help needed with booking train tickets

Hello

I have been trying to navigate thru the Bahn train site , Im trying to book tickets from venice to salzburg on july 13th, the schedule comes up with 3 choices , i pick the first one but then cant not see anywhere on page on how to book the tickets , has anyone used this webb page who can explain how to successfully purchase tickets . thanks in advance Sue

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
6049 posts

The bahn.de site is great for checking schedules but if your trip dies not involve a change of trains in Germany you can't buy tickets there. Try trenitalia or oebb.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
4858 posts

I do see one route you can book through DB. At 13:35 on the EC train changing trains in Rosenheim (Germany). However, the tickets do not go on sale until 3 months before the train departs, so you will need to wait until April 13 to buy. Also, there will be more options, but the Italians have not yet finalized the summer schedule, so no options using Italian trains are available yet, and may not be for several months.

Posted by sneuner13
renton wa
36 posts

thank you, that is the trip i was trying to book. Is there an internet site that shows all options for trains that would work to get from a to b ? Its pretty confusing I have to say . Sue

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
4858 posts

You can look at dates before June 14. The schedules will not change a whole lot. But until the summer schedules are set and loaded on to the computers, you will get weird answers. The Deutsche Bahn site is usually the best for looking at all the schedules, but they are helpless until the Italians give them the information. And if past history is any indicator, that probably will not be until May.
And your travel agent will be happy to get the tickets for you from Rail Europe at an inflated price if there is a commission in it for them. They have mouths to feed.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
13086 posts

First, the rail system reservation in Europe is not the US airline system that we have all been trained on. The schedules are available about three months out and not the year you get with the US. The only reason (and it can be a very good reason) for advance purchases is to take advantage of the discounts. But that locks you into a fixed schedule and some with restrictions like no refund, no change - like our airlines. You don't need advance reservations for a seat on the trains. Trains are so frequent and large that it is very rare for a train to be full. Bahn probably is the best site to view schedules - nothing else unless you are traveling in Germany.

Since you are going from Venice, look to trenitalia.com for purchasing tickets. It is a pretty simple site. Check the British flag for English, remember you are using the 24 hr clock and the European format for dates --- day, month, year. And some calenders start the week with Monday with Sat and Sun are the last two days of the week. Triple check your dates.

The fares in Italy are Super Economy, Economy, Base. SE can be very cheap but no refund, no change. If you do not understand that, look it up in the dictionary. Econ is changeable with a credit for the next ticket but no refund. Base is the walk up fare and fully changeable BUT once the train leaves the station all tickets are dead. The discount tickets are limited to certain trains, at certain times, and in limited numbers. All trains in Italy - except Regionale trains require a seat reservation which is assigned when the ticket is purchased. Only the Regionale trains are open seating and never discounted. Think of bus on wheels stopping at every town. A slow, very cheap, and can be a flexible way to go.

Posted by sneuner13
renton wa
36 posts

Ok, so I guess my question is still for the fast trains which is what I believe I want from Venice to Salzburg , dont those need reservations in advance ? should I get those tickets here in Us or should I wait till I get to Italy, We will be in Rome for a few days and then head north to Tuscany region ( im buying those tickets in Rome) then to Venice so I have some time there. My concern is that I dont want to not get on the train I want because I already tell which one it is. Sue

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
13086 posts

See if I can make this simpler.

  1. Trains in Europe rarely fill up unless special holiday like Christmas. So the need to buy a ticket in advance to insure a seat on a particular train is very low.

  2. All trains in Italy except Regionale trains require an ticket purchase that comes with a seat reservation specific to a certain train, car, and seat number. You can buy that ticket at a ticket window or machine fifteen minutes prior to getting on the train. We generally buy our tickets a day or two before if that is convenient and we know for certain when we want to leave.

  3. The only reason to purchase a ticket in advance, on-line is to take advance of any discounts that might be available for that train, that hour, that day. These tickets come with many restrictions. If you purchase a ticket on the day of departure or day before, most likely you will pay base fare since all of the discount tickets will be done by that time. However, the base fare in Italy compared to may other countries is still very reasonable.

  4. By going on the trenitalia site you can see the fare options available.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
4858 posts

And no matter what, you can't book a ticket until Italy publishes a schedule, unless it passes through Germany, like the daily EC train, or is run by the Austrian railway. And still you can't buy anything until April 13 at the earliest. The Austrian railway (www.oebb.at) runs a couple of buses every day to Villach, Austria, where you can get a train to Salzburg.
PS. The only "fast" trains on this route are the Italian Freccia trains that only take you as far as Verona. Then you have to change to regular trains to Innsbruck and beyond.

Posted by sneuner13
renton wa
36 posts

Thanks for all the info, I'll see what the prices are when they become available since I do know when I want to travel from Venice to salzburg . But I glad to know I should have to be concerned about a too full train. Sue