The city of Salzburg, Austria - easy to reach from the UK by train!

The city & castle of Salzburg, Austria.

London to Salzburg for €59?

Click to find out how...


London to Austria by train in a day from €88!

It's easy to travel from the UK to Austria by train, with no airports and no flights.  You can travel from London to Salzburg or Vienna in a single day by high-speed train.  Or you can take a lunchtime Eurostar to Brussels, a high-speed Thalys train to Cologne and the excellent Austrian Nightjet sleeper train to Linz or Vienna, arriving in time for breakfast.  How about the scenic route through Switzerland?  Travel from London to Zurich in just an afternoon & evening by Eurostar & TGV-Lyria, stay overnight, and next day take a superb railjet train from Zurich to Innsbruck, Salzburg or Vienna through the fabulous Arlberg Pass into the Austrian Tirol.  It's civilised, comfortable, affordable and far better for the environment than an avoidable flight.  This page tells you the best train times, fares & how to buy tickets for train travel from London to key destinations in Austria.

Train times, fares & how to buy tickets...

  London to Linz & Vienna

  London to Innsbruck, Kitzbühel & Salzburg

  London to Graz

  London to Hallstatt, Villach, Klagenfurt

  London & East Anglia to Austria via Harwich the ferry alternative...

  Scotland & north of England to Austria by ferry from Newcastle or Hull.

  Starting your journey from other UK towns & cities

Train travel within Austria...

  Train travel in Austria

International trains to or from Austria...

  Which station in Vienna?

  Trains from Vienna to other European cities

  Trains from Salzburg to other European cities

  Trains from Innsbruck to other European cities

  Trains from other European cities to Austria

Useful travel information...

  Country information:  Currency, dialling code, time zone...

  Hotels & accommodation

  Holidays & tours to Austria by train

  General European train travel information

  West Country & South Coast to Austria avoiding London

  Luggage on trains   Left luggage at stations   Send your luggage ahead

  Child age limits & travel with kidsTaking your bike  -  Taking your dog

  Travel insurance, EU Health card & SIM cards

  ÖBB 1st class lounges   -  Vienna Hauptbahnhof station

Interactive map:  Click a destination or route...

...for train times & fares from the UK, and how to buy tickets.

Sponsored links...


Useful country information

 Train operator in Austria:

ÖBB (Österreichische Bundesbahnen) - for train times & fares in Austria, see Eurostar times & fares.  All-Europe online train times.



Beginner's guide to European railpasses   Buy a rail pass online

 Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

 Dialling code:



£1 = approx 1.15 euros  Check current exchange rates

 Tourist information:   Vienna U-bahn (Underground)   Guidebooks

 Hotels & tours:

Find hotels in Austria    Hotel reviews:

 Page last updated:

2 March 2017.  Train times valid 11 Dec 2016 to 10 June 2017.

London to Linz & Vienna

Which route to choose?

It's easy to travel from London to Vienna by train, with several good options as you can see on the route map, all leaving daily.  Each is explained below.

Option 1:  London to Vienna in a single day by high-speed train...

  High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Frankfurt

An ICE to Frankfurt at Brussels Midi.  More photos & information about ICE trains.

Remarkably, it's now possible to travel from London to Vienna in a single day by high-speed train, at least on Mondays-Saturdays, and it's potentially the cheapest option.  In the Vienna to London direction you can travel any day of the week.  On an eastbound trip there's a reasonably tight 17-minute connection in Brussels, but you'll normally make this connection with no problem as physically changing trains only takes 2 minutes if you use the Couloir Sud short cut between platforms - the ICE may even be held a few minutes if the Eurostar from London is delayed.  Incidentally, if you were to miss this connection, don't worry, you're entitled to be carried forward on later trains as explained here, and to be put up in a hotel if you didn't then reach Vienna until the next day.  In the return direction, a journey from Vienna to London is possible on any day of the week, with easy and reliable connections.

