Frecciarossa 1000 trains in Italy

These new Frecciarossa 1000 trains are now running on the Milan-Florence-Rome-Naples route...


Buy tickets for trains in Italy

Italiarail logo


small bullet point  Buy tickets for trains in Italy at who connect directly to the Trenitalia ticketing system.

small bullet point  You can also buy at or

small bullet point  For international tickets, see the advice here.

small bullet point  Booking usually opens up to 4 months days ahead, except when the mid-June & mid-December timetable changes intervene. But it varies, f you don't see the trains you expect to see, assume booking isn't open!

small bullet point  No booking fee.  ItaliaRail's €3.50 booking fee will be refunded if you email them at

small bullet point  Airports:  You can buy tickets from Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa or Pisa airports to anywhere in Italy.

small bullet point  Pompeii & Sorrento are not on the mainline network, so buy a ticket to Naples Centrale then buy a ticket locally for the Circumvesuviana Railway,

small bullet point  Alternatively, you can buy tickets from Trenitalia, but see the advice here.

small bullet point  Recommended hotels in Venice, Florence, Rome etc. conveniently located for arrival by train


Book your hotels at


Ride the trains in Italy from €9.90

There's no better way to see the cities of Italy than by train, trains link almost every town & city of any size, centre to centre.  Driving & parking in Italian cities is not recommended.  The high-speed trains are now faster, more convenient & more relaxing than flying (between 2008 & 2018, the airlines' share of the Milan-Rome market dropped from 50% to just 14%!).

Rome to Florence takes just 1h32 at up to 300 km/h (186 mph) & costs from €19.90, Rome to Venice 3h45 from €29.90, Rome to Naples 1h12 from €19.90, Rome to Milan 2h55 from €29.90.

No check-in, no need for transfers to/from out-of-town airports, no baggage fees or weight limits.  There are even trains to Sicily!

small bullet point  Buy tickets online

About train travel within Italy

small bullet point  How to check train schedules & fares

small bullet point  Maps of the Italian rail network

small bullet point  How to buy tickets

small bullet point  Railpasses for Italy - Interrail & Eurail

small bullet point  Railpasses for Italy - Trenitalia Pass

small bullet point  What are Italian trains like?

small bullet point  Frecciarossa, Frecciargento & Frecciabianca,

small bullet point  InterCity, sleeper trains & Italo

small bullet point  Regional & Regional Express trains (R, RV)

small bullet point  Travel tips: ticket validation, food, lounges...

small bullet point  Luggage on Italian trains

small bullet point  Which station to use in which city?

small bullet point  Luggage storage at stations in Italy

small bullet point  How to use the Italian Railways website

small bullet point  How to use self-service ticket machines

small bullet point  Holidays, vacations & tours in Italy by train

small bullet point  Hotels in Italy convenient for arrival by train

How to reach specific places

small bullet point  How to reach Sicily

small bullet point  How to reach Herculaneum & Sorrento

small bullet point  How to arrange a day trip to Pompeii

small bullet point  How to reach Capri, Ischia & the Amalfi coast

small bullet point  How to reach Lake Como

small bullet point  How to reach Lake Garda

small bullet point  How to reach San Marino

small bullet point  How to reach Sardinia & trains in Sardinia

small bullet point  Airport links: Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, Pisa

Station guides

small bullet point  Milan Centrale station guide

small bullet point  Turin Porta Susa & Porta Nuova stations guide

small bullet point  Verona Porta Nuova station guide

small bullet point  Venice Santa Lucia station guide

small bullet point  Florence SMN station guide

small bullet point  Rome Termini station guide

small bullet point  Naples Centrale station guide

City maps showing stations

small bullet point  Map of Milan   Map of Venice   Map of Florence

small bullet point  Map of Rome   Map of Naples   Map of Turin

International trains to & from Italy

small bullet point  Train travel from the UK to Italy

small bullet point  Trains to Italy from other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Rome to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Florence to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Venice to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Milan to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Naples to other European cities

Other useful information...

small bullet point  Useful country information - currency, dial code...

small bullet point  Hotels in Italy

small bullet point  How to use a Eurail pass - for overseas visitors

small bullet point  How to use an Interrail pass - for European residents

small bullet point  An introduction to European train travel

small bullet point  Nice, Cannes & Monaco to Italy by train

small bullet point  TGV high-speed trains from Paris to Italy

small bullet point  Travel insurance, mobile data, VPN & other tips

Useful country information

 Train operators in Italy:

Trenitalia (Ferrovie dello Stato) (see advice on using it).  NTV Italo:  Some local trains in Northern Italy:




 Buy Italian train tickets:, or in €, £, $ - see this advice.

 Other useful links:


Circumvesuviana Railway (Naples-Pompeii-Sorrento):  Bus & metro: Rome  Milan.  Venice waterbuses:



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



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



£1 = €1.15, $1 = 0.8 euros.  Currency converter

 Tourist information:     Recommended guidebooks

 Hotels & guesthouses:

Recommended hotels convenient for arrival by train    Escorted tours to Italy by train

 Page last updated:

31 August 2023

How to check train schedules & fares

  Trains in Italy:  A Frecciarossa train at Rome Termini

There's no check-in, and no hassle. You simply walk straight from the city centre onto the station concourse, look at the indicator board to find your train and hop on, any time up until departure.  Here, passengers arrive in Rome on a sleek, high-speed Frecciarossa train...

  Florence SMN station

The main concourse at Florence's classic SMN station.  The station is walking distance from the famous Duomo or even the Ponte Vecchio...

Maps of the Italian rail network

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How to buy tickets

Do you need to buy in advance?


When does booking open?

Types of fare

How to buy tickets online

Buying tickets at the station

Buying international tickets

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Railpasses for Italy

Interrail & Eurail passes

The Trenitalia Pass

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Tours of Italy by train

Railbookers vacations in Italy

Expert individual trip planning & advice

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What are Italian trains like?

Frecciarossas (red arrows):  See the Frecciarossa page

Trenitalia's top high-speed trains are the Frecciarossas (red arrows), mostly operated either by the original 300 km/h (186 mph) ETR500 trains shown below or the latest Frecciarossa 1000 trains introduced from 2015.  Some are now operated by 250 km/h ETR700 & ETR600 trains.

Frecciarossa trains have 4 classes of accommodation, Standard, Premium, Business & Executive (although services operated by ETR600 & ETR700 trains don't have Executive class), there's a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seas & free WiFi, see the Frecciarossa page for more information.

As with all Trenitalia's long-distance trains, tickets always include a seat reservation and tickets are only valid on the specific date & train you've booked.

Principal Frecciarossa routes:  Turin-Milan-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples-Salerno (Frecciarossas 500 & 1000).  Venice-Florence-Rome-Naples (Frecciarossas 500 & 1000) and most departures Turin-Milan-Verona-Venice.  See seat numbering plans.

Frecciarossa train   Frecciarossa Business class

Frecciarossa 500 train capable of 300 km/h (186 mph) on the new Italian high-speed network.  Above right, business class (1st class).  See photos of all classes on the Frecciarossa page.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   A Frecciarossa 1000 train at Milan Centrale

Frecciarossa 1000 train.  These are gradually entering service in 2015, partly replacing some Frecciarossa 500s.  Above left, standard class (2nd class) on a Frecciarossa 1000...  See photos of all classes on the Frecciarossa page.

Frecciargento (silver arrow):  See the Frecciargento page

Next down the pecking order are Trenitalia's 250km/h (155mph) Frecciargento tilting trains, although these are getting quite rare as most Frecciargento services have been rebranded as Frecciarossa.  Frecciargento services are operated by pendolino tilting trains of either the ETR 450/460/485/600 type.  They are air-conditioned with a refreshment trolley and cafe-bar.  All seats have power sockets (2-pin, 220v).  The trains reach 250 km/h on the high-speed lines and use their tilt to cut journey times through curves when running on classic lines.

As with all Trenitalia's long-distance trains, tickets always include a seat reservation and tickets are only valid on the specific date & train you've booked.

