No matter if you want to plan your trip far in advance or if you plan to make last-minute decisions. Your Eurail Pass allows for extremely flexible travel. You will always have the option of staying an extra night in a place you love. Sometimes, even months before they pack their bags. Fortunately, you have plenty of ways to figure out which train to take and at what time.
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Europe by train introduction How to buy European train tickets London to Paris or Brussels by Eurostar Need help? Email the Man in Seat Sixty-One! If you live in the USA, buy a Eurail pass at www. If you live in Canada, buy a Eurail pass at www.
If you live in Australia, buy a Eurail pass from www. If you live in India, buy from www. If you live in any other country in Asia, Africa or South America buy from www. Eurail or InterRail? Before we start, which of Europe's two great railpass ranges applies to you? Useful train travel information General information for train travel in Europe. Where to buy cheap point-to-point tickets. Whether you use a Eurail pass or buy cheap advance-purchase tickets, the train is the best way to tour the cities of Europe in comfort, relaxed, seeing a lot in a short time.
A '1 hour flight' takes 4 hours. Paris-Amsterdam now takes 3h20 by train, Paris-Geneva 3h Comfort, relaxation, a chance to chill out Unlike bus travel it's high comfort. Aren't you on vacation? Overnight sleeper trains cover huge distances such as Zurich to Prague or Paris to Venice, effectively faster than flying and it saves hotel bill, too. The train journeys become a welcome chance to chill out between cities Your train journeys are an integral part of the European experience , something to enjoy for their own sake, giving you a ground-level feel for the countries you're visiting Things to consider In Europe, cars and city centres don't mix.
It's not like driving in the States. In overcrowded Europe, driving on busy motorways is tedious. There may be fines for entering traffic-free zones. Some car hire companies won't let their cars cross borders, others charge prohibitive fees for one-way cross-border rentals. A 1-hour flight takes up to 4 hours once you include the bus or train to the airport, 2-hour check-in, flight, then more airport hassle and another bus, train or taxi into town.
And don't forget that short-haul flights cause disproportionate environmental damage. Long distance buses are usually the poor man's choice in Europe. Buses travel along ugly motorways which spoil the scenery they pass through. A 3-hour train ride at up to mph with regular departures might be an 8-hour endurance test by bus with just two buses per day. You're stuck in a bus seat for hours, no restaurant or cafe-bar and at night you sleep slumped in a seat. Even Paris-Barcelona 6h20 is better by train, with great scenery centre to centre compared to 5 hours of RER train, airport, soulless flight, airport, then Spanish metro train.
Trains are low-hassle, low stress, with loads of legroom, you can wander to the bar or restaurant. Or feel free to bring your own picnic and your own bottle of wine or beer, it's allowed on trains! Back to top. Eurail is not a train operator and there no special Eurail trains. In fact there's a small marketing team based in Utrecht in the Netherlands who manage the Eurail scheme on behalf of the 31 national train operators.
They run the official Eurail website www. You can choose a Eurail pass giving unlimited travel for various periods of time on the national rail networks of just one of the 31 participating countries a one-country pass or all 31 countries a global pass. Unlimited travel means unlimited - you can use 1 train or 20 trains a day, going 10 miles or miles, it doesn't matter.
The different types of Eurail pass are explained here. Eurail passes allow you to travel on all the normal scheduled trains run by the national train operator, whether high-speed, inter-city, overnight, local, regional or suburban. These non-Eurail passes are all explained here. You must buy a Eurail pass before you get here, you cannot buy Eurail passes when you get to Europe.
See map of countries participating in the Eurail scheme. Adult - which should be self explanatory. Youth - for anyone aged under 28 on the first day of pass validity - it used to be under 26 until Child - for kids aged under Children inclusive get a free Eurail pass when accompanying someone on an Adult pass, although they still need to pay any relevant reservation fees. On some retailer's website this is shown as 'family'. Note that you have to have an Adult pass to get the free Child passes, you can't get them with Youth or Senior passes.
Infants - children aged under 4 travel free on trains anyway and don't need any pass, nor do they pay any reservation fees. In some countries the age limit for infants is 5 or even 6, so don't pay if you don't have to, see the age limits for each European country here. Where are you going? A Eurail Global pass covers all 31 participating countries, see the list or see map of rail network in the Eurail countries.
