We bought a Eurail pass which allowed us to see three European countries and six cities in a month. It was a great experience and depending on the type of travel you are doing, we would highly recommend you check it out.
What is a Eurail Pass?
A Eurail Pass is basically a prepaid train pass that gives you access to almost the entire train network in Europe. You choose either a 2, 3 or 4 country pass, or you can opt for a global pass. Then you also choose your time limit or length of validity.
This pass then allows you to get on any train within the countries you chose, as long as it is within the time frame you chose.
You can either choose x amount of consecutive days, i.e. your number of days starts counting from your first train ride. So as soon as you take your first train adventure your days start counting, and within your chosen time frame you can ride any train.
Or you can opt for x number of days within a month or within two months. This gives you more flexibility as you could move on to your next destination when you are ready to, and the days you don’t take a train, aren’t counted towards your days traveled. So if you stay put in one city for two or three days you aren’t losing train days.
The Eurail website has a great tool that will help you select the right pass for your trip.
Which pass we bought
We bought a three country pass for 5 days over a month. You get a booklet mailed to you which is your pass. You need to have this on you whenever you travel using one of your days.
There is a section in this booklet for your route which you just need to fill in as you board the train. The conductor will come around and date stamp your pass, which you will see on the right hand side of each trip we took below.
You will also see our itinerary, which was almost completely decided spur of the moment. All we knew was that we’d arrive by plane in Munich on the 19th of December and leave by plane from Prague on the 14th January. Everything else in between was flexible.
Who should buy a Eurail Pass?
- Travellers who want to visit more than two European countries in one trip as cost effectively as possible
- The value and savings really kick in if you take longer train rides. For example, from Munich to Amsterdam, rather than say from one side of Munich to the other.
- Those who have 10 or more days in Europe and want to make the most of it.
- You like to see the countryside and landscape of the country as you move through it and not just fly over it.
- Travellers looking for a bit more flexibility in where they are going to next can easily get on any scheduled train with their pass. No need to book weeks or even days in advance. We got on long distance trains without any reservations. Just have your pass with you.
Who is the Eurail Pass not suitable for?
- If you are only in Europe for a very short amount of time and you only want to see one or two cities.
- If you are only covering short distances it might not add as much value. So for example if you are only seeing two cities within one European country a Eurail Pass is not good value for your money.
The value kicks in when you take a few extended or long distance trips. Then you save
How much does it cost?
There are a wide variety of passes available and it depends on which option you choose.
If you are only seeing 2, 3 or 4 countries and you know which ones you are visiting, be sure to choose the Select Pass instead of the Global Pass as you will save.
Another way to save is if you and your partner or friend are traveling together, book your passes together. This is because you get a 15% discount when booking tickets for two or more travellers who will be travelling together for each leg of the journey.
What we know for sure from checking the local prices of the same train rides, is that if we had bought each one individually, we would have ended up paying about 30 – 50% more.
Would we do it again?
For sure! No doubt about it.
We are spontaneous travellers who love exploring and not spending more money than we need to, whilst still seeing as much as possible. This pass was for sure a great deal for us.
We had a great experience with the Eurail pass from start to finish. The courier was fast and efficient. All of the trains and schedules are well maintained and incredibly reliable.
For us, this was the best way to make use of the time we had in Europe.