Cheap international train tickets

Lowest price train tickets

On the train, you travel comfortably, with the best views and get off in the heart of the city. Those are some excellent advantages, but we also occasionally hear that travelling by train is expensive. And that is often unjustified. Crossing the border by train can also be inexpensive. With our handy tips, you will discover that travelling by train does not have to be expensive and that our smart tips will get you to the most beautiful destinations.

13 tips for cheap international train tickets

1. Book early and travel more affordably

The same applies to train travel as to booking airline tickets: last-minute decisions tend to be more expensive. So, we recommend always booking as early as possible. But how early is 'early booking'? That depends on when train tickets are made available by the train carrier.

When can I book train tickets?

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2. Set-up an email alert

While booking, you might discover your train connection still needs to be put on sale. Want to be notified as soon as you can book tickets to your destination? Then request an email alert. Click on your desired travel date in the calendar and enter your email address. You will receive an email as soon as you can book. This way, you will always be the first to know and benefit from the lowest prices.

3. Book from your local train station

When booking, enter the departure station nearest to you. This will be cheaper than travelling with your OV-chipkaart and an international ticket. The outbound Eurostar journey, for example, costs a maximum of € 9. So, if you book from Groningen to Paris, the starting price is € 35 + € 9 (2nd class).

An additional advantage is that you only need to check in once with your international ticket and receive any schedule changes for your trip if you upload your ticket into our app.

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4. Keep an eye on our offers

We regularly have promotions from train carriers with sharp discounts. Keep an eye on our promotions page or sign up for the newsletter. That way, you will always be the first to know about the promotions.

5. Avoid rush hour and the busy seasons

Most people travel or start their holidays on the weekends. Prices are higher on weekends and holidays. Trains running early in the morning are popular. Can you leave after rush hour? Then your ticket will be considerably cheaper. This does not mean you must wait until noon because that completely interrupts your day. If flexible, travelling on a weekday and outside school holidays is cheaper.

Travelling in the evening is often cheaper too. And if you want to go away for a weekend, go on Sat-Sun-Mon instead of Fri-Sat-Sun.

    6. Travel with your NS discount card

    Do you always travel with a discount card on trains in the Netherlands? That's nice! Then remember to use it when booking internationally. You will keep your discount for the Dutch part of your journey. So, select your discount card when booking. This will often make your trip within the Netherlands cheaper. Did you book a flexible fare? Then you will receive a discount with your NS discount card.

    We also accept discount and loyalty cards from NMBS, Eurostar and Eurostar.

    Please note!

    Bring your discount card to prove to the ticket inspector that you are entitled to the discount.

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    7. Buy your train tickets online

    It may be unnecessary to mention in this digital age but buy your train tickets online. When booking online, you will not have to pay a booking fee. Payment is safe, simple and fast via iDEAL or by credit card. For telephone bookings, you will pay a booking fee.

    Book your tickets online

    8. Book a ticket without flexibility

    The price also depends, among other things, on the flexibility you wish to purchase with your ticket. There are different conditions for each train carrier with various levels of flexibility. You can see which conditions apply to each fare under the 'Fare conditions' link.

    Want to change or cancel your ticket later? Then you will pay a bit more. Are you sure you will make your trip and are okay with being tied to a specific time? Then book the ticket with the non-flex fare. Then you will pay the lowest price.

    9. Children travel at a discount on trains

    The train is ideal when travelling with children: they can play, walk around or read a book. Also, some trains have facilities on board specifically for children. Moreover, children travel at a discount and, in some countries, even for free. How much discount you get varies per train and country.

    Read all about discounts for children on international trains

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    10. Travel to Belgium cheaply with an Early Bird ticket

    Find the lowest price for train travel with Intercity Brussels to Belgium with an Early Bird ticket. Book at least 3 days before departure, and you will travel cheaply to all Belgian destinations. You can find the most economical tickets on off-peak hours. The availability is limited.

    11. Take the night train

    Save time and accommodation costs by taking the overnight train.

    Depart from Amsterdam, Utrecht or Arnhem in the early evening and travel with Nightjet directly to Vienna, Munich, Innsbruck, Basel and Zurich. You will travel while you sleep and thus arrive at your next destination well-rested. So, an excellent way to save time if you have a longer distance to travel.

    Want a very cheap ticket? Then book a regular seat on the night train. However, a reclining seat or sleeping place is much more comfortable than a seat. Ultimately, the cost you pay for a reclining seat or sleeping place will outweigh the costs for accommodation you will have had, had you not travelled with the night train..

    12. Discover 1st class for sometimes almost the same price

    It may seem too good to be true, but it occasionally happens that a 1st class ticket is almost the same price as a 2nd class ticket. So, always compare train prices, and sometimes you may be pleasantly surprised. Travelling 1st class means you enjoy more comfort, which does not always have to be (much) more expensive.

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    13. Find the lowest price with our price calendar

    For many destinations, we have a calendar that allows you to see the lowest price (indication) on a given day at a glance. This price calendar is only available for some routes. If you do not see prices, we often indicate the price in green, orange and red. A green day has the cheapest tickets and a red the most expensive. The price is based on 1 adult for a one-way trip. And remember: the prices shown can sometimes get even lower if you travel with a discount.

    Find cheap tickets

    Why can't I book earlier?

    If I book my holiday accommodation a year in advance, I can't buy the train tickets yet. Why is that?

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