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
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The European Rail Network
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Q. I just placed a booking and realized I made a mistake. How can I make changes?
A. If you need to get in touch with us regarding your booking, please visit our Contact Us page for assistance. As long as it hasn’t been invoiced yet, it’s usually not a problem to fix it. However, please note that an exchange fee and price change may be applicable depending on what needs to be changed.
Q. I understand that some of the train platforms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy now have gates. How do I get to my train?
A. Many train stations in the Netherlands and the Brussels Airport Station in Belgium now have platforms with entry/exit gates. To enter or exit from the train’s platform, you will need to pass through these gates that are controlled with a bar code reader.
Most paper tickets and e-tickets and all Eurail Pass covers have a square barcode which can be scanned at the entry/exit point of the platform. Just hold the bar code on your travel document to the scanner on the illuminated area on the gate and pass through the gate.
Some of the high traffic train stations in Italy, such as Milan Centrale, Roma Termini and Firenze Santa Maria Novella stations now have entry/exit gates. Access through these gates are exclusively reserved for traveller’s holding a ticket. It is suggested that you have your paper or electronic tickets ready to present upon arriving at these security gates.
Q. Does my train ticket include a seat reservation?
A. Rail Europe tickets include a reservation whenever possible. To tell if you have a reservation, see if you received one or two travel documents for your trip. If you received two travel documents, you probably received an open ticket and a reservation. The reservation portion will show a train number, car number and seat number assigned to you personally.
If you received only one document, you should also see if it indicates a seat number and car number. If so, your ticket includes a reservation.
The only case where you may not have a reservation with your ticket is if you received an open ticket. With these tickets, you can simply hop on any non- reservable train that travels on the route for which you bought your ticket.
Q. What’s the difference between a seat reservation and a train ticket?
A. A train ticket is a travel document that allows you to board a train for a journey, but does not necessarily guarantee an accommodation (seat/sleeper) assigned to you on board. A reservation guarantees you a specific accommodation on a specific train.
In many cases, train tickets are issued as combined ticket and reservation: you receive one travel document that indicates the specific train and seat assignment. This is the case for most high speed trains such as Eurostar, Thalys and TGV, as well as for night trains.
In some other cases, you may receive a train ticket and a separate travel document for your reservation.
By itself, a reservation can never be used to board a train. It must be used in conjunction with an open train ticket, as we’ve just described, or with a rail pass.
Q. My plans have changed and I won’t be able to use my rail pass. Can I get a refund?
A. You can submit your rail pass for a refund. Please be advised that there is a 15% penalty. Only unused and unvalidated (non-activated) rail passes can be refunded. The pass must be returned to Rail Europe, along with a brief letter mentioning the original reference number of the booking. It’s strongly recommended that you send these documents by some type of traceable mail for proof of delivery.
If you purchased the Rail Protection Plan™ and your rail pass is covered, you’re eligible to receive a credit for its entire value. No fee or penalty will be applied, and you can use this credit towards any future Rail Europe purchase within 2 years. Please read more about the Rail Protection Plan™ and for instructions on how to file a claim.
Please visit our Cancellation and Refunds page for more information.
Q. Can I get off the train and get back on later using my train ticket?
A. In most cases, this is not possible. Train tickets that include a reservation are only valid for a single ride on the train for which the reservation was issued. While stepping off the train is possible if the train makes intermediary stops, you wouldn’t be allowed to resume your trip by boarding another train with the same ticket. Your train ticket is only valid on the train printed on it.
Open train tickets may be the exception. They can allow you to hop off and back on another train on a given route to continue your itinerary, as long as that new train doesn’t require or offer reservations. Special conditions do apply for breaks on regional trains, so it’s a good idea to confirm locally.
If you’re traveling with an open ticket and a reservation for your original train, you forfeit that reservation for the remaining part of your journey when you hop off. You may hop back on another train that doesn’t require a reservation, but you’d essentially be traveling with an open train ticket only and not have a reserved seat. Again, special conditions do apply for breaks on regional trains, so it is a good idea to confirm locally.
Q. I’ve written the wrong date on my rail pass travel calendar box. What should I do?
A. If the wrong date is written in the travel calendar box, you will need to enter the correct date in the next travel calendar box. Unfortunately, once the date has been entered in the travel calendar box, it cannot be corrected and there’s no way to recover that travel day on the rail pass. Be very careful when filling out the date on your rail pass as mistakes cannot be corrected. An altered travel date could be viewed as an attempt of fraud and could lead to fines or other penalties.
Q. What fees does Rail Europe charge?
A. Rail Europe charges different types of fees for the services we provide. These fees are waived under certain circumstances. Below is a list of the fees we charge.
Delivery Fee: this fee covers the cost of delivering your travel documents to you, allowing you to relax, knowing that you have everything you need prior to your departure.
Customer Care Centre Fee: this fee is charged only when bookings are made over the phone through one of our Customer Care Centres.
Rail Europe Processing Fee: this fee allows us to continue to provide travellers with a wide range of European rail products to choose from, in addition to offering quality customer support before, during, and after your trip.
Administrative Fee: this fee is charged only for refunds and exchanges. It is 7% of the original train ticket or rail pass price.
Q. Can I give or resell my train ticket to someone else? Or can I travel with someone else’s ticket?
A. It depends if the train ticket has your name printed on it or not. In general, most tickets that include a reservation are name-specific and should only be used by the traveller whose name is printed.
Open tickets, on the other hand, are not name-specific. Different travellers can use them as long as the new traveller is eligible for the fare issued.
Q. What is the "validity period" of a rail pass?
A. The validity period of a rail pass is the time period in which you must complete your travels with your rail pass. This period is calculated from the date stamped on the rail pass by the railway official.
With a flexi pass this period is defined as a certain number of calendar months – typically one or two.
With a continuous day pass the validity period equals the number of travel days.