Travel With Eurail Pass » 7 Reasons why you should do it [or not]

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A month travelling around Europe. We choose spring as the perfect time to travel with Eurail Pass, to try one of the most traditional ways to explore Europe. After 17 trains trips, we figured out some truths and understood why some people love Eurail Passes, and why others not that much. So we decided to put some information together to help you decided if it is worth or not to travel with Eurail Pass.

There are many options of Eurail Passes and we are going to talk about them later. First I want to point out that we travelled with a Eurail Global Pass 1st class. It means that we could take as many trains as we wanted in whole Europe [28 countries included], during a period of 30 days. The first class wasn´t an essential thing for us, but as we are over 26 years [don’t tell this to anyone else, ok!] we can only get Eurail Pass 1st class. However, on the end of the trip I was glad with this compulsory issue, it made the journey much more comfortable.

This was our first experience travelling with long distance trains and Eurail Pass. And after 17 trains trips we decide to put some questions on the table to help you understand the good and the bad aspects of travel with Eurail pass.

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7 Reasons why you should [or not] travel with Eurail Pass

– 1º » Travel with Eurail Pass is easy

Yes, it is! Definitely one of the easiest ways of traveling around Europe!
The idea of only one ticket, many connections, and an overwhelming option of timetable is what I call an easy way of travelling.

We took 17 trains, we crossed 7 countries, an endless amount of cities, villages… and believe or not, we had no problem. When we started our journey I wasn’t convinced by the label “easy way of travelling”, but turned out to be an extremely smooth experience. Why? First of all, you don’t need to do check-in, you can arrive at the station just 20 – 30 minutes in advance, you don’t need to pass by X-ray, passport control, either drop your luggage over the counter [unless you are travelling from France to UK]. You just arrive, find your train, your seat and relax.

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Before the first trip, you will need to validate the pass at the train station ticket window, after that you don’t need to worry about anything else. The crew from the train will approach you during the journey just to check the pass and passport, no further questions, nothing. Even to cross the country’s borders was easy, only in Spain and Switzerland the immigration officer questioned about our travels plans.

Another easy aspect is that most of the train stations are located in the city center and are well-connected with public transportation, what makes super easy to get in and out of the places.Travel With Eurail Pass-4

– 2º » Travel with Eurail Pass is flexible

Yes, especially if you have an open plan and will travel for a long period!
For us, the Eurail Pass was perfect. We knew beforehand the cities and countries we want to visit, and the average of days we would spend there. So we didn’t need to book anything in advance, we just search for the best route and the timetable to organize our departure and arrival time. Also, if you miss a train [what happened with us after a long night partying in Paris] we just waited for next one, no changing of bookings, no changing tickets, nothing.

One important fact about flexibility: local and regional trains run almost every hour, so it’s easy to catch the next one and keep moving. However, the high-speed trains and border connection are not so often. To make our travel planning easy, we downloaded the Eurail App in my mobile so we could search the connections, timetables and type of trains in a simple click. The app work offline what is great!

I would say that travel with Eurail Pass is far more flexible than travel by bus and flights. It takes more time as you are going to spend few hours travelling and looking at stunning landscapes, but it is hassle free. After one month, travelling by train in Europe was difficult to go back to the low-cost airlines restrictions.

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– 3º » You can make your own itinerary with Eurail Pass

If you are going to travel just in one or 2 countries, it is easy, you can use the route planner on the Eurail website and you will find the timetables and best options for you. Although if you are going to travel long distances and reach many different countries, things get a little bit more complicated and trick.

The Eurail Pass covers all Europe, from Portugal to Turkey, going up to Sweden and even Ireland is on the map, but not all the train services are included freely on the passes. This is why many people say it is not worth to travel with Eurail Pass because sometimes you may need to make reservations and even pay some extra fees. About the fees we are going to talk in the next topic, first I want to focus on choosing the itinerary.

We travelled over a month without doing any reservation and without paying any extra fee. How? We choose to travel only with local and regional trains. On the Eurail App there is a function to search only those types of trains, excluding the ones that need a reservation. So you only need to show up in the station and walk in the train. Of course, the trips are longer and sometimes you will need to do several connections between point A and B, but this is the adventure of travelling.

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We started our trip in Milan and our first destination was Paris. But before arriving in the French capital we passed by Bellinzona [IT], Basel [CH], Mulhouse [FR], Belfort [FR] and then Paris. A journey of 12 hours with amazing views from the north of Italy, Swiss Alps, French countryside. A few stops for coffee, snacks and some running between platforms to catch the next train. If we did the same trip with a TGV high-speed and direct train it would take 7 hours, a faster option, but with some extra costs.

To choose the route between Milan and Paris was easy, no reservation and no extra fees. Most of the regional trains were empty, comfy and the French train stations have a good WiFi. Perfect for bloggers! 🙂

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When we moved from Paris to Amsterdam [and lost the first train because of my hangover, shame on me!] we choose local and regional trains again. Nine hours trip, 3 stops between cities and another great journey [as Rob told me, because I slept the whole trip]. Here is a good example of flexibility, because we missed the first train that was in our travel plan we had to do different connections, all then sorted out with our mobile app.

Summing up, the itinerary is easy to organize, there are plenty of options if you don’t mind the long hours in the train and some waiting time at the stations. Although, if you prefer a straightforward trip in high-speed, you might have to deal with online reservations, previous booking and some additional fees.

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– 4º » Extra fees & fares you have to be aware of

There are some fares and fees that are not included in the price of the Eurail Pass and you must have to consider them before buying the passes. All these fares are explained on the Eurail website and that´s why you have to read the contract carefully, and ask them some extra help in case you are in doubt.