A Eurail Single-Country pass covers just one country of your choice. A one-country pass is cheaper than buying a global pass covering all the countries. How long for? You can buy Eurail passes giving unlimited train travel for various periods of time. But you need to get your head around two different concepts. Continuous passes give unlimited travel every day for a continuous period of time, either 15 days, 22 days or 1, 2 or 3 months, starting on any date you like.
These give the ultimate in freedom and flexibility, but to make them worthwhile you need to be on a train every day or two. Flexi passes are more economical if you plan to stay put for a number of days between each train ride. Flexi passes give 4, 5, 7, 10 or 15 days unlimited travel within an overall 1 or 2 month period.
All the one-country passes are of this flexi type. The 3-day pass was changed to 4 days in January You can look up the available pass types, time periods and prices at the official Eurail website, www. You can now choose 1st or 2nd class with any pass type. But 1st class seating is available on most longer-distance trans and if you can afford it, 1st class is obviously nicer, with wider, plusher seats, more legroom. In 1st class there are usually more businessmen tapping on laptops and fewer families with kids.
Don't assume 1st class gets you any food or drink or free limo transfers or complimentary massages or whatever, this is not an airline. Your default assumption should be that 2nd class seating is nice, 1st class seating is nicer, and it's normally just the nicer seating with fewer people per car that you're paying for when you go 1st class.
Sometimes a 1st class pass will get you into a first class lounge at a station , but sometimes it won't. That may help you decide! As well as the large and well-known Eurail pass range, several countries do their own non-Eurail pass, which can be worth checking.
The Swiss Travel Pass is what you want for Switzerland as there is no one-country Eurail pass for that country.
I've summed these up here. They're priced in euros, but obviously you can buy in your own currency. You can check these prices and buy online at the official Eurail website www. Check current exchange rates.
Pass prices vary only slightly between retailers, although you also need to check delivery costs as some retailers deliver for free, others charge a delivery fee. Forgive me for saying so, but overseas visitors sometimes seem brainwashed into thinking that they have to buy a Eurail pass to make a train journey in Europe.
Of course you don't. Anyone connected to the internet can buy the same cheap point-to-point tickets that we Europeans buy, at the same prices, direct from the same train operator websites that we use. If you have a pre-planned fixed itinerary, these cheap advance-purchase train fares are almost always the cheapest option.
Thanks to the internet, you can buy these cheap advance-purchase fares from any computer, tablet or smartphone in the USA or Australia just as easily as I can from the UK, following my journey-specific advice on the How to Buy European Train Tickets page. OK, let's assume your itinerary includes a journey from Berlin to Prague So is a pass the cheapest option? No it's not. It's not a trick question! And it's the easiest option too, quickly booked online at the official German or Czech Railways websites with no added booking fee and nothing to lose in the post, you print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.
Click, click! Job done But does a pass still make sense? Yes, if you don't want to nail your plans to the floor months in advance, if you want the freedom to travel when you want, or even decide on a whim not to go to Prague, but to Vienna instead.
How to use a Eurail pass
Find European train times with the Eurail timetable, the perfect tool for planning your rail trip. Easily identify which trains you need to reserve. Find out all about train reservations. Many European countries have introduced travel restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of Coronavirus. These restrictions include reduced timetables for domestic trains, cancellations of international trains, and complete lockdowns in some countries. Consequently, our timetable is not fully accurate at this time. Instead, you can use these alternative channels :.
Train Times In Europe
Start planning your Eurail adventure here. You can see the average train travel times between all the big European cities in 33 countries on the train map below. The map below shows the bigger cities in Europe, to which cities they are connected and how long it takes to travel between them. It's an interactive map, so start clicking around and planning your trip! Click on the train icons to see the cities of each country and click on the routes the lines in between 2 train icons to see travel times. The green lines represent trains, the blue lines are ferries. With a Eurail Pass you can travel in all countries on the Europe rail map above, now including Great Britain.
European Train Planner
Europe by train introduction How to buy European train tickets London to Paris or Brussels by Eurostar Need help? Email the Man in Seat Sixty-One! If you live in the USA, buy a Eurail pass at www.
Why can't I find my trains in the Timetable?
Some trains are not yet visible in our Timetable, because they haven't been made available by the European Railway Carriers. This is often the case when you search for trains several months into the future. If your search results turn up empty, it's usually no reason for concern. Our Timetable is updated monthly with new train data, so make sure to check back regularly to see if your trains have become available. For urgent questions about missing trains, please contact our Customer Service. Example: If you're using the Timetable in November to plan your summer trip, you probably won't find all of your trains.