What is the child & youth passenger train ticket age limit?

Child train ticket age limits vary between countries; each have different classifications for "Child" and "Youth", and so you'll need to enter the age of young passengers when you run a search on Rail Europe. The age you pay for a child on the train is usually 4 and  above, but in some cases it is 6. 

Child train ticket rules specify that passengers under a certain age may travel for free if they share a seat with an adult. With an exception of French train tickets (see below), by default we won't search for seats for child passengers considering the child may travel for free by sitting on lap

For bookings outside of France, if you want to reserve a seat for child passengers please enter their age as 6 (you may need to enter a date of birth that reflects the age you specify; please don't worry if it doesn't match their passport as this is very common).

  • Child age range: 5 - 15
  • Youth age range: 16 - 25 (discounts with railcard only)

Children travelling on Rail Sail tickets between the UK and Ireland travel for free but must have a ticket for the ferry. This ticket is not issued with your order; you will need to collect it at the ferry terminal on arrival.

  • Child age range: 4 - 11
  • Youth age range: 12 - 25

Child passengers under 4 are assigned a seat for a fixed fee of €9 (or the equivalent cost in whichever currency you are booking in) regardless of journey length. This special fare is called Forfait Bambin. You can book it at the station.

If you don't need a seat for your infant or child under the age of 4 then you can simply not include them when you search for trains. They can then sit on the lap of an adult passenger, or in a spare seat if there are unreserved seats available.

Children over the age of 4 must travel with a ticket so it's important you always include them when booking (on trains with reserved seating they will be assigned a seat just like other passengers).

  • Child age range: 0 - 3
  • Youth age range: 4 - 13

In Spain children aged under 4 travel free of charge. On AVE, Avant and other long distance trains, a free child ticket is mandatory. To issue ticket for a child below 4 years old you can contact us to add it after booking with Rail Europe.

Children under 4 years of age may have the corresponding “Free Child Ticket” to travel, always sharing a seat. Maximum one child with a free ticket for each companion with their corresponding paid ticket on AVE, Alvia, Euromed, Intercity, and Avant services. It does not apply to AVLO services, Conventional Media Distancia (Iberian width and metric width), or Cercanías (Iberian width and metric width).

Discounted fares up to 40% are available to children under 14. Youths must pay the same price as adults unless they hold a "Carné Joven" railcard, which entitles them to a 20% discount.

On Ouigo Spain trains, infants upto 3 travel for free when sitting on the adult passenger's lap. Such infants need not be added at the time of booking on the website. If added, the system will add a child's ticket cost, which would be nonrefundable once purchased. The free ticket for infants must be availed locally at the train station.

  • Child age range: 4 - 14
  • Youth age range: 15 - 29

In Italy children aged under 4 travel free of charge without a seat in Trenitalia trains. Discounted fares up to 50% are available to children (including child under 4 with a seat).

In NTV Italo – Children under 3 travel free of charge without seat. There is no separate discount for child/ youth fares.

Please note: Children ages vary for:

  • Regional trains: child age limit is 11 years old
  • International Italy-Switzerland/Germany trains: child age range is: 6 - 15

Further details on Regional Trenitalia trains are available here

On National trains, Youths must pay the same price as adults unless they hold a "Carta Freccia" Trenitalia railcard, which entitles them to a minimum of 20% discount .

  • Child age range: 6 - 14
  • Youth age range: 15 - 25

Children aged under 6 may travel for free on Deutsche Bahn trains and do not need a ticket. You don't need to enter your child as a passenger if they don't require a seat.

If you want a child under 6 to have a seat, enter them as a child passenger but note that they still won't appear on the ticket. Your ticket will state the fare-paying passengers only e.g. 2 adults and one child under 6 appears as '2 adults' but if you look at the seat allocation you will note that there are 3 seats. Please see Understanding your German train ticket for more details.

For children from 6-14 years, Deutsche Bahn will not mention the child's name on the ticket. Instead, the lead passengers name will be printed twice; one ticket will be issued for the adult passenger and one ticket for the accompanying child passenger. Please make sure that the child passenger's name is entered correctly at the time of booking on the website.

  • Child age range: 6 - 15
  • Youth age range: 16 - 25 (up to 25, not inclusive)
  • Child age range: 0 - 5
  • Youth age range: 6 - 14
  • Child age range: 6 - 11
  • Youth age range: 12 - 25

For every paying adult, up to 4 children under the age of 12 travel for free. No ticket is needed.

  • Child age range: 4 - 11
  • Youth age range: 12 - 25
  • Child age range: 4 - 11
  • Youth age range: Does not apply

Child upto 3 years (Inclusive): 

  • Children upto 3 years old travel for free without a separate seat (and sits on the adult's lap). Such children do not need to be added at the time of booking on the website.
  • If the children who do not need a separate seat are added during the booking process, they would by default be considered to be wanting a separate seat and would be charged child ticket cost irrespective of the age.
  • There is a limitation of 1 child (upto 3 years) that can travel free per adult passenger. If there is more than one child per adult passenger, separate a child ticket must be purchased for each additional child.

Children from 4 years upto 11 years (inclusive):  

  • Children from 4 upto 11 years (inclusive) will have discounted child fare.

Youth & Senior passengers: 

  • There is no discounted fare for youth and senior passengers. 
  • Adult fares would apply for such passengers.
In Business Premier, there is no child fare range. The children must, thus, be booked on the adult fares.

Youth discounts

Some rail operators offer a discount for young people, as defined above. To be eligible for these you must be able to show, a valid proof of age document such as a passport  on demand. These discounts are usually offered based on of age alone, and do not require a youth or student railcard.

Some trains and tickets don't offer a discount for youths and will categorize passengers in this age group as adults. If you enter the correct age of each passenger into the search form we will automatically seek any appropriate discounts and apply them.

Additional discounts may be awarded for railcard/pass holders, but these must be selected from the railcard menu on the search form. They will not be applied without you choosing them, and you must be in possession of the appropriate card on board the train.