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Thursday, 15 January 2009

EURAIL WILL TAKE YOU TO EUROPE’S TOP DESTINATIONS

A new year is upon us and, as ever, many organizations and publications are coming out with their lists of top destinations to visit for 2009. Many European destinations have featured on the various top ten lists of worldwide destinations to visit – most of which are easily accessible with a Eurail Pass.

Frommer’s have tipped Berlin, Germany as a hot destination. The historic city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, making 2009 the perfect year to visit this destination. Those interested in European history can expect special exhibitions, memorials, tours and walks.

The Travel website BootsnAll, aimed at Independent Travelers, also cites Berlin as one of their top choices, claiming that it is also “noticeably cheaper” than most of Europe’s tourist-filled cities.

In these difficult economic times, much focus is on the more affordable destinations. The UK’s Herald newspaper has recently released a report on the top economical destinations to visit in 2009. Included in this list is Bulgaria, which has just become a Eurail One Country Pass member.

Situated in Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria offers a picturesque and varied landscape ranging from high-peaked mountain ranges to coastal towns on the black sea. The passenger railway network covering over 6,200 kilometres (3,850 miles) offers good domestic as well as international routes, with direct trains to major cities such as Budapest, Bucharest, Thessaloniki and Belgrade. The Bulgarian railways carry 34 million passengers annually.

Another popular destination in Eastern Europe is the Czech Republic, which has this year become a member of the Eurail Global Pass and Eurail Select Pass schemes. Its capital Prague is ranked among the top ten tourist destinations in Europe, according to Euromonitor International[1].

Rail is a popular means of transportation in the Czech Republic. Of the more than 6.5 million tourists arriving in the country annually, nearly a quarter travel by rail. The dense railway structure, which is continuously being modernized links the capital, Prague, to many interesting cities and villages within the country, as well as having excellent international connections. The capital cities of both Vienna and Berlin can be reached directly in less than five hours.

Undoubtedly finances will play an important role on how and where we travel in 2009 and there are clearly some affordable destinations in Europe; coupled with a Eurail Pass offering freedom, flexibility and value for money, you can be assured of a relaxed and enjoyable trip.

Since adding the Czech Republic, the Eurail Global Pass is now valid in 21 participating countries. Eurail also gives you the opportunity to custom-make your own rail pass by choosing three, four or five adjoining countries. For more targeted trips, smaller one and two country passes are available.

Eurail Passes are available from authorized sales channels: ACP Rail International (www.eurail-acprail.com); Eurail www.eurail.com; Flight Centre (www.flightcentre.com); www.OctopusTravel.com; Rail Europe (North America: www.raileurope.com, rest of the world: www.raileurope.fr), and STA Travel (www.statravel.com).

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