Omio, a leading European platform for booking travel by train, bus and plane, has come up with a list of 25 of Europe’s most popular routes they say are faster to travel by train or bus than by plane.

As the Flygskam or Flightshaming movement is taking off (pun intended) across Europe, travellers are increasingly considering the impact on the environment of their travel – but cost and time are still the key motivators when deciding which mode of transport to choose, research by Omio revealed.

With more than half of Europeans interviewed saying they would choose travel by train over taking a plane if it would save them time, Omio has come up with a list of 25 of Europe’s most popular routes that are faster to travel by train or bus than by plane. They not only calculated the time that could be gained by ditching the plane, but also the amount of climate-heating carbon emissions saved.


If you have no alternative but to fly, read our article on How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint When Flying and our guide on How to Carbon Offset your trip.


At least a third of all European respondents said they’d choose travel by train or bus over flying if the former were cheaper.

In a similar spirit, Spain’s national train operator Renfe has revealed a new budget brand called Avlo on the high-speed route between Madrid and Barcelona. Starting on 6 April 2020, this new service would be at significantly lower fares.

Coach travel
Travel by coach can be more comfortable than by plane

Bertrand Etienne, Omio’s Regional Director, said, “The common perception that flying is always the fastest way to get from A to B doesn’t necessarily hold true once you consider the additional time required to get to the airport, queue at the check-in or security and wait to board or retrieve baggage.” He also pointed out that long-distance trains and coaches across Europe generally offer a high standard of accommodation, including comfortable seats, WiFi, a range of refreshments, tables, plug sockets and a bigger allowance for luggage.

Some examples in Omio’s list include travel by train from London to Brussels that would save more than three hours of door-to-door travel time compared to flying, while CO2 emissions would be 55% less. Similarly, travel by train from Paris to London would be three hours faster than by plane and also save 55% on CO2 emissions.


Read our article climate change and tourism comparing travel by train, plane, car and boat.


Omio’s list of top 25 journeys faster overland than by plane are:

FROMTOFASTER THAN PLANE BYCO2 SAVING
London, UKBrussels, Belgium3 hours 8 minutes (train)30kg
Paris, FranceLondon, UK3 hours 1 minutes (train)32kg
Rennes, FranceParis, France2 hours, 9 minutes (train)28kg
Rome, ItalyFlorence, Italy2 hours 15 minutes (train)21kg
Paris, FranceBordeaux, France2 hours 8 minutes (train)47kg
London, UKLeeds, UK1 hour 54 minutes (train)46kg
Paris, FranceMarseille, France1 hour 50 minutes (train)62kg
Valencia, SpainMadrid, Spain1 hour 28 minutes (train)28kg
Paris, FranceLyon, France1 hour, 47 minutes (train)37kg
Manchester, UKLondon, UK1 hour 44 minutes (train)24kg
Paris, FranceNantes, France1 hour 39 minutes (train)32kg
Rome, ItalyBologna, Italy1 hour 38 minutes (train)28kg
Seville, SpainMadrid, Spain1 hour 29 minutes (train)36kg
Stuttgart, GermanyParis, France1 hour 21 minutes (train)47kg
Paris, FranceLa Rochelle, France1 hour 21 minutes (train)37kg
Rome, ItalyNaples, Italy1 hour 18 minutes (bus)22kg
Málaga, SpainMadrid, Spain1 hour 15 minutes (train)39kg
Rome, ItalyPisa, Italy1 hour 14 minutes (train)25kg
Madrid, SpainBarcelona, Spain1 hour 13 minutes (train)47kg
Paris, FranceBrussels, Belgium1 hour 6 minutes (bus)30kg
Vienna, AustriaBudapest, Hungary57 min (bus)25kg
Brussels, BelgiumAmsterdam, Netherlands39 minutes (bus)20kg
Munich, GermanyFrankfurt am Main, Germany38 minutes (train)28kg
Vienna, AustriaSalzburg, Austria35 minutes (train)23kg
Valencia, SpainBarcelona, Spain10 minutes (bus)35kg

Click here for more details of the routes included in the research. Journey time is calculated from city’s central railway station.

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