Interrail Planner / March 23, 2017

How does the 7pm interrailing rule work?

Sometimes the rules surrounding what you can and can't do with your Interrail pass can be a little hazy. Here's a little guide to help clear up what exactly the 7pm rule is.

So, what is the 7pm rule? It's designed for night trains and applies only when you're interrailing with a flexi pass (e.g. 10 travel days within 1 month) – Global or One Country. If you board one or more night trains that set off after 7pm and arrive at their final stop after 4am, you only need to use one travel day: the day of arrival.  

It's a great rule and can save you those valuable travel days here and there. But there are some rules you need to stick to:

  • Your night train(s) has to set off after 19:00 local time

  • Your night train(s) has to reach its final stop after 04:00, regardless of where you depart along the way

  • The night train must be direct. You cannot take a train to get to the departure station of your night train, unless it also sets off after 7pm and arrives at its final destination after 4am.

  • You won't be able to use the 7pm rule for night before your pass becomes valid i.e. if your Interrail pass is valid from 5th July, you cannot utilise the 7pm rule on the evening of 4th July, as your pass is only valid for travel from 00:01 on 5th July.

You'll then be free to travel for the rest of the day with your Interrail pass on the same travel day, even if that's just to get some free public transport!

Make sure you make a reservation for your night train. While they're not always that busy, you need to book in advance. This is mainly to ensure you get the comfort you want, as there are generally three options: seats, couchettes, and sleepers. There will also be a reservation fee. Take a look at our ultimate guide to Interrail seat reservations for more info.