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Travel Info & Tips London to Europe by train
How to travel from London to Europe by train

London to Europe by train

An overview of how to travel by train from London to Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Switzerland

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Travelling from London to popular destinations in Europe by train is obviously a great idea, particularly when destinations can be reached in a single day, or over the course of one night.

However, most of these train journeys from London to Europe, which can be completed in 24 hours, require connections between trains.
This can can lead to a multitude of journey options being offered by the ticket agents.
Which is just one confusing aspect of making these longer train journeys, because they're often more complicated than they should be; better timed connections in Bruxelles and Lille are near the top of SMTJ's wish list.

Hence some context, enabling travellers to better understand these journey options, will hopefully be useful; and keeping things simple has been the aim, (though it may not look that way - ahem).

Or you can take a look at the Concierge rail travel planning service, as it can help you with travelling by train from London to any of the destinations on this guide - and beyond.

Four key pieces of information:

As can be seen below, only 12 destinations are served by direct Eurostar trains from London, so to travel to other destinations in Belgium, France and The Netherlands, or to travel to anywhere in Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Switzerland, requires connections.
Eurostar is currently only serving London, Bruxelles, Amsterdam, Paris, Lille and Rotterdam.

And these connections between trains often aren't as simple as they could be, so there can be minor obstacles to overcome and some situations best avoided; hence the efforts to explain how you can take the train to Europe and make your journey as stress-free as possible.

It can be a wonderful way to travel, but four London to Europe train journey issues which can’t be avoided are:

(1) In Paris the Eurostar trains arrive at the Gare Du Nord, but trains to destinations to the east, south and west of the French capital depart from other stations in Paris.

(2) At Lille-Europe station, even when the usual connections are available timetable planners evidently put little thought into the timings between the arrival of a Eurostar from London and the departure of a TGV on to other cities in France.

Often the interval between trains is too long for the ticket agents to consider offering these ‘connections’ as an end-to-end journey option.

(3) At Bruxelles-Midi station, the typical time to make the transfer between an arriving Eurostar and the ‘connecting’ ICE train on to Germany, is only around 20 mins.
Perfect IF the Eurostar arrives on time, but a potential issue when it doesn’t.

(4) A welcome recent development is the restoration of overnight trains from both Bruxelles and Paris to Wien/Vienna, but the number of overnight connections from Eurostar services is still fairly limited.

The overnight trains from Koln/Cologne to Prague and Warsaw were discontinued some years ago, along with the overnight trains from Paris to a swathe of destinations including Barcelona, Berlin, Florence, Madrid, Munich, Rome; and now Venice via Milan

But don’t give up, taking the train remains a great travel option on many international routes from London, you don’t have to be travelling to Amsterdam, Bruxelles or Paris.

The destinations with direct Eurostar trains:

Year round you can travel by direct Eurostar trains to:

Amsterdam
Bruxelles
Lille
Marne La Valléé (for Disneyland Paris)
Paris
Rotterdam

On certain dates only you can travel to

Aime-la-Plagne** Avignon* Bourg St.Maurice** Lyon* Marseille* Moutiers**

*Departure dates in 2022 are still to be confirmed; trains did not operate to these destinations in 2021.

Making onward connections in Bruxelles:

Arriving by Eurostar at Bruxelles-Midi

Brussels/Bruxelles is a gateway to a swathe of other destinations in northern Europe when travelling by train from London.

There are direct trains from Bruxelles to virtually all other major towns in cities in Belgium and trains from Bruxelles to Luxembourg, Germany and The Netherlands; the latter provide useful connections if the timings of the timings of the direct trains from London don't suit.

What do I need to know about changing trains in Brussels?

These FIVE things in particular are worth being aware of:

(1) The Eurostar trains arrive at Bruxelles Midi station (French), which is also known as Brussel Zuid (Dutch).
Both French and Dutch, as well as English, is used on the signage and departure screens at the station.
Some place names are very different in the Dutch or French languages, but the different names are rotated on the departure screens - so don’t be alarmed if at first you can’t see your destination listed.

(2) Bruxelles-Midi isn't one of Europe's glamorous railway terminals, it's more of a functional commuter hub; though you shouldn't have long to linger between trains.

(3) If you will be taking a regular, non-high speed train service on from Bruxelles/Brussels, then the making the onward connection is fairly conventional.
You check the details of the next departure and make your way to the platform/track (voie) that it will be departing from.
Though that can be easier said than done; hence the additional info, which you can find HERE.

(4) However, connecting into another high speed train on from BruxellesMidi is slightly different.
The ICE trains on to Germany, the Thalys trains to Germany, Paris and The Netherlands (and the TGV services to other cities in France) all depart from a specific part of Bruxelles-Midi station.
However, this ‘international terminal’ isn’t particularly obvious, it’s merely a seating area to the right of SNCB international ticket office, which has red and purple tinted windows.

So once you have descended from the platform/track (voie) that the Eurostar will have arrived at, make your way to it; you’ll find it on the right hand side of the main passage beneath the tracks.
Confirm the details of your onward train on the TV style departure screens, which you’ll find in the international departure area - they’re easier to make sense of, than the main departure board of the station.

Another key difference with taking a high speed train on from Bruxelles-Midi, is the potential need to pass through security checks.
This may seem unnecessary when making a connection from a Eurostar, because you will have already passed through security in London, but the staff at Bruxelles-Midi won't know that.

(5) Be aware of your connecting time between trains.
Many end-to-end London to Germany train tickets sold by the ticket agents allow only around 20 mins to make the connection between trains at Bruxelles-Midi.
If you will making such a journey you need to head directly to your connecting train; don't pause to use the shops in the station etc.
More info is available on our guide.

Where can I travel to with ONE change of train in Brussels?

  • Pretty much every other town and city in Belgium.
    (Ypres/leper is one of the few exceptions, to reach Ypres from Bruxelles you need to make a second simple change of train at Kortrijk).
  • There are also direct trains from Bruxelles to Luxembourg's capital and the city of Arlon.
  • The German cities which can be reached on direct trains from Bruxelles/Brussels are - Aachen, Cologne/Koln, Dusseldorf, Essen, Bonn (from Seigburg/Bonn station), Dortmund and Frankfurt (Main).
    If you will travelling on to any other city in northern Germany, including Berlin, Bielefeld, Hamburg and Hannover you need to make another change of train, usually in Cologne/Koln.

The trains to Frankfurt (Main) also call at Frankfurt Airport/Flughafen and some of them also call at Siegburg/Bonn station, which has public transport connections to Bonn city centre.

  • The Dutch cities served by direct trains from Bruxelles/Brussels are - Amsterdam (all trains to Amsterdam also call at Schiphol airport), Breda, The Hague/Den Haag and Rotterdam.

What about tickets for journeys which involve a change of train in Brussels?

These three things in particular are worth being aware of:

(1) Bruxelles-Midi station is some distance from Bruxelles/Brussels city centre, but tickets for London to Bruxelles journeys by Eurostar can be used to travel on to other train stations in central Bruxelles
They're not valid on the Bruxelles Metro, but the optimum connection on to many areas of the city centre is by the frequent main line trains - Bruxelles Central station lives up to its name.

