• Germany edition
 
Sponsored Article
Eurail and InterRail Passes: Where a journey becomes an adventure
Photo: Eurail

Eurail and InterRail Passes: Where a journey becomes an adventure

Published: 01 Apr 2011 06:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Apr 2011 06:58 GMT+02:00

There’s no more romantic, educational or environmentally friendly way of seeing Europe than from the window of a train. A Eurail Global Pass offers unlimited rail travel through 22 countries on an extensive 220,000-kilometre rail network.

“Travelling by train has been a great way to discover Europe at different times in my life,” says Evelyn Brown from California. She has used the Eurail Global Pass on a number of occasions and has seen how Europe has changed through the years.

“When I visited Berlin in 1971 it was a divided city. When I returned recently it was one. That was a very moving experience for me.”

Anyone at any age can sign up for a Eurail Pass, as long as they are resident in a country outside the 25 European countries that make up the EuRail network. European residents can instead purchase an InterRail Pass (to find out which pass is best for you, scroll to the bottom of the article).

Eurail and InterRail passes allow you to design your own package, stretching from 5 days to three months, with everything from a basic One-country pass to a Global one.

The extensive European train network is safe, reliable and eco-friendly.

But not only is rail travel green - it is also fun.

“I went to Italy with my boyfriend for two weeks last summer and used the InterRail One Country pass,” says Natasha Hannon from England.

“We covered Venice, Rome, Florence, Milan and Pisa. I loved it because it was easy and it gave you fantastic freedom to move. In addition, we never missed out on the incredibly beautiful landscape.”

But apart from the scenery, travelling by train is often about the people you meet on your journey.

“When visiting Split in Croatia we accidently missed the last bus back and met a very kind man who lived there. He offered to drive us back and showed us all the olive trees and lavender fields on the way and later invited us for dinner with his wife,” says Johanna Hjort from Sweden, who travelled through some gorgeous landscapes last summer.

Andy Scofield from England travelled Europe by train before starting university and managed to see 12 cities in 28 days.

“The month pass was brilliantly flexible and we often booked ourselves bunks on sleeper trains, which meant we didn't lose precious days on trains or spend money on hostels,” he says.

Taking the train around Europe is proving ever more popular. Last year, 427,000 passengers travelled with an Eurail Pass, which is an increase of 11.9% on 2009. Most passengers are under 26, but EuRail passholders are drawn from all age groups, from children to pensioners.

Eurail Group passes (Eurail and InterRail) offer flexibility and are ideal for family holidays, students, couples; children under the age of four travel for free and those up to eleven at half price.

Travellers should keep in mind that each European country operates its own railway, there are no central Eurail or InterRail Pass trains. Schedules, timetables vary among countries. But these rail passes open as well the door to other discounts like for example reduced entry fees to museums and hotels

Aishah Bte Hamdan from Singapore spent a summer travelling Europe with her three children and husband.

“It worked well travelling with the whole family and it’s definitely the best transport when you want to reach the central points,” Aishah explains.

Travelling on a single pass around Europe’s characteristic mix of dynamic cities and lovely villages has been possible since the fifties.

“It might be difficult for the people of today to understand how revolutionary it was back then but before InterRail, the only chance to see Europe was if you were rich or decided to work as a nanny,” Maud Skoglund from Sweden explains. She travelled with InterRail during a hot summer in 1972, when the discounted InterRail Pass had just become available.

“The crowded train corridors where I shared my dinner with a group of hungry Germans, the night in the coupé when the ballet dancer from Budapest told me about her life… I’ll never forget those magical moments, and even though airlines offer ridiculously cheap tickets these days, it’s exactly those kinds of random meetings you miss out on,” Maud adds.

Sometimes, however, the best of times abroad can be in your own company, says Andy and recalls a night on a Paris Hostel roof top.

“It was at about halfway through the trip and it was great to sit down with my diary. I was reading back through the past few weeks and planning our next moves. It was a while before I realized that I was reading by the light of the Eiffel Tower."

Which Pass is right for me?

Eurail Passes

Eurail passes are exclusively for people who are not residents in Europe.

Eurail Global Pass - valid in 22 countries

Eurail Select Pass - valid in 3, 4 or 5 countries

Eurail Regional Pass - valid in 2 bordering countries

Eurail One Country Pass - valid in 1 country

Discounts:

Saver passes: People travelling in groups of 2-5 people can get discounts by buying a Eurail Saver Pass for the whole group. Saver Passes are available for Global Passes, Select Passes and most Select and One Country packages.

Youth passes: these discounted passes are available to people under 26.

InterRail Passes

InterRail passes are exclusively for people who are residents of a European country; the pass may not and may not be used for travel in the country of residence. There are two kinds of InterRail passes:

InterRail Global Pass - valid in 30 countries

InterRail One Country Pass - valid in 1 country.

Discounts:

Youth Pass: available for people who are under 26 on the day they start travelling.

Child discounts: Children aged 4-11 are entitled to a 50 percent reduction. Children under 4 travel free.

Senior Pass: People aged 60 and over can get discounts on the InterRail Global Pass.

For more information visit the links below.

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation
Photo: Phorms Education

Bilingual education from nursery to graduation

A network of German based schools is changing how students learn languages by introducing English and Deutsch from day one, with the method yielding impressive academic results. The Local finds out more about Phorms Education. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'German bosses need to praise more'
More of this? Photo: Shutterstock

'German bosses need to praise more'

What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice. READ  

Germany to send Kurds weapons shipment
German soldiers training with machine guns. Photo: DPA

Germany to send Kurds weapons shipment

Chancellor Angela Merkel is to address the Bundestag on Monday to detail the weapons her government will send to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Train drivers take their turn to strike
A banner announcing a previous rail strike in June is displayed in a station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers take their turn to strike

A train drivers' union has warned of a nationwide strike to take place on Monday evening as it seeks leverage in negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. READ  

Weak exports hit German GDP
Germany isn't sending as many goods abroad as at the beginning of the year. Photo: DPA

Weak exports hit German GDP

GDP fell by 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014 but state coffers are doing well, the Federal Office of Statistics Destatis announced on Monday. READ  

Anti-euro breakthrough
Anti-euro AfD nears 10 percent in state election
AfD politicians Hans-Olaf Henkel MEP and leader Bernd Lucke, celebrate the party's success in Saxony on Sunday. Photo: Daniel Naupold/DPA

Anti-euro AfD nears 10 percent in state election

UPDATED: Germany's anti-euro party, AfD, won its first seats in a state parliament on Sunday after elections in Saxony, according to preliminary results. READ  

Berlin to open memorial to Nazis' disabled victims
Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Berlin to open memorial to Nazis' disabled victims

Benjamin Traub, a sad-eyed German boy born in 1914, was considered a bright child by his parents and called gifted by his teachers. His life would end in a Nazi gas chamber. READ  

Anti-euro party to debut in state parliament
AfD leader Bernd Lucke celebrates his party's EU election results. Photo: DPA

Anti-euro party to debut in state parliament

Germany's fledgling anti-euro party looks set to win its first seats in a state parliament on Sunday, gaining a political foothold in opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel's grip on power. READ  

Stakes rise in Oracle-SAP copyright fight
Photo: DPA

Stakes rise in Oracle-SAP copyright fight

US appeals court on Friday ruled that Oracle be given a choice between $356.7 million or a new trial for its copyright lawsuit against German rival SAP. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,418
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd