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The Interrail Pass is a railway ticket available to European residents. Residents of countries outside Europe can also purchase the Eurail Pass. The Interrail Pass includes Interrail Global Pass, Interrail One Country Pass, and Interrail Premium Pass.
The traditional Interrail Pass is now called the Interrail Global Pass. It allows unlimited rail travel in and between all of the 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.
- 1 Interrail Pass Eligibility
- 2 Traveller Categories
- 3 Pass Type
- 4 Seat Reservations on High Speed, Overnight, and other Trains
- 5 History
- 6 #FreeInterrail Proposal
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Interrail Pass Eligibility
Interrail passes are available to those who are citizens or official residents from one of the countries of the European Union or one of the countries listed hereafter (Eurail is for citizens or official residents of countries not in the EU or not listed hereafter):
Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Gibraltar, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vatican City.
Proof of citizenship can be established by a passport, identity card, or government issued residency documents.
Interrail Passes are sold in 4 traveler categories
- Child Pass: For travelers who are younger than 12 years old. Children aged 4 to 11 years old can travel for free with a full-paying adult, with a maximum of two children per Adult Pass.
- Youth Pass: For travelers who are 27 or under.
- Adult Pass: For travelers above 27 years old.
- Senior Pass: For travelers above 60 years old.
Interrail Global Pass
The Interrail Global Pass is valid in all participating European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and Turkey. 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, and 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 the former Soviet Union (Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, 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.
Travel in Country of Residence
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.
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 higher than that of Interrail.
The Interrail Global Pass includes the following pass validity:
- 5 days within 15 days;
- 7 days within 1 month;
- 10 days within 1 month;
- 15 days within 1 month;
- 15 days;
- 22 days;
- 1 month.
Interrail One Country Pass
The Interrail One Country Pass is a pass that allows customers to travel by train across the national rail network of one country, with unlimited train journeys on each travel day. The Interrail One Country Passes are available for 3, 4, 6, or 8 travel days within 1 month for each of the following countries: Austria, Benelux, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greek Islands, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and Turkey.
There are no separate passes for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands; there is one for the whole Benelux area. It is also available to residents in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, but in that case 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).
Seat Reservations on High Speed, Overnight, and other Trains
With Interrail pass, usually reservations are not required for local and regional trains. However, a reservation is needed for most high-speed, international, and night trains. Additional fee surcharges are often required in many countries to guarantee secured seat reservations, as well as other extra add-on benefits (e.g. meals and drinks, free Wi-Fi, access to 1st class lounges). These reservations can usually be avoided by taking regional or local trains instead. You can make reservations at the station, on the website of railway companies, in Rail Planner App, or at your travel agency.
High speed trains
Many high speed trains require reservation and sometimes payment of an extra fee either sold as a supplement or Pass holder fare. 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.
- Thalys (Paris to Brussels, Amsterdam, and Cologne) 2nd Class = €15 to €25, 1st Class = €25 to €35
- TGV (Domestic French) 1st or 2nd Class €10 (off peak) €20 (peak).
- 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 €23.50. Reservation fees for 2nd class (€6.50) are payable on most other long distance trains in Spain (e.g. Arco, Euromed, Alvia, Alaris, Altaria)
- In Germany and Austria, 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. ICE (Germany) trains do not require reservation, but it is voluntarily available at €4,50.
- SJ high speed train (in Sweden and reaching Copenhagen) €7 (2nd class) / €17 (1st class)
- Some scenic trains have the option to travel in a special panoramic coach, which requires a reservation.
Further information on supplements on daytime high speed trains can be obtained from the official Interrail site.
Besides the high-speed trains, 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, with Interrail Flexi Global Pass, using a direct overnight train leaving after 7pm and arriving at its final destination after 4am, only requires you to fill in one travel day 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
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 free or a reduction to Interrail Pass holders. Normally the reductions are between 25% and 50%.
- 1972: The program launched as "Interrail Pass", 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.
- 1979: the age limit changed to 26 and was introduced Interrail Senior from age 65.
- 1982: the six-month residency requirement was introduced.
- 1985: Certain ferry services were included.
- 1989: Adult offer was introduced in the Nordic countries, 265 adult passengers in the first year.
- 1991: the end of the Soviet Union led to expansion of the IRC. Adult offer was introduced in UK.
- 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 system replaced with Interrail Global Pass (30 participating countries) & One Country Pass range, Eurodomino discontinued.
- 2013: Launch of the Rail Planner App.
- 2015: Eurail and Interrail brands align their logos, Greek Islands Pass was introduced.
- 2017: The youth fare age cap raised to 27 years.
- 2018: Turkey and Serbia join Eurail one country Pass. Czech Republic and Poland join Eurail 2 country select Pass.
In 2015, German activists Vincent-Immanuel Herr and Martin Speer approached Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermanns with a proposal to provide all EU youth with free Interrail Global Passes upon turning 18. This effort was documented by POLITICO Europe's Brussels Playbook, while also providing more details on the idea. The two activists claimed that their idea would help to overcome stereotypes in Europe as well as problems regarding renationalization in several countries by enabling the entirety of a generation to explore Europe, and not just a small fraction of it. They subsequently wrote numerous articles on their idea, started a change.org petition, and approached more EU politicians. Herr promoted the idea at a TEDx event in 2017.
A 2016 representative survey in Germany found 56 percent of respondents were in favor of such a proposal.
In March 2018, a 12 million Euro pilot project scheme, involving buying 20,000-30,000 Global Passes for EU youth, was confirmed by the European Commission. A press release announcing the decision elaborated on the goal of the scheme:
"The action will seek to offer young people, regardless of social or educational background and including people with reduced mobility, a chance to travel abroad."
On 1 March 2018, the European Commission announced initial steps to implement the European Parliament's proposal for a "Free Interrail pass for Europeans turning 18" by adopting a Financing Decision:
"With a budget of EUR 12 million in 2018, this action is expected to give an estimated 20,000-30,000 young people a travel experience that would help foster a European identity, reinforce common European values and promote the discovery of European sites and cultures. This proposal fits well with the EU's ambitions to promote learning mobility, active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of all young people."
On 3 May 2018, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, alongside a Member of the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, announced the official name of the initiative, "DiscoverEU", and the first details on the application process. The initiative aims at giving 15,000 young people the opportunity to travel around Europe during the summer, in order to discover the continent's rich cultural heritage, get in touch with other people, learn from other cultures, and thereby discover what unites Europe. Participants can travel up to 30 days and can visit between 1 to 4 foreign destinations. In an application round to select the first 15,000 travelers, those interested needed to apply over a two-week period in the month of June 2018 via the European Youth Portal.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for European rail passes.|
- 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
- Euroventure, Package Interrail Routes.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to InterRail.|