Let’s review the two best apps to get train tickets: Trainline vs Omio. In this guide, we’ll compare the two biggest platforms so you know how to plan your European adventure. Here is my honest opinion after using the apps (coming from someone who travels a lot). Let’s dive in!
Table of contents
Omio: The Best Site to Book Train Tickets
I’ve found it to be the most reliable, transparent, and easy-to-use platform. In my experience, the prices come out to be nearly identical to those on Trainline – but with one big difference:
But keep reading this entire guide for specific details on why I recommend Omio for cheap train tickets. Plus, there are some travelers who will get more benefit out of Trainline – so don’t completely discard it!
This travel platform was born in 2013 and as of 2024, they work in over 37 countries with 1,000 service providers. On this user-friendly website (and app), you can book your trains, plane tickets, and even hotels.
This makes Omio an obvious choice for people who are looking for one single platform to organize their holiday.
- Ticket prices
- Travel planning capabilities
- Brand transparency
Overall, I’ve found that Omio offers fairly cost-effective options for travelers. Just like any platform, there are plenty of ways you can reduce your ticket price:
- Planning several months in advance
- Traveling on weekdays
- Using non-rush hour times
- Opting for slower trains
For example, in this example, you can see that there was only a 20 cents difference between the two brands (at first). But after calculating service fees, Omio was actually cheaper.
So that’s a plus for me.
And as a bonus – Omio also offers student discounts, which is a huge benefit for young travelers!
Ease of Use
Omio’s website is very easy to use. Making a booking works just like any other platform you’re familiar with. The details are clearly laid out, the site loads fast on mobile, and there aren’t a lot of intrusive pop-ups.
This makes for a minimalistic, no-stress experience.
Their app is also fairly easy to use. Although personally I prefer sticking to their browser version – I just don’t need any more apps on my phone!
So if you’ve never purchased train tickets before – Omio makes the entire process very simple.
Another reason why Omio is the best place to buy train tickets is the planning capabilities.
They usually offer several different options with each search. So if you have a specific schedule to stick to – or you’d rather just go with the cheapest option – it’s all right there for you.
For example, if you’re traveling to Valencia to Barcelona, it will show you options for trains, buses, and planes. This way you can make a decision on which option works best for you.
Also, if you need to plan multiple trips: all of your digital tickets are easily shown on your account. So it makes keeping track of everything super easy!
For me – transparency is just as important as the final price. If I feel like a brand is being kind of scammy with their pricing tactics – that’s a big no from me.
So luckily, Omio is quite straightforward with the booking process. After you click on a ticket, it immediately shows you the service fee that’s added on (usually quite low).
In other words, you don’t need to actually make an account or add any details. You’ll see the final price before you give them your information.
It’s a small detail that makes them more trustworthy in my book.
Pros and Cons
To finish off this Omio review, let’s talk about the biggest pros and cons of the platform.
- Competitive prices
- User-friendly interface
- Multi-modal travel options
- Student discounts
- Rewards program
- Currency payment options
- Clear, transparent fees
- Covers Europe and North America
- Can’t choose exact seat
- Sometimes more expensive than direct provider
Overall, I’d highly recommend Omio for the majority of travelers. It offers a simple, convenient way to safely get all of your tickets. You don’t need to hassle with the various service providers around Europe, and instead you get it all in one place.
Considering they tend to be either the same price (or just a couple euros more) than the direct train companies – I think this is a fair price for convenience.
And if you’re a student, or you join the referral program – it actually can be cheaper!
Trainline is a website from 1997 that is solely focused on offering train tickets throughout Europe. They work with 270 transport providers over 45 countries.
There are a few reasons why I prefer Omio over Trainline, but there is a big exception. I actually think Trainline is a great option for the UK! Since you can load a RailCard, rather than a single ticket – you actually can get some more convenient options.
So let’s dive a bit deeper into my review categories for Trainline.
But as I said before, the big difference comes in UK trips. Thanks to the RailCard, you can save up to 30% on some tickets, which is a huge help!
Ease of Use
If I have to be honest – I’m a little disappointed with Trainline’s user experience. When I used their app, it loaded quite slowly and there were a few intrusive pop-ups and ads.
Which just makes the entire process of purchasing a ticket annoying.
The mobile version of their website seems to work better in my experience. It’s not quite as minimalist and user-friendly as Omio, but it’s by no means difficult to use.
I will say that Trainline also offers some articles on how to use their trains, which is nice for first-time travelers.
So overall: the user experience is okay. Not amazing, but not terrible.
Just like Omio, Trainline gives you the ability to filter your searches and look into both trains and bus options. You can also store all of your tickets in one place, which makes things easy for organizing your trip.
Trainline does get a few nice perks in the planning category, as well. You’re able to pick the exact seat (depending on the train), which Omio doesn’t offer. You’ll have to pay for it – but if you’re really picky about train seats, that’s a nice option.
And if you’re traveling for work – they also offer business invoices for their tickets, which can help make life a bit easier.
There are two big reasons for this.
The first is that they add their fees at the end of the checkout process. After you’ve already created an account and given them your data.
Which is something I just really don’t like. In my Omio Review, I mentioned how they add the service fee at the beginning.
Plus, Trainline gives variable service fees – which also is a bit shady in my opinion.
But the second reason is that they offer variable prices and fake FOMO for tickets with standard pricing.
For example, this ticket from Valencia to Xàtiva ALWAYS €4.35 because it’s a flat rate established for local trains.
But on their website, there are a bunch of different prices and little notes saying “only two tickets left” (which isn’t true, as there is always standing room…)
So in terms of transparency – Trainline lost a lot of points for me.
Pros and Cons
Let’s finish off this Trainline review with a few of the pros and cons.
- On-par prices with Omio
- Great for UK travel
- Can choose specific tickets
- Ticket Sale alerts
- Shadier ticket pricing
- Less user-friendly
However, if you’re traveling for business or you’d like to make a lot of trips through the UK, then Trainline is a great option.
How to Choose Where to Buy Your Train Tickets
And remember: you can always buy your tickets directly through the train service provider. For example, in Spain, you can buy your tickets directly from Renfe.
However, these apps are more user-friendly and allow you to store all your tickets in one place. It’s also easier to read the specific details in English, as the service providers don’t usually have very clear websites in English. So really, you’re paying an extra euro for convenience (or app-specific discounts!).
So to summarize it, here’s where I recommend buying your tickets:
- For most travelers: Omio
- For trips to the UK: Trainline
- For strict budgets: The direct service provider
So if you’d like some more resources to help plan your trip to Europe, make sure to check out these guides:
- How to get cheap flights
- The best way to book hotels
- How to rent a car in Europe
- How to get mobile data for cheap in Europe
- Full Guide to Public Transport in Valencia
Absolutely, Omio is a legitimate and reputable platform that simplifies travel planning for users.
Need help planning your trip to Valencia?
Here are the tools I use for the cheapest (and most reliable) vacation planning:
- 🏠Booking – Affordable hotels and apartments
- 🏠Hostel World – Safe and budget-friendly hostels
- ✈️Skyscanner – My favorite tool for cheap flights
- 🚗Discover Cars – Best place for car rentals
- 🚄Trainline – The easiest way to book local trains in advance
- 📶Airalo – eSim cards for easy internet access while traveling
- 🦺Safety Wing – The #1 travel medical insurance
- 💸Airhelp – Cancelled flight compensation (it’s free!)
- 💱Wise – Easiest low-fee way to transfer currency
Affiliate disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. These are links to services I personally recommend using for your trip to Valencia. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission from these brands if you choose to make a purchase. Your support helps me pay my bills and eat more bunyols!