It makes much more sense to buy the 14-day pass instead of a full month. If you will be jumping around countries (ex: Spain to Italy) the train is going to eat up much of your itinerary and time, and flights are probably going to be cheaper anyway! Eurail Passes are not valid for travel by European residents; Passes must be validated before first use at the train station ticket office and within 11 months of Issue Date; Most high-speed and night trains require a seat reservation fee; Standard Eurail Passes are refundable, minus a 15% cancellation fee We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. And sometimes it’s tough to know when to use the train vs. car, bus, or plane! You never have to wonder if a train trip justifies using a “travel day” like the flexi pass. Tip: It is possible to have it delivered to an address while in Europe. Some countries, like the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg are considered 1 country on the pass called “Benelux.“. You pay per day, not per train: Take 1 train or 5 trains a day, or travel 400km. Considered as the most popular pass, Eurail Global Pass is seen by many as the easiest way to travel within Europe. Because European cities are so well connected, you can easily make detours and changes to your itinerary with a rail pass. Often times the bus is actually cheaper and more efficient. You can combine 1-5 countries, or get a global pass for full-admittance to all 28 participating countries. This is generally the most expensive option, and often times not worth the cost unless you plan to ride the train nearly daily. This past summer I spent 2 months travelling around Europe with a Eurail pass, where I took a total of 12 trains through 8 cities and 7 different countries.Over the course of the trip I rode a mix of high-speed trains and regional trains, I sat in crowded trains and empty trains, and I even missed a few tight … How to Buy a Eurail Pass: You must purchase a Eurail Pass online, which will be shipped to your home address. They do not have the luxury of speed, though you don’t really need it as the distances are short. The Global Pass gives you access to 28 countries in Europe, with validity options ranging from 5 days to 3 months. You can do this at a European train station, or online using our free activation service at checkout. Eurail or Interrail Global Passes ... We have great selection of city breaks in Europe for you to choose from. Flexi Pass: This pass gets you a certain amount of travel days between a 2-month period. Sometimes the pass doesn’t make sense. Eurail Passes are only for non-European citizens or residents. No need to plan ahead! The more travel days you choose, the more expensive the pass gets. 2nd class pass-holders can travel in Standard and 1st class pass-holders can travel in Standard Premier. Eurail passes are actually on sale right now until November 30 for … Train stations are located in the city centers, so you don’t have to deal with travel between far-out airports and your destination. Travel in Eastern Europe and the Balkans: Train travel is also very cheap here. You cannot use the One Country Pass to travel to or from the country your Pass is valid in. Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. If you already have a set itinerary with accommodation reservations, look up flights, train tickets, and bus tickets ahead of time. The passes work on an extensive network for travel on trains and ferries between 33 countries. Note that, the terms “Eurail Youth Pass” and “Eurail Student Pass” are often used interchangeably. It’s also FREE at the moment! You can choose a Eurail pass giving unlimited travel for various periods of time on the national rail networks of just one of the 33 participating countries (a one-country pass) or all 33 countries (a global pass). If you’re a European resident you can travel with an Interrail Pass. Trains do not have luggage weight or quantity limits, which can sometimes make train travel cheaper than air travel. Interrail – for European residents looking to discover as many as 33 countries in Europe by rail.. German Rail Passes – the pass giving unlimited train travel across Germany, available to non-European residents.. It is much cheaper if you buy your tickets online a month or two ahead of time. Want to know which countries you can visit with Eurail?Â Download the officialÂ Eurail Pass MapÂ from their website and start planning your trip. The Select Pass is only usable for 5 to 15 travel days in a two-month period. It is possible to have one shipped within Europe, but you need an address. The train is much more comfortable than planes, especially those budget airlines like Ryan Air… You have larger seats, and the ability to walk around. Invest in an eco-friendly travel backpack for 2021 and let's put an end to environmentally damaging products. As an American, I am always thoroughly impressed by European public transportation. Here are the websites for Rail Europe Canada, Rail Europe Australia, and Rail Europe New Zealand. 1) Selecting the Right Eurail Pass. The Eurail Pass is the most flexible way to travel around Europe for non-European residents. The Eurail pass is valid for travel with participating train, ferry and public transport companies. If you are traveling slowly from Barcelona to Rome (going through the French Riviera, Switzerland, Tuscany, and a few towns in Italy along the way) then the train pass makes the most sense for fun and flexibility. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Moreover, you should also check point-to-point ticket between Paris and Amsterdam. This is also a great way to travel Europe if you are short on time and trying to make the most of your itinerary. Those on a gap-year from school or who are still in the springtime of their life (you whipper-snappers) should ABSOLUTELY be taking advantage of this opportunity. And remember, regional trains do not have a restaurant car! Even if a train ticket is more expensive, it’s sometimes worth it just for the view and comfort. The continuous pass also provides the most flexibility. © 2020, The Broke Backpacker. That’s why I wrote this guide to European train travel! You will then activate your rail pass by getting it stamped at the ticket window at the departure station on the day of your first train journey. These cookies do not store any personal information. Budget Tip: If you know you are traveling to Europe this summer, then book your pass far in advance. In my opinion, one should always choose a second class ticket when buying a rail pass, if possible. Non-European options Travel on Islands: When traveling to countries like Greece, mostly comprised of islands, it obviously makes no sense to travel by a rail pass. Choose from popular countries like Italy and Spain and use regional and high-speed trains to move from one beautiful city center to the next with our One Country Pass. Want to support the site? For the Select Pass, you are limited to traveling between 3, 4, or 5 bordering countries. For example Belgium, the Netherlands and Benelux are covered by the same Benelux Pass. Eurail One Country Pass The Eurail One Country Pass is the best choice if you want to spend your vacation experiencing 1 European country. European and UK residents should use Interail. The pass isn’t cheap, and I actually had to hunt mine down at the DHL office in Madrid to get it in time! Reservation: Most trains do not require a reservation, but some will. Activate the pass on the last day of your first city, and end it on the first day of your last city to get the most value. This is a pass you can use to travel around Switzerland; point-to-point tickets in Switzerland are expensive. The longer your pass is valid, the more expensive it is. The more countries you choose, the more expensive the pass. See also . There are 2 Eurail Passes you can choose from: With this Pass you can travel in all Eurail 33 countries, which are: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland), Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey. This is a railway pass that allows non-European residents to travel throughout Europe on the extensive rail network. That said, it can be a bit confusing to decipher all of the different types of passes when planning a trip to Europe, and each country has different railway companies and regulations to abideâ¦ Plus, you might be wondering if you should even travel Europe by train and if the costs of Eurail Passes are really worth it. Besides talking Eurail, I will also cover several other types of train passes in Europe, including point-to-point tickets, and regional passes. Find a break * Only the person named on the pass can use it to travel with Eurostar. Only non-European residents can use a Eurail pass. You can travel between the 28 participating Eurail countries on the Global Pass. There are different validities you can choose from, ranging from just 4 travel days up to a maximum of 3 months. Eurail Passes are marketed and sold at a great discount to non-European residents to encourage tourism onboard Inter-City European Trains. Most high-speed and night trains require a reservation at an additional cost.Learn more about seat reservations It can be overwhelmingly confusing to decipher between the different types of train tickets and passes when planning a trip to Europe. 1st class Passes are valid in both 1st and 2nd class coaches. Flexibility: Travel whenever you want, wherever you want. Refer to the Essential Information for Rails by Country below. This is a fun way to travel Europe because you can travel without a plan. If youâre traveling a long distance and set on train travel, you should take a night train. Unlimited travel means unlimited - you can use 1 train or 20 trains a day, going 10 miles or 800 miles, it doesn't matter. There is also a small fee for reservations. Buy Your Tickets at the Station: It’s easier to buy regional tickets at the train station. Not all passes are created equal. Regional trains, as the name suggests, will transport you around a specific region of a country. Learn how to travel the world for less than $10 per day with the Backpacker Bible! Reservation fees are charged by the railway carriers, and are not included in your Eurail Pass. Eurail Global Passes are available to non-European citizens and residents, while European citizens can get an Interrail Pass instead for the same price. What is it going to cost you? Firstly, you pay a one-time fee for your rail pass, which is delivered to your home address before your trip. You will need to carry your passport to use Eurail products to prove eligibility. For example,You plan to go to Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Munich for one month, but you will be in Paris for a week and Munich for a week. You can purchase a 3 Country Select Pass and travel between the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg (i.e. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. Weâll talk about the best ways to travel Europe by train and cover the ever-controversial subject of whetherÂ Eurail passesÂ are worth your time. It's flexible, so you can map out your route in advance or simply decide on the day – you choose. Check the box âAvoid trains that require a reservationâ though! SALE ALERT! All rights reserved. Eurail Tickets are marketed and sold at a great discount to non-European residents to encourage tourism onboard Inter-City European Trains. If you’re on a budget, check Megabus and other cheap ways of travel instead! A rail pass in Europe offers unmatched freedom for multiple journeys (unless a reservation is required, which is necessary for most overnight and high-speed trains). Essential Information For Railways by Country, Essential Information for Rails by Country. Even though European countries are well-connected by rail, each country has their own national rail company and regulations. Some European train passes, including Eurail, do not include intra-city public transport. However, you will need to prove that you have residency or citizenship before you can get an Interrail Pass. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Eurail One Country Pass If you wish to visit one European country alone you can use this Pass. Interrail is great for European residents. Okay, train travel is great, but there are disadvantages of the rails too. Check out our guide on what to pack for Europe. (European residents can use the Interrail Pass instead.) Make sure to check this box when you are buying your Eurail Pass! You don’t have to buy a regional train ticket in advance since there are frequent services and reservations are not required. Traveling Regionally: If you are only traveling within a region of a country, the regional ticket will be sufficient. Intended for foreign visitors to Europe, the pass is similar in scope to Inter Rail, which is exclusively for European residents. You can show up at the train station and hop on, unlike flying or renting a car, which generally requires a reservation far in advance. With it you can travel between destinations like Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan by regional and high-speed trains. The Global Pass covers about 40,000 destinations. Only non-European residents can travel around the continent with a Eurail pass. Below I have highlighted the advantages of traveling Europe by train, and why you should choose a train over air travel.
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