Eurail is a rail pass for inexpensive train travel in 28 countries of Europe. Get a general overview to all types of Eurail tickets, night train connections and train types. Which extra reservations you have to pay and how to avoid them. Free help in the Eurail forum. Find and search travel partners in the Eurail community.
What is Eurail Pass?
Eurail is a rail pass for unlimited train travel in 33 countries of Europe. Eurail brings together the major European rail operators and allows you to travel across Europe with a single pass instead of single tickets for each connection. Some trains might require a seat reservation before boarding. The pass also gives you a discount for ferries and buses. Eurail pass is managed by Eurail Group based in the Netherlands.
Who can use Eurail Pass?
Eurail pass is valid for all non-EU citizens (excluding Russia and Turkey - they have to use Interrail).
You must buy a pass before you get to Europe. Eurail - is a paper ticket (e-tickets are not yet available), therefore the ticket has to be delivered to your home address by mail and it’s impossible to buy the Eurail pass inside the EU.
Where is Eurail valid?
Eurail pass allows you to travel in 33 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Which Eurail Pass to buy?
- Eurail One Country Pass is only valid in a single country or a small region (like the Benelux pass and Scandinavia pass). It’s the best option if you’re going to travel a lot within a single country.
- Eurail Global Pass is valid in all 33 participating countries, including cross-border trains. It’s the best choice if you’re going to visit multiple countries.
- Flexible pass is valid for a number of days during one or two months. It means that you could use trains, for example, 3 days during a month. Available for both Global and One Country passes.
- Continuous pass is valid continuously during the whole validity period. Available for Global Pass only.
By traveler’s age there are four groups:
- Child, 0-11 years, free of charge.
- Youth, 12-27 years, discounted price.
- Adult, 28-59 years, full price.
- Senior, 60+ years, discounted price.
- The first class offers high comfort, more legroom and more comfortable seats. Overall, the passenger has more space and service available.
- The second class in Europe is very comfortable as well. Most Europeans travel in second class. People are usually more communicative compared to the first class where you will find mainly business travellers. The main difference is that first class is usually less crowded which is an advantage on popular routes at peak times.
If you’re not sure which pass fits best to your journey, place your question in our travel forum. Briefly describe your route and our travel experts match the best pass for you.
How much do Eurail passes cost?
Eurail Global Pass prices for 2020:
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 continuous
22 days continuous
1 months continuous
2 months continuous
3 months continuous
Eurail One Country passes prices varies from country to country. Here is an example for Eurail Italy Pass price 2020:
3 days in 1 month
4 days in 1 month
5 days in 1 month
6 days in 1 month
5 days in 1 month
To check other One Country Pass prices choose a county from the list below
How does Eurail Pass work?
Let’s take a closer look at Eurailing. An average Eurail trip consists of the following stages:
- You choose a pass type and buy it online via the official seller. It’s impossible to buy Eurail inside Europe. The pass will be delivered to your home address.
- You make/buy reservations before your journey. Reservation might be optional or compulsory, free of charge or with an extra fee. Usually regional trains don’t need any reservation, while high-speed and night trains require a reservation. You could check reservation guidelines here.
- Before your first train trip you have to activate your pass at a railway station - an official will fill in the start and end day of your pass, your passport number and stamp your Eurail pass. New: you can now activate your Eurail pass for free when ordering on the official reseller website.
- While travelling you fill manually in a travel diary attached to your pass with a pen: before you board a train fill in the departure time, the departure station and your destination station for each train segment! Only then your pass is valid in the eyes of the train staff.
Where to activate Eurail Pass?
You have two options for activation:
- Pre-activate your pass at the purchase via the official reseller. It’s the easiest way, as you avoid queues at the train station and your pass will be ready to use. You have to fill in travel dates and your passport number while placing an order.
- Activate your pass at large train stations in Europe. An official at the train station will fill in the start and the end date of your trip and your passport number. You could choose this option if you’re not sure about your travel dates and buy a pass in advance.
How is ONE day defined in the Eurail Pass?
Travel day - is a day when you use any Eurail transport (train/ferry/bus).
One travel day is from 00:01 am until 11:59 pm. You can use as many trains as you want in this time frame.
If you enter a night train in the evening (example at 8:30 pm), fill in the date of your departure day. It counts as only one travel day (the date of departure) even if the arrival is on the next morning.
Example: In the morning you travel from Rome to Venice. You spent the whole day in Venice for sightseeing. In the evening you get in the night train in Venice to Paris. All this is counted as ONE travel day on your pass - with the date of your departure in the morning in Rome.
How to make reservations with an Eurail Pass?
There are two ways to make Eurail reservations: online or at the train station before departure. We recommend making reservations in advance online: since some trains have a limited number of Eurail seats, the reservation upfront guarantees you a seat.
