How to buy your tickets before you set off
Buying your tickets before you set off gives you the peace of mind that you have the right ticket and all you have to do when you get to the station is concentrate on finding the right platform, not queuing to get a ticket!
However, due to the fact that European rail travel covers journeys across different countries using multiple rail companies who all have different ticketing systems and travel options you can begin to understand why buying tickets isn't simply a case of using one website which will always find you the cheapest price for any journey.
There are lots of cheap train tickets and deals out there it just takes a bit of work to find them sometimes. We'll try to guide you in the right direction so that you'll be able to search the main websites and find the best deals.
Probably the most used website for finding train times, connections and prices is the Deutsche Bahn site (German National Rail). It's not just for finding times on German train services but has access to most of the European network. A large percentage of European train journey tickets can be booked via the website, for those that aren't available you'll need to try the local train operator sites or one of the larger international rail companies (see other links above).
To use the DB website please visit here: http://www.bahn.de/
We maintain a list of the main country rail websites on the following page:
European country train operators
Voyages-sncf.com is the official European distribution channel of the French railways (SNCF) for online sales of high-speed and conventional rail travel throughout France and Europe.
Voyages Sncf UK
Try the Eurostar website for tickets to cross from the UK into France and Belgium.