(2) Eurostar also sells 'any station in Belgium' tickets.
If you want to buy train tickets between London and any town in Belgium other than Bruxelles, including Antwerp, Brugge, Gent and Liege, you will be offered one of these tickets.
If you have one of these tickets, then on arrival in Bruxelles-Midi station you can take any train that day on to your final destination in Belgium.
London to Belgium by train

Therefore you don't have to rush for the next train that will be departing, most Belgian towns and cities have 2 or 3 x trains per hour from Bruxelles-Midi.
So an option is to take your time and explore the Belgian capital before heading on to your final destination.

Some towns in western and southern Belgium have faster end-to-end train journeys if you were to travel via Lille in France, but the availability of these 'any Belgian station' tickets means that it is cheaper to travel via Bruxelles.

(3) If you have booked end-to-end tickets for high speed train journeys between Britain and Germany or The Netherlands, then the ICE or Thalys train you will be connecting into at Bruxelles, will be specified on your ticket.
If a delay on the Eurostar causes you to miss a booked connection, you can be issued with alternative tickets free of charge at the SNCB international ticket desk.

However, if you’ll be travelling to Aachen or Koln, the next train to depart from Bruxelles may be an ICE OR a Thalys train, but it seems as though you can now swap your tickets between these two train services if need be.

Travelling with a rail pass:

If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass, you’ll have to pay the reservation fee to travel on the Eurostar, but the only trains on from Bruxelles on which rail pass users also HAVE to pay to reserve seats are the Thalys trains.
However, you can avoid these Thalys trains if you will be travelling on to The Netherlands by taking the Intercity Brussels trains.
If you will be travelling on to Germany you can avoid these fees on the Thalys trains by targeting the ICE trains.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary - London to Brussels/Bruxelles train tickets are sold by:

EUROSTAR

B-EUROPE

NS International

TRAINLINE

Eurostar, B-Europe and NS International also sell tickets for train journeys between London and all major towns in Belgium.

Back to London:

Brusssels/Bruxelles to London by train

Making onward connections in Lille:

London to Europe by train via Lille

If you make connections between Eurostar and TGV trains at Lille-Europe station, you can avoid the need to make transfers in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to other stations in the city.

Where can I travel to from London with one change of train in Lille?

Due to the temporary reductions in the number of Eurostar services between London and Lille; the only destinations on the list below which currently have an onward connection from Lille in under 90 mins are; Avignon, Lyon, Marseille and Nantes.

The principle towns and cities in France which can be reached by taking a Eurostar to Lille and a TGV train on from the city are:
Aix-en-Provence*; Angers; Angouleme; Avignon*; Bordeaux; Dijon; Lyon*; Marseille*; Montpellier; Mulhouse; Nantes; Nimes; Poitiers; Rennes; St Pierre des Corps (Tours); Strasbourg and Valence.
* On certain days of the year, this destination also has direct trains from London.

French towns and cities with either no direct trains from Lille, or no viable connections from a Eurostar include: Annecy; Chambery; Grenoble; Reims and Toulouse.

The timings on this tables below will hopefully resume during 2022.

Monday to Thursday:

From

Arrive
Lille

Depart
Lille

Arrive
London

Lyon (05:50)

08:59

09:30

09:57

Strasbourg (06:07)

09:08

09:30

09:57

Mulhouse (05:41)
Dijon (07:08)

09:57

11:35

11:57

Nantes (06:02)
Rennes (06:23)
Angers (06:44)

10:17

11:35

11:57

Bordeaux (05:57)
Poitiers (07:20)

10:40 (F)

11:35

11:57

Marseille* (05:27)
Aix-en-Prov* (06:28)
Avignon* (06:49)

10:44 (F)

11:35

11:57

Lyon-Perrache*
(09:05)

12:21 (F)

13:30

14:05

Montpellier (09:10)
Nimes (09:32)

14:31

15:30

16:05

Marseille* (10:04)
Aix-en-Prov* 10:19)
Avignon* (10:40)

14:30 (F)

15:30

16:05

Strasbourg (12:41)

15:38

17:36
From Mar 31
16:36

18:13
From Mar 31
16:57

Rennes (11:52)

15:56

17:36
From Mar 31
16:36

18:13
From Mar 31
16:57

Marseille (12:10)
Aix-en-Prov (12:26)
Avignon (12:48)
Lyon (14:00)

 

16:57

17:36

18:13

Bordeaux (12:59)
Poitiers (14:17)
Strasbourg (15:11)

17:58

18:35

19:13

Nantes (13:57)
Angers (14:41)

18:29 (F)

19:35

19:57

Marseille (15:09)
Aix-en-Prov (15:26)
Avignon (15:48)
Lyon (17:00)
Montpellier (14:53)
Nimes (15:21)

19:59

21:00

21:33


Fridays:

From

Arrive
Lille

Depart
Lille

Arrive
London

Lyon (05:50)

08:59

09:30

09:57

Strasbourg (06:07)

09:08

09:30

09:57

Mulhouse (05:41)
Dijon (07:08)

09:57

11:35

11:57

Nantes (06:02)
Rennes (06:23)
Angers (06:44)
Le Mans (07:28)

 

10:17

11:35

11:57

Bordeaux (05:57)
Poitiers (07:20)
Montpellier (05:27)
Nimes (05:55)
Lyon (07:30)

10:40 (F)

11:35

11:57

Marseille* (05:27)
Aix-en-Prov* (06:28)
Avignon* (06:49)

10:44 (F)

11:35

11:57

Lyon-Perrache*
(09:05)

12:21 (F)

13:30

14:05

Montpellier (09:10)
Nimes (09:32)

14:31

15:30

16:05

Marseille* (10:04)
Aix-en-Prov* 10:19)
Avignon* (10:40)

14:30 (F)

15:30

16:05

Strasbourg (12:41)

15:38

17:36
From Mar 31
16:36

18:13

Rennes (11:52)

15:56

17:36
From Mar 31
16:36

18:13
From Mar 31
16:57

Marseille (12:10)
Aix-en-Prov (12:26)
Avignon (12:48)
Lyon (14:00)

 

16:57

17:36

18:13

Bordeaux (12:59)
Poitiers (14:17)
Strasbourg (15:11)

17:58

18:35

19:13

Nantes (13:57)
Angers (14:41)

18:29 (F)

19:35

19:57

Marseille (15:09)
Aix-en-Prov (15:26)
Avignon (15:48)
Lyon (17:00)
Montpellier (14:53)
Nimes (15:21)

19:59

21:00

21:33


Saturdays:

From

Arrive
Lille

Depart
Lille

Arrive
London

Lyon (05:50)

08:59

09:30

09:57

Strasbourg (06:07)

08:57

09:30

09:57

Mulhouse (05:41)
Dijon (07:08)

09:57

11:35

11:57

Nantes (06:02)
Rennes (06:23)
Angers (06:44)

10:17

11:35

11:57

Bordeaux (05:57)
Poitiers (07:20)
Montpellier (05:27)
Nimes (05:55)
Lyon (07:30)

10:40 (F)

11:35

11:57

Lyon-Perrache*
(09:05)

12:21 (F)

13:30

14:05

Perpignan (07:25)
Beziers (08:22)
Montpellier (09:10)
Nimes (09:32)

14:31

15:30

16:05

Marseille* (10:04)
Aix-en-Prov* 10:19)
Avignon* (10:40)

14:30 (F)

15:30

16:05

Strasbourg (12:41)

15:38

17:36
From Mar 31
16:36

18:13

Rennes (12:00)

