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The Eurail Pass, what is it? whom is it for?

855 vues | Par | 15 août 2022

dès 167€ 1 Month

40 000 destinations

33 Countries

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The Eurail Pass is an all-in-on ticket that allows you to travel in the majority of trains all across Europe. It was created in 1959, and while it was originally composed of 13 countries, it is today regrouping 33 countries. The pass allows you to gain access to the railway network of the countries associated with Eurail. Its exceptional flexibility sets it apart : you can go anywhere you want, anytime you want!

L’Eurail Pass, c’est quoi ? pour qui ?

L’Eurail Pass, c’est quoi ? pour qui ?

4.4/5 - (19 votes)
Mon deuxieme voyage Interrail - 2022

A big « thank you » to Maya (French-cannadian) who offers you this translation!

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Traveling by train in Europe with Interrail & Eurail

The train serves as a privileged way of discovering Europe and its touristic destinations. Each year, thousands of travelers decide to wander around the Old World via its railroads because of its numerous and practical advantages. Not only does it provide a large degree of autonomy by offering a direct access to the city centers that you could wish to visit, but it is also an affordable and sustainable way of transportation, like I had extended on in another article. In this period of ecological awareness marked by a desire to explore the world in new and diversified ways, the train therefore stands out due to its various qualities.

It has now been a few years since European countries have decided to establish a communal structure enabling travelers to cross borders and visit their cities thanks to the two main railway lines : the Eurail and InterRail. In this article, I will elaborate on the function and particularities of the first one. To learn more about the second one, just click on this link!

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The Eurail Pass & Interrail
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40 000 destinations

33 countries

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Eurail & Interrail Countries

InterRail railway map with travel time

Source : interRail.com

List of countries included in the Eurail & InterRail passes

Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Britain
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Lithuania
Luxemburg
Montenegro
Netherlands
North Macedonia
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Swiss
Turkey

Eurail and InterRail : what’s the difference?

There are two ways to travel across Europe by train : the Eurail Pass and the InterRail Pass. The Eurail Pass is applicable only to non-european citizens or non-european residents. The InterRail is for European citizens only. It can however be used by non-european citizens when they are considered official residents of a European country. In this last case, proof of European residency is necessary.

If the difference between Eurail and InterRail is important when purchasing your tickets, know that both passes offer identical packages, at the same prices.

The Eurail Passes

When you purchase an Eurail ticket, you have the possibility to choose from two options :

« Global Pass » | « One Country Pass »

1° : The « Global Pass »

The “Global Pass” is valid in all 33 Eurail countries. It allows you to travel freely across all concerned countries. However, the price of the « Global Pass » fluctuates depending on how many days you travel.

1.1 : Flexible

With this option you can choose without restraints your travel days in a period of 1 or 2 months. For example, if you pick the package “4 days of travel in a month” you are not obligated to use these 4 days all at once. You simply have to choose 4 days during the month, from the activation date of your Pass.

  • 4, 5 or 7 days of travel in a month
  • 10 or 15 days of travel in two months

1.2 : Continue

With this option, you do not have to choose your traveling dates in advance. You can circulate freely during the period in question. For example, if you pick the package “22 consecutive days”, you may take whichever trains you wish to during the 22 days, starting the day you activate your Pass.

  • 15 or 22 consecutive days
  • 1, 2 , 3 consecutive months

2° : The « One Country Pass »

Like it is implied in its name, the “One Country Pass” can only be used in one country. It allows you to travel unrestrictedly in the national network that you have chosen, depending on the package you have opted for. For each country, you have the option to choose between 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 days of travel in a month’s time frame.

Attention 1 !

4 countries are not eligible with this Pass : Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Switzerland.

 

Attention 2 !

Regarding the “One Country Pass”, each country offers specific rates and conditions. It is therefore important to look at the different options and gather all the information necessary before settling on a package!

 

Overview of the InterRail Pass : Price / Duration / Number of travel days

Récapitulatif du pass interRail : Prix / durée / nombre de jour de voyage
Overview of the InterRail Pass : Price / Duration / Number of travel days

What is a “travel day”?

When opting for the flexible packages available with the Eurail Pass, you get a certain amount of “travel days” over a given period. In this case, one day of travel corresponds to one day of use of the pass. For each travel day, you can take freely whatever train, boat and bus you want from midnight to midnight. Let’s use an example: you have chosen the option “10 days of travel within two months”. If you take two trains the day you activate your pass, the two trips will count as 1 day of travel until midnight. If you do not take a train the following day, no day of travel will be counted. However, if you take a new train 3 days later, then a second day of travel is recorded.

Concerning night trains, Eurail thought ahead! When you take a train at 10 pm with an arrival time of 9 am the next morning, only one day of travel is counted, namely the day of the departure. On the other hand, if you take another train after 11:59 pm the day you arrive, a second day of travel is recorded.

Activate and use the Eurail Pass

You have chosen your traveling package and are now ready to embark on a new adventure exploring Europe?

The only thing left to do is to now learn how to use your Eurail Pass in real situations. To benefit from its advantages, you must first activate it, and then, after your departure, register each of your trips.

1° : Activate the Eurail Pass

When traveling, in the event of a passenger screening, it is the Pass itself that you will have to show. In other words, the Pass acts as your ticket in each of the trains you will take. For that to happen, it is mandatory to ACTIVATE your Eurail Pass. This activation is only done once, and must be completed before boarding the very first train. The validity of the Pass depends solely on its activation, which means that the Pass cannot be used unless you activate it. Please note: you have 11 months, starting the day of the purchase, to activate it.

To activate you pass, you have two options:

At the station

In order to activate your Pass, you simply have to go to the ticketing area of any train station of a country involved with Eurail, for free! The train station’s agent will note on your Pass the date of departure, and, by doing so, the end date of its validity. Your passport number is required. Your Pass will be stamped so as to prove the authenticity of the information.

On the website at the time of purchase

In the event that you already know your departure date when purchasing the Pass, it is possible for you to pre-activate it before receiving it. On the website, when you buy the Pass, all you have to do is select the option “activate my Pass’ and choose the starting date of validity. Your passport number is, again, required.

2° : Register your travels

Something very important to know is that you must register each of your trips for the duration of your journey. Before boarding a new train, you have to remember to indicate every detail of your trajectory, such as the departure time, the station of departure and the station of arrival. This information must be noted either directly on the Pass or in the “My Trip” section of the Rail Planner app.

Be careful!: The choice between the Pass and the app should be carefully considered because, once made, it must be adhered to for the duration of your trip.

“Flexible” options

If you have opted for one of the “flexible” options, meaning multiple days of travel in a given period, you have to complete the calendar directly on the Pass before the departure of the first train of each day of travel.

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App store interrail

Download the InterRail App

  • Consult, off-line, your train’s schedules
  • Plan your trip from start to finish
  • Board without worries
  • Make your reservations
  • Benefit from additional discounts

Le Pass InterRail, FAQ

Is the Pass free for kids?

Children between the ages of 4 and 11 can receive a Eurail pass for free, as long as they are accompanied by an adult who has already purchased one.

Do I have to book beforehand all the trains I plan on boarding?

With the Pass, pre-booking is usually not mandatory for local and regional trains unlike high-speed railways, international trains (Eurostar, Thalys, TGV, AVE, Transitalia, etc.) and night trains that do require it. Bookings can be done at the train station, on the Eurail website and on the Rail Planner app.

Should I anticipate additional costs?

Additional fees will be charged for : wifi, food and seat selection. If you are interested in any or all of these options, inquire as fees vary depending on the company.

How long do I have to wait before receiving my Pass?

When purchasing your Pass, you have the choice between two options. The first option, “Premium Shipping”, delivers your pass to your house in a week, as opposed to the second option, “Economy Shipping”, which consists of a two week delivery period. You have the possibility to track your order directly from your account on the Eurail website.

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