Information on the most visited continent in the world. Learn about Eurailing in the summer, travel through post-communist countries and what to do in London with a 12-hour layover.

Eurail pass tips, info and personal experiences

Helga the Viking

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  • Added on: April 20th, 2007
this may definitely seem obvious, but i am going to reiterate chuck's note to READ your ticket! i had a french person make my reservation, when we got to the station and the train i had researched online did not exist. the ticket printed was for an 8am and for some reason we both presumed it was for the noon train. The 8am (which also didn't show up on the site I was using) would've gotten me to Barcelona in time to practice with the handball team I was trying out for.

Secondly, do better homework than I did. I'm not sure I really believe the schedules anymore. Find out the best way to check the schedules.

And lastly, this might also seem painfully obvious, but be sure you get on the right train! i caused a mini-debacle 2 days ago when I was at the correct track, but got on 20 minutes early and so got on the wrong train. No staff in sight, but I wish I had atleast asked the people getting on, even in my halting french. Note to self... trains prolly do not run early. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

So I ended up changing trains, going somewhere else, taking a minibus w/ some strangers to another station in spain, and finally taking another train into Barcelona... 2 hours later and at the other station than where/when I was expected... and with no real way to contact the people picking me up. Well I did reach their voicemails, which caused them to roam around barcelona sants for an hour at midnight. but b/c the train station closes at midnight i got kicked out onto the street. got a room somewhere and eventually got to where i belonged yesterday so its all good now.


ps- be careful of using your credit card to place phone calls in the Barcelona Sants train station. It is the hugest ripoff I've ever seen for phones. No rates were posted, but hang ups and 30 second messages are now showing as $10 charges on my card! for a total of $60!! turn on your mobile, or get a phone card.. b/c it has got to be cheaper than that.
"Live hard, love hard, play hard, fight hard, and die hard."
from Living Life the Viking Way


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Joined: February 4th, 2007

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
I have a 2 month unlimited 1st class Eurail pass and I am a little confused. Today I went to buy a train ticket from Seville to Madrid and even with my 1st class pass I had an option to buy a second class ticket for 10 euros or the first class ticket for around 25 euros. Shouldnt it just be free for the first class ticket?? I tried asking the man at the station, but he just said it was more because they serve food, but that didnt really answer my question. Why am I still paying per ticket when I already bought a 2 month eurail pass for over one thousand dollars??

Continental Op

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Joined: June 30th, 2005

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
Originally posted by MHGatorman:Why am I still paying per ticket when I already bought a 2 month eurail pass for over one thousand dollars??

Speed trains (like the Sevilla to Madrid run) require extra fees. If you take a zig-zag route from Sevilla to Madrid (with quite a few stops), you won't have to pay any extra fees. The same issue will come up in other European countries (Rome to Venice speedtrain, etc).

Anything marked "ES" for Eurostar, requiring a seat reservation, will likely cost you a few bucks extra every time. First class pass or no.
Please note: the above member, who is the very model of a modern major-general, with information vegetable, animal, and mineral, has retired from BnA and won't be able to answer any follow-up questions. To speak with him, use the PM function.


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  • Added on: May 19th, 2007
If travelling in Germany or from Germany to Amsterdam/Zurich/Budepest/Prague etc check the Die Bahn site for specials. This is not shown on the International Guest page, but on the home page in German. Typical fares are Frankfurt to Amsterdam EUR 29. Same for Mannheim to Bern.


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Joined: June 25th, 2007

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  • Added on: June 26th, 2007
I had one terrible expierence with the EUrail pass last summer in Germany.

So I was in Berlin the following day after the world cup final and I was going back to Frankfurt. I hadn't had any problems other than this, but the controller lady came up to me and asked me for my pass and so I showed her. She then asked me for my passport which I didn't have on me because I had left it back in my apartment in Frankfurt.

Long story short, she was like "Ok that'll be 170 Euros"....I was like "Are u kidding me?" Why would I pay if I still have some space left on my Eurail.

She was like I need to see a passport, I said I dont have it give me a break but I'll show u some other ids that I have.

Then she kicked me and buddy off the train and we ha dto wait for like 3hrs. The next time the controller came up to me, I had no problem.

I think she was just a bitch, excuse m language.

I speak German so I told her off too.

I was actually surprised because she was the only person in Germany that really gave me a hard time. Other then that, everything went fantastic.


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Joined: August 11th, 2007

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  • Added on: November 4th, 2007
has anyone tried the interrail pass vs the eurail pass? Family of 4 (42, 38, 16, & 12) needs info for summer 2008. We will bum around for a month. Looking for options...
You can go anywhere when you're somebody else.


Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 266
Joined: March 21st, 2007

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  • Added on: November 4th, 2007
Interrail is for European residents, Eurail for non-residents. Check out the FAQ in the InterRail website. From your profile, you'd probably only be eligible for the Eurail. But they're pretty pricey unless you do a lot of traveling. If you have a general idea of your itinerary, I'd research the point to point fares and see how it compares.


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Location: England

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  • Added on: November 18th, 2007
Some observations about buying Eurail:

First, as a general rule Eurail is only good value if you spend a long time in Western Europe. For Eastern Europe pay-as-you-go is usually cheaper.

Secondly Eurail is more expensive for those over 26.

Thirdly, the longer you travel the more chance it will save you money. If you travel for just 1 month it is less clear cut whether you need a Eurail or not. It depends how far you are travelling.
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Joined: June 3rd, 2005

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  • Added on: November 19th, 2007
This is a good reminder for all those planning on using a Eurail ticket - do not try using it without having your passport handy!

It says very specifically on the Eurail conditions of use that "This Pass is strictly personal, non-transferable, and only valid upon presentation of a passport or a valid travel document replacing the passport... If the traveler cannot present a valid passport with his/her Pass, the control staff is authorized to demand payment of a full fare ticket and a fine."

Depending on the type of trip (between countries, very long) or type of train, the ticket attendant may or may not ask to see a passport. However, it is better to be prepared, rather than to be unlucky and land in this unpleasant situation.


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Posts: 25
Joined: February 12th, 2008

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  • Added on: February 12th, 2008
Just wondering what a trip using a two or three month Eurail Global Pass would cost total? Is there anyone out there who can give me a total cost of their two or three month long trip? My husband and I are interested in traveling around Europe...hoping to use couch surfing as a way to keep costs down. Any help or experiences would be much appreciated!

many thanks and blessings Smile


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Joined: February 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: March 4th, 2008
thank for the informations and l say special thanks to the adminstrators who put this forum together. it is one of the best foplace to get such timely info. later l will tell of mine experience


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  • Added on: March 24th, 2008
Someone mentioned that it is not worth it to use a pass in Italy. When I use railsaver and plug in my (tentative) itinerary it recommends a France-Italy pass. I'm 27, my partner is 26, but with the regional pass you can still buy 2nd class. Our tentative itinerary looks like this (plus railsaver recommendations):

May 3 - Arrive London (from Toronto)
May 5 - to Rotterdam (not sure how yet - ferry, train?)
May 5-7 - stay in rotterdam, day trips to amsterdam (any idea how much train trips between the two cities cost?)
May 7 - to Paris (use individual ticket + pass)
May 9 or 10 - to Barcelona (use pass + individual ticket)
May 12 - to Marseille or Nice (ticket + pass)
May 14 - to Le Spezia/Cinque Terre (pass)
May 17 - to Florence (ticket)
May 18 - to Rome (pass)
May 20 - to Venice (pass)
May 21 - to Lyon (pass)
May 23- to Paris (pass)
May 24 - to london
May 25 - fly home

Anyway, some of this will change I'm sure, maybe cut out barcelona, some other places, spend more time in some places. Just trying to come up with something tentative to decide on a rail pass.

I just really am getting SO confused about what is actually the best option. I tried looking up individual trips today and it seems like a pass is definitely better overall, it's just a matter of which one to get. If we do a bunch of trips between rotterdam/amsterdam, then maybe we should get a 3 country instead of france/italy!

Is it really unnecessary to have a pass in Italy? Should I maybe get a pass for fewer days and get some more city to city tickets in italy?


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Joined: May 16th, 2007

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  • Added on: April 17th, 2008
This is more of a question. I was reading that the Eurail pass doesn't make sense for Eastern Europe?

I've been living in France this whole year and have gotten a TON of use out of my "France" youth pass. Would be dead without it.

I am planning on doing some traveling with my brother and two best friends in June (about a month). Our proposed itinerary includes:

Berlin- Prague- Vienna- Budapest- Croatia- Serb/Montenegro-Greece

I thought it would be worth it to do the 10 days in 2 months kind of thing. Thoughts on this? Or is it so much cheaper in the Baltics that I might as well "pay as I go."



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Location: Portland, Oregon

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  • Added on: April 30th, 2008
I think it depends on how much you're trying to use a pass in Eastern Europe - you may not get as much out of it as you are your France pass, but you might find it cost-effective. I'd suggest checking out our Eurail Pass section and then, if you still have questions about whether a pass is worthwhile, call our Eurail expert, Dave, at 1-866-549-7614 (toll free in the USA). He'll help you out!
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Joined: November 5th, 2008

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  • Added on: November 6th, 2008
All this information is extremely helpful. I've been hearing from a looooooooooot of people that rails over in EU are amazing. Too bad here in the U.S. we don't have something so reliable.


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