The best trains in Italy:  A Eurostar Italia ETR500 power car

To buy train tickets within Italy, use www.loco2.com, www.italiarail.com or Italian Railways' own website www.trenitalia.com.

I want to go from Rome to...

     

       Click here for journeys starting in another city.

This page explains how to travel by train from Rome to other European cities and how to buy tickets the cheapest way. Train information is current for 2019.

Before you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

European train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...

Which station in Rome?

Roma Termini is the main central station in Rome, walking distance from most of the sights, and used by most trains.  However, Rome Tiburtina and Rome Ostiense are also important, but a little further out of the centre.  On this page, 'Rome' means Rome Termini unless it says otherwise.  Map of Rome showing stations.


Rome to other Italian towns & cities from €9.90 - www.italiarail.com.
Rome to Florence, Venice, Milan, Turin, Naples...
Rome to Pompeii, Sorrento, Amalfi...
Rome to Palermo, Catania, Siracuse & Sicily from €19.90...

Option 1, by daytime train.  Rome to Sicily in a single day, an epic ride...

Option 2, by overnight sleeper.  The time-effective option...

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Rome to London from €74...

Option 1, by Eurostar & TGV...

Option 2, using the Thello sleeper train...

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Rome to Paris from €59...

Option 1, Rome to Paris in a single leisurely afternoon & evening, by high-speed train from €59 - fastest & cheapest...

Option 2, to see all the scenery in daylight, use high-speed trains from €58 with an overnight stop in wonderful Turin - the option I'd recommend!

Rome to Turin by high-speed Frecciarossa...

A Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale

A Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale More information on Frecciarossas & explanation of the 4 classes.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   A Frecciarossa 1000 train at Milan Centrale

Standard class seats, 2+2 across width.  Larger photo.

 

Executive class, 1+1 across width.  Larger photo.

Frecciarossa 1000 Business class seats   At-seat meal on Frecciarossa 1000

Business class seats 1+2 across car width, with tables for 2 and tables for 4 and complimentary prosecco. Larger photo.

 

In business class you can order a meal at your seat, around €18.  More information about Frecciarossas.

Turin to Paris by high-speed TGV...

TGV train from Paris to Milan about to leave Paris Gare de Lyon

A Milan-Turin-Paris TGV at Paris Gare de Lyon.  There's no check-in, just be on board at departure time...

TGV bar car   Food on board the TGV from Milan to Paris

Step 2, travel from Turin to Paris by high-speed TGV...  Above left, the cafe-bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes  Above right, The cheese platter from the cafe-bar.  Larger bar photo.

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

A table for four in 2nd class on the TGV to Paris.  360 degree photo.

 

1st class seats on the Turin-Paris TGV.  360 degree photo.

Mountains from the TGV train to Italy

Take a good book, a bottle o' red, and enjoy the scenery from Italy to Paris with your feet up...  These are mountains in France...  Watch the Paris-Milan TGV video guide.

Scenery from the train between Oulx and Turin

And these are mountains in Italy.  Scenery between Oulx and Turin, courtesy of www.discoverbyrail.com.

Option 3, by high-speed train from Rome to Milan, then Thello sleeper train from Milan to Paris - the most time-effective option...

Refurbished sleeping-car on the Paris to Venice 'Thello' sleeper train   1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper, in evening mode, on the Paris-Venice Thello overnight train...   2-bed sleeper, night mode, on the Paris-Florence/Rome overnight train...

A sleeping-car on the Thello sleeper train to Venice boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More Thello info here.

 

Sleeper with beds folded away.  Larger photo360.

 

2-bed sleeper.  Larger photo360 degree photo.

Thello couchette compartment   Boarding the Thello sleeper train at Paris.

4 or 6 berth couchette compartment.  Much more comfortable with just 4 people.  Larger photo360 degree photo.

 

A couchette car on the Thello train from Paris to Venice, at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More Thello info here.

Option 4, Rome to Paris via the Bernina Express & Swiss Alps from €106 - much slower, but the ultimate Alpine scenic experience...

First class seats   Bernina Express panormaic cars

Bernina Express 1st class seats...

 

the Bernina Express uses panoramic carriages...

The train descends from the Bernina Pass

The Bernina Express descends from the Bernina Pass...

