Turns out there are more trains in and around Europe than the Eurostar, and they might be a better option than that last minute Ryan Scare flight for your wallet and your sanity.
But only some of them.
There are marked differences on your journey times for the same distances in different parts of Europe. A train trip from Paris to London takes less than four hours, but a trip of the same distance in Eastern Europe would take 22 hours.
Thankfully, Peter Kerpedjiev, a PhD student at the University of Vienna in Austria has gathered data on Europe’s railways network and it’s everything you need to plan your next journey.
If you like to live life in the fast rail, you’re best starting off from London, Paris or Brussels, which form a trifecta of high-speed train services.
From Paris you can get to London, the Mediterranean and Cologne, Germany in under four hours.
Eastern Europe on the other hand, isn’t quite up to speed yet.
“It takes a little over eight hours to travel from Paris to Berlin by train, while the nearly equivalent distance between Sofia and Sarajevo takes 46 hours,” Kerpedjiev explained. Podgorica in Montenegro is basically inaccessible by train from the rest of Europe.
If you want to travel around Scandinavia without heading to airports, you’re in luck. Although the distances between major cities are large, you can get from Stockholm to Copenhagen in just under eight hours.
The perfect trip? Kerpedjiev recommends starting in London, Brussels or Paris and exploring the cities by high-speed rail. Then he’d head to Geneva using a high speed TGV connection. Or if you’re after more sand than snow, he’d take a sleeper train from Paris, Vienna, Prague or Cologne to the Mediterranean.
For more detail of logistics, costs and train times we’d recommend the amazing Man in Seat Sixty One site where you’ll find some of the most in-depth information on European train travel out there.
(Map further developed by Washington Post)