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You Can Visit 3 European Countries For Less Than $9 With This New Train Route

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Those of you dreaming of exploring Europe by train this summer need to stop what you’re doing right now – a route connecting three of the continent’s most stunning countries just relaunched for the first time in over 30 years, and tickets cost less than $9! 

The newest Slovenian Railways route will service Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia.

It will feature eight stops and is expected to last around two hours.

Woman walking in a train station

The news was first made public by Croatian passenger railway company HZ Putnicki Prijevoz, but since this is a smaller, more local operation, U.S. news on the matter has been sporadic and often lacking critical details.

So today, we’re fixing that by diving into everything you need to know about this route, from itinerary and pricing to amenities, so if you want to get the most out of your European getaway this summer, make sure to stick around.

The Itinerary

Let’s start off with the most important bit of information first – where will this train take you?

Rijeka, Croatia

To spare you from reading long, drawn-out paragraphs, I’ve laid out all of the stops in a concise itinerary below:

  • Villa Opicina (Trieste)
  • Sežana
  • Divača
  • Pivka
  • Ilirska Bistrica
  • Šapjane
  • Opatija-Matulji
  • Rijeka
Opatija, Croatia

The first train from Trieste departs at 7:50 AM, and it takes passengers through four stops in Slovenia, and three others in Croatia, ending in Rijeka around 9:54 AM – this is a Train MV 1801.

And, before you ask – yes, there’s a round-trip, too!

This one departs from Croatia (Rijeka) around 6:25 PM and takes you back to Villa Opicina at 8:40 PM just in time for dinner – and, for those of you wondering, it’s a Train MV 1812.

Trieste at night

This whole operation makes day-tripping a breeze – that’s the very point of it considering how perfectly spaced the depart and return routes are.

Imagine the convenience of adding a surprise Slovenia or Croatia stop to your Italian getaway or vice versa (and for under $10, too); that’s just something you don’t get to do often.

Since it’s still unclear whether this’ll be a permanent route or not, run, don’t walk, to take advantage of it.

Trieste, Italy

As of the time of writing this article, the train has been operating for a couple of weeks (starting April 24, 2024), and it’s predicted to cover these routes until September 30th this year.

However, if the route proves to be particularly popular, that timeline can extend indefinitely.

Do Tickets Really Cost $9?

Let’s break this down – do tickets really cost $9?

Yes, they do.

Actually, adult fares are priced at 8€, which, using the current exchange rate, is about $8.63, so not even that.

U.S. Dollar Bills

Children aged 6-12 will only have to pay 4€ per trip, which translates to roughly $4.3, while infants and toddlers under 6 years old can travel entirely for free.

However, since these are smaller, locally operated trains, tickets are only available at individual stations and not purchasable online, so you can’t really book them too far ahead, and you’ll probably have to wait in line.

Still, many of you might wonder how the pricing is possible at such low levels; after all, most similar trains on the market charge at least double these rates.

Woman listening to music on the train

That’s because the service is co-financed by European Union funds in an effort to promote connectivity across Central Europe and encourage people to travel more sustainably – a successful undertaking if you ask me.


OK, so obviously, you can’t expect luxury treatment and indulgent experiences from this short, economical route, but that doesn’t mean that the operator doesn’t offer some amazing, practical amenities that’ll make cross-country travel that much easier.

For starters, there’s free on-board WiFi (that actually works!).

Man working on his laptop in the train

There’s also space for bikes and prams, though those traveling with a bike will need to pay an extra 5€ ($5.4) fee.

Travelers with limited mobility are also welcomed and accommodated, so all in all, this is a service you won’t want to miss out on if you’re traveling to Europe this summer.

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