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Rome to Nice from €35, Rome to Cannes, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Avignon...
Thello train from Marseille & Nice to Milan, at Marseille St Charles   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

The Thello train to Nice & Marseille about to leave Milan Centrale.  See more photos & information about these Thello trains...

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  There's plenty of room for luggage on racks & between seat backs...

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Cafe counter on the Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

The small cafe-bar counter on the Milan to Nice & Marseille Thello train serving tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks.

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Genoa and Nice.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

Yachts seen from the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Coastline seen from the Thello train from Nice to Milan

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Rome to Brussels & Bruges from €64...

Option 1, by daytime TGV via Paris, with overnight stop in Milan or Turin...

Option 2, using the Rome-Munich Nightjet sleeper train - an easy & time-effective option, with no need to cross Paris... 

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Munich.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 3, by day trains with overnight stop in Munich - if you prefer day trains to sleepers, also avoids crossing Paris...

Option 4, by high-speed train Rome to Milan, overnight sleeper to Paris & high-speed Thalys train to Brussels... 

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Rome to Amsterdam from €64...

Option 1, Rome to Amsterdam in a single day - runs daily except Saturdays...

ETR610 EuroCity train at Milan Centrale

An ETR610 at Milan Centrale, as used on the direct Milan-Frankfurt EuroCity train.  More information about ETR610 trains.

1st class table for two   1st class seats on an ETR610 train

Table for 4 in 2nd class, ideal for families...

 

1st class seats on the ETR610 EuroCity train...

Lake Maggiore, seen from the train

Lake Maggiore, seen over lunch in the restaurant car...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car on an ETR610...

 

Dinner in the diner...

Option 2, Rome to Amsterdam using the Rome-Munich sleeper - the safe, comfortable & time-effective option... 

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Munich.  More information about Nightjets...

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

High-speed ICE3 train at Amsterdam   ICE2 train, 2nd class

An ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal platform 2...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro car.  See sample menu.

Option 3, Rome to Amsterdam by day trains with overnight stop in Zurich - if you prefer day trains to sleepers...

Option 4, Rome to Amsterdam by day trains with overnight stop in Munich - Another option if you prefer day trains to sleepers...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Verona to Munich, at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the Brenner Pass scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these Austrian EuroCity trains.

Austrian second class seats   Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

Second class seats, mostly in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor like this, but some cars are open-plan saloons...

 

First class leather seats.  On a few trains you'll find 6-seat compartments too....

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads from Verona to Innsbruck...

Mountains on the Brenner route...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here...

Option 5, Rome to Amsterdam via Paris - if you want to stop off in Paris... 

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Rome to Geneva, Zurich, Lucerne, Basel & Switzerland from €59...

Choose between fast, comfortable & scenic (option 1, using mainline trains) and slow, comfortable, fabulous world-class highlight-of-your-trip scenic (option 2, via the Bernina Express).  With the daytime trains increasingly fast, there are no longer any sleeper trains between Italy & Switzerland.

Option 1, by high-speed train from Rome to Milan, then ETR610 EuroCity train from Milan to Brig, Geneva, Bern, Basel, Zurich, Lucerne...

ETR610 EuroCity train at Milan Centrale

An ETR610 EuroCity train about to leave Milan Centrale for Switzerland.  More information about ETR610 trains.

1st class table for two   1st class seats on an ETR610 train

Table for 4 in 2nd class, ideal for families...

 

1st class seats on the ETR610 EuroCity train...

Restaurant car of a tilting 'Pendolino' train from Geneva to Milan.   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

Restaurant car on an ETR160...

 

Lunch!

Lake Maggiore, seen from the train

This is Lake Maggiore, seen from the restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel EuroCity train over an excellent lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent Swiss red wine...

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

This is Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan-Zurich EuroCity train...

Option 2, Rome to St Moritz, Chur, Zurich via the Bernina route.  This route may be much slower and a little more fiddly to book, but it's an amazing experience, arguably the best train ride of them all through the Swiss Alps...

First class seats   Bernina Express panormaic cars

Bernina Express 1st class seats...

 

the Bernina Express uses panoramic carriages...

The train descends from the Bernina Pass

The Bernina Express descends from the Bernina Pass...

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Rome to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain...

Option 1, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Marseille - usually the cheapest & most direct option...

Thello train from Marseille & Nice to Milan, at Marseille St Charles   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

The Milan-Marseille Thello train at Milan Centrale.  See more photos & information about these Thello trains...

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Cafe counter on the Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

The small cafe-bar counter on the Milan to Nice & Marseille Thello train serving tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks.

Coastal views from the train between Toulon and Nice

View from the train between Nice & Marseille...

 

Marseille to Barcelona & Madrid by Spanish S100 AVE train.  See more photos & information about these AVE-S100 high-speed trains.

 

2nd class seats, all with power sockets.  Luggage goes on the racks at the car ends or above the seats.  Panorama photo of 2nd class

 

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes...

1st class seats on an S100 AVE.  Panorama photo of 1st class

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  Seen from the train and one of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline all the way from Girona to Perpignan...

Option 2, by daytime high-speed trains with hotel in Geneva...

Option 3, Italy to Barcelona by luxury cruise ferry...

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Rome to Lisbon & Portugal...
En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet   Trainhotel at Madrid

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

...return from dinner to find the attendant has made up the beds...

 

Gran Clase sleepers have a private toilet & shower...

 

The trainhotel Lusitania from Madrid to Lisbon is an articulated Spanish Talgo train.  Seen here at Madrid Chamartin station.

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Rome to Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin & Germany from €39...

Option 1, Rome to Munich by Nightjet sleeper train & onward trains to anywhere in Germany - the time-effective option...

  • Step 1, a comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaves Rome Termini at 18:58 every night and arrives at Munich Hbf at 08:19 next morning.

    Fares start at €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 per person in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

    Book this sleeper at either www.trainline.eu or www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  It's a good idea to check fares on both systems.

  • Step 2, now book an onward train from Munich to anywhere in Germany at www.bahn.de from €19.90 upwards, allowing at least 1 hour between trains in Munich.  You print your own ticket.  For example, you can leave Munich Hbf at 09:54 by high-speed ICE train and arrive Berlin Hbf at 14:24.

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Munich.  More information about Nightjets...

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 2, Rome to Munich & Germany via the Brenner route - a scenic daytime option...

  • Take a high-speed train from Rome to Verona in 2h50, then a comfortable Austrian EuroCity train with restaurant car from Verona to Munich via the Brenner Pass in around 5h10, see the Brenner Pass scenery video here.  The Verona-Munich EuroCity trains run every couple of hours and it's a lovely run up the Brenner over a meal in the elegant restaurant car.

  • Rome to Munich or anywhere in Germany starts at €39 in 2nd class or €69 in 1st class.

  • To buy tickets, first try booking direct from Rome Termini to your chosen German destination at www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket.

  • If through fares appear, that's great.  This will be the cheapest option, with all trains on one ticket.  If you see no fares simply switch to booking at www.loco2.com, clicking More options and entering Verona Porta Nuova in the via box with a stopover duration of 45 minutes. You print your own tickets.  Loco2 connects to both Trenitalia and DB German Railways, so can source both tickets as one transaction.

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Verona to Munich, at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these Austrian EuroCity trains.

Austrian second class seats   Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

Second class seats, mostly in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor like this, but some cars are open-plan saloons...

 

First class leather seats.  On a few trains you'll find 6-seat compartments too....

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads from Verona to Innsbruck...

Mountains on the Brenner route...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here...

Option 3, Rome to Frankfurt & Germany via the Gotthard route - another scenic daytime option...

  • Step 2, travel from Milan to Frankfurt by excellent ETR610 EuroCity train leaving Milan Centrale at 11:23 and arriving Frankfurt (Main) Hbf at 18:59.  The train travels along Lake Maggiore and through the Swiss Alps via the famous Simplon & Lφtschberg route.  Change in Frankfurt for Cologne, Dusseldorf and so on.  It's even possible to reach Hamburg or Berlin shortly after midnight!

    Fares from Milan to Germany start at €59.90 in 2nd class or €119.90 in 1st class.

    Book from Milan to anywhere in Germany at www.bahn.de or www.loco2.com or www.trainline.eu, looking for the 11:23 departure.  You print your own ticket.

ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy

An ETR610 train at Milan.  One train per day runs direct to Frankfurt.  More information about ETR610 trains.

 

2nd class seats on the ETR610 EuroCity train.  Larger photo.

Lake Maggiore, seen from the train

Lake Maggiore, seen over lunch in the restaurant car...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car on an ETR610.  Larger photo.

 

Dinner in the diner...

Option 4, Rome to anywhere in Germany by daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich...

  • Day 1, take a high-speed train from Rome to Verona in 2h50, then a comfortable Austrian EuroCity train with restaurant car from Verona to Munich via the scenic Brenner Pass in around 5h10, see the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

    Book from Rome Termini to Munich at www.loco2.com, first clicking More options, entering Verona (any station) as a via station and a stopover duration of 45 minutes.  Look for journeys with just 1 change.  Now re-run the enquiry with Bologna (any station) entered as a via station to see if this gives a cheaper or quicker 1-change journey, once or twice per day it does.

    You can leave Rome Termini as late as 12:15 arriving Munich Hbf at 22:45, but by all means take an earlier train for an evening in Munich.

  • Stay overnight in Munich.  Try the Sofitel Munich Beyerpost, Eden Hotel Wolff, InterCity Hotel or (budget) the Pension Locarno, all these hotels are right next to the station with great reviews.

  • Day 2, take comfortable ICE or IC trains from Munich to anywhere in Germany.

  • Rome to anywhere in Germany starts at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

  • To buy tickets, first try booking direct from Rome Termini to your chosen German destination using this special link to www.bahn.de which I have set up including an intermediate stop in Munich.  You print your own ticket.  For an earlier departure from Rome or longer stopover in Munich, simply adjust the departure time from Rome and/or click Add Intermediate stops and adjust the stopover duration in Munich.  Not rocket science, but a bit of trial and error is sometimes needed!

    If through fares appear, that's great.  This will be the cheapest option, with all trains on one ticket.  If you see no fares simply switch to booking at www.loco2.com, clicking More options and entering Verona Porta Nuova in the via box with a stopover duration of 45 minutes. You print your own tickets.  Loco2 connects to both Trenitalia and DB German Railways, so can source both tickets as one transaction.

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Rome to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €59..

Option 1, by direct Nightjet sleeper train from Rome to Salzburg or Vienna - the safe, comfortable, time-saving option... 

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Vienna & Salzburg.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 2, Rome to Salzburg or Vienna by daytime trains - a daytime option with lunch in Venice...

  • You can travel from Rome to Vienna by train in a single chill-out day from €58.  And how about lunch in Venice?

  • Step 1, travel from Rome to Venice by Frecciarossa high-speed train, leaving Rome Termini at 10:50, arriving Venice S. Lucia at 14:35. 

    If you'd like lunch and a wander around Venice, take an earlier train from Rome, for example the 06:50, 07:50 or 08:50.  The Rialto Bridge is just 20 minutes walk from Venice Santa Lucia, St Mark's Square just 27 minutes walk, see map of Venice showing station.  There's a left luggage office at the station.  Of course if you haven't been to Venice before, I'd recommend an overnight stop, not just a few hours!

    Book this train from €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class at www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, £, $ or Au$) or www.trenitalia.com (in €).  Italiarail will refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your booking reference.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board.

  • Step 2, travel from Venice to Vienna by smart Austrian railjet train, leaving Venice S. Lucia at 15:55, arriving Vienna Hbf 23:35.

    This train takes the wonderfully scenic UNESCO-listed Semmering route, you might see something of the landscape at least in summer when it's light until ten.  The railjet train has a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, see the railjet information page.

    For Salzburg, change in Villach arriving Salzburg around 21:48.  Don't worry about the 5-minute interchange at Villach, this is a recognised connection which many people make, it's a simple cross-platform switch from platform 2 to platform 3.  In any case you will have a through ticket so will be looked after if there's missed connection.

    Book from Venice to Vienna or Salzburg from €29 in 2nd class, €44 in 1st class or €59 in business class (= premium 1st class, a real treat) at www.trainline.eu (quickest & easiest to use, overseas payment cards no problem) or at Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly).  You print your own ticket.

