Spring has sprung! Enjoy savings of $100 on bookings of $1,100 or more when you use promo code 29SPRING19 at checkout. This limited-time offer ends April 23, 2019.
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.|
From our travel community
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. How do I get a promo code?
A. The best way to stay informed of all current promotions and to receive promo codes is to create a user account and to subscribe to our newsletter. All publicly available promo codes can be found on our Deals page. We also issue individual, one time use promo codes at our discretion to customers who are eligible for certain discounts or have participated in certain promotions or marketing activities.
Q. What ways can a train ticket be issued? Paper? e tickets?
A. There are potentially three ways to receive European train tickets.
Paper tickets: the rail pass or train ticket is physically printed at the Rail Europe fulfillment center and shipped to you.
Print at home e-ticket: the train ticket may be issued as a PDF which may either be emailed to you directly, or retrieved via a web link that is communicated to you at the time of purchase, depending on the rail carrier. You must print the PDF from a computer printer on any regular paper prior to boarding the train. Some e-tickets are delivered with a unique e-ticket confirmation code that is printed on your Rail Europe confirmation email. You must provide this e-ticket confirmation code along with your id to the conductor on board the train.
Print at station e-ticket: you will receive an e-ticket confirmation code (also known as PNR or Passenger Name Record) on your confirmation email, as well as a link to detailed instructions for retrieving your ticket. Use this e-ticket code at a self-service kiosk located at the train station in Europe to print out your actual ticket, prior to boarding the train.
Print at home e-ticket and print at station e-ticket are “electronic” delivery methods requiring no physical shipment to you. This means we can issue you an e-ticket whether you’re still at home or already in Europe.
Please note that all three methods are not always offered for a given train ticket. In fact, many tickets only support one of these issuance methods.
Q. I bought a print at home e ticket but now don’t have access to a printer to print it. What should I do?
A. French print at home e-tickets can be re-issued from a self-service kiosk at the station. You will need the e-ticket # located on your booking confirmation email.
Eurostar print at home e-tickets can be re-issued at the Eurostar desk in the departure station, but there is a 15£ fee per ticket. You will need the e-ticket # located on your booking confirmation email.
No other print at home e-tickets can be re-issued at the station. Your best option is to find an internet cafe or self-service print shop where you can go online and print your e-ticket.
Q. Is dinner and/or breakfast included with my reservation on an overnight train?
A. When you travel on an overnight train meal inclusions vary depending on the train you are on, as well as what type of train ticket you have purchased. With the purchase of a Premier class ticket, you will generally get a meal on board the train. This meal is typically breakfast in the morning. Some trains will bring the meal to you in your compartment, while other trains will serve you breakfast in the restaurant car on board the train.
If you are not traveling in a First Class sleeping compartment, don’t worry, you won’t starve on board! Overnight trains all include a restaurant car, bar car or vending machine services containing hot/cold drinks and snacks. Most restaurant/bar cars are open until at least 1:00am. Additionally, you can purchase food before hopping on board the train and eat as you wish. Though not included with the price of your ticket, you can certainly find something to eat during the ride.
Q. How do I create a Rail Europe account?
A. You can simply click the ’Login’ button found on the top right-hand side of our homepage and select ’create an account’ to register on our site. If you are booking with us, you will also be presented with the option to register during checkout.
Q. I recently saw a fare on your website that I can’t find anymore. Why?
A. Just like airfares, train fares fluctuate over time. In most cases, the fare you’re quoted on our website is based on current availability at the time of your request. It’s possible that the fare quoted to you has sold out and become unavailable. However, know that the new fare you see on our website is always the cheapest fare offered, based on current availability.
Q. Where do I find my booking number?
A. Your unique booking number is located in the confirmation we will email you. If you have created an account, you can also visit your dashboard to see your booking(s).
Please note: this is NOT the number you will use to retrieve your print at the station tickets locally in Europe; please review your invoice for the applicable e-ticket confirmation codes needed to retrieve your tickets.
Q. What's the difference between a rail pass and a train ticket?
A. A rail pass and a train ticket are two completely different types of travel documents.
A train ticket is valid for a single journey between two cities. Many tickets also include a reservation, which mean that they are valid only for a specific train, on a specific date and at a given time. To learn more about tickets, read our article: tickets explained.
A rail pass, on the other hand, is good for travel in an entire geographical area (1 country, 2 countries or more). With it you can take as many train trips as you want within that geographical area, for as many travel days as you purchased, within a set period of time (the pass validity period).
Q. What should accompany the train ticket or rail pass I'm sending back for a refund?
A. When you submit your train ticket or rail pass to our customer relations department for a refund, be sure to include a brief letter along with any other supporting documentation, such as letters from local train operators, replacement tickets (if any), etc.
If you are making a claim through our Rail Protection Plan™, please download and fill out the Rail Protection Plan traveller’s Request Form and send, along with the appropriate documents.
We recommend that you send all documents by traceable mail for proof of delivery.
Q. Who is eligible to buy a rail pass?
A. Rail passes are available to anyone except residents of Europe, the United Kingdom, Morocco, Turkey or any of the countries of the former Soviet Union. If you’re a resident of these countries we can’t sell you our rail passes, but there are other similar options available to you such as the InterRail pass.