Blog — Great deals & travel inspiration

SNCF Summer Sales Start on February 2nd

by Malin Schibler, posted 28 January 2016 | 52 comments

Just a small selection of available destinations

Just a small selection of available destinations

Next Tuesday, SNCF will be holding a ticket sale for a huge number of beach destinations in France. So if you were thinking about visiting the French Riviera or Basque Coast this summer, you have one week to do some planning!

This sale will include tickets with departures from the 1st of July until 28th of August. As per usual, those who are earliest to book get their hands on the best tickets.

***Correction: January 28th
We had previously advertised that this sale would include RENFE-SNCF, TGV Lyria and TGV France-Italy tickets. These dates have now been changed and these tickets will be released on the 3rd of March instead.

Head to the Mediterranean coast

In one week, you’ll be able to book your tickets to a large variety of destinations on the Mediterranean coast. The great thing is that you will also be able to book tickets between these destinations and not only just from Paris.

Here’s what you will be able to book:

  • Paris – Avignon TGV
  • Paris – Aix en Provence
  • Paris – Marseille
  • Paris – Nice
  • Paris – Toulon
  • Paris – Hyères
  • Paris – Les Arcs Draguignan
  • Paris – Saint Raphaël Valescure
  • Paris – Cannes
  • Paris – Antibes
  • Paris – Monaco
  • Paris – Menton
  • Paris – Ventimiglia

The good news is that the tickets are not limited to departures/arrivals from Paris. So you can combine trips between any of these destinations as well. For example, you could book a ticket from Nice to Avignon, Toulon to Ventimiglia or Cannes to Antibes. There are plenty of options!

Visit the Basque Coast (minus Bordeaux)

If you’re someone who prefers their beaches to have some bigger waves, then you can be glad your destination (if it’s in the south west of France) will also be included next Tuesday.

The following destinations will be covered:

  • Paris – Agen
  • Paris – Montauban
  • Paris – Toulouse
  • Paris – Tarbes
  • Paris – Lourdes
  • Paris – Pau
  • Paris – Orthez
  • Paris – Dax
  • Paris – Bayonne
  • Paris – Biarritz
  • Paris – Saint Jean de Luz
  • Paris – Hendaye

Of course, you can again book tickets between any of these destinations as well. So that could include a train from Lourdes to Pau, Biarritz to Toulouse, or Agen to St Jean de Luz.

Is your destination not included?

Many remaining destinations in France that are served by TGV and Intercités trains (including Bordeaux!) in France will go on sale on the 31st of March, for the upcoming summer. This will also include tickets for northern France (destinations towards Belgium).

This means that if your destination is not listed above, then your tickets will become available on March 31st and not in this upcoming sale.

Want to Visit Switzerland, Spain or Italy?

As of the 3rd of March, you’ll also be able to get your hands on a range of tickets for journeys between France and Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. Specifically, it will include RENFE-SNCF tickets for trips between France and Spain, which that includes Paris – Barcelona, Perpignan, Girona and more. Plus  TGV Lyria tickets for trips between France and Switzerland (e.g. Paris – Zurich or Geneva) and TGV France – Italy tickets, for trips between Paris and Milan

To see exactly which destinations are included, you can find some route maps by clicking here.

Opening of the 2015 European Summer Train Ticket Sales!

by Malin Schibler, posted 26 February 2015 | 34 comments


Ready, set, go!

Very soon you will be able to book your European train ticket tickets to your favourite holiday destinations.

As of the 17th of March, there will be a huge range of early-bird specials on train tickets. Fancy a trip to Barcelona in August? Or a visit to Zurich in July? Very soon you’ll be able to get your hands on super cheap tickets thanks to the extended booking horizon this summer.

So, what tickets are on offer?

The summer sales will affect all train tickets for trips between the 17th of March until the 30th of August 2015, for the following destinations and rail operators:

  • Renfe-SNCF: all destinations are covered, so this includes trains from Paris to Barcelona, Perpignan and Girona (just to name a few). Click here to view destinations.
  • TGV France-Italy: all destinations are covered except journeys between Paris and Milan (sales will open on 2nd of April). Click here to view destinations.
  • TGV Lyria: all destinations are covered, except journeys between Geneva – and the south of France (e.g. Marseille, Nice or Montpellier) as these tickets are already on sale. Click here to view destinations.
  • Deutsche Bahn-SNCF: all destinations are covered except Paris – Frankfurt and Paris – Stuttgart/Munich (sales will open on the 2nd of April). Click here to view destinations.

What if my tickets aren’t a part of this sale?

If your destination isn’t covered in this sale then luckily you won’t be missing out! There will be another round of summer sales which open on the 2nd of April.