What are these fares and fees about?
They are reservation fee and high-speed train fare. So if you want to travel by an overnight train, or make a reservation to secure your first class seat you will need to pay for it. How much? It all depends on which country you are travelling to and the train company. Sometimes the extra cost of an overnight train might be cheaper than a night in a hotel, you will need to do the math if saving money is an important issue for you. [for us it is! 😉 ]

The high-speed train fare is not the same for all the countries too. In France and Italy [the most complicated countries for travelling with Eurail Pass on high-speed trains] you can only travel with TGV and Freccia with previous booking, and that will cost you some euros. For example, from Italy to France [by TGV] your extra fee will be from €48 – 80€ [1st class] or from €33 to €60 [2nd class]. Ouchh!!! You can check the list of fees here.

However, in countries like Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland you can travel with high-speed without reservation. The only problem is if the first class is fully booked you might have to grab a seat on the 2nd class car. The German trains and service are amazing, first class with good WiFi, nice restaurants and even free candies! We travelled from Amsterdam to Berlin on the exactly day the German train workers went on a strike, even though we had no problem. With our Eurail Pass we just follow the instructions and the new timetable.

During our month travelling with Eurail Pass we didn’t pay any extra fee or fare because we choose our itinerary based on local, regional and medium speed trains. We save some bucks while spending a few more hours on the trains. A deal that was positive for us, but maybe not for everybody.

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– 5º » So, Is it travel with Eurail Pass worth the money?

This is the trickiest question ever, and our answer is: Yes and No!
It is worth the money if you have time enough to search for the best connection, to enjoy the long distance rides, and if the train journey itself is part of your travel experience. Here we’ll be comparing the costs of 1 month Global Pass, so let´s go to our magic numbers!

Our figures and costs with Eurail Pass
Eurail Global Pass 30 days – € 917 [per person] Fees & Fares booking or high-speed trains – € 0
Days travelling – roughly 2 days and a half [55 hours]

If we bought single train trips
Trains tickets – € 715 [per person, average price using high-speed train. Not considering overnight trains] Fees & Fares booking or high-speed trains – € 0
Days travelling – roughly 1 day and a half

If we did the same trip by flight
Flight tickets – € 390[average internet price for low-cost airlines per person]

PS: We can´t calculate exactly the cost of a flight or a single train tickets because the price changes a lot. Sometimes you can get a great deal booking in advance, or a last-minute purchase can save you a couple of bucks. You never know. In this account we should also consider the expenses with transportation to/from the airports, plus the cost of the checked luggage. Here we did a simple calculation to help you think and decide if it is worth of not to invest and travel with Eurail Pass. If you want to get the real figures you might need to research deeper.

Bottom line, if you look only to the figures, it is not cheap to travel with Eurail Pass. But if you think wisely it makes sense to buy the Global Pass if you are going for a long trip around Europe with no fixed plan. If you think of the costs for cancelling and remarking a flight ticket, or change dates and destinations in the last-minute, then for sure you will spend much more than the price of the Eurail Pass. That´s why you have to think clear about what type of experience you want during your Eurotrip!

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– 6º » Travel with Eurail Pass is a worthy experience

Oh yeah baby!!
No doubt about it! There is no better way to see and experience Europe than travelling by train. Especially with Eurail Pass that gives you the flexibility to enjoy as much time as you want in each destination. Also you can take the local trains, passing by big cities, tiny villages and landscapes that you will make your trip memorable.

I would say that travel with Eurail Pass is not about saving money, it is about the  experience. Is about feeling like a local while changing trains and eating local food at the stations, is about meeting people on the seat next to you and learn different cultures, maybe even change your next destination because of this.

The train trip was part of the whole travel experience. We were not focused on arriving in different places, but about the journey till there. Travel with Eurail Pass worked perfectly, specially because we were prepared and we knew all the rules. We could never do the same trip with low-cost flights or last-minute trains. The Eurail Pass may be more expensive than other types of transportation but we think it’s a worthy experience.

Our itinerary with Eurail Global Pass was: Italy » Switzerland » France » Belgium » Netherlands » Germany »Switzerland » France » Spain.

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– 7º » Different  passes for different travellers

Now that you already know all the information about how to travel with Eurail Pass, the next step is to go to their website and try to find a pass that suits your travel plan. You can choose by the amount of countries you want to visit, duration of the trip, student pass, family package… Their bestsellers are:

Global Pass for 28 countries – you can buy for a short trip or up to 3 months, this last option is a pretty good deal.

4 / 2 or 1 Country Pass – you can choose the countries and how many days you want to spend travelling.

All the passes have different prices with good reduction for students. For some countries [like Brazil] the delivery by post is free. Compare the all the passes, read the rules and buy the tickets straight from their website. I would also recommend you to follow them on Facebook for good deals and sales, there is always something going on there!

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Hope our 7 reasons why you should [or not] travel with Eurail Pass have helped you to plan your next train trip in Europe. If your route includes Spain, Portugal and Turkey keep reading the blog, we wrote many articles about the big cities and also some hidden gems. Or if you want to explore the Eastern Europe, Sofia in Bulgaria can be a good call too.

There are so many interesting destinations, beautiful cities, and amazing people to discover, that our next Eurotrip might be with a 3 months Eurail Pass [the longest pass they have and also the amount of days our Schengen Visa allows 😉 ].

And don’t forget to book your hotel here, you help to keep the blog running at no extra cost to you 🙂

Love this post?! Pin it for later!!

7 Good Reasons why you should travel with Eurail Pass. How to discover if it´s the best option for travel by train in Europe, booking rules, how to choose the best itinerary and money saver tips!

If you are European, our friends Ivana & Gianni from Nomad is Beautiful wrote a very useful guide on how to use Interrail.

And you, would you travel by train around Europe? Did you travel with Eurail Pass? Share your experiences!

