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
If you’re Australian and looking to book train tickets for a jaunt through Europe, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up redirected to more expensive booking sites like Rail Europe (formerly Rail Plus). Or you’ll attempt to buy tickets from OUI.sncf but hit website errors, from Trenitalia but not understand the Italians’ quasi-English, from Spain’s …
I’ve been booking trains in Italy for many years, and oh, the problems. Trenitalia’s official website is buggy to say the least, and the ticket machines in train stations are as confusing as the humans at the ticket counters. Worse, using foreign (American, French, etc.) credit cards can cause even more headaches. Italians have these problems …
We’ve spent weeks testing websites to find out how to efficiently book the cheapest tickets for Italian train travel. We tested all kinds of routes and options, and looked at overall end purchase prices as well as the complaints about and defects with the national operator’s website, Trenitalia and to the competing private train operator, …
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 …
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'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.
Who are you?
Want to see our pretty faces and the other little projects we do? Go find out all about us.