Interrail/Eurail pass – is it really worth it?

europe train travelDoes the idea of Euro trip sounds appealing to you?

Have you ever thought about a train travel in Europe?

I know there are many confusions and black spots in information about it. But it is OK, don’t worry, I have it all covered! 😉

When I used my 1 month unlimited pass, I noted all questions and difficulties that I had on the road in order to write a perfect post for you to use in your trip!

ATTENTION: Eurail currently holds a great promo with up to 5 FREE travel days!

Use this table of contents to help you navigate this huge post:

Introduction

Interrail pass

When I was preparing for my Interrail/Eurail train trip across Europe, I couldn’t find any good structured post that would answer all my questions.

I had to go through tons of info, and, as I still could not find some answers, I had to do it through trials and errors.

That is why I decided to write a step-by-step guide that can probably cover all of your questions.

In this post I will tell you not only about

  • if it worth to buy the pass (though, we will be covering all of that in details),
  • but also we will talk about how to use the pass properly,
  • how to make the most of it
  • and how to avoid the most common mistakes tourists usually do.

Let’s begin:

Interrail Eurail pass is it really worth it

1. Choosing and buying the pass

What is Interrail (Eurail) pass?

Interrail (or Eurrail) pass is a travel document that allows you to travel in Europe BY TRAIN. The idea is that you have just one ticket (your pass) and unlimited amount of options to travel in Europeans countries at any time your pass is valid!

Depending on the type of your pass, it can be a pass that allows you to travel in only one specific country of your choice, or it can be an unlimited travel of 28 European countries in a specific period of time.

What is the difference between Interrail and Eurail?

interrail-eurail-map

Actually, it is pretty much the same thing, don’t be confused!

If you are from Europe (citizen or have a residency) you should apply for Interrail pass (it is also cheaper, because as a citizen, you pay taxes in Europe).

If you are not from Europe, you should buy Eurail pass.

Let’s make it even easier – take a look at the picture above:

You are from a blue countrybuy an Interrail pass

You are from a green countrybuy an Eurail pass

As the majority of my readers are non-Europeans, I will call the pass Eurail for simplicity. But remember, if you are a European citizen, your pass will be called Interrail (which is pretty much the same thing as I said, the only difference is the price).

NOTE: if you are, let’s say from Italy, and you want to buy the Interrail pass, you cannot use it in the country of origin.

If still in doubt, check if your country is eligible for Interrail here.

What are the types of passes which are available?

Oh, there are so many types! You can choose depending on the amount of countries, duration of your trip, your age, family packages (Interrailing packages)… Check it out here (Eurail) or here (Interrail).

  • One country pass – as the name implies, you can only use it for 1 country. You can get it for a specific amount of days to use in a set period of time (Example – Italy pass 5 days to use in 30 days).
  • Regional pass (2 countries) – you can combine 2 bordering countries of your choice. Very good for those who want to concentrate on a specific region.
  • Select pass (4 countries) – the only difference with the previous pass is that you have 4 countries, not 2. They have to be bordering each other too though.
  • Global pass (up to 28 countries) – the most popular option and the one that I got too! With this pass you can take a train unlimited amount of times almost anywhere in Europe. If you don’t have much time to travel you can go for 5 days within 10 days travel pass. If you want to make the most out of it, you can get 1, 2 or 3 continuous months. The last option is a pretty good deal, check it out!

Do not forget that if you are a student you can get a good discount! 😉

How do I pick the pass that fits me best?

There are many options and sometimes it is hard to choose. Let’s count a bit.

In order to understand if the pass will be a good deal for you, you will have to do an estimation.

How many days you want to travel in Europe, which countries are you thinking to visit and more or less how many cities?

How long is the duration of the pass?

The passes can be taken on periods of 5, 10, 15, 21 days plus 1, 2 or 3 months. More info about these passes here.

NOTE: If you buy the continuous pass for 1 month, the duration of the pass will be exactly 1 month.

EXAMPLE: from 3rd of Sept to 2nd of Oct, from 3rd of February to 2nd of March (even if there are less days in that month)

Are there any discounts?

Yes, there are always discounts for people under 26. Hurry up if you are a youngster, because they give you a very good deal!

If you are older than 26, don’t be sad, check out this page, they sometimes have promotions and give 10 to 20% discounts on the passes.

What is the difference between the 2nd and the 1st class?

European trains inside

The first class one is a bit more comfy, it will make your journey more enjoyable. There is more space in between the seats, sockets and often free water, and it is generally less crowded.

Remember that if you are over 26 years old, you can only buy it for the 1st class. That is the one I had as well.

Remember that some routes don’t have a first class at all. But the 2nd class is really not bad in many countries too.

If you are taking an ICE 1st class train in Germany, you will have free Wi-Fi (German Rail Pass is pretty awesome!). 1st class train in Austria and Czech Republic will provide you with free bottles of water.

