30-minute transfer to Brussels to admire the city’s art nouveau architecture and enjoy a final Belgian beer and waffle in the old town before the return journey to London St Pancras Station, in approx two hours
A long weekend of Champagne tasting in France – 2-3 days
London – Paris – Champagne – Paris – London
A classic overnight break to Paris enhanced with a decadent champagne tasting and all the romance you can take.
- Day 1: a quick 2 – 2.5hr Eurostar train from St. Pancras and you’re in the heart of Paris, see the sights, eat the croissants and cheese, Paris is always a winner
- Day 2: Enjoy an early breakfast then take the train to Champagne in just 40 minutes from Gare de l’Est for a day of tastings (book ahead). Autumn is an ideal time to visit the region, with beautiful views, fewer crowds, and the harvest in full swing. Complete the decadence with an overnight stay in a chateau or return to Paris
- Day 3: soak up the last few sights or have a champagne breakfast before boarding the train back to London early evening
Booking with Omio means all tickets can be booked in one place, online, or using the mobile app. For more information visit www.omio.co.uk