The Man in Seat61 says:  "Returning from a conference in Vienna, I travelled back to London in a single day by train.  Those ICE trains are amongst Europe's most luxurious high-speed trains, and it's a day spent chilling out in a quiet and relaxed environment with your feet up and a good book, with a refreshing weissbier or two from the bistro as you speed through the landscapes of Austria, Germany & Belgium.  Breakfast & lunch are served on real china a proper restaurant car, and you'll even glimpse the Danube after Passau, as you'll see in my video.  Though I wouldn't call it blue.  More of a muddy brown..."

London ► Vienna

Vienna ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets, easily...

How to buy tickets, advanced...

How to buy tickets by phone...  UK call 0844 248 248 3, from overseas +44 844 2482483

Have your trip professionally arranged...

What's the journey like?


Leaving Vienna...


Breakfast on board...


First class seats on the Vienna to Frankfurt ICE-T train.

Scenery from the train

Chill out across Austria & Germany, with glimpses of the Inn and Danube rivers...


Lunch in the restaurant car...


The Frankfurt to Brussels ICE3 train, at Frankfurt.

Watch the video...

Vienna to London by train in a single day...

The video shows departure from Vienna Westbahnhof, but remember that the train now leaves from Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof.


Option 2, London-Vienna via Brussels & the Cologne-Vienna sleeper...

The Man in Seat61 says:  "This is the time-effective option, and the Austrian-run Cologne-Vienna sleeper is one of my favourite trains.  Not just because its Austrian couchette cars and sleeping-car are amongst the nicest in Europe, but because of the wonderful evening ride along the Rhine Valley.  In the evening light in summer or by moonlight in winter, you'll pass castles and vineyards along the sparkling waters of the Rhine, passing the legendary Lorelei Rock.  You can recognise the Lorelei from the word Lorelei painted in black on a white background just above the water line on the opposite bank, and from the two flags flying on its summit.  Watch the video!"

London ► Vienna

Vienna ► London

How much does it cost?

How much does it cost, in detail...

 1. London to Cologne

 by Eurostar + Thalys or ICE...

 Fares for Eurostar+ICE start at €59 (£49) each way.

 Fares for Eurostar+Thalys start at £56 one-way or £103 return

 Fares vary like air fares, so book in advance to get the cheapest prices.

 Child, youth, senior Eurostar fares


 2. Cologne to Vienna

 by Nightjet sleeper train

 one-way per person per bed...

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car






+ shower


+ shower


+ shower

 Fares start at...









On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

Return fares are twice the one-way fare.

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...  UK call 0844 248 248 3, overseas call +44 844 2482483

Have your trip professionally arranged...

What's the journey like?

From London to Brussels by Eurostar: See the Eurostar page for photos & information on Eurostar, check-in arrangements.

From Brussels to Cologne by Thalys:  Thalys trains have 1st & 2nd class and a cafe-bar, all seats have power sockets and there's on-board WiFi, free in 1st class but paid for in 2nd.  The 1st class fare includes a snack and drink.  See the Thalys page for more photos & information about Thalys

First class seats on a high-speed Thalys train. Second class on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne

Thalys 1st class (Confort 1)...

Thalys 2nd class (Confort 2)...

A 186 mph Thalys at Brussels.

From Cologne to Vienna by Austrian Railways Nightjet train...  This is an Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, plus three deluxe compartments with 1, 2 or 3 beds with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the northbound sleeper train in Vienna, if you have booked a sleeper you can use the first class ÖBB Lounge with complimentary drinks.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

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

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand...


The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...


A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Cologne to Vienna...


Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...


6-berth couchettes...


4-berth couchettes...

As night falls, the train to Vienna crosses the Rhine at Mainz

As night falls, the sleeper train speeds along the Rhine Valley.  Above, crossing the Rhine at Mainz...

Watch the video...

London to Vienna by Eurostar, ICE & EuroNight (now Nightjet) sleeper train, with a summer evening's ride along the Rhine Valley...

This video shows an older sleeping-car, the train now uses a more modern Comfortline sleeping-car.


Option 3:  London to Vienna by daytime trains with hotel in Zurich.  The scenic route!