How do I buy the pass?

You can buy the pass online, but as the pass itself is a travel document, it will be delivered to you by post.

Be sure to order it in advance! Mine were delivered to Romania (that is where I was at the moment) it took just day to deliver, fantastic! But the one for my sister was sent to Moscow and for some reason did not reach her from the first attempt, we had to contact the supplier and they reissued it for her again, it took about 5 days to receive.

That is why,  ask for the tracking number just in case to track your pass.

Alternatively, you can order to deliver it to the hotel of your first stay.

If you are from Europe order here!

If you are NOT from Europe here is the official website!

UPDATE! 

Eurail currently holds a promotion – if you buy the pass now you will get FREE entry to the official Eurail Summer Party in Budapest, Hungary. More details here!

Interrail (for Europeans) find out how to get the FREE Interrail boat party here!


2. Planning your trip

I took over 30 trains and visited, 5 countries, 21 cities, over 5 000 km on the road. The map is here.

You can also see my trip on Instagram.

Romania -> Croatia -> Slovenia -> Austria -> Czech Republic -> Germany -> Belgium -> France

map eurail trip 30 days

Example of a Euro train route (my route)

Which countries are the best to travel with the Eurail pass?

You can travel in almost all countries in Europe by Eurail, including even Ireland and Turkey.

  • Great for Eurail pass: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Scandinavian countries, Portugal are perfect for traveling with Eurail pass. These counties often have fast trains, connections to mostly everywhere in the country and don’t require the reservation fee.
  • Good for Eurail pass: Italy and France have great fast trains, but you will mostly have to pay a fee to use them. See “Train reservation section” where I show how to avoid those fees.
  • Not recommended for Eurail pass: I would not recommend going to Croatia with Eurail pass. While the country is amazing, for the moment it does not have many rail routes that are convenient for travelers. If you go to Croatia, you better take a car!

You can use route planner on the official website.

I bought the pass, how do I fill it in correctly?

Before your first time using the pass, validate your pass in any ticket office of any train station.

When in the train, fill in the info of your route like it is shown in the example below:

You will be checked by a ticket controller who will approach you some time during your trip. He might also ask you for your passport, but during 30 days of using the pass, it never happened to me.

ATTENTION: It is very important you fill in the information about your train ride BEFORE you are checked especially if you have an Interrail/Eurail “One country” or a “Regional” pass. That is a very strict rule! Just write down the info right away after you sit in the train or while waiting for it on the platform. I have actually seen a person fined 50 EUR because he forgot to fill that info. Some controllers might be very strict with that, so please make sure to fill in that info!

This is my pass filled in after traveling non stop for 1 month:

Eurail Interrail how to fill in 1

 Eurail Interrail how to fill in 2

Plan connections and Eurail/Interrail timetable

Rail planner appWhen you are already touring Europe a mobile app called Rail planner can come in handy.

Download it here – IOS, Android.

Rail planner will show you all the available time, type of train and possible connections for the city of your choice. The application is done by Eurail and the cool thing about it is that it is available offline!

I used only Eaurail App during my travels and was fully satisfied with it!

How do I understand the correct name of the station?

Usually they are called “Central, centrale,  centraal, hlavnyi”etc. but check the map just in case, sometimes the name can be different.

Check the application or a map for the list of stops all the way to your destination station.

What if I can’t find my station in Europe train planner?

Usually, it should not be a problem to find the station in the application, but sometimes the station can be called differently from the city.

If you are sure the city has a railway station, check in Google what it is called.

Example: the station belonging to the city Ghent is called Gand.


3. Eurail/Interrail train reservation

The Eurail/Interrail booking fee is another big thing that you have to consider before buying the pass.

Remember, if you are a lucky Eurail pass holder, it still doesn’t mean you can get on any train for free.

Why? Some of the trains will require you to pay a reservation fee.

Let’s talk about it in little more details:

 reserve seat train europe

When do I need to reserve the seat and how much is it?

There are 3 cases when you would reserve a seat on your trip:

  1. It is mandatory to book your seat on a night train;
  2. You normally have to book your seat when using a fast train (marked R on the application), but there are exceptions;
  3. It makes sense to reserve your seat only if you go a very popular route on a high season and not sure you will have a place.

NIGHT TRAINS

While reservation of some fast trains is optional, the reservation for the night trains is always mandatory.

Be sure to book your place in the wagon before taking the night train.

How much – Again, it depends which country and which route you are going to take. The average cost of the nice comfy overnight ride by train will cost you anything from 10-40 Eur, which might be even cheaper than spending your night in a hotel. You also save time on transportation while sleeping!

Example – I took a night train from Bucharest (Romania) to Budapest (Hungary), the trip was about 10 hours and cost me 26 Euros for a double sleeper.

See the full list of charges here.

