When planning my travels, I always try to find the best possible deals. To find said deals, I normally do quite a bit of research as to which mode of transportation would be cheapest AND most convenient, and I also check what dates are the least expensive to travel on (often week days instead of weekends). I’ve had a few people ask me how I booked my train tickets and other travels while in Europe. So, I thought I would compile all my favourite search engines for European travels.
GoEuro is a website where you can search and compare travel fares for air travel, train, bus and car rental / car pooling options. I love this website because it truly allows you to find the cheapest price to get from point A to point B, and it allows you to compare the price and duration of the different travel options. They will either refer you to the transportation company’s website or allow you to book directly with them. The only limitation I have found with this site is that it’s not yet fully enabled for all European countries / transportation companies. Other than that, it’s my favourite website for booking my European travels.
Similarly to GoEuro, Rome2Rio allows you to find the best prices for all different modes of transportation — this for basically anywhere in the world! Once again, its limitation is that it doesn’t have a full repertoire for all transportation companies, but it will definitely give you an idea of what the cheapest way of doing something would be.
I often check GoEuro first, and then check Rome2Rio to see if they come up with anything cheaper.
If I know I want to fly somewhere, the first place (and often only place) I search for flights is Google Flights. Google does a great job of listing most airlines with the cheapest fares and where to find them. I also love their EXPLORE DESTINATIONS tool, which allows you to choose the airport you’re flying out of and see what the cheapest destinations are.
If I can’t seem to find the right train fares on GoEuro or Rome2Rio, I often check RailEurope. It has a greater repertoire than the previous websites when it comes to train companies. You can also buy Rail passes on this site, if ever you’re planning on travelling exclusively by train. I’ve personally never gotten one, as I’ve always used a mix of transportation methods while travelling (bus often ends up being much cheaper).
This is my go-to bus company for European travels. This German company has bus routes all over western Europe, and for really cheap! Their website is very user friendly, and you can book multiple bus trips in one go.
I’m all for carpooling, though I haven’t done it much in Europe. This said, if you’re looking for a cheap and fast way to get around, make sure you check out Blablacar! You simply search your route and they will show you the available rides, the number of places available and the price requested by the driver. The driver’s are monitored and rated according to their driving skills and previous rides given.
Another question I’ve gotten quite a bit is whether it comes out cheaper to book ahead of time or to buy tickets at the station directly (for bus and train tickets). What I’ve found is that for short-distance trains or public transport, it’s the same price whether you book ahead or at the station. However, for long-distance trains or buses, it’s definitely worth booking ahead most of the time — you can save up to 30% off the price of the ticket (I’m giving an educated guess here with the 30%, haha)! I hope this post helps you plan your European travels! And don’t hesitate to comment if you know of other great travel search engines or if you have any questions about getting around in Europe!