If you prefer daytime trains and scenery to overnight sleepers, and want a leisurely journey with an overnight break, here's an ideal option with a hotel stop in Zurich.  Take an afternoon Eurostar & evening high-speed TGV-Lyria from London to Switzerland, stay overnight in Zurich, and next morning take a relaxing low-speed ride on a modern Railjet train along the Zürichsee then snaking through the fabulously scenic Arlberg Pass into Austria.  The world-class scenery through the Alps makes it a worthwhile experience!  By all means go one way by sleeper, the other by day.  See for yourself:  Watch the video & see the photos below!

  On board Railjet to Budapest

First class on a RailJet to Vienna, with a nice weissbier served at my seat.  Cheers!

London ► Vienna

Vienna ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...  UK call 0844 248 248 3, overseas call +44 844 2482483

Have your trip professionally arranged...

Arlberg Express!  Scenery through the Arlberg Pass into Austria...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the Railjet is running alongside the Zürichsee, then along the Walensee...

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Mountain scenery near Buchs

Watch out for hilltop castles - this is Sargans castle, seen from the train...


The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Liechtenstein station...

The mountains keep on coming...

Train into Austria, more scenery   Snowy peaks!

Mountain scenery and snowy peaks all the way, as the air-conditioned Railjet crosses into Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...


In Railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

The view of the Fortress Hohensalzburg as the Railjet crosses the River Salzach & approaches Salzburg station....

Watch the Video:

By Railjet through the Arlberg Pass...



What are the trains like?

From London to Paris by Eurostar: See the Eurostar page for photos & information about Eurostar, check-in & the journey.

From Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria:  See the TGV-Lyria page for more information about TGV-Lyria.

The single-deck TGV-Lyrias feature interiors styled by designer Christian Lacroix, with 1st and 2nd class seats and a cafe-bar car selling drinks & snacks.  First class fares include a complimentary cold breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack according to time of day.  There are power points for mobiles & laptops at all seats.  Incidentally, SNCF's in-house designer has never forgiven Christian Lacroix for breaking the unwritten 'rule' and using warm funky oranges and purples in 2nd class, cooler greys and lime green in 1st class, but see what you think!  Lyria is a consortium of the French and Swiss national railways, see the TGV-Lyria page for more information.

TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon   TGV bar car

Boarding a TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon.  There's no check-in, just be aboard a couple of minutes before departure.


The cafe-bar, serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, hot & cold snacks & microwaved hot dishes....

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

2nd class with a mix or unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats are 2+2 across car width.  Panorama photo.


1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Panorama photo.

From Zurich to Budapest by Railjet...   See the Railjet page for more information about Railjet

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

A RailJet arrived in Vienna spot on time.  More photos & information about Railjet trains


Economy class on RailJet, comfortable open saloons with picture windows.  Some seats arranged around tables, most unidirectional.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...


Business class...


The restaurant...

London to Innsbruck, Kitzbühel & Salzburg

  Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg

Salzburg Castle.  The views over the old town and to the nearby mountains are wonderful.  The castle is reached via a funicular railway, included in the admission price.  See

Which route to choose?

London to Innsbruck or Salzburg by train is no problem at all.  Choose one these options:

Option 1:  London to Salzburg in a single day from €59

This is the potentially cheapest way to Austria!  German Railways (DB) offer Sparpreis London fares from London to anywhere in Germany starting from €59 each way 2nd class, €89 each way in 1st class, which includes Salzburg because DB classes Salzburg as the extremity of its network even though it's in Austria.  This route involves one more change compared to going via Paris (see option 2 below), but there's no denying that reaching Austria for €59 is a bargain if it's available.  The changes of train are all quick and easy same-station changes, and as you will have a through ticket there's no risk of a missed connection because if there's any delay you'll be entitled to take a later onward train as explained here.

London ► Salzburg from €59

Salzburg ► London from €59

How to buy tickets...

On board the ICE...

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs are perhaps the most comfortable daytime trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  All seats in both classes have power sockets.

An ICE to Frankfurt waiting to leave Brussels Midi.  More ICE info.

Travel tips...

Have your trip professionally arranged...

Option 2:  London to Salzburg & Innsbruck, via Paris...

  Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg

Mozart's birthplace...  This is the house where Mozart was born, in Salzburg's old town, see  Salzburg is in many ways a much nicer place to visit than Vienna, though others may disagree!