Principal Frecciargento routes:  The Venice-Bologna-Florence-Rome route is run with a mixture of Frecciargentos (ETR 600 type), Frecciarossa 500s & Frecciarossa 1000s.  Verona-Bologna-Florence-Rome;  Rome-Bari, plus a few Genoa-La Spezia-Pisa-Rome trains.  See seat numbering plans.

Trenitalia ETR600 'Frecciargento' train at Verona   2nd class seats on a Trenitalia 'Frecciargento' ETR600

Most Rome-Florence-Venice Frecciargentos are bullet-nosed ETR600 tilting trains...

Second class seats on an ETR600 Frecciargento, with bays of 4 and many unidirectional seats.  Larger photo.

1st class seats on a Trenitalia 'Frecciargento' ETR600   Trenitalia ETR485 Frecciargento train at Verona

First class seats on an ETR600 Frecciargento, with bays of 4, bays of 2, and many unidirectional seats.  Larger photo.

Other Frecciargento services are operated by wedge-nosed ETR485 tilting trains...

Frecciabianca (white arrows)

One step down from Frecciarossa and Frecciargento, most Frecciabianca (FB) services use locomotive-hauled ex-InterCity coaches which have been refurbished to modern standards and run at up to 200 km/h, either hauled by a locomotive or sandwiched between first-generation ETR500 power cars.  They are air-conditioned and have a refreshment trolley, some have a bar counter, but no restaurant car.  Watch the official Trenitalia Frecciabianca video.

As with all Trenitalia's long-distance trains, tickets always include a seat reservation and tickets are only valid on the specific date & train you've booked.

Like Frecciargentos, Frecciabianca services are also getting rare, with some routes reclassified to Intercity and others to Frecciarossa.  Some Frecciabianca trains, notably on the Rome-Pisa-La Spezia-Genoa route are operated by older ETR460 tilting trains bumped from Frecciargento service, rather than the refurbished InterCity carriages shown below.

Principal Frecciabianca route:  Milan-Genoa-La Spezia-Pisa-Rome.

1st class seats on a Frecciabianca   Frecciabianca train at Milan Centrale

1st class = more spacious.  All seats have power sockets and there's a complimentary coffee from the trolley.  Larger photo.


A Frecciabianca to Venice, about to leave Milan.  A strange train - two modern power cars sandwich former intercity carriages.  This shows the latest colour scheme.

Frecciabianca train to Venice, seen at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on a Frecciabianca

A Frecciabianca train at Milan Centrale...  Frecciabiancas link Milan with Verona & Venice every hour or so, at up to 200 km/h.  Many start in Turin.


2nd class seats, most with power socket for laptops & mobiles.  There's a small bar & a refreshment trolley.  Larger photo.

InterCity trains (IC)

Next in the pecking order are the InterCity trains, fast trains hauled by locomotives at up to 160 km/h (100 mph), sometimes 200 km/h (125 mph).  Most InterCity cars are open-plan with a centre aisle, a few are classic side-corridor-and-compartment cars with 6-seat compartments, though you don't always get both sorts in both classes on a given train.  As with all Trenitalia's long-distance trains, tickets always include a seat reservation and tickets are only valid on the specific date & train you've booked.  Some Intercity trains have a cafe counter, some just vending machines selling drinks and snacks.  You're free to bring your own food & drink, even a bottle of wine if you like.

Principal InterCity routes:  Rome-Naples-Sicily;  Rome-Pisa-Cinque Terre-Genoa-Milan;  Milan-Genoa-Ventimiglia (for Nice).

Italian InterCity train

An InterCity train at Milan Centrale...

InterCity train, 2nd class   InterCity train, 1st class

2nd class on an Intercity train.  Larger photo.


1st class on an Intercity train.  Larger photo.

Regionale & Regionale Veloce (R, RV)

Regional trains come in many different shapes & sizes, they operate all over Italy including Florence-Pisa, Florence-Siena, Florence-Lucca, Venice-Trieste, Rome-Civitavecchia.  On regional trains there are no assigned seats, you sit where you like.  Luggage goes on the racks or simply on the floor.  There's no catering, so bring your own food & drink.

