Interrail

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A 2016 Interrail Pass with accompanying Pass Cover and Pass Guide

The Interrail Pass is a railway ticket (Railroad Pass), available to European residents. Residents of countries outside Europe can purchase the Eurail Pass.[1]

The traditional Interrail Pass is now called the Interrail Global Pass. It allows unlimited rail travel in and between all of 30 participating countries for a certain period of time. The main exception is that high-speed trains and night trains often require a paid seat reservation.

The Interrail One Country Pass allows unlimited rail travel in one specific country in Europe.

Interrail Global Pass[edit]

Validity[edit]

Countries in which the Interrail Global Pass is valid

The Interrail Global Pass is valid in all participating European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom.[2] In addition railways run through Monaco and Liechtenstein being operated by the national railways of France and Austria respectively. In addition, Interrail Global Passes include ferry crossings from Patras and Igoumenitsa (Greece) to Venice, Ancona and Bari (Italy) operated by Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries (fuel surcharges, port taxes, high season supplements as well as cabin accommodation are extra).

The Interrail passes are not valid on railways in Albania and the countries which belonged to former Soviet Union (Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine). There are no railways in Andorra, Cyprus, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta or San Marino. L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre in France is the closest railway station for Andorra. Rimini in Italy is the closest station for San Marino.

Seat reservations for High-Speed Trains[edit]

Originally with the Global Pass one could hop on most trains in most countries without the need of any additional ticketing. In recent years, when high-speed trains are introduced, numerous rail operators have started making exceptions - taken as a whole these conditions.[clarification needed][3][4][5] These reservations can be easily avoided by taking regional local trains, instead.

For example, in Italy only local and regional trains are without supplement, InterCity trains require a supplement of 3 euros per journey and seat reservations have become compulsory. For Eurostar Italia & Eurostar City trains a supplement 10-20 euros per journey must be paid.[3] On most routes there are usually slower, but free connections available.

In France, SNCF charges a supplement for InterCity trains only. In addition, mainly in a high season (June–August) there might be a limited quota of inexpensive seats for Interrail Pass holders. If this quota is full, you can either wait for the next train connection or buy a last-minute, more expensive reservation.[6]

In Belgium, there is an option of taking a luxury high-speed train at speed of 300 km/h.[7] Boarding of the Thalys train from Brussels to Amsterdam, to Paris or to Cologne requires a 15 to 25 Euro supplement in 2nd Class.[7]

A contrast to this is Germany where virtually all of the fast InterCity and InterCityExpress trains can still be boarded without the hassle of queueing for additional tickets or supplements of any kind.[8]

Discounted fare in own country[edit]

Until the end of 2015, Interrail passes were not valid for free travel in the traveller's country of residence, although a discount was granted on journeys to or from the border.[9]

As of 1 January 2016, the pass is now valid for two journeys free-of-charge in the traveller's own country of residence, one journey to and one journey from the border. This limit exists to avoid people buying Interrail for work commuting and business travel, for which there may be passes at prices several times that of Interrail.[10]

Interrail Global Pass - Prices - Youth - Under 28[11][edit]

Validity 2nd Class
5 days within 15 days €206
7 days within 1 month €253
10 days within 1 month €301
15 days within 1 month €372
15 days continuous €348
22 days continuous €385
1 month continuous €493

Interrail Global Pass - Prices - Adult - Over 28[12][edit]

Validity 2nd Class
5 days within 15 days €267
7 days within 1 month €318
10 days within 1 month €378
15 days within 1 month €468
15 days continuous €418
22 days continuous €489
1 month continuous €632

Interrail One Country Pass[edit]

The Interrail One Country Pass is available for each of the following countries:

Countries with price level 1 (highest):

  • France, Germany, United Kingdom

Countries with price level 2:

  • Austria, Norway, Spain, Italy Plus, Sweden

Countries with price level 3:

  • Benelux, Denmark, Finland, Greece Plus, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland

Countries with price level 4:

  • Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey

Countries with price level 5:

  • FYR Macedonia, Serbia

There are no separate passes for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, instead there is one for the whole Benelux (price level 3). It is also available to residents in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, but for them it is only valid in the two countries which are not the country of residence (except of 2 journey - out of their country and back to their country). The "Greece Plus" ticket includes ferry transfer between Greece and Italy. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro don't take part in the Interrail One-Country Pass offer.

Duration and prices[edit]

There is a discount for people under 28, and a supplement for first class.