This sale will include all routes within France (e.g. Paris to Normandy) and many international destinations such as northern France to Brussels or Paris to Luxembourg (just to name a few). As per usual, we will be communicating this through our newsletter before the sales open, so click here to sign up to make sure you can be the first to get your hands on these tickets.

Renfe-SNCF Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary With Huge Discounts on Paris-Barcelona Line!

by Malin Schibler, posted 15 December 2014 | Add comment

paris barcelona cheap train tickets

¡Feliz Cumpleaños!

It’s hard to believe that the high-speed rail network between France and Spain has already been running for a year. To Capitaine Train, it feels just like yesterday that we celebrated the opening of this long awaited service. So we’d like to wish Renfe-SNCF a happy birthday and give them a big round of thanks for revolutionising travel between France and Spain.

Super cheap train tickets

What would a one year anniversary be without presents? Not much at all, according to Renfe-SNCF. Starting today, there will be a huge flash sale for all services running between France and Spain, which means 50% off all train tickets!*.

This sale will last exactly three days, from the 15th of December until the 18th of December. It will include all tickets for any trips between the 7th of January 2015 up until the 16th of April 2015.

The booking horizon has also been expanded to 120 days in advance, so bookings for dates later than the 13th of April can be booked in the next few days.


2nd class one way 2nd class return 1st class one way 1st class return
Paris €29.00 €59.00 €49.50 €99.00
Lyon €24.00 €48.00 €39.00 €78.00
Marseille €24.00 €48.00 €34.50 €69.00
Toulouse €19.00 €38.00 €27.00 €54.00
Perpignan €14.50 €29.00 €19.00 €38.00

There are plenty more discounts for other routes as well, so check them out yourself on

Paris barcelona cheap train tickets

What should I expect?

One of the reasons why this route is so immensely popular is because of the fantastic views. If you are travelling all the way from Paris to Barcelona (or the other way around), in less than 6.5 hours your train will take you through the French country side, pass by the historic cities of Béziers, Perpignan, Narbonne and Figueres (any Dalí fans?), and lastly you’ll catch a sight of the Pyrenees mountains whilst crossing the border. The best way to enjoy this scenic route is to book a ticket for the upper deck, so you can be sure to get some great views.

What is the train like: can I bring luggage and is there food?

Yes you certainly can and yes there certainly is! Both the TGV (the French high speed trains) and the AVE (the Spanish variant of the TGV) have excellent luggage facilities and offer an on board bistro.

You can bring your suitcases on board and store them in the luggage compartments (found at the end of each carriage) plus any small hand luggage will fit into the in the overhead compartments. If you’re after a snack, meal or beverage, then you can make use of the bistro carriage and the seasonal meals offered (sandwiches, hot and cold dishes and kids meals). A variety of different alcoholic beverages are also sold but you are always welcome to BYO, just like the Man in Seat 61 recommends!

Should I travel in first or second class?

We covered this topic a while ago, so why not read this article and decide for yourself! Considering these super low prices, it is a great opportunity to take advantage of the benefits that first class tickets offer, such as lounge access before departure (free food and drinks anyone?).

*Please note that for certain services that the amounts have been rounded by €0.50, so the discount may be slightly higher than 50%.

SNCF Winter Sales Start On October 16th

by Malin Schibler, posted 14 October 2014 | 2 comments


SNCF Winter Sales Are Starting Soon!

This year, the SNCF Christmas sales will start on Thursday, the 16th of October. This sale will include all train tickets for trips between the 14th of December 2014 until the 6th of February 2015.

Be Quick

To benefit from the best prices, there is only one magic rule: first come, first served. This is the busiest train travel period of the year, as thousands of Europeans are busy travelling during their winter holidays.

Unfortunately the exact opening time is never communicated but we can give you a big hint: it will be very early in the morning in France (time zone: GMT+1). So depending on where you live, you might have to wake up in the middle of the night or be ready to go in the afternoon.

Luckily, you can book your tickets in the fastest way possible with Capitaine Train. It’ll take you less than a minute! For those in other time zones, rest assured (literally) that you can book straight from bed or from the office with our iOS and Android apps.

Don’t miss out

As per usual, we have created a Facebook event for the sales to make sure you don’t miss on out on the cheapest tickets. Just join the event so you can receiver a reminder on Thursday.

Join Event


Christmas has come early: €10 for you equals €10 for a friend!

To keep up the Christmas spirit, we’ve decided to increase the value of our Ambassador Program vouchers. From the 13th until the 26th of October, every friend that you invite to use Capitaine Train will receive a €10 discount voucher. Once an invited friend has completed their first trip, you’ll also earn €10 and receive a voucher credited to your Capitaine Train account.

For those who won’t be travelling in Europe, why not share the good news and invite your friends, family and colleagues who are, so they can earn a €10 discount.

Invite Friends

Our Ambassador vouchers can be used for SNCF, Lyria, Thalys and Eurostar tickets.

Thello Has Added a New Route Between Marseille, Nice and Milan!

by Malin Schibler, posted 24 September 2014 | One comment


As of December 14th, Thello (the sleeper train operator) will be running a direct daily service between the South-East of France and Italy.

This route will allow passengers to conveniently travel between France and Italy at a very affordable price. These train tickets will be in the price range of €30 to €70 for a journey between Marseille and Milan, and between €15 to €45 for a train from Nice to Milan (second class).

Of course, you can book these train tickets with us! The ticket sales will open in mid-October, so we will keep you posted on our Facebook and Twitter with the exact dates.

Day time trains between Nice and Milan

Although Thello mainly specialises in overnight trains, this new route will in fact be a day-time service. So you can now travel from Marseille to Ventimiglia in just a few hours. If you want to go all the way to Milan, you will arrive just in time for a late dinner.

For more information on Thello services (prices, other routes and accommodation), just click here!

Booking Thello Train Tickets: What Is On Offer?

by Malin Schibler, posted 21 August 2014 | One comment

buy thello tickets

A few weeks ago we added Thello night trains to our booking platform. So we thought it might be wise to give a detailed explanation of exactly what you will find on offer from Thello and Capitaine Train.


Thello trains run every evening between Paris Gare de Lyon and Venice, with intermediate stops in Dijon, Milan, Brescia, Verona, Vincenza and Padua. The departure and arrival timetable do not vary; trains depart Paris at 19:59 and arrive the next day at 09:35 in Venice on daily basis.

Cabin or compartment

Thello offers you two types of comfort: cabins and couchette compartments. The 6 couchette compartments are great for the budget conscious traveller, where you can choose to stay with a group or travel with friends at a super low price. The 4 couchette compartment is a perfect solution for families or those wanting to save on costs but not to skimp on comfort. If you prefer a more private environment, then the 3 to 1 bed cabins will be a perfect solution. They offer wide and comfortable beds, an free breakfast in the dining car plus an electrical power point outlet, a washbasin and a toiletries kit. These cabins can be shared with other passengers or booked privately.

To make it easy for you, we have added the couchette apartments as second class seating and the cabins as first class.
You’ll find the following offers in each class:

Service Couchette compartment Cabin
Passengers 4 to 6 1 to 3
Mattress 180 cm x 60 cm 180 cm x 80 cm
Bedding Blanket Duvet/quilt/doona
Wash basin Shared Private
Water bottle
Toiletry kit
Electrical socket



Thello offers three pricing categories (tarifs) which are relative to flexibility and refund conditions:

  • Smart: this ticket type is strictly not exchangeable and non refundable. Though it is also the cheapest one available.
  • Go: these tickets are refundable up to 24 hours before departure, with a deduction of 50%. This means you will only receive 50% of the original price paid as a refund.
  • Flexi: these tickets are refundable up to 24 hours before departure, with a deduction of 10%. This means you will receive 90% of the original price paid as a refund.

Please note: the Smart and Go tickets are limited and can only be purchased up to seven days before departure. If you are booking last minute, then you will only be able to purchase a Flexi ticket.


Thello ticket prices are fixed and do not fluctuate over time. They start at €35 for a spot in a six person couchette compartment and go up to €275 for a one bed cabin purchased at the last minute. The ticket categories have also been simplified, so your departure or arrival station do not alter the prices. Instead everyone pays the same regardless of their departure or arrival station. The only exception is if you are travelling to or from Milan, which gives you receive a 20% reduction.

Comfort Smart Go Flexi Imminente
All Milan Other Milan Other Milan Other
6 couchettes compartment 35 € 64 € 80 € 90 € 110 € 105 € 125 €
4 couchettes compartment 55 € 77 € 96 € 106 € 130 € 121 € 145 €
3 bed cabin 112 € 112 € 140 € 140 € 155 € 155 €
2 bed cabin 145 € 145 € 180 € 180 € 180 € 180 €
1 bed cabin 275 € 275 € 275 € 275 €

Children younger than four years are able to travel for free. However, they will not receive a reserved bed/couchette and are expected to share with their parents/guardians. Children between 4 and 14 are required to purchase a ticket but they will benefit from a reduced rate.

Booking horizon

Thello tickets go on sale four months minus one day before the departure date. For example, if you want to travel on April 30th, first of all, go back 4 months until December 30th. Now move to the next day and hop you are on December 31st. So, if you want to travel on April 30th, you can reserve as from December 31st.

Compulsory ID check

It is mandatory to provide an ID document when making your Thello reservation through Capitaine Train. All you need to do is fill out your ID card, driver’s licence or passport number during the booking process. This also means that your ticket must be in your own name. You will of course have to bring your the same ID on board (so don’t forget it) and present it to the inspector. Better yet, hand in your ID when boarding so you don’t get woken up in the middle of the night when crossing the border. Your ID will then be returned safely the next morning.
buy thello tickets

Your tickets

Theoretically you will only need your booking reference (this is displayed in the ticket section of your Capitaine Train account). We do advise that you print out your proof of purchase just in case. Within a few weeks, we will have integrated Thello into our iOS and Android apps. This means that you will have to do nothing at all, as your booking information will be stored on your phone.

The dining car

Lastly, you will find an on-board restaurant which is open until 23:00. This is super practical if you wish to have dinner (and if course breakfast) on board, or if you wish to stretch your legs a bit rather than spending all evening in your compartment. The menu offers various meals to suit every budget. This includes a selection of warm and cold dishes (French and Italian cuisine), plus a range of wines. The following payment methods are accepted: cash (€), Master Card, Maestro, Visa and Visa Electron.

Holy Week in Spain

by Malin Schibler, posted 19 March 2014 | Add comment

holy week spain

Semanta Santa (also widely known as Holy Week) is one of Spain’s largest and most celebrated religious festivals. As Spain is a Catholic country, this time of year certainly does not go unnoticed. This year Holy Week falls on the week of the 13th of April until the 19th. So if you haven’t made plans yet, then why not spend a weekend in Barcelona, Girona or Figueres to witness one of the most important celebrations of the year.

Book your train tickets now before they sell out and take advantage of the current prices. If you plan on spending the weekend in Spain, you can take a direct train from Paris to Barcelona, Girona or Figueres, with prices starting at €129.30 in second class. Or, you can also take advantage of the still (be quick, the prices can rise as quickly as the TGV travels) cheap first class prices. Some first class tickets are only €1 more than second class!

Holy week spain

Trains to Spain

Here is the current timetable for all direct trains departing from France to Spain. You can always take a connecting train to one of these stations if you are outside of France or in another city. For example, if you are in London, you can take a train to Paris and then take the connecting train to Barcelona.

Station Trains running daily
Paris Gare de Lyon 07:15 10:07 14:07 16:07
Montpellier 10:37 13:37 17:37 19:41
Perpignan 12:16 15:16 19:16 21:28
Figueres 12:42 15:35 19:42 21:44
Barcelona Sants 13:40 16:32 20:40 22:41

holy week spain

Holy Week in Barcelona

Every year there are hundreds of high-profile processions and celebrations throughout Spain to celebrate Holy Week. Penitential robes (nazareno in Spanish) are commonly worn by participants in the processions. These robes can often be quite striking (pictured above) as they consists of a runic, a hood with a conical tip to conceal the face of the wearer and often a clock.

Holy Week is a very important time in the Christian calendar as it marks the end of Lent and commemorates the death and rise of Jesus. Though it can be just as pleasant for non-Christians. Barcelona has fantastic weather during this time of year and the city looks great; it is filled with a celebratory atmosphere and you will find a delicious array of food on offer. Shop windows are full of chocolates, cakes and sugar dough morsels (pestiños). Trying them is must.

For more information on Holy Week activities and timetables of processions and masses, just click here.

Not to be missed…

Probably the most significant event in Barcelona during Holy Week is Palm Sunday. A procession takes place in the Ciutat Vella (known as La Burreta) commemorating the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem. You’ll also find palm stalls throughout the centre of Barcelona selling bleached palm fronds which are carried by the devout in the processions. Another very significant event is the procession of the Virgen de la Macarena, which starts from the Eglésia de Sant Agusti in the Raval quarter. It begins on Good Friday (18th of April) at 17:00. The solemn procession then moves on with some detours to the cathedral in the Barri Gòtic, where it arrives about around 20:00.
holy week spain

Need to know

Shops are not open in Spain on the public holidays of Good Friday and Easter Monday. In the city centre many small tourist souvenir shops are open and some small boutique clothing shops will be open too, but the big shopping centres and high-street brand shops are closed. Restaurants and bars will be open during Easter, as it is a very popular time to spend time with family and celebrate. However, if you aren’t a fan of eating fish, then do be aware than on Good Friday (18th of April) most restaurants will not be serving any red meat due to the Lent tradition. Public transport will also be running, however the services may be reduced and less frequent.

Do you have any questions? Just get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.