Train tickets to Europe:  Eurostar at St Pancras, courtesy Gareth of Railaway  

London to Paris from £52?  Paris to Venice €29?

Paris to Amsterdam €35?  Venice to Rome €29.90?

Prague to Vienna €14?  Berlin to Prague €19.90?

Cheap train tickets for Europe are here, city centre to city centre, no airport taxes, no baggage fees, no booking fee, infants go free.  You usually print your own ticket.

But you need the right website for the right journey.  It would be lovely if there was one website which sold tickets for all European trains at the cheapest price, but there isn't (to understand why not, read this).


 How to buy the cheapest train tickets online  

Read these tips for booking European trains


On this site I'll tell you the best way to buy European train tickets for your specific journeys, as long as you have a credit card & internet access.  Just select the city where your journey starts in the drop-down menu.

 Buy cheap train tickets online  

Read these tips to understand how train tickets work & whether to book in advance or buy at the station.

How to buy European train tickets

Click on the city where your train journey starts and I'll tell you the best & cheapest way to buy train tickets to cities in neighbouring countries and beyond.  I can't write a page for every possible starting point, so use common sense - for example, if you wanted Sorrento to Groningen, you'd look up Naples to Amsterdam.

















Cesky Krumlov

Cinque Terre







Faro & Algarve











































St Petersburg


San Sebastian  

















Why it matters which website you use

Each European country has its own national train operator with its own ticketing system and website.  There are private operators too.  Most operators offer cheap budget-airline-style fares if you book ahead, but you can only buy them from their own website or from an agency linked to that ticketing system.

Take Prague to Budapest for example:  I tell you to book at the Czech Railways website as this sells advance-purchase tickets from just €21, international credit cards accepted, no booking fee, you print your own ticket.  You can even choose your seat from a seating plan!

No other website offers these €21 Prague-Budapest fares, but several well-known ticketing sites will sell you a ticket for a whopping €90+ using an almost-obsolete inter-operator system called TCV, a conventional ticket which must be posted to you at extra cost (so over €100, ouch!).  Can you now see why it matters where you buy?

Ticket delivery matters too.  For example, you can book Vienna to Venice at, but tickets have to be collected from a ticket machine in Italy, no good if you're starting in Vienna. links to the Austrian Railways system & does e-tickets in either direction.

I take all this into account to tell you the cheapest & easiest way to book each specific journey, whether you live in the UK, USA, Australia, Singapore, wherever.

European train travel FAQ

An introduction to European train travel


Senior fares (over 60)


Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

How to check European train times

Youth fares (under 26)

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

Tips for buying European train tickets

Child fares & child age limits

Interrail & Eurail reservations guide

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

Train seat numbering plans

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

Wheelchairs & special needs

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?

How to buy tickets by phone

What to do when things go wrong...

Real-time service updates

Maps of Europe's rail network

Travel insurance, Curve card & VPN

How to use the French railways site

How to use the Italian railways website,    How to use the Spanish railways website,

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

Tips for buying train tickets


How far in advance can I book?

One-way or round trip? 

Can I stop off?

Senior & youth fares


Child fares


Complex journey? Split the booking!

Check ticket delivery!

Avoid foreign currency conversion fees

When is it better to book by phone?

Have your trip arranged as a package

Booking accommodation when you travel by train

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  LNER Azuma train

To buy British train tickets, see the UK page

Buy tickets starting in the UK

For journeys within Britain

Guide to train tickets & fares within the UK

London to Bath by train

London to York by train

London to Edinburgh by train

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

For journeys to Ireland

Cheap train & ferry tickets to Belfast for £58

Cheap train & ferry tickets to Dublin & Ireland from £51.10

For journeys to mainland Europe

Each destination country page gives step-by-step instructions for booking a train journey from the UK to destinations in that European country.

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Amazon logoPaying 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

Rough Guide to Europe - click to buy online at Amazon   Lonely Planet Western Europe - click to buy online   Lonely Planet Eastern Europe - buy online at   Europe by Rail - click to buy online at Amazon   Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring - click to buy online

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Hotels in Europe

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

Backpacker hostels  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about the backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of dorm beds or ultra-cheap private rooms in backpacker hostels in most European cities at rock-bottom prices.

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Travel insurance & VPN


Staysure travel insurance


Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with myself.  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, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flag offers enhanced Covid-19 protection and gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag is also a well-know brand.

US flag  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA. logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a European mobile data package and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list.  There's no need to buy a physical SIM card! is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.


Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than getting a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.


Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When travelling you may use free public WiFi which is often insecure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with using this link you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I also get some commission to help support this site.


Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, hotel bookings and Interrail or Eurail passes are often now held on your mobile phone.  You daren't let it run out of power, and you can't always rely on the phone's internal battery or on being near a power outlet.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over.  Buy from or Buy from

Touring cities?  Use hill walking shoes!

One of the best things I've done is swap my normal shoes for hill-walking shoes, in my case from Scarpa.  They're intended for hiking across the Pennines not wandering around Florence, but the support and cushioning for hiking works equally well when you're on your feet all day exploring foreign cities.  My feet used to give out first and limit my day, now the rest of me gives up before they do!

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