What You Need To Know About Eurail and Interrail: How To Travel by Train Across Europe
I know that all of us, at least once in our lives have dreamt of traveling around the world, more so around the European Countries. Who wouldn’t want to see The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Alps, the Plitvice National Park in Croatia, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the Colosseum in Rome, the Sistine Chapel in Vatican, the Acropolis in Athens, the Grand Canal in Italy, and even just a glimpse of the Northern Lights in Sweden? I know we all want this and I’m sure that it’s gonna happen one sweet day!
My European Trip is about to come to an end. This time, I have travelled across 17 European Countries and because of that, I was able to gather tons of information on how you can cross the borders for your future European Tour. Eurail gave me, Krista, and Kees 1st Class Tickets for our European Tour and here’s everything you need to know about crossing the borders the fast, easy, and affordable way: via Train!
Is it possible to cross borders in Europe by train?
Definitely and I think that’s the best thing about traveling around Europe. There’s a train connecting more or less 30 European Countries so everything is accessible by train. Not only is it fast, it’s convenient too! However, note that Europe is a huge continent and moving across borders could take time so you really have to plan your trip ahead.
How can I do this?
Well, you need to have a train ticket of course. You’d find a lot of information and booking sites online but I’m here to discuss it quick and easy. Depending on your Nationality, you can either avail of the Eurail (Non-European Citizens) or Interrail (for EU Citizens).
What is Eurail? What is the Eurail Pass?
Eurail is the official online sales channel for Eurail Passes. A Eurail Pass is an all-in-one train ticket giving you flexible access to most trains across Europe. By flexible access, it’s somehow similar to a hop-on-hop-off bus, the only difference is that this is a train. With your Eurail Pass, you can go wherever you want across Europe as long as it is within your ticket terms, whenever you want.
Where can I go with my Eurail Pass?
Depending on what kind of ticket you avail of, you can go to as much as 28 Countries with it! The most popular routes are Paris-Rome, Madrid-Barcelona, Amsterdam-Brussels, Vienna-Budapest, Paris-Barcelona, Paris-Geneva, Amsterdam-Berlin, Prague-Vienna and a whole lot more. Check out this link to see the most popular routes to guide you on your trip.
Do I need a Ticket Reservation?
Some train stations require it but most of the time you can just go there, flash your Eurail Pass, and board the train. This is what Krista and Kees did! Haha.
What if I missed my train?
No worries. Just hop on to the next train. You can even change trains anytime you want in case you change your travel plans. This is what I love about this Pass! I missed my train a couple of times in Italy as everything on the timetable is written in Italian so I had to change trains twice. Imagine how much it would have costed me if I bought the regular ticket!
How can I know which pass is the best for me?
Not all of us has the luxury of time and we couldn’t stay longer than what we want. Finding the perfect pass for your European getaway is very easy:
Add countries that are on your bucket list and how many days you want to spend in each;
Reveal the ideal Eurail Pass for you; and
Select whether you want a 1st Class Seat or 2nd Class Seat.
For those with plenty of time and who is financially ready, you can select the Global Pass which allows you to travel across 28 European Countries continuously for 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months.
What are the perks of buying the 1st Class Seats?
Just like traveling by plane, traveling 1st Class means more comfort-- bigger and adjustable seats, more legroom, wide tables, electric outlet per seat, cabin service, wifi in some cars, and generous luggage racks. Note that this depends on the country and train company.
Do you recommend traveling First Class?
It depends. If you can afford it and if you’re traveling for long hours, then why not?! We all want that extra comfort. However, if you’re on a budget, the 2nd class will be just fine. No need to pay so much for some perks. Europe is Europe so 2nd Class isn’t that bad!
Is the Eurail/Interrail Pass also applicable to local train systems in a country?
It depends. Download the Rail Planner Eurail/Interrail on your iPhone or Android (don’t worry, it’s for free). With this App, you’ll be able to make e-ticket reservations online, find train stations near you, look up departure and arrival information for every station, find trains which doesn’t need reservations, save your most frequent searches, see all benefits for Eurail Pass Holders, and visualize your train trip on an interactive map. They will also state which trains are excluded from your pass.
What if I lose my Eurail/Interrail Pass?
That’s a shame but it can always happen. Eurail/Interrail understands this so they have a Pass Protection which you can avail of for an additional fee. This way, you can get a reimbursement with a maximum of 294 Euros on the train tickets which you paid for after the loss to be calculated from the remaining days on your pass. (Police report and train ticket receipts are required).
Well, I hope this doesn’t happen to you! Always keep your pass in your hotel’s vault when you don’t need it. Don’t go around carrying it with your valuables as pickpockets are always on the move. When needed, always keep it close to your body.
Do you recommend availing of the Eurail/Interrail Pass?
I highly do!! I know there’s no other faster and safer way to travel around than by plane but then again, not everyone has golden spoons in their mouth. Imagine the amount of money and time you’ll spend at the airport-- there goes the travel to the airport, the cueing at the immigration and the x-ray, waiting for the flight, delays, landing, cueing for the immigration again, waiting for your luggage, getting stressed about the exorbitant airport taxi rates, etc. etc.
There are just some things that I love about traveling by train (especially Eurail)-- it is convenient, affordable, fast, and of course, you’ll get to see scenic views along the way which you will never see in the plane. In fact, Eurail and Interrail also runs on some of Europe’s Scenic Train Routes-- some already fully included with your ticket while some require an additional fee.
For example, Bernina Express from Zurich-Germany will take you from Chur, the Oldest City in the Netherlands, crossing through the Albula Railways which is one of the most spectacular narrow gauge railways in the world, it will also take you around 3 crystal clear lakes and luscious mountains, complete with a panoramic view window. Will you ever see these in the plane? I bet not ♡
ARE YOU NOW PLANNING FOR YOUR UPCOMING EUROPE TRIP, FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENT BOX BELOW!
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