How do I know if I need a Eurail Pass?

How do I know if I need a Eurail Pass?

For many Americans, a summer Europe trip taken during college is a rite of passage. The complexity of Europe's train network often makes buying a Eurail Pass seem like the easiest way to travel around the continent. But how can you be sure that you're actually getting the best deal? Which pass makes the most sense for your specific trip? When are individual train tickets actually cheaper than buying a rail pass? There are no definitive answers to any of these questions but we're here to help you through the decision-making process with our comprehensive guide to buying European rail passes.


Choose between the 3 Eurail Pass types

Global Pass

Discover 28 European countries with the simplicity of the global pass.

The Global Pass

Find out more about the Eurail Global Pass

Select Pass

The Select Pass lets you easily explore 2-3 neighboring countries.

The Select Pass

Find out more about the Eurail Select Pass

One-Country Pass

Explore one of Eurail's many partner countries with the one-country pass.

The One-Country Pass

Find out more about the Eurail One Country Pass


Here are a few things you'll want to consider before buying:

  • Your age: Eurail passes makes the most sense for travelers under 25 years old who are planning a longer trip involving many towns and cities in multiple countries
  • Your booking period: As a general rule, the longer you plan to travel, the more likely it is that you’ll save with some kind of Eurail pass especially if you’re last-minute planner (train tickets in Europe can get pretty expensive when you book last-minute)
  • Your travel plan: You’ll also find that passes can be very convenient for exploring off-the-beaten path destinations as you won’t need to reserve seats on regional trains
  • Your seat reservations: When you’re traveling between major cities or on high-speed trains, you’ll usually need to pay additional seat reservation fees on top of the cost of the Eurail Pass


No matter your travel plans, you’ll definitely want to use GoEuro to double check prices for your specific trip to see if you can string together a cheaper itinerary yourself. You can check prices for most train companies 2-4 months in advance of your intended travel date.


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3 routes where buying a Eurail Pass will save you money

South to North: Eurail Global Pass

Visit 7 European cities in 6 countries with the Eurail Global Pass starting from $431. Doing this itinerary with a Eurail Global Pass is 9% cheaper than purchasing equivalent point-to-point tickets.

South to North Europe Trip

Travel between 28 European countries with the simplicity of the Eurail Global Pass. More Information →

2 Weeks in France & Italy: Eurail Select Pass

Visit 5 cities in France and Italy with the Eurail Select Pass starting from $246. Doing this itinerary with a Eurail Select Pass is 26% cheaper than purchasing equivalent point-to-point tickets.

2 Weeks in France & Italy

The Eurail Select Pass lets you can easily explore 2-4 bordering countries in Europe. More Information →

2 Weeks in Spain: Eurail One-Country Pass

Visit 5 cities in Spain with the Eurail One Country Pass starting from $179. If you're booking point-to-point tickets for this route at the last minute, you should consider purchasing a Spanish Eurail pass.

2 Weeks in Spain

Explore one of Eurail's many partner countries with the one-country pass. More Information →


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Europe Trip Information

Not sure if the Eurail pass if right for you? Check out all our other European itineraries and decide for yourself if you're better off buying a pass or point-to-point tickets. Our website gives you prices for trains buses & flights in a single search. It's that simple!


Check out our full list of Europe trips!

Eurotrip

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Eurail Global Pass

The Eurail Global Pass simplifies the classic Europe Trip. If you’re planning on visiting multiple European destinations in a short period of time or just want to avoid some of the meticulous planning these Europe trips require- the Eurail Global Pass is the rail pass for you. The Eurail Global Pass is perhaps at its best when you’re exploring Europe a little bit more slowly. Take a leisurely trip through the French and Italian countryside with nothing more than your pass as a guide. Give yourself the time you need to fall in love with Carcassone without worrying about changing your tickets or making new reservations. No matter whether your Europe trip is a whirlwind of capital cities or a winding trip through Scandinavia, the Eurail Global pass gives you the freedom to explore Europe at your own pace without the stress of a rigid itinerary.

