European cities with more than one large station, we tell you where you will find your train.
Towards the top of the most confusing aspects of European rail travel list, is that some cities have more than one major station.
In these cities, certain long distance trains may call at more than one major station that has public transport links etc, but the stations are in different parts of town.
One of the stations may be much closer to the main tourist ares than another in the city.
Other cities have separate stations serving different destinations and depending on the destination that you will be travelling to/from, you will depart from/arrive at one specific station.
Hence, our hopefully easy to understand summary of cities with more than station below.
Note that we have only included cities/destinations that have multiple stations used by long distance trains.
These are therefore the destinations most likely to confuse rail travellers that are new to these cities.
The majority of TGV trains to/from Avignon arrive at/depart from Avignon (TGV) station which is on the high speed line to the west of the city.
This includes all TGV trains between Avignon and Antibes, Cannes, Lille, Marseilles, Nice, Toulon, Aeroport CDG in Paris and the majority of trains to/from Paris (Gare De Lyon).
The other station that serves the city, Avignon (Center), lives up to its name with a much more convenient city center location, it is used by;
- the summer direct Eurostar trains to/from London (St Pancras)
- local trains between Avignon and Arles, Beziers, Lyon, Marseilles, Montpellier, Orange and Valence
- a few daily TGV trains between Avignon and Paris- slower than the TGV trains to/from the Avignon (TGV) station, but they save the hassle of the transfer to/from the Avignon(TGV) station with its out of town location.
Avignon (TGV) and Avignon (Center) stations are linked by a ‘navette’’ shuttle bus.
All long distance DAY trains to/from Barcelona now arrive at/depart from Sants station.
The overnight Elipsos ELP trains to/from Paris/Italy/Switzerland arrive at/depart from Franca station.
Unsurprisingly for a city that straddles three different countries Basel has three mainline stations.
The main SBB (Swiss) station is used by these trains:
- all trains to/from other Swiss destinations
- EC trains to/from Italy
- the Lyria (TGVL) trains to/from Paris
- the ICE trains to /from Germany
- all overnight trains to/from Basel including the City Night Line trains.
Local trains to/from France including trains to/from Strasourg and the EC trains to/from Luxembourg/Brussels arrive at depart/from the SNCF station - which is adjacent to the main SBB station.
The ICE trains and City Night Line trains to/from Germany also call at the Basel DB (Basel Bahnhof) station in the German part of the city.
The local trains to/from Germany are the only trains to/from Germany that only depart from/arrive at the DB station and don't also call at the SBB station.
All long distance trains to/from Berlin depart/from arrive at the main station in
the city centre, Berlin hbf.
Certain trains call at Gelsenkirchen (north of the city centre); Ost (east of the city centre); Spandau (west of the city centre) and Sudkreuz (south of the city centre).
It can therefore make sense to leave the train at the station that's closest to your final destination, if your train to Berlin happens to call at any of these stations in addition to Berlin hbf.
The Metro/S-Bahn (local train) interchange at Berlin Ost is named Ostkreuz.
If you're heading to the Postdamer Platz or Friedrichstrasse areas of the city and your train is calling at Gelnsenkirchen or Sukreuz stations it's easier to transfer to the S-Bahn or regional (RE) trains at these stations in comparison to Berlin hbf.
There is a ring of commuter (S-Bahn) train services that circles the city centre, Gelsenkirchen and Sudkreuz stations have likes to these S-Bahn trains.
In Brussels/Bruxelles there are four major stations in the city centre - Centraal, Luxembourg, Midi and Nord.
- Eurostar and Thalys trains only depart from arrive/at Midi station
- ICE trains depart from/arrive at both Midi and Nord stations.
- Other trains to Belgian towns/cities call at Midi, Central and Nord (except for trains to/from Ieper/Ypres which only use Midi).
- EC trains on the Brussels – Strasbourg – Basel route depart from/arrive at Midi, Central, Luxembourg and Nord stations.
The majority of long distance trains to/from Budapest arrive at/depart from Keleti station (exceptions are one of the two daily trains to/from both Ljubljana and Zagreb that only use Deli station).
The majority of trains to/from destinations south/south west of Budapest (including most of those to/from the Lake Baloton area) also only use Deli station.
Trains to/from Budapest airport and destinations in north east Hungary use Nyugati station.
The majority of long distance trains to/from Cologne/Koln depart from/arrive at the city centre station, Koln hbf.
This includes the following train services:
- ICE trains to/from Amsterdam, Basel, Berlin, Brussels/Bruxelles, Frankfurt (some trains) Hamburg, Hannover, Munich/Munchen (some trains), Stuttgart and Vienna/Wien
- all IC trains to/from other destinations in Germany
- The Thalys trains to/from Brussels/Bruxelles and Paris
ICE trains on the Essen – Cologne/Koln – Frankfurt – Wurzburg - Nuremberg – Munich/Munchen route depart from/arrive at Koln (Messe-Deutz) station which is on the opposite bank of the River Rhine to Koln hbf.
Therefore when in Cologne/Koln the next ICE train to Frankfurt or Munich may be departing from Messe-Deutz station.
Also the majority of (and fastest) trains to both Nuremberg and Wurzburg from Cologne/Koln also depart from the Messe-Deutz station
Frequent local (S-Bahn) and regional (RE) trains link the hbf and Messe-Deutz stations, or there is a footpath between them that cross the Rhine, the walk is approx 10 mins.
The majority of high speed (AV) ‘Frecciarosa’ and ‘Frecciagento’ trains to/from Florence/Firenze arrive at/depart from Firenze (S.M.N.) station which is in the heart of the city centre.
’Frecciagento’ trains between Florence/Firenze and Verona/Bolzano are an exception and use Campo Di Marte station, which is some distance to/from the city centre.
The slower (cheaper) IC trains to/from Florence/Firenze only use Rifredi station, which is also some distance from the city centre.
The easiest means of transferring between S.M.N. and both Campo Di Marte and Rifredi stations is to use the frequent local trains.
The trains between Hamburg and Copenhagen only depart from/arrive at the main station in the city centre, Hamburg hbf.
The majority of other long distance trains to/from Hamburg also call at Altona and Damntor stations.
TGV trains between Lille and Paris and trains between Lille and Belgium arrive at /depart from arrive at Lille (Flandres) station.
Eurostar trains and TGV
trains between Lille and both Brussels and other cities in France use Lille (Europe) station.
However, a few TGV trains to/from other destinations in France also use Lille Flandres.Allow a minimum of 10 mins to walk between the two stations.
The following routes use Atocha station:
- High speed trains on the Madrid – Zaragoza – Barcelona route;
- High speed trains between Madrid and Valencia
- High speed trains between Madrid and destinations in southern Spain including Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Seville.
The following routes use Chamartin station:
- long distance trains between Madrid and destinations in northern Spain including Bilbao, Irun, San Sebatsian, Santago di Compostella and Vigo
- The slow train between Madrid and Barcelona
- the Elipsos ELP trains between Madrid and Paris.
- The Lusitania LUS train between Madrid and Lisbon.
The majority of long distance trains to/from Milan/Milano arrive at/depart from Centrale station.
The exceptions are the TGVFI trains to/from Paris and the majority of high speed trains between Milan and Turin/Torino which use Porta Garibaldi station.
Porta Garibaldi is also the city center station for local and/or REG trains to/from; Brescia (most trains), Como, Chiasso, Domodosolla (some trains); Stressa (some trains) and Turin/Torino (some trains).
Local and/or REG trains to/from Bergarmo, Domodosolla (some trains); Genoa; Piacenza; Stressa (some trains); Tirano; Turin/Torino (some trains) and Verona depart from Centrale stattion.
The Malpensa Express trains to/from Malpensa airport arrive at/depart from Cadorna station, but there are also regular trains between Centrale and Malpensa.
All long distance and regional trains to/from Munich/Munchen arrive at/depart from Munchen hbf.
EC trains between Munich and Italy/Austria also call at Munchen Ost station.
