Rail Europe has revealed its top destinations for 2013. They include Southwest Germany, Cordoba in Spain, Basel in Switzerland, Istanbul in Turkey, Brittany in France, Copenhagen in Denmark and Veneto in Italy.

With a number of new and improved rail routes and services being rolled out to meet the growing demands of travelling through Europe by rail, Rail Europe shortlisted these destinations based on its latest travel trend observations.

Rail Europe's top destinations for 2013:

Southwest Germany

Southwest Germany, home to picturesque and fairytale-like Heidelberg, the Black Forest and Freiburg, is not only known for its spectacular landscape, but also for its rich history, automobile museums and award-winning vineyards.

The best way to explore Germany is with the German Rail Pass. Travellers who book a five or six-day pass by 31 March 2013 will enjoy 20% discount.


Cordoba, once ruled by the Romans, is home to Europe’s second largest Old Town. Historically rich and culturally interesting with its blend of Muslims, Jews and Roman Catholics dating back more than 2000 years, the city is gradually gaining more attention from discerning tourists.

Cordoba is easily accessible from major Spanish cities Madrid, Malaga and Sevilla on the high-speed AVE train service.


Basel, birth town of Roger Federer, is Switzerland’s sporting city. Located on the borders of Switzerland, France and Germany, it is also a cultural hub, home to the world’s oldest public art collection and an increasingly popular gateway to some of Europe’s most popular river cruises.

Travellers heading to Switzerland between 1 February and 30 April 2013 can take advantage of a bonus travel day when travelling on a four-day Swiss Pass.


Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and arguably one of the most culturally rich and beautiful cities in the world, is quick becoming busier with tourists thanks to the new Eurail select and Global Passes which now allows travellers to include Turkey in their European itineraries.

Currently, the Eurail Earlybird promotion is giving travellers between two and five free travel days when booking the Eurail Global Pass for 15 days, 21 days or a month. Tickets must be booked between 1 February and 31 March and validated within six months of the issue date.


Brittany, where crêpes originated, is a short two hour train journey from Paris. Capturing visitors with its medieval charm and festivals, it is also home to France’s biggest fresh food market (in Rennes).

Travelling to Nantes or Rennes is convenient on TGV services and takes just over two hours’ from Paris.


Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital is increasingly becoming popular among travellers for its architecture, infrastructure and good quality of life. For the cruise enthusiasts, this city is proving to be an important port for Baltic cruises.

German high-speed ICE trains connect Copenhagen with Berlin in just under seven hours. Travellers can also reserve their seat using a valid Eurail Pass.


Veneto, the seven cities of art and the province in which Venice and the Dolomites are located, is where travellers go for some of Italy’s finest food and wine, art and extraordinarily rich heritage.

The cheapest and most efficient way to travel around the region and the rest of Italy is via Trenitalia connections.

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