Many agree that traveling by train in Europe is the preferred method of getting between cities because train travel is part of the experience, not just a means of getting from one city to the next. Trains in Europe are sleek and efficient and offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere, generous legroom and typically, amazing scenery outside ! Whether you choose first or second class, you’re sure to have a great ride on-board a train in Europe.
On many trains in Europe, travelers can enjoy the company of other travelers in a bar-buffet car offering a complete selection of food and beverages for purchase. (These types of bar-buffet cars are available on many major routes but should be confirmed at the train station before the train departs.) European train stations are typically found in the city center, so when you depart or arrive, you’re right in the heart of the city – a major advantage over flying, no hassle or extra cost of going from an airport to downtown.
For longer journeys, night trains are a great option as they get you where you want to go while you sleep soundly, saving money on a hotel for the evening. Night trains vary according to route. The most common compartments are Singles, Doubles, and Couchettes. Some night trains offer T3, T4 and Deluxe sleeping compartments as well. You can read more about Night Train sleeping compartments by visiting our overnight accommodations page.
Receive your ticket directly to your address. Just take them with you and you are ready to travel. Shipping fees apply.
- Regular trains tickets are open for booking 60 days ahead.
- Get the lowest prices by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell the fastest.
- Opt for off-peak trains when you have to travel short notice. They are more affordable than morning and evening trains along with those running on holiday eves, Friday and Sunday afternoon.
A class apart
Classes of service
|Second class||First class|
|Regionals trains (Intercity, TER Express Regional Trains…) allow for more comfort in 1st class, offering spacious seating with generous legroom.|
|Regionals trains (Intercity, TER Express Regional Trains…) provide basic comfort in standard seats.|
From our travel community
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. What happens if I board a train with my rail pass but forgot to purchase a reservation ?
A. We suggest advising the conductor as soon as possible of the situation and purchase the required reservation. If you’re traveling on a train that requires a reservation you could be fined.
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. I misplaced the printout of my print at home e-ticket. What now ?
A No problem. You can simply reprint your train ticket from any printer, as long as you can still access the pdf provided to you at the time of booking.
You can find links to the pdf in the confirmation email sent to you. Or if you’ve registered for an online account, you can access the booking in which the pdf link was contained in your dashboard.
The only exceptions are if you purchased a Thalys or NTV-Italo print at home e-ticket. Those pdf’s are sent in separate emails and can’t be retrieved online at this time.
If you request to have your train ticket reprinted at a station ticket window, there may be a local service fee.
Q. Can I use more than one credit card to pay for my booking ?
A. Yes. You can enter up to 10 different credit cards for a single purchase. At the time of payment, use the “Add additional card” button to display all credit card options. After entering each credit card’s information, you can modify the amount to be charged to each individual card. You’ll need to make sure that the total charged for all credit cards matches the total of your booking.
Q. How do I contact you while I’m in Europe ?
A. If you need to contact us while you’re in Europe, you can send us a message by visiting our Contact Us Page.
Q. Are the fares offered on your website based on live availability ?
A. Yes, in most cases. The fares displayed on our website are based on current seat availability at the time you requested the fares and schedules for your journey. our booking engine has a direct link to the inventory of many European rail carriers including SNCF, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Trenitalia, RENFE, the UK’s Association Of Train Operating Companies, and more.
There are some routes which we can only display a cached price at the time of quotation, based on generally available fares for those trains. Actual confirmation of space and fare occurs upon completion of your order. If there are any issues, you’ll be contacted.
Q. I just landed in Europe. How do I get to the train station from the airport ?
A. Whether you’re going straight to a train or to your hotel, you’ll generally find public transportation options from the airport to the center of town, where most train stations are located. Below is a list of airports that have rail connections (train or local subway/metro) to the main rail station :
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
15 minute train trip to Amsterdam Central Station
Stockholm Arlanda Airport
20 minute train trip to Stockholm Central Station
30 minute train to Barcelona Sants Station
Berlin Schoenefeld Airport
Birmingham International Airport
12-15 minute train trip to Birmingham New Street Station
28 minute train trip to Brussels Zuid/Midi Station
15 minute train trip to Cologne Central Station
Copenhagen Kastrup Airport
14 minute train trip from Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen Central Station
Geneva Cointrin International Airport
7 minute train trip to the Geneva City Central Station
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
1 mile bus or taxi trip to Paisley Gilmour Station and then a 12-15 minute train trip to Glasgow
London Gatwick Airport
30 minute train trip to London Victoria Station
London Heathrow Airport
15 - 27 minute train trip to London Paddington Station
45 minute train trip to London St. Pancras Station
12 minute metro trip to Madrid Nuesvos Ministerios Metro Station
10 minute train trip to Malaga Torremolinos Station
Munich International Airport
41 - 46 minute train trip to Munich Main Train Station
Oslo Gardermoen Airport
19 - 22 minutes train trip to Oslo S Station
Paris Orly Airport
24 minutes train trip to Paris Austerlitz Station
Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport
30 minute train trip to Paris Gare du Nord Station
Porto – Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport
7-10 minute metro trip to Porto City Center Station
Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport
30 minute train trip to Rome Termini Station
47 minute train trip to London Liverpool Station
Stuttgart Echterdingen Airport
30 minute train trip to Stuttgart Central
10 - 14 minute train trip to Zurich Central Station
Many other European airports have buses to the central or main rail stations. There are typically a minimum of two departures per hour, and travel times can vary from 15 minutes – 55 minutes depending on the city (and of course traffic en-route to the city center).
You can always check directly with your arrival airport for specific information regarding transfers to the city center. Most airports have websites with information on where to go to find a train or bus connection to the downtown area.
In addition, we encourage you to visit our Train Station pages to view information about services at the station and what airport links are available, if any, for a particular city.
Q. How do I find my train ?
A. Finding your train is fairly simple. You’ll see large Departure and Arrival boards located in the center of most stations. Some stations also have TV monitors listing upcoming departing trains.
If you have a train ticket or rail pass with a reservation, simply match the train number and departure time on your reservation or ticket to the train number on the departure board. The platform number where you should go will be listed right next to it.
If you’re traveling with open train tickets or a rail pass and no reservation, then you don’t have a specific train and seat assigned to you. If you’ve done your research in advance, you probably already know the time and train number of the train you want to take, so just look for it on the board. If you decided to show up at the station with the intention of taking the first train departing for where you want, make sure to check with a station agent and find out if that train requires a reservation.
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. My Rail Europe train tickets were not accepted by the conductor. What do I do ?
A. While all train tickets issued by Rail Europe should be accepted onboard the train, if you should run into any issues, be sure to ask the conductor to stamp your Rail Europe ticket "Not Used" with a written note explaining why this ticket could not be accepted by a railway official. You will want to keep that ticket safe and upon your return home, you can send the original ticket, any replacement tickets and receipts, and a brief letter of explanation to our Customer Relations team.
Please use the Contact Us page to get more information regarding a refund.