15:56

17:36
From Mar 31
16:36

18:13

Nice (09:23)
Cannes (09:53)
Toulon (11:16)
Marseille (12:10)
Aix-en-Prov (12:26)
Avignon (12:48)
Lyon (14:00)
Montpellier (11:57)
Nimes (12:25)

16:57

17:36

18:13

Bordeaux (12:59)
Poitiers (14:17)
Strasbourg (15:11)

17:58

18:35

19:13

Marseille (15:09)
Aix-en-Prov (15:26)
Avignon (15:48)
Lyon (17:00)
Montpellier (14:53)
Nimes (15:21)

19:59

21:00

21:33


Sundays:

From

Arrive
Lille

Depart
Lille

Arrive
London

Strasbourg (06:07)

08:57

09:30

09:57

Marseille (15:09)
Aix-en-Prov (15:26)
Avignon (15:48)
Lyon (17:00)

11:27

12:35

12:57

Perpignan (07:25)
Beziers (08:22)
Montpellier (09:10)
Nimes (09:32)

14:26

15:30

16:05

Marseille* (10:04)
Aix-en-Prov* 10:19)
Avignon* (10:40)

14:30 (F)

15:30

16:05

Strasbourg (12:41)

15:38

17:36

18:13

Rennes (11:50)

15:56

17:36

18:13

Marseille (12:10)
Aix-en-Prov (12:26)
Avignon (12:48)
Lyon (14:00)
Montpellier (11:57)
Nimes (12:25)

16:57

17:36

18:13

Bordeaux (12:59)
Poitiers (14:17)
Strasbourg (15:11)

17:58

18:35

19:13

Nantes (13:57)
Angers (14:41)

18:29 (F)

19:35

19:57

Lyon (16:00)

19:06

21:00

21:33

Montpellier (14:53)
Nimes (15:21)

From Apr 5th:
Nice (12:22)
Cannes (12:52)
Toulon(14:16)
Marseille (15:09)
Aix-en-Prov (15:26)
Avignon (15:48)
Lyon (17:00)

19:59

21:00

21:33

*= a low-cost, more basic Ouigo service departing from Lille Flandres station.
**= departs from Lille Flandres station.
***= this train arrives at Montpellier Sud-de-France station and calls at Nimes Pont-Du-Gard station.

Trains to Marseille also call at Avignon TGV.
Trains to Montpellier also call at Valence TGV and Nimes.
Trains to Bourdeaux also call at Poitiers.
Trains to Nantes also call at Le Mans and Angers.
Trains to Rennes also call at Le Mans.
The train to Mulhouse also calls at Dijon.

As can be noted on these tables, most of the 'connections; (those highlighted in bold) involve spending more than 90 mins in Lille between trains - and this can impact on the ticketing (see below).

What do I need to know about changing trains in Lille?

These are the THREE things that are particularly worth knowing when making connections in Lille:

(1) The Eurostars will arrive at Lille-Europe station and most of the TGV trains to other cities in France from Lille also depart from here
However, the departure details of the TGVs, such as which platform/track (voie) they will leaving from, aren't usually confirmed until around 15 mins before they are due to depart.
So on arriving at Lille, you will have to ascend up into the departure halls to wait for your onward connection.

(2) As can be seen above, what can be frustrating is that the connecting time between the arrivals of a Eurostar and the departures of the TGVs is usually very random.
So the potential time advantage of avoiding the need to transfer between stations in Paris, is usually negated by lengthy waits between trains in Lille.
How long you are prepared to wait between trains in Lille is of course a matter of personal preference, but spending up to two hours between trains in Lille station still makes for an easier journey, than crossing Paris by public transport.

(3) Many trains from Lille, including the trains to Bordeaux and the Ouigo trains, depart from a separate station, Lille Flandres
The relationship between the two main stations in Lille is a case of quite near, yet quite far.
Too near for public transport connections to be an obvious choice, though in bad weather making the one-stop-hop on the Lille Metro can be the best option,, but far enough away for walking with luggage to be literally a bit of a drag.

What do I need to know about the train tickets if I'll be changing trains in Lille?

When looking up tickets for train journeys between London and cities in France, all of the agents that sell such tickets, combine journeys via Lille with the journeys via Paris, on their search results.
So the journeys with a change of train in Lille can require seeking out -though if you're heading to any of the destinations in France listed, there will be at least one daily option via Lille, so keep looking.

Three things worth keeping in mind are:

(1) Travelling via Lille is usually more expensive than travelling via Paris, there are fewer trains on from Lille than on from Paris, so the cheapest tickets on the trains from Lille tend to sell out faster.

(2) As the journeys via Lille avoid the time required to transfer between stations in Paris, you might expect journeys via Lille to be typically faster than those via Paris, but they're not.
The connecting time between trains in Lille tends to be similar, or longer, to the time it takes to cross Paris on the metro or RER.

(3) The ticket agents rarely sell end-to-end journeys via Lille which involve waiting more than 1hr 15mins between trains; though this has changed for the better in response to the pandemic.

However, as can be seen above there are often TGV trains on to other cities in France which depart around two hours after a Eurostar has arrived from London
If you would prefer to spend around two hours waiting in Lille-Europe station for a connecting train, rather than making a cross Paris transfer, then the only option can be booking two separate tickets.
One for the London to Lille journey and the other for the journey on from Lille - our journey guides point out when this is an option.

What if the Eurostar arrives too late to make a booked connection in Lille?

This is a very unlikely scenario, but if you have booked end-to-end tickets, your tickets will be re-issued free of charge for the next available train(s) on to your final destination.
However, if you have booked separate tickets for each train, you may need to buy replacement tickets in Lille and then claim a refund.
Though the only scenario in which you should be booking separate tickets, is if the connecting time between trains in Lille is more than 75mins - so it’s highly unlikely that you will find yourself in this situation.

Travelling on from Lille to nearby towns:

London to northern France by train

If you’ll be making a train journey from London to other towns in northern France such as Amiens, Arras or Douai, you’ll be connecting into a TER train, which will depart from Lille Flandres station.

You may as well as book the ticket for the onward journey by TER train, when you’re at the station in Lille, as you won’t save by booking the ticket for the TER train journey in advance online.

Making onward connections in Paris:

London to Europe by train via Paris

There is no main central station in Paris, the city centre is surrounding by seven terminus stations, each of which serves different destinations.
So when making train journeys from London to destinations to the east, south and west of the French capital, changing trains in Paris means changing stations too.

What destinations can be reached only by changing trains in Paris?

Travelling via Paris is the best option if you want to travel from the UK by train to Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

Destinations outside of France which have direct daytime trains from Paris include Barcelona; Basel; Figueres; Geneva; Girona; Lausanne; Milan; Stuttgart; Turin and Zurich.

Though Paris has lost nearly all of its international overnight train services, with the most recent withdrawal being the night train which headed to Venezia/Venice and and also called at Brescia, Verona, Vicenza and Padua.

Having to transfer between stations in Paris is also the best option for travelling between the UK and a swathe of French towns and cities by train.
Popular destinations which fall into this category include: Antibes, Besancon, Belfort, Biarritz, Brive, Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, Colmar, Hendaye for north-west Spain, La Rochelle, Nice, Orleans and Toulouse.

On most of days of the year, travelling via Paris is also the optimum routing if you’re heading to destinations to the east of Lyon - including Aix-les-Bains; Chambery and Grenoble.
However, on the days when the direct London to Lyon train is operating, it’s worth exploring your options for making the much simpler connections at Lyon Part-Dieu station.

What do I need to know about changing trains in Paris?

The Eurostars arrive at the Gare Du Nord in Paris, but the only other long distance trains from this station are heading north, back towards Lille and Bruxelles.
Trains heading east, south and west from the French capital, depart from SIX other stations in Paris - Austerlitz, Bercy, Est, Lyon, Montparnasse and St Lazare.

(1) Austerlitz is the station that Intercités trains on to Toulouse via Limoges and Brive depart from, as well as trains to Orleans and Tours.
Connecting to Austerlitz from Gare Du Nord
It is directly linked from the Gare Du Nord by line 5 of the Paris Metro, take trains heading towards to ‘Place d’Italie’
Though the connection isn’t step free, you’ll have to heave luggage down two flights of stairs at Gare d’Austerlitz metro station.
It’s also a nine station journey, so allow 30 - 40 mins from stepping off of a Eurostar to departing by train from Austerlitz.

(2) Bercy is the station that the Intercités trains to Clermont Ferrand via Nevers and Vichy depart from.
Connecting to Bercy from Gare Du Nord
The easiest public transport route from the Gare Du Nord to Bercy station is to take a RER Line D (Sud) train to the Gare De Lyon and connect there for a Line 14 Metro train (direction Olympiades).
Allow 45 mins to make this transfer between the two stations, though you may make it in around 30 mins if time is tight.

(3) Paris Est also known as Gare de l’Est, is unsurprisingly where trains to destinations to the east of the French capital depart from.
Paris Est

So you’ll need to make the somewhat awkward transfer between the Gare Du Nord and Gare De l’Est if you’ll be heading to Metz, Nancy, Reims and Strasbourg and other destinations in Alsace via Paris.

(If you’ll be travelling between the Britain and some cities to the east of Paris, including Frankfurt (Main) and Luxembourg - then the easiest journey option is to travel via Bruxelles).

On a map the Est and Nord stations seem very close to each other, but that’s partially why for the time being, it’s an awkward transfer.
The 7 - 12 min walk between the stations is made complicated by a steep flight of stairs and it’s also not the smartest part of town.
Purchasing a Metro ticket for a one-station hop on Line 5, or resorting to a taxi for a 5 min ride can actually be options worth considering - our guide explains why.

(4) The Gare Du Nord is linked to the Gare De Lyon by the RER, the Parisian commuter trains which cross the city in tunnels.
Connecting to the Gare de Lyon from Gare Du Nord
The Gare De Lyon lives up to its name, as it is indeed the station in Paris that the TGVs to Lyon leave from; but it’s also the station where the TGVs to Burgundy, Franche Comté and other destinations in Rhone-Alpes depart from.
It is also the only Paris station used by trains to Barcelona, Languedoc, Provence, The Cote D’ Azur, The French Alps, Italy and Switzerland

From Gare Du Nord it’s a two station, 10 minute ride on any Line D (Sud) train, follow the signs in the RER station and make sure you’re NOT on a Line D (Nord) train or a Line B train.
We’ve produced a guide to making the transfer between the two stations, which you can find HERE.
The headline news that this transfer by RER isn’t as grim as it used to be, efforts have been made to brighten up the RER station at Gare Du Nord and there are also usually a lot more station staff visible.
Allow a minimum of 40 mins from a stepping off a train at Gare Du Nord to stepping on a train at Gare De Lyon; though if time is tight, it can be done in around 25 minutes.

(5) Trains from Paris to the west and south-west including Brittany, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Nantes, Poitiers and Rennes, as well as the TGVs to Toulouse and the Spanish border at Hendaye, depart from Gare Montparnasse.
Connecting to Montparnasse from Gare du Nord
It seems to be a fairly straight-forward connection from the Gare Du Nord to Montparnasse as Line 4 of the Paris Metro provides a direct link.
However, we’re not going to gloss over the fact that it is in fact a comparatively awkward transfer, particularly if you’ll have luggage.
It’s an impossible transfer if you require step-free access; you can discover why on our guide.

But in summary three things definitely worth knowing are:

  • On arrival at Montparnasse – Bienvenüe metro station, you’ll need to negotiate three flights of stairs in order to exit from the the Metro.
  • At Montparnasse it will typically take 10 mins from stepping off the Metro to being on the main concourse.
  • The typical total transfer time, from stepping off the Eurostar at the Gare Du Nord to being on the concourse at Montparnasse will be 45- 50 minutes.

(6) Trains from Paris to destinations in Normandy including Bayeux, Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre and Rouen depart from St-Lazare.
Connecting to St Lazare rom Gare du Nord
The transfer to St Lazare station from the Gare Du Nord should take 10 - 20 mins; the RER Line E station at Gare Du Nord is named Magenta.
Take RER Line E, there are trains every 5-10 mins to Haussmann – St-Lazare, which is also where the trains terminate.
There are short passage ways at both mainline stations connecting them to the RER Line E - but this is a comparatively straightforward station to station transfer.

Rouen is also served by trains from Lille, which avoid the need to make the transfer between the Gare Du Nord and St.Lazare, but to take these trains you will need to switch stations in Lille.

What do I need to know about train tickets if I’ll be making a connection in Paris?

These five GENERAL pieces of advice are worth keeping in mind when making a booking - they have to be general because each booking will also have specific terms and conditions.

(1) If you purchase a ticket for an end-to-end train journey which involves transferring between stations in Paris, it won’t include the Metro Or RER trains.

(2) Keep the connecting time between trains front of mind, the ticket agents won’t sell journeys with overly ambitious transfer times, but they inevitably always assume that the Eurostar will arrive in Paris on time.

(3) Journey options which allow around an hour to cross Paris, can become a race against the clock IF the Eurostar is 15 mins late.
In that scenario, move towards the front coaches of the train around 15-20 mins before the new arrival time at Gare Du Nord.
The exits on to the concourse at Gare Du Nord, from where you can access the Metro and RER, will be by the front of the Eurostar; and you’ll want to be by the doors when they open.

(4) If you’ve booked the cheapest, most heavily discounted, tickets for an end-to-end journey via Paris, they will be valid on the specific trains only; including the train on from Paris.
Though, if you miss a booked connection on from Paris due to the late arrival of a Eurostar, you should be able to either a book a new ticket free of charge, or claim a refund for any additional tickets you need to book.
That’s because both Eurostar and SNCF (French national railways) are members of the ‘Railteam Alliance’.

(5) However, if the Eurostar has arrived at the Gare Du Nord in good time* to make the transfer, but you miss the connection because;

  • of a delay on the Metro or RER,
  • your taxi or bus got stuck in traffic,
  • you took the wrong Metro line…or any other circumstances not directly attributable to SNCF...
    ...then it's likely you will have to purchase new tickets for your onward connection, or pay a price difference with the more expensive ticket ; and any subsequent refund request may be refused.

*It can be a grey area, if the Eurostar arrived at the Gare Du Nord 30 mins late for a 90 min connection, but you subsequently missed your onward train because your taxi got stuck in traffic, it could be argued that the missed the connection was not attributable to Eurostar or SNCF.

Hence a scenario best avoided, so if you want to purchase the cheapest possible tickets AND maximise your chances of a stress-free transfer, our advice is to allow two hours between the arrival of a Eurostar and a departure on from Paris.
Particularly if you’ll be making the connection into the final train of the day on from Paris.

If all goes well you can relax and have something to eat/drink** before your next train leaves, you might have traded the fastest possible journey, but it can be worth it!
**If you’ll be taking a train on from Montparnasse, the much better option is to seek out a bar/café near the station.

....................................................................

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary tickets for journeys from London to all major towns and cities in France are sold by

EUROSTAR

OUI.SNCF

TRAINLINE

....................................................................

Back to London:

Paris to London

Lyon to London

Lille to London

Marseille to London

to Austria:

London to Austria by train

London <> Austria train journeys have been transformed for the better by the re-instatement of direct overnight trains between Bruxelles and Wien/Vienna.

The arrival times are scheduled to be:
- in Linz at 06:43 (connect for Cesjke Budejovice)
- in St Polten at 07:45
- in Wien Hbf at 08:27 (connect for Budapest, Graz and Klagenfurt)

However, this train will only depart from Bruxelles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings; with the journey FROM Wien/Vienna being available on Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays.

Therefore when travelling by train from London to Austria on other days of the week, whether travelling overnight or by day, the end-to-end journey will involve making a minimum of two connections.
So the advice is to pay attention to the time you'll have to change trains, when looking up the journey on the ticket booking websites.

None of the connections will be absolutely guaranteed so on these routes, extending the time you'll have to change trains, can be the best option - increase the journey time, but minimize the stress.

How can I make a daytime train journey from London to Vienna/Wien and Linz?

To travel by train from London to Wien/Vienna or Linz in a single day involves:

  • taking a Eurostar from St Pancras to Bruxelles-Midi
  • taking an ICE train from Bruxelles-Midi to Frankfurt (Main) hbf.
  • another ICE train on from Frankfurt (Main) hbf to Linz Hbf and Wien Hbf

Theoretically straightforward as Bruxelles-Midi and particularly Frankfurt (Main) hbf aren’t awkward stations in which to change trains.

However, it is the timing of these connections that carry a risk of, making what should be (and more often than not will be) a seamless travel experience, into what can a very fraught journey indeed.
The Eurostars are timed to arrive in Bruxelles/Brussels around 18-20 mins before the ICE trains on to Frankfurt are due to depart; and then the ICE trains are due to arrive in Frankfurt (Main) around 30 mins before the trains depart for Linz and Wien.

So absolutely ideal IF the trains are on time, but that’s a fairly big if, ShowMeTheJourney doesn’t have access to daily train running performance checklists, but in our experience there’s around a 7% chance that either one of the two connections will be missed.

Hence our advice to set off from London as early as possible, before 07:00 (not an option on Sundays) and then you can maximise the opportunities to reach your final destination in Austria by the end of the day.

Though to do so you'll probably need to book separate tickets for the London to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Vienna journeys.

How can I travel by train from during the day from London to Salzburg?

The daytime train journey from London to Salzburg is surprisingly awkward, the optimum routing is actually to travel via Paris and not Bruxelles.

(1) Take the 09:31 Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord in Paris.
(2) Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De l’Est.
(3) Take the 13:55 DB-SNCF train to Stuttgart Hbf – which will be leaving Paris around an hour after you should have arrived at the Gare Du Nord
(4) Then at Stuttgart Hbf you should have 54 mins to connect into the 17:58 EC train on to Salzburg; but this train doesn't arrive in Salzburg on Saturdays

However, on the other days of the week, this train from Stuttgart arrives too late in Salzburg for connections into virtually all destinations in the Tyrol and Austrian Alps.

In the unlikely event of missing this connection in Stuttgart, there will be other options for reaching Salzburg by the end of the day, but they’ll all involve an additional connection in Munchen/Munich.

How do I make a daytime journey by train from London to Innsbruck?

To make the London to Innsbruck train journey by day, the easiest option is to travel via Paris and Zurich; though it isn’t possible to make the connections below at weekends.

(1) Take the Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord in Paris – departing St Pancras at 07:01 on Mon-Fri, arriving in Paris at 10:27
(2) Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.
(3) Take the 12:23 Lyria train from the Gare De Lyon to Zurich HB station.
(4) Take a Railjet from Zurich to Innsbruck – these trains also call at St.Anton.

The Lyria train from Paris is due to arrive in Zurich 14 mins before the departure of a Railjet, the 16:40 train, which is heading to Wien.
If a ticket agent offers this 14 min connection, our advice is to book it,
Should the Lyria train be delayed then tickets/reservations can be swapped free of charge, to the next Railjet to leave, at the SBB Travel Office in Zurich HB station.

How can I travel overnight by journey by train from London to Austria?

OPTION 1
on Mon/Weds/Fri to Linz and Wien/Vienna:

On Mondays. Wednesdays and Fridays it is possible to travel from London to Wien via Linz and to Innsbruck by making only 1 x change of train in Bruxelles.
The 15:04 Eurostar from London will offer a two hour connection into a new Nightjet service that OBB, the Austrian, national rail operator, has introduced on two nights per week.

OPTION 2
on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday to Linz and Wien/Vienna:
Take the 15:31 Eurostar from London which is due to arrive into the Gare Du Nord in Paris at 18:47.
You'll then need to make the transfer over to Paris Gare de l'Est as the Nightjet train to Linz and Wien/Vienna will usually be departing from there at 19:58.

OPTION 3
Nightly to Innsbruck and a Saturday option when heading to Wien/Vienna:

A Nightjet train departs nightly from Koln Hbf at 22:16, it is in effect two trains in one, with one part heading to Linz St Polten and Wien, while the other travels to Innsbruck via Munchen/Munich, Worgl, Kuftstein and Jenbach.
Note that this train does not serve Salzburg; for Salzburg you need to make an additional connection in Munchen Hbf,

To make the connection in to this night train on from Koln/Cologne, ticket agents will suggest that you depart London at 15:04 and make connections in Bruxelles for an ICE train on to Koln/Cologne.
However, the connecting time between the Eurostar and ICE trains in Bruxelles is only 20 mins; and if you miss the connection due to a late arriving Eurostar, you won’t make the train on from Koln/Cologne either.

The alternative is to leave London at 12:58 currently not available and connect into a Thalys train in Bruxelles, because then you’ll have around 80 mins to make the connection in Bruxelles; and you’ll also subsequently have nearly two hours to change trains in Koln/Cologne.

This a connection when it's better to be safe than sorry, so a good idea is to book these connections and then find somewhere to have a meal near to Koln Hbf station.

Though you'll probably need to book separate tickets for the London to Koln/Cologne and Koln/Cologne to Austria journeys, if you do opt to leave London at 12:58.

OPTION 4:

Frankfurt (Main) is a logical choice of location If you’d prefer to stay overnight somewhere when taking a train from London to Linz, Wien or Salzburg; though the only morning train to Salzburg is usually scheduled to depart from Frankfurt at 07:39.
There are many reasonably priced hotels in the vicinity of Frankfurt (Main) hbf.

OPTION 5:

If you’d rather spend the night somewhere when travelling from London to Innsbruck by train, if you opt for Frankfurt, then on day two you’ll then have to make an additional change of train at Munchen Hbf.
The alternative is to overnight in Zurich, as it has direct trains to Innsbruck, but in order to reach Zurich, you’ll need to make the cross Paris transfer from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.

Booking Tickets:

Tickets for train journeys from London to the large cities in Austria are sold by RAILEUROPE, though you will be charged a booking fee.

If you can't find the location you will be travelling to, it's likely that you will have to book separate tickets for the London to Germany or Switzerland journeys and the tickets on to your final destination in Austria.

Back to London:

Wien/Vienna to London

to Czechia:

London to Czechia By Train

In recent years Prague/Praha has become a destination which has become a lot more awkward to reach by train from London, due to the withdrawal of the Koln/Cologne to Prague/Praha overnight train.

Now the two easiest options remaining are:
(1) to make a comparatively fraught journey, which involves arriving in the Czech capital on a bus, or
(2) spending a night somewhere between London and Prague/Praha.

How do I travel from London to Prage/Praha by train during the day?

The only remotely viable option for an uninterrupted daytime journey solely BY TRAIN from London to Prague is ONLY available on Monday-Friday and involves THREE pitfalls.

(1) Arriving in Prague/Praha/Prag before the end of the day on ANY route is dependent on making a 20 min connection in Bruxelles AND a 23 min connection in Frankfurt (Main).

(An 'alternative' option involves travelling via Berlin and making a 9min connection in Berlin Hbf station; but even IF the train arrives in Berlin on time, changing trains there in under 9 mins is a stretch if you’re not familiar with the layout of Berlin Hbf.)

(2) Our preferred routing would be to travel via Frankfurt and then de-risk a third tightly timed connection in Schwandorf, by travelling via Regensburg and connecting there into a train on to Praha/Prague – but this routing isn’t sold online.
And is as complicated as it sounds!

(3) Though we’re being a tad obtuse because a faster more convenient option (if you gamble on making the connections in Bruxelles and Frankfurt) involves taking a bus (perish the thought) for the last leg of the journey.

A few years ago buses replaced trains on the Nurnberg to Prague route, so a journey option that's commonly offered by the ticket agents is:

How can I make an overnight train journey from London to Prage/Praha?

So we don’t recommend attempting to travel by train from London to Prague during day and making an end-to-end journey overnight is no longer possible, now that the Koln to Praha/Prag train has been withdrawn.

However, if you’re happy to stay overnight somewhere and split the journey into two days of travel, you can choose between these FOUR options:

OPTION 1: spend the night in Cologne
Day One: London to Koln/Cologne via Bruxelles
Day Two: Koln/Cologne to Berlin and Berlin to Prag
Take care to extend the connecting times in Berlin between trains when booking tickets with DB.

OPTION 2: spend the night in Berlin
Day One: London to Berlin via Koln
Day Two: Berlin to Prag

OPTION 3: spend the night in Frankfurt (Main)
Day One: London to Frankfurt (Main) via Bruxelles
Day Two: Frankfurt (Main) to Prag via Nurnberg – involves taking a bus from Nurnberg to Prague

OPTION 4: spend the night by Bruxelles-Midi station
Day One: London to Bruxelles
Day Two: Bruxelles to Praha/Prague via Frankfurt (Main), Nurnberg and Cheb
This option typically has the cheapest train fares as explained on Seat 61.

to Denmark:

London to Denmark by train

The days when you could take a boat train, a ferry across the North Sea and then a train from Holland all the way to Denmark are long gone; though on balance we'd probably prefer today's options, particularly when travelling overnight.

How can I make a daytime journey by train from London to Denmark?

Until Aug 21st an enhanced summer timetable is available on the Hamburg to Kobenhavn/Copenhagen route and the final train of the day which arrives in the Danish capital before midnight, departs Hamburg at 18:53.
However, arriving at Hamburg in time to catch this train is something of a gamble.
For the time being, the first Eurostar departure of the day to Bruxelles isn't leaving London until 08:01, but it has a connecting time of only 13 mins into a Thalys train on to Koln/Cologne.
Make the connection in Bruxelles and there will be nearly an hour available in Koln Hbf to make a connection into an IC train on to Hamburg, which is due to arrive there only 24 mins before the departure of that train on to Kobenhavn.
Neither the connections in Bruxelles or Hamburg will be guaranteed

How do I make an overnight journey by train from London to Denmark?

Until Sept 11th a Danish IC train will be departing Hamburg for Kobenhavn at 23:56 and it arrives in the Danish capital at 06:55, but it isn't a sleeper train, so doesn't convey sleeping cabins or couchettes, it's the same type of train that's used on the daytime services.
Connections are available in Bruxelles and Koln which 'enable' a 23:16 arrival into Hamburg when taking the 13:01 Eurostar from London, but the end-to-end journey is dependent on making an 18 min connection between trains at Bruxelles-Midi station.
Though this journey can be de-risked by setting off from London at 11:01.

The Snalltaget train from Hamburg, which does convey couchette berths, is due to depart Hamburg only a few minutes after the IC train at 223:59, but it doesn't make a station call in central Kobenhavn.

When the new Hamburg to Stockholm sleeper train begins operating from Sept 1st, it will be scheduled to arrive in the station at Kastrup airport at around 03:45am.

Cologne is the logical option for an overnight stay when taking a train from London to Hamburg, as it’s located at the approximate half way point of a London to Copenhagen journey and there's a comparatively wide choice of places to stay near to Koln Hbf station.

So take trains from London to Koln/Cologne and then on the next day travel on from Koln/Cologne to Copenhagen/Kobenhavn.

Another option which can often be found online involves travelling from London to Denmark by train via The Netherlands.
It involves a detour off the shortest route as the crow flies, but it's viable, because on day one you can take a direct Eurostar from London to Amsterdam; and then on day two travel from Amsterdam to Kobenhavn/Copenhagen by train is usually straightforward.
Or travel during the day from London to Hamburg via Rotterdam or Amsterdam, then spend the night in Germany before travelling on to Denmark on day two.

to Germany:

London to Germany by train via Brussels

Depending on the location of your final destination, you'll be travelling by train from London to Germany via Bruxelles or Paris.
The plus of travelling via Bruxelles is that the train on to Germany will be departing from the same station which the Eurostar will have arrived at.
A potential negative is that the daytime connections between trains in Brussels are usually, comparatively tightly timed - perfect if the Eurostar isn't delayed, but not so great if it is.

In contrast, the positive of traveling via Paris is that it's less likely that you'll be rushing to change trains, but the negative is that the need to make a transfer between stations.

Where can I travel to in Germany from London with only one change of train?

The only destinations in Germany that can be accessed from London by DAY, with one theoretically simple connection AND no need to transfer between stations - are Aachen, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Dusiburg, Essen, Koln/Cologne, Frankfurt (Main) and Siegburg/Bonn.
Both the ICE and Thalys trains services on from Bruxelles serve Aachen and Koln/Cologne.
The ICE trains serve Frankfurt (Main) and Siegburg/Bonn, while Thalys provides the only direct trains between Bruxelles and Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Duisburg and Essen.

What do I need to be aware of when making connections in Bruxelles on London to Germany daytime train journeys?

When looking up a London > Germany train journey by DAY via Bruxelles, the combination of Eurostar + ICE trains will be faster and it's often cheaper.
However, the timetable usually only allows for around 20 mins for the majority of connections in Bruxelles-Midi station, between the arrival of a Eurostar train and the departure of the ICE train on to Germany.
So it's ideal if the Eurostar from London happens to arrive exactly on time in Bruxelles, but delays can mean a race against the clock, or broken connections.

In the event of a missed connection tickets/reservations will be re-issued free of charge, but it’s not an ideal scenario.

Where can I travel to if I change trains in both Bruxelles and Koln/Cologne?
London to Germany by train via Cologne

If your final destination is another city in northern Germany, including Berlin, Bielefeld, Bremen, Hamburg and Hannover, the easiest end-to-end journey option involves making connections in both Bruxelles and Koln.

Where can I travel to if I change trains in Paris?

If you’re heading to destinations in Germany to the south of Koln/Cologne during the day by train, then a viable alternative to making connections in Bruxelles is to travel by train via Paris.

You’ll need to make the comparatively short transfer between Paris Nord and Paris Est stations, but there are direct trains from Paris Est to Augsburg, Frankfurt (Main), Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Munchen/Munich, Saarbrucken, Stuttgart and Ulm.
A plus of travelling via Paris is that the connections there are aren’t so tightly timed as those in Bruxelles.

Where can I travel in Germany to if I change trains in both Bruxelles and Frankfurt (Main)?

When travelling between London and other destinations in eastern and southern Germany including Dresden, Leipzig, Nuremberg and Wurzburg by train, the easiest option is usually

(1) a Eurostar from St Pancras to Bruxelles-Midi
(2) an ICE train from Bruxelles-Midi to Frankfurt (Main) hbf.
(3) another ICE train on from Frankfurt (Main) hbf to Dresden, Leipzig, Nuremberg and Wurzburg

Frankfurt (Main) Hbf is an exceptionally easy large station in which to make connections, particularly if you will be travelling with luggage.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary, tickets for train journeys from London to ALL major towns and cities in Germany are sold by -

TRAINLINE will sell tickets for journeys via Brussels or Paris.

EUROSTAR

B-EUROPE

Both of these two agents which sell tickets for journeys to most major cities in Germany, but only when travelling via Brussels.

B-Europe is particularly useful for looking up London to Aachen or Cologne journeys, as it enables easy comparison of the journey options which involve taking an ICE or a Thalys train on from Bruxelles/Brussels.

Back to London:

Berlin to London

Frankfurt to London

Hamburg to London Koln/Cologne to London

Munchen/Munich to London

to Italy:

London to Italy by train

Traveling by train from London to Italy has recently been compromised by the permanent withdrawal by Thello of the overnight train it operated between Paris and Venice/Venezia via Milano and Verona.
So if you'd rather not make the still available journey by day, you will need to overnight in Paris, or in a Swiss city with direct trains on to Milano and beyond, such as Geneve or Zurich

How can I travel from London to Italy by train during the day?

When travelling by day from London to Italy by train, the journey involves;

(1) Taking the Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord in Paris.
(2) Making the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.
(3) Taking the TGV France-Italy train or the newly introduced Italian Frecce services on from the Gare De Lyon direct to Torino, Novara and Milano.

What about travelling beyond Milano and Torino?

However, if you want to travel to other cities beyond Milano and Torino, how far you can travel from London to Italy in a day by train depends on when you will be travelling AND how early you are prepared to get up in the morning.

The USUAL* option available on Mondays - Fridays only, is to take the 05:40 Eurostar from London this departure is only available until July 31st and the 12:47 TGV on from Paris; and then you can connect at Torino Porta Susa station for trains heading to, Roma, Verona and Venezia/Venice.

Torino Porta Susa is the optimum location in which to make these connections as the TGV from Paris arrives in Milano at the city’s secondary station, Porta Garibaldi and NOT the main station, Milano Centrale.
So if you'll be making connections on to the likes of Bergamo, Modena and Parma you'll need to transfer between stations in Milan.

If you depart London on the daily year round train which leaves at 09:31, then the train on from the Gare De Lyon at 14:43 arrives too late in Torino or Milano to reach any other major city in Italy by the end of the day – except for Genova.

Though this train from Paris at 14:41 does connect in Torino for an overnight train to Roma, Napoli and Salerno.

Some other ideas for how to travel from London to Italy by train:

This guide to travelling between London and Italy by train on NeverEndingVoyage is rather fabulous!

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary tickets for journeys from London to Italy are sold by
TRAINLINE

Back to London:

Milan to London

to The Netherlands:

London to The Netherlands by train

Amsterdam and Rotterdam are now served by direct Eurostar trains from London, which means it is now easier than ever before to travel from London to any destination in the Netherlands by train.
Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam are connected by frequent and efficient trains to other Dutch cities, but depending on your final destination, the better option is to change trains in one city and not the other.

Sometimes this choice between Amsterdam, or Rotterdam isn't particularly obvious, hence we have split the options on the questions below.

Where can I travel to in The Netherlands from London with change of train in Rotterdam?

The Eurostar trains from London to Amsterdam aren’t non-stop, they also call in Rotterdam and if you’re heading from Britain to many Dutch cities, changing trains in Rotterdam is often the best option.
A swathe of Dutch destinations can be reached in under 40 mins by train from Rotterdam, including Delft, Den Haag/The Hague, Dordrecht, Gouda, Leiden and Utrecht.
What can be less obvious is that express Intercity trains also link Rotterdam with some more far flung cities including Amersfoort, Eindhoven, Groningen, Leeuwarden and Zwolle.
So if they’re your final destinations, connecting in Rotterdam is a better option than travelling via Amsterdam.

Where can I travel to by train in The Netherlands from London by making one change of train in Amsterdam?

As will be seen above the easiest option when travelling from London to many Dutch cities by train is to change trains in Rotterdam and not Amsterdam.
However, some cities in The Netherlands that don’t have direct trains from Rotterdam do have direct trains from Amsterdam.
These cities include Arnhem, ‘Den Bosch’, Deventer and Nijmegen, so when travelling to them by train from London, going via Amsterdam is the best option.

Changing trains in Amsterdam is also an easy option when heading from London to destinations in north-west Holland by train, including Alkmaar, Haarlem, Hoorn, Den Helder and Enkhuizen.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary tickets for journeys from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam on the direct trains are sold by

EUROSTAR

B-EUROPE

NS International

TRAINLINE

If you will be buying tickets for journeys to other destinations in The Netherlands, book them on NS International.
NS is the national rail operator in The Netherlands, so this website has the widest choice of journeys/tickets at the cheapest possible price.

Back to London:

Amsterdam to London

to Poland:

London to Warsaw By Train

Travelling by train from London to Poland has never been straightforward and if those night trains, which met ferries from England, ever did convey coaches to Poland, they are now distant memories.

How can I travel by train from London to Warsaw/Warszawa?

For those prepared to make a gamble on trains arriving and departing on time it is now theoretically possible on Mondays to Saturdays to travel from London to Warsaw/Warszawa in a single day by train.
Both RailEurope UK and Trainline will offer an end-to-end journey by train which involves departing London between 06:45 and 07:15 these Eurostar services are currently suspended and arriving in the Polish capital before 23:30.
But booking this journey is a high-risk strategy as making the journey by the end of the day depending on making a connection between trains in Bruxelles of 20mins or less AND two connections of under 40 mins in both Koln AND Berlin.

