Switzerlands Famous Scenic Rail Lines ffft

Switzerland not only offers Europe's most dramatic Alpine scenery, but eight of the greatest train rides in the world. If you take one or all of these train trips, be assured that they will be among the most memorable of your life. All of the trains below can be booked through Rail Europe (& 877 272-RAIL 7245 in the U.S., or 800 361-RAIL 7245 in Canada www.raileurope.com) or your travel agent. GLACIER EXPRESS One of the most evocative trains in the country, the Glacier Express connects two...

Rhus

The capital of Jutland and Denmark's second-largest city, rhus lies 109 miles (175km) west of Copenhagen. A university town with a lively port, it is the cultural center of Jutland and a major industrial center as well. Pronounced Ore-hoos, rhus is self-styled the world's smallest big city, and it's filled with some notable attractions and architectural gems of yesteryear. Its well-preserved historic core deserves at least a half-day of your time. The city is fairly compact, and it's easy to...

An Excursion To Xanthi

The rare site of church crosses filling the landscape alongside Muslim minarets can be seen in Xanthi, one of the few places in Greece where Greek and Turkish influences and populations coexist. Tobacco has historically been the dominant industry here with the Thracean plain's tobacco producers and the Muslim cattle growers from the northern mountain range meeting in this town's bustling marketplace. GETTING THERE Daily trains leave Thessaloniki directly for Xanthi seven times a day and include...

Avignon aog

In the 14th century, Avignon was the capital of Christendom the popes lived here during what the Romans called the Babylonian Captivity. The legacy left by that court of splendor and magnificence makes Avignon even today one of the most interesting and beautiful of Europe's cities of the Middle Ages. Today, this walled city of some 100,000 residents is a major stopover on the rail route from Paris to the Mediterranean and it's the transportation hub for inland Provence. It is increasingly known...

Moments An Excursion to Karlstejn Castle

By far the most popular day trip from Prague is to Karlstejn Castle, 18 miles (30km) southwest of Prague, which was built by Charles IV in the 14th century to safeguard the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire and has been restored to its original state. As you approach the castle by train from the Prague, little will prepare you for your first view a spectacular castle perched high on a hill, surrounded by lush forests and vineyards. The Holy Rood Chapel is famous for the more than 2,000...

Where To Stay

Best Western Hotel Eggers Finds Built in 1859, this is the second oldest hotel in Gothenburg, and it's still a favorite and going strong. Even better for rail travelers, it's right near Central Station. The hotel retains some of its old architectural allure wood paneling, elaborate staircases, and stained-glass windows though everything has been modernized. The individually decorated bedrooms vary in size but are attractive and comfortable, with large bathrooms. Drottningtorget, S-401 25 G...

Where To Stay Dine

Lying a few blocks from the Dom (cathedral), Altstadthotel Kasererbrau, Kaigasse 33 (& 0662 84 24 45 www.kasererbraeu.at bus 5 or 25), is a 650-year-old house constructed on Roman walls in the center of the city. Each of its 42 rooms is different, with those decorated with baroque and Biedermeier furnishings having more character than those with modern furniture. Guests have free access to a steam room and sauna, and there's a pizzeria and Indian restaurant on the ground floor. Some units...

Keszthely

Keszthely (pronounced Kest-hay), which sits at the western edge of Lake Balaton, is one of the largest towns on the lake, and is easily reached by rail from both Budapest and other lake towns. Though Keszthely was largely destroyed during the Turkish wars, the town was rebuilt in the 18th century by the Festetics family, an aristocratic family that made Keszthely their home through World War II. The town's main sites all date from the days of the wealthy Festetics clan. GETTING THERE Nine daily...

Moments A Summer Walk along the Quays of Zurich

To walk the Quays of Zurich * is an attraction rivaled in the city only by the Swiss National Museum. These promenades have been built along the Zurichsee (Lake Zurich) and the Limmat River. The most famous is Limmat Quai, in the virtual heart of Zurich, beginning at the Bahnhof Bridge and extending east to the Rathaus (town hall) and beyond. These quays have lovely gardens planted with beautiful trees such as the linden. The Swiss are known for their love of flowers, which is much in evidence...

Inside The Stations

Budapest has three major train stations Keleti palyaudvar (Eastern Station), Nyugati palyaudvar (Western Station), and Deli palyaudvar (Southern Station). The stations' names, curiously, correspond neither to their geographical location in the city nor to the origins or destinations of the trains serving them. Each has a Metro station beneath it and an array of accommodations booking offices (see Information Elsewhere in the City, below), currency-exchange booths, and other services. Most...

An Excursion To Tivoli

An ancient town 20 miles (32km) east of Rome, Tivoli, known as Tibur to the ancient Romans, was the playground of emperors, who maintained lavish villas here near the famous woods and waterfalls. Today its reputation continues unabated It's the most popular half-day jaunt from Rome. GETTING THERE From Rome, take Metro Line B to Ponte Mammolo. After exiting the station, board a Cotral bus for the rest of the way to Tivoli (it will drop you off in front of the tourist information office). A bus...

Finds A Free City within Copenhagen

Not for everybody, but worth a look, is a trip to the Free City of Christiania, on the island of Christianshavn (take bus no. 8 from Radhuspladsen). Since 1971, some 1,000 squatters have taken over 130 former army barracks (spread across 20 acres 8 hectares) and declared themselves a free city, whose hippie-style liberation included communal living, ecological stewardship, hashish cafes, and general tolerance of alternative lifestyles. You can shop, dine, and talk to the natives about the...

Moments Traveling the Romantic Road by

If you have only a limited amount of vacation time allotted for your rail trip to Germany, have a railpass, and would like to see the Romantic Road in a more convenient fashion than that afforded by public transportation (some of the smallest towns do not have train stations and can be reached only by bus), the best option for traveling the route is aboard the comfortable and modern Romantic Road Europabus, which links all towns and cities along the route daily in both directions from April...

Tips Avoiding the Crowds

Consider yourself warned Word has spread about Cesky Krumlov. The summer high season can be unbearable, as thousands of visitors blanket its medieval streets. If possible, try to visit in the off season we suggest autumn to take advantage of the colorful surrounding hills when the crowds recede, the prices decrease, and the town's charm can really shine. Who knows You might even hear some Czech For more details about the town go to www.ckrumlov.cz. VISITOR INFORMATION On the main square, in a...

Germany By Rail

The national rail corporation in Germany, Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) DB for short spreads its silvery tentacles into the remotest corners of the land and manages more than 22,320 miles (36,000km) of rail track. The rail system is renowned for its timeliness and reach German trains even crank their way up more than a few Alpine mountainsides. The busiest stations, in places such as Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt, see hundreds of arrivals and departures, local regional, national, and...

Austria By Rail

Rail travel is superb in Austria, with fast, clean trains taking you through scenic regions. Trains will carry you nearly every place in the country, except for remote hamlets tucked away in almost-inaccessible mountain districts. Many other services tie in with railroad travel, among them car or bicycle rental at many stations, bus transportation links, and package tours, including boat trips and cable-car rides. High-tech InterCity Express (ICE) trains, complete with audio connections at...

Szigliget

Halfway between the Tihany peninsula and Keszthely is the lovely village of Szigliget (pronounced Szg-lee-get), a picturesque Hungarian lake village with some magnificent castle ruins and an easy stopover point for rail travelers. If you are as taken as we were by the thatched-roof houses, the lush vineyards, and the sunny Mediterranean feel of Szigliget, you might consider spending the night. GETTING THERE Five daily trains leave from Veszprem's rail station that will get you to...

Itinerary The Grand Tour

Shop the El Rastro flea market in the afternoon. Or take a day trip to explore the Moorish architectural riches of C rdoba hourly AVE express trains leave from Madrid's Atocha station for the 2hour journey. See An Excursion to C rdoba in chapter 17 for more on this Moorish city. Spend your day at the Museo del Prado, and take the overnight Francisco de Goya train to Paris. This train, one of the Elip-sos series, is one of Europe's most luxurious regular trips even the most basic accommodation...

Tips How to Avoid Those Endless Lines

Select Italy offers the possibility to reserve your tickets for the Uffizi, Boboli Gardens, Galleria dell'Accademia, and many other attractions in Florence. The cost varies from 18 to 28 ( 23.40- 36.40), depending on the museum, and several combination passes are available. Contact Select Italy at 847 8531661, or buy online at www.selectitaly.com. If you're already in Florence and don't want to waste a half day waiting to enter the Galleria degli Uffizi, Galleria dell'Accademia, Boboli Gardens,...

