UPDATED: February 2022
Does the idea of doing a European trip sound appealing to you? Have you ever thought about spending some time doing a European tour by train? Then maybe you have heard about the European train ticket pass called the Interrail or Eurail pass before!
If the answer is yes, I know there are probably many questions and much confusion about this subject that you need answers to! But do not worry, I have it all covered in this post! 😉
When I used my 1 month unlimited pass, I noted all the questions and difficulties that I had on the road because I wanted to write a perfect post for you to use on your trip – and here it is! Below you can find all the information you need about this European train pass – including information about prices, reservations, different options and more!
Interrail and Eurail currently offer a great promo with 10% off ANY pass!
- 1. Choosing and buying the pass
- 2. Planning your trip
- 3. Eurail/Interrail train reservation
- 4. Types of difficulties you may encounter
- 5. Price comparison
- 6. Advantages and disadvantages of using the Eurail pass
- 7. Other useful tips
- 8. Common myths about Eurail/Interrail passes – debunked
- 9. Is the pass worth it after all?
Not sure which one to choose? Scroll down a little more, and I will explain everything you need to know!
When I was preparing for my Interrail/Eurail train trip across Europe, I couldn’t find any good, structured blog post that would answer all my questions.
I had to go through tons of info, and because I still could not find some of my answers, I had to learn through trial and error.
That is why I decided to write this step-by-step guide that will cover all of your questions! 🙂
In this post I will tell you everything you need to know about the following subjects (and more):
- is it worth to buying the pass (I will be covering all of that in detail);
- how to properly use the pass;
- how to make the most out of it;
- and how to avoid the most common mistakes that tourists usually make.
1. Choosing and buying the pass
Here is the most important information you need to know about Interrail/Eurail passes if you have never heard about them:
What is an Interrail or a Eurail pass?
An Interrail or a Eurail pass is a travel document that allows you to travel in Europe by train. The main idea behind this European rail pass is that you only have one ticket (which is your pass) and an unlimited amount of options to travel in European countries during the entire period your pass is valid!
Depending on the type of pass you choose, you can buy a pass that allows you to travel only in one specific country of your choice or you can have an unlimited pass that will give you the chance to travel to 33 European countries in a specific period of time.
Interrail vs Eurail – what is the difference?
There is no need to be confused, as both are mainly the same thing!
If you are from Europe (citizen or you have residency there), you should apply for an Interrail pass. Your pass will also be cheaper because, as a citizen, you pay taxes in Europe.
If you are not from Europe, you should buy a Eurail pass.
Now let’s make it even easier! Take a look at the picture above:
- You are from a blue country – buy an Interrail pass
- You are from a green country – buy a Eurail pass
As the majority of my readers are non-Europeans, I will call the pass Eurail for simplicity in this post. But remember, if you are a European citizen, your pass will be called Interrail (which, as I mentioned before, is pretty much the same thing – the only difference is the price).
NOTE: if you are, let’s say from Italy, and you want to buy the Interrail pass, you will not be able to use it in the country of origin.
If you are still unsure about which pass to buy, you can check if your country is eligible for Interrail or Eurail here.
What are the types of available passes?
Oh, the good part is that there are so many types of passes! You can select the perfect one for yourself depending on the number of countries you want to visit, the duration of your trip, your age, or maybe you want a family package!
Again, you can check out all the available types of passes here (for Eurail) or here (for Interrail).
- Eurail or Interrail One country pass – exactly as the name implies, you can only use this pass to visit one country out of a list of 27. You can use it for a limited amount of days in a set period of time (For example – Italy pass “5 days within 1 month” is available for one month, but you can actually travel with this pass for 5 days of your choice during this month).
- Eurail or Interrail Global pass (you can visit up to 33 countries) – This is actually the most popular option and the one that I got, too! If you buy this type of European rail pass, you can take an unlimited number of trains in a set period of time almost everywhere in Europe! For example, if you want to spend some days in the cities you are visiting, you can go for a “5 days within 10 days” travel pass. If you want to make the most out of it and travel daily, you can get a 1, 2 or 3 continuous month pass. The last option is a pretty good deal if you are planning on moving around a lot!
For all the types of passes above, you can choose a “first class” pass or a “second class” pass depending on the quality of service you want to have on the train.
NOTE: If you are 27 years old or younger, you can get the “Youth” option, which is cheaper than the “Adult” pass. The option of choosing between a “1st class” and “2nd class” type of pass is also available (more about this below).
How do I pick the pass that fits me best?
There are different options available and sometimes it is hard to choose the perfect type of pass. So, how can you pick?
In order to understand if the pass will be a good deal for you, you will have to ask yourself some important questions about your future trip and make an estimate.
How many days do you want to travel in Europe? Which countries are you thinking of visiting? And how many cities (more or less)?
NOTE: Here (for Eurail tour) and here (for Interrail tour) are two very useful resources that will help you find the perfect type of pass for you.
How long is the duration of the pass?
The passes can be bought for different periods of time – 3 days, 5, 7, 10, 15, 22 days or 1, 2 or 3 months. Find more info about these passes here.
NOTE: If you choose to buy the continuous pass for 1 month, the duration of the pass will be exactly 1 month.
EXAMPLE: From the 3rd of September to 2nd of October. From the 3rd of February to the 2nd of March (even if there are fewer days in that month)
Are there any discounts?
Yes, the price for young people from 12 to 27 years old and the price for seniors (60+) is always discounted. If you are not in any of these two categories that are eligible for the Interrail or Eurail pass discount, don’t be sad! Just keep an eye on the official Eurail website (or you can ask me in the comments), as they often throw promotions and give from 10% to 20% discounts on the passes! 🙂
What is the difference between first and second class?
As I mentioned before, you can choose between the “first class option” and the “second class option” for your pass. The first class pass is a bit more comfortable and it will make your journey more enjoyable as you will travel in first-class coaches. There is more space between the seats, generally less crowded,there are power sockets available and often even free water!
For example, if you are taking an ICE 1st class train in Germany, you will have free Wi-Fi (German Rail Pass is pretty awesome!). The 1st class train in Austria and the Czech Republic will provide you with free bottles of water too.
NOTE: Remember that some Eurail and Interrail routes don’t have first class at all. But, in many countries, the second class is really not that bad either!
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 in the mail. It will have your name, country of residence and passport number on it, so it is not exchangeable.
Make sure to order your Eurail or Interrail tickets in advance! My pass was delivered to Romania (that is where I was at the moment) and it only took one day to deliver – fantastic! But the one for my sister was sent to Moscow and, for some reason, it did not reach her on the first attempt. We had to contact the supplier and they reissued it for her again, which took about 5 days to receive.
NOTE: Make sure to ask for the tracking number, just in case you need to track your pass and see when it will arrive at your address.
Alternatively, you can order it delivered to the first hotel you are staying at on your trip.
NOTE 2: You must activate your Eurail train pass before your first train journey. How do you activate your Eurail pass? It can be done at any train station when you arrive in Europe or online using their special activation service at checkout.
- If you are from Europe, you can order here!
- If you are NOT from Europe, here is the official website!
Non – Europeans:
2. Planning your trip
I did a 30-day trip by train in Europe where I took over 30 trains and visited 5 countries, 21 cities and spent over 5,000 km on the road! This was definitely an unforgettable adventure for me and I would do it again without thinking twice! 🙂
If you want to check it out more, you can also see my trip on Instagram.
This was my itinerary, by country:
Romania -> Croatia -> Slovenia -> Austria -> Czech Republic -> Germany -> Belgium -> France
Which countries are the best to travel to with the Eurail pass?
You can travel in almost all of the European countries using your Eurail pass, including Ireland and Turkey! But here are some suggestions in case you need a bit of inspiration:
- Great for Eurail pass: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, all Scandinavian countries, Portugal. These countries often have fast trains, easy connections to almost everywhere in the country and don’t require a 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. I recommend you read the “Train reservation section” where I tell how to avoid those fees.
- Not recommended for Eurail pass: I would not recommend going to Croatia with the 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 rent a car!
If you want to make things easier, you can use the route planner on their official website.
I bought the pass, how do I fill it out correctly?
Before you can use your pass for the first time, you must validate it at any ticket office of any European train station.
When on the train, you must fill in the information about your route like it is shown in the picture below in the special “Journey details” table.
You will be checked by a ticket controller who will approach you after you board the Euro train to start your trip. He might also ask you for your passport, but in the 30 days while I was traveling using my European train pass it never happened to me.
ATTENTION: It is very important that you fill in the information about your train ride BEFORE you are checked especially if you have an Interrail/Eurail “One country” pass. That is a very strict rule! Just write down the info right away after you take a seat on the train or, even better, while waiting for it on the platform. I have actually seen a person fined 50€ because he forgot to fill in that information. Some ticket inspectors might be very strict with that, so please make sure to fill in that info!
This is what my pass looked like after I filled it in while traveling non-stop for 1 month:
Plan connections and Eurail/Interrail timetable
If you want to make your life easier while you are touring Europe, you can download their official app called Rail Planner – available for iOS and for Android.
Rail Planner works as a great European train planner that will show you the updated timetable for your route, the types of trains you can take, the possible connections for the city of your destination, and if you need to make a reservation for your seat! The app was created by Eurail and the best thing about it is that it is available offline as well! How cool is that?
How do I understand the correct name of the station?
The train stations are usually called central, centrale, centraal, hlavni etc., but I suggest you check a map just in case, as sometimes the name can be different.
The best way to do it is to check the mobile app or a map for the list of stops that you are going to have all the way to your destination station. Also, remembering the name of the station right before yours helps not to miss your stop!
What if I can’t find my station in the European train planner?
Normally, it should not be a problem to find the station in the app, but sometimes the station can have a different name than the city it is located in. If you are sure that your city of destination has a railway station, it is best to check what it is called on Google.
EXAMPLE: The train station in the Ghent (Belgium) is called Gand.
3. Eurail/Interrail train reservation
I was mentioning the booking fee before and here I will explain a bit about it. The Eurail/Interrail booking fee is another very important detail that you have to consider before buying the pass.
Remember, just because you are a lucky Eurail pass holder, that doesn’t mean you can get on any train for free, whenever you want! Why? Because some of the trains will require you to pay a reservation fee.
Let’s talk about it in detail:
When do I need to reserve a seat and how much is it?
There are 4 cases when you would need to reserve a seat on your trip:
- It is mandatory to book your seat on a night train;
- You normally have to book your seat when using a fast train (marked R on the app), but there are some exceptions;
- Most French trains (except regional trains) require a reservation because they have a limited number of seats;
- It makes sense to make Eurail reservations for your seat if you travel on a very popular route in a high season (April-August, December) and you are not sure you will have a place. Chances are, the train will be full if you decide to show up the day of and just board it.
NOTE: You can make a reservation up to 8 days before your train’s departure day, but they advise doing it as early as possible if you can.
NOTE 2: You can’t reserve first class seats in Germany, only second class.
While making a reservation for some of the fast trains is optional, a reservation for the night trains is always mandatory, so make sure to book your spot in advance before taking the night train.
HOW MUCH IT IS – Again, it depends on which country and which route you are going to take. The average cost for a nice, comfy overnight ride by train is 20€, which might be even cheaper than spending your night in a hotel. That means you save both time and money on transportation while sleeping!
EXAMPLE – I took a night train from Bucharest (Romania) to Budapest (Hungary). The trip took about 10 hours and it cost me 26€ for a double sleeper.
You can read more about Eurail night train reservation fees here.
See what a night train ride from Romania to Hungary looks like:
The countries that have many high-speed trains are France and Italy. That is a good thing to consider when choosing a country to visit during your trip!
While a fast train is very convenient because you can cross the entire country in a couple of hours, it will be costly because of the reservation fee. Of course, you can avoid paying that fee by only using slow regional trains, but this solution is usually quite inconvenient as it requires many connections and long waiting times.
Some routes are so popular among travelers and locals, you should try to make sure you have a secured spot on the train!
HOW MUCH IT IS – It really depends on the country, route and train you are taking. It can be anything from 3€ to 30€ for a high-speed train reservation.
EXAMPLE – A high-speed Frecciarossa intercity train in Italy will cost you an extra 10€ to book. A TGV train in France is 9€ to book. It gets more expensive if you travel from one country to another (using international trains). To go from Paris to Barcelona, for instance, is 35€ for a first class seat and 27€ for a second class seat.
NOTE: Even if you are a 1st class pass holder you can, of course, book a ticket for second class to save some money.
Why on Earth do I have to pay more to reserve my seat?
I feel your pain! Unfortunately, those are the rules of some countries in Europe and they do not allow you to just hop on the train, even if you have an Interrail/Eurail pass.
How do I understand when I need to reserve a seat?
You can check the Eurail timetable (on their website or in the app) and enter the departure and arrival stations, as well as the dates and times. After the system has found your train route, you can check and if it says R – reservation compulsory, that means you will generally need to reserve a seat.
Why generally? Because for some not-that-popular routes, the guy at the ticket counter told me that I didn’t have to do it, even though there was R on it.
In case your train doesn’t have an “R” (reservation compulsory), make sure to still reserve your seat if you are traveling in high season and you feel the probability the seats will be sold out is high. But, in the worst case scenario, you should still be allowed to board the train and stand the whole trip if you are desperate to go somewhere.
How do I reserve my seat?
There are different options here:
- At the ticket counter – attention! – It may require a lot of waiting. If you want to avoid the queue, do not go to huge train stations at peak times, but choose small ones instead.
- On their official website: you can use their Reservation Service (you will have to create an account first).
- Using their Rail Planner app
- There is also the option of booking your seat over the phone or using some railway companies online for specific countries. Read more about these options here.
Step-by-step tutorial on how to reserve a seat using the Rail Planner app:
1. Download the Rail Planner app
2. Tap the 3 horizontal lines on the left to reveal the menu. Select “Seat Reservations”.
3. Select “International trains”
4. Enter your travel details, meaning the station/city you want to depart from and the station/city you wish to arrive to, the date and preferred time, as well as the number of passengers.
5. Then you will see the available options. Select the most convenient route and time for yourself and choose if you want to make a reservation in first class or second class (if both of them are available).
6. Next, you can see what is included, compare the reservation fares and mention where you would want to sit.
7. Next, you have to select your preferred delivery option for your ticket (most of them are e-tickets which don’t need to be printed; you can have it on your smartphone).
8. Insert your personal info and the number of your Eurail/Interrail pass, proceed to checkout and done!
What if I don’t reserve my seat?
If you don’t reserve a seat and just seat yourself randomly, it might be someone else’s seat who bought the ticket at full price. You might end up without a place and be kicked out by a ticket controller afterwards.
On some trains, there are signs above the seat. If there is a paper or an electronic display with a route or name, it means the seat is reserved. You can sit in the unreserved one and then no one will bother you!
How do I avoid trains that need to be reserved?
You can totally avoid the reservation fee if you only use regional trains. But how do you plan your trip according to that criteria?
In order to avoid the trains that you need to pay a reservation fee for, I advise you to use the mobile app called Rail Planner App that I mentioned above.
It might not be so obvious how you can set up the app to only show the trains without “R” (reservation required), but here is the way to do it:
- Open the app ->
- Go to “Trip Planner” ->
- Press the Settings symbol ->
- Tick “Trains without compulsory reservation”
And voila! This way, the app will only show you the regional trains, so that you can easily 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 me only 1h20min, but I would have to pay about 30€ for the reservation fee.
If I choose to see only the trains with the “No compulsory reservation” option, the app will give me an option to go with regional trains. In this case, I would have to change trains 2 or 3 times and it would also take me longer – about 4 hours, but this way I could save my 30€!
If I miss a connection train, do I have to pay the reservation fee again?
If this was a train you reserved and paid to reserve a seat beforehand, unfortunately, the answer is yes. It happened to me once 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 seat on your next train.
Thus, I advise you to try and avoid short connections and don’t be late for the trains you have reserved!
That said, if you missed a train you were originally planning to take and that one didn’t require a paid reservation, you are free to hop on any next train, that is the beauty of using the Eurail pass!
Non – Europeans:
4. Types of difficulties you may encounter
The pass is with no doubt an amazing invention that gives you great flexibility and freedom for doing train tours in Europe, but traveling only by train can sometimes mean that things won’t go as smooth as you have initially planned.
Here are the most common problems that you can encounter and some useful tips on what to do in each situation:
Missing the train
If you didn’t have a seat reservation for the train you missed, it is no problem! The great thing about the Eurail pass is that you can take any later train you want at no extra cost!
SOLUTION: If you missed the train you were intending to take, just use your offline app called Eurail Planner to find the next one that has a similar route. Or, you can go in a completely different direction! It is up to you, the pass gives you this flexibility!
Missing the station
Well, my friend, if you were not paying attention or you just didn’t realize that you had to get off the train at the destination station, you will have to go back. Again, this is no problem, as 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 located in a big city.
SOLUTION: In the Planner app, you can press to see the line details and check the times you will arrive at each station. Then write down the name of the station that comes right 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 or you didn’t understand what the loudspeaker said.
Border crossing by train in Europe
When taking international trains and crossing the Schengen border (and sometimes when you pass by a big city, too), you will be checked for a ticket a couple of times during your train ride. As the ticket inspectors change, you will have to show your ticket again. I was never asked to present my passport but they can ask for it.
you are going through the Schengen Area there will be no passport control, but if you cross any non-European and/or non-Schengen countries, you will need to present your passport and a valid visa for that country. Some countries that require this are Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Turkey etc.
Non – Europeans:
5. Price comparison
Here is the price comparison for my trip that you have been waiting for (all prices are in euros)! 🙂
NOTE: During my trip, I sometimes also used buses because there were no trains for some specific routes. These routes are marked in yellow.
As you can see from the table above, I paid some extra money because I did not do my homework beforehand and did not know there are not many trains in Croatia. So, I had to spend 60€ extra on buses because there were no trains.
If you want to see the list of countries that are perfect for traveling by train using the Eurail pass, you can look at the first section of this post.
The total cost for my trip WITH the pass was 1,002€ (917+60+25) or US $1090, which means that by using the pass I saved 256€. Isn’t that a lot?
I can certainly find many ways of spending that money in a better way than just uselessly giving them to the European railway companies! 🙂
NOTE: If you are younger than 27 years old, you can buy a “Youth” pass, which is always cheaper than the “Adult” pass. For example, at the moment the Eurail Global pass for the second class for 1 continuous month is 600€ for the “Adult” pass and 462€ for the “Youth” pass.
When I did my Euro trip, if I would have been less than 27 years old and eligible for the Youth pass (but shhh, nobody should now I am older!), I would have saved 289€ for the route I took.
Depending on which type of pass you get, this will greatly affect how much you save in the end!
So, did I save money?
Definitely yes! But you can save even more if you don’t repeat my mistakes. Let me explain why:
- In my case, I visited many cities that are located close to each other, which means my stops were short distances from each other. When you go on longer distances, you definitely save even more money!
- I had to spend at least 60€ in vain – because I paid for my transportation using the bus in Croatia, where there were no trains; I didn’t do my research about the train system in Europe beforehand.
But even in this case, as the table shows, I saved 256€ (1258 eur – 1002€) compared to the price I would have paid If I bought each ticket individually.
If I had chosen the same number of countries, but ones that have a more developed train system and if I had traveled to more distant destinations, I would have probably saved more than 400€.
So don’t repeat my mistakes – do at least a little research on the country you are going to visit before you leave and try to find the answer to the following questions: Is the train system developed there? If yes, are there mostly high-speed trains there? (don’t forget that high-speed trains require a reservation fee)
NOTE: I bought a first-class pass for myself, but if you choose to go for the second class pass, you will save even more money!
Make sure to make a rough estimate of the cost for individual tickets before deciding, then use their “Find the best Eurail pass for you” ssystem to understand if the pass is what you need or it is better to buy the individual tickets yourself.
Non – Europeans:
6. Advantages and disadvantages of using the Eurail pass
1) Remember, you can’t go everywhere by train. While in some countries such as France or Germany almost everything is reachable by train, in some countries you will have to take a bus and pay for additional tickets (like when I had to get to Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb or to Split in Croatia).
2) A disadvantage I had to face were the reservation fees. That, as I said, means you have to add some extra money to the cost of your trip. In some countries, as I mentioned before, it can be ridiculously high.
There are plenty of advantages for buying and using the Eurail pass for your trip! Here are just a few of them:
- Unlike planes, the trains require no check-in, so you do not need to arrive at the train station hours in advance;
- Unlike in airports, there is 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, relax, and enjoy the fabulous scenery! 🙂
As a person who travels while also working on the road, I sometimes worked on the train. All I needed to do was just open my laptop and use one of the power plugs, as they have them conveniently placed in most of the European trains.
You can watch a movie, read a book or just spend some time over a nice chat with a new friend made during your train travels!
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 of the airport to the city. The train stations are usually greatly connected to 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 is, in my opinion, 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, just board a train and go to the next one!
- You wanted to leave in the morning but overslept? You did not lose any money, just hop on the next train!
The trains come often, especially in Western Europe, so you have the absolute freedom to organize your Eurail schedule however you want!
In my opinion, going on a European trip using a Eurail pass is a fantastic way of traveling, as it is much better than buses and often times faster and less stressful than planes!
PRO TIP: Eurail pass holders have some great bonuses, such as many discounts to museums, city cards, special discounts in specific countries and some discounted or even free ferry rides as well!
Check the up-to-date Interrail and Eurail prices here:
7. Other useful tips
If you need to change trains, make sure to leave at least 20 minutes (ideally 50 minutes) for yourself between train rides!
If you are using the Eurail app to create your route and it tells you that you have to change a train, make sure to check how many minutes the connection time is. Sometimes, it shows some connection times that are as short as 3 minutes, which is unrealistic.
The possibility of your previous train being just a bit late is very high, so do not choose this kind of connection. Or at least check if there is a plan B in case you miss 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 if you only have a short period of time available!
Please remember that the transportation in-between cities will take you around 4 hours (depending on how far you go, but that is an average), to which you have to add the time to get to your hotel. That will take around half a day and, moreover, it will exhaust you quite a bit.
Saving on transportation INSIDE the cities
Don’t forget that, besides getting from one city to another, you can also use local trains inside the city, which means more money saved!
For example, I could save significantly by using S-Bahn for free in Berlin. The RER in Paris and the French National Railway’s bus service is also free for Eurail pass holders. There are many other examples like this and you can check them out by country here.
NOTE: Only the city trains are included in your pass, the metro is not. 🙂
NOTE 2: Besides saving on transportation, you can also save some money on the attractions you might want to visit, as Eurail and Interrail pass holders can buy different city passes for a discounted price (examples: Berlin Welcome Card, Brussels Card, Frankfurt Card etc.)
8. Common myths about Eurail/Interrail passes – debunked
There are some myths about the Eurail pass that I keep hearing from many people, both positive and negative. Most of them 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 its member countries, you might be traveling in the Schengen Area and out of it. And that is where you will be checked by the immigration police officers.
But have no fear as the border crossing while you are traveling by train is actually very easy! There is an immigration officer who will come to each seat and he will put a stamp in your passport that marks the fact that you have left/entered the Schengen zone. Nothing more complicated than that!
It is not good for kids
Traveling by train with kids is, in my opinion, way better than buses. In some countries this is even a perfect option, as they have special cars for kids!
The pass only works for trains
This is wrong as well, as there are also some buses that work in cooperation with Eurail and most of them are substituting for trains where there is no railway available to connect the cities. There are also ferries that you can use for free or for a discounted price!
The Eurail App is all you need
It is true that the phone app is very good and useful, especially because it works offline! But, honestly, I would suggest comparing it with some other websites as well such as Bahn, especially when you want to search some complicated routes.
For instance, one of the routes I needed to take could not be found on the app, but I was able to find it on another website!
NOTE: Roaming charges ended in the European Union in 2017, which means that, if you are from Europe, you will pay domestic prices for roaming calls, SMS and data, so it will be easier to use the app!
Non – Europeans:
9. Is the pass worth it after all?
Why the pass worked for me
In my experience, buying the pass was more affordable than buying individual tickets each time.
My personal experience showed that even if:
- there are those reservation fees,
- you are traveling long distances,
- you are taking many last-minute trains
- you are going with high-speed trains
the Eurail pass 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 than traveling by bus or plane. It is truly hassle-free – all you need to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy the view of tiny villages and landscapes passing by the train window!
So, to answer the question asked in the title of the article – Yes, it is worth it if you are planning to visit many cities in one country or many countries in Europe!
The main thing you need to remember is that you will have to do a small amount of research beforehand regarding the countries where there are only fast trains (which means paying extra money for the reservation fee) or where the railway system is not that developed. (Please see the list of ideal countries for train travel above in this article).
After all, it is not all about saving your money, it is about the wonderful experience as well!
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 in the seat in front of you, going with the flow and maybe even changing your itinerary completely – this is what the Eurail pass is all about! Flexibility, spontaneity, and fun!
When is it not worth it to buy the pass?
If you are only planning on visiting a couple of cities, there is no point in buying a pass in my opinion. In this situation, buying a simple A to B train ticket (or a plane ticket!) will be cheaper and better for you.
But if you are going to travel a lot in Europe for a period of time and if you want to stay flexible, the pass should save you some money! And this is especially true if you want to visit many cities that are located far away from each other.
So – if you have a lot of time for this trip and you are planning to visit many European cities, you can purchase the Interrail/Eurail Global Pass and you won’t regret it!
If you are only visiting one country and your time is limited, don’t be lazy, do your research and compare the individual ticket prices with the pass prices. Even if you only save 100€, it still makes sense to buy the pass, as you can use this money for something more fun or productive!
|🚂 Unlimited pass:||33 countries|
|🚄 Specific pass:||1 country|
|🔵 Blue country:||Interrail pass|
|🟢 Green country:||Eurail Pass|
|💵 Global pass cost:||€168|
|💰 One country pass cost:||€51|
Touring Europe by train is easier than ever with the Interrail/Eurail pass! In this article I covered why I think the pass is worth it, I talked about how to buy it, how to use it, some common difficulties you might encounter and how to fix them right away and, of course, I did a price comparison to see if the pass saved me money.
So, the conclusion is that by comparing the price, I figured that the pass is worth buying in some particular cases, especially because it gives you endless flexibility to change your mind and take the next train or even change your itinerary!
Because the Eurail pass has two different options – the Global Europass and the One Country pass, each of them with different discounts for young people or seniors, it is definitely worth it to do your calculations and see if it is a good fit for you!
Even if I made some mistakes while planning my particular trip, the pass still turned out to save me money!
Disclaimer: the pass was given to me complimentary, but I used my own calculations and described my honest opinion from using the pass.
That is it, you have finished reading this loooong post, congrats! 😉
I ended up writing a 5,000 word piece (you are welcome!) that will hopefully cover all the topics and questions you might have regarding your Interrail/Eurail trip. Now you know exactly how cheap train tickets in Europe really are!
If you have any additional questions, please post them in the comment section below and I will be happy to reply!
If you plan on going through Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Czech Republic or Germany during your Europe train tour, keep on reading my blog, I have some great tips for you!
If you liked this article, please consider buying the pass through this link. That way I will receive a small commission at NO EXTRA cost to you!
Non-Europeans need the Eurail Pass:
Europeans need the Interrail Europa Pass
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Thank you Yulia!! I have been trying my best with researching and this is by far the best blog ive read so, thank you for that! I shall for sure go with the pass and i’m excited for more research on the countries, especially the local trains!
Thank you again!
Hi Yulia, I really appreciate this website, you cannot imagine how much! My husband and I have so many practical questions and it seems like there are no actual human beings to talk to at interrail, which is very unnerving. We’ve tried asking the chat bot on the website but they are unable to answer the qestions. They said they would get a member of staff to email us but it’s been a week without any response. How do you get to talk to interrail customer service so that we can have a bit more clarity on the issues we have around the use of the pass?
Hi Sharon, it is true, it is really hard to get a hold of them lately!
I used to asked them on Facebook and they replied, but that was years ago, it is now a chat with a bot indeed.
You can try tweeting them publicly, this is what usually works for most companies when you try to get a reply 🙂
Thank for such a great post. It has so much information. I’m British but I lived in the UAE. I’m planning on traveling but to Britain in summer by train through Europe with my 2 teenagers. Do you know if I’ll need to get the Interail ticket or the Eurail ticket.
Hi Sarah, great question!
I just checked and this is what they say on the official site:
Citizens of European countries (UK included) that are not members of the EU, like Switzerland and Turkey, can also travel with an Interrail Pass. Interrail travellers from outside the UK will continue to be able to use their Interrail Pass to travel in the UK, too.
Have a great trip! 🙂
I just purchased the 22 day mobile Eurail Pass. Am i still supposed to complete a travel diary on paper or can I stick with the mobile? I am now paranoid due to the fact so many people are getting fined for minor details. Thank you.
sorry for the long reply!
You can just stick to mobile, that’s the point of the electronic pass. Please make sure to have the barcode of your ticket ready for scanning by the ticket controller when you are in the train, that is how they will check your ticket.
More info on the mobile pass can be found here – https://www.eurail.com/en/eurail-passes/eurail-mobile-pass/mobile-pass-faq
So super helpful, thank you so much – I was really struggling to find an in depth explanation of how interrailing works. My husband and I were planning a 2 month trip for our honeymoon however Covid then happened and we haven’t been able to go anywhere for 2 years. We are now expecting a baby but definitely hasn’t put me off and am planning this trip for when baby is around 9 months old.
Did you see any couples on the trains with babies and young children? I will have to plan a lot more carefully than if it was just the two of us but I definitely think it would be possible!
Also, I am not sure if you would know this but I am a British citizen but my husband is on a spouse visa and has a residency card for the UK – would he need a eurrail or interrail pass?
Thanks so much,
awesome you are not giving up on your plan!
Congratz with the new member of your family coming soon! 🙂 I saw some babies and families with small kids, yes, so no prob about that!
I used the pass twice (i am russian) – once when I had a student visa in Italy and I had Interrail. And then I finished the uni (so, no more residence permit) I went for a long trip that is described in the post and I had Eurail. So, to answer your question – if you are getting in an Interrail, he is too! 🙂
Thank you for your very informative blog. It’s very interesting and has inspired us to do one of these trips. However we are residents of the UK and wondered if we should buy a Eurail or Interrail ticket as we are now no longer in the EU (), so therefore no longer EU tax payers?
Great question, I have just written to them and will update the post once they reply 🙂
So, they said that UK resident travellers can still use the Interrail as usual. They already cover several countries outside of the EU, so that doesn’t change much.
You can direct your visitors to our information page here:
Hi, I am planning on inter railing through Europe next summer. My itinerary is as follows Manchester to London (MCR being my hometown so included in the 1 outgoing journey I’m allowed) and then Brussels – Munich – Salzburg- Ljubljana – Keszthely – Budapest – Vienna – Prague – Berlin – Amsterdam – London/back home
I would like your advice on whether this is do-able in 3 weeks. Also I am not staying longer than 1 night is most cities for e.g. I intend to arrive in Brussels at around 10am, wander around a bit and then set off for Munich on a night train, arrive at Munich early morning, see the city, spend 1 night in a hotel and then the following day at midday set off for Salzburg. I am aware I can’t see everything only a few main attractions but is this route possible. Or would I be risking too much like not making it to the next train on time etc?
Thank you in advance for your help and I apologize for the long read.
Hi Maryam, happy to hear the world is coming back to normal bit by bit 🙂
Your itinerary is 21 days and about 10 cities which makes it about 2 days per city. While it is definitely doable, it very much depends on you if you will enjoy this itinerary – will you have the energy to go discover the main attraction on day 15 or will it be simple checking off the list kind of thing? You also chose pretty big cities that have loooots of attractions, keep that in mind.
So, I say, if you dont think you will have a great FOMO because you didnt manage to see all of the city when leaving it and you have tons of energy to move around all the time, it is a good idea! If you never did intense trips like this, maybe it makes sense to book all you accommodation lat minute?
The beautiful thing about the Interrail is that you can make up your mind last moment. For instance, you like Prague and want to prolong your stay? No prob! But if you have all your accommodation lined up, then you would be forced to followe the pre-arranged route.
So, all in all, it is completely up to you and your level of energy, but it is definitely doable! 🙂
Hello Yulia. Really nice article, I totally enjoyed it. I’m planning to buy the 5 travel days within 1 month pass for the next summer. I’ll start from Greece and end up in Amsterdam ( and come back via aeroplane). More specifically Athens – Belgrade (with the night train) (just to rest for the day) – Ljubljana ( Bled) – Munich – Strasbourg – Luxembourg – Brussels ( Bruge) – Amsterdam. This trip will last 15 days and I want your opinion on whether this is too much cities for that duration. You see as I said I’ll only have 5 travel days, plus I’ll have to book my aeroplane ticket so I can’t stay longer in any city or be very flexible like you in your trip. I would really like to know your thoughts. Hope you’re doing well!
You know, it is a bit hard to reply because I don’t know what type of traveller are you, but for me personally – I’d take this route. You will be going through not very big cities and, thus, you don’t need to spend 3-4 days in each to see everything.
So, if you are full of energy and you do not mind moving around constantly, I say this will be a fun trip! 🙂
I read this with great interest. I was planning a mega Interrail trip this April. I’ve had to put a hold on that because of this dreaded Coronavirus. Hopefully things will have calmed down by September which is my next available free time. I plan to travel through Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Thanks again for your great blog.
Thank you! Yes, I also hope it will be over soon and we’ll be able to safely travel again.
Your trip sounds exciting, so finger crossed for it to happen!
Hi me and my girlfriend are planning on a trip to travel different areas in italy and in france.Would this ticket be worth it since we only visiting two different countries but multiple cities in those two countriesp
If you’re going to travel a lot by train, I would say yes! You can also make your itinerary on their website (scroll a bit to see the “plan your trip” button) and it will give you the total cost of the trip, maybe this will help you see if the pass is worth it!
First of all I just want to thank you for writing your blog on your interrailing experience. It was incredibly helpful.
Me and a friend are going interrailing this summer. We are planning to go to Croatia and I was wondering if you have any more information about the visa needed…
Also, if you are going on a short train journey and don’t mind standing do you have to pay a reservation fee? Is the reservation fee, on the trains it’s required for, just compulsory no matter if you sit or stand?
Thank you so much, I’m glad to hear that! For Croatian visas I think it’s best to check the info on The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to find full details about the kind of visa you need!
When it comes to reservations, that depends on the train. Many don’t require a reservation and you can sit anywhere you like (or stand, if there are no places left), but for some you do need to make. You can go on their website, add in your itinerary details and look for trains without reservation. I actually explain step by step in the article above hove to use this tool, it might look a bit confusing when you first see it!
Enjoy your holiday!
You mentioned eurail have discounts of 10 – 20% sometimes. Is this also the case for interrail passes and if so can this be used on top of youth discount? Also, when does this usually happen? I’m planning on travelling in May so have a bit of time before needing to get my ticket so want to try get it when it is it’s cheapest.
Both Interrail and Eurail have promotions but unfortunately they don’t have a fixed schedule for these discounts, so you need to keep track of the website or subscribe to their newsletter to be sure you find out about them!
The discounts apply to the normal price of the pass so it also lowers the price for youth and senior passes!
Hope you have a great trip!
You wrote: “You wanted to leave in the morning but overslept? You did not lose any money, just hop on the next train!”
But you also wrote: “If this was a train you reserved and paid for before, unfortunately, the answer is yes. It happened to me once 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 seat in your next train.”
I’m confused. If I oversleep and miss my train, I will lose the money I paid for the reservation, shouldn’t I.
Thank you for your comment! Sorry for not being clear, yes, if you overslept and paid for the reservation of the train, you will loose the money. But if you didn’t make any reservation you can just leave with the next train, because they come often.
Great blog, very helpful. Am Asian (Crazy Poor, not the Rich ones -if you’ve seen that movie, you could relate) with husband and 3 kids, youngest 7yr old, trying to boldly plan for a Europe trip late April 2020 using Eurorail! I’ve read thru your post about your difficulty of going to Croatia as there are not much trains trips there. One of the legs we are taking is Vienna to Dubrovnik, Croatia taking a Flixbus -night bus. I read somewhere that flix bus is not part of euro rail but I have to make sure. Is Flixbus part of euro rail now?
I can confirm that Flixbus is not part of Eurail, they are two different things 🙁
Have a great trip!
Hi! Your post was really helpful but I still have one doubt. Me and a friend of mine want to buy an interrail ticket to Italy. Only Italy. 5 days within a month it says on the website. I am quite confuses with that. Does that mean we only have 5 travels to spare? Or does the pass givss access to more train trips? Say we are in Florence and wanna go to the Vinci “village”, would that be one trip we would have to mark on our pass? I’m sorry if I’m not making myself clear. We rsally need some help here and expertise from someone who has done something like this.
Hi, Daniela! Thank you, I am glad my post helped!
So, if you want to take the Interrail one country pass for Italy, you will get up to 8 days travel within 1 month, with unlimited train rides per day in those 8 days.
There are 5 options available: for 3 days, 4 days, 5 days, 6 days and 8 days. So you can choose the one that fits you best, depending on how many days of train travel you have.
You can check more information about this Italy country pass here.
I hope this answers your question! Have a great trip! 🙂
About night trains:
Back in 2012, I hadn’t booked my night train from Italy to Germany (or Switzerland- I cannot recall). At the station they told me everything was booked. After some not very pleasant hours of thinking what am I to do now, when I went to the platform and asked the station guy (very polite one) he told me just to hop on the train. I did not have a bed and stayed on the corridor (at a seat or on my suitcase, I cannot recall either) until later on some seats were free.
Also, when returning I almost lost my ship to Greece (discount included) due to some passport checking on Switzerland-Italy borders that resulted in losing my first train and having to plan a new route with the nice lady at the ticket counter. I think the ship didn’t leave on time,too.
I’m sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience, I am sure some things changed since 2012. Reserving your seat for the night trains is now mandatory! 🙂
Thank you. There is still one thing that continues to confuse me as I make travel plans. No matter what website I visit (bahn, Eurostar, loco2, thalys, etc) I keep expecting to see the Eurail pass checkbox or in the discount card dropdown menu, but it never seems to be there? How do I book reservations on some of the long trains or international trains, and enjoy the benefits of my Eurail pass?
It is best to reserve your seat using the official Eurail website – You can use the Reservation Service (you will have to create an account first). Or you can use their phone app. You can find the step-by-step tutorial on how to book reservations using the app in the article! 🙂 For more details, you can check this section of their website.
Hello, this is a very helpful article. I have a question about something you mentioned toward the beginning. You said that if someone is from Italy, they can’t start their trip in Italy. I live in Barcelona and would like to use an Interrail pass to go from Barcelona to London, then to Heidelberg, then back to Barcelona. Does this mean that I would not be able to use the Interrail pass for the first and last legs of this journey?
If you are from Europe, then you need to buy the Interrail pass. You can use your Interrail Global Pass to make 1 inbound and 1 outbound journey within your own country so yes, you can use it for your first and last legs of the journey! 🙂
Thank you for this post.
I’m hoping you can clarify one thing for me—if I get an Italy Eurail Pass and reserve a seat on a fast train (thus paying the reservation fee) a few weeks before my travels, then decided closer to my travel day that I need a later fast train that day, do I forfeit my reservation fee and have to pay for another?
Because a reservation is made for a certain spot in a certain train, you would have to make another reservation if you change your mind, but Eurail and Interrail have a refund policy for reservation fees that you can read about here.
Hope this helps!
There is no more 15 days within 1 month ? I see they appear on rail.cc but not on interrail.eu
No, why? There is – i have just double checked – http://tidd.ly/b32babb6
it is currently 399 eur with the promo 🙂
ALso, just wondering if alot more expensive to buy a Eurailmass at the train station because not sure if enough time to receive it now.
Also if you are an exchange student from USA in Denmark studying abroad do you still buybEurail pass?
How do I have a better chance to get a seat reservation on TGV, EUROSTAR or ICE: As a global Interrail pass holder or as holder of individual tickets?!! Because I was told the various railway companies only allow limited seat reservations for global Interrail pass holders!!! Is this true? Is the global Interrail pass valid in UK as well? U mention here valid for 31 countries – in my brochure it says 33 countries! Incidentally I live in Austria – so Global Interrail applicable for me! Please respond to my above questions!! Thank you!
You can ask for it to be delivered to your first accommodation in Europe if time is short (hotel is better of course, airbnb host might forget about it).
I am not 100% sure, but I think if you have a residence permit (even a temporary one), you can do Interrail (which is cheaper). Please write them a message on Facebook to double check that, there are pretty responsive! 🙂
Hello! My sister and I are planning a trip to Europe and we would love to visit many countries but we are from Canada and I am quite confused with how the trains work as we do not have very many in Canada. We have never used Eurail before but your post has made me interested in using it! I am not sure how the trains work. Do we just show up whenever we want to take a train and hop on or do we have to book it in advance (like a flight)? Thanks!
Funnily enough, I have just arrived to Canada and I am very excited to discover your beautiful country!
Most of the times you can just show up at the train station and show your pass when you are checked for tickets (make sure to fill in the route in your pass though), but there are some cases that require booking your seat in advance (mostly speed trains in Italy and France) and overnight trains, I am talking about it in details in this post.
Hope this helps,
have a great trip if you decide to take it!
There are actually quite a few differences betweem eurail and interrail. For starters, interrail passengers over 27 (age increased) dont have to buy a first class ticket. Also, interrail has two additional countries in which its valid (Macedonia and Serbia)
I did not know about the additional countries, thank you very much for the comment!
it is basically the same thing, just that it is cheaper for EU tax payers (which you are considered to be as you are a UK citizen), so in this case I d buy an Interrail 🙂
I love your blog post. It is quite detailed. very useful info!
I’m not sure if I buy Interrail Global Pass or Eurail Global Pass?
I’m a British residence, I already bought the Eurostar ticket from London to Belgium. I Would like to start my journey in Belgium, is that ok?
I am planning a visit to Europe for a month. I will be traveling in these cities in the following order –
from 18/7/18 Belgium to Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo Individual tickets would cost me in euros (110,110,110, 110,110, 110) 650 euros first class in total. Is it worth it to get Interrail Global Pass or Eurail Global Pass?
Each city I will stay for 2 days or see what happens
Can I take any fast train any time? I want to take the fast train for all the border countries
Hope you can help,
Thank you very much
That’s a lovely idea to come to Europe for a honeymoon. My Albert and I did the same, Had a fab time. It wasn’t hectic at all. The best cities to visit on honeymoon are Smolensk, Wuppertal and Watford. No, don’t worry about having to carry your bags. The rail companies and tourist authorities are excellent in Europe. There are porters everywhere, and on many trains you check in your bags at one city and only collect them on arrival at your destination. Ladies are normally presented with a white rose at check-in. You are then escorted to your comfortable sleeping car, where you can expect a double bed and en suite shower. There is no absolutely obligation to dress formally for dinner on European trains, but it does make it a nice occasion. I wish you and your financé happy travels in Europe and many happy years of married life.
I was thinking of going on a honeymoon to Europe for 1 month. So will it get too hectic? Also which are the best cities to visit during the honeymoon?
Also would we have to carry our luggage everywhere if we are planning to take a night train?
I work on the German Railways as a guard on the overnight trains. Every year thousands of people your age travel Europe by train in perfect safety.
Travelling alone is a wonderful experience. You are more likely to meet interesting new people, and when you are alone you have deeper thoughts as you watch the scenery flit by. Do go for it.
If you go on an overnight train, (say, Paris-Venice or Munich-Rome) make sure you book a couchette (liggevogn in Danish), never a normal seat. Sitting up all night is a bad idea, and it is the easiest way to get something stolen. When you book a couchette you can ask to be with only other women. When you sleep, always make sure the door is locked.Then you shall be safe. If you need help the railway staff are always there to help you.
Italy is lovely in February and March – it is the best time to see Venice. As it is low season you may find individual tickets cheaper than Interrail. This post shows very well what you can expect.
And thank you sooo much for this site!!!!
I have som questions, which I hoped you could help me with.
This feb/mar I’m hopefully going on a trip around Europa, probably Spain, Franch, Germany, Italy or something like that.
I’n 19 years old, (and from Denmark), but I was wondering if you would say it was safe to travel alone, its just, I have never really travelled by train, more by the airports. So my first idea was to take a flight from city to city, ex. paris to Barcelona to rome and then home. But now I have read your blog here, so I’m actually quit curious now… Hope you can help me
Greetings from Denmark 😉
it sounds like you are off for a great adventure!
The countries that you chose to visit are great, all of them are safe, but as everywhere, use some common sense – do not leave your bags and valuables unattended (Barcelona and Paris are especially famous for pickpockets). Other than that you should be absolutely fine!
If you want to meet people, staying in hostels and taking trains is a great option!
I don’t know for sure how it is in the winter, but when I took the Interrail in the summer it was full of travelers more or less your age.
Traveling by train is completely different from flying from one city to another, it makes you “feel” the destination better (in my humble opinion) and have a more romantic experience overall.
Hope this helps,
have a great trip!
Thanks for this very detailed article.
It’s really got me thinking about my options for my next European adventure, (especially because I’m under 26)!
Just do it!:)
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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!
Is it worth getting the Eurail Regional pass if I am visiting Madrid, Barcelona, Porto and Lisbon in about 10-11 days?
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! 🙂
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 !
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!
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. 🙂
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)
Yes, you can travel as much as you can on that day when you use your Eurail pass
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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 🙂
Thanks so much, Tora! that means a world to me! :*
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 ?
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! 🙂
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
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! 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
totally agree! Thanks for the useful tip, Kate!