Following prices are based on Adult category, 2nd class:

Valid Within Price in Euro Price per Valid Day Price per "Within" Day Area
03 days 311 month €118 &40 &04 country with price level 3
04 days 311 month €149 &38 &05 country with price level 3
06 days 311 month €199 &34 7 country with price level 3
08 days 311 month €239 &30 &08 country with price level 3
03 days 311 month €203 &68 &07 country with price level 1 (highest)
04 days 311 month €223 56 8 country with price level 1 (highest)
06 days 311 month €283 &48 10 country with price level 1 (highest)
08 days 311 month €313 &40 11 country with price level 1 (highest)
05 days 15 days €267 &53 18 all countries
7 days 1 month €318 45 11 all countries
10 days 1 month €378 &38 13 all countries
15 days 1 month €468 31 16 all countries
15 days 15 days €418 28 28 all countries
22 days 22 days €489 &22 &22 all countries
311 month 311 month €632 &21 &21 all countries

While usually a day is from 0:01 to 23:59, validity for a day is extended to include a night train from 19:00 on the day before, except on the evening before the first day of the "within" period.

Use of Interrail Passes on high speed, overnight, and privately operated trains[edit]

High speed trains[edit]

Many high speed trains require reservation and sometimes payment of an extra fee either sold as a supplement or Pass holder fare.[13] Examples include:

  • Eurostar (London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels) require payment of a "seat booking fee" of £26.50/€30 each way in Standard Class, plus £10 "service fee" for bookings made at stations or by phone. [14]
  • Thalys (Paris to Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne) 2nd Class = €15 to €25, 1st Class = €25 to €35 [15]
  • TGV (Domestic French) 1st or 2nd Class €9 (off peak) €18 (peak). In addition TGVs operate in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy where supplements are payable. Reservations are also payable on Corail Téoz services within France.
  • Trenitalia (Italy): Frecciabianca, Frecciargento, Frecciarossa 1st or 2nd Class €10. A reservation is also recommended but not mandatory for IC services within Italy: €3.
  • AVE (Spain) 2nd Class €10, 1st Class €23. Reservation fees (€6.50) are payable on most other long distance trains in Spain (e.g. Arco, Euromed, Alvia, Alaris, Altaria)
  • ICE (Germany) trains do not require reservation, but it is voluntarily available at €4,50.
  • SJ high speed train (in Sweden and reaching Copenhagen) SEK 62 (2nd class) / SEK 150 (1st class) for a compulsory 2nd class seat reservation[16]

Further information on supplements on daytime high speed trains can be obtained from the official Interrail site.

Overnight trains[edit]

Many overnight trains in Europe require reservations with extra costs for sleeping accommodation such as couchettes or in sleeping cars, and some may not have any non-sleeper cars. However, as mentioned, a direct overnight train leaving after 7pm only requires filling in one line of the pass, for the following day. This rule cannot be used if that day would be the first one on which the pass is valid.

Reductions on privately owned trains[edit]

Interrail Pass is normally only valid on the national railway system of the countries concerned. In many countries there are private railway systems some of which offer a reduction to Interrail Pass holders. Normally the reductions are between 25% and 50%.

Residence condition[edit]

The passes are available to those who have been legal residents (not travelling on a visa or military personnel living on a base) in any of the 30 countries of the Interrail Pass, or in any of these neighbouring countries:

History[edit]

  • 1972: The program launched as "Interrail 72", limited to travellers 21 or younger. It covered 21 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, East Germany, Finland, France, West Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia. The initial price in the United Kingdom was £27.50 for one month's travel.
  • 1973: UK price raised to £33.00
  • 1976: the age limit for the pass was raised to 23; it was raised again to 26 in 1979.
  • 1982: the six-month residency requirement was introduced.
  • 1985: Certain ferry services were included.
  • 1991: the end of the Soviet Union led to expansion of the IRC.
  • 1994: 29 of the 30 present-day countries are included (all but Bosnia-Herzegovina); the IRC has seven zones, with Zone D including Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia.
  • 1998: Interrail Passes became available to all ages, with fares based on age. The eight zone system is established, minus Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • 2001: The Eurail Group company was formed, and it took over marketing and management of Interrail and Eurail.
  • 2005: Bosnia-Herzegovina joins the IRC.
  • 2007: Beginning of April 1, the Eurail Group takes over management of all Interrail Pass products; no more zones, merged with Eurodomino.

Zones before 1 April 2007[edit]

As of April 2005, the IRC included 30 countries, organized into eight zones:

The cost of the pass was based on the zones included and the traveler's age. 16-day passes included one zone, 22-day passes covered any two zones, and month-long passes covered all zones.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Interrail.eu, The official Interrail website for all Europeans in English, Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian and French.
  • Interrail Global Pass website, Interrail Global Pass website for all information on Interrail Global Pass.
  • Interrail Planner, website application for planning Interrail routes and booking accommodation.
  • Seat61, extensive guides to Interrail and European train travel in general.
  • Interrail Map.com, Interrail maps and guides to select your Interrail One Country Pass find the schedules for Interrailing, travel times, the train station timetables, and the price of your accommodation.
  • halotravel.com, organisation that advises and supplies Eurail or Interrail travelers with information, travel routes and passes.
  • Interrail Holiday.com, Interrail Holiday Packages