To make a reservation online:
Let's have a look on the famous Nightjet night train of Austrian State Railways ÖBB. They cover their network Central and Western Europe. To make a reservation for the type of accommodation you prefer in the Nightjet, go to the website of Austrian State Railways. Fill in departure and destination (example Vienna and Rome). Select the option “Seat only (no ticket)”. Under “Who is going?” select “Add discount” with the option “Interrail/Eurail Pass”. In the next step choose the seat type, couchette or sleeper and make the payment. Your Eurail reservation comes per email. Now your Nightjet ticket is booked and you can enjoy the journey overnight.
How much do Eurail reservations cost?
Reservation price depends on train type. Here is the price range for the most common trains:
Not required or optional
Optional or required
Optional or required
Where to buy Eurail Pass?
We recommend to buy Eurail Pass on the official website eurail.com.
They offer worldwide delivery and provide the best prices.
When does Eurail offer promotion?
Eurail usually offers promotion in the spring and in late autumn. They provide up to 10% discount.
You can buy a Eurail pass up to 11 months in advance.
Is Eurail Pass worth the price or are saver-fares tickets the cheaper choice?
You can choose between an Eurail Pass and normal train tickets. There are other regional passes, but they are less relevant (Swiss Rail Pass, Balkan Flexi Pass, ...).What advantages do you have with an Eurail Pass:
- ✅ Flexibility: you can move freely in Europe without having to plan and fix every day of your journey in advance. Follow the sun or join other travellers.
It's convenient not to have to plan your entire trip to Europe in advance. The longer you travel, the more you would notice how your travel habits change, e.stay at one place longer than planned or travel all day long.
Eurail takes the pressure off you and makes your trip a pleasant experience.
- ✅ Value for money: Of course, you will always find discounted train tickets. But these are limited and restricted. Do the calculation for your trip and you will soon find out that the cost per day is often lower with Eurail than with normal train tickets. This is especially the case if you travel long distances.
Best examples are Great Britain and Germany: standard train tickets are very expensive - a train pass will save you a lot of money here.
What you have to consider with an Eurail Pass:
❌ Reservations: some trains require an extra reservation. These are usually high-speed-trains and night trains. In some countries you can travel free with Eurail (e.g. Germany). In others you need a reservation for nearly every train (e.g. Spain).
Often you can easily buy these reservations online - we explain how to do here on rail.cc. Of course, they can also be sold out in high season, so you have to be flexible. But there is almost always a way to avoid these extra reservations and find an alternative route. I promise!
What are the advantages of normal train tickets:
✅ Cheap with fixed travel plans: if your travel time and destinations are fixed well in advance, you can buy cheap discount tickets online from the different railway companies. It usually works quite simple.
In my opinion, this is an interesting option for trips of less than two weeks and a maximum of five trips.
What you need to consider with discounted tickets:
❌ No flexibility: with your discount tickets you are bound to booked dates and times. Since these are usually neither exchangeable nor refundable. This means that you cannot spontaneously change your travel plan.
At the end of the day it is also a question of what type of traveler you are.
Rather the "everything must be planned exactly in advance" type - which is better served with discount train tickets. Or the "comfortable, free and flexible" type for whom the Eurail Pass is the perfect choice because of its simplicity. Just get on a train and start your journey - of course, check with us beforehand for reservations - see above.
Of course, you also have to take a look at the costs and calculate roughly. But if you have time, if you want to be comfortable, if you like it simple and relaxed, choose the Eurail Pass. You will collect unforgettable memories to share with your families and friends over and over again.
Eurail Global Pass
The Eurail Global Pass is your ticket to explore Europe by train. Enjoy unlimited travel in 28 countries for up to three whole months. Whether you just want to make a quick trip to the Mediterranean, travel to Scandinavia beyond the Arctic Circle or make a grand tour of Europe, you will certainly find the Eurail pass suiting your needs. Eurail is only available for persons with residency outside of Europe.
Eurail ONE Country Pass
The Eurail One Country Pass is your ticket to explore single European countries by train. Flexible travel on 3, 4, 5 or 8 travel days within one month. Ideal if you want to visit only one country. Of course you can also combine One Country Passes for several countries but in that case we recommend to also check the range of Eurail Global Passes as these can be better value for such trips.
Eurail night trains
Eurail night train travel. We list all connections, fares and categories: seat, couchette, sleeper. How and where to buy night train reservations.
Eurail travel tour packages
Ready made Eurail travel tour packages. Find example tours to get most out of your Eurail pass. Travel Europe by train.
Eurail train reservations
What trains require an Eurail reservation. How to avoid expensive reservations and save money. Here you get free help and a list of all trains.
The list of ferries included in Eurail. Plus additional, helpful ferry connections. Where to book and how much to pay extra.
search Eurail route
Search for your Eurail travel route. Find connections in Europe from/to a city and country. Reservation free routes, saving your money.
Eurail rules in detail. The 19:00 h rule for night trains, rule for your country of residence: who is allowed to buy Eurail. Where is Eurail valid.
Buy your official Eurail pass via the rail.cc/eurail.com partner link. Get a free PLUS account on rail.cc. With your purchase you support all the free information on rail.cc. Thank you!