How far in advance can I book train tickets?
Train ticket advance booking opening times vary between train types, countries and rail or bus operators, but three months is a good estimate for most services. The advance booking times are called "Booking horizons"; the term for how far ahead you can book train tickets. This article gives you an idea of what to expect.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Booking horizon by country
||3 months with seasonal variation|
|Italy||2-6 months, depending on the train type*|
|United Kingdom||12 weeks (84 days)|
Booking horizon by train
Rail operator and/or train
|Eurostar||To/from London-Paris/Brussels||180 days|
|Eurostar Disneyland (Marne-la-Vallee)||To/from London-Disneyland Paris||11 months in advance (does not run every day)|
|Eurostar Ski train||To/from London-French Alps||Seasonal service with fixed booking/travel dates (approx. Aug for travel Dec-April)|
|Eurostar direct south of France||To/from London-Lyon-Aix en Provence|| Seasonal service with fixed booking/travel dates (approx Dec for travel May-Aug)
|Frecciarossa, Frecciaagento (High-speed trains in Italy)||Intercity trains in Italy||6 months|
|mnItalo (NTV)||Intercity trains in Italy||4 months|
|National Rail||Throughout the UK||12 weeks (84 days)|
|Renfe-SNCF||To/from Paris-Barcelona||4 months (119 days)|
|TER (regional)||Trains in France||3 months|
|TGV (high-speed)||Trains in France|| 3 months with some seasonal variation
|TGV France-Italy||To/from Paris-Milan/Turin||4 months|
|TGV Lyria (France - Switzerland)||To/from Paris-Geneva/Zurich||4 months|
|TGV Alleo (France - Germany)||To/from Paris-Frankfurt||4 months|
|Thalys||To/from Paris - Brussels-Amsterdam||3 or 4 months|
|Thello||To/from Paris - Milan-Venice||4-6 months|
If booking isn't open - set a booking alert
If bookings aren't open for your preferred dates, you can set up a booking alert. We'll send you an email as soon as booking opens, so you have the best chance to book the cheapest tickets. If your plans change, you can manage your booking alerts in your account.
Booking tickets with different booking horizons
It is possible that some legs of your trip will have different booking horizons. Usually you should wait until all parts of your journey are available before booking. Our Help article Booking tickets separately explains why.
Seasonal timetable changes
Every year in December and June, the European train timetables are amended. This means that, for a couple of weeks each year, you might not be able to book as far in advance as you would expect.
- The European train timetable usually changes on the second Sunday in June and the second Sunday in December.
- While the timetable is revised and compiled, the booking windows shortens. If you're having trouble finding a train and it's close to the timetable change, that may be why.
- Booking typically opens in mid-October for the winter timetable and mid-April for the summer timetable
- We compile a list of when we expect bookings to open for each operator. Check for seasonal information in our blog and Help articles.
- The most reliable way to be notified when booking opens is to set a booking alert.