See how a night train from Romania to Hungary looks like:

FAST TRAINS

The countries that have many fast trains are France and Italy. That is a good thing to consider when choosing a country to visit during your trip

While it is very convenient because you can cross the whole country in a couple of hours, it will be costly because of the reservation fee.

You can avoid paying that fee by using slow regional trains but it is usually quite inconvenient, require many changes and long waiting.

Also some routes are so popular, you should make sure you have a fixed place.

How much – it really depends from the train you are taking. It can be anything between 3 EUR to 30 Eur for a fast train reservation (depends on the country and the route)

Example – a fast Frecciarossa intercity train in Italy will cost you extra 10 Eur to book. TGV train in France is 9 Eur to book. It gets more expensive if you will travel from one country to another. To go from Paris to Barcelona, for instance, is 35 Euros for a 1st class and 27 Eur for a second class. (Even if you are a 1st class pass holder, you can of course book a ticket for the second class to save some money).

See the full list of charges here.

 

Why on Earth I have to pay more to reserve my seat?

I feel your pain here! Unfortunately, those are rules of some countries in Europe. It doesn’t allow you to just hop-in the train even if you have a pass.

How do I understand if I need to reserve the seat?

In the application where it says R-reservation compulsory you generally do need to reserve the seat.

Why generally?  For some not that popular routes even the guy in the ticket counter told me I don’t have to do it, though there was R on it.

Do reserve your seat even if there is no R, if there is high season and you feel like the probability that the seats will be sold out is high.

But in the worst case you should be allowed in the train if you are desperate to go somewhere standing.

How do I reserve my seat?

In the ticket counter, to avoid a queue do not go to huge stations and peak times, choose small ones instead.

I think there is an option to do it over the phone.

Reserve your seat online here.

What if I don’t reserve my seat?

Seat reservation trains Europe

If you don’t reserve the seat and seat randomly, it might be someone’s seat who bought the ticket normally.

In some countries, you should pay attention to the signs above the seat. If there is a paper or an electronic display with a route / name, the seat is reserved.  You should take the unreserved one and then no one will bother you! People don’t understand it sometimes and complain that the system is unorganized, but you actually just have to look up and find an unreserved seat, that s it!

How do I avoid trains that need to be reserved?

Rail planner compulsuro reservation avoid2You can totally avoid that annoying reservation fee if you only use regional trains. How do you plan your trip according to that criteria?

In order to avoid the trains that you need to pay extra for reservation, use the mobile app called Raill Planner App, that I talked about above.

It might not be obvious, how to make it show only the trains without “R”, but no fear, you are reading this post for that! 😉

  1. You open the app ->
  2. go to “Planner” ->
  3. scroll down and press “Extended” ->
  4. Tick “Trains without compulsory reservation”

And voila! It will show you only the regional trains, so that you avoid the reservation fee.

Example: to go from Brussels to Paris with a direct train for the last leg of my trip, it would take my only 1 20 minutes, but I would have to pay about 30 EUR reservation fee.

If I choose tick that “No compulsory reservation” option, the app will give me an option to go with regional trains. In this case I would have to change 2 or 3 times and it would take me longer – about 4 hours, but this way I can save my 30 Eur!

If I lost a connection train, do I have to pay again for the reservation of my sit?

Unfortunately, yes. It happened to me ones because my other train was late.

In this case, you reserve a particular seat on a particular train, so even if the train was late and it is not your fault, you will have to pay again to reserve another train.

Thus, try to avoid short connections and don’t be late to the trains you have reserved!


4. Difficulties you may encounter

Taking trains sometimes can go not as smooth as you planned. Here are the most common problems and tips what to do if it happened:

Missing the train

missing the train Europe

The great thing about the Eurail pass is that you can take any later train you want for no extra cost to you!

If you missed the train you were intended to take, just use your offline app called Eurail planner (explained above).

Missing the station

Well, my friend, you will have to go back. Again, you do not have to pay for that, that is what I love about the pass!

I know that sometimes it can be quite hard to hear the name of the station or even read it, and it is easy to miss your stop, especially if it is not a big city. Here is how to avoid this mistake:

In the planner app you can press on line details and see the times you arrive on each station, and note the name of the station before yours.  This way you will not miss your stop for sure.  Even if the name of the stop is announced in some weird language and you didn’t understand what the loud speaker said.

Border crossing

You probably will be checked a couple of times during your train ride, for sure as you cross the country border, and sometimes and you pass by a big city, they change controllers and you have to show your ticket again.  I was never asked to present my passport too though.  (Although, they can ask for it)


5. Price comparison

Here is the price comparison my the trip that you have been waiting for!

Attention: During my trip sometimes I used also buses (because there were no trains for my route). These routes are marked yellow.

table price comparison

As you can see from the table, I have paid some extra because I did not do my homework and did not know there are not many trains in Croatia. So, I had to spend 60 extra euros for buses because there were no trains.

To see the list of countries perfect for traveling by train, see the first section of this post.

The total cost of my trip WITH the pass was 1002 EUR (917+60+25) or 1090 USD.

Which means that by using the pass I saved 256 EUR. Is that a lot?

Certainly, I can find ways of spending those money better than just uselessly giving them to the Euro railway companies!

If you are less than 26 years old, you can buy a Youth pass for a 2nd class. (For those, who are older than 26, you can only buy a 1st class as I said before).

Youth price is 598 EUR for the second class pass.

That means, that if I would be less than 26 (but, tsss, nobody should now I am older! 😉 ), I would save 289 EUR for the route I took.

Depending on which type of pass you get will greatly affect how much you save.

So, did I save money?

Definitely! But you can save even more if you don’t repeat my mistakes. Let me explain you why:

  1. In my case, I visited many cities that are close to each other, my stops were shot distanced. If you will go larger distances you will definitely save even more money.
  2. I had to spend at least 60 Eur useless – I paid for transportation in the bus, because there were no trains.

But even in this case, as the table shows, I saved 256 Eur comparing to the price I would pay If I would buy each ticket individually. If I would have chosen the same number of countries, but the ones that have more developed train system and I would go to more far away destinations, I would probably even save more than 400 EUR.

Don’t repeat my mistakes – make at least a little research about the country you are going to go – is the train system developed there? And if yes, are there mostly high speed trains there? (high speed trains have a reservation fee, remember?)

If I would go for the second class, in my case, it would be cheaper to get the individual tickets. But that is because I paid for the buses and I used the pass for relatively short distances. In your case it might be the opposite. Make a rough estimation using this awesome chart to understand if the pass if what you need or it is better to buy the tickets individually.


6. Advantages and disadvantages of using the Eurail

Disadvantages

bus travel europe

1) Remember, you can’t go everywhere by train. While in some countries, like France or Germany, almost everything is reachable by train, in some countries you will have to take a bus and pay additionally (like when I had to get to Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb or to Split in Croatia).

2) The only big disadvantage I had to face were the damn reservation fees. That, as I said, you have to pay extra to the cost of your trip. In some countries, as I mentioned before, it can be ridiculously expensive.

Advantages

railway city center europe

There are plenty of advantages, here is what comes in mind:

  • Unlike the plane, no check-in required, you do not need to arrive to the train hours in advance;
  • Unlike in airports, there no need to do the boring passport and x-ray control;
  • No airlines restrictions, your luggage can be huge and contain all the liquids you want!

All you need to do is sit and relax, enjoy the fabulous sceneries! 🙂

Trains in Europe inside work plugs

As a person working on the road, I sometimes worked in the train. Just opened my lap top and used one of the plugs, they have it in most of the Euro trains.

You can watch a movie, read a book or just spend some time over a nice chat.

One more great advantage is that the train arrives in the city center, so you do not have to spend time (and money) getting out from the airport. The train stations are usually greatly connected with the rest of the city, so it will be very easy for you to get to your hotel.

And finally, the main advantage of the pass in my opinion is the flexibility!

There is no need to schedule anything when it comes to Eurail pass!

  • If you like staying in one city for longer – you can do that!
  • If you did not like a city – no problem!
  • You wanted to leave in the morning but overslept? You did not lose any money, just hop op the next train!

The trains come often, especially in the Western Europe, so you have the absolute freedom with your travel schedule.

In my opinion, it is a fantastic way of traveling, much better than buses and often faster and less hustle than planes!

PRO TIP: Not only that, but also Eurail pass holders have some bonuses – there are many discounts to museums and some ferries! See the whole list of discounts by country here!


7. Other useful tips

Interconnection time

If you are changing trains, make sure to make it at least 20 mins (I’d make it 50 actually).

If you are using the Eurail app and it tells you you have to change a train, check how many minutes is the connection time.

Sometimes, it shows the connection with as little as 3 minutes!

The possibility of the train being just a bit late is very high, so do not take this kind of connections. Or at least check if there is a plan B in case you are missing that train.

2 nights in the city are not 2 days in the city!

Yes, I know it sounds obvious!

But please take that into consideration when planning your trip. I know it is tricky, but do not try to fit in as many cities as possible!

Remember that the transportation in between cities will take you around 4 hours (on average) plus the time to get to your hotel.

That takes half a day on average and exhaust you quite a bit.

Saving on transportation INSIDE the city

public transport with eurail pass

Don’t forget that you can also use local trains inside the city. For example, I could save significantly by using U-bahn for free in Berlin! Or RER in Paris is also free!

Only the city trains are included in your pass, the metro is not 🙂


8. Myths about Eurail/Interrail passes

There are some myths that I keep hearing from many people, both positive and negative. There are not true and here is why:

It is hard to cross the border

Even if the European Union has no visa restriction in between the member countries, you might be traveling in Schengen zone and out of it. And that is where you will be checked by immigration police.

But no fear, border crossing is actually very easy! There is an immigration officer who will come to where you sit, and put a stamp in your passport that you have left/entered the Schengen zone.

It is not good for kids

In my opinion it is way better than buses, in some countries even perfect, they have special wagons for kids!

The pass only works for trains

NO, there are also some buses that work in cooperation with Eurail (mostly substituting trains where there is no railway). There are also ferries that you can use for free. But most of them are discounted for Eurail pass holders.

The Eurail App is all you need

It is true, the app is good, because it works offline! But, honestly, for long complicated routes, I would suggest to compare it with more sites like bahn.de For instance, one of the routes I needed to take could not be found on the app.


9. Conclusion

Why the pass worked

Eurail passBuying the pass was more profitable for me, than buying individual tickets each time.

My experience showed that even if

  • there are these reservation fees,
  • you are traveling long distances,
  • you are taking many last minute trains
  • you are going with high speed trains

is still a good money saver!

After all, the pass would not be so popular if it was a major rip off, right?

Traveling with Eurail is way more flexible then traveling by bus or planes. It is hustle free, just sit back, relax and enjoy the view on tiny villages and landscapes passing by!

So, to answer the first question (the topic of the article) –Yes, it is worth it if you are planning to visit many cities in one country or many countries in Europe.

Just that you have to make a small research beforehand in which countries there are only fast trains (thus, paying extra) or where the railway is not that developed. (Please see the list of countries above in this article).

After all, it is even not about saving your money, it is about the experience!

There is no better way to see and experience Europe than by train, believe me! Seeing those fabulous landscapes and tiny European villages passing by, making friends with people on the seat in front of you, going with the flow and maybe even changing your itinerary completely – that is what Eurail pass is all about!

When it is not worth it to buy the pass?

If you want to just visit a couple of cities, there is no point to buy a pass, in my opinion. Just buy a simple A to B ticket that will be cheaper for you.

But if you want to flexible and you are going to travel a lot in Europe, the pass should save you some money! (Especially if you have many cities located far away from each other).

So – if you have a lot of time, you are planning to visit many European cities, you can take the Global Pass Interrail/Eurail pass and you won’t regret!

If you are only visiting one country and your time is limited, don’t be lazy and compare the prices. Even if you save only 100 euro, it still makes sense to buy the pass, you can use this money for something more fun!


Traveling by train Europe

To sum up

By comparing the price we figured out that the pass is worth buying in some particular cases, especially if you like to go with the flow and you are generally very open and might change the itinerary of your Eurotrip the last minute. Then this Euro rail pass is a good fit!

We compared the prices – how much would it cost me to buy tickets for the same routes individually vs the price I paid with the pass plus extra charges.

Even if I made some mistakes in planning, the pass turned out to be more profitable for me. (see the table above).


That is it, you have finished reading this loooong post, congrats! 😉

I ended up writing a 5000 words piece (you are welcome!) that hopefully will cover all the topics not clear in your Eurail trip. Now you know exactly how cheap train tickets in Europe really are!

If you have any additional ones, please post them in the comment section below and I will be happy to reply!

If you go through Croatia, Slovenia, Czech Republic or Germany, keep reading my blog, I have some great tips for you!

If you liked this article, please consider buying the pass through this link. This way I will receive a small commission for NO EXTRA cost for you!

Disclaimer: the pass was given to me complimentary, but I used my own calculations and described by honest opinion from using the pass.

Do you think it is worth it for you? Did you travel in Europe by train?

Yulia

Remember: non Europeans need the Eurail Pass:

Europeans need the Interrail Europa Pass


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By | 2017-08-07T00:23:03+00:00 June 11th, 2017|Europe, Train Travel|47 Comments

About the Author:

Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog MissTourist.com is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice of how to travel "smart".

47 Comments

  1. Kate 22.12.2015 at 03:12 - Reply

    This was a great post! Concise, useful information for both Eurail and Interrail users. FYI Germany has its own DB rail pass if you’re only going to be traveling there, *but* you can use it to travel into a few cities in Austria and Italy as well, and buses to a bunch of other destinations. Traveling by rail is SOOOO much easier and I wish we had this sort of travel in America.

    • Yulia 27.12.2015 at 17:02 - Reply

      totally agree! Thanks for the useful tip, Kate!

  2. Ana Maria 27.12.2015 at 02:40 - Reply

    Me fue de mucha utilidad para aclarar algunas dudas en relacion a los Pases. Gracias

    • Yulia 27.12.2015 at 17:01 - Reply

      Con mucho gusto, Ana Maria! 🙂

  3. Rob Sintes 09.07.2016 at 05:55 - Reply

    We travelled on a EURAIL pass May 2016 and though we acted honestly.. were fined 50 EURO by an officious railway officer due to some VERY small panels not being filled in.. WE did not know they existed.. and EURAIL acknowledge in writing they are very small for retired tourists…we had filled in the TRAVEL DIARY as listed on the ticket cover (ITEM 2) including DATES.. but that was not enough…We would NEVER encourage anyone to use this suppliers tickets or systems…as there are hundreds of willing railway employees just LOOKING for one small error…..and honesty make literally no difference to the outcome…..Rob Sintes New Zealand tourist.

    • Yulia 14.07.2016 at 17:30 - Reply

      Hi Rob,
      thanks so much for your comment! I am sure this info will be useful for other people here.
      I am so sorry to hear you had to pay a fine. It happened to one of my friends as well, she did not fill in the paper at all as she forgot to do it.
      I think it really depends from the controller, but that is why I have specified in the post you should make sure you wrote it down.
      When I traveled, they only had one paper to fill in, so it was pretty easy to figure out.

  4. Vineeth 01.08.2016 at 13:40 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,

    I am planning to study at Vienna and wish to travel to Graz (Where my wife is working) evryday for 2 years. I am non-EU citizen and 25 years old. Could you please help me to estimate the approx train pass expense that i may incur?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Yulia 22.08.2016 at 19:40 - Reply

      Hello Vineeth!
      As a student in the EU you will be eligible for an Eurail pass in case you will want to use it.
      But I think in your case, as you want to use the trains for a really long period, you might want to consult Austrain rail for their current promotions.
      Interrail/Eurail pass is perfect for travelers on 1-2 months vacation maximum, but you will need something for a year probably.

  5. Wayne 01.11.2016 at 16:18 - Reply

    Hey Yulia – just want to say a quick thanks – this is VERY useful!!

    • Yulia 01.11.2016 at 16:23 - Reply

      Aww, thank you!
      It took me a while to write this post! 🙂

  6. Rob 13.11.2016 at 14:42 - Reply

    Never use EU Rail is my advise…they are simply resellers and there are so many FINE POINT rules you will find yourself fined by the railways…its far better to do what the locals do…purchase your tickets directly at the station…we were fined 50 Euro for a technical (and hidden) missed date…and the railways workers seem to delight in fining retired folk on holiday who have used EU RAIL tickets…NEVER USE EU RAIL…or in my opinion you will regret it…Rob New Zealand

    • Yulia 19.11.2016 at 23:52 - Reply

      Hey Rob!
      So sorry to hear you were fined.
      As I was explained by an employee, the reason they are strict with the dates policy is because if you dont write it down on that blank, then you can use it for 1 extra day.
      So, not filling in the blank when you take the train is something like not validating your ticket when you take a metro. The controller does not care that you have a ticket, you have to stamp it first. Otherwise you might as well re use the same ticket many times.
      While I of course understand that your travel dates were planned in advance and you are were not planning on tricking the system, that is their only strict rule that I also mentioned in the article.
      I will write it with big bold letters, thanks for reminding! 🙂

  7. didi 16.11.2016 at 22:22 - Reply

    but dont forget, after the refugee crisis it is more and more dangerous to go by train at night. i have experience, i was staff of the austrian railways 😉 finally i would never recommend to go by night train to romania. earlier we had the train connection from austrian to belgrade. it was a night train via budapest – also a television team went with this train, cause the reputation was ” the most dangerous trainride” with a gurantee that something happens. also the train attendent was afraid. so, girls specially, avoid the train rides in europe now, the refugee thins makes it to dangerous.

    • Yulia 19.11.2016 at 23:59 - Reply

      I dont agree. I traveled with the night train from Bucharest (Romania) to Budapest (Hungary) and it was completely safe. Please see the video above in this post where I record that particular train ride. You will see that you can lock your door and everything is very civilized.
      I have also stopped in Budapest for 12 hours when the refugee crisis was in top news everywhere and refugees were in Budapest too and had absolutely no problems with anything.

  8. laila 17.11.2016 at 14:29 - Reply

    hey there, I have queries. if I purchase this interrail pass then is it eligible for me to board the train without purchasing another ticket? meaning i could board the train for free as long as the pass is valid right ?

    • Yulia 20.11.2016 at 00:01 - Reply

      Yes, that is the whole point of Interrail pass.
      It is a pass that you buy and it gives you access to all the trains afterwards.
      You have to pay a bit extra for fast trains and night trains. Please see details above in this post.
      Any questions, just ask me! 🙂

  9. laila 22.11.2016 at 18:30 - Reply

    thank you for your reply.
    another thing is, I’ll be staying in Poland for about a week and I am still unsure of whether I should go with the interrail pass or go with the regular train ticket since I’ll be staying in 3 different cities during my travel.
    hence, I would like to ask for your opinion to which is the best option? as I’ve done a bit of research but still clueless about it.

