Europe is a continent that checks off most items off every traveller’s bucket list. Be it the beaches in Greece or the mountains in Switzerland, the Louvre museum in Paris or Oktoberfest in Munich, Europe is nothing short of an extravagant dream. What transforms it into a remarkable reality, is the fact that nothing is out-of-the-way.
While the non-Europeans reap the benefits of the Eurail Pass, European inhabitants have a few perks of their own – The InterRail Pass!
1. What is the InterRail Pass?
The InterRail Pass, also known as the InterRail Global Pass is a railway pass that caters strictly to the residents of Europe. The pass gives passengers an access to unlimited train travel in and across 30 European countries that form a part of the InterRail circuit. The pass is a boon for not only those who wish to visit multiple European countries, but also for those who would like to explore a selected country extensively. Travellers who do not reside in Europe, can opt for the Eurail Pass.
2. What are the different categories of the InterRail Pass?
In order to cater to different types of travellers, the InterRail Pass is available in 2 distinct categories:
Global Pass – The Global Pass is the perfect option for those who want to unravel multiple European destinations within the InterRail circuit. The pass allows unlimited access to train travel across a varied number of days and countries.
The pass is valid in: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, FRY Macedonia, Finland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Holland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.
The pass doesn’t cover: Russia, Ukraine, Albania, the Baltic States, Moldova, Belarus and Morocco.
The Global Pass doesn’t give you the benefit of unlimited train travel in your country of residence. However, it allows you 2 free trips to your home country, which could be utilised to make a round trip or otherwise.
One Country Pass – The One Country Pass proves to be the best option for the bunch of travellers who’d like to discover a single country in depth. The pass permits you to travel across the intrinsic railway network of your chosen country, for a specific number of days.
If you want to travel in 2 European countries, all you have to do is buy 2 individual Single Country Passes.
InterRail Benelux Pass – The Benelux Pass is the ideal way to travel in Luxemburg, Belgium and The Netherlands. Combined together into one, this pass throws open a full access to these 3 breath-taking countries and all the stories that lie within. The
3. What is the validity of the InterRail Passes?
InterRail Passes are bifurcated into 2 major types:
- Flexi Pass – The Flexi Pass allows you a fixed number of train travel days within a specific period of time. The pass enables you with 7, 10 or 15 days of train travel within the time frame of 1 month. If you have a brief trip you may also opt for 5 days of train travel within 15 days.
The Flexi Pass serves best for those people who would want to make stopovers in different cities and not hop on to a train very frequently. It is more economical and best suited for shorter trips.
- Continuous Pass – The Continuous Pass empowers you with 15 days, 22 days or 1 month of continuous train travel. You can choose your start and end dates and make use of the trains as many times as you wish within your stipulated period.
This pass works best for the ones who like to make the most of their limited number of days of travelling. It is not mandatory for you to commute each day of your trip, and hence you can enjoy the flexibility and space to chalk out your tour without any restrictions.
4. Do I need to validate my InterRail Pass?
In the Eurail Pass, the traveller is required to get his/her pass stamped by a railway officer on the commencing date of their journey. However, in an InterRail Pass, the travellers simply need to fill in the start and end dates of their journey and record the travel details in the Calendar on their ticket, as and when they utilize the InterRail services.
5. What is the price of the InterRail Pass?
InterRail Passes offer a diverse range of travel options and hence the prices of each pass may differ on account of category of pass (Global, Benelux or Single Country) type of pass (Flexi or Continuous), number of days, Class (1st or 2nd class) and additional discounts as applicable.
A Global Pass may range from €264 to €626, where the Continuous passes are higher in price.
A Benelux Pass costs between €130 to €250.
A Single Country Pass ranges from €42 to €180, depending on the country of your choice and number of days.
6. Where can I buy my InterRail Pass?
The easiest way to buy an InterRail Pass is by logging on to http://www.interrail.eu/ and entering the particulars of your trip. Buying passes online is more beneficial, as there are many discounts and offers that can be availed. Many other websites enable you to buy these passes, and hence it is recommended that you compare the prices among all the vendors before making your purchase. The passes once booked at delivered to your doorstep, with a nominal shipping charge.
You may also book your passes through the phone. Call on 0844 248 248 3, between 9am and 5pm from Monday-Friday! Phone bookings incur a minor fee.
7. What are the price benefits of the InterRail Pass?
The InterRail pass is designed in a manner that encourages tourism in Europe. The InterRail passes come with a host of discounts and offers.
- Child Discount – Infants below 4 years of age do not need a pass. Children between the age of 4 and 11 can travel for free under the Child Pass. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Up to 2 children per adult are permitted a free travel.
- Youth Discount – If you are below 26 years of age, you are eligible for a youth discount of up to a whooping 25%. Young travellers can choose between any of the pass types across both, 1st and 2nd class and avail the discount.
- Senior Discount – Travellers over the age of 60 can enjoy the benefits of a senior discount that extends itself up to 10% of the adult fare.
8. Do I need to make a reservation if I have an InterRail Pass?
Most InterRail trains do not require a reservation. These are generally local, suburban or regional trains. However, different countries have different specifications and almost every high-speed train, ICE, ICE Sprinter and overnight train requires you to make a prior reservation. A reservation guarantees you a seat on the train. The bookings start 3 months before the departure, thus allowing you to plan your trip in advance. If you are a Premium Pass holder, the reservation fees are included in the total price of your InterRail Pass. If not, you will have to incur the reservation fare over and above the price of your pass.
You can visit the official InterRail website – http://www.interrail.eu/ to check if the route you are travelling requires a prior reservation.
9. Is there a Wi-Fi connection on the InterRail trains?
InterRail trains allow you to select between a 1st class and 2nd class pass. The perks of 1st class carriages other than the comfort and miscellaneous facilities is that passengers have access to a free wi-fi connection on certain high-speed intercity trains. Passengers travelling by 2nd class may have to pay an extra fee for using the internet on-board.
10. What is the baggage allowance on the InterRail trains?
As a standard rule, each passenger is entitled to carry 2 pieces of luggage and 1 hand bag. Although there is no restriction on the weight, the size of the bags should be close to 85cm and must be able to fit in the storage racks provided near the seats, such that they do not obstruct any other travellers. Passengers are allowed to take their sport equipment like ski-boards, bikes, etc. Any oversized luggage needs to be registered.
11. Can my InterRail Pass be exchanged or refunded?
Yes. In case of any change in your travel plans, you can exchange your InterRail pass for another one. The exchange fee for the same is €15 per pass.
Your InterRail pass can be refunded only if it is stamped “Not Used” by the railways officials, before the first day of its validity and if you have purchased your pass from the official InterRail website. (www.interrail.eu) If your request meets the criteria, you will be entitled to a refund of 85%.