Traveling Around Europe By Train
- Book up to 60 days in advance
- Regional trains
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 ensure that my traveling party will share a compartment on an overnight train?
A. Our booking system always attempts to book all travellers in the same compartment on overnight trains, as long as you submit your request for your entire traveling party at once.
Our ability to book all travellers in the same compartment ultimately depends on compartment availabilities on the train you’re booking. The earlier you make your reservations, the better the chance that everyone in your travel party will be in the same compartment.
If a compartment can’t be fully filled by the traveling party alone, some trains may need to separate you into gender-specific compartments. Therefore, if you are a traveling party of mixed gender – the way to ensure that you will be traveling together is to make sure that you book a compartment that you fill entirely.
Q. I’m leaving for Europe within 3 days and need to buy train tickets or rail passes. What are my options?
A. Some European train operators now offer electronic ticketing. If the train you’re interested in offers this, you can buy a train ticket up until its day of travel and retrieve it locally at the station using your unique e-ticket confirmation code or by printing it at home before you leave.
Currently, e-tickets are only offered on Eurostar, Thalys, Renfe, Talgo, Italo & Trenitalia along with select German, French (including international TGVs), and British trains. This type of ticketing will be available on other routes in the near future. At this time, the only rail passes available as e-passes are the Renfe Spain Pass and Swiss Travel Pass.
All other trains, certain activity vouchers, and rail passes must be issued as a paper document and mailed to you prior to your departure. If you’re leaving within three days, you should contact us via our Contact Us page and we’ll be able to advise whether there’s enough time for you to get your train ticket or rail pass prior to your leaving for Europe.
Q. Can I book a rail pass and a seat reservation at the same time?
A. Absolutely, and we encourage it. Once you’ve added the pass you want to your booking, you will be prompted to make seat reservations for trains you wish to travel on. Alternatively, you can visit the homepage and search schedules, just be sure to check the "I have a rail pass" box.
We always recommend buying your reservations before you depart for Europe because high speed and night trains often have a limited number of seats set aside for rail pass holders, and these seats tend to sell out. So the earlier you secure your reservation, the better.
Q. Are there luggage handling services at the station for groups?
A. Yes, luggage handling is offered at select train stations in Europe. Please contact our group department for more details.
Q. Can I print my rail pass at the station?
A. At this time, most rail passes are printed as a paper document and must be shipped to you prior to your departure to Europe. If a rail pass is offered as an e-pass this option will be offered at the time of booking. For rail passes offered as e-passes, you will need to print it out on paper prior to arriving at the train station..
Q. How can I ensure that my traveling party is seated together?
A. In general, when you request fares and schedules for multiple travellers at once, we’ll always attempt to request that they be seated together. The best way to ensure this is to correctly indicate the number of travellers when you request your fares and schedules for your itinerary.
Occasionally, it might not be possible to seat everyone together based on availability at the time of booking, in which case the travellers will be seated in the closest available seats.
If the train you’ll be taking is non-reservable, all you have to do is board the train and sit in any available seat with the rest of your party.
Q. I have a question about my promo code. Who should I contact?
A.Please contact us via our Contact Us page with any questions about promo codes.
Q. How can I track my shipment?
A. A shipping confirmation email will be sent to you when your booking has shipped and it will contain the tracking number for your travel documents. Please use this email to track your package.
Q. How do I request an exchange through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. To apply for an exchange under the Rail Protection Plan™, please contact us via our Contact Us page. Rail passes/train tickets/reservations/city passes/tours may be exchanged for the same or new products.
Q. Does each journey I take require using a separate day of travel on my rail pass?
A. No. You can take as many train journeys as you want within one day and only use one day, as long as your last train ride arrives before 11:59pm.