PS 2: Our Global Passes were a courtesy from Eurail. However, doesn´t matter who paid the bill you always receive our truly opinion.

142 Comments

  1. I’ve been looking into train travel in Europe and was very intrigued by it, but a little overwhelmed by all of the options. It was good to find this post so I can weigh my options easier and see what works best. Although getting a pass sounds like a great option for me. Thanks for all the info!

    1. You are welcome Brooke!!
      If you are going to travel for a long time and visit different countries I would tell you to go by Eurail. Travelling with the pass is easy and you can travel on you own pace!
      All the best,

      Nat

  2. One of the best things I have done in my travels is having a Eurail pass exploring Europe at my leisure. I’d love to do it again someday especially now that more countries are included. Back when I did it there were very few included in the pass which made it a little difficult at times but still worth it. I’d love to explore more of Eastern Europe next time.

  3. I would love to go on a Eurorail trip. The main problem I have with that is that I live in Sardinia, and NO MATTER WHAT, I would have to fly to mainland Europe to catch the first train that takes me anywhere, blowing whatever budget I may have.

    1. Hey Claudia,
      Have a look at the Eurail website because they have some partnership with Ferry Companies on the Mediterranean, and If I´m not wrong Sardinia is included in the route 😉

      All the best,

      Nat

  4. Travelling by train is such a relaxed and enjoyable way to travel long distance. Despite the crazy speed at times it’s so easy to watch and enjoy the amazing scenery outside your window while sitting in comfortable seats with good leg room and it’s so easy to move around and stretch your legs whenever you want. I’ve used the Japan passes many times although so far I’ve not used distances trains in Europe outside the UK I would definitely get a pass when we get to Europe for a longer trip.

    1. You are so right Toni, more space for the legs, bigger toilets and the possibility of a little walk during the trip, are some of the good advantages of train trip!
      😀
      All the best,

      Nat

  5. I’m a big fan of travelling by trains! as you mentioned, train stations are usually in the city center, very easy to reach and no need to be there hours in advance! I’ve always wanted to enjoy an ‘interrail’ experience through Europe, but I’ve never had. This pass sounds very convenient, thank you for sharing!

    1. I´m glad you would consider travel with one of the Eurail passes, as you said it´s easier than flights. Especially if you have time enough to enjoy the long scenic trip!

      Cheers,
      Nat

  6. WOw, I was not aware of Eurail Pass. It seems great deal to travel around Europe, even though it is really expensive. Thanks for the useful information.

  7. Train is our favorite form of travel!
    So much great info here, thanks!
    We can’t wait to hit europe. We’ve been meaning to go for the last 9 months but smething new comes up in Asia that keeps us here a bit longer.
    Anyways, the photos you guys took are unbelievably beautiful! We cant wait to see!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I´m so glad you liked the post!
      I totally understand you, there is something in Asia that is addictive you don’t realize but keep staying and staying… Or like us, that after 5 months far is already planning to come back to there 😉

      All the best

      Nat

  8. The Eurail Pass trips would be perfect for my kids who have an amazing obsession with trains. I´ve always wanted to do them too. Great post! Your articles are always so wonderfully detailed.

  9. Hi Valeria!

    Give a try to a good and scenic train trip, I´m sure you will enjoy. The high-speed trains are not so much fun, as they go way too fast and you can´t enjoy much the view. But the traditional ones are really nice!

    Cheers,
    Nat

  10. Thank you for sharing this information. I would definitely travel by train, as you get to experience more and see more.

  11. As you know, I LOVE train travel!

    I was very interested to read your post on this, but sadly it really doesn’t seem all that cheap does it… it is the same problem on trains in many developed countries.

    It is now so much cheaper to fly!

    1. Definitely the Eurail Pass is not the cheapest option for travelling, but I would say it’s worth the investment. Especially for a one month trip.

      I couldn’t imagine myself flying with low-cost companies every 5 – 6 days. Too much hassle, no space for Rob’s legs and all the annoying thing about checked luggage, hand luggage, pay for this, pay for that… pay for breath…lololol

      Hope you are having a good time in South America,
      cheers
      Nat

  12. I love overland travel and I find trains in Europe really easy, cheap and fast. I haven’t bought a Eurail pass before but I would definitely consider this now. Great post with a very detailed information

    1. Thanks Kate!
      I´m glad you liked the post. The Eurail Pass can be a great way of travelling, especially if you like to be over land and enjoy scenic routes 😀
      Cheers,

      Nat

  13. I have been to Europe a few times, but have always been scared off by the train prices. However, I think I will use a Eurail pass the next time I go and I have your guide to help me plan!

  14. What a fab way to travel! There is something about knowing you are crossing a country by land, taking in the culture and the scenery as you pass through landscapes that you would have otherwise just flown over.

    I went on an interrailing trip a fair few years ago (about 9 actually, but shhh don’t tell anyone!) and it was absolutely fantastic. Loved it.

    Just a shame it’s not the most affordable option. Great post with great photos :).

    Gabby

    1. I have to agree with you the feeling of arriving in a new place by land is completely different than by air!
      Glad that you liked the post. As you said it´s not the most affordable, but it´s a unique experience!

      All the best Gabby!
      😀
      Nat

  15. We just did a ten day Global Pass with Eurail and found it very convenient for all the reasons you mentioned. I’m working on my blog post about it now, but I’m pretty sure that we ended up getting good value for money from it, based on the routes we took. We did get caught out a few times, especially in Italy, where we couldn’t get anyone at the station to give us tickets using the pass, or we couldn’t work out if we needed a reservation etc. But we just got on the trains and worked it out from there. Was very convenient!

