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Best place to buy train tickets

Best place to buy train tickets

Old Aug 3, 16, 6:38 am
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Best place to buy train tickets

I am visiting several countries next year and am pricing train tickets. Where's the best place to buy them in advance?

So far, raileurope.com seems like the best option. I compared their prices to sncf.fr and they seemed to match almost exactly.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 6:46 am
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I'm surprised to hear raileurope matched sncf. I always thought they were more expensive.

It kinda depends what countrlies you are visiting. Bahn.de has always been the best for me but you need to be traveling to/from or within germany I think. If you go between NL, BE and france you want to book on Thalys.... etc
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Old Aug 3, 16, 7:03 am
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Moving to our European Rail forum, to get the specialist attention it deserves. Bitte einsteigen, bienvenue a bord and e pericoloso sporgersi.

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Old Aug 3, 16, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by myeurocrush View Post
I'm surprised to hear raileurope matched sncf. I always thought they were more expensive.

It kinda depends what countrlies you are visiting. Bahn.de has always been the best for me but you need to be traveling to/from or within germany I think. If you go between NL, BE and france you want to book on Thalys.... etc
If you are going from Prague to Vienna, then Vienna to Budapest, is it best to book the tickets through the Czech and Austrian trains?

SNCF's site allows me to search/book tickets that aren't even in France. Are these e-tickets or will they be mailed?
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Old Aug 3, 16, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by myeurocrush View Post
I'm surprised to hear raileurope matched sncf. I always thought they were more expensive.
I would guess that as he is travelling next year, sncf/bahn/ns/whoever haven't loaded the cheaper tickets yet as it's way more than 90 days out
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Old Aug 3, 16, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by jt82 View Post
I would guess that as he is travelling next year, sncf/bahn/ns/whoever haven't loaded the cheaper tickets yet as it's way more than 90 days out
I was plugging in October dates just to gather some prices. Some were the same price, but some were a lot more expensive.

I think I'll buy the tickets in advance from ÖBB, and Hungarian rail.
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Old Aug 4, 16, 6:49 am
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Start with general advice from Seat 61.

Captain Train has partial coverage of ticket sales.

For complete European timetable information use Die Bahn then check out individual countries
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Old Aug 9, 16, 3:03 pm
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RailEurope is owned, I believe, by SNCF and one or more other European railroads.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by poisson View Post
If you are going from Prague to Vienna, then Vienna to Budapest, is it best to book the tickets through the Czech and Austrian trains?

SNCF's site allows me to search/book tickets that aren't even in France. Are these e-tickets or will they be mailed?
Originally Posted by poisson View Post
I was plugging in October dates just to gather some prices. Some were the same price, but some were a lot more expensive.

I think I'll buy the tickets in advance from ÖBB, and Hungarian rail.
If these are your travel plans then the Hungarian railways (MAV-Start) website will be of no use to you - you can only pick up international tickets booked online from ticket machines in Hungary.

Book Prague - Vienna on the Czech railways website, and Vienna - Budapest on the Austrian railways (OeBB) website.

Do you have to do it this way round? If you do Prague - Budapest, and Budapest - Vienna it will almost certainly be cheaper. You can then book Budapest - Vienna on the MAV website. Tickets from EUR 13. (Vienna - Budapest on OeBB starts from EUR 19).
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Old Aug 13, 16, 11:51 pm
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In May OeBB site wouldn't take credit card payments. I ended up booking on Czech Railways (which btw was a pretty good train ride).

For VIE-BUD, I again had the same issue with OeBB. Hungarian railway tickets booked online needs to be picked up in person in one their office and their pickup offices are only in Hungary. So, technically that rules Hungarian Railways as an option for online advanced booking for non ex-Hungary trians.

You can however, always walk up and buy ticket. I needed them in hand for schengen visa.
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Old Aug 15, 16, 10:45 pm
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I found a lot of very helpful information on The Man in Seat 61. http://www.seat61.com/

I ended up booking all my tickets on captain train. They had the same or better pricing and in one case allowed me to book earlier than other sites. Plus it was super easy to use.
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Old Aug 22, 16, 8:00 am
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Captain Train and Loco 2 are both very good independents, who have worked hard to make booking trains in Europe simple, but they don't always come up trumps. There are some journeys, operators, ticket types they don't cover.

Echo the advice to look on Seat61 and check the advice for the specific countries and train journeys you will be taking. Also, decide whether you want flexible or (cheaper) inflexible tickets, and be aware that booking the cheapest tickets doesn't open until a set time before departure (anywhere between 30 and 120 days, but typically 60)
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Old Aug 25, 16, 3:46 am
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Originally Posted by mad_rich View Post
Captain Train and Loco 2 are both very good independents, who have worked hard to make booking trains in Europe simple, but they don't always come up trumps. There are some journeys, operators, ticket types they don't cover.

Echo the advice to look on Seat61 and check the advice for the specific countries and train journeys you will be taking. Also, decide whether you want flexible or (cheaper) inflexible tickets, and be aware that booking the cheapest tickets doesn't open until a set time before departure (anywhere between 30 and 120 days, but typically 60)
The booking horizon really does vary between different operators/countries and routes. The standard for DB is 91 days, for SNCF 92 days, for Eurostar 120 days etc, though sometimes operators open ticket sales earlier, and sometimes later! Seat61 is indeed the place to go for such advice.

One thing worth pointing out in particular is that there is a European wide timetable change date in mid December - ticket sales for dates after this timetable change always open later, Mr Seat61's news page is again the best place to go to find the latest information on this.
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