Option 3, Rome to Innsbruck, Salzburg or Vienna by day trains in a single day via the Brenner Pass - the scenic daytime option...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Verona to Munich, at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these Austrian EuroCity trains.

Austrian second class seats   Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

Second class seats, mostly in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor like this, but some cars are open-plan saloons...

 

First class leather seats.  On a few trains you'll find 6-seat compartments too....

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads from Verona to Innsbruck...

Mountains on the Brenner route...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here...

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Rome to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo & Scandinavia...
1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Munich.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Danish InterCity train at Copenhagen...   1st class seats on a Danish IC3 train

All Hamburg-Copenhagen EuroCity trains are now Danish IC3 trains like this...

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm....

 

2nd class seating on the X2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the X2000 to Stockholm.

More info on X2000 trains

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Rome to Prague from €68...

Option 1, Rome to Prague overnight via Vienna - comfortable, safe & time-effective, with a chance to see Vienna on the way...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Vienna.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Czech Railjet train to Vienna at Prague Hlavni station

Step 2, take a smart modern railjet train from Vienna to Prague, with economy, first & business class, restaurant car, free WiFi and draught beer on tap...

Restaurant car   Economy (2nd class) seating

Restaurant car...  Courtesy David Malone

 

Economy (2nd) class...  Courtesy Cortney Lollar

Option 2, Rome to Prague or Cesky Krumlov via Zurich - a comfortable, safe & time-effective option...

ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy

ETR610 EuroCity train, as used on the Milan-Zurich route.  More information about ETR610 EuroCity trains.

 

2nd class seats on the stylish ETR610 EuroCity train...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car on an ETR610...

 

Dinner in the diner...

The sleeper train from Zurich to Prague

The sleeping-car to Prague, ready to leave Zurich HB.  Photo courtesy of Shaiq Ali Khan

City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper   City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   City Night Line deluxe sleeper, private toilet & shower   Comfortline sleeper corridor

Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.

 

The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe sleepers are similar to standard ones, but with a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.

 

Just like a hotel, the corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car.  There's a shower at end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.

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Rome to Bratislava from €64...

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Rome to Budapest from €68...
  • Step 1, travel from Rome to Vienna overnight on the comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaving Rome Termini at 18:58 and arriving at Vienna Hbf at 08:46 next morning.

    Fares start at €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with en suite toilet & shower are also available, and there's a shower for standard sleeper passengers at the end of the corridor.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

    www.trainline.eu (quickest & easiest to use, overseas payment cards no problem) or at Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly).  You print your own ticket.

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Vienna.  More information about Nightjets...

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

The morning RailJet train has arrived in Vienna.   Premium class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train   Economy class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train

Austrian railjet train from Vienna to Budapest.  This is a RailJet at Budapest Keleti...  More photos, video & information about railjets

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on railjet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats around tables, some unidirectional.

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Rome to Bucharest, Brasov & Romania...
  • Alternative step 2:  Stay overnight in Budapest, for an inexpensive hotel with great reviews right next to Keleti Station, try the Royal Park Boutique Hotel or the inexpensive Baross City Hotel just across the road or the Elit Hotel two minutes walk away.  Next day, take a daytime train across Transylvania to Cluj, Timisoara, Simeria, Brasov or Bucharest see details here.  These daytime trains are also bookable from €29 at www.mavcsoport.hu.

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Rome to Ljubljana & Slovenia, Zagreb...

Option 1, by the direct route through Trieste...

2nd class seats on the train from Venice to Ljubljana   The train from Trieste to Ljubljana

Inside the ETR563.  Larger photo.

 

The train to Ljubljana about to leave Trieste.  Courtesy of Marc Williams.

Scenery between Trieste and Ljubljana

Scenery in Slovenia, seen from the train from Trieste to Ljubljana...

Option 2, with overnight stop in Villach, Austria - a useful alternative...

  • Step 1, travel from Rome to Venice by Frecciarossa high-speed train, leaving Rome Termini at 10:50, arriving Venice S. Lucia at 14:35. 

    If you'd like lunch and a wander around Venice, take an earlier train from Rome, for example the 06:50, 07:50 or 08:50.  The Rialto Bridge is just 20 minutes walk from Venice Santa Lucia, St Mark's Square just 27 minutes walk, see map of Venice showing station.  There's a left luggage office at the station.  Of course if you haven't been to Venice before, I'd recommend an overnight stop, not just a few hours!

