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Europe by Rail
Europe by Rail

Europe by Rail

The Definitive Guide


512 Pages, 5.31 x 8.5

Trade Paper, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $33.95)

Publication Date: November 2018

ISBN 9783945225011

Rights: US & CA

Hidden Europe Publications (Nov 2018)
hidden europe publications

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Whether you are making a long "grand tour" or just planning a couple of weekend breaks, Europe by Rail is the perfect guide

Life is too good to waste time in airport departure lounges. That’s why more and more travellers are discovering that the train is the ideal way to explore Europe. Sit back, relax and watch mountains, coastlines and historic communities slip by beyond the window. Whether you are making a long ‘grand tour’ or just planning a couple of weekend breaks, Europe by Rail is the perfect guide. The book is shaped around 50 key routes which span mainland Europe. Each route can be followed in its entirety or used as a building block in a longer itinerary. Beyond the main routes, there are pointers to branch lines and less frequented railways. Europe by Rail is written by two highly experienced travellers who have been roaming the rails of Europe for years. You’ll find immensely useful tips about how to plan journeys, what tickets to buy and where to stop off along the way. There are special sections for holders of rail passes, including Interrail and Eurail, as well as information on night and cruise trains. The country guide summarizes key information about travelling by train through each of the 48 countries listed. Apart from being full of good advice and up-to-date information, the book is also a good read. With its nicely opinionated style and lots of cameo accounts of travel history, there's plenty here for armchair travellers too. The geographical scope of this long-standing travel guide extends from Arctic Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, from Portugal to Ukraine and Russia.


“The book is an alluring combination of evocative writing (“Speed soaks up detail as poppies in the fields of Flanders become a red hazeâ€Â) and practical advice. Subtitled The Definitive Guide for Independent Travellers, it is also a history of Europe in 50 train routes.†- Simon Calder - The Independent

“There is much guidance on planning, buying tickets and finding accommodation, recommending the best and most user-friendly websites. All in all, this is a fantastic book which is perfect for any traveller, even the armchair variety.†- Mike Sansbury - Ilkley Gazette

“Europe By Rail could have been a dry, practical guide and still been an invaluable book, but where the writers really score is in evoking such a strong sense of place. Each route is carefully described with tightly-written guides to and descriptions of the destinations involved that make the fifty route chapters eminently readable as pieces of travel writing in themselves.†- Charlie Connelly -

“This year sees the long-awaited arrival of a completely revised and updated 14th edition of Europe's most comprehensive railway guide book - the last publication to continue the fine traditions of Thomas Cook, the father of modern tourism whose first travel guide was published in 1873. In short, get on board a European train armed with this guide and you'll be in for a fascinating journey.†- Vitali Vitaliev - Engineering & Technology Magazine

“Each chapter is peppered with insights into culture and heritage, and practical information for making the most out of a journey. [...] Europe by Rail is a guidebook that proves both inspirational and informative.†- Stuart Forster - Go - Eat - Do

“The real strength – and heart – of the book are the 50 suggested rail journeys, beautifully written, that give you a real flavour of the possibilities out there for crisscrossing Europe and what you might discover along the way.†- Paul Scraton - Elsewhere: A Journal of Place

At first glance, the 15th edition of ‘Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide’ by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries (Hidden Europe, £15.99; ISBN 978 3 945225 01 1), the bestselling and highly unusual guidebook, looks both familiar and different. Familiar, because we have reviewed this title’s previous editions – all of which were released by Thomas Cook Publishing – in E&T. Different, because, for the first time, ‘Europe by Rail’ is published by Hidden Europe Publications, a Berlin-based firm established and run by the two knowledgeable and highly peripatetic authors themselves, who also edit and put together the ‘Hidden Europe’ quarterly magazine of which I have been a dedicated subscriber for many years. With all due respect for the now-defunct Thomas Cook Publishing, I have to confess to being relieved that Gardner and Kries have taken publication in their own practised, well-travelled hands. The difference with previous editions is obvious from the cover, which, while preserving the habitual colour scheme, is somewhat neater and more eye-catching than the familiar Thomas Cook version. - Engineering & Technology Magazine -

You are here: Home / Europe / Europe by RailEurope by RailDECEMBER 13, 2017 BY RUDOLF ABRAHAM LEAVE A COMMENTI was recently sent a copy of the latest (15th) edition of the book Europe by Rail – The Definitive Edition, by its Berlin-based authors Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries (who are also the lovely people behind hidden europe magazine, to which I have been a regular contributor since 2007).european rail travel ebr-15-cover-web It’s a wonderful book – I love the idea of arranging a travel guide around rail journeys, rather than rail journeys merely being included as a means of getting from A to B (or as the authors put it, it’s a guidebook with an emphasis on journeys rather than destinations). Over its 512 pages, it includes some 50 rail routes, which between them do an impressive job of covering the wealth of landscapes, cities, cultures and languages this continent has to offer, from the Bay of Biscay to the Baltic, and from the Balkans to the Arctic Circle. The routes are preceded by a 48 page introduction which carries sections on night trains, rail passes, how to get the best deals on tickets and other useful information, along with plenty of inspiring colour photos. As you’d expect from the people behind hidden europe, it’s very readable, with a more literary style than you’d generally expect from most guidebooks, and an emphasis on slow travel. And it’s not too large, fitting easily within my camera bag (a fairly standard indication of whether something is likely to accompany me on my travels). That’s not to say the routes are short on facts either – along with tips on what to see along the route, each is accompanied by journey times, distances, train frequencies (cross-referenced to the relevant sections of the European Rail Timetable), suggested stop-overs, connections and other details (including some suggestions for hotels, and the locations of tourist offices), together with a handy sketch map.Europe by Rail began life around 20 years (and more than 100,000 copies) ago, and over successive editions has been transformed from a book about 60 European cities (presented with a healthy serving of information on rail travel), into a book about the rail journeys themselves, a form it first took with the 14th edition. This new, 15th edition builds further on this, with more routes added, improved sketch maps, and thoroughly updated timetable information.Within the card covers are maps of Europe showing the location of the routes. With one of these open, I closed my eyes and took a blind prod at the map with my right index finger. It landed somewhere near Prague, on Route 22 – a rail journey stretching from Hamburg to Budapest. Having been on at least one leg of that journey earlier this year – taking the S-Bahn east from Dresden along the Elbe to Kurort Rathen, followed by a short ferry crossing and a hike up into the other-worldly rock formations of Saxon Switzerland National Park – this brought a smile to my face. Turning to the corresponding page of Route 22, I found the sensible advice to 1) sit on the left when travelling south (the views of the sandstone formations are on that side) and 2) take the slow train, allowing for a stop-off to visit the national park, and mentioning the ferry.The information given on a suggested stop-over is always interesting and goes well beyond the standard blurb of tourist brochures. Looking up another journey (45, from Zagreb to Thessaloniki) for example, I turned to the pages on Zagreb, a city I know rather well having lived there. Sure enough, what greeted me was not a paragraph with its number of inhabitants or a dose of hyperbole, but a paragraph about Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža and one of his essays on Zagreb. More familiar and practical information on the city is cross-referenced to another journey (44).As the authors state in the introduction (I paraphrase a little), it is the job of a decent guidebook to inform and inspire. Europe by Rail does both in spades. - Rudolf

Author Biography

Nicky Gardner is a Berlin-based travel writer who weaves words about Europe's finest rail journeys. She also writes about cultures and communities. With Susanne Kries, Nicky is co-editor of hidden europe magazine and co-author of Europe by Rail - the 15th edition of which is published in late 2017.Brought up in Berlin, Susanne Kries has a strong interest in public transport. Susanne has worked with Nicky Gardner on many projects, including several editions of Europe by Rail. The two women edit hidden europe, a print magazine showcasing thoughtful travel writing.