You can travel from London to Salzburg in a single day via Paris, using Eurostar, a Paris-Munich TGV Duplex and an onwards train to Salzburg.  However, if you're heading for Innsbruck you'll need to stay overnight in Munich in the outward direction, as there's no connection late enough, but in the inward direction you can get from Innsbruck to London in a single day.  You might find this route cheaper than option 1 if the cheapest Sparpreis London fares are sold out.  It's slightly faster but not as scenic as option 3.

London ► Salzburg in a day, Innsbruck next day.

Salzburg or Innsbruck ► London in one day.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...  0844 248 248 3 (UK), +44 844 2482483 (overseas)

Option 3:  London to Innsbruck & Salzburg by day trains with hotel in Zurich.  The scenic route!

You can reach Salzburg in one day from London (see above), but it means an early start and late arrival, and it's a long day.  A more leisurely and scenic way is to break your journey in Switzerland, taking an afternoon Eurostar & evening high-speed TGV-Lyria from London to Zurich, stopping overnight, then taking a relaxing low-speed Railjet train snaking through the fabulously scenic Arlberg Pass into Austria.  The world-class scenery through the Alps makes it a worthwhile experience, see for yourself, watch the video & see the photos above.  By all means go one way by sleeper, the other by day.

London ► St Anton, Innsbruck, Salzburg, the scenic route...

Salzburg, Innsbruck, St Anton ► London, the scenic route...

What are the trains like?  See the photos above...

What's the scenery like?  See the photos & video above...

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Zurich

 London to Zurich starts at £60 one-way, £120 return.

 For full details of these fares see the London to Switzerland page


 2. Basel or Zurich to Austria 

 Zurich to Innsbruck starts at €19 (£17) each way in 2nd class or €29 (£25) 1st class.

 Zurich to Salzburg starts at €29 (£25) each way in 2nd class or €49 (£44) 1st class.

How to buy tickets...

How to buy tickets by phone...  0844 248 248 3 (UK), +44 844 2482483 (overseas)

Have your trip professionally arranged...

Option 4, London to Innsbruck via the Cologne-Innsbruck sleeperStarting 11 December 2016..

This is the most time-effective way to Innsbruck!  ÖBB Austrian Railways are starting a new Cologne-Innsbruck sleeper from the timetable change on 11 December 2016, part of their new Nightjet brand.  This will become the most time-effective option to reach Innsbruck.  Not only will this be a comfortable Austrian-run Nightjet train, it gives you a the wonderful evening ride along the Rhine Valley.  In the evening light in summer or by moonlight in winter, you'll pass castles and vineyards along the sparkling waters of the Rhine, passing the legendary Lorelei Rock.  You can recognise the Lorelei from the word Lorelei painted in black on a white background just above the water line on the opposite bank, and from the two flags flying on its summit.

London ► Innsbruck

Innsbruck ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...  UK call 0844 248 248 3, overseas call +44 844 2482483

London to Graz

Option 1, by Nightjet sleeper train via Vienna...

This is the most time-effective option, and includes a moonlit run down the Rhine Valley in your sleeper.

London ► Graz

Graz ► London

Fares & how to buy tickets...


Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich...

London ► Graz

Graz ► London


How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

London to Hallstatt, Villach, Klagenfurt

London ► Hallstatt, Villach, Klagenfurt

Klagenfurt, Villach, Hallstatt ► London


How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

London & East Anglia to Austria via ferry

  Boarding the Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland

London to Holland by Dutch Flyer train & ferry...  A train takes you from London's Liverpool Street station directly to the ferry terminal at Harwich.  You walk off the train, into the terminal, get your boarding card & cabin key at the Stena Line check-in desk and walk straight onto the overnight ferry to Hoek van Holland.  The new superferry Stena Hollandica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  See the Netherlands page for details and see the video...

  Standard inside cabin on the ferry

Cosy cabins:  The overnight Harwich-Hoek ferry is a floating hotel.  All passengers travel in a cosy private cabin with en suite shower & toilet and satellite TV.  This is the cheapest 2-berth cabin...

