How to buy cheap europe train tickets
If you are traveling Europe always it’s best idea to travel inside Europe by train as it’s cheaper, faster and safe.
Buying and Getting cheapest European train ticket is very tricky and complex.
If you want to save money always it’s better to buy European train ticket from station counter. European train fares are based primarily on the distance traveled. Each country has its own price for per kilometer formula, though the type of train also affects the price (route, logically, slower trains are usually cheaper than faster ones).
For faster classes of trains, however, many European rail companies have moved to a dynamic pricing system — similar to how airfares work — in which a fare can vary depending on demand, restrictions, and how early you purchase.
Few years ago you could not receive any discount or save money buying European train tickets in advance for faster train, but now the scenario has been reversed. If you after faster train then you must find the cheapest price and buy in advance to save money.
If you traveling from UK to other European country then you must buy ticket in advance to save money. If you buy same day then you have you pay higher price.
Here’s a typical example Berlin to Munich:
Bought today: £130
Bought one-week early: £99
Bought one-month early: £89
Bought three months early: £69
A rail pass is a travel document that entitles you to travel on European trains in a specific geographic area (country/countries), for a specific number of days.
Reasons to Travel with a Eurail Pass
- Freedom: Eurail Passes are synonymous with borderless travel. You can travel whenever you want, wherever you want across 28 European countries.
- Flexibility: As a pass holder, you can take as many trains as you want on each travel day and adjust your itinerary to suit your needs.
- Prime Locations – Wherever you’re heading, you can be certain that your station will be at the heart of it. With the biggest cities in the UK hosting multiple stations, there’s no need to bus hop or pay for taxis as you’ll be right on top of everything you need.
- Regular Trains – With almost all the stations in the country being served by multiple trains per hour, you don’t have to plan your day around your train, just jump on when you need to!
- Variety: Eurail is a gateway to exploring the geographical, historical and cultural richness of Europe first-hand. There are several kinds of passes that are suitable for any kind of travel plan.
- High Safety – With train safety continuing to improve year-on-year, you can have peace of mind that there’s no safer way to get to your destination.
- Authenticity: Traveling by train instantly immerses you in the cultural fabric of society. Few − if any − other modes of travel give a more authentic or romantic experience.
- Help the Environment– Looking to reduce your carbon footprint? Travelling by train is more environmentally friendly than car, bus and plane.
- Great Views– Take advantage of the great views you can get travelling round many parts of the Europe.
- Extra Benefits: Eurail also entitles you to various other pass benefits including discounted and free transportation services, ferry crossings, accommodations, attractions and city tours.
Using the official country websites for advanced tickets
As mentioned, it’s worth trying the official rail websites to save money. Most of them can be switched to the English language for the whole transaction, although some of them turn back into their native language for the last few steps, which can be aggravating and confusing. You’ll usually be able to have the tickets shipped to your home for an extra fee, and some of them also offer printable e-tickets.
- France rail official site
- Italy rail official site
- German rail official site
- Netherlands rail official site
- Spain rail official site
- Sweden rail official site
- Denmark rail official site
- Austria rail official site
- Switzerland rail official site
- Czech Republic rail official site
- Poland rail official site
- Belgian rail official site
If you are going between countries you can buy the ticket from the rail company of either country, and they should be the same price. The German rail site also sells tickets on some trips that don’t involve Germany, and they are usually the best for checking fares and schedules for anywhere in Europe.
How early do European train tickets go on sale?
The last piece of the puzzle, which makes things even a bit more confusing, is that each country starts selling its train tickets a different amount of time in advance. It can be as little as 1 month ahead of time in Switzerland or Belgium, up to 6 months ahead of time in some other countries.
Here are the main ones that should cover most of us:
- France: 4 months early for most, 6 months early for regional trains, 3 months early for trains to Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium
- Italy: 4 months early
- Germany: 3 months early
- Spain: 2 months early
- Switzerland: 1 month early
- Austria: 6 months early
- Belgium: 1 month early
- Netherlands: 3 months early