Therefore it's a journey option that on balance is best avoided, so another option is to split the journey and overnight in Koln/Cologne - there's a comparatively wide choice of places to stay near to Koln Hbf station.
So take trains from London to Koln/Cologne and then on the next day travel on from Koln/Cologne to Warsaw.
There are daily connections on from Koln/Cologne to Warszawa which involve departing from Koln hbf at 07:48; 08:48 or 12:48 and making connections in Berlin Hbf.

The trains from Berlin on to Warszawa also usually stop in Poznan.

to Spain:

London to Spain by train

The options for taking the train from London to Spain have been reduced in recent years, due to the withdrawals of the overnight trains between Paris and both Barcelona and Madrid.

Though this is partially as a result of the daytime train journey from London to Spain being faster than ever before - and despite the distance, it's no more complicated to reach Barcelona by train from London than many cities in France.

How do I travel by train from London to Barcelona, Madrid and destinations in eastern Spain during the day?

The number of trains available on the Paris to Barcelona route has currently been reduced due in response to the pandemic, despite surging travel demand in 2022.

Until Sept 30th a summer only service will be departing Paris daily at 15:41, which makes the London to Barcelona journey straightforward, with an easily timed connection across Paris and 10:22 departure from London.

After Sept 30th making the end-to-end journey in a day will become something of a gamble, as it will allow less than an hour to make the transfer between stations in Paris.

OPTION 2:

Or on up to four days per week between late May and mid-September
you can make this journey from London to Barcelona by travelling by the direct Eurostar service to Lyon hopefully this currently suspended service will resume in 2023

It usually leaves St Pancras International at 07:15 or 07:19 and has an easily timed connection at Part-Dieu station of around 1hr 25 mins into the daily AVE train on from Lyon.

This train departs from Lyon at 14:28 and is due to arrive in Figueres-Vilifant at 18:35, Girona at 18:52 and Barcelona Sants at 19:33.

In Barcelona connections will be available for travel on to Madrid, Reus, Sitges and Tarragona and Zaragoza and Valencia.

How do I travel overnight by train from London to Barcelona, Madrid and destinations in eastern Spain?

The Paris to Barcelona night train service was discontinued some years ago, so if the making the long end-to-end journey in a single day has limited appeal, making an overnight stop en route is the best alternative.

If you’re heading to Barcelona, spending the night in Montpellier rather than Paris, can be a good option – you can also avoid the hassle of a cross Paris transfer if you travel to Montpellier via Lille.

The RENFE-SNCF train to Barcelona Sants departs daily from Montpellier St Roch at the comfortable time of 09:33 (usually) and arrives in Barcelona at 12:38 around an hour before the first train of the day from Paris.
So this train also arrives in Barcelona in good time to make easy connections into trains to other destinations in eastern Spain.

Spending the night in Montpellier is a particularly viable option if you want to travel from London to Madrid by train.
There are no direct trains between Paris and Madrid, but that 09:33 train from Montpellier arrives at Atocha station in Madrid at 15:45 – it also calls at Zaragoza.

How do I travel by train from London to destinations in northern Spain during the day?

If you’re heading to northern Spain, then it’s possible to travel to cities including Burgos, Bilbao, Irun and San Sebastian and Valladolid in a day by train from London - IF you will be making the journey on Monday to Saturday.

The routing is:

(1) Take the 08:01 Eurostar from London to the Gare Du Nord in Paris - arriving at 11:17.
(2) Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare Montparnasse.
(3) Take the TGV train which USUALLY departs from the Gare Montparnasse at 12:52 to Hendaye and Irun*

*If you’re heading to San Sebastian the easiest option is to leave the train from Paris at Hendaye and connect there into the local Euskotren service to San Sebastian/Donastia ; you should be in the centre of San Sebastian around 45 mins after you have stepped off the train in Hendaye.

If you want to head to Bilbao then the only option is to also take this Euskotren service to San Sebastian/Donastia and then connect there for another Euskotren service on to Bilbao – though be aware that you’ll be travelling for more than three hours on what are the equivalent of Metro trains.

How do I travel by train from London to destinations in southern Spain?

The only viable option for travelling from London to the south of Spain by train is to travel to Barcelona and spend the night there.
On day two you can travel on to Cordoba, Malaga and Seville on the direct trains from Barcelona, or by making additional connections at Madrid – Atocha station.

Booking Tickets:

Tickets for train journeys from London to most destinations in Spain are sold by TRAINLINE

If you can't find the destination you will be travelling to, it's likely that you will have to book separate tickets for the London to Barcelona or Irun journeys and then for your journeys within Spain.

Back to London:

Barcelona to London

to Switzerland:

London to Switzerland by train via Paris

The direct trains which operated between Lille and Geneva proved to be a failed experiment, so when making a train journey from London to Switzerland the need to transfer between stations in Paris nearly always can't be avoided.

How do I travel by train from London to Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich?

The only usual viable option taking a train journey from London to Basel, Geneve, Lausanne or Zurich is:

(1) Take the Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord in Paris.
(2) Make the transfer in Paris from the Gare Du Nord to the Gare De Lyon.
(3) Take the Lyria train service on from the Gare De Lyon to Basel, Geneve, Lausanne or Zurich.

If you really would rather avoid travelling via Paris, then on the dates when the direct London to Lyon Eurostar is operating, an option for London to Geneva train journeys is to travel via Lyon.
There will be a connection of around 90 mins at Lyon Part Dieu station between the arrival of the train from London and a TER train on to Geneve.
There are no longer any direct trains between Bruxelles or Lille and Switzerland; and there are no overnight trains between Paris and Switzerland.

How do I travel by train from London to other destinations in Switzerland?

(1) For destinations in western Switzerland including Brig, Neuchatel Sion, Visp and Yverdon, the simplest option is to make additional connections in Geneve or Lausanne.

(2 For destinations in central Switzerland including Bern, Luzern, Interlaken and Olten, make a relatively simple additional change of train in Basel.

(3) For destinations in eastern and southern Switzerland including Bellinzona* Chur*, Landquart*, Lugano*, St Gallen, Schaffhausen and Winterthur, make an additional connection in Zurich.
*These destinations also have direct trains from Basel SBB station, but Zurich HB is an easier location in which to change trains, particularly if you have heavy luggage etc.

However, if the tickets you’re looking up are routing you with a change of train of Basel SBB, then go ahead and book them, particularly if you can find a good deal – all of the platforms/tracks at Basel SBB have step free access.

Booking Tickets:

Ticket booking links and tips for how to buy them are including on our journey guides.

In summary tickets for journeys from London to Switzerland are sold by

RAILEUROPE

TRAINLINE

Back to London:

Basel to London

Geneva to London

Zurich to London

Other sources of information:

(1) We have summarised much of the info our London to Europe by train guide, but if you want or need the full details, look no further than Seat 61.

(2) If you will taking multiple trips around Europe by train then the European Rail Timetable can be a big help with planning your routes and weighing up the journey options.

(3) If you're not a detail person and just need quick access to departure and journey times on your phone, then download the DB Navigator app.

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Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.

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This second version of ShowMeTheJourney is exciting and new, so we are genuinely thrilled that you are here and reading this, but we also need your help.

We’re striving not to let anything get in the way of providing the most useful service possible, hence a facility has been set up with DonorBox which can be used to support the running costs and make improvements.

Instead of advertising or paywalls, your financial support will make a positive difference to delivering an enhanced service, as there’s a lot of ideas which we want to make happen.

So if you have found the info provided here to be useful, please consider saying thank you.