  10. Tora 11.12.2016 at 04:08 - Reply

    This is great!! I have been looking for a post that not only sums up, but actually explain in detail, how to get the best use out of your interrail ticket. We are a group of 4 girls who are going next summer, I’m so excited 🙂

    • Yulia 11.12.2016 at 23:39 - Reply

      Thanks so much, Tora! that means a world to me! :*

  11. Valentina 02.02.2017 at 16:36 - Reply

    Hi! very useful all your information!
    I have many queries. I am planning to buy the pass for 7 days in a month so With that pass it means 7 countries or not? The next one is If I want to go to Italy then to greece, Using the pass Can I travel in Italy using the regional trains without being charges and then take the train to greece? so if I take the regionals trains I have from the 7 days less days to travel by train? haha sorry I am confused.
    Thank you

    • Yulia 08.02.2017 at 07:20 - Reply

      hello Valentina!
      Yes, the passes can be a bit confusing sometimes.
      If you buy a Global Pass, you can travel to almost any country in Europe (that includes Italy and Greece).
      Yes, you can take regional trains with no surcharges (only if you want a night train or a high speed train you need to pay). Please see my detailed explanation above in this post.
      7 days in a month means 7 days using the train. For example you could stay in Florence for 3 days, but only the dates when you arrived to the city by train and left the city by train will be counted (thus, 2), not the amount of days you ve spend in the city.

      Hope that makes sense,
      have an amazing train adventure! 🙂

  12. Sheena 10.02.2017 at 01:33 - Reply

    Hi,
    In case I take a 5 day pass for 2 months and I visit various countries as well as travel through the cities within, does the travel through the cities also count as a day or only the cross country travel is counted in days.

    Im extreamly confused.

    Thanks

    • Yulia 10.02.2017 at 13:17 - Reply

      Yes, of course it count. Everyday when you use your pass, does no matter if it is an intercity train or long distance train, it counts as a day.

  13. Nat 13.03.2017 at 15:54 - Reply

    Hi yulia.
    Nice blog!very useful info!
    I have doubt.if i buy the eurail pass can i travel unlimitedly in one day?let say in one day i want to travel rome to milan and to venice and back to rome(just example)

    • Yulia 20.03.2017 at 17:28 - Reply

      Yes, you can travel as much as you can on that day when you use your Eurail pass

  14. Such useful info, thank you! I’ve been wondering whether to get a pass now that I’m over 26 but it’s something I really want to do and I think it would be worth it! I didn’t know about all the extra benefits like discounted ferries and tours, that’s really good to know. 🙂

  15. Asesh 09.04.2017 at 02:52 - Reply

    hey yulia ..it is a damm cool post… Thank you i am 19 years old student from india… I am a travel fanatic.. I wish i could travel europe within 3/4 years… I will love to take tips from you and your blogs ..keep it up

  16. Majbrit Hansen 23.04.2017 at 12:26 - Reply

    Hey out there!
    Im a 21 year old Danish girl there is going on my first big solo backpack trip around Europa this summer in three months alone.
    Actually i had that feeling that is was to expensive with an Interrail, so i have plan to use the bus ferm Flixbus there is very cheaper then interrail. But now im a bit confused, cause these busses are very late sometimes, and do not come at some point, some people have also got there bagage stolen.
    So now im really considering to buy a interrail band instead.. What to you think about this? cause it seems like there also is so problems wilt the railway.
    Greetings from Denmark and thanks for the help.

    • Yulia 24.04.2017 at 17:09 - Reply

      Hi Majbrit!
      It really depends on the level of comfort you are expecting and your budget of course.
      In this comparison, i decided not to include buses at all as we would compare 2 completely different things. In most of the cases, bus travels will be much cheaper than train travels, but you will also have to give up your comfort – small seats, bumpy roads, delays. For me it is a big issue is that I cant read in the bus and just stare at the window admiring the view.
      If you dont find this a big issue, buses are totally fine too!
      Idk about stolen luggage, but i advice you to be aware of your luggage doesnt matter what means of transportation you will use.
      Hope that helps,
      be sure to let me know if you have more questions!

  17. Ayman 25.04.2017 at 13:55 - Reply

    Would I need to fill in the travel diary when using the S-Bahn or RE within a city (for example, Berlin Hbf to Alexanderplatz)

    • Yulia 27.04.2017 at 22:49 - Reply

      As it is the day you would use your pass, you need to fill in the date, I dont think you need to fill in the exact stations names where you are heading to.

  18. Zexuan 02.06.2017 at 08:52 - Reply

    Hi yulia !
    It’s a great post , I chanced upon this post when I researching eurailpass. but I quite confused you mentioned aboved travel day counted as arrived and departed the country as opposed to midnight to midnight as mentioned in eurailpass website ,can you elaborate. And other question is , will I be able to get a seat at last minutes which requires advanced booking
    for reservation seatservice? Thank you !

