Though it has become far more accessible to visit further afield with the availability of cheaper flights to destinations outside of the continent, millions of people from the UK still flock to Europe every year to experience all that the continent has to offer! Given the complexity of Europe's train network, buying an interrail pass can often seem like the easiest way to travel around the continent. But how can you be sure that you're actually getting the best deal? Which pass makes the most sense for your specific trip? When are individual train tickets actually cheaper than buying a rail pass? There are no definitive answers to any of these questions but we're here to help you through the decision-making process with our comprehensive guide to buying European rail passes and help you begin your Interrail Europe trip.
Choose between the 2 Interrail Pass types
Here are a few things you'll want to consider before buying:
- Your age: Interrail passes makes the most sense for travellers under 25 years old who are planning a longer trip involving many towns and cities in multiple countries
- Your booking period: As a general rule, the longer you plan to travel, the more likely it is that you’ll save with some kind of Interrail pass especially if you’re last-minute planner (train tickets in Europe can get pretty expensive when you book last-minute)
- Your travel plan: You’ll also find that Interrailing tickets can be very convenient for exploring off-the-beaten path destinations as you won’t need to reserve seats on regional trains
- Your seat reservations: When you’re travelling between major cities or on high-speed trains, you’ll usually need to pay additional seat reservation fees on top of the cost of the Interrail Pass
No matter your travel plans, you’ll definitely want to use GoEuro to double check prices for your specific trip to see if you can string together a cheaper itinerary yourself. You can check prices for most train companies 2-4 months in advance of your intended travel date.
How to choose which Interrail Pass is right for your trip
Where can you travel while Interrailing Europe?
Global Pass: Experience everything Europe has to offer as you travel in and between 30 countries with the Interrail Global Pass.
The Interrail Global Pass is the most flexible travel option which gives you access to the rail networks of over 30 countries while Interrailing Europe. This rail pass is ideal for travellers who don't have a planned itinerary or even a definite idea of what countries they want to visit.
Passes with Extras: Experience more of Greece, Italy and Spain with a Premium Pass. Passes with Extras.
With the Interrail Passes with Extra you can get extra comfort and other benefits that include free ferries to Greek Islands from and to Greece from Italy.
One Country Pass: Travel around one country in Europe with the Interrail One Country Pass.
The Interrail One Country Pass is the ideal choice for travellers who want to explore one country by train. This rail pass allows you to travel between cities by either high-speed or regional trains.
How far and how often can you travel?
- Each Interrail pass has a different validity period. For the Interrail Global Pass validity ranges from 5 days to 3 months. For the One Country Pass it will be valid for a months' worth of travel.
- Continuous validity: An Interrail pass with continuous validity makes the most sense if you are planning on travelling by train almost every day. For example: with a Interrail Global 22 day continuous pass you can travel by train on 22 consecutive days. More Information →
- Flexible validity: An Interrail pass with flexible validity makes the most sense if you are planning on travelling by train once every few days. For example: with the Interrail Global 15 day flexible pass, you are free to choose 15 specific "travel days" on which you want to take the train, during a 2 month period. More Information →
Do you travel in 1st or 2nd class with the Interrail Pass?
- Interrail passes are available for both 1st and 2nd class train travel. A 1st class Interrail pass is also valid for 2nd class train travel. The facilities and services provided in each class depend upon both the train company and specific train type. More Information →
Do you qualify for any discounts?
- Youth Pass: If you are still under 26 on the first day your Interrail pass is valid, you qualify for a 35% discounted Youth Pass.
- Senior discounts: Travellers who are ages 60 and over qualify for Senior discounts and are granted a 10% discount on an Adult Pass.
- Family Discounts: Children under 12 travel for free with Interrailing tickets. Those aged 4 and under do not require an Interrail ticket and those aged 4-11, although still allowed to travel free of charge, will have to travel with a child's pass which can be collected with an adult pass. More Information →
Interrail One Country Passes
Interrail One Country Passes are unfortunately not currently available for France; however, France can be included as a travel destination in both Interrail Select Passes and the Interrail Global Pass. Similarly, German rail passes are only available through Deutsche Bahn.
|One Country Pass for Austria||From £118|
|One Country Pass for BeNeLux||From £79|
|One Country Pass for Bulgaria||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Croatia||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Czech Republic||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Denmark||From £79|
|One Country Pass for France||From £139|
|One Country Pass for Greece||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Hungary||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Ireland||From £79|
|One Country Pass for Italy||From £79|
|One Country Pass for Norway||From £118|
|One Country Pass for Poland||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Portugal||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Romania||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Sweden||From £128|
|One Country Pass for Slovakia||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Slovenia||From £52|
|One Country Pass for Spain||From £18|
|One Country Pass for Germany||From £139|
2 routes where buying an Interrail Pass will save you money
South to North: Interrail Global Pass
Visit 7 European cities in 6 countries with the Interrail Global Pass starting from £330. Doing this itinerary with an Interrail Global Pass is 9% cheaper than purchasing equivalent point-to-point tickets.South to North Europe Trip
Travel between 30 European countries with the simplicity of the Interrail Global Pass.
2 Weeks in Spain: Interrail One-Country Pass
Visit 5 cities in Spain with the Interrail One Country Pass starting from £122. If you're booking point-to-point tickets for this route at the last minute, you should consider purchasing a Spanish Interrail pass.2 Weeks in Spain
Explore one of Interrail's many partner countries with the one-country pass. More Information →
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Eurail and Interrail Passes?
- A Eurail pass can only be used by non-European citizens/residents and can purchase on their offical website instead. If you are not a European citizen but you can prove that you reside in Europe, you can also use an Interrail pass.
What is a "Travel Day"?
- A travel day is a 24 hour period within which you can travel on train networks where your Interrail pass is valid. A travel day lasts from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the same calendar day. Direct night train routes that depart after 7 p.m. and arrive after 4 a.m. only require one travel day. More Information →
Can you travel within a country with an Interrail Pass?
- Yes, you can travel on domestic trains within countries where your Interrail pass is valid. Remember that most domestic high-speed trains require a reservation.
How can you use an Interrail Pass?
An Interrail pass must be activated before you can start using it. It must be activated within 11 months of when it is issued by Interrail. You can either activate your pass at a European train station or have Interrail pre-activate your pass by selecting the "activate my pass" option at checkout. More Information →
In order to use your Interrail pass, you simply need to fill in the travel diary section with your train route details prior to boarding the train. Once you're on the train, you just need to show your Interrail Pass, plus your passport or identity document, to any staff member who asks to see it.
How do you receive your Interrail Pass?
- Interrail offers 3 methods of signed delivery, including free economy shipping to most countries. Check the expected delivery date and costs for your pass with Interails's shipping calculator. If you don't have the time to receive your pass at your home address, Interrail can also ship it to your hotel or hostel in Europe.
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