A train ticket makes it very easy to travel from one European city to another. Just sit back, relax, and embrace the gorgeous scenery that passes you by. Traveling by train is part of the journey ! (...)
From the heart of one city to the next
If you know your travel dates, we can help you find the best fares and schedules for your itinerary. Simply enter your departure and arrival cities to the right, along with the date and time of day you wish to travel.
Types of Trains
High speed or leisurely, you travel in comfort.
The European Rail Network
Over 100,000 km of European adventures - just waiting to happen!
YOU'RE ALMOST THERE
Q. I’ve noticed a big difference in the cost of seat reservations for different trains. Why ?
A. Fares for reservations may vary greatly from one train to another. Unfortunately, we have no control over these prices as they’re set by each individual railroad.
Trains that have higher priced reservations are typically high speed, international trains such as Thalys or Eurostar, as well as night trains.
Various factors are considered by rail carriers when pricing reservations for rail pass holders. These factors can include : the technology used by the train (high speed or regular speed), the types of tracks the train travels on and their associated maintenance cost, the range of services and amenities offered on board, possible tolls incurred by the carriers depending on the train routing (such as tunnel crossing tolls) and partnerships between rail carriers for the operation of cross border trains.
In addition, there are also specific costs associated with traveling on a night train that may include food for dinner and breakfast, as well as cabin maintenance costs (sheets, etc…). Since these costs are not associated with travel on day trains, day train reservations generally cost less.
Q. Do I need to book a rail pass for everyone in my traveling party, including children and infants ?
A. You will need to book a rail pass for each adult and child. In the case of a saver pass, it’s one rail pass with each traveller’s name listed on the pass. Some rail passes offer free child discounts, the children need to be added to the rail pass at the time of booking, there will be no charge incurred for them, however. While a child under 4 years of age and sharing a seat with an adult does not need to book a rail pass. If the child will occupy his/her own seat, a rail pass must be purchased for them, as well as a reservation when needed.
Q. I’ve bought a print at the station e ticket. What do I need to do before getting on the train ?
A. When you book a print at the station e-ticket you will receive a 6 or 8 alpha-numeric e-ticket confirmation code (also known as a PNR or Passenger Name Record) in your Rail Europe confirmation email. Simply print the actual paper ticket from a self-service kiosk at the train station prior to your train’s departure.
For all print at the station e-tickets, you’ll need to print the tickets before boarding your train. Your Rail Europe confirmation email is not a train ticket.
For certain routes where this ticketing method is offered, it’s possible that the kiosk to print out the ticket can only be found in the station of origin but not in the station of arrival. For instance, if you have purchased a roundtrip journey as a print at the station e-ticket, you need to make sure to print out both your outbound and inbound train tickets in the station of origin - as you will not be able to retrieve your inbound ticket (return ticket) in the station of arrival. An example of this is a trip originating in France and going into Italy, or a trip from Paris to Amsterdam.
Q. Can I purchase seat reservations from Rail Europe once I’m already traveling in Europe ?
A. Yes, but only when an e-ticket is offered for the train you want to take. If only a paper train ticket is offered, you’ll need (and want) to purchase your reservation(s) locally at the train station to avoid international shipping fees and delivery times.
Q. Does my train ticket include a seat reservation ?
A. Rail Europe tickets include a reservation whenever possible. To tell if you have a reservation, see if you received one or two travel documents for your trip. If you received two travel documents, you probably received an open ticket and a reservation. The reservation portion will show a train number, car number and seat number assigned to you personally.
If you received only one document, you should also see if it indicates a seat number and car number. If so, your ticket includes a reservation.
The only case where you may not have a reservation with your ticket is if you received an open ticket. With these tickets, you can simply hop on any non- reservable train that travels on the route for which you bought your ticket.
Q. What is the benefit of buying passes through the group department versus the web ?
A. While group rates on passes match our web prices, booking with the group department will also provide your group with one pass at 75% off for every 15 people paying. And we’ll help ensure you’re buying the best rail pass for your group, as well as confirm any reservations with your group seated together (if required and/or wanted). An even better deal ? You’ll still receive all the applicable pass benefits as shown on our site ; discounted rates for Youth and Seniors, and Saver rail pass rates for parties of 2 or more traveling together.
Q. How early should I arrive at the train station ?
A. We advise travellers to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This allows you time to clear any security checks and locate the platform where your train will be departing. If you are departing from a larger train station (typically a city’s main station) and need to activate your rail pass prior to boarding, you will want to arrive even earlier to make sure you have enough time to get your rail pass activated and avoid doing a luggage-hauling sprint through the station.
Q. How do I use a Rail Europe Gift Card ?
A. Simply use the Gift Card code that was provided by Rail Europe on your certificate. Enter this code on the delivery page during checkout. Note : the full dollar value of the Gift Card doesn’t need to be used all at once ; you will be sent a new Gift Card code for any remaining balance.
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. Are European trains "child friendly" ?
A. Many European trains have baby changing facilities and/or family friendly play areas.
Intercités trains in France, some InterCity Swiss trains, InterCity Finnish trains and ICE trains in Germany offer play areas or dedicated compartments for families with children. The Austrian RailJet is even equipped with a movie theater especially for children.
Please note : If traveling on Eurostar, you should not travel in Premier class with children. This area is dedicated to and caters primarily to business travellers.