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

Country
Booking Horizon
Austria
3 months
Belgium
3 months
France
3 months with seasonal variation
Germany 180 days;
Italy 2-6 months, depending on the train type*
Netherlands 3 months
Russia 60 days
Spain Variable*
Switzerland
3 months
Sweden 90 days
United Kingdom 12 weeks (84 days)
* The booking horizon for some trains (particularly those in Spain and Italy) can vary depending on the type of train, route and season; e.g. some trains in Spain can be booked two months in advance (60-62 days), others much longer (120 days). In Italy, regional trains can be booked 2 months ahead, while national and international trains may be available 6 months in advance. For this reason, it is challenging for us to state when we expect booking to open.

Booking horizon by train

Rail operator and/or train
Route
Booking horizon
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
Italo (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 journey legs 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.

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