How to buy cheap train tickets to Europe:  A Eurostar about to leave St Pancras International...  

London to Paris for 39?  Paris to Venice for 35? 

Paris to Amsterdam 35?  Venice to Rome 29?

Prague to Vienna 19?  Amsterdam to Berlin 39?

Budget train fares are here...  It's just a matter of knowing where to go and booking in advance, for amazingly cheap European train fares.  With no airport taxes to add, no baggage fees or weight limits, infants go free, and the trains run centre-to-centre with no extra cost to get to and from remote airports.

It would be lovely if there was a single website that sold tickets for any European train journey at the cheapest price, but there isn't.  You need to use different websites for different journeys, and you sometimes need to split the journey, booking one leg here and the next leg there.  But don't worry...

On this page I'll tell you which websites to use to book any given European train journey at the cheapest prices direct with the train operator, usually with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets, whether you live in the UK, USA, Australia, or wherever.  Just select the city in which your train journey starts from the drop-down menu on the right or the links below.  Also read these booking tips!

 

 To buy train tickets online at the best prices:  

Also read these tips for booking European trains

 

How to buy European train tickets online for any given journey...

Click on the city where your train journey starts, and I'll tell you the best way to buy train tickets to cities in neighbouring countries and beyond.  If your specific departure city isn't shown, just click on the nearest one, or one in the same country.

Amsterdam

Athens

Barcelona

Basel

Belgrade

Berlin

Bern

 

Bratislava

Bruges

Brussels

Bucharest

Budapest

Cologne

Copenhagen

 

Dublin

Dusseldorf

Florence

Frankfurt

Geneva

Hamburg

Helsinki

 

Innsbruck

Interlaken

Istanbul

Krakow

Lisbon

Ljubljana

London

 

Lucerne

Luxembourg

Madrid

Milan

Moscow

Munich

Naples

 

Nice

Oslo

Paris

Prague

Rome

Salzburg

Sofia

 

Stockholm

Thessaloniki

Venice

Vienna

Warsaw

Zagreb

Zurich

Your questions about European train travel answered...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...

How to use the French railways website, voyages-sncf.com

How to use the Italian railways website, trenitalia.com    How to use the Spanish railways website, renfe.com

How to buy a special add-on ticket from almost any station in Britain to London International (St Pancras)



Important tips for buying European train tickets

How to check schedules for any train journey in Europe...

How do train tickets work?  Do I need to book in advance?  Can I just buy at the station?

How far in advance can I book?  Usually 90 days ahead...

Why can't I see any trains, even when booking is supposed to be open?

Don't book your Eurostar before checking onward trains!

Can I stop off?

Senior & youth fares

Child fares

Railpasses...

Complex journey?  Split the booking!

Check ticket delivery options carefully...

When is it better to book by phone?

The easy way:  Have your whole trip professionally arranged...

Hotels & accommodation when you travel by train:  Top tips...


Sponsored links...


Buy train tickets starting in London & the UK

 

To buy British train tickets, see the UK page

Buy train tickets within the UK...

Guide to train tickets & fares within the UK

London to Scotland by Caledonian Sleeper

London to Cornwall by Night Riviera sleeper

Train & ferry tickets to the Channel Islands

Train & ferry tickets to the Isle of Man

Cheap train & ferry tickets to Belfast, Northern Ireland from 52

Cheap train & ferry tickets to Dublin & the Republic of Ireland from 38

Buy train tickets from the UK to anywhere in Europe...

Each seat61 country page gives specific step-by-step instructions for booking a train journey from the UK to that particular European country at the cheapest prices, so just select your destination country from the drop-down box above, or use the static menu on the left.


Buy tickets starting in Ireland

Train tickets for journeys within Ireland...
Dublin to Belfast from 14.99...
Dublin to London from 49...
Dublin to Paris from 94, then onwards to Switzerland, Italy, Spain & beyond...

Option 1, by SailRail from Dublin to London then Eurostar to Paris

Option 2, by direct ferry from Rosslare to Roscoff or Cherbourg in France, train to Paris

Option 3, by direct ferry from Cork to Roscoff in France, train to Paris

Dublin to Amsterdam in around 24 hours from around 99 + cabin cost, no planes...
Dublin to Berlin, Prague, Copenhagen, Warsaw from 159, no planes...

 


Recommended guidebooks

Paying for a guidebook may seem an unnecessary expense, but it's probably just a tiny fraction of what you're spending on your whole trip.  You will see so much more, and know so much more about what you're looking at, if you have a decent guidebook.  For the independent traveller, I think the best ones out there are either the Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide.  Both guidebooks are excellent, and you won't regret buying one..!  Alternatively, the 'Europe by Rail' guide combines country information with basic train information.

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk...Rough Guide to Europe - click to buy online at AmazonLonely Planet Western Europe - click to buy onlineLonely Planet Eastern Europe - buy online at Amazon.co.ukEurope by Rail - click to buy online at AmazonLonely Planet Europe on a shoestring - click to buy online

 

 

 

 

 


Hotels & accommodation in Europe

Find hotels all across Europe...

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth a look...

Budget backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least 1m or preferably 5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from www.ehic.org.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including all of the EU, the USA, Australia & South Africa.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy 20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.


'Rail travel to Europe' general information page

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