Moments Tasca Hopping

Madrid's equivalent of London's pub-crawl is tasca hopping. Tascas are local taverns serving tapas along with beer and wine (the hard stuff, too). Many tascas specialize in one dish, perhaps mushrooms or else shrimp, although most of them serve a wide array of tasty appetizers. Since the dining hour is late in Madrid, often around 10pm, Madrile os patronize these tascas and satisfy their predinner appetites with one small plate after another. It's amazing they are still hungry when it's time...

Riding The Scenic Route

Ideal passes Second-class point-to-point tickets (cheapest) or first-class 5-day, three- country Eurail Selectpass (most comfortable and flexible, and only a little more expensive) Arrive in Milan There's some intense rail riding on this weeklong trip, but you'll be rewarded with a number of the world's most thrilling and dramatic rail journeys as you travel across the Alps. Two noteworthy trains you'll be riding are the magnificent Centovalli Railway traversing Italy and Switzerland, and the...

Where To Dine

Alois Dallmayr CONTINENTAL Alois Dallmayr, which traces its history from 1700, is the most famous delicatessen in Germany. Its tempting array of delicacies from around the globe has been sampled by many a royal court. The upstairs dining room serves a subtle German version of continental cuisine, owing a heavy debt to France. The food array is dazzling, ranging from herring and sausages to tomatoes from Morocco and papayas from Brazil, and the famous French poulet de Bresse. Dienerstrasse...

Moments A Lazy Afternoon at the Villa Borghese

The Borghese Gardens (encompassing the Galeria Borghese), now a perfectly exquisite 17th-century estate, were developed by Cardinal Scipio Borghese, a high churchman belonging to another of Rome's mighty families. The most striking feature of the Borghese Gardens is its trees stark and eerie looking, their trunks rising some 50 feet (15m) into the air without a single branch, only to burst forth in an evergreen canopy high above. Few activities are quite as pleasant as a slow stroll through the...

Dining

Glockenspiel 12 Restaurant Herzl 7 Sternbr u 8 Stiftskeller St. Peter 14 Cafe Tomaselli 10 Hellbrunn Palace 20 Hohensalzburg Fortress 19 M nschsberg 18 Mozart Geburthaus 9 Mozart-Wohnhaus 6 Museum der Moderne Salzburg 18 Residenz 16 Salzburg Cathedral 15 Stiftskirche St. Peter 17 is also one of Europe's leading cultural centers, especially for classical music. Mozart was born here, and Salzburg boasts one of the grandest music festivals in the world. For passengers doing a rail tour of the...

Top Attractions Special Moments

Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano & This church not St. Peter's is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome. Catholics all over the world refer to it as their mother church. Originally built in a.d. 314 by Constantine, the cathedral has suffered many vicissitudes and was forced to rebuild many times. The present building is characterized by its 18th-century facade by Alessandro Galilei (statues of Christ and the Apostles ring the top). Borromini gets the credit some say blame for the...

Moments Back to Glorious Eden

If you'd like to see Sintra the way Lord Byron did when working on his autobiographical Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, you can rent a horse-drawn carriage in front of the National Palace of Sintra at Largo da Rainha Dona Amelia. Carrying up to five passengers, these romantic tours last less than an hour but are worth the price for a most agreeable ride under shade trees. You'll be following trails blazed by Moorish sultans centuries ago along bougainvillea-lined streets. You can look up at little...

Other Great Museums

Museu da Funda ao Calouste Gulbenkiai Hailed by art critics as one of the world's finest private art collections, this magnificent treasure trove was formed from a nucleus of art acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, an oil magnate with an eye for art, who died in 1955 and willed his collection to the state. The modern museum was constructed on a former private estate that once belonged to the Count of Vilalva and opened in 1969. Allow at least 3 hours for a romp through this varied collection,...

Deluxe Sleepers

One to three beds per cabin Secure compartments with private Private bathroom with shower and Sitting area only on some trains Electronic door locks, luggage storage areas, panoramic windows, individual climate controls Breakfast always included in rate If you can't stand the idea of an overnight ride without a shower, these trains provide showers Private Showers Spanish night trains between Madrid and Barcelona. Paris-Germany night trains between Paris and Munich, Frankfurt, Bremen, Hamburg,...