There's little point in booking regional trains in advance as there's just one cheap fixed Ordinaria fare that can be bought on the day at that price.  Buy a ticket from the ticket office or self-service machines or buy online or in the Trenitalia app.  Interrail or Eurail passholders can just hop on, nothing more to do or pay.

Ticketing arrangements

The old system of having to stamp your ticket in a validator machine is gone, as is the system of tickets being good for any train in a 4-hour time slot.

From 5 August 2023, tickets for regional trains bought online or in an app are only good for a specific train.

You can change the date & time of your train free of charge using the Trenitalia app or website, as many times as you like, up to 23:59 the day before departure. It's also refundable up to that time.  On the day of travel, you can change the time of your train as many times as you like, free of charge.

Before boarding the train you must 'check in' online using the app or the website link provided, this validates the ticket for use on that train, your ticket is then considered used and no further changes can be made.

Remember you'll need internet access on your phone for this, if you can't rely on that, buy at the station at least 5 minutes before departure.

Can regional trains sell out?

Tickets are usually available in unlimited numbers so regional trains can't sell out, for example Milan-Tirano, Florence-Siena or Florence-Pisa.  However, Trenitalia now have some regional routes such as Venice-Trieste where the number of tickets sold for each train is limited so they can in theory sell out and occasionally do - even though specific seats aren't assigned.  This devious practice started during the pandemic and has continued on a few routes.  To check, find the train on and click the 'i' symbol for details.  If it says non-prenotabile, you're fine, tickets are unlimited and can't sell out.  If it says prenotabile ticket numbers are limited, so bear that in mind.

Regional train from Florence to Siena   2nd class seats on a regional train

A typical regional train, in this case Florence to Siena.


2nd class seats on a typical regional train.

Italo high-speed trains:  See the Italo page

Private operator NTV (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori), started operating its Italo high-speed trains on the Milan-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples route in April 2012, and on the Venice-Florence-Rome service in October 2012, competing the State-owned Trenitalia.  See for times, fares & online tickets.  Italo trains have four classes, all with free WiFi and Poltrona Frau leather seats:

Smart class 'seats on Italo train   High-speed Italo train at Rome Tiburtina

Leather seats in Smart class (2nd class) on Italo.


An Italo train at Rome Tiburtina.  See the Italo information page...

InterCity Notte overnight trains

An Intercity Notte (ICN) overnight train is often the best way to travel long distances, for example from Milan or Rome to Sicily, or from Venice or Milan to Naples.  It's an experience in itself that's effectively faster than flying, and saves a hotel bill too.  Italian overnight trains have several types of couchette & sleeper.  Some also have seats, but a couchette or sleeper is recommended, as you can lie flat and sleep in a safely-locked compartment.  Yes, they are perfectly safe!

Excelsior:  1 & 2 bed sleepers

Premium sleeper en suite toilet & shower   Excelsior sleeper on the Rome to Sicily train  

Excelsior sleeper

Excelsior sleeper en suite toilet & shower.  Larger photo.


Excelsior sleeper set up as a 1st class single-berth.  Larger photo.


T3S sleeper on a Rome-Sicily night train, with 4 Excelsior compartments & 6 standard compartments.

Deluxe: 1, 2 or 3 berth sleeper

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

Standard sleeping-car on Milan-Sicily train

Sleeper set up as 1st class 2-berth (double or doppio).  Larger photo


Sleeper in day mode, beds folded away, washstand closed.  Larger photo


Standard Italian sleeping-car on the Milan-Sicily train, with 12 compartments, each configurable as 1st class Single, 1st class Double or 2nd class 3-berth. Courtesy Marco Bereth

Comfort: 4-berth couchettes

Italian Comfort 4-berth couchette car   Italian 'Comfort' 4-berth couchette

A Comfort couchette car in the new red & blue colour scheme.  The economical choice, ideal for families.  Each car has nine 4-berth compartments.  Courtesy Marco Bereth.


