Posted by: morgangoesabroad | October 25, 2010

The Do’s and Don’ts of European Railways

In just under two months I have managed to travel to 6 countries and 12 different cities in Europe. I have also managed to get horribly lost in the train system (counting metro)  3 times. I finally feel as though I have some sort of handle on it (although that’s what I said last time…) so I decided to take the phrase “lived to tell about it” literally and came up with this list of do’s and don’ts.

1. DO make sure the other people getting on the train are going the same place that you are. Sounds easy, but you’d be surprised at how quickly these sneaky little guys can humble you.

2. DON’T buy your ticket online. They are always cheaper at the station and they sell standing room after all the seats are gone.

3. DON’T assume just because the nice guy who sold you your ticket speaks English…that anyone else working on the train will.

4. DO travel with other people. They make getting lost more fun.

5. DON’T fall asleep on an overnight train. You might wake up at 2am in the middle of a train yard and the only person still on the train except for a very confused worker who has no idea why you are still there…and doesn’t speak English.

6. DO make sure the car you are in is not scheduled to randomly split off from the rest of the train and stop in a train yard for the night instead of your final destination.

7. DO pass on travel karma. You never know when you’re going to be kicked off a train in the middle of Germany aaand having the universe on your side comes in handy.

8. Highlighted stops on your ticket usually mean you have to transfer trains. DON’T miss these. Even though they say the name of the stop in a foreign language, this is no excuse to the German train conductors.

9. DO make friends with Croatian soccer players.

10. DO bring snacks. Sometimes a two-hour train magically turns into a ten-hour train and the food guys only come by once.

Here’s to getting lost in Europe 🙂

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