5 European Cities You Can Get To By Train From The UK, Because The Perfect Holiday Doesn't Need To Involve Flying

imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Summer is practically upon us, and while I'm sure the whole nation would love to be sunning on a white sandy beach in Bali, it's not that realistic for most people. But everyone should be able to enjoy their summer holidays, and that's why Europe breaks by train are an ideal way to see the continent.

With the popularity of inter-railing and the ease of the Eurostar, it's easy to see why so many people are keen to discover Europe by train. On top of that, planes can be quite stressful, you have to get up at the crack of dawn, go to an airport in the middle of nowhere, queue for a lifetime, and all that's before cramming yourself into a tiny airplane seat. It does make getting on a train even more appealing.

And, for some with a severe phobia of flying, it can feel you're missing out on so much of the world. According to Anxiety UK, it's thought that 1 in 10 people have a fear of flying. That's a lot of missed holiday opportunities. so, for these people, trains and ideal form of transport. You get a to view the wonderful scenery all without having to go anywhere near a plane.

So here are some places to visit this summer for a beautiful city break in Europe by train:

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Why not travel to this beautiful city made famous for its canals, coffee shops, museums, bikes, and greenery? With Eurostar, you can get to the Netherlands in just under five hours. That's literally quicker than getting from one end of the UK to the other by train. While there, stop off at the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh museum, or simply stroll around the city and enjoy its chilled out atmosphere.

Paris, France

The city of love is probably one of the most popular destinations by train. If you haven't been before, it's now easier than ever. With the Eurostar leaving from St Pancras London, you can get to Paris in around two hours for around £40 one way. If the lovely-dovey stuff isn't for you, the Eurostar also goes to Disneyland Paris. Amen to that.

Brussels, Belgium

Some of the destinations you can get to by Eurostar may surprise you. Take Brussels, for example. Try some world famous Belgian beer, check out the art in Musée Magritte, or visit the Royal Palace of Brussels. How long does it take to get there, you ask? LESS than two hours. You heard me right.

Lyon, France

France isn't all about Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Why not try out a different French city? Lyon is the third largest city in the country, and often touted the capital of French gastronomy. Check out the renaissance architecture, visit Parc de la Tête d'Or, or visit the other Notre Dame, Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The train there will take you around 5 hours. Simple.

Barcelona, Spain

Going on a city break doesn't mean you have to miss out on a beach holiday. There's no direct line from London to Barcelona, but you can get there by train in less than a day with a few changes along the way. And the journey there is guaranteed to be absolutely breathtaking. Barcelona is the perfect destination for those craving culture as well as some good sea breeze.