4 golden rules to buy your train ticket at the best fare 

Travelling by train is the best way to get around Europe. It's convenient, sustainable and affordable. Generally speaking, the earlier you purchase your ticket, the more easily you will find cheap seats

But how can you find the most inexpensive train tickets? By following our 4 expert tips. 

1. The booking window 

It indicates when a train is bookable. Take the booking window into account to purchase your trip as soon as possible and benefit from the lowest prices (available in limited quantities). 

Each carrier is free to set the booking window for its own trains, so there's quite some variation in how far ahead tickets can be booked. Here is an overview. 
How far in advance can I book my tickets? 
Trains Destinations Tickets bookable
Thalys Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne,... 4 months in advance
TGV INOUI France 4 months in advance
ICE Germany 180 days in advance
Eurostar London 330 days in advance
InterCity / regional trains Lille, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,... 335 days in advance


Prices may change quickly, even on the same day. Booking off-peak tickets can save you a lot of money

2. Consolidated openings 

Forget the first rule if it comes to certain busy periods. Some railway companies offer tickets for school holidays or end-of-year celebrations as of a fixed date

The same applies to seasonal trains that operate during a specific period, such as Thalys Sun or Thalys Snow

This fixed date is communicated by email and/or on our website - keep an eye out so you don't miss anything and travel at the best fare. 

3. Special offers

Many carriers offer a limited number of discounted tickets throughout the year. Special offers are available for a few days only and travel dates will be limited. 

Visit the "Offers" section on our website to discover all promotions throughout the year. 

4. The Connection Ticket 

The Connection Ticket is only available on SNCB International. It allows you to travel at a fixed price from any train station in Belgium to the station where your international train departs and, vice versa, from the station where your international train arrives to any further station in Belgium. 

It may only be purchased in combination to an international train ticket and is specifically interesting for long distance travel in Belgium. It is free for up to 4 children under 12 accompanied by an adult.
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