Purchasing Train Tickets in Europe

Hello all! I will be in Germany June 19th and am curious if I can buy tickets in Germany for various train trips in Italy that we will be taking a couple weeks later?
For example, can I buy tickets from Lucerne to Milan and Cinque Terre to Florence from a train station in Germany? Thank you! Kevin

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24175 posts

Kevin, Some of your trips in Italy will likely be via Regionale train (especially on the trip from Cinque Terre to Firenze), which are difficult to purchase in advance. You can easily buy those from a ticket Kiosk when you arrive in Italy. DON'T forget to validate the ticket prior to boarding the train, or you could face a hefty fine which will be collected on the spot! For travel on Freccia trains (which have compulsory reservations), the tickets include reservations but are SPECIFIC to a particular train and departure time. BE SURE that you board the train specified on the ticket, or again you may face hefty fines (which start at €50 per person). Happy travels!

Posted by George
Independence, KS, USA
808 posts

You can likely buy them now online. Go to www.seat61.com. Others on here can help you specifically. We always buy train tickets at 90 days prior to travel to get the cheapest prices. Those are, however, usually nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2030 posts

You can buy those tickets in Germany from a Deutschebahn Reisenzentrum ("travel center") at the main train station in any decent-sized city. However it will be much cheaper to buy them in advance from the Italian railway website, if you are willing to be locked into specific dates and times.

Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
2084 posts

Theywon't be available for late June online yet,,but watch for them. Myou can save a lot of money by buying Lucerne tomMilan on SBB, like 60 CHF per ticket. How are you getting from Milan to Cinque Terre?

Posted by Kevin
Orange, Ca
58 posts

I have heard that I won't be able to purchase online until 30-60 days out. Will it be worth it to buy online? Also, can I use an international credit card to do so on SBB? As for Milan to Cinque Terre, I am actually going to want an all the way ticket from Lucerne to Manarola... I was just writing from Lucerne to Milan as an example. :)

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6818 posts

Kevin, where did you hear that you cannot buy until 30 to 60 days out? It depends on the country and the type of train, but in many cases it is 120 days out to get the best price ( like Trenitalia). Unfortunately Trenitalia does not have tickets past early June Yet, due to the annual schedule at that time. But SBB has them. I just checked a date in late June, and found the Special Offer price of 39 CHF from Luzern to Milano Centrale. The regular fare is 86 CHf, so it is a significant saving. You will have no trouble using your credit card on SBB. You will not get a printable ticket; nyou will get a confirmation code that you will use to pick up the tickets at a station in Switzerland. You will need to show the credit card you used for the purchase. Then keep checking back for availability of tickets on Trenitalia. The tickets are available for early June if you want to compare prices. Mthe direct train from Milano Centrale to Monterosso is IC 665 and departs Milannat 12:10. The base fare is 24 euros but you can get a promo fare of 9 euros.

Posted by Kevin
Orange, Ca
58 posts

Thanks for the advice Lola. I bought 2 tickets to Milan from Lucerene for 54 CHF! All the other suggestions are a HUGE help! Much appreciated. Take care!