How to buy cheap train tickets to Europe:  A Eurostar at St Pancras...  

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.

large bullet pointHow 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 its own 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 directly linked to that ticketing system.

Take Prague to Budapest for example.  My site tells you to book at the Czech Railways (CD's) 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 can access 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 making it over €100, ouch!  And your seat is allocated with little or no choice.  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 self-service machine in Italy, no good if you're starting in Vienna. links to the Austrian Railways system & does e-tickets in either direction, so this is the site I recommend here.

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.

large bullet pointEuropean 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?

Don't buy a Eurostar ticket before onward trains open for booking!

Can I stop off?

Senior & youth fares


Child fares


Complex journey? Split the booking!

Check ticket delivery options!

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:  Top tips...

  Book hotels at

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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 £46.10

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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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

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 & accommodation in Europe

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites: is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on,, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at

Other hotel sites worth a look... is a huge resource, a good place to browse independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels. is my own preferred hotel booking system (Hotels Combined being a booking site comparison system).  It has a simple interface, a good selection in most countries worldwide, useful online customer reviews of each hotel, and decent prices, usually shown inclusive of unavoidable extras such as taxes (a pet hate of mine is systems that show one price, then charge you another!).

Budget 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 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 use an annual policy 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 offers enhanced Covid-19 protection & covers you even if the FCDO advises against non-essential travel.

UK flag

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see

UK flagYou can use to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

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


Curve card

A Curve card saves foreign transaction fees...

Banks often give a poor exchange rate, then charge a currency conversion fee as well.  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 balance 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 app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I use a Curve Blue card myself - I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending 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, too.


Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.


Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank...

With tickets, reservations, vaccination records and Interrail or Eurail passes now often held digitally on your mobile phone, it's vital to keep it charged.  I recommend carrying an Anker powerbank which can recharge your phone several times over if you can't get to a power outlet when you're on the move.  I never travel without one.

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