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Europe by train: budget, country, operation ... Everything you need to know about the Interrail pass


It gives access to trains and some ferries from 33 European countries. A great way to connect the capitals and the more remote corners of the continent. Our guide to making the most of this railway sesame.

Going from one capital to another, improvising a stopover in a picturesque village, crossing borders while sleeping on sleeper trains ... To travel Europe by train inexpensively and without limits, Interrail is ideal.

Contrary to popular belief, this pass is not just for young people.

Since its creation in 1972, Interrail has gradually opened up to all age groups and to more and more countries.

Today, it allows all European citizens from the age of 4 to take trains from 33 countries, from Portugal to Turkey or from Sweden to Greece.

In which countries is Interrail valid?

Two formulas exist.


most comprehensive

Global Pass

allows you to use the rail networks of 33 countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary , Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Republic of Ireland, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

It gives the right to a return trip to France only to leave the country and return there.


One Country Pass

, valid for travel within a single state, is available in 30 countries.

It cannot be used in his country of residence.

These two passes give access to certain buses and ferries for free or at a reduced rate and give the right to a reduction in museums and partner accommodation.

A map published by Interrail gives an overview of all the rail and sea lines that can be taken.

Read also: Night trains: the new lines to take in Europe from this year

How much does the pass cost?

The price varies according to the age of the passenger, the class chosen (1st or 2nd) and the number of days of travel.


Global Pass

for an adult (28 to 59) in second class:

  • 4 days in a month: 246 €

  • 5 days in a month: 282 €

  • 7 days in a month: 335 €

  • 10 days over two months: 401 €

  • 15 days over two months: 493 €

  • 15 consecutive days: 443 €

  • 22 consecutive days: 518 €

  • 1 month: 670 €

  • 2 months: 731 €

  • 3 months: 902 €

Examples of prices of

One Country Pass

valid in second class:

  • Poland: 89 € for 5 days over a month

  • Italy: 177 € for 5 days over a month

  • Austria: 197 € for 5 days over a month

As for the first class, travelers benefit from more comfort thanks in particular to larger seats, additional equipment (screens, electrical outlets, etc.), meals served at the seat and access to the passenger lounges of some stations.

1st class passes cost between 30% and 40% more than 2nd class passes.

Young people aged 12 to 27 benefit from a 15% reduction on these prices.

The reduction is 10% for seniors (from 60 years old).

Read also: From Lisbon to Moscow, 15 destinations in Europe to go by train

Do you have to reserve your seat on the train?

The vast majority of trains can be taken without a reservation.

These are mainly the European equivalents of our TER and Intercités.

However, it is mandatory on high speed trains and night trains and incurs additional charges.

It takes an additional 30 € to travel to Amsterdam from Paris by Thalys.

To take a high-speed train in Italy, a supplement of € 10 is required.

To get a berth on an Austrian night train (ÖBB), you have to add around thirty euros.

A tool on the Interrail website allows you to find out train times and possible destinations in Europe and estimate your reservation costs.

Read also: Traveling by train in Europe: which railway company to take from France?

How to use the pass?

The Interrail pass can be purchased up to 11 months before the departure date.

If it is purchased outside a promotion period and if it is returned before its first day of validity, it can be refunded up to 85%.

Tickets come in two formats:

  • Paper version.

    Once purchased on the Interrail website, the pass is shipped by tracked mail within one to two weeks.

    To be valid, all you need to do is enter the date, time of departure and the departure and destination stations before each journey in the Interrail travel log.

  • Mobile version.

    Since summer 2020, the pass can be dematerialized and loaded on the Rail Planner application. It is necessary to record your route before each trip in order to generate a barcode that can be scanned by a controller. This barcode is also used to open the gates present in certain stations. The application also allows you to search for timetables, make reservations and follow your journeys in real time.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-01-22

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