Photo: Look Studio/Shutterstock

Everything You Need to Know About the Eurail Pass Before Traveling Europe by Train

Train Travel
by Morgane Croissant Mar 28, 2024

Despite being over 60 years of age, the Eurail Pass (formerly known as the Europass or the Eurorail Pass) remains one of the best ways, if not the best way, to travel extensively around Europe. In 2023, more than 1,237,000 Interrail and Eurail Passes were sold to travelers keen to see the continent by rails, preferring the convenience, comfort, and low carbon footprint of train travel to the now-weakened appeal of low-cost airlines. Before you purchase your own Eurail Pass and, like millions of travelers before you, go on a rail adventure, you might have some questions. Lucky for you, the answers to most frequently asked questions about Eurail are listed below.

What countries are included in a Eurail Pass?

The Eurail Global Pass allows travelers to travel in 33 countries in Europe. The Eurail Global Pass is the best Eurail Pass for those who wish to travel extensively in two or more countries. If you wish to travel only in one country, