Picturesque Cologne at night time

Picturesque Cologne at night time

Long check-in queues, passport control and tedious security checks (usually with holy socks on show for all to see) can turn going off on your jollies from fun to fraught in five seconds flat. Flying might have become the most convenient way to travel abroad, but why not hark back to the good old days and catch a train out of Blighty?

Travelling by rail means you can wave goodbye to baggage fees and hanging around for hours before you fly. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy! Take a look at our top three destinations in Europe and have a hassle free holiday.


The city of love has long been a favourite for couples looking for a romantic break, but you don’t have to be loved up to enjoy this stunning city. Visit the famous sights of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, soak up some culture in the Louvre gallery or shop till you drop in the fashion houses of the city. Taking the Eurostar direct from London St Pancras means you can glide into Paris in as little as 2 hours 15 minutes, and with trains running nearly every hour, it’s as easy as your daily commute. Eurostar are currently offering return tickets to from London to Paris from £59 until 23rd January.


Cologne or Köln is Germany’s oldest city and famous not only for its culture but also its beer! Kölsch is pale in colour, delicate in taste and ideal for drinking on a sunny afternoon by the river Rhine. Much like Champagne, the name is protected by law meaning only beer brewed in the area can carry the name. If beer isn’t your thing, take a wander around the old town with its quaint, colourful houses and plazas, before replenishing your energy supply at the Imhof Schokoladen museum. To get to Cologne take the Eurostar to Brussels then change onto a high-speed ICE train. Prices from £85.


Better known as a banking capital than a cosmopolitan city, Zurich has an abundance of vibrant bars, clubs and restaurants just waiting to be discovered. The trendy 'Züri-West' district has been compared to Berlin and the city now holds Europe’s largest annual street festival.  Visit the Bahnhofstrasse for world- class shopping and release your inner child at the Zurich toy museum. Travel with Eurostar to Paris then take the high-speed TVG train to Zurich. Prices from £132.

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Natalie Mortimer