Trains are one of the best modes of transport to travel across Europe, it is also far better for the environment that a road trip! An Eurail Pass offers travellers more flexibility and ease than having to buy separate tickets in each destination. This is an all in one train ticket that allows access to the majority of train operators across Europe. Sometimes you need to make a reservation, but most of the time you just flash your ticket and board as simple as that.
For those of you that are reading this and living in an EU country, you will need an Interrail Pass, they are essentially the same thing but Eurail tickets are for those outside of the EU and Interrail are for those within, the passes are the same price and do the same thing.
Types of pass
You can use the Eurail trip planner here to find the best pass for you.
The Global Pass is the most popular and offers travel to 33 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Great Britain, France, Finland, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey,
It allows you unlimited travel and there is no limit on the distance you can travel within a travel day. It also offers hotel discounts, reduced museum fares, free ferry trips and more.
One Country Pass
The Eurail One Country Pass is the best choice if you want to spend all your time travelling around one European country. The pass offers up to 8 flexible days of travel (this does not mean your holiday has to only be 8 days, it just means within your holiday time, you can use 8 of those days travelling between cities), you can use the pass for up to one month and you are able to take multiple trains on each travel day.
What is a travel day?
There are a number of Eurail passes available, and other than the Global Pass, you buy your pass based on the amount of travel days you want.
A travel day is a 24-hour period in which you can travel on trains with your Eurail Pass. It lasts from 12:00 AM (midnight) to 11:59 PM on the same day. On each travel day, you have access to the train networks where your Eurail Pass is valid. On average, it won’t take you more than 1 travel day to go from one European city to the next, often travel times are just a few hours depending on where you want to go.
With a Continuous Pass, like the 1 Month Continuous Pass, every day in the validity period is a travel day, so you can travel every day. With a Flexi Pass, like the 5 days in 1 Month Pass, you can pick and choose on the go which days you want to travel up to the number specified.
When traveling on a night train that leaves on one day and arrives the next, without changing trains after midnight, you only have to spend 1 travel day: the day of departure. If you do change trains after midnight, you have to spend 2 travel days.
I would highly recommend opting for the mobile pass so you can travel paper-free. the Eurail app allows you to do everything from planning your trip to ticket inspection. You will need to make sure you have access to mobile data abroad to use this and to ensure you always have enough battery in your phone when travelling, but this beats getting stranded in unknown surroundings because you have misplaced your paper pass. It also means you do not have to wait for ticket delivery (express delivery takes a week) if you want to get travelling straight away. You can learn more about the Mobile Pass here.
Good to know
There are plenty of recommended itineraries on the Eurail website if you are not 100% sure on where you want to go and the cities you want to see. All the itineraries can be seen here.
Want to know more about various European destinations? All the Eurail city guides can be found here.
There is a community forum here in which you can ask questions or search questions if there is something you are unsure about, this often can give you more specific help than what google can, this forum can be found here.