What is Interrail?
Using an Interrail Pass to travel around Europe by train.
What is an Interrail Pass?
An Interrail Pass is a ticket that enables you to travel by train in up to 30 countries. There are two types of passes: One Country Passes and Global Passes. Passes also vary by the time period for which they are valid, and the number of travel days allowed within that time period.
What is the difference between a One Country Interrail Pass and a Global Interrail Pass?
A Global Pass permits you to travel on trains in 30 European countries, whilst a One Country Pass permits you to travel on trains in one specific country. You would purchase a One Country Pass for the country of your choosing, and the prices vary depending on the country.
What are travel days?
A travel day is a day on which you can travel by train using your Interrail Pass. A travel day lasts 24 hours from midnight to midnight, and you can travel on as many trains as you want within that time frame - it still counts as using 1 travel day.
Travel days can be used at any point during the time period for which your pass is valid. However, passes vary by the number of travel days permitted in total: some passes specify a maximum (such as 5 travel days within a 15 day time period), whilst “continuous” passes let you use unlimited travel days within a set time period.
Does getting an overnight train use 2 travel days?
Not necessarily: even though a travel day usually lasts from midnight to midnight, there is an exception to this known as the “7pm rule”. This rule means that it only counts as using 1 travel day if you get an overnight train that departs after 7pm and is arriving at its final destination after 4am. (It doesn’t matter if you get off before the final destination.)
The day of arrival is the day that is counted as the travel day. This means that after you get off the train, you can continue to travel that day using the same travel day. However, it also means that if you use your Interrail Pass for any other trains on the day the night train departs, you will have to record that as 2 travel days.
Even though the day of arrival is the travel day counted, you cannot utilise the 7pm rule for a night train that arrives on the first day your pass is valid.
For how many days exactly is a month-long Interrail Pass valid?
If an Interrail pass is valid for a month, it means that it is valid for the number of days that are in the month that it starts. For example, if the pass start date is in July, the pass will be valid for 31 days, but if the pass start date is in June, the pass will only be valid for 30 days. This is taken into account by our planning tool’s pass tracking feature.
Can I use my Interrail Pass to travel in my own country of residence?
With an Interrail Global Pass, you are entitled to one outbound journey to leave your country of residence at the start of your trip and one inbound journey to return to your country of residence at the end of your trip. The outbound journey can only be made on your first travel day and the inbound journey can only be made on your last travel day. You can use the same travel day to make other journeys outside of your country of residence.
For example, if you are a UK resident, you could use the first travel day of your Interrail Global Pass to travel to St Pancras International from outside London, then take the Eurostar to Paris (which requires a reservation), and then continue to travel beyond Paris using the same travel day.
You cannot use your Global Pass to travel in or through your country of residence at any other point during your trip.
You cannot travel within your own country using a One Country Pass.
Who can use an Interrail Pass?
You can use an Interrail Pass if you are a European citizen or an official resident of a European country. You will need to travel with proof of citizenship or residence, which are classified here. If you are not a citizen or resident of Europe, you can use a Eurail Pass, and plan your trip using Eurail Planner.
How far in advance can I order an Interrail Pass?
The earliest you can buy your Interrail Pass is 11 months before its start date, which you specify when purchasing the pass.
What if I need to change the details on my Interrail Pass?
Sometimes the name, start date, or passport number on your Interrail Pass need to change, or you notice you accidentally made an mistake when filling out the details. However, it is possible to exchange your Interrail Pass as long as you do so before its start date. To do this, you need to return your Interrail Pass and order another one. Then, contact the official Interrail support team by email and tell them the order numbers of the two passes. Once Interrail receives your unused Interrail Pass, they will refund you, minus a €15 exchange fee.
Do I need to make train reservations?
Train reservations are compulsory on most high-speed trains and all night trains. However, we recommend making reservations for all the trains you plan on taking, as this will ensure you have a seat even when it’s busy. To work out whether a reservation is required or recommended for a particular train, use the Interrail timetable.
How far in advance should I make train reservations?
It is not usually possible to book reservations more than 3 months in advance, so we suggest trying to make your reservations about 2 months in advance.
How can I make train reservations?
You can make reservations online through the Interrail.eu Reservations Service or through websites, such as ACP Rail or Voyages SNCF. You can read our comprehensive guide to making reservations online here. Alternatively, you can call the rail company who operate the train you wish to reserve or, as a last resort, it is possible to make reservations at European railway stations once you are on your trip.
Can I travel on the Eurostar using my Interrail Pass?
Yes, you can use the Eurostar provided you have an Interrail Global Pass, Great Britain Pass, France Pass, or Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg) Pass. However, you will need to reserve this train in advance for a fee, so the Interrail Pass effectively entitles you to a heavily discounted fare.
Do I need to plan my trip in advance?
We recommend doing so simply because Europe is so popular, especially in the summer, and it will make your trip more enjoyable to have the route in place, the best hostels booked, and train seats reserved before you set off.
Does it cost more to use Interrail Planner?
No! Your trip will cost the same as it always would. Read more about us here.