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PatrickSG Jul 20th, 2004 05:05 AM

Train tickets - how much cheaper in Europe?
Hi -

A week from today we'll be in England, on our way to three weeks in Italy. (Thanks to all on this web site for loads of advice and suggestion - both solicited and otherwise.)

One more question: I've read that people say it's cheaper to buy reservations in Europe rather than the states, but how much -- on average -- should I expect to save?

Also, does it matter where in Europe we purchase them? Are reservations for Italian trains as cheap in England as they would be if we waited to get to Italy?

Thanks again for all the advice.


TopMan Jul 20th, 2004 05:22 AM

If you make reservations using RailEurope (as an example) you can pay $11.00 (and more for some "specialty" trains) per seat. With some agencies you'll also pay a shipping and handling fee to have the reservations sent to you..but again, that varies from agency to agency. My understanding is that these same seat reservations only cost a few dollars if purchased in Europe so I suspect the savings would be significant.

anglo_dutch_couple Jul 20th, 2004 05:32 AM

Hi Patrick
The problem with buying train travel in England is that, like air travel, most journeys are cheaper if you book them in advance. This is not the case in Holland, Belgium, Italy, where tickets are priced per kilometer and you can just turn up at the station and buy a cheap ticket. But it is worth reserving tickets for popular long-distance trains in Italy, e.g. highspeed Eurostar Rome-Naples or Venice-Florence. You can do this over the internet at

For trains in the UK, I use this web site:

it will give you an idea of timetables, prices etc
if you plan to travel a lot by train it could be worth buying a Britrail or Eurail pass, you can find info on them via Google.
Hope this helps!
Enjoy your stay in my country!

PatrickSG Jul 20th, 2004 05:54 AM

I should have clarified - we already have our passes, so we're just buying the seat reservations and one sleeper supplement leg from Florence to Zermatt.

I suspect my major savings will be in the service charges as was pointed out by a reply.


ira Jul 20th, 2004 06:04 AM

Hi Patrick,

You will find it much cheaper to get your reservations in country.

For example, a reservation for an ES* train outside Italy is about 11E. In Italy it is 3E.

GeoffHamer Jul 20th, 2004 06:08 AM

Your problem will be that very few places in England can book trains in Italy (most British railway stations and travel agencies do not do international train reservations). Whether you need to book before you get to Italy will depend on where and when you're travelling, and how flexible you can be.

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