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!
Point to point Tickets
We’ve worked out that if you are only doing a couple of train journeys between two cities on your visit to Europe, then a point to point train ticket is the best option for you.
The great thing about point to point tickets is that you can choose a few major European cities and go directly to them, right into the heart of each city.
We can help you choose the best ticket for all the major European train operators right here and if you see a ticket you want, and the price is right, you can book it and, in most cases, we will honour the fare for 48 hours.
Have a look at our top point to point cities below and see if any of them catch your eye:
Paris-Geneva-Lausanne-Zurich with TGV Lyria is a popular point to point ticket choice as the train takes you on a journey through some of the most beautiful countryside and right to the centre of some very different cities.
Florence-Rome, Milan-Venice with Trenitalia and the Frecciarossa trains – the only way to see Italy is by train as you sit back and soak up the stunning scenery on the way to the centres of these top point to point cities.
As you can see from the examples above, point to point train tickets not only transport you right into the centre of some incredible cities but you can visit more than one country too. So you can get the Thalys from Paris to Cologne and then the ICE train in Germany to Berlin or Munich. Or you can stick to one country; if you are travelling around Spain with Renfe and the AVE trains you can buy point to point tickets from Madrid to Barcelona or Seville and Valencia.
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!
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Q. Do you offer maps of European train stations?
A. We do offer links to Google Maps for many European train stations. At this time we do not have specific layouts of any train station interiors in Europe.
Q. Do rail passes cover commuter trains or airport shuttle trains?
A. Yes. Certain rail passes do, but not all.
It’s best to view the product page of the rail pass you are interested in to learn about all the benefits it offers travellers.
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. What types of sleeping compartments or accommodations are available on overnight trains?
A. There are Second class, First class, and on some overnight trains, Premier class accommodations.
In Second class, you can relax in a reclining seat, a ‘couchette’ that is a shared compartment with up to 6 beds, or a compartment with 3 to 4 beds.
In First class, you’ll share a more relaxing locking compartment with one or two beds and a wash basin in the compartment.
Lastly, on some trains, you can book a Premier class ticket for a great night of sleep with private, lockable accommodations for one or two, a private shower and toilet, and includes breakfast and on some trans, dinner.
Sleeping accommodations vary by train type and by route. Be sure to read the product details for the overnight train you’re interested in to see what that train offers in each class of service.
Q. Can I bring my pet on board?
A. Generally, cats and dogs are allowed on trains, though they may need to be contained in a pet carrier or wear a muzzle or leash. Pets are not allowed on some trains in Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Norway, and Finland. Currently the only animals that are permitted to travel on Eurostar are guide dogs for the visually impaired.
Some trains require advance reservations for pets. Unfortunately, Rail Europe cannot make reservations for your pet. This will need to be done locally. In general, dogs normally travel at half the fare of a second class ticket, payable directly to the conductor.
Q. Are lockers and luggage storage services available at the train station?
A. Most major train stations have a left luggage facility offering either self-serve luggage lockers or staffed luggage facilities.
Keep in mind that there is a fee to store your luggage at a train station. Typically, stations will charge a flat rate to rent a luggage locker that you’re free to fill. For staffed luggage facilities, you may incur a “per bag” fee. In either case, the fee is usually under 10 Euros. If you do leave your bags, be sure to keep some money in your pockets for the luggage lockers.
Q. What does “Activate my rail pass mean and how do I do it?
A. Activating your rail pass officially begins the clock on its travel period. This is done by having a railway official stamp and date your rail pass. Simply visit the ticket window at the train station before boarding your first train to have your pass activated. Most rail passes must be activated within 11 months of the purchase date. Boarding a train without activating your rail pass you risk being fined by the conductor.
Q. Are the train tickets you send me the actual tickets, or do I need to exchange them at the station?
A. If you selected the paper delivery option, then yes – the travel documents you receive from us in the mail are your actual train tickets. Do not lose them, because we cannot replace them.
Only the original paper ticket will be accepted onboard the train. No other document such as a print out of the email invoice can be used in lieu of the original paper train ticket.
Q. Should I buy my seat reservations prior to arriving in Europe, or can I just get them at the station locally?
A. We recommend that you purchase your reservations as soon as possible, once you’ve determined which train journeys you’d like to take and what dates you’ll need them.
In most cases, rail carriers set aside a limited number of seats for stand-alone reservations. Once those seats have sold out, only regular full-fare tickets can be bought for the train. Because of the limited reservation-only inventory, these seats do in fact sell out, especially during peak travel seasons such as the holidays or summer. The cost difference between a stand-alone reservation and a full-priced ticket can amount to a hundred dollars or more. There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to use your rail pass and having to buy a full priced ticket at significant cost. Therefore, we highly encourage you to lock down your reservation and make the most of your travel budget as soon as possible.
Also keep in mind that reservations can be purchased online from Rail Europe’s website and iPhone App. Many rail carriers do not sell stand-alone reservations through their website and in most cases, you will have to go in person to the rail station to buy your reservation when in Europe.
Q. What do I do with my luggage?
A. Once on board you’ll need to find a place to put your bag(s). Small and medium sized bags typically fit on racks located above the seats. Larger suitcases and items can be stored in racks found near the train door entrance.
In addition, you’re responsible for your luggage. The railways assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
If you’re traveling on Eurostar, Thalys or a TGV, you’re limited to two large items per traveller (maximum 85cm in any one dimension), plus one small item of hand luggage. On most high speed trains there’s room for luggage above the seats and for larger items at the end of each coach.
Be advised that when traveling on Eurostar, Thalys or any French train, you must properly label your bag(s) with your first and last name. In general, it is a good idea to keep luggage tags on your baggage for easy identification.