The Eurail Pass is a smart choice to set you free from the inconvenience. Supported by a cooperation of 30 European Railway companies and shipping lines in Europe, Eurail.com offers Rail Passes to non-European residents who want to explore Europe by rail.
What is Eurail Pass?
Eurail Pass is a travel product for non-European residents who want to travel in Europe. It gives you the ability to take nearly every train and some of the ships in Europe unlimitedly within a fixed number of days. It also provides discounts on hotels, public transportation within many cities, entrance fee of main museums and some local shops. With Eurail Pass, you can save money and don’t have to worry about trifles during your journey.
Eligibility to use Eurail Pass
Eurail Pass is basically only eligible for non-European residents. However, if you are from Turkey or Russian Federation, or you have been living in Europe for more than six months on the first day you plan to use Eurail Pass, you are not eligible to buy a Eurail Pass. Instead, you should use Interrail Pass, which is similar to Eurail Pass but mainly provided for European residents.
The covereage area of Eurail Pass includes 25 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Some regions are counted as one country: Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands), Slovenia-Croatia, and Serbia-Montenegro-Bulgaria.
The United Kingdom is not included so travelers need to buy BritRail Passes.
How can I get a Eurail Pass?
The most recommended way is to buy it on the official website http://www.eurail.com/home on which you can choose your language and currency. You can order your Eurail Pass up to six months in advance of your travel.
Note that Eurail Pass is not e-ticket for security reasons so you can’t print Eurail Pass by yourself. The valid paper document will be sent to you by registered mail. If you don’t have enough time for the shipping time before your travel, you can also buy a Eurail Pass at airports and main railway stations in Europe but the price will be approximately 20% higher than online booking. If you don’t know whether an airport or a train station sells Eurail Pass, you’d better call the information desk to make sure.
There are several types of Eurail Pass from which you can choose the one that suits you most. They are listed in the forms below. (Youth under 26 on the first day of their travel enjoy a 35% discount but only in 2nd class. The prices in the form are after discount and for online booking. The prices also depend on travel time and travel area.)
|Global Pass||Valid in all countries in coverage area except Montenegro, Poland and Serbia||€407-€952|
|Select Pass||You can choose 3-5 bordering countries||€218-€480|
|Regional Pass||You can choose 2 bordering countries||€124-€224|
|One Country Pass||You can choose one country||€34-€169|
You can pay for you Eurail Pass by your credit card. Visa, MasterCard, American Express (Amex), JCB and Visa Electron are all accepted. If you don’t have a credit card, you need to create a PayPal account for free and transfer the money into this account.
How should I use my Eurail Pass?
Your Eurail Pass consists of a travel ticket and a cover. Together with it you will receive a timetable, a map and a travels’ guide. Before you begin your train travel, you must activate your ticket at a train station ticket window. You don’t need to fill in the travel details on your ticket-it’s the inspectors’ job.
You can travel freely on ordinary trains. But for premier trains (TGV, Thalys, Eurostar, Eurostar Italia, AVE, Swiss Scenic Trains and night trains with sleeping compartments), reservation is required. The earlier you reserve, the cheaper it will be.
I hope this introduction of Eurail Pass will help you use Eurail Pass easily. Good luck and have a nice journey!
Text: Siyu Qian, photo: Daveknapik/Flickr
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