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When to purchase rail tickets

Level Contributor
16 posts
When to purchase rail tickets

We are 2 adults looking to do the follow rail :

Sep 25 :Paris to Strasbourg, France

Sep 28 : Strasbourg to Lucerne (while in Switzerland doing Mt Rigi 1 day, so probably do some sort of swiss pass to cover rail/boats and cable cars)

Sep 30 : Lucerne to Zurich

Do I need to purchase rail tickets in advance to get the best price or availability, or can I purchase the day before or day of.

Suggestions please and thank you!

3 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11,638 posts
32 reviews
1. Re: When to purchase rail tickets

" Do I need to purchase rail tickets in advance to get the best price "

Definitely !

For example, Paris to Strasbourg, for end of Oct2018 varies from €25 to €35 (1st class not much more at €39)

If you buy on the day, it will be €95

See https://en.oui.sncf/en/, or www.trainline.eu (reputable official agent)

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
58,099 posts
41 reviews
2. Re: When to purchase rail tickets

Strasbourg - Luzern can be done easily via Basel using French TER trains to Bâle / Basle, for which there are no reservations and no discounts for advance purchase tickets. Trains once or twice every hour weekdays, about once an hour at weekends.

Times at https://cdn.ter.sncf.com/medias/PDF/grand_est/A%2001%20Strasbourg%20Mulhouse%20B%C3%A2le%20(du%208%20juillet%20au%208%20d%C3%A9cembre%202018)_tcm75-151049_tcm75-150917.pdf

After Basle your Swiss pass idea will come into play.

For September 30 Luzern - Zürich you can just buy a ticket on the day. Reservation is not required in Swiss trains. There is no danger of your finding trains sold out. There is no reduction for buying in advance by the look of it.

There are two direct trains every hour, plus a third slightly slower option requiring one change.

Edited: 04 August 2018, 07:52
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
630 posts
3. Re: When to purchase rail tickets

In fact, you'll save money, if you buy a supersaver ticket in Switzerland. They go on sale 60 days before travel.


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