  Captain's suite deluxe cabin on the Stena Line ferry 'Stena Hollandica'

A Captain's Class cabin with double bed...

  ICE train to Switzerland at Frankfurt hauptbahnhof

Onwards to Austria by ICE high-speed train:  This is a superb German ICE train at Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof...

The ferry alternative...

If you want to avoid the Channel Tunnel, perhaps if problems are affecting the Eurostar service or if you suffer from claustrophobia, you can travel by train and ferry instead.  Indeed, if you need to travel at short notice when cheap Eurostar tickets have sold out, the rail & sail option is often still affordable.  I don't recommend travelling via Dover & Calais, even though it may seem like the most direct route, because bus transfers are now required between station and port in both Dover and Calais, and you can no longer buy through tickets from London to Paris this way.  Instead, I recommend using the excellent integrated rail & sail service via Harwich & Hoek van Holland, because trains arrive right at the ferry terminal in both Harwich and Hoek, through tickets are available from London to any Dutch station, and an overnight ferry with comfortable private cabins gets you to Holland in the morning in time for onward daytime trains to Austria - see the video!  This is also a handy option if you live in East Anglia.  It's one of the routes shown in dark blue on the route map above.  Here's how to do it:

London, East Anglia & Harwich ► Austria

Austria  ► Harwich, East Anglia & London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone:  Special booking form

Scotland & the North of England to Austria

  DFDS Seaways ferry 'Princess of Norway' about to sail from Newcastle.

DFDS Seaways Princess of Norway about to sail overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam...

  A Commodore Deluxe cabin on DFDS Seaways

A Commodore deluxe cabin with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  See the video...

  A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

A standard Seaways class cabin with shower & toilet on DFDS Princess of Norway from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

Naturally, one option is to take a train up to London, then travel to Austria as described above.  You can buy special connecting train tickets from most UK stations to London International, see advice on buying connecting train tickets to London.  But DFDS Seaways ( run an excellent daily cruise ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam overnight, and P&O Ferries ( sail overnight from Hull to Rotterdam.  After a day in Amsterdam, take a late afternoon train from Amsterdam to Cologne and the Nightjet sleeper train to Austria.  So why not by-pass London, and have some time in Amsterdam into the bargain?

Scotland & the north of England ► Austria

Austria ► Scotland & the north of England

Fares & how to buy tickets...

Send your luggage in advance

Ride the trains without heavy luggage... 

Send your suitcase ahead by Luggage Mule from around £30 each way.

Holidays & tours to Austria by train logo

020 3327 0761 (UK)

1-888-829-4775 (USA)

1-855-882-2910 (Canada)

1300 971 526 (Aus)

0800 002 034 (NZ)


01904 730 727


01904 527120

If you want a holiday to Austria by train not plane, and want someone to organise all the train tickets & hotels for you, several specialist companies do just that, for a holiday with no airport hassles and no long days in cramped coach seats on motorways.  Railbookers offer tailor-made individual holidays with departure on any date you like, whereas Rail Discoveries & Great Rail Journeys offer escorted tours with specific departure dates.

Railbookers for custom-made tours by train...

Rail Discoveries for escorted tours,, 01904 730 727.

Great Rail Journeys for escorted tours,, 01904 527 120.

The European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team have set up a private venture and published the first edition of a reborn European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from


The Man in Seat 61 book - click to buy onlineRough Guide to Austria - buy online at Planet Austria - buy online at to buy - Lonely Planet Western EuropeA good guidebook is a sound investment.  For independent travel, the best guides are the the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.  Both guidebooks have the same excellent level of practical information and cultural and historical background.  You won't regret buying one!  My own book, an essential handbook for train travel to Europe based on this website called "The Man in Seat 61", was published in June 2008, and is available from Amazon with shipping worldwide.

Click the images to buy at

Alternatively, you can download just the chapters or areas you need in .PDF format from the Lonely Planet Website, from around £2.99 or US$4.95 a chapter.

Find hotels in Vienna, Salzburg & Austria


◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison. checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less! is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels:

Travel insurance & health card...



Columbus direct travel insurance

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

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see - 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 an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's 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.


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