Fifty sovereign states. 10,180,000 sq km. 738,200,000 people. The word ‘Europe’ does little to convey the diversity found within, which can make it a bewildering place to travel.
The point of entry will ultimately depend on a) your destination, and b) the route taken by your preferred means of travel. Europe is as vast as it is diverse, which means there are many options for travelling to and within the seemingly limitless boundaries.
Railways spider all over Europe. And, even if Orient Express glamour is long gone (unless you can afford today’s swish replicas), this is still the most romantic way to travel: comfy, quick, scenery gliding by. Great choices for train trips include Italy (cheap), Switzerland (expensive but awesome), France (fast) and Germany (easy).
From outside the continent, plane will be the most efficient method of entry to your European destination. There are a multitude of arrival hubs/ports, one (or some) of which will be the preferred entry point for the airline with whom you elect to travel.
Lacking the panache of train travel, buses are still a useful way of crossing the continent.
Individual countries have their own bus networks, which will open up access to villages trains don’t reach. Eurolines’ fleet of coaches connects 500 destinations across the continent; passes and point-to-point tickets are available.
The downsides can be cramped seats and long journeys – and motion sickness on winding Alpine roads (pack tablets). If you cross borders outside the Schengen, you may have to get off the bus for checks.