Interrailing is a very popular way of exploring Europe. It is one of the best ways to explore Europe on a budget and in an environmentally friendly way, so read on to find out all about Interrail!
What is Interrail?
Interrail is a type of pass that lets you explore 33 countries in Europe by train and sometimes by ferry! Anyone who lives in Europe is able to be an Interrailler – and it’s one of the most budget-friendly and environmentally friendly ways to travel. It’s also great as you can be as flexible as you want (usually!).
The company was first established in 1959 and was only available for travel in 13 countries at the time as a Eurail Pass. From 1972, Europeans were then allowed to use Interrail to explore their own continent, and now, there are over 250,000 travellers using the pass every year.
Is a mobile or paper pass better?
In 2020, the first mobile pass was released, which meant that there is now even greater flexibility to travel Europe. Here are the main pros and cons for both if you’re struggling to decide:
|Instant delivery straight to your phone
|You have to log in every three days
|No set start date
|The train times aren’t always very accurate
|Free replacement pass to another device
|You can’t keep it as a souvenir
|You don’t need to worry about having enough battery
|You have to wait for delivery
|Made out of recycled paper
|Have to pay extra for postage
|It’s the original pass and you get a bracelet to help identify other Interrailers
|You have a set start date and need to pay €15 to change it
So as you can see, there are pros and cons to both. Personally, I think the mobile pass is better as it’s easier and less hassle; however, I wish mobile pass holders would still get the bracelet as this is a nice little souvenir to help remember your time Interrailing.
What is the difference between Eurail and Interrail?
What is the difference between Eurail and Interrail? Not much! Eurail is for everyone outside of Europe to purchase, and Interrail is for European citizens and official residents of Europe to purchase. If you have dual nationality, you should buy a pass based on where you currently live.
What countries are included in Interrail?
A Global Pass lets you travel in these 33 countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
Are there any hidden costs?
Are there any hidden costs? Well, not really. The only thing that isn’t included is seat reservations, which can range from €3-40, but it’s possible to take a route with no reservations at all. Usually, the trains which require reservations are high-speed trains such as Eurostar or overnight trains, such as ÖBB.
You will also need to pay for your accommodation, travel insurance and other public transport such as buses and bikes.
What are the benefits of an Interrail Pass?
Having an Interrail Pass has plenty of benefits. Firstly, it allows you to be flexible as you can just hop on and hop on as many trains as your pass allows. Travelling by train is also an environmentally-friendly way to travel in comparison to car and plane – in fact, the mobile pass will even show you how much Co2 you will save by travelling by train.
The pass also lets you get some great discounts too! For instance, you can get a 20% discount at the Hard Rock Cafes, 10% off Disneyland Paris, free access to ÖBB lounges for first class pass holders, plenty of discounts at hostels, and so much more!
What are the different pass types?
There are lots of different pass types to choose from! If you’re struggling, then the Interrail Planner can help suggest the pass that you should buy. These are all of the different pass types:
- 4 Days within 1 month
- 5 Days within 1 month
- 7 Days within 1 month
- 10 Days within 2 months
- 15 Days within 2 months
- 15 Days
- 22 Days
- 1 Month
- 2 Months
- 3 Months
What is a Fixed Pass?
What is a fixed Interrail pass? A fixed Interrail Pass, also known as a ‘One Country Pass’, allows you to travel unlimited within the country you choose to travel in. You can not use it in the country you live in (damn, there goes my plan to commute to uni cheaply each month!).
What is a Flexi Pass?
What is a Flexi Interrail Pass? A Flexi Interrail Pass allows you to travel in as many countries as the pass allows. It offers ultimate flexibility; for example, if you’re in Warsaw and then decide to go to Vilnius, you can simply use one of your travel days and do that!
What is a travel day?
What is a travel day? A travel day is a day that allows you to travel whenever you want, just as long as it’s during that day. For instance, if you buy the ‘7 Days within 1 month’ pass, you have 7 days within that month (a month consists of 30 days) that you can travel. You can travel as much as you can during that travel day, for example, if you wanted to go from London to Malaga – it might be possible to do all of that in one day and have only used one day of your trip.
Does an overnight train count as 1 or 2 days?
An overnight train can count as 1 day, just as long as you don’t change trains after 00:00 am. If you travel on an overnight train, you will have to pay extra for a couchette or sleeper cabin and may have to pay to reserve a seat.
What is Discover EU?
What is Discover EU? Discover EU allows EU Citizens to expand their comfort zones and learn about different parts of Europe in various ways and helps develop life skills to help you in the future, such as independence, confidence, and openness to other cultures.
Every year, they have different rounds that allow participants to win interrail passes – and it’s how I won mine! Unfortunately, it is no longer open to UK citizens 🙁 but is open to residents of the European Union or countries associated with the Erasmus+ Programme like Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.
How do I win an Interrail Pass from Discover EU?
How to win an Interrail Pass from Discover EU? To win an Interrail Pass from Discover EU, you need to be aged 18 and apply during one of their rounds. In the application round, you will need to answer some questions – these are quite easy as they can be found on the website. Finally, you will need to answer a question that is a little harder. This is usually a question where you will have to make an estimation – the one on my round was to estimate how many people would apply. Try and think logically and look at the statistics of how many people applied in the years before.
What are the best Interrail routes to take?
What are the best Interrail routes to take? This is entirely subjective! For me, I wanted to make the most of my money, so my route was: UK – Paris – Berlin – Budapest – Vienna – Ljubljana – Rome – Naples – Milan.
Some other popular routes are:
- Stockholm – Berlin – Munich – Vienna – Venice – Rome
- Barcelona – Marseille – Monte Carlo – Genoa – Pisa- Rome
- London – Paris – Munich – Zagreb – Belgrade – Sofia – Istanbul
Have you ever done an Interrail trip? Where did you visit? Do you have any tips? Do you have any funny stories?
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