    Book this train from €29.90 at www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, £, $ or Au$) or www.trenitalia.com (in €).  Italiarail will refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your booking reference.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board.

  • Step 2, travel from Venice to Villach in Austria near the Slovenian border by comfortable Austrian railjet train, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 15:55 and arriving Villach at 19:11.  Book this from €19 at either www.trainline.eu or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at.

  • Stay in Villach overnight - try the Hotel Goldenes Lamm or Hotel City, both near the station with great reviews.

  • Step 3, travel from Villach to Ljubljana & Zagreb by direct train, leaving Villach at 06:25 and arriving Ljubljana at 08:11 and Zagreb at 10:43.  Buy this ticket at the station, likely to be around €20 to Ljubljana, €40 to Zagreb.

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Rome to Dubrovnik & Split...
  • You can travel overland all the way from Rome to Zagreb by train as shown above, then take a train from Zagreb to Split (daytime or sleeper) then a bus Split to Dubrovnik (4 hours, many buses).  But it's more time-effective to go by comfortable overnight ferry from Italy to Croatia as follows.

  • Step 1, book an overnight ferry with comfortable en suite cabin either from Ancona to Split or from Bari to Dubrovnik.  www.jadrolinija.hr sails on both routes several times a week, leaving 19:45-22:00 and arriving 07:00-08:00.  You can choose a private cabin or cheaper berth in a shared cabin.  There are also reclining seats, but I always recommend a bed in a cabin for a safe and secure night's sleep.  Make sure you're on deck with your camera ready as the ship approaches the beautiful Croatian coast!

  • Step 2, now add a train ticket from Rome Termini to either Ancona Centrale or Bari Centrale using www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, £, $ or Au$) or www.trenitalia.com (in €).  Italiarail will refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your booking reference.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board. 

    You should choose a train which arrives in Bari or Ancona at least 3 hours before the ferry sails, to allow for transfer to the port and check-in.  In Bari it's a 25 minute walk via Bari's pleasant old town to the ferry terminal, or a 10 minute taxi ride.  In Ancona, take a taxi from station to ferry terminal.

Ancona to Split ferries in Split Harbour   Deluxe cabin onm Ancona to Split ferry

Blue Line & Jadrolinija ferries in Split Harbour...  Above right, a deluxe cabin on the Blue Line ferry, which comes complete with an en suite jacuzzi...  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

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Rome to Belgrade & Sofia...

Option 1, with overnight stop in Villach, Austria - the cheapest and simplest option...

  • Step 1, travel from Rome to Venice by Frecciarossa high-speed train, leaving Rome Termini at 10:50, arriving Venice S. Lucia at 14:35. 

    If you'd like lunch and a wander around Venice, take an earlier train from Rome, for example the 06:50, 07:50 or 08:50.  The Rialto Bridge is just 20 minutes walk from Venice Santa Lucia, St Mark's Square just 27 minutes walk, see map of Venice showing station.  There's a left luggage office at the station.  Of course if you haven't been to Venice before, I'd recommend an overnight stop, not just a few hours!

    Book this train from €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class at www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, £, $ or Au$) or www.trenitalia.com (in €).  Italiarail will refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your booking reference.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board.

  • Step 2, travel from Venice to Villach in Austria near the Slovenian border by comfortable Austrian railjet train, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 15:55 and arriving Villach at 19:11.  Book this from €19 in 2nd class or €49 in 1st class at either www.trainline.eu or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at.  You print your own ticket.

  • Stay in Villach overnight - try the Hotel Goldenes Lamm or Hotel City, both near the station with great reviews.

  • Step 3, travel from Villach to Belgrade by direct train, leaving Villach at 06:25 and arriving Belgrade Centar station at 17:28.  There's lovely scenery along the River Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.  You can buy the ticket at Villach station, fare around €97 if bought on the day, there are always places available.  To reduce the cost you could pre-book a Villach to Zagreb advance-purchase sparschiene ticket from €29 at www.trainline.eu or www.oebb.at, but you'll then need to ask the Croatian conductor to sell you an onward ticket from Zagreb to Belgrade, likely to be about €35, or break your journey in Zagreb for a day to buy a new ticket.  Zagreb is a city well worth a stopover!

  • Step 4, if you're going to Sofia, spend the night in Belgrade, I recommend the historic Hotel Moskva.  Travel from Belgrade to Sofia by daytime train, see the Belgrade to Sofia page for full details.  From 14 June to 16 September 2019  there's a direct train called the Balkan which leaves Belgrade Topcider station at 09:12 and arrives Sofia Central Station at 20:30.  2nd class only, bring your own picnic and bottle of wine as there's no catering.  At other times of year you leave Belgrade Centar station at 06:10, change at Nis & Dimitrovgrad arriving Sofia at 19:00.  Buy this ticket at the station for €20.60, there are always places available, even on the day.  It cannot be booked online, and there's no need.

Option 2, Rome to Belgrade via the Bari-Bar overnight ferry - a lovely journey via a spectacular railway...

  • Step 1, travel by fast train from Rome Termini to Bari Centrale in about 4 hours from €29.90 booked at www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, £, $ or Au$) or www.trenitalia.com (in €, requires Italian language place names).  Italiarail will refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your booking reference.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board.  In Bari it's a 25 minute walk or 10 minute taxi ride from the station to the ferry terminal near the pleasant old town.  Allow several hours between train arrival and ferry departure, to allow for any delay and for the ferry check-in.

  • Step 2, sail overnight from Bari to Bar in Montenegro with Jadrolinija, as shown in the Rome to Montenegro section below.  The ferry sails weekly all year round, twice weekly in high summer.  In Bar, it's an easy 20 minute walk from ferry terminal to station.

  • Step 3, travel from Bar to Belgrade on the spectacular Bar to Belgrade Railway as shown here.  There's a daytime train and a sleeper train.  If the ferry is on time you might just make the one-hour connection between the ferry arrival and the 09:00 departure of the daytime train.

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Rome to Bar, Budva, Kotor & Montenegro...
Montenegro Lines ferry from Bar to Bari

The former Montenegro Lines ferry to Bari at Bar ferry terminal...

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Rome to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland...

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Rome to Lviv, Kiev & Moscow...
  • Day 1, travel from Rome to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train as shown in the Rome to Vienna section above, leaving Rome Termini in the evening and arriving at Vienna Hbf next morning.

  • Enjoy the best part of a day in Vienna, left luggage lockers are available.

  • Day 2, travel from Vienna to Lviv or Kiev by direct Ukrainian sleeping-car. leaving Vienna Hbf at 16:42 every day and arriving next day (day 3) at Lviv at 09:10 & Kiev at 16:14.  Introduced in December 2017, this train has a Ukrainian sleeping-car with comfortable 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, see the photos below.  An air-conditioned Slovakian restaurant car operates from Vienna to Zahony, on the border with Ukraine reached around midnight.  At Chop on the other side of the border the through sleeping-car is jacked up to have its wheelsets changed from European standard gauge (4'8½") to Russian gauge used in Ukraine (5').

    Book the train from Vienna to Lviv or Kiev online at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at.  This will only book one-way or round trip starting in Vienna because tickets need to be collected from an ΦBB station in Austria.  They cannot be collected in Ukraine.  Booking this way you pay no fee or mark-up, just the official fare.  The sleeper has become popular, it can sell out.

    If you have any problems or want a one-way ticket starting in Ukraine, you can also book the Vienna-Kiev train via reliable agency www.polrail.com, with tickets posted or couriered to you for a small fee.  Polrail are based in Poland so charge in zlotys, but as they have access to Ukrainian ticketing system they are good for booking this train.

    Booked through oebb.at:

    Vienna to Kiev costs €80.50 in a 3-berth sleeper, €90.50 in a 2-berth sleeper or €152.90 in a single sleeper.

    Vienna to Lviv costs €62.10 in a 3-berth sleeper, €70.10 in a 2-berth sleeper or €119.30 in a single sleeper.

    Booked through Polrail:

    Vienna to Kiev costs around €138 in a 3-berth sleeper €149 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €241 in a single-berth sleeper.