4-berth Comfort couchettes.  Sheets, pillow & blanket are provided.  It converts to seats by day.  Courtesy Suzanne Veerman Larger photo.

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Travel tips

Choosing your seat

Luggage on trains in Italy

Which station in which city?

  Train going onto the ferry to Sicily

Sicily Express!  The sleeper train from Milan to Palermo is shunted off the ferry at Messina.  Yes, the trains to Sicily really are direct, they are put on a ferry to cross the straits from Villa San Giovanni to Messina. Photo courtesy of David Smith.  Watch the video here...

  Naples-Pompeii-Sorrento circumvesuviana train

A Naples-Pompeii-Sorrento train on the Circumvesuviana Railway, every 30 minutes for just a few euros...

How to travel to Sicily

How to reach Herculaneum, Pompeii & Sorrento

  Ferry from Naples to Capri

The SNAV fast ferry from Capri to Naples.

How to reach Capri

How to reach Ischia

  Bus to Amalfi

SITA bus on the narrow coast road between Amalfi and Sorrento...

How to reach Amalfi, Positano, Praiano

  Bus to San Marino

The bus from Rimini to San Marino.

How to reach Elba

How to reach Lake Como

How to reach Lake Garda

How to reach San Marino

How to reach Sardinia

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Airport train connections

Milan Malpensa airport

Rome Fiumicino airport

Pisa airport

Bologna airport

Tips for buying plane-to-train tickets

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Troubleshooting:  The usual mistakes with

1. No trains appear in the search results or only 1 or 2 trains at odd times of day. 

Reason:  Data isn't fully loaded yet for that date, either because you're looking at a date more than a few months ahead, or at a date after the twice-annual timetable change, on the 2nd Sunday in June and the 2nd Sunday in December, when they are always late loading the data and the 4 months often slips to 60 days or even less.

Solution:  Wait till bookings open!

2. My train is missing from the search results even though other trains are shown. 

Reason:  Trenitalia loads trains in blocks, and data may be incomplete.  Some trains - such as Intercity Notte sleepers or some EuroCity trains that go to/from Switzerland - may be loaded last.

3. Problem:  It says my arrival and/or departure station is invalid.  On you need to use Italian place names, such as 'Roma Termini' for Rome, 'Milano Centrale' for Milan, 'Venezia S. Lucia' for Venice, 'Firenze' for Florence.

4. Problem:  I want a sleeper and it says 'Double seat compartment'.  This is just a poor translation, this does in fact mean a 2-bed sleeper!

5. Problem:  Pompeii or Sorrento not shown.  That's because you need to travel to Naples Centrale with Trenitalia, then switch to a local private railway, the Circumvesuviana,

How to use

The Italian Railways website is well worth getting to know.  It can sell: used to be notorious for not accepting non-Italian credit cards.  But after a new payment system was introduced in November 2010, it now happily accepts almost all foreign credit cards.

You can use instead...  You may find easier to use than for sleeper trains, international trains and passholder reservations.  ItaliaRail is an agency who connects directly to the Trenitalia ticketing system to sell the same trains at the same prices as Trenitalia, but in plain English using English-language place names.  They charge a booking fee of around €3.50, but this will be refunded if you send them an email at after you book.

How to use

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How to use Trenitalia ticket machines

It's easy to buy tickets at the station using the self-service ticket machines at all main Italian stations, as long as you have a credit card with a PIN (4-digit personal identification number).  They have an English language facility, and it's faster and easier than using the ticket office.  The machines are pretty self-explanatory, but to give you confidence and so you know what to expect, here's how to use them.

Incidentally, you'll sometimes find annoying types who hang around offering to 'help' foreigners, just be healthily suspicious of them and refuse all help, you don't need it as the machines are self-explanatory and you certainly don't need anyone near your wallet or pockets while you are distracted.  Italian stations are perfectly safe (I've spent literally hours hanging round them out of professional interest, without any problem whatsoever), but it pays to be streetwise!

Trains in Italy:  How to use the self-service ticket machines   Trains in Italy:  Switch the self-service ticket machines to English

There are self-service machines at all main Italian stations, and it's quicker & easier than using the ticket office.  Touch the UK flag on the bottom of the touch-screen for English...

