Trains remain the finest way to travel, and we particularly love the fast, scenic train travel of Western Europe. We’ve got tips for booking the cheapest tickets, and for how to make travelling the rails more comfortable and fun.
Knowing which sites to book on can save more than money; national European train operators’ websites in particular can cause a lot of other hassles, especially if you don’t speak the language or are using a non-European credit card.
We continuously test the best booking systems for each country.
Cheap Eurostar Alternatives: Low Cost Tricks for London-Paris & More
The Experience Onboard Renfe AVE Trains
A Train Inspector Reveals: The Top Five Most Beautiful, Thrilling Rides in Switzerland
Our Best Schemes for Cheap Train Tickets in France
How to Keep Comfy on Trains in Germany: Secrets Behind the Amenities of the Deutsche Bahn Fleet
Our Test Results: The Best Train Booking Platform for Europe
What You Never Knew about European Trains — Secrets from a Ticket Inspector
I wear a fancy Swiss uniform and go up and down the aisles to check your tickets. My sexy German job name is Personnenzugbegleiter. Basically, a ticket inspector, controller, or checker, depending on your flavor of English. A ticket inspector is a strange little animal. We hop on and off of trains, ensure passengers’ security, …
We ran dozens of searches on our two favorite European train booking platforms, RailEurope.co.uk (formerly Loco2) and Trainline, and compared the results. The goal: determine which booking experience is smoother and results in better and cheaper routes. We have found that both of these platforms are better than booking directly from mainland Europe’s national train companies. …
We’ve been travelling all around Europe by train for two decades now, and we’ve got more than a few dos and don’ts to have a cheap, comfortable, and lovely time rolling across the continent. We’ll go through how to best book train tickets from outside (or inside) Europe, what to take on board, and how …
If you are blocked by error messages on OUI.sncf or Ouigo.com, you’re not alone. The websites have lots of redirects and undergo constant updates that can render them in some cases nearly unusable. For example: Fortunately, there are easy solutions as well: options for buying French train tickets from private portals. You can get the same …
The French train operator’s websites OUI.sncf and Ouigo are notorious for rejecting bank and credit cards from outside of France. Those from Brazil, Eastern Europe, the United States, Australia, and Canada in particular report problems with payments not going through or getting rejected. We’ve been carefully researching the best alternatives for foreigners looking to purchase French …
We're devoted to spending our travel dollars and most importantly time where it counts. We'd rather carry a few things that work well, rather than a large suitcase full of "just-in-case" accessories. We want to hit just a few destinations and really enjoy them, and travel low-carbon wherever possible, rather than take whirlwind tours. And we want to help others who hope to do the same, and really dig into the delights that minimalist travel can provide.
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