When do my tickets become available?
Many rail operators have varying booking horizons. For certain trips you can book your tickets up to 6 months in advance whereas with others you will have to wait 90 days before departure. So it’s always good to find out what the specifics for each operator and country are.
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Please note this section only refers to domestic SNCF train tickets in France and also for certain journeys to/from Italy (e.g. Paris - Turin) that are serviced by SNCF. For other international journeys to/from France with SNCF, please select the relevant rail operator above or find it by clicking here .
Domestic SNCF tickets become available 3 months in advance. SNCF tickets to/from Italian destinations (Turin and Milan respectively) are released 4 months in advance.
Delays can occur if there are any timetable changes or SNCF has scheduled track maintenance. There are no specific opening times; the tickets can released at any time after midnight (Central European Time).
Delays of a few weeks with the release of night (sleeper) train tickets are also quite common. The current future of SNCF night train services is unknown as funding as been reduced. Further information will be released on July 1st and many trains are currently not open for reservation after this date, as many services may sadly be discontinued. We will update this section with further information, once available.
Tip: The cheapest tickets will usually sell out within a few weeks of opening, especially if you are booking a popular route (e.g. Paris - Avignon) or during high season (e.g. christmas or summer holidays). SNCF also holds bi-annual promotional sales with advance release periods. If you subscribe to our newsletter you will receive updates about these sales.
Lyria tickets (journeys between France and Switzerland) become available 4 months in advance.
If there are any track works scheduled or there are timetable changes, then the booking horizon may be affected. This is quite rare though. The cheapest tickets will usually sell out within a week or two if you are booking a popular route during high season or peak commuting hours. Please be aware that if you are booking last minute, that you might not be guaranteed a seat reservation.
Eurostar or iDTGV Tickets
Eurostar tickets (journeys between France/Belgium and London) become available for booking 6 months in advance. As this is a large booking horizon, it can be a good idea to book your tickets separately if your trip includes a reservation with both Eurostar and another rail operator. This will allow you to benefit from Eurostar’s cheap book-in-advance fares.
Example: If you are booking a train trip from London to Amsterdam, you could book your Eurostar tickets (London - Brussels) 6 months in advance and your Thalys tickets (Brussels - Amsterdam) 90 days ahead of departure. Just keep in mind that you will have to change trains at a station so make sure that you have plenty of transfer time available.
iDTGV tickets are released 6 months in advance, in blocks. This means that iDTGV will release tickets 6 months ahead of departure periodically. So sometimes tickets are not available exactly 6 months in advance if one sales period is coming to an end. In this case, we recommend waiting for a few days to check the schedules. Usually it will take no more than two weeks for the new timetable to be released, however this cannot be explicitly guaranteed and is up to the discretion of iDTGV.
Thalys tickets are released 3 months in advance. Thalys operates trains between France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. If there is are any track works scheduled or there are timetable changes, then the booking horizon may be affected. This is quite rare though. There are also no specific release times; most often fares become available just after midnight (GMT+1 timezone). The cheapest tickets will usually sell out within a week or two if you are booking a popular route during high season or peak commuting hours. Please be aware that if you are booking last minute, that you might not be guaranteed a seat reservation.
All Renfe-SNCF tickets are released 119 days in advance. Previously they were released 92 days in advance. Renfe-SNCF operates trains between France and Spain.
On certain occasions, the booking horizon has been delayed due to timetable changes or track maintenance. There have been occasions where the booking horizon has been delayed by a few days and in some instances even by several weeks. If your travel dates are within a 120 day period and you cannot find any tickets, it is best to keep on checking daily until the tickets are released. If your tickets are delayed by only a few days, then there is no need to panic :) Though if you find that your tickets are delayed by a few weeks, please get in touch with us and we will be able to provide an explanation and a solution.
In theory, Renfe tickets should be released 60 days ahead for all trains. This does not include the AVE (high-speed) trains, which should open 90 days in advance. However, this isn't exact. Renfe often loads dates in large blocks and also sometimes significantly less than 60 days in advance. Sometimes certain trains are also opened for booking much more in advance than others, for the same route.
If you do not see all of the departures that you're expecting to see, and it's more than a month to go before departure, the chances are that all trains are not yet open for booking. It is not uncommon for Renfe to be very late with opening bookings for dates after their bi-annual timetable changes. These occur at midnight on the 2nd Saturday in June and 2nd Saturday in December, when the booking horizon can shrink to as little as 30 days.
Thello tickets become available four months plus one day before departure. For example, if you want to travel on April 30th, first of all, count back 4 months until December 30th. Now add one day and hop, you are on December 31st. So, if you want to travel on April 30th, you can reserve as from December 31st. Please note that for operational reasons, the booking horizon may be altered due to occasional track maintenance.
Deutsche Bahn Tickets
Deutsche Bahn tickets become available 6 months in advance, which is usually 182 - 180 calendar days. As trains do not have a mandatory reservation condition, you are able to buy tickets up to the last minute and trains cannot sell out. If you are wanting to book tickets between France and Germany, please read the DB-SNCF section below.
DB - SNCF Tickets
DB - SNCF (direct trains between France and Germany) tickets are released between 3 to 4 months in advance. If you are wishing to book tickets between France and Germany, please have a look at this DB-SNCF route map to see whether your tickets are issued by DB-SNCF.
Hint: All of the routes (e.g. Frankfurt- Paris) listed on this map will be ticketed by DB-SNCF. If you’re taking a train between Germany and France and your destination is not shown in the map (e.g. Düsseldorf - Paris), then you will be reserving a combination of Deutsche Bahn, SNCF or Thalys tickets, as you’ll have to make a transfer at another station.
In general, all domestic Trenitalia tickets are released 3 months in advance. Tickets for international journeys are released 4 months ahead of departure. On certain occasions, Trenitalia will also release tickets for popular domestic services 4 months in advance. This can be unpredictable and at the discretion of Trenitalia.
Italo train tickets are released anywhere between 3 to 6 months in advance. Unfortunately there is no specific booking horizon for Italo trains so the release periods are often subject to change without prior notice.
OUIGO fares are released up to 8 months in advance, however the booking horizon is often subject to change without prior notice.
OUIGO is holding a pre-christmas sale on the 4th of October. They have released tickets for travel between the 13th of December until the 1st of July 2017.
OUIBUS releases its tickets periodically. This usually ranges between two to four months in advance, however the booking horizon is often subject to change without prior notice.