I really love train travel in Europe. It’s cheap and efficient! When deciding whether to take a train or to fly around Europe, I refer to the map below:
This map is from Rick Steve’s website (click here). He has similar maps for areas all around Europe!
My next step is to simply Google my start & finish cities and see what I can find. In my experience, the times shown on the map above are accurate, but the prices are inflated. I believe this is because those prices are if you purchased the train tickets through a third party.
When I use Google, I often end up at “The Man in Seat Sixty-One” website. This website is AWESOME! You can select your starting and ending cities and find out EVERYTHING you need to know about booking train tickets. For example, in a search for Vienna to Salzburg, I’m given the website to book train tickets, whether I need to reserve a seat, whether it’s worth it to pre-book tickets or wait until last minute, how much tickets cost, and a picture of the train. What more can you ask for?! Oh wait, there’s more! There’s even details on the Vienna train station!
When I went to the OBB website (for train travel in Austria), I discovered they had an app to purchase train tickets. I downloaded the app and was able to easily book my tickets for Vienna to Salzburg. Tickets were $29 USD.
I used the same process, minus the phone app, to book my other train tickets. Salzburg to Munich was $25 and Munich to Prague was $28. After booking train tickets in Europe, I really wish we could get such cheap tickets in the US!
Should you reserve a seat? Ariel and I reserved seats because we were on a time crunch and I was nervous a train would sell out. Honestly, no train was completely full and sometimes we couldn’t find our reserved seat, so we just sat anywhere.
I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions about booking train tickets, feel free to reach out and ask! Happy travels 🙂