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travel Europe by Train with a one time rail pass

Route Fastest journey Train type Train operating company
Trains from London to Paris 2h 16m High speed Eurostar
Trains from Paris to Amsterdam 3h 12m High speed Thalys
Trains from Barcelona to Madrid 2h 30m High speed Renfe
Trains from Madrid to Valencia 1h 40m High speed Renfe
Trains from London to Edinburgh 4h 14m High speed LNER
Trains from Barcelona to Valencia 3h 06m High speed Renfe
Trains from Brussels to Paris 1h 22m High speed Thalys
Trains from Rome to Florence 1h 12m High speed Italo, Trenitalia
Trains from Milan to Rome 2h 56m High speed Italo, Trenitalia
Trains from Madrid to Seville 2h 21m High speed Renfe

types of trains in and around Europe 


European train tickets

With so many countries and train companies to navigate across Europe, it can be difficult to know where to start when booking your tickets. We’re here to help you make the process as simple as possible

Ticket types

Depending on the country and train company you’re travelling with, most European train tickets are divided into two categories –  advance purchase or on the day. UK train tickets are also divided by time of travel.

Train prices are categorised by distance and are often released in tiers. A certain amount of discounted price tickets are released first, then once those sell out the next lowest price will be released – and so on.

Tickets are divided into categories depending on the time of day. This segmentation is based on how busy trains are likely to be, with tickets during less popular travel times being cheaper than those for peak travel times. For more information, check our  Off-Peak train times page.

Mobile Tickets and etickets

It’s easier than ever these days to go paperless. Many train companies across Europe offer the option of using Mobile Tickets or etickets on your journey. If you book using our app, you’ll receive a Mobile Ticket with a QR-code – no more worrying about lost paper tickets. Find out more on about Mobile Tickets.


European rail passes

With over 10,000 destinations just waiting to be discovered across Europe, using a European rail pass can be a flexible and money saving way to travel across the continent. There are a few different types of rail pass available, depending on your nationality and where you’d like to travel in Europe. Find out more on our dedicated rail passes page.

How to buy cheap train tickets in Europe

There are a few different ways you can save money on your European train tickets. Check out these handy hints to help you buy the tickets you need at the right price, and hopefully save a few pennies in the process.

Book in advance

Train tickets in Europe are usually at their cheapest price when they first go on sale. Advance ticket releases can vary depending on the country and train company you’re travelling with, but generally go on sale around three to six months before the date of travel. 

Travel off-peak

Most train tickets across Europe tend to be more expensive during “rush hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, be sure to look for tickets outside of these times to see if you can snap up a lower price.

Benefit from special offers

Check to see if you can benefit from the wide range of discounts available for train travellers in Europe. It varies between country and train company, but often if you’re travelling with children, in a group or fall into a certain age category, you can benefit from discounted ticket prices.

Look out for slower or connecting trains

Depending on the route you’re travelling, you can sometimes take a slower train or change trains during your journey for a cheaper price. You may arrive at your destination a little later than high-speed or direct services, but for those with a little extra time on their hands it’s a great money-saver.

Find out more about ways to save on our cheap European train tickets page.





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