    • Yulia 18.06.2017 at 15:23 - Reply

      Hi!
      If you use an overnight train, you will use 2 days of of Eurail pass.
      You will be able to get a last minute seat if there are still seats available. Usually the routes that require booking in advance get booked out fast.

  19. Adeline 06.07.2017 at 12:33 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,

    Is it worth getting the Eurail Regional pass if I am visiting Madrid, Barcelona, Porto and Lisbon in about 10-11 days?

    Regards,
    Adeline

    • Yulia 08.07.2017 at 05:25 - Reply

      I would say yes, but you should also have a small simulation/calculation on how much would it cost you if you would buy the tickets independently.
      Usually, the pass turn out to be cheaper, plus, it is flexible (no need to decide your dates in advance) and you can stop in some towns on the way just because you feel like it! 🙂

  20. an 06.07.2017 at 23:44 - Reply

    Hi yulia.

    What if you go on a highspeed train for example from Brussels to Paris without having reserved a place. Can the controller give you a fee or can you just go standing?

    • Yulia 08.07.2017 at 05:29 - Reply

      There is a risk that all the places are going to be occupied (that is why you are asked to book it in advance at the first place) and i dont think you can stand in those trains. You will most probably be checked and asked to leave (that is my opinion, but i cant know for sure).
      Honestly, it also really depends on the route – some are really strict (and full), some are not.
      If you want to know the exact answer for your exact route, you can try asking in the official facebook group, they are pretty responsive there!

  21. Hein de Kock 08.07.2017 at 20:33 - Reply

    Traveled 15 countries, over 13,000km with a Eurail pass during January/February this year. Well worth it, even with booking fees.Never missed a connection, was close in Barcelona to Paris though, due to a ignorant booking agent at the station. Station security can be a problem in certain countries where they scan you and your luggage before boarding, make sure that you are in the line on time, else you can can end up running to find your coach. Never had an issue with train staff, only checked that our trip sheet was filled in on 3 occasions. If you have a booking receipt, in most cases they are not really interested in your pass. Certain Night train compartments can be a bit cramped for space, even in 1st class, especially if you plan to do some work too. Not much table space for laptops.

    Can’t wait for our next trip, still another 13 Countries to see!

  22. Narendra 11.07.2017 at 17:37 - Reply

    I am planning a visit to Europe for a month. I will be travelling in these cities in the following order –
    Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Pragua, Salzburg, Bled, Venice, Flowrence, Rome.
    Individual tickets would cost me in euros (45,45,60,45,120,90,90,60) 555 euros first class in total. I haven’t included the inter-city travels.

    For this trip a 10 day travel in two months or 1 months continuous pass would cost around 1100 euros. That leaves me a budget of 540 euros for intercity travels. I don’t see euro pass becoming cheap. Please let me know if I am wrong.

    • Yulia 13.07.2017 at 20:01 - Reply

      Hi Narendra,
      thank you for making your own calculation first, usually people dont bother doing their own research before asking me.
      Anyway, assuming that your calculations are correct and that your age is 28+ and you need 9 travel days (from the list of 9 cities you have given) or 7 countries, here is the price list.
      At the moment, 10 travel days within 2 months will be 699 Eur, 7 days, in case you want to squeeze some cities in one day is 568 Eur.
      If your calculations above are correct, than it make sense for you to buy tickets directly each time.

      Hope that helps,
      let me know if you need more help!

      • Narendra 14.07.2017 at 08:58 - Reply

        Hi Yulia,

        Thanks a lot for replying and helping me out. Surely I will email you for more helps 🙂
        You are doing a fantastic job for people like us.

        Warm Regards
        Narendra

  23. Divyne 15.07.2017 at 17:54 - Reply

    This blog is so helpful!! Thanks a lot for posting this beautiful! 🙂 – Divyne

  24. Anabel Bellissa 28.07.2017 at 15:20 - Reply

    Useful guide. Unless the place is really far, I’d take train travel over flights anytime too. I used plenty of buses to get around between European cities as well.

  25. Chi 02.08.2017 at 01:23 - Reply

    Hi,
    I love your blog post. It is quite detailed. I was looking to a lot of Interrail website but still have one question. Can you combine Interrail with normal tickets?
    For example to save up some of your travel days. I bought a 7 days a month ticket but the route Prague to bratislave is only 9 Euro by bus and doesnt take much time. Instead of wasting a travel day on that can I just buy a normal ticket and later use my travel day?
    Would I have to write it down on my travel log? And how do I markt it that this ride was one of my travel days and not seperately bought?

    Greetings from Germany

    • Yulia 02.08.2017 at 14:25 - Reply

      Hi Chi!
      Yes, of course you can combine your pass with other means of transportation. As I mentioned above, in Croatia I had to travel mostly by bus as there was no train to the places i wanted to go to.
      In this case you certainly do not need to write it in your travel log!
      Have a safe trip!

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