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By train through Europe

Philipp Zeile talks about his experience with high-speed trains and Interrail in a guest article

Guest article by Philipp Zeile


AI image of an ICE and Frecciarossa

The Frecciarossa from Italy and the ICE from Germany

Image created with Dall-E


In June this year, I went on a four-week trip across Europe. My adventure began in Istanbul, where I stayed for a few days before travelling on to Athens. Via Rome, my journey finally took me to Bologna, where I spent two weeks in a language school to improve my Italian for my upcoming Master's degree in Italy.

The train ride from Rome to Bologna turned into an unexpected highlight when I took the Frecciarossa, also known as "the Red Arrow". I was amazed at how smooth and perfect the process was with this high-speed train.

As a German, I'm used to Deutsche Bahn being occasionally late and trains are often overcrowded, which can cause seating problems, especially for those who haven't made a reservation. In Italy, on the other hand, it is common to make a seat reservation, which means that trains are not overcrowded and travel comfort increases.

Of course, one can debate whether seat reservation is really necessary or not. Noah Choi, a good friend of mine, for example, vehemently opposes it for the reason that he is embarrassed to buy more "rights" for money.

He sees two unpleasant scenarios: Either someone sits in his reserved seat even though there are other seats available. Or there are no more free seats and he would have to ask the person sitting there to get up - which he finds unpleasant.

Nevertheless, I would like to steer the focus of this article away from the seat reservation debate and instead highlight the wonderful opportunities offered by European high-speed trains and Interrail.

Europe is a continent full of diversity and beauty that deserves to be discovered. And what could be a better way to do this than with the modern and fast high-speed trains available in many European countries?

Many young Europeans have realised that Interrail offers a cheap and easy way to explore and travel around the continent. Interrail allows travellers to travel by train in over 30 European countries with just one ticket. Whether you want to explore the vibrant streets of Berlin, the picturesque canals of Amsterdam or the breathtaking Alps in Austria, it's all possible with Interrail. Best of all, Interrail is also valid on high-speed trains such as the German ICE, the French TGV, the Italian Frecciarossa and the Spanish AVE.

These high-speed trains have actually brought Europe closer together. In the past, travelling between different countries was often tedious and time-consuming. Nowadays, thanks to modern high-speed trains, you can cover many kilometres in a very short time while enjoying Europe's picturesque scenery.

However, the advantages of high-speed trains go beyond speed and comfort. They also offer an environmentally friendly alternative to flying, as they produce significantly fewer CO2 emissions. In the face of climate change, it is more important than ever to make environmentally conscious choices, and using high-speed trains helps to reduce our ecological footprint.

This is where Interrail comes in, offering a solution to my good friend Noah's concerns about seat reservations. With Interrail, travellers can be flexible and decide spontaneously which train to board without having to worry about fixed seat reservations. This freedom opens up a degree of adventure and independence that many travellers appreciate.

Ultimately, it is a personal decision whether or not to opt for a seat reservation. Some prefer the security of a fixed seat, while others prefer the freedom to move around the train and meet new people. Thanks to Interrail, there is a solution for every type of traveller.

In summary, European high-speed trains offer a fantastic way to discover the beauty and diversity of Europe. In combination with Interrail, travelling becomes even easier and more varied.

For young Europeans, Interrail symbolises freedom and the connection between nations. It creates the opportunity to discover new cultures, make friends and experience unforgettable adventures. Let's use the European high-speed trains and Interrail together to overcome borders and unite as Europeans.

Let's inspire a love of travel, explore the world and preserve the beauty of our continent, because Europe is our home and our heritage to protect and celebrate.

Let's go on new adventures, let's build a united Europe!


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