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Is a Eurail Pass Worth It? A Record 1.2 Million Travelers Thought so in 2023.

Train Travel
by Morgane Croissant Mar 26, 2024

Train travel is having a moment. Whether it’s because travelers are determined to reduce their carbon footprint by not flying, because they want to experience the joy of slow travel, or because of something else entirely, riding the rails is trending. The biggest YouTubers in the travel sphere are reviewing the most famous trains and rail routes that exist, from the Orient Express to the Caledonian sleeper, and TikTok and Instagram are filled with visual snippets of luxury rail offerings, such Japan’s Seven Stars in Kyushu train or India’s Palace on Wheels.

If you too want to be part of the rail revival movement, you’d do well to check out one of the biggest names in the world of train travel: Europe’s Eurail Pass. Created in 1959, the Eurail Pass (formerly known as the Europass or Eurorail pass) consists of one ticket that allows unlimited travel in one country, two countries, or throughout Europe for a limited amount of time, ranging from one day to three months. While some thought the Eurail Pass had gone the way of the dodo because of the rise in popularity of low-cost airlines, they were wrong. Eurail is still very much alive and adapting to the trends of modern travel, constantly adding new routes, new night trains, and new cross-border trains to its already-immense offerings.

We spoke to Jody Bauer, Research Analyst at Eurail, about rail revival and what the trend looks like for Eurail.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Matador Network: Explain to us what Eurail does and what it means to have a Eurail pass.

Jody Bauer: Eurail B.V., the company behind the Eurail (for non-European residents) and Interrail Pass (for European residents) allows travelers of all ages to experience an expansive network of train and ferry connections. Eurail B.V. is owned by over 35 European railway and ferry companies and is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

For more than 60 years, Eurail Passes have enabled flexible borderless rail travel across Europe. We empower travelers to explore Europe by train at their own pace and connect to over 30,000 destinations in 33 countries.

What’s the difference between Eurail and Interrail?

A Eurail Pass can only be used by non-European citizens or non-European residents. European citizens can use an Interrail Pass instead, available from for the same price as a Eurail Pass.

If a traveler is not a European citizen, but they are an official resident of Europe, they can also choose to use an Interrail Pass. They ask for your country of residence when you order, so you will need to bring an official European residency card or document along with you that matches the country of residence written on your Interrail Pass. Check our booking conditions (Article 5) to see if your country of residence is eligible for an Interrail Pass.

What is one thing that clients are surprised to learn about Eurail?

Travelers are always surprised to find out that a Eurail Pass is an all-in-one train ticket giving them flexible access to most trains across Europe. Unlike traditional train tickets, with Eurail, Travelers can go wherever they want, whenever they want. Some trains do ask to make a reservation, but most trains can be boarded as easily as using one of the travel days [on their Eurail Pass].

Is Eurail experiencing a surge in interest? If yes, what does it look like in terms of sales?

  • More than 1,237,000 Interrail and Eurail Passes were sold in 2023, a 25 percent growth from 2022 and a record for the organization.
  • 797,000-plus Interrail Passes sold, an 11 percent increase, including 140,000-plus DiscoverEU Passes.
  • 439,000-plus Eurail Passes sold, a 60 percent increase
  • More than 170,000 Eurail Passes were sold in the US in 2023, a 39 percent growth from 2022.

In general, how do you answer those who ask if a Eurail pass is worth it?

If you’re simply traveling from A to B and can only commit to a specific time, a Eurail Pass probably isn’t for you. But if you’re planning a longer journey with multiple stopovers and changes, the flexibility and convenience of a Eurail Pass is unrivaled.

Can travelers have a luxury experience while riding on trains available with a Eurail pass?

A Eurail Global Pass gives travelers the chance to create their very own cross-border European adventure. By opting for first class and combining local trains with scenic high-speed and sleeper trains [like the Santa Claus Express night train or the Caledonian Sleeper] travelers can enjoy a comfortable adventure of a lifetime.

Who buys Eurail passes?

Youth (aged 12 to 27) and Adult (aged 28 to 59) travelers are the top two age groups for both Eurail Passes.

Editor’s note: according to a diagram provided by Eurail, 42 percent of Eurail’s customers are adults, and 41 percent are youth.

When is the season when Eurail sells the most passes?

Sales are spread out throughout the year, with some peaks around spring and autumn.

What is the longest voyage possible in one single train with a Eurail pass?

The Eurail network in 2024.

The Eurail network in 2024. Map: Eurail

The Snälltåget Stockholm to Berlin night train travels from Stockholm, Sweden, to Berlin, Germany, via Denmark (and vice versa). Certain trains go farther than Berlin and travel to or from Dresden, Germany, on limited departure dates. The full departure schedule and route overview can be found on the Snälltåget website.

What is the most popular destination for Eurail customers?

Countries for Eurail Pass holders in 2023:

  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Austria

Cities for Eurail Pass holders in 2023:

  • Rome
  • Milan
  • Paris
  • Zurich
  • Interlaken

What is the most popular type of pass purchased?

The top three most purchased Eurail Global Pass validities in the US:

  • Four days in one month
  • Seven days in one month
  • Five days in one month

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