    1. I´m glad you had a good time with Eurail!
      And you are right, Italy is one of the most annoying countries to travel with Eurail Pass.
      Waiting to read your post and experience!!
      All the best,
      😀
      Nat

  16. I’ve always had the impression that continental trains in Europe are more expensive than flights (most times at least), so this was quite a refreshing article to read 🙂

    Thanks,
    Sanket

  17. One of my greatest travel dreams is to explore Europe through the Eurail– you know, just sitting there, enjoying the moment as I watch the amazing European scenery from my window. Looks like you had an amazing experience with the Eurail! I can only hope the same for myself. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  18. Awesome post! So informative & good to know since we are trying to work out our options for a trip next year but with 2 small kids in tow.

    1. Hey Holly!!
      I´m glad you liked the post. Also, keep in mind that for kids the Eurail Pass is free and the parents are travelling with them! 😀
      That´s can be a money saver option!

  19. I love travelling by train, so this really sounds appealing to me. Also love the flexibility, although the app is clearly crucial too. And you can’t beat first class…..

  20. I’m at a point right now (ie-poverty) where the cheapest option always wins out, but if money were no object I would spend all the time I could on the trains!

    1. I know what you mean, after a few months in Europe we are in the same point as you: Broke! 😀
      But it was worth it, Europe in summer is always good fun and I don’t regret travelled by train, was an amazing experience!
      All the best,
      Nat

  21. I’m with Brooke, I’ve always felt overwhelmed by the options but now it seems much simplier. I’ll definitely look at getting a pass next summer.

  22. I enjoyed traveling via Eurail to all the European capitals first because I love train travel, going to beautiful stations and getting in and out of the central areas very quickly.

    1. You are right! But not everybody are willing to hitch-hike, so they need a way to get around, and trains are great fun, you need to agree with me! :- D

      We are travelling as a couple and with lot of stuff, not easy to get a ride :-/
      Cheers,
      Nat

  23. I’ve done eurailing/interrailing twice in Europe. The first time it was around Scandinavia for one month, and another around Benelux for a week. Totally loved it and would highly recommend it, especially if one has time to spend and would like to explore many places/cities in one go.

    In addition to your points above, I also love the fact that you can travel right into a city centre, step out of the station, and start exploring the city right away. The scenery whilst on the road (or rather, train) is a plus too especially if you travel along the scenic routes like Oslo-Bergen, something which you can’t enjoy if you fly. Also, overnight travel might cost slightly more but don’t forget that you would have already saved on accommodation too.

    So yes, I love travelling by train in Europe and wouldn’t mind doing it over and over again! 🙂

    1. Glad to know that you had a great experience travelling with Eurail! On our next adventure by train, we want to explore the Scandinavian region, the landscape is stunning there, perfect for long train journeys!

      All the best and thanks for stopping by!
      Nat

  24. Oh I wish I could spend a month traveling around Europe with a Eurail pass…
    Your easy-to-understand tips and explanations were very helpful, and perhaps someday, they will come in handy for me!

  25. Craig and I heading home via Europe in 2016 so this pass would be ideal for us. I did a spot of inter-railing when I was 19 with friends around Eastern Europe, they sure did not have an app then! Handy post, I’ll bookmark to refer to.

  26. I did an interrail trip in 2002 and things were much cheaper back than and I was much younger – especially under 26. I was 20 back than so the tickets were cheaper. I went from Vienna via Köln to Ostende (bc the TGV through the Eurotunnel was already very expensive back than), took the ferry to Dover, train to London and later to Bristol, Swansea and the ferry to Ireland (Rosslare) and travelled through Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England for, all in all, 4 weeks. It was amazing.
    Did you stay in hostels? B&B or something else??
    I am always looking for good recs
    -Eva

    1. Thanks for stopping by Eva!!
      I´m sure you had an amazing time travelling around UK and Ireland (I love Ireland).

      During our trip by train we stayed in hostels (Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam), in an apartment (we book through Airbnb) in Paris and hotel in Milan! 😀

      All the best,
      Nat

  27. Hello,

    Your blog on Eurail was very informative and the fact that we get free candies in German trains, just perfect! 🙂 We can’t wait to read more of your travel tales!

    Team TraveLibro
    twitter.com/travelibro

  28. This information is just what I have been looking for! Thank you. I am planning a 1 month holiday to Europe and think the Global pass is the best option by far. With your accommodation did you pre book it before your holiday or just as you got to each destination?

    1. Hi Elise!!
      So happy to know that our article helped you organizing your trip! 🙂

      Our trip with Eurail was smooth and easy. The only things you have to plan ahead are the night and fast trains. Otherwise is just get in the train and go!

      About the accommodation, we booked everything in advance. In Europe you can get better prices and even some discounts booking before your arrival. For us, a couple, we found great deals using Airbnb to book a room or even a studio (cheaper and more comfortable than hotels, for example in Paris and Barcelona). On our homepage there is a banner where you can get 20 usd discount on your first booking. Click there and sign up so you can start your trip saving some bucks.

      Also, we recommend you to look at Booking.com (here is the link http://tidd.ly/8004ba86 ) for us they have the best deals on hotels around Europe, also a reliable and safe company.

      Have you already bought your Eurail Pass?
      All the best.
      Nat

  29. Hey Nat! Thanks once again for all the usueful information. I havent booked anything yet as I am not looking at going until around August/September next year! Im just gathering info and doing some research to start off with!

    1. Great Elise!
      I´m happy to help! 😀
      I´ll ask you favour so, when you decide to by your Eurail Tickets, please do it through the link in this post. The link will take you to the official website of Eurail and you are going to pay the same price, but we get a small commission over your purchase. 😉
      So you will help us keep the blog running! Thanks, and if you need any more info just let me know!
      All the best,
      Nat

      Nat

  30. Natalie, thank you so much for this post it really helped me decide Eurail is the option for me.

    I have a couple of questions though:

    1) London is not covered by the Global Pass 🙁 do you know what would be the best way to get there? (And chesper way too) I read you didn’t go there but I was wondering if you heard someone having that issue.

