Train-Fare Maps: How Much Would You Pay Without a Pass?

By Rick Steves

How much would you pay for train tickets if you didn't buy a rail pass? The maps on this page are your best tool for quickly getting a fairly accurate estimate of how much it'd cost to just pay for separate tickets for each leg of your itinerary.

What these maps show: Point-to-point, one-way, second-class train fares in $US. For first-class fares, add 50 percent. Buses (dashed lines) and ferries (dotted lines) are generally not covered by rail passes.

How to use them: Connect the dots and add up fares for your itinerary to get an approximate cost for what you'd pay in train tickets for your whole trip. Then compare that to the price of the rail pass that covers the same journeys to see whether a pass will save you money.

Full-fare vs. advance discounts: The numbers on these maps reflect the full-price, no-hassle fare you'd pay on short notice. Those willing to lock in tickets ahead can find some significantly cheaper deals. (In general, the more expensive the full-fare ticket, the more likely you can save money by booking as far ahead as possible.)

How accurate are these prices? While many routes have varying ticket prices, these maps show fares for the fastest possible connections, and the round numbers are accurate enough to indicate whether a rail pass would save money over buying tickets as you go. Prices are drawn from each country's own railway website and converted assuming an exchange rate of €1 = $1.15.

For destinations between the dots: Don't worry if one of your destinations isn't shown on any of these maps: Ticket prices are mostly based on distance, so you can estimate fares. For example, if you're going to Italy's Orvieto, about halfway between Florence and Rome, it's safe to assume the train fare to Orvieto from Florence or Rome is about half the total shown for the whole Florence–Rome stretch.

Train Cost and Time Estimates Across Europe

First number between cities = approximate cost in $US for a one-way, second-class ticket. For first-class rail fares, add 50 percent.

Second number = number of hours the trip takes.

Important: Times (and fares) are for express trains where applicable.

Fare discrepancies between this big map and the smaller country-/region-specific fare maps reflect the fact that, in some cases, a single ticket for a long stretch can be cheaper than separate tickets for stops made en route on that same stretch.

To enlarge the map a bit, click on the image.

Austria

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) The dashed line between Reutte and Füssen shows a popular bus route (not covered by rail passes).

Belgium & Netherlands

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.)

Bulgaria & Romania

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dotted lines show bus routes, which aren't covered by rail passes.

Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro & Serbia

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dotted lines show ferry routes and dashed lines (such as Split–Dubrovnik) show bus routes, neither of which are covered by rail passes.

Czech Republic

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dashed lines show bus routes, which aren't covered by rail passes.

France

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.)

Germany

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) The dashed line between Nürnberg and Prague shows a bus connection that's covered by the single-country German Rail Pass (and by a Select Pass that includes both Germany and the Czech Republic — but this bus isn't covered by other multicountry rail passes).

Great Britain

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dashed lines show bus connections and dotted lines show ferry services, neither of which are covered by rail passes.

Greece

Solid lines on this map show approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class train tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dotted lines show ferry routes, some of which are discounted if you have a rail pass. Dashed lines show bus connections, all but one of which aren't covered by rail passes.

Hungary & Slovakia

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dotted lines show ferry routes and dashed lines show bus routes, neither of which are covered by rail passes.

Ireland

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Fares shown for the Republic of Ireland roughly match what you'd pay if buying a ticket online shortly before departure. Dashed lines show bus connections, which aren't covered by rail passes. Dotted lines show ferry routes (rail passes get you a discount on some international ferries, but not on Aran Islands routes).

Italy

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dashed lines show ferry routes.

Poland

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.)

Scandinavia

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dotted lines show ferry routes, some of which are discounted if you have a rail pass. Dashed lines show bus connections, which aren't covered by rail passes.

Slovenia

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.)

Spain & Portugal

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Fares shown include seat reservations when required, but they cost extra when using a rail pass. Dashed lines show bus routes, which aren't covered by rail passes. "(N)" indicates that a route has only overnight train service.

Switzerland

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) The dashed Lugano–Tirano line shows a popular bus connection that's covered by rail passes; dotted lines show two popular boat routes — covered by some passes.

Turkey

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. (For first-class fares, add 50 percent.) Dashed lines show bus routes, which aren't covered by rail passes.