Why I Love the Idea of Exploring Europe in Winter

Winter is one of my favorite seasons in Europe. // (c) 2013 TimeyRes

Winter is one of my favorite seasons in Europe. // (c) 2013 TimeyRes
Winter is one of my favorite seasons in Europe. // (c) 2013 TimeyRes

I have long been a proponent of traveling in the off-season, especially with family. I know that there’s school and holidays, and it’s cold, but it is such a great way to experience Europe’s true charm. It’s precisely the absence of tourists that makes it so much more authentic. In the summertime, every city is buzzing with activity. In the winter, you see children riding the train on the way to school, locals exploring the markets and businessmen escaping for a drink at lunch. These small but significant daily activities are what truly give visitors a glimpse into life in Europe.

All of this leads to my excitement that  Rail Europe is currently offering three different promotions for travel in France, Switzerland and Germany during the holidays. Details on the promotions are below…and if you don’t fancy winter travel, there’s always the gift of a rail pass for the summertime.


  • Details: First Class France-Switzerland Deluxe Pass offers first class train travel within a one-month period at a special price aboard two very extensive rail networks as well as on the high speed Lyria trains that connect them. Plus, enjoy a wide selection of bonuses which includes free entrance to over 400 museums, and discounts on many mountain railways, cable cars and city passes in Switzerland, as well discounts on castles, shows, attractions, museums and city passes in France.
  • Promo (booking) dates: Book tickets from September 19-  December 20, 2013
  • Travel dates: Rail passes must be validated within 6 months of purchase date at the rail station by a railway official.
  • Visithttp://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/france-switzerland-deluxe/index.html



  • Details: REI will offer 5 days of travel for the price of 4. Travelers can score an extra day of travel at no cost with the purchase of a First Class 4-Day Swiss Pass and enjoy 5 consecutive days of unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel system. In addition to sailing along the majestic Swiss countryside along rail routes such as the Glacier Express, Golden Pass Line or Wilhelm Tell Express, travelers enjoy public transportation in 75 Swiss cities, get a 50% price reduction off most mountain railways, and free admission to more than 470 museums in Switzerland. Prices begin at $482 USD.
  • Promo (booking) dates: September 3 through December 20, 2013
  • Travel dates: November 1 to December 31, 2013
  • Visit http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/swiss-pass-free-day-fall/index.html


BAVARIAN BARGAINS THIS WINTER! 20% Off Select German Rail Passes

  • Details: Now offered at 20% off, a German Rail Pass Promotion for 7, 8, 9 or 10 days within 1-month is an even more remarkable deal for an unmatched rail experience aboard one of the most modern rail systems in the world. Travelers will ride freely across Germany, with extensive travel on the national rail network of Germany where quaint villages, beautiful countryside, and storybook Bavarian castles are among the sites to see. Plus, get 20% off admission to castles in Bavaria! Lock-in these fairytale prices worthy of such a magical destination.
  • Promo (booking) dates: October 1- December 5, 2013
  • Travel dates: Valid for travel from October 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014
  • Visithttp://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/german-rail-pass-twenty-off-promo/index.html

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