Europe is remarkably unique in that it feels small enough to traverse with ease but far and wide enough to feel as though you’ve experienced all the world has to offer. With 44 countries all rich in history, architecture, culture, and gastronomy, and diverse in both landscape and climate, it makes for a truly extraordinary adventure. And European Interrailing makes it an easy, optimized, and an affordable one too.
In this post we cover all there is to know about how European Interrailing works so that you can go from the tranquil seasides to the extreme slopes, the bustling cities to the quiet countrysides, whenever and however you please.
What is European Interrailing?
Interrailing provides you with ultimate freedom of movement between 33 European countries by simply purchasing an Interrail pass. The Interrail pass gives you access to national railways and some ferries and takes the place of a ticket. You can choose from just 4 days of travel up to a maximum of 3 months.
You can make use of an Interrail pass if you’re a European citizen or a resident of Europe. Non-European citizens can purchase a Eurail pass, available at Eurail.com.
There are 40000 destinations across 33 countries accessible using the European Interrail, including:
The cost of a European Interrail pass
There are two categories of passes: the Interrail Global Pass and the One Country Pass. Prices range from €51 to €600, depending on the flexibility you need and/or the number of days you wish to travel. If you’re under 27 or over 60 years of age, you get a discount on your pass.
The Interrail Global Pass – classic
This pass is the crown jewel of them all: allows for travel to over 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries. There are several options – you may prefer to pay only for the number of days and flexibility you need for your trip, rather than invest in a long-term pass. From € 185
Interrail One Country Pass
If you’re set on conquering just one European country (that’s part of the interrail system), this pass gives you complete access to your chosen destination’s train lines. From € 51
Where to buy a European Interrail pass?
Purchasing your Interrail pass online at interrail.eu is by far the most convenient and affordable way to do it. The activation code is sent directly to your inbox, you then add and activate it on the Rail Planner app to get moving.
You can also purchase a pass at the ticket desk of selected stations, but it may come with some challenges. Because fewer are sold at the desks, some ticket officers may have little to no knowledge of the Interrail pass.
You may prefer a paper pass, which can also be purchased online, but it’s sent via post. This option will incur shipping costs and a delivery delay. You’ll also need to select a start date at checkout, which will be the day your pass becomes valid for use. If you’d like to change your start date, you’ll need to exchange the pass.
How to use the Interrail Pass at stations and ferry ports
With a mobile pass, simply activate the pass on the Rail Planner app before your journey and scan at stations or ferry ports. The mobile Global Pass can be used up to 11 months after purchase.
Paper passes also come with a scannable barcode for access to trains and ferries.
How to find Interrail transport timetables?
The Rail Planner app we mentioned previously is your one-stop app for your Interrail journey. Access your Interrail pass, check timetables, plan and save your itinerary, book seat reservations and enjoy discounts on selected train, ferry, and bus routes. Available for free download on iOS and Android. (It’s also accessible offline – bonus!)
Advantages of the Interrail Pass
- The Interrail pass saves you from having to decide on a destination or plan a route in advance. It’s your ticket to spontaneous, flexible travel through Europe
- Reduce your travel time as there’s no need to check in luggage or pass through security
- Purchase a pass now and travel up to 11 months later
- Receive a free replacement pass if you lose your phone and had opted for a mobile pass
- Choose between 1st or 2nd class seats at purchase
- All standard Interrail Passes are refundable or exchangeable if unused
- Interrailing is a sustainable way to travel
Disadvantages of the Interrail Pass
There are very few disadvantages to the Interrail pass, especially if you opt for a mobile pass as it reduces the risk of loss or theft. There are obvious disadvantages to the paper pass, but in general, the Interrail pass is a highly convenient, affordable, and sustainable way to experience Europe.
It’s always a good idea to think about how your travels affect people and the planet. Interrailing is indeed sustainable! Rail transport is the cleanest mode of transport compared to most other forms of transport!
Whether you want to take a European sightseeing staycation or embark on an epic adventure with friends, family, or even solo, the European Interrail makes your every travel desire possible. It connects Europe in a totally different way, making spontaneous travel possible, all while saving you time and costs!