Adventurous train journey across southern Europe

Want to take a journey through the most beautiful cities of southern Europe? Discover this adventurous itinerary through France, northern Italy and Switzerland and enjoy historic cities, green views and high mountain peaks during your train journey. Travelling by train has many advantages: you travel quickly, easily, enjoy beautiful views en route and arrive in the heart of the city well-rested. In addition, you contribute to a better environment by saving a considerable amount of CO2.

Depart from a station near you and discover the adventurous train journey past the beautiful southern European cities of Paris, Bordeaux, Valence, Milan and Zürich. We recommend the best hotspots for each city on the route!

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Rail holiday through Europe

Route Travel time Transfers Header Header
Utrecht - Paris 4h02m 1 Content Content
Paris - Bordeaux 2h11m 0 Content Content
Bordeaux - Valence 6h04m 1 Content Content
Valence - Milan 5h10m 1 Content Content
Milan - Zürich 3h17m 0 Content Content
Zürich - Utrecht 12h18m 0 Content Content

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Walk along the banks of the Seine, wander through scenic old streets and admire the flickering lights of the illuminated Eiffel Tower at night: a visit to Paris is the ultimate romantic holiday. In addition, the French capital has a wide range of prominent museums such as the Louvre, Centre Pompidou and the Palace of Versailles. Feeling hungry after so much culture and admiring the beautiful historical architecture? Enjoy delicious French delicatessen. Discover Paris by train and disembart in the heart of the city well-rested. From €44, you will travel to Paris in 3h38m after only having changee trains once.


The French Bordeaux is a historic and vibrant city with plenty to do. Take a walk along the Garonne River and admire the beautiful Pont de Pierre bridge, which connects the left and right sides of the city. Fancy soaking up culture in one of Bordeaux's many museums? Admire modern art at the CAPC or older paintings and sculptures at the Museum of Fine Arts.
You can also explore Bordeaux by bike, such as the hip Darwin district. Remember to drink a delicious cup of coffee or a locally brewed beer in a pleasant café.

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A sunny climate, beautiful historical buildings and its location on the Rhône River make the charming French city Valence a delightful holiday destination. Stroll through the historic centre and admire the 16th-century city palace Maison des Têtes. Or unwind in the chic city park Parc Jouvet: decorative fountains, ancient staircases and beautifully landscaped greenery. In the evening, head to the old town centre for delicious French wines and dishes in the many welcoming restaurants.


The Italian city of Milan is known for its impressive historical architecture and as a leading fashion city. In the heart of Milan's historic centre, you can admire the imposing Milan Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in the world. Around Piazza Del Duomo, you will find shops of high-end fashion houses and the shopping centre Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Would you rather discover Milan's hidden gems? Then stroll through the atmospheric streets of the hip and arty Cinque Vie district, full of modern boutiques, unique vintage shops and lively bars and cafés. Or explore the colourful Isola district, just behind Garibaldi Station.


Zürich is a multifaceted city: it has a beautiful, historic city centre, crystal clear waters and is surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks. The Swiss city is located on the enormous Zürischsee, or Lake Zurich. Stroll along the promenade and relax on one of Zurich's many city beaches.
In summer, you can even take a refreshing plunge here! If you visit the old town, visit the 16th-century Grossmünster cathedral! Looking for unique boutiques, good restaurants and trendy bars? Then explore the hip Zurich West district.

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Why travel around Europe by train?

Travelling by train is adventurous, comfortable and fast. While travelling to your holiday destination, you can read a book in a comfortable seat, enjoy beautiful views and get off in the heart of the city. So, you can start exploring a European city well-rested. Not to mention, it is more sustainable than the car and plane.

Below you can discover how much more sustainable each particular train journey is.

Discover the CO2 savings of this train journey

Destination Number km train Number km car CO2 train CO2 car
Paris 511 475 31 kilo 82 kilo
Bordeaux 568 584 34 kilo 101 kilo
Valence 519 649 31 kilo 112 kilo
Milan 507 471 30 kilo 81 kilo
Zürich 229 280 14 kilo 48 kilo
Utrecht 821 788 49 kilo 136 kilo
Total 190 kilo 550 kilo

The numbers are based on a trip for 2 people and come from Milieu Centraal.

What does this saving mean exactly?

You will save 360 kilos of CO2, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 475 warm water showers.*

Tips for cheap train tickets

Want to discover Central Europe's vibrant and historic cities with an adventurous train journey? Book tickets easily and quickly via NS International. All train tickets can be booked separately, so you can easily compile your own trip.

  • Book as early as possible, so you have the best chance of getting tickets for the best prices.
  • Often, travelling in the evening is cheaper.
  • Make a reservation from the station around the corner from you.

    Read more about cheap train tickets

    Interrail or Eurail: all your European train tickets in 1 pass

    The Interrail or Eurail Pass is a train ticket that allows you to travel on almost all trains in Europe. It gives you access to 40 rail and ferry companies in 33 countries.

    More about Interrail Passes

    Explore our other best train tours through Europe

    Want to take an unforgettable trip around northern Europe's most enjoyable cities? Then choose to travel by train. Along the way, you will enjoy green views and disembark in the most beautiful cities of Germany and Denmark.
    Read all information about train travel for northern Europe

    You can also discover central Europe by train. An adventurous train journey will take you through the vibrant cities of Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Salzburg and Innsbruck.
    Read all about the train journey through Central Europe

    * Showering is calculated by Milieu Centraal at an average of 8 minutes and 42 seconds. In addition, how 'green' the electricity the trains run on varies per European country. Here, Milieu Centraal uses average figures for CO2 emissions of all high-speed trains in Europe. The car is a medium-sized petrol car.