A Global Pass will take you to 28 European countries including: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.


Suggested Itineraries for Eurail Global Passes

The Grand Tour


'The Grand Tour' is the ideal Europe trip for first-time travelers in Europe with a Eurail Global Pass. This month-long itinerary allows travelers to journey through 13 cities spread across 7 countries. From Paris' warm baguettes to Berlin's boisterous club scene the Eurail Global Pass is the ultimate passport for doing your 'Grand Tour' by train.

Eurail Global Passes from $522



2 Weeks in Western Europe


Want to travel Europe this summer? Take 2 weeks this summer and tick 7 European destinations off your bucket list. The Eurail Global Pass is perfect for the occasion. From Lisbon to Barcelona to Paris to Berlin, this itinerary will expose you to a wide variety of languages and cultures in Europe. Make sure you end this trip on a weekend in order to experience Berlin's infamous night-life. With the Eurail Global Pass you can see Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin all with a single ticket.

Eurail Global Passes from $424

Eurail Global Pass: Terms & Conditions


What you should know about the Eurail Global Pass

  • The Eurail Global Pass allows you to travel by train between 28 European countries

  • Variable pass validity allows you to customize your travel itinerary. Choose between a variety of options from traveling on 5 specific days in a month to selecting 3 months of unlimited train travel

  • Eurail passes can be purchased up to 11 months ahead of time or as late as a week before you intend to travel

  • The Eurail pass is a physical document so it needs to be shipped to you. Eurail can ship passes to both European and American addresses but cannot be shipped to European train stations

  • Eurail passes must be activated at any major train station in Europe before they can be used. Alternatively, passes can be ordered "pre-activated" from Eurail if you are intending on using it to travel immediately


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Eurail Select Pass

The Eurail Select Pass lets you travel through a variety of bordering European countries. You can select 2, 3 or 4 European countries to travel through as long as they share a border. Eurail Select Pass prices depend upon the number of travel days and the countries selected. The Eurail Select pass is ideal for when you're looking to explore the best of Europe. Fly into Paris and stroll along the Seine for a few days before taking the train over the Alps to explore Switzerland. Similarly, if you're after Europe's culinary delights you can travel throughout Italy sampling pasta and bruschetta before traveling to France's wine region and sampling some world-class Burgundy and Bordeaux. No matter if you're exploring Eastern Europe or traveling through the most popular destinations in Spain and France, the Eurail Select Pass provides the flexibility for any European travel itinerary.

A Eurail Select Pass allows you to choose 2, 3 or 4 bordering countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

2 Country Select Passes


3 Country Select Passes


4 Country Select Passes


 

Suggested Itineraries for Eurail Select Passes



2 Weeks in Northern Europe


From Paris' art and cuisine to Copenhagen's relaxed lifestyle and effortless cool, GoEuro's Northern European tour offers the most cultural variety in the shortest amount of time. After walking up the Arc de Triomphe in Paris relax and enjoy some fine Belgian beer in one of Brussels' world-famous drinking establishments. Travelers can view van Gogh and Rembrant's finest paintings in Amsterdam before relaxing on the beach in Hamburg. Finally, Copenhagen will provide an introduction to Scandinavian culture and customs.

Prices for the Northern Europe pass start from $318



2 Weeks in Eastern Europe


From the Berlin Wall to the Pearl of the Danube, indulge in diversity on GoEuro’s 'Eastern Exploration' Europe trip. Absorb Berlin’s tumultuous history and world-class nightlife before diving deep into dramatic Dresden. A city once wiped out during WWII and now rebuilt, Dresden has regained its title of ‘Florence of the North.’ Leave Germany for Prague’s fairy tale architecture, Vienna’s grand operas, and finish with the colorfully ruinous bars of Budapest.