Shopping

There's virtually a shop or shops in every block, selling Venetian crafts, such as glass and lace, and oh, so much more. Most of the shopping is concentrated around Piazza San Marco or Ponte Rialto. The best place to buy Carnevale masks is Mondonovo, Rio Terra Canal, Dorsoduro 3063 amp 041 5287344 , where talented artisans labor to produce copies of both traditional and more modern masks, each of which is one-of-a-kind and richly nuanced with references to Venetian lore and traditions. Prices...

Getting From The Airport To The Train Station

The Bern-Belp Airport amp 031 960-21-11 www.alpar.ch is 6 miles 9.6km south of the city in the town of Belpmoos. International flights arrive from London, Paris, and Nice, but transatlantic jets are not able to land here. Fortunately, it's a short hop to Bern from the international airports in Zurich and Geneva. A taxi from the airport to the city center costs about 35F 29 , so it's better to take the shuttle bus that runs between the airport and the Bahnhof train station in the city center....

Information Elsewhere In The City

A 5-minute walk from the rail station, Geneva's tourist office, the Office du Tourisme de Gen ve, is located at 18 rue du Mont-Blanc amp 022 909-70-00 www.geneve tourisme.ch . The staff provides information about the city, and can also arrange hotel reservations for a 5F 4.10 fee, both in Geneva and throughout Switzerland, and refer you to other establishments specializing in tour bookings. They can also give you details about audio-guided visits to the city's Old Town. The tourist office is...

B

Check into your hotel, then start your day in Madrid at the Royal Palace and work your way east to the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales. Spend the night as locals do by Tasca hopping. See Madrid in chapter 17 for more on information. How does the Museo del Prado compare to the Louvre Today's your day to find out. If there's time, head over to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, home of Picasso's famous Guernica. If you aren't too exhausted, take in a flamenco show after dinner....

Rato

Antonio Clara 10 Bachus 15 Conventual 6 El Bodeg n 11 Escorial 17 Kais 23 Luggage storage is also available daily from 8 30am to 11 30pm, and costs 3 3.90 for a locker for 48 hours. You can get both rail information and tourist information at offices to the right as you exit from the trains and walk past Ticket Window 1. These offices are open daily from 9am to 10pm. Hotel reservations can be made at the tourist office here, and there is no commission charged. Esta ao Oriente Metro Oriente is...

First Vs Second Class

European Train 1st Class Compartment

Most European trains have two classes of seats first and second class. On local, regional, and express trains, there's not as much difference between the classes as there is on the high-speed and premiere trains. First-class cars usually have either three seats per row a seat on one side of the aisle, two seats on the other or six seats per compartment second-class cars have four seats per row two on each side of the aisle or eight per compartment. First class has more legroom, and the...

Lige

Fervent, lively Li ge its nickname is la Cit Ardente the Passionate City exudes the aura of an aging industrial gloom, but that seems to fade next to its gracefully down-at-the-heels 19th-century monuments and remnants from the time of its powerful prince-bishops. GETTING THERE There are between two and four trains an hour to Li ge from Brussels and Antwerp, one an hour from Maastricht and Cologne, and one every 2 hours from Luxembourg. The Thalys high-speed train, arrives via Brussels, from...

Weather

BRITAIN amp IRELAND Everyone knows it rains a lot in Britain and Ireland. Winters are rainier than summers August and from September to mid-October are the sunniest months. Summer daytime temperatures average from the low 60s Fahrenheit teens Celsius to the mid-60s 20s Celsius , dropping to the 40s single digits Celsius on winter nights. Ireland, whose shores are bathed by the Gulf Stream, has a milder climate and the most changeable weather a dark rainy morning can quickly turn into a sunny...

Value Your Pass to Exotic Countries

A trail of ancient cities, mosques, and natural wonders can be made most affordable through a Balkan Flexipass, granting you unlimited travel through Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, and Serbia Montenegro. There are three options to choose from any 5, 10, or 15 days in 1 month, with prices starting at 197. Travel is in first class only, and there are special fares for passengers under 26 or more than 60 years of age. The Balkan Flexipass is available through Rail Europe amp 877...