• Germany's news in English
 

InterRail: Everyone’s free to explore Europe

Published: 29 Feb 2012 11:30 GMT+01:00

For the past four decades, the image of the InterRail holiday has captured the sense of fun, freedom and adventure. Launched exactly 40 years ago, on 1st March 1972, the concept of exploring Europe on train was targeted towards the student armed with a backpack on a budget.

But nowadays there’s no age limit and you’re just as likely to meet a married couple or a pair of pensioned pals en route. Everyone can take advantage of the 30 countries to choose from and create a personalised itinery to suit their style of holiday.

Friends Lorraine Busow, 42, and Jackie Spaans, 39, from the UK mixed scenery and shopping on their holiday from Oslo to Lisbon with stops in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris and Madrid along the way.

“We booked our trip really quickly and easily and it was just the two of us across Europe,” says Lorraine. “As soon as we got onto the train in Norway – that was it! The fjords – they just take your breath away. But we also like city life and everything that’s different. Otherwise – why bother taking a holiday?”

The diversity of Europe offers something for everybody and the train is the perfect way to discover the continent in comfort. “Your train window is your own private cinema,” Lorraine adds. “The best thing with InterRail is that when you arrive you are in the heart of the city. Your hotel is on the corner, check in and the city’s all yours. All you’ve got to do is enjoy yourself.”

A Christmas getaway with a seasonal slice of culture was in store for Dutch couple Ron Smits, 50, and his wife Miep, 48 as they journeyed with friends from Amsterdam to Basel via Berlin and Salzburg.

“We love everything to do with winter,” Ron says. “And for that you need to be in Switzerland. We planned to be there for Christmas and I’ve never seen anything like it. Basel’s inner city was one merry Christmas crib - fantastic!

The German capital provided a contrasting backdrop. “Berlin has its own story and history,” Ron adds. “You feel that when walking around. It affects you.”

A surprise present to celebrate her parents’ 25th wedding anniversary was a memorable trip for Julie le Guen, 24, from France. Their journey began in Paris and took in Venice and Rome before finishing in Istanbul.

“Travelling through Europe was just unforgettable,” she says. “The idea was to see the wonders and reach the place where Europe ends and Asia begins. My mother and I often reminisce about all the small squares and lanes in Venice. And of course we visited all the sights in Rome. My parents are architecture fans so there was plenty for them to look at.”

Lorraine, Ron and Julie all travelled using the InterRail Global Pass, which offers the ultimate in freedom and flexibility. In addition, the InterRail One Country Passes gives you the opportunity to explore a particular country of interest. InterRail Adult Passes are for travellers aged 26 and over and are available in first and second class. A reduced tariff applies to the InterRail Global Pass for travellers aged 60 and above.

To date, over eight million people have travelled with an InterRail Pass. Speeding between cities, towns and villages, across and between borders, rail travel in Europe is often considered a better option to car or air travel. Today, with growing concern about climate change, energy-efficient trains are also seen as the “greener”, virtuous alternative.

And you can reach your destinations in good time. High-speed trains can exceed 300 kilometres per hour and connect major cities more efficiently than ever before. London to Paris - a distance of 495 km - now takes just under two hours and twenty minutes, as does Paris to Strasbourg. Madrid to Barcelona takes only two hours, thirty-eight minutes and Frankfurt to Salzburg is less than six hours away.

With over 40,000 railway stations in the InterRail network, the opportunities for discovery are endless. Taking you from quaint villages to bustling cities all over Europe, via stunning scenery and breathtaking landmarks, InterRail offers a unique experience to all its customers.

Article sponsored by Eurail Group.

For information on the InterRail pass range and where to buy click here.

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:10 March 14, 2012 by finanzdoktor
Too bad the article fails to mention that InterRail passes do not apply to international tourists, as I found this footnote at the InterRail website: "Only European residents can use an InterRail pass."

So, not being a European resident, but someone who would like to travel to Europe and see it via train, any suggestions?
13:17 March 15, 2012 by Mr_V
@finanzdoktor If you're not a European resident, you can get a EuRail pass from the same people. Both products are listed on their home page.
14:53 March 16, 2012 by finanzdoktor
@Mr_V: Thank you.
Today's headlines
Jobtalk Germany
Are robots about to take away 18 million jobs?
Robots are set to wipe out large sectors of the work force. Photo:DPA

Are robots about to take away 18 million jobs?

A study commissioned by ING-Diba claims that 59 percent of Germany's work force could be replaced by machines and software in the coming decades. The impact on German society is set to be radical. READ  

Merkel defends BND against criticism
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Merkel defends BND against criticism

Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the German intelligence agency (BND) on Monday amid growing criticism of her knowledge of the agency's activities from within her own government. READ  

Germany falls behind neighbours in hourly pay
Photo: DPA

Germany falls behind neighbours in hourly pay

The average hourly private sector pay in Germany increased slightly between 2013 and 2014, but the rate still lagged behind that in most of Germany’s neighbour states, according to data released on Monday. READ  

Germany braces for longest-ever rail strike
Photo: DPA

Germany braces for longest-ever rail strike

German train drivers found themselves under fire from industry and the government on Monday after announcing their longest walkout in the history of rail operator Deutsche Bahn. READ  

€15m of cocaine found in Aldi banana boxes
A stash of cocaine found in an Aldi banana box last year. Police discovered more hidden narcotics in banana boxes on Monday. Photo: DPA.

€15m of cocaine found in Aldi banana boxes

More than 300 kilograms of cocaine worth €15 million were discovered in Berlin-area Aldi supermarkets, hidden in cases of bananas, police reported on Monday. READ  

Institute to end 'monkey torture' programme
Demonstrators against the Max Planck Institute. Photo: DPA

Institute to end 'monkey torture' programme

After graphic pictures emerged of distressed and unconscious monkeys bleeding from the head at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, the world-renowned research centre announced on Sunday that it will close its primate research programme. READ  

A third of parents OK with smacking children

A third of parents OK with smacking children

About one third of German parents think an 'Ohrfeige', or smack across the head, is an appropriate part of child-rearing, according to an RTL survey released on Sunday. READ  

New case of Ebola suspected in Germany
A man suspected of having Ebola has been brought to the Uni Klinik in Düsseldorf. Photo: DPA.

New case of Ebola suspected in Germany

A man in Bochum was taken to hospital on Sunday evening under tight security controls after it was suspected that he was infected with the Ebola virus. READ  

Putin's biker gang cross border into Germany
The Night Wolves have reached Germany. Photo: DPA

Putin's biker gang cross border into Germany

Ten pro-Kremlin Russian bikers, part of a larger group on a controversial World War II victory ride through Europe, reached the German border late Sunday, the Bavarian authorities said. READ  

Merkel joins Holocaust survivors to mark Dachau liberation
Merkel laying a wreath at Dachau. Photo: DPA

Merkel joins Holocaust survivors to mark Dachau liberation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined survivors of the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau on Sunday for a solemn ceremony to mark 70 years since it was liberated by US forces. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
Pupils mourn lost classmates
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
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

7,160
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>