To buy a ticket....

Trains in Italy:  Touch 'buy your ticket' to buy a ticket   Choose a destination

To buy a ticket, touch 'BUY YOUR TICKET'...  You can also collect pre-booked tickets or change an existing booking, if the ticket type allows changes.

Select a destination...  By default, the origin is the station you're at, but you can modify this to buy a ticket for any route in Italy.

Choose a train from the list   Choose a class and price

Choose a departure from the timetable list...  The system defaults to the immediate departures at the current time, but you can change this to book for later today, tomorrow, whenever...


Choose a class & price, and buy.  Touch Promo to see if there are cheaper fares, but for immediate departure it'll only be the standard Base fare (for mainline trains) or Ordinaria for regional trains.  You probably haven't got a Cartafreccia card, so ignore these fares.

Children under 4 go free with no ticket needed, children under 12 can use a child rate ticket on regional trains, children under 14 can use a child ticket on Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, Frecciabianca, InterCity & InterCity Notte mainline trains.

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Paying for a guidebook may seem an unnecessary expense, but it's only a fraction of what you spend on the whole trip.  If you have a decent guidebook, you see so much more and know so much more about what you're looking at.  I think the Lonely Planets or Rough Guides are the best ones out there for the independent traveller.

Amazon logoClick the images to buy at

Or buy in the USA from

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.

Buy online at Amazon   Lonely Planet Western Europe - click to buy online   Lonely Planet Venice - click to buy online   Lonely Planet Florence - click to buy online   Lonely Planet Rome - click to buy online

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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 set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at (UK addresses) or (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at (shipping worldwide) or at (UK addresses).

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Recommended hotels

Here are my suggested hotels in key Italian cities, conveniently located for arrival by train and all with good or great reviews.  You are unlikely to be disappointed by any hotel scoring over 8.0 out of 10 on

In Turin

In Milan

In Verona

In Venice

In Florence

In Rome

In Naples

Find hotels at for hotels

I generally use for hotels for 3 reasons:

(1) It keeps all my hotel bookings together in one place;

(2) I've come to trust's review scores;

(3) usually offers a clearly-marked Free cancellation option.

Free cancellation means you can secure hotels risk-free even before trains open for booking, and if necessary change those bookings if your plans evolve.

If I'm only staying a night or two, I look for a hotel near the station to make arrival & departure easy.  You can enter the station name (e.g. Berlin Hbf) as search location.  If staying longer, I look for a hotel close to the sights, entering the name of a city attraction as the search location, then using map view.

I then look for a hotel with a review score of 8.0 or over, any hotel scoring over that won't disappoint.

AirBnB: began in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travellers looking for a place to stay.  AirBnB is a platform which connects hosts with guests, so you can now book a room in people's homes, or an apartment, flat or house which people want to rent out.  It can be nicer than a hostel, cheaper than many hotels.

Backpacker hostels: offers online booking of dorm beds or cheap private rooms in backpacker hostels most European cities at rock-bottom prices.  It's one way to cut costs significantly compared to using a hotel every night.

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Travel insurance & other tips


Staysure travel insurance


Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with myself.  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, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flag offers enhanced Covid-19 protection and gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag is also a well-know brand.

US flag  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA. logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a European mobile data package and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list.  There's no need to buy a physical SIM card! is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.


Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than getting a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.


Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When travelling you may use free public WiFi which is often insecure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with using this link you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I also get some commission to help support this site.


Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, hotel bookings and Interrail or Eurail passes are often now held on your mobile phone.  You daren't let it run out of power, and you can't always rely on the phone's internal battery or on being near a power outlet.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over.  Buy from or Buy from

Touring cities?  Use hill walking shoes!

One of the best things I've done is swap my normal shoes for hill-walking shoes, in my case from Scarpa.  They're intended for hiking across the Pennines not wandering around Florence, but the support and cushioning for hiking works equally well when you're on your feet all day exploring foreign cities.  My feet used to give out first and limit my day, now the rest of me gives up before they do!


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