Hop-on / hop-off local trains
The most common trains in Europe are express and local trains. These trains have various advantages:
- Reservations are not required, or they are fairly cheap.
- These trains run often, so no stress if you miss a connection.
- Local trains also stop at smaller 'off-the-beaten-track' stations.
- You have a greater chance of meeting locals.
Express trains: InterCity / EuroCity
Express trains are not as fast as high-speed trains, but they make fewer stops than local trains. These trains are often called InterCity (IC) or EuroCity (EC).
Seat reservations for domestic and international express trains are sometimes required or recommended, see the overview of domestic reservation fees.
Just hop on local and regional trains
Easy, relaxed and intimate - that sums up the atmosphere of the countless regional and local trains that you will find throughout Europe. Nowhere else will you get a better feel for the European life. These trains take the locals to work, shopping or entertainment.
Local trains don't require reservations, in many cases reservations are not even possible. Some of them only have 2nd class cars.
Examples of local and regional train types:
- France: TER
- Germany: Regionalbahn (RB), Interregio-Express (IRE), Regional-Express (RE)
- Italy: Regional (R), Express (E)
- Spain: Regional, Catalunya Exprés, Cercanías
Get information about other train types in Europe, including high-speed, night and scenic trains.