Many agree that traveling by train in Europe is the preferred method of getting between cities because train travel is part of the experience, not just a means of getting from one city to the next. Trains in Europe are sleek and efficient and offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere, generous legroom and typically, amazing scenery outside! Whether you choose first or second class, you’re sure to have a great ride on-board a train in Europe.
On many trains in Europe, travelers can enjoy the company of other travelers in a bar-buffet car offering a complete selection of food and beverages for purchase. (These types of bar-buffet cars are available on many major routes but should be confirmed at the train station before the train departs.) European train stations are typically found in the city center, so when you depart or arrive, you’re right in the heart of the city – a major advantage over flying, no hassle or extra cost of going from an airport to downtown.
For longer journeys, night trains are a great option as they get you where you want to go while you sleep soundly, saving money on a hotel for the evening. Night trains vary according to route. The most common compartments are Singles, Doubles, and Couchettes. Some night trains offer T3, T4 and Deluxe sleeping compartments as well. You can read more about Night Train sleeping compartments by visiting our overnight accommodations page.
Receive your ticket directly to your address. Just take them with you and you are ready to travel. Shipping fees apply.
- Regular trains tickets are open for booking 60 days ahead.
- Get the lowest prices by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell the fastest.
- Opt for off-peak trains when you have to travel short notice. They are more affordable than morning and evening trains along with those running on holiday eves, Friday and Sunday afternoon.
A class apart
Classes of service
|Second class||First class|
|Regionals trains (Intercity, TER Express Regional Trains…) allow for more comfort in 1st class, offering spacious seating with generous legroom.|
|Regionals trains (Intercity, TER Express Regional Trains…) provide basic comfort in standard seats.|
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Can I print my train ticket at the station?
A. Some, but not all train tickets can be printed at a train station in Europe. Once you’ve selected a particular train ticket and begin checkout, all delivery options will be presented to you. You will then be able to select, if offered, “Print at the Station e-ticket”.
Q. Is there onboard medical help in case of emergency?
A. Currently most trains do not carry emergency medical equipment. In case of a medical emergency, conductors on board will radio ahead to the next stop so that help will be ready and waiting.
Q. I need to cancel my trip to Europe. How do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Although the Rail Protection Plan™ doesn’t allow you to get reimbursed in case your trip is cancelled, you may be eligible to receive an in-store credit. That in-store credit will be good for two years (from the date the credit is issued) towards your next booking, for the full value of the products covered. You can choose to receive this credit toward a future booking or to request to have your tickets refunded per the after sales policies of the products booked.
If you choose to forego the in-store credit and opt for a refund, the regular exchange and refund rules of your products will apply, and you will be subject to the regular carriers penalties, if applicable, in addition to the Rail Europe booking fee.
Q. My print at station e-ticket was lost or stolen after I printed it. Can I print it again?
A. Unfortunately, print at station e-tickets may only be printed once from the kiosk. In the event of a lost ticket, go to a ticket counter and ask if they can reprint it. If they are unable to, a new train ticket will have to be purchased.
If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™, you may be eligible for compensation.
Q. What is the questionnaire that comes with my rail pass? Do I have to fill it out?
A. The questionnaire (or travel report) on the ticket jacket containing your Eurail pass is a required survey used by the European railways to better understand how Eurail passes are used throughout Europe. A gift is offered by Eurail for completing and returning the questionnaire to the supplied address. Upon receiving the travel report, Eurail should send the free gift within 4-6 weeks..
Q. Will my luggage be safe, accessible, and in my line of sight throughout the duration of my trip?
A. Your luggage will either be safely above you in a luggage rack, or at the end of your train car. These are the designated locations for luggage storage. You will be able to access your bags as needed.
You are responsible for your luggage. The railways will assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
Be sure to have luggage tags with your name and contact information securely attached in case you leave anything behind.
Q. What should I do if I missed my scheduled train? Can I take the next one?
A. If you’re traveling with open tickets, you can take any train that doesn’t require a reservation, traveling on the route for which your open ticket was issued.
If you have an open train ticket and a reservation, you can forfeit your reservation and still use your open ticket on a train running on the same route that doesn’t require a reservation.
If your train ticket is a combined ticket and reservation, then you cannot simply board the next train. You may need to purchase a new train ticket for that train or exchange your current ticket for a new one.
First, read the exchange conditions for your train ticket. This can be found printed with your actual ticket if you have a paper ticket, or on your Rail Europe email invoice. This will allow you to determine whether your train ticket is exchangeable or not.
If you have a non-exchangeable ticket you will have to purchase a new train ticket, regardless of the delivery method of your ticket.
If you have a semi-flexible or flexible ticket (i.e. your train ticket can be exchanged for a fee and/or under certain conditions), then you may be able to exchange your current ticket for a new one. In general, these exchanges must take place prior to the train’s departure.
Contact us as soon as possible to initiate the exchange process, before the train’s departure. If you are unable to reach us by phone, seek the assistance of a station agent. Never board a train with a train ticket that includes a reservation for a different train, unless specifically authorized to do so by a railway official.
Q. How can I contact Rail Europe prior to my departure to Europe?
A. Please send us a message from our Contact Us page and we will respond to you via email within 24 to 48 hours.
Q. Why should I purchase my train tickets before I leave for Europe instead of while there?
A. While you can purchase train tickets locally, it has been our experience that the earlier you book the more likely you are to get the best fares. The longer you wait, the more likely the cheaper fares will be sold out. By booking early, you can avoid a higher ticket price.
Buying in advance also can save you a lot of time. You won’t have to wait in line at the train station. And considering how precious your vacation time is, why not spend it relaxing instead of worrying about your next train ticket?
Q. I understand that some of the train stations in Italy now have gates. How do I get to my train?
A. Some of the high traffic train stations in Italy, such as Milan Centrale, Rome Termini, and Florence Santa Maria Novella stations now have entry/exit gates. Access through these gates is exclusively reserved for ticket holders. It is suggested that you have your print at home or print at the station ticket ready to present upon arriving at these security gates.