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.
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. How much luggage can I take on the train?
A. Technically, you’re not restricted in terms of luggage. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to carry your bags through the train station and onto the train. 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 such can be stored in luggage racks found near the train door entrance.
Be aware that you are responsible for your luggage. The railways assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
When traveling on a Eurostar, Thalys, or TGV train, you are limited to two large items per traveller (one large item per child on Eurostar trains), maximum 85cm (33 inches) in any one dimension, plus one small item of hand luggage.
Your bag(s) must be properly labeled with your first and last name. In general, it’s a good idea to keep luggage tags on your baggage for easy identification.
Q. What are the fees associated with getting a train ticket refunded?
A. The first type of fee is carrier penalties. These are charges determined by the rail carrier depending on the exchange and refund conditions associated with your original train ticket. For example, there may be a 15% penalty assessed for exchanges, which means that only 85% of the value of the original ticket will be carried over for the purchase of a new ticket. Or there may be a fixed penalty charged for exchanges, or no fee at all.
When browsing fares on our website, you can read a brief description of each fare flexibility level, and then see the full exchange and refund conditions for each fare.
Once you have booked a train ticket with us, its exchange and refund rules will be indicated in your Rail Europe booking confirmation email, as well as printed with your train ticket and/or on the ticket jacket in the case of paper tickets. Please note that train tickets must be received for exchange or refund within the allowed time frame mentioned in the exchange and refund conditions.
The second type of fee is Rail Europe’s administrative fee. This fee is charged in addition to applicable carrier penalties. The processing fee is 7% of the cost of the original train ticket.
Q. Seat Reservations are sold out for the train I want to take. What should I do?
A. If the train you’re planning to take requires a reservation and reservations are sold out, there are only two things you can do. Purchase a regular, full-fare ticket if those are still available, or try to travel on another train (later or earlier) that has reservations available.
Q. Can I bring my bike on board?
A. In general, bicycles can be taken with you as carry-on luggage, free of charge on just about any national or international train- if you put it in a bike bag. In the bike bag, the wheels, pedals and handlebars must be removed.
In addition, many European trains allow bikes in a special bike compartment for free or a small fee. If there is a fee, it’s typically about 5-15 Euros per journey. Bikes are typically permitted on local & regional trains in most countries, at least outside peak travel hours.
Many inter-city trains also allow bikes, however not in Spain. And in France only a few French TGVs allow bikes that aren’t in a bike bag. Some TGV-Lyria trains between Paris & Switzerland also allow bikes. Paris-Madrid & Paris-Barcelona night trains only allow bikes if they’re in a bike bag and if you & your fellow travellers occupy the entire sleeper compartment. Overnight Thello sleeper trains & daytime TGV trains between Paris & Italy only allow bikes in a bike bag. Thalys trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Cologne only allow bikes in bike bags. Long-distance trains into Eastern Europe such as Cologne-Moscow, Bucharest-Istanbul or Budapest-Sofia only allow bikes in bike bags, primarily because these trains don’t have luggage compartments.
Lastly, some trains, primarily in the UK, will require advance reservations for bicycles. These reservations will need to be made locally at the station.
Q. What do I do if no one comes to check my train ticket or rail pass?
A. It’s best to keep your travel documents (train ticket, rail pass, and/or reservation) out and ready to be checked by a conductor. If for any reason a conductor does not come by to check your train ticket or rail pass during your entire journey, no worries. Simply get off the train at your destination station and continue with your travel plans.
Please keep in mind that you will need a valid rail pass or train ticket to travel on board trains in Europe. If your pass or ticket were not looked at, it is an unusual occurrence.
Q. Can I sit in Second class if I have a First class rail pass?
A. Yes you can, provided there is an available seat. If you are traveling on a train that requires reservations, you can reserve your seat in Second class with a First class rail pass (subject to availability). Please note that there will be no refund given for the difference in fare.
Q. Can a rail pass be issued as an e ticket or e pass?
A. At this time, most rail passes are printed as a paper document and must be shipped to you prior to your departure to Europe. If a rail pass is offered as an e-pass this option will be offered at the time of booking. For rail passes offered as e-passes, you will need to print it out on paper prior to arriving at the train station.
Q. Can I choose a specific seat on a train when making my reservation?
A. At this time, it’s not possible to choose a specific seat on our website when booking a reservation.
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.
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.