    Vienna to Lviv costs around €120 in a 3-berth sleeper €129 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €207 in a single-berth sleeper.

  • Day 3, take a sleeper train from Kiev to Moscow.  Train 6 leaves Kiev at around 19:36 and arrives Moscow Kievskaya at around 10:09 next day (day 4 from Italy).  Taking the route via Kiev avoids Belarus, so no need for a Belarus visa!

    The fare is around €92 with a bed in 4-berth kupι or €180 with a bed in a 2-berth spalny vagon.

    You can book tickets starting in Kiev at the Ukrainian Railways site https://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/ booking from Kyiv to Moskva Kievskaya.  You collect tickets at the station in Kiev.  Feedback appreciated!

    Change in Moscow for fast trains to St Petersburg, see the train travel in Russia page.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kiev sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf... Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

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Rome to Athens & Greece...

A train ride then Adriatic cruise - The civilised way to Athens...

  • Step 1, travel from Rome Termini to Bari Central by tilting Frecciargento train in 3h59 from €29.90 booked at either www.italiarail.com or www.trenitalia.comIt's an enjoyable and scenic ride across the spine of Italy.  Obviously, you should book the ferry first and work out connecting Rome-Bari trains afterwards.

    On arrival at Bari Centrale, walk 25 minutes or take a taxi from Bari Centrale to the ferry terminal which is adjacent to Bari's pleasant old town.

    Always allow at least 3 hours between train arrival and ferry departure.

  • Step 2, sail from Bari to Patras by daily cruise ferry with Superfast Ferries.  The ferry sails daily except Sundays at 19:20 and arriving Patras at 13:00 the next day (day 3).  On Sundays the ship sails at 13:30, too early to make connections from Rome but you can take a train to Bari on Saturday evening and stay overnight in Bari.

    You can check ferry times, dates, prices & buy tickets online at either the Seat61 Ferry Shop or www.superfast.com or www.ferriesingreece.com

    The ship is modern and comfortable, with restaurants, bars, lounges and sun decks.  You can book a deck place (a nice cheap option in summer if you have your own sleeping bag) or a reclining seat or a berth in various types of cabin, including luxury cabins with private shower & toilet.  Strolling the decks in the morning sun as the ship cruises past the islands of Cephalonia and Ithaca is the nicest part of the trip, and it's a wonderful way to arrive in Greece.

    In Patras, the ferry arrives at the new South ferry terminal a few km from the town centre.  Bus number 18 links the port with the town bus station every hour on the hour, fare €1.20 or you can hop in a taxi for around €7, journey time 15-20 minutes.

  • Day 3, travel from Patras to Athens by bus+train or direct bus.  There are regular Greek Railways (OSE) buses from outside Patras railway station to Kiato station where you board a modern air-conditioned regional train for Athens.  For Athens Larissa station (Athens main station in the city centre) you must change at Ano Liosia.  You can buy a through ticket to Athens at Patras station ticket office.  There's an OSE bus from Patras at 16:30 arriving at Kiato at 18:20, connecting into the 18:25 air-conditioned train from Kiato to Athens arriving at Athens' main Larissa Station at 19:50.  The bus+train combo fare to Athens is around €18, see here for information.  You can find these train+bus times on www.trainose.gr but it takes a while to find it - look under Destinations then Athens Suburban railway.  Alternatively, there are hourly direct buses from Patras bus station to Athens KTEL Kifissos bus station, fare around €20.60, although this means 3-4 hours on a bus.

A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

2 or 4-berth cabin with private toilet & shower.

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

At sea, passing Cephalonia & Ithaca.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

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Rome to Istanbul & Turkey...

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Railbookers custom-made tours

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, talk to Railbookers.  Railbookers can tailor-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk.

  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website.

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

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Hotels in Rome & other cities

    

Favourite hotel search & price comparison: hotelscombined.com

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less.

Favourite hotel booking site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

  • www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

  • www.booking.com is my own preferred hotel booking system (Hotels Combined being a search/comparison system).  It has a simple interface, a good selection in most countries worldwide, useful online customer reviews of each hotel, and decent prices, usually shown inclusive of unavoidable extras such as taxes (a pet hate of mine is systems that show one price, then charge you another!).

Backpacker hostels...

  • www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.

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Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

 


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