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
Here are a few things you'll want to consider before buying:
- Your residency: A Eurail pass can only be used by non-European citizens/residents. European citizens can purchase an Interrail pass instead.
- 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
- 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 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
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.
Where can I travel in Europe with a Eurail Pass?
Global Pass: Experience everything Europe has to offer as you travel in and between 28 countries with the Eurail Global Pass
The Eurail Global Pass is the most flexible travel option which gives you access to the rail networks of 28 European countries. This rail pass is ideal for travelers who don't have a planned itinerary or even or even a definite idea of what countries they want to visit.
Select Pass: Travel between your choice of 2, 3 or 4 bordering countries in Europe with the Eurail Select Pass
With the Eurail Select Pass you only pay for the countries you want to visit. You can select 2, 3, or 4 countries in Europe, as long as they border each other. For example you can combine train travel to Spain, France, Italy and Germany with the Eurail Select Pass.
One Country Pass: Travel around one country in Europe with the Eurail One Country Pass
The Eurail One Country Pass is the ideal choice for travelers who want to explore one country by train. This rail pass allows you to travel between cities by either high-speed or regional trains.
How far and how often can I travel with a Eurail Pass?
- Continuous validity: A Eurail pass with continuous validity makes the most sense if you are planning on traveling by train almost every day. For example: with a Eurail Global 22 day continuous pass you can travel by train on 22 consecutive days. More Information →
- Flexible validity: A Eurail pass with flexible validity makes the most sense if you are planning on traveling by train once every few days. For example: with the Eurail Global 15 day flexible pass, you are free to choose 15 specific "travel days" on which you want to take the train, during a 2 month period. More Information →
Do I qualify for any Eurail discounts?
- Youth Pass: If you are still under 26 on the first day your Eurail pass is valid, you qualify for a 35% discounted Youth Pass.
- Saver Pass: If 2-5 adults are planning on traveling as a group in Europe together, you qualify for a 15% discounted Eurail Saver Pass. However, you will need stay together while traveling in order to share this rail pass.
- Family Discounts: Children under 12 travel for free with Eurail. More Information →
How does 1st and 2nd class work with a Eurail Pass?
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 →
What is the difference between a Eurail and Interrail Pass?
What is a "Travel Day"?
Can I travel within a country with a Eurail Pass?
How do I use a Eurail Pass?
In order to use your Eurail pass, you simply need to fill in the travel diary section with your train route details prior to boarding the train. Once you're on the train, you just need to show your Eurail Pass, plus your passport or identity document, to any staff member who asks to see it.
How do I receive my Eurail Pass?
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|
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 Central 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.
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 Central Europe
From the Berlin Wall to the Pearl of the Danube, indulge in diversity on GoEuro’s 'Central 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 Central Europe pass start from $318
Eurail Select Pass: Terms & Conditions
|What you should know about the Eurail Select Pass|
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.
|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|
|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|
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