Prices for the Eastern Europe pass start from $318

Eurail Select Pass: Terms & Conditions


What you should know about the Eurail Select Pass

  • The Eurail Select Pass allows you to select 2, 3 or 4 bordering countries in Europe and travel between them by train. In the event that you need to pass between a country not included on your rail pass you will need to pay an additional fee.

  • Eurail Select Passes are highly customizable - choose 4 travel days between 2 countries or 10 travel days between 4 countries. Choose from a variety of country combinations to make the most out of your Europe trip.

  • Eurail considers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg as one country under the name BeNeLux. Some Eurail Select Passes also include regional ferries. For example, when you choose a Select Pass for Italy and Greece a regional ferry is included for traveling between the two countries.

  • Eurail passes can be purchased as early as 11 months prior to your journey; however, these passes must be activated before they are able to be used. If you are planning on traveling immediately Eurail passes can be ordered "pre-activated."

  • Eurail passes are a physical object which need to be shipped to the user. Delivery times can be as fast as 3 business days and can be sent to European mailing addresses.


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Eurail One Country Passes


Eurail One Country Passes are unfortunately not currently available for France; however, France can be included as a travel destination in both Eurail Select Passes and the Eurail Global Pass. Similarly, German rail passes are only available through Deutsche Bahn.


Country Price
One Country Pass for Austria From $151
One Country Pass for BeNeLux From $151
One Country Pass for Bulgaria From $94
One Country Pass for Croatia From $94
One Country Pass for Czech Republic From $94
One Country Pass for Denmark From $127
One Country Pass for Finland From $151
One Country Pass for Greece From $94
One Country Pass for Hungary From $94
One Country Pass for Ireland From $151
Country Price
One Country Pass for Italy From $151
One Country Pass for Norway From $176
One Country Pass for Poland From $70
One Country Pass for Portugal From $94
One Country Pass for Romania From $70
One Country Pass for Scandinavia From $203
One Country Pass for Slovakia From $127
One Country Pass for Slovenia From $70
One Country Pass for Spain From $176
One Country Pass for Sweden From $176



Suggested Itineraries for Eurail One Country Passes

2 Weeks in Spain


A Spanish rail pass lets you visit the whole country with ease. For example, you can start on the Mediterranean coast in Barcelona then head to Madrid before stopping in Valencia, Malaga and Seville. Planning train trips between each of these Spanish cities individually would require a great deal of advanced planning and train reservations. Take full advantage of your One Country Eurail pass to get deals on certain ferries and buses in Spain. Eurail passes often cover bus journeys between destinations which aren't available by train.

Spain Eurail Passes start from $176



2 Weeks in Italy


Travel in Italy with a Eurail pass and you’ll see more than just Venice and Rome. Take the opportunity to explore Tuscany, Umbria, Lombardy and Piedmont. The Italian Eurail pass also includes ferry travel from Anconna to Greece. Alternatively, follow up your Italian trip with a visit to France. Eurail pass holders get 25% off overnight trains to Paris from Venice and Rome. Italian Eurail passes range from $150 for 3 travel days to $280 for 8 travel days within a month.

Italy Eurail Passes from $151



Eurail One Country Pass: Terms & Conditions


What you should know about the Eurail One Country Pass

  • The Eurail pass is available for specific countries. Passes range in cost from $70 to $500 depending on both the size of the country and the number of travel days. For example, 3 days of travel in Benelux will set you back $180 while 10 travel days costs nearly $400.

  • Eurail One Country passes consider Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg to be a single country called BeNeLux.

  • Other exceptions to the 1 country rule include the Greek Islands pass which covers ferry travel to and from Italy as well as a few ferry trips within the Greek Islands. Similarly, the Scandinavia One Country Pass covers trips within Sweden, Finland and Norway.

  • It is important the remember that reservation fees will apply to some train types. Specifically, overnight and high-speed trains will always require a reserved seat; however, you can avoid these extra reservation fees by taking smaller, regional trains that stop more frequently.


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