    2) I am concerned about booking the hostel, hotel, etc on time. I would like to have flexibility but I don’t know how cheap and accesible would be to book a room someone on the same day you arrive to the destination, or with a few days in advance. How did you guys managed that? I don’t want to have everything booked in advanced in case we decide to change plans aling the way. What would you recommend?

    Thanks!

    Evelyn

    1. Hi Evelyn!
      I’m glad to help! It’s a pleasure to share travel tips!
      Here go the answers:

      1º) Eurail Global Pass includes some ferry routes from France to Ireland. Depending on your itinerary you can have an Irish stopover, then cross to UK and head to London by bus or train. Not sure if it will be the cheapest option, but for sure it´ll be a great adventure (all the details here: http://tidd.ly/43b74d8b). Or the best option is to fly with low cost airlines. Ryanair, EasyJet, Webjet, most of them have daily flights to London. As soon as you book better are chances to get a good price. Search for the best deal at Skyscanner(http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-7716010-11839040-1435674706000 )

      2º) Most of the hotels, hostels and apartments that we´ve stayed during our train trip were booked 1 or 2 days before the check in. When we arrive in a destination we discover what to do & see and kinda planned how many days we would need. One day before departing to the next place we´d book our rooms. We always use Booking (http://www.awin1.com/awclick.php?mid=5780&id=220241), they have many options and good last minute deals, so you won´t have problem to find a place. For hostels, Hostelword is the best (http://tidd.ly/22dd58a9). Depending on what type of room you choose these companies will allowed you to change dates without loosing money 😉 It´s a perfect option for an open plan travel!

      Hope I answered your doubts!! Have you already bought the Eurail Pass?
      Cheers,
      Nat

      1. Hey Nat, thank you so much! That clarifies a lot. 2 days ago I bought the ticket Costa Rica-London (It was the cheapest option and also the most convenient, now I just need to fly lowcost to Paris and activate the Eurail there :)) I have not bought the Eurail ticket yet, I am planning to buy the 21 days Global Pass but since our vacation starts in March I am still waiting to be closer to the date. Do you know if Eurail has discounts at some time of the year (beside the 15%off for traveling together) I need to save as much as possible 😛

        Question: transportation during the stay in each city/country. I know most of our trip we will walk to one point to another but I also know some distances are crazy to go by foot. What is the best way to use transportation is the cities you visited? Buy as you go, cards that you pay and includes several options like bus, tram, train etc? Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rome etc.

        Just curious how you moved around in the cities 🙂

        Again, thank you so much for all your help.

        Evelyn

        1. Good that I could help you a little bit more!
          Once a while they announce sales for some types of passes, but we never know in advance. Would say to follow them on Facebook so you can see all the Promotional Updates.
          Also I would like to ask you a favour, when you decide to by your Eurail Tickets please do it through the link in this post. The link will take you to the official website of Eurail and you are going to pay the same price, but we get a small commission over your purchase. That´s how we can earn some money and keep the blog running. 😀 Tks!!

          About your question:
          Most of the time we purchase public transportation pass. Not the tourist one that include museums and attractions. We buy the simple one for 2, 3 or 4 days, it all depends how long we are planning to stay in a place. For example, in Paris is worth to buy the booklet of 10 tickets for metro (cheaper and you can cross the whole city). The same happened in Amsterdam, as we knew we are going to explore the city (and the city is quite big) we search the best ticket option for public transportation on the city´s metro website. Most of the time, the best option is the multi pass that includes metro, tram and buses. We avoid taxis, they can be expensive, you can get scammed and will spend precious time on the traffic. Around Europe Google Maps for public transportation works pretty fine calculating the best routes and timetables.

          Ahhh, depending on where you planning to go we have many articles about Portugal, Spain and Turkey, they might be helpful to you!
          😉
          Nat

  31. I used my first Eurail Pass back in 1974 – it was for 3 months. It was fantastic. Now I’ve retired, and next year will be the 4th consecutive year we’ve had a 3 week European holiday using the 15 day Global Continuous Pass. The extra days are where we start, and where we finish.

    I don’t understand why you say it’s expensive. We get 3 weeks with our Pass for half the price we’d pay on a tour. And without the disadvantages and with all the advantages. I love planning the route and researching where to stay and what to see. No way I come home and can’t remember where we went!!

  32. And I forgot to say – we never pay any extra for our trains either. Sometimes we choose to pay for a particular scenic route (€1.50 doesn’t break the bank!). And sometimes you can reserve a seat for free if you are in the country (e.g. Norway and Poland). French and German local trains are just as fast as the ICs, they have First class, and they are on time!

    1. Hi Anne!!
      Thanks for stopping by! 😀
      So nice that you have travelled a lot with Eurail Pass, and always have a good time with them. We loved our experience too!

      We say that the Eurail Pass can be expensive if you compare with low cost flights around Europe. For sure the flights won´t have all the advantages and comfort as a train trip, but they can be really cheap, especially if you get lucky with sales. So for backpackers or budget travellers Eurail might not be the cheapest option for discover Europe.

      The extra payments only happen when you travel with overnight trains, or for high speed trains. The normal routes are hassle free! I have to say that the German and the Swiss trains were the best for us. Fast, comfy on time and with free WIFi! 😀

      Thanks for commenting Anne, wish you all the best!
      Nat

  33. Traveling with the Eurail Pass pretty much completely ruined me for every other type of travel. It is so enjoyable and SO easy! We are hoping to take our toddler on an Amtrak trip soon to see how the experience in the U.S. compares to the one in Europe. And also because he loves trains. 😉

    1. Hahaha…
      Love you comment! 😀
      It was hard for to get used again with low cost airlines. After good experience with Eurail Pass it’s difficult to travel without space and comfort again.
      Hope you have a great trip with your kid, I´m sure will be great fun for him!
      All the best,
      Nat

  34. I have used Eurail passes on two separate journeys through central and eastern Europe. I wouldn’t have done it any other way! Travel by rail is THE best way to experience the country, and first class provided the extra comforts that made my journeys so much more enjoyable.
    I agree with all your points, and can only remember one hiccup, where we hadn’t validated our pass crossing from Austria to Germany (because we had two separate passes and one was validated in Hungary to allow entry into Austria only), but the conductor was kind enough to let us travel on without incident 🙂
    Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories! I have to get back there and do it again!

    1. HI Mattso!!!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      So good to hear about other travellers adventures and how they enjoy a train ride. This was our first bit trip by train and as you were enjoyed a lot. Looking forward to the next one, maybe this time to eastern Europe following your tips! 🙂
      All the best and safe journey!

      Nat

    1. You are welcome Sandy!!
      I´m glad you liked it! We tried our best to put as much info together as possible. So people could enjoy travelling by train in Europe as we did!
      All the best,

      Nat

  35. My strong preference is to experience Europe and the British Isles by train.

    These are just not the same from a plane and it’s a lot less hassle. Moreover, some rail routes are destinations in themselves, such as along the Rhine, in Switzerland, along the French Riviera, some routes in Norway, etc.

    Would like to emphasize what you mentioned about country and regional passes. These can really save money if travellers are focusing on specific areas. They should also investigate a combination of these passes and regular tickets.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Don!
      Glad to know that we have the same perception about how enjoyable is travelling by train! As you said, the journey itself is the fun, and every moment in the train or catching it is great. You gave me a great idea: French Riviera sounds like an amazing place to explore by train. Maybe on our next stop in Europe!
      All the best,
      Nat

  36. Im sorry if this was mentioned in a previous comment, but if you dont mind me asking..
    So you stayed in each places, were the hotels expensive? Im wanting to do some solo traveling and I want to see everything, but I won’t have a lot of money to stay at nice places, I was just wondering your budget after the Eurail global pass, or a rough estimate.
    Thank you,
    Ashley 🙂

  37. Hi Ashley!!
    I totally understand you, we also want to do as much as possible spending a small amount of money! 🙂
    During our trip with Eurail Pass we tried to spend on accommodation an average of 25- 30 Euros per night for two people, what mans 12-15 Euros per person. We choose to stay at Airbnb places [sometimes sharing the house with the owner, sometimes in a private studio], also some hostels and simple guest houses. All our budget breakdown of 6 months and 1 year travelling around he world you can find here:
    » 6 Months: http://loveandroad.com/travelling-around-the-world-costs-secrets/
    » 1 Year: http://loveandroad.com/1-year-travelling-around-the-world-travel-costs-travel-tips/
    The key for spend you travel budget wisely is to research and plan a lot! 😉
    Hope this will help you! Thanks for stopping by!
    Nat 🙂

  38. I’m planning on backpacking across Europe May 2017 and I’m trying to plan now and budget everything so I know just how much to save up. I was planning on getting the Eurail Pass but was curious as to if it works with city subways as well as the regional and inter country trains. If you know if the pass works or doesn’t work, I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!

    1. Hi Katie!

      The Eurail pass is not valid for urban transportation like subways or buses. In some cities you can take the national rail trains inside the city for small trips, and that would be cover by the Eurail pass. I know that in Germany you can use the Eurail Pass for S-bahn trains, but not sure if for all the routes. And every country has it own rule and exceptions. Here is the link of Eurail official page explaining all the extra benefits you can have in each European country. I would say, read it carefully and see if your travel destination has any good deal. [ http://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinaffid=220241&awinmid=6370&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eurail.com%2Feurail-passes%2Fbenefits-per-country ]

      For metro or buses, buy the weekly pass, or a booklet with 10 / 20 journeys. They are cheaper than the single tickets.

      If you didn´t buy your Eurail Pass yet, I would ask you to buy it through the link on our blog post, we´ll get a small commission and you don´t pay any extra [don´t worry, you gonna be redirected to Eurial official website]. 🙂

      Safe journey!
      Nat

  39. We just got back from Germany (lower Baveria) and had a 7 Day Rail pass for Germany only. If those who are traveling by DB need a good app, DB also has a good app which can help you to plan your trip (even if you make changes long the way). The wifi on the train will remember you each time you get on a train that has wifi and automatically link to it through iPhone.

    The other thing that interesting is that we left out of Basel, Switzerland and it was one of the included stops which allowed us to leave without additional fees since it is so close to the border. Check DB for additional info though for yours. In addition, your Rail Pass will also offer discounts on city transportation, so take advantage of that!

    Last thing I noted was you “must” get your Rail Pass stamped “before” you get on the train at the Information area inside the train station. Some fines are well over 80.00 Euros a person…
    Your information is good for those thinking about traveling by Rail!

    Thanks for helping out those with a dream to travel by rail. You’re right, it is a fabulous experience coming from someone who grew up there!

    1. Great Tips Mark!!
      Good to know that DB has all these facilities, we are planning to travel with Eurail next winter and we´ll be using mostly DB trains. Your comment arrived on the perfect timing.
      We are super excited to do this next trip, still planning our route, but I know it will be fantastic. Europe in winter time is gorgeous!
      Cheers,
      Nat

  40. Hello! Informative article. We bought our Global Passes in April and got a pretty decent price for them (under $700/person). We are looking forward to traveling and seeing Europe by train. We love the idea of being flexible and not having to worry about checking in luggage. We did book one flight (from Prague-Venice) but it was dirt cheap and allowed us more time in Italy. Other than that we plan on taking the train everywhere. I did notice you mentioned Italy and it being difficult traveling by train. Do all the trains there require Reservations? Sure hope not.

    1. Hello Edgar,
      I’m sure you gonna have a good time in Europe 🙂
      In Italy you will need reservation for the high-speed trains(freccirossa, freacciaargento, frecciabianca) and for sleepers.
      We used only regional trains and worked perfectly.
      Cheers,

  41. hey!! thanks a lot for the information! i will do it for a first time in august! i love to travel and discover new places and people! What do you think is best eurail or interrail pass! ? ?

  42. Hey I’m a srilankan planning a Europe trip from saudi. And so happy to hear from you really i got many ideas and vision from you. Well done both of you looking great

  43. Thank you for the information ? I am from the Philippines and I would like to travel Europe, (go to as many countries, or cities as much as possible) for the first time. I’m a novice when it comes to this kind of things, and I would like to confirm if I still need to book hotels? Or can I just spend nights on the train, traveling, to save money and time? I hope you could enlighten me on this, thank you in advance ?

  44. It’s very informative Nat&Rob.We are planning a trip to Europe but we have a fixed schedule. We want to cover Paris, Amsterdam, Switzerland (Zurich, Lucerne, Bern, Interlaken), Italy (Rome, Pisa, Florence, Venice). We are confused which Eurorail pass would suffice for us, or should we book individual train tickets. We don’t see a combination of the countries that we are planning to visit on the eurorail website. We don’t know if there are general (non-high speed direct) trains to swiss alps etc. What would be your suggestion here?

    1. HI Neha!!
      What a great itinerary!!
      To choose the best pass it will depend on how many days traveling you are planning to have. You wrote 10 cities, so I assume it will be 10 days traveling (you can take as many trains as you want in a day, so connections in the same day count as 1 day of travel).
      You can choose between two passes:

      4 Countries: (Benelux “Belgium & Netherlands” + France + Switzerland + Italy), with this pass you get 11 travel days for 607 Euros. And you can travel between the 4 countries without a problem. If you have a fixed itinerary, I think this is a good option for you.
      Global Pass: you can travel to all 28 European countries and you can choose between 11 or 15 days travelling in a period of 2 months; or 15 / 22 continuous travelling. But these options are more expensive than the Pass for 4 countries.

      About the trains to the Swiss Alps, they have trains very frequently (high speed and normal ones), depending on the company you get you can use high speed with Eurail pass (with reservation). We crossed part of the Alps with normal trains, the only thing is that depending your destination you might have to change trains on the way.
      The Glacier Express route is partially covered by the Eurail Pass, part of it you’ll have to pay extra.

      Hope I helped to sort out your doubts. If you need any more info let me know. Now I will ask you a favour: could you buy your Eurail Passes through our links? We get a little commission over the sales 😉

      Thanks and have an awesome trip!
      Nat

      1. Absolutely Nat!! Thanks for the elaborate reply. I have been doing some research and its exactly in line with what you are suggesting. We are thinking to take 10 days a month pass with 4 countries included. Although we are sticking to these countries & cities, we want to keep the travel timings flexible, so we don’t want to tie ourselves with strict reservations… once again, thanks a lot !! will revert back as and when I get into the details of my plan 🙂

          1. Thanks Nat.
            Finally with the help of your inputs, I was able to decided on which eurorail tickets to take. We didn’t go for a pass though, because the plan we came up with, there we are using the train only to transit between the major cities. That way, eurorail pass was proving to be more costly than individual tickets. Of course, for that we had to forego the flexibility that comes with the pass.

          2. Hi Neha,
            I’m sure it will be an amazing trip!! Enjoy it!
            If you are traveling during summer, remember to buy your individual train tickets in advance. Some lines get really busy during high season.
            Happy travels,
            Nat

  45. Such memories! I went backpacking throughout Europe in 1997 via our EuroRail Pass. What awesome memories! It was such a great trip!

  46. Nat, your post is quite informative and helpful. I am on a 10 day trip arriving Paris and departing Rome. I will be staying in Paris for 2-3 days and taking train to Milan and will be in Italy for remainder of the days. Do I take 2 country pass? and does EURAIL pass allow us to take public transportation for free or we have to buy them separately?

    1. Hi Savi!

      For sure, the 2 countries pass is the best option for you, as it includes the trains between the two countries and cities. About the local public transportation, it’s not included on the Eurail Pass, you must buy the local metro / bus / train ticket.
      If you buy the Eurail Pass you get some benefits and discounts on boats, intercities buses and some services in the countries, here are the links to know more about the perks in Italy and France.
      Hope I manage to answer you doubts, cheers!

      Nat

  47. Dear Savi,
    I wil be traveling to Europe next June for 2 weeks with my adult children and some of my siblings. Can you please give us some advice about the Eurail pass that makes sense for us? We are flying by not Frankfurt, Germany and planning on taking the train to Lublijana, Slovenia and then to Venice and Milan, Italy. We might take a sidetracked to Croatia. What kind of pass should we get?
    Thanks for your advice.
    Laura

    1. Hi Laura, how are you?

      For this trip you have two options of Eurail Pass, the 4 Country Select Pass or the Global Pass, and to choose the best one you need to think about the duration o your trip (the number of days you will be using the train pass).

      If your trip will be less than 8 days (I mean the total of days you will be spending travelling between places and using the pass) the best option is the 4 Country Select Pass, it’s also the cheapest option. However, if you plan to use the trains more than 8 days, than the Eurail Global Pass is the best bet, as it gives you freedom to move around as much as you want.

      To book the 4 Country Select Pass you need to choose bordering countries, as you said, your itinerary is Germany, Slovenia, Italy and Croatia, so you need to add to this list Austria, the country you will use to cross from Germany to Slovenia and Italy. The good thing is the Slovenia and Croatia count as one destination, so you buy the 4 Country Pass but actually have access to 5 countries.

      Hope I answered your question, if you have any more doubts let us know. And, when you decided to buy the Eurail Pass, please make your purchase through our links here on the post, you pay the same amount and we got a small commission for helping you plan your trip!
      Cheers and happy travels.
      Nat

  48. Great tips on the Eurail Global Pass. I didn’t know that’s how it worked. We’ve lived in Europe for 3 years, but never did an extended trip by rail (though we talked about it). We were always unsure if we would enjoy it more and found that we could book flights/car rentals for cheaper or at least close to the same cost. I also had not heard about the additional fees for the high speed trains, but only in certain countries. Those hidden fees, and how the different countries deal with them can definitely be confusing, that’s for sure!

    1. Hi Drew!
      Europe by car or train, that’s a big doubt… I would love to do both!
      The adding fees are an annoying thing, but once you read the rules at the website and you choose the best pass for your itinerary it becomes easy to understand and avoid them 😉
      Happy Travels to you guys!
      Nat

  49. WOW! What a thorough and thoughtful post. You really provide insight as to the pros and cons of using Eurail. So, while it may not have been the most economical choice for your particular itinerary, sometimes it’s worth paying a little more for convenience and flexibility and (mostly) stress-free travel! And I would have to agree, going by train is the BEST way to see Europe!

    1. You are so right Toccara, sometimes is worth to pay a little more to have some convenience, specially if you are doing a long trip. Nothing bits the comfort of a 1st class train that arrives in the heart to the city.
      Happy Travels,
      Nat

  50. I love traveling by train! I consider the journey as part of the fun of the destination. With all the amenities of the Eurail, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. I had no idea that Eurail passes were so flexible. Thanks for the detailed info, this has undoubtedly saved me a lot of time and research for planning any trips to Europe in the future.

  51. I love travelling by trains whenever I’m in Europe. We also travelled on a Eurail pass for a few weeks in 2009, and were SO impressed by the freedom and flexibility it offered. The opportunity to see so many beautiful views outside of the window, makes it even more memorable too.

  52. If you’ve got the time then the train is a great option. I’ve only caught the Eurostar from London to Belgium. Otherwise I just couldn’t afford the additional time. It is much comfier than a plane though!

  53. What a wonderful and detailed summary of taking the Europass for train travel around Europe. It sounds like the key to making this work is having a flexible schedule. We’ll be traveling in Europe next year and will certainly look into this further. Nice job with the pros/cons. Cheers!

    1. Hi Rosemary!!
      If you are coming to Europe, have a good look at the types of Eurail Passes, depending on where you are going it can be the best option. Specially if you are travelling to countries where the transportation are a bit pricey as Scandinavia or Switzerland.
      Happy travels,
      Nat

  54. I’ve never tried Eurail and although it seems a bit pricey, I love the flexibility. There are so many places in Europe like Scotland, Norway & Switzerland that I would love to see by train to really soak in the beautiful landscape.

    1. As you said, Eurail is not the cheapest way of travelling. But if you are thinking to travel around Norway or Switzerland, I totally recommend it. Not only for the beautiful routes but actually as a money saving option. We just finish a trip around Scandinavia with Eurail Pass and even paying some extra fee for the night trains, it turned to be a cheaper than if we did it by plain or booking the train tickets by ourselves 😉
      Happy Travels,

      Nat

  55. I never thought about traveling by train through Europe, but your article made me wish it. It seems pretty simple and flexible, and the best part is the big number of destinations that can be easily reached in this way.

    1. Hi Bella!
      The options of cities and destinations are endless when you are travelling by train, espcially if you have a Global Pass where you can just jump on a train and head to a new place. We are in the middle of a 3 months Eurotrip and again using Eurail Pass, so convenient and easy!
      Cheers,
      Nat

  56. Train travel is my least favorite mode of transportation. What I don’t like about it is that it’s so easy for anyone to get on, so if you’re traveling by yourself you have to take everything to the tiny little bathroom with you or to the bar car. That’s definitely a pain.

    I did a Eurail pass mostly traveling in Italy and France and it isn’t easy to use. You have to have reservations in advance and you can only book online if they can send you the tickets to your permanent address. So that means making trips to the train stations to set up tickets, which there aren’t always spots for you on the trains. And those additional booking fees add up!

    1. Hi Jennifer!!
      I get your point about safety but thank God nothing ever happened to us, and we do leave our luggage at our seats when going for a walk or to the train restaurant.
      I’m sad to hear that you didn’t have a good experience with Eurail. About the reservations, Italy and France are the most strict countries for Eurail, but if you don’t use the fast trains most of the time you don’t need a reservation (regional trains are included on the pass and most of time no need reservation 😉 ). What we usually do is to make a reservation (when needed) at the moment we arrive at the destination, so we don’t need to go back to the train station later on.
      Thanks for sharing your thought. Cheer,
      Nat

  57. I looked at the website and it seems like there are many different types. My friend said that if its a planned trip, it’s not worth using it but if you plan to back pack then its best to have a eurail pass because trains can be so expensive.

    1. Hi Karla,
      The Eurail Passes are useful for both types of trips, planned and expontaneous, the difference is the type of pass you should buy. We are back to Europe, we using the Eurail Pass for 3 months this time, and no doubt it’s the easiest and most flexible way to get around Europe.
      Tks for your comment.

      Nat

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