The best trains in Italy:  A Eurostar Italia ETR500 power car

To buy train tickets from Florence to other Italian cities, use www.italiarail.com or Italian Railways' own website www.trenitalia.com.

This page explains how to travel by train from Florence to other key European cities, and how to buy the cheapest tickets, usually online direct from the operators with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets & few or no booking fees.  It doesn't matter where you live, in Europe, Asia, the USA or Australia, you can buy train tickets from Florence as shown below and save money over expensive railpasses or travel agent mark-ups.  On the other hand, if you'd rather someone sorted out your whole trip for you, see here.

I want to travel by train from Florence to...

          

       Click here to buy tickets starting in another city

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...

Which station in Florence?

Florence's main central station is Firenze Santa Maria Novella, usually abbreviated to SMN.  It's a terminus, some trains by-pass Florence SMN calling at Florence Campo di Marte which is a taxi ride away, just on the edge of the city centre.  In the text below 'Florence' means Florence SMN unless it says otherwise.  Map of Florence showing stations.



Florence to Rome, Venice, Verona, Naples or Milan from €19, www.italiarail.com...
Florence to Pisa, Siena, Lucca...

Florence to London from €74...

Florence to Paris from €49...

Option 1, Florence to Paris in a single afternoon & evening, by high-speed daytime trains from as little as €49...

Option 2, to see all the scenery in daylight, use high-speed daytime trains with an overnight stop in wonderful Turin, from just €54.  This option would be my own first choice.

'Smart' (2nd class) seats on NTV's new Italo train   One of NTV's new Italo trains at Rome Tiburtina

Step 1:  Take a high-speed Italo train from Florence to Milan.  Above left, leather seats in Smart class (2nd class) on Italo.

TGV 2nd class seating   TGV from Paris to Milan, at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 2, take the TGV from Milan to Paris...  Above left, 2nd class seating on the Milan-Paris TGV.  Above right, the TGV at Paris Gare de Lyon.

Bar car on a Paris-Milan TGV train   TGV 1st class seating

Cafe-bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

 

1st class seats on the Paris-Milan TGV...

TGV from Milan to Paris   Scsnery south of Chambery

Take a good book, a bottle o' red, and enjoy the scenery from Italy to Paris with your feet up...  Watch the Paris-Milan TGV video guide!

Option 3, by Frecciarossa high-speed train from Florence to Milan, then Thello sleeper train from Milan to Paris: 

Sleeping-car on the Venice to Paris sleeper train   1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper, in evening mode, on the Paris-Venice Thello overnight train...   2-bed sleeper, night mode, on the Paris-Florence/Rome overnight train...

A sleeping-car on the Thello sleeper train from Venice to Paris...

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, beds folded away, sofa folded out.

 

The same sleeper with beds folded out.  More Thello info here.


Florence to Nice from €33, Florence to Cannes, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Avignon, Perpignan...

Option 1:  Using new Thello train from Milan direct to Nice, Cannes, Marseille...

Option 2:  Using Italian trains to Ventimiglia, and a French local train...

Italian InterCity train at Milan   6-seater compartment on an Italian InterCity train   TER regional train Nice to Ventimiglia

Italian InterCity trains link Milan & Genoa with Ventimiglia on the French/Italian border.  Most cars are of the traditional side-corridor type with 6-seater compartments (pictured above).

 

Double-decker regional trains like this link Ventimiglia with Monte Carlo, Nice & Cannes every 30 minutes.


Florence to Brussels & Bruges from €64...

Option 1, by daytime TGV via Paris...

Option 2, by high-speed train Florence to Milan, overnight sleeper to Paris & high-speed Thalys train to Brussels... 


Florence to Amsterdam from €64...

Option 1, Florence to Amsterdam via Switzerland & the Gotthard Pass...

Option 2, Florence to Amsterdam via Munich & the Brenner Pass... 

Option 3, Florence to Amsterdam via Paris... 


Florence to Geneva, Zurich, Luzern, Basel & Switzerland from €22...

Option 1, by high-speed train from Florence to Milan, then direct EuroCity train from Milan to Brig, Geneva, Bern, Basel, Zurich, Lucerne...

If your journey is not on a direct train from Italy, but involves a change of train within Switzerland...

Option 2, Florence to St Moritz, Chur, Zurich via the Bernina route.  This route may be much slower and a little more fiddly to book, but it's an amazing experience, arguably the best train ride of them all through the Swiss Alps...


Florence to Barcelona & Spain...

Option 1, by daytime high-speed trains with hotel in Geneva...

Option 2, by daytime high-speed trains with hotel in Paris...

Option 3, Italy to Barcelona by luxury cruise ferry...


Florence to Munich & Germany from €39...

Option 1, Florence to Munich & anywhere in Germany by direct City Night Line sleeper train.  This is the time-effective option!

Option 2, Florence to Munich & anywhere in Germany by daytime trains via the Brenner Pass.  This is the scenic option!

Option 3, Italy to Germany by daytime trains via Zurich & the Gotthard Pass.  Another scenic option...


Florence to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €49..

Option 1, by direct sleeper train from Florence to Vienna... 

Option 2, by daytime trains to Innsbruck via the scenic Brenner Pass: 


Florence to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo & Scandinavia...

Florence to Budapest from €68...

Florence to Bucharest, Brasov & Romania...

Florence to Ljubljana & Slovenia, Zagreb & Croatia...

Florence to Prague & the Czech Republic from €68...

Option 1, Florence to Prague overnight via Vienna...

Option 2, Florence to Prague via Zurich...


Florence to Bratislava & Slovakia from €64...

Florence to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland...

Florence to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Florence to Athens & Greece...

Florence to Istanbul & Turkey...

Railbookers custom-made train travel & hotels

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, talk to Railbookers.  Railbookers can tailor-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com.

USA & Canada call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au.

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


Find hotels in Florence & other cities

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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