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Let us take you on a journey to Germany, Austria & beyond...

 
The Black Forest, the Mosellle Valley, the Austrian lake district east of Salzburg, Bavaria… wherever you’re heading, we can arrange rail travel from London for you, often with a choice of routes, depending on whether your preference is for speed or the most picturesque scenery.
 

Some journeys to Germany and Austria can be done within a day, via Paris or via Brussels and Cologne.
Via Basel & through Switzerland to the Black Forest and Lake Constance
The Black Forest and Lake Constance are both so close to the Swiss border that it is most practical to travel via Basel, reaching your first hotel around 9 to 10 hours from leaving London. Crossing Paris to the Gare de Lyon is simple when you know how, so we include directions with your metro tickets. We allow at least 1 hour between Eurostar arrival and TGV departure, so you can connect comfortably between trains.

The Franco-Swiss TGV Lyria links Paris Gare de Lyon with Basel in just 3 hours. It’s high speed at 186mph most of the way, slowing down for a short section of the journey on classic tracks around Dijon before gathering speed and crossing the River Rhine on the approach to Basel.  
There is a distinct European flavour to this journey via Basel, at the crossroads of 3 countries.
In Basel's station which forms part of the border between France and Switzerland, you change to a sleek white German ICE (intercity express) train along the Rhine Valley  which is patch-worked with vines, wheat fields and pastures, with the evergreen mountains of the Black Forest drawing nearer. Change to a local train for the last hour of the journey, deep into the fairy tale lands where your walk in the Black Forest begins.

For the Shores of Lake Constance you change at Basel to a Swiss Intercity train to Zurich, arriving late in the afternoon.  From Zurich, you take a local train north, seamlessly crossing the German/Swiss border twice on the direct train to Germany's Riviera, reaching the lake shore for a transfer through apple orchards and vineyards to your hotel, arriving in good time for dinner.
Via France’s fastest TGV line east to the Moselle Valley, Munich, Bavaria and Salzburg Lakes
For the Moselle Valley, Bavaria and Salzburg Lakes, you also travel via Paris, except that on arrival at Paris Gare du Nord, there is no need for taxis or metro to make your onward connection at the Gare de L'Est . A 7 minute stroll is all it takes and we provide directions.

The direct TGVs to Luxembourg, Alsace, Stuttgart and Munich leave Paris Gare de L’Est in the afternoon and reach speeds of 200mph on France's fastest high-speed line through flat plains and wheat fields dotted with wind turbines.

For the Meanders of the Moselle Valley, your TGV leaves the high-speed line just before Metz and follows the course of the River Moselle to Luxembourg. You have an easy change here to Luxembourg's railway to continue for an hour past a glowing tapestry of vines followed by a short taxi ride to your hotel.   A little over 7 hours after leaving London, you can find yourself sipping a crisp Riesling before dinner. Without liquids restrictions on Eurostar, and as your own careful baggage handler, you can easily take some home.


Travelling to Bavaria and the Salzburg Lakes with an overnight stay in Munich

The direct TGV to Munich leaves Paris in the late afternoon and takes just over 5 and a half hours. You travel at an impressive 200mph almost all the way to the German border, slowing down just before crossing the Rhine into Germany. You briefly follow the Rhine Valley, with views towards the evergreen mountains of the Black Forest before speeding up again towards Stuttgart. After Stuttgart, you slow down to take in the pretty scenery of the Fils Valley railway before arriving in Munich at around 9.30pm.

Munich is the starting point for our Across the Alps holiday and comes highly recommended for an overnight stay. The family run 4* Hotel Torbrau is one of the most historic inns in an ideal location close to Munich's oldest and largest public square, brimming with character, cafes and traditional beerhalls serving hearty Bavarian specialities.


Onwards from Munich into Deepest Bavaria...

Not only does an overnight in Munich make an ideal introduction to our holidays in Bavaria but also ensures that the most spectacular Bavarian scenery is revealed by daylight.  The next day, refreshed you can take a direct train due south through green pastures, bottle green forests, and past onion domed churches towards Füssen to begin our Bavarian Castles and Villages cycle. The journey takes 2 hours and for this holiday you can also vary your departure time from Munich to suit you because, once you step off the train in Fussen, you have just a 5 minute stroll to the hotel. So you can take any of the local regional trains running direct on this route.

To reach the Alpine splendour and emerald Lake Königsee on our Where Eagles Soar walking holiday, take a local train east changing to the Berchtesgadener railway at Freilassing. Less than 2 hours after leaving Munich, you step off into the walker’s paradise of Berchtesgadener Land. In winter, you can take the same route for our Winter Discovery, Berghotel Rehlegg.


Eastwards from Munich to the Salzburg Lakes...

Direct late morning trains link Munich with Salzburg in under 2 hours and you could take a direct taxi from Salzburg station (1 hour) to our Salzburg Lake District Cycle, the Salzburg Lake District with Traunsee cycle. Our winter discovery holiday at the Hotel Seerose, Fuschl am See is within 45 mins by taxi from Salzburg.

 For our Salzburg Lakes and Mountains walking holiday, you could choose to take a taxi from Salzburg station (1h15)  or you could continue by rail for a further 2 and a half hours. Take the main Salzburg-Vienna line before changing to the Salzkammergut railway for a spectacular panorama through fjord-like scenery into the heart of Austria's Lakes.
Via Cologne to North and East Germany, Western Austria and the Tirol
Leaving the channel tunnel behind, the flat wheat fields and wind turbines of Flanders speed past the window and before you know it you're in Brussels Midi (or Zuid in Flemish). In Brussels, you join the Thalys with its distinctive dark red livery for a 2 hour high-speed dash to Cologne. Relax into your plush cinema style seat, with power socket, or visit the cafe bar and before you know it, the twin spires of Cologne's gothic cathedral will come into view, signalling that it's time to change trains and stretch your legs.


Onwards from Cologne to the Harz Mountains, East Germany and the Baltic Coast

Changing at Cologne's main station is easy, with escalators leading from the main concourse to the platforms, and you take your reserved seat on Germany's high speed ICE (InterCityExpress) train. These sleek comfortable trains run at up to 186mph, and have an onboard buffet car serving classic German specialities.

Just 10 hours from London, after a change to a local regional train, you reach the spiritual heart of Germany The Harz Mountains, with a 30 minute transfer to your hotel.

Berlin is just over 10 hours from London, with a direct ICE train between Cologne and Berlin and a 20 minute walk to your Berlin hotel to begin our Beyond the Iron Curtain holiday. Travelling home from Dresden takes a little longer (12 hours 30). If you are not in a hurry you could break the journey with an overnight stay in Berlin.

With an overnight stay in Germany's capital of cool, you can travel comfortably to the Baltic Coast to begin our cycling holiday  Rügen – an Island Revealed. After an overnight in Berlin, take a direct train for the 3 hour journey north to the Baltic coast. When you book, you can discuss with us your choice of connection from Berlin. We can arrange a Regional train pass for you, valid on any regional train after 9am so if you want to spend the morning relaxing after your journey to Berlin or perhaps visit a museum, you can make up your mind while travelling. On arrival in Stralsund, your hotel is a short walk from Stralsund station.  If you prefer more comfortable reserved seating and the convenience of an on-board buffet car, treat yourself to a ticket on the ICE train, although these trains are less frequent than the regional services.


Onwards from Cologne to the Tirol, Dachstein Mountains, Danube Valley and Vienna, by Austrian NightJet sleeper

The NightJet sleeper ranks among the best European sleeper trains, making it easier than ever to reach our Austrian holidays.

Travel by high-speed Eurostar and Thalys trains to Cologne changing in Brussels, leaving London at around lunchtime and arriving in Cologne late afternoon, allowing a few hours in Cologne for a leisurely dinner.
Several of Cologne's relaxed and convivial beer halls are within a 10 to 15 minute stroll  from the station, serving hearty pork specialities washed down with the local Koelsch pale ale, served in 200ml cylindrical glasses by efficient beer waiters renowned for their dry sense of humour!  Stroll back to the station along the Rhine, perhaps stopping to admire Cologne Cathedral, then it will soon be time to board the sleeper train.
Austria's NightJet departure from Cologne comprises 2 trains coupled together; one travelling to Innsbruck, the other bound for Vienna. The two trains share part of the journey before branching off in opposite directions in the early hours.

The Innsbruck sleeper is ideal for travel to our Austria’s Great Cities holiday and our holidays in the Tirol, all within 35 minute transfer from Innsbruck: Inntaler Hof, Mösern, A Tyrol Adventure, From the Tyrol to the Bavarian Alps and an An Alpine Stroll, Lake Achensee & its Mountains, and the Romantik Hotel Wiesenhof, Pertisau.

We recommend booking a private sleeper cabin with 2 to 3 bunk beds, with the top bunks accessed by a step ladder. There are shared WC and shower facilities on the corridor of each carriage. On some trains it is possible to upgrade to a deluxe cabin with ensuite facilities, although these are in high demand.

Wake up to views of the imposing limestone Karwendel range which towers above the Inn Valley. After a light continental breakfast served in your cabin, step out into the fresh Tyrolean air to meet your taxi for the short journey to your hotel.

The Vienna Sleeper makes light work of the distance to our holidays in Western Austria, arriving in Vienna at a civilised 8.30am. For our On the Trail of the Habsburgs journey, you begin in Vienna and return from Trieste. From Trieste you can take a direct Italian Frecciarossa train to Turin to stay overnight before taking the TGV route to London describe on our UK to Italy page.

For our In the Shadow of the Dachstein walking discovery and our winter holiday at the Hotel Matschner, Ramsau, you take a wonderfully scenic route on an Austrian Railjet through the UNESCO protected  Semmering line. After 2 hours, you change at Leoben to the Enns Valley railway for a further 90 minutes of mountains, with the Dachstein peaks to the north, towering above cornfields and dark pine forested slopes.

For the Danube Castles and Vineyards and the Danube Explorer, you have a 90 minute journey from Vienna with one easy change of train, followed by a 15 minute transfer to your hotel.
 

Let us take you on a journey to...

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