berlin london train

London to Berlin by train — what is the fastest/cheapest route?

London to Berlin by train. The best option I’ve found is Eurostar to Paris then sleeper to Berlin for ?250. This seems expensive. Are there faster/cheaper options?

Yes, there is a reason: aeroplanes contribute to climate change.

You could bus/ferry it to Calais via Dover — National Express quotes ?26 one-way all included for the bus and the ferry on June 9, the random date in the future I chose. Voyages-SNCF, the French rail booking site, quotes €67 for Calais to Berlin, with changes in Lille to the TGV to Paris, then the sleeper to Berlin in second class. The prices you might be seeing are probably for sleepers/couchettes; I assume the €67 is for a seat in second class.

0700 depart London Victoria coach terminus

1348 arrive Calais Ferry Port

(taxi? bus?)

1438 depart Calais Ville train station

1700 depart Lille Flandres

1802 arrive Paris Nord

(metro? stroll?)

2000 depart Paris Est

0850 arrive Berlin Spandau

The Voyages SNCF site is easy enough to use even if you don’t speak French; the English version doesn’t show all the deals, though, so follow Seat 61’s page here on navigating it!

Actually, that would be a lot of fun, though I can’t say I myself would be in terrific shape for that.

Yes, there is a reason: aeroplanes contribute to climate change.

It might be cheaper to plant a load of trees and travel by plane.

Trains contribute to climate change too — that energy still has to come from somewhere — a bus (ignoring that pesky English Channel issue) would be at least twice as efficient. Hell, even walking contributes to climate change, just think of all those CO2 scrubbing plants you’re burПing up with each step. Ultimately, the best way to do this is probably going to be flying. There probably aren’t fast and cheap rail options for this trip because nearly everyone wants to go by air: it’s already fast and cheap, so there’s just no reason for rail to try to compete here. The usual rule applies — Good, fast, cheap: pick any two.

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While I personally think much of the carbon offset market is a joke, this is actually a situation where it might make sense: you reduce your emissions to the extent practicable, and then purchase offsets for the rest. If it’s truly not worth it economically to be perfectly eco-friendly on your trip and you can’t justify not doing so, then you really have only one option: stay in London.

On the "Hell, even walking contributes to climate change" note, I wonder if anyone has calculated the number of calories required to ride a modern efficient touring bicycle the distance of Calais to Berlin, against the fuel required to produce (meat, grains, etc) the food required to fuel a human body to expend those calories.

If your food comes from a source that mostly uses highly intensive mechanized agriculture you might find that eating 5,500 calories a day for serious cycle touring would be more harmful.

German Bahn has a "London Special" on offer.

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