Railjet trains between Munich/Munchen and Austria don’t call at Munchen Ost.
All long distance trains to/from Prague/Praha now call at the primary city centre station Praha (h.l.n.)
EC trains in both directions between Berlin/Dresden and Prague (Budapest/Vienna) also call at Hoselvice station.
When travelling to Prague/Praha city centre from Berlin/Dresden by train it often makes sense to leave the train at Hoselvice.
Line C of the Prague/Praha metro calls at both Hoselvice at h.l.n, but Hoselvice is a much quieter and less confusing station.
Threre also direct trams from Hoselvice station to the King Charles Bridge, tram connections between h.l.n. and the city centre/King Charles Bridge area are more awkward.
Virtually all long distance trains to/from Rome/Roma depart from/arrive at Termini station. It is only the location in the city centre served by both Metro lines A and B.
Metro Line A also serves Tiburtina station, which is to become the high speed train hub for the city, for the moment there are small number of trains to/from Rome that only call at Tiiburtina and don’t operate to/from Termini station.
When travelling to Rome city centre it can be a less stressful journey to leave the train at Tiburtina and take Metro line A to Cavour or Colosseo stations.
Metro Line A also has an ‘interchange with Ostiense station, which is a station at which many of the trains on the Pisa – Livornno – Roma route call, before they arrive at Termini.
It is a fairly long walk between the mainline and Metro stations at Ostiense, but if your final destination is near Cavour or Colosseo Metro stations, it is a quicker journey in comparison to making the transfer at Termini station.
Turin/Torino station has two stations, Porta Nuova and Porta Susa, which are linked by the Torino Metro.
The majority of trains to/from the city use both stations, but trains between Torino and Genoa/Genova, La Spezia, Monterosso (and other ‘Cinque Terre’ towns) and Pisa only arrive at/depart from the Porta Nuova station.
The TGVFI trains between Turin/Torino and Paris and the Elipsos overnight train to/from Barcelona only call at Porta Susa station.
All long distance trains to/from Venice/Venezia call at Mestre station, but only the majority of trains arrive at/depart from St Lucia station which is located on the banks of the Grand Canal.
A minority of long distance trains between Venice other destinations in Italy and Trieste only call at Mestre station - these are the long distance trains to/from Trieste
As a result that can be gaps of two hours between express trains from Venice/Venezia (St Lucia) to Milan.
If there is no train to Milan (other destinations in Italy) scheduled to depart from St Lucia within 90 minutes, check whether an earlier train will be departing from Mestre and transfer between the two stations on a local train.
When the currently under construction new Vienna/Wein hbf station opens it will become the station at which all long distance trains to/from Vienna/Wien will depart from/arrive at (despite an awkward location some distance to the south of the city centre).
Until then trains to/from destinations to the east, north and south of Vienna/Wien including Berlin, Graz, Klagenfurt. Prague/Praha and Villach depart from/arrive at Meidling station.
Trains to/from destinations to the west of Vienna including Innsbruck, Linz, Salzburg and Zurich depart from/arrive at Westbahnhof station.
Railjet RJ trains in both directions
on the Munich/Zurich – Salzburg – Linz – Vienna – Budapest route call at both Meidling and Westbahnhof stations.
Certain other long distance trains also call at both Westbahnhof and Meidling stations.
Westbahnhof station has easier public transport connections to the city centre, the station is on Metro line U3 which has stations at Stepenplatz
in the heart of the city and at the city’s main public transport hub at Mitte.
There are direct local (S-bahn) trains between Meidling and Mitte.
All long distance trains to/from Warsaw/Warszawa call at Centralna station, which lives up to its city centre name (though it is awkwardly located for tourist destinations).
Virtually all trains that call at Centralna also arrive at/depart from the newly modernised Wschodnia station which is loated on the east bank of the River Visla.
Trains to/from Warszawa Chopin airport arrive at/depart from Wschodnia station, but call at either Centralna or Srodmiescie which can be confusing, but these two stations are linked by a passage way.