This article is from the Europe FAQ, by Yves Bellefeuille firstname.lastname@example.org with help from Martin Rich M.G.Rich@city.ac.uk.
Except for the Eurail pass and other passes, buy train tickets in Europe
rather than before leaving, since this is cheaper. An exception is if
you can get an discount because of an early purchase. If you must buy
tickets in advance, try the appropriate train company or Deutsche Bahn:
see the links below. In particular, be wary of the Rail Europe WWW site,
because of its high fees.
Ask about rebates, which are often available, especially for students
and youth, for groups travelling together (sometimes rebates are
available for groups as small as two persons), for travel in the evening
or during the weekend, or for same-day return trips (round trips).
Some companies don't sell tickets on-line to non-Europeans and ask you
to contact Rail Europe. However, you can usually still purchase these
tickets on-line from the Deutsche Bahn site at