Save some Reservations with spare routes or avoiding the highspeed services

  • 1 June 2021
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

Yeah reservations are sometimes a big moneykiller on your trips but if you use the Railplannerapp and click the avoid reservations option you will find often a cheap Route (mostly with longer traveltime and maybe one or two more changes. I will share some examples :)

Amsterdam - Brussels
Reservation free Intercity instead of expensive Thalysreservations. Time loss of 1 hour and arround 30€ saved.

Brussels - Germany
Take the Reservation free (4€ Reservation possible) ICE to Cologne/Frankfurt instead of Thalysreservation no big time loss but saved arround 30€

Brussels/Ostende/Antwerp - Paris
Take one of the few TGV´s or even more cheaper take a IC/TER to Lille and from Lille a TGV or IC to Paris

Paris - Germany
Take a TGV to Strassbourg and then with a Regionaltrain to Offenburg/Karlsruhe and from here plenty of connections

France - Switzerland

Entry via Basel
Take a TGV domestic till Strassbourg/Muhlhouse for (Basel/Zürich) and take there a Regionaltrain to Basel and from there any train to your destination
Entry via Geneva
Take a TGV to Bellegarde(Ain) and change there for the bordercrossing to a Regionaltrain to Geneva (Regionaltrains come from Lyon)

France - Spain
Take a TGV or Nighttrain to Perpignan/Latour de Carol or Portbou/Cerbere from there with Regionaltrains to Barcelona

France - Italy
along the Coast
go to Nice and take from there a Regionaltrain via Monaco to Ventimiglia and change here for Italian trains to Milan,Genoa,Rome
through the mountains
another Route from Nice is via Breil-sur-Roya / Cuneo to Torino

Switzerland - Italy
Take any train till Chiasso and from there with Regionaltrains to Milan
A new Scenic Route could be done with the Interregios via Erstfeld / Göschenen to Bellinzona and from there with Regionaltrains to Milan (Old Gotthard Route)
Take any train to Brig/Domodossola and from there a regionaltrain to Milano

Milano - Venice
Take the Regionaltrains with a change in Verona saves you 10€ but you will have a bigger Timeloss

From Italy/Switzerland to BeNeLux
The Timetableapps suggest often to go via Paris because it´s faster but then you have to pay often twice :/ First for your train to Paris and then for your train to Belgium or Netherlands.

via Basel
with going via Basel and Germany you can save some reservations as most trains in Germany are Reservation optional (You can buy but it´s not compulsory . actual fares as of 2021 4€ 2nd class or 5,30€ 1st class per Journey and not per train )
From Basel starts every 2nd hour a ICE directly to Frankfurt/Cologne (inbetween the 2hrs with another change in Mannheim) with connection in Frankfurt or Cologne to Liege/Brussels/Utrecht/Amsterdam Once per day arround 3 pm starts even a direct ICE to Amsterdam or at 8am from Amsterdam to Basel

For Luxembourg you have two reservation saving ways from Basel
Way1: direct Eurocity (or with ICE another change in Mannheim) to Koblenz (you will have a scenic ride along the rhine valley. get seats on the right side ;) ) and then from Koblenz the hourly service along the river Mosel via Trier (worths a stop too) to Luxembourg.

Way2: with TER services from Basel via Strasbourg and Nancy to Luxembourg.


1 reply

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Good post. In fact I just saw it when searching for something else. I have wondered all the time if these new planners steer all people (who generally do not have the slightest clue anymore about how trains work) into those expensive, but fast Hi-speed trains. I never used that app (am pretty clumsy with all things on the fone), its just now that i read it does have an option for NO-RES!

Some more for domestic FR/SNCF-even though the saving then is mostly 10, or often 20€:

The French call it ´lignes classiques´=the old lines, that had all the trains before they staretd building these new (well, the oldest is now well over 40 yrs, I think) superfast lines: The slower trains are called TER in FR. They have a special section in the site of sncf-you have to select the region in which they run.

Paris-Dijon-Lyon and again Lyon-Avignon-Marseille and also Avignon-Montpellier-Perpignan/Toulouse:

all have a regular 2 hourly TER train all day


a few direct trains on weekends, otherwise also ev 1 - 2 hrs with change in Amiens

Paris_Nancy - Strasbourg

 a few direct every day


go via Caen and change (more for the scenic riders, it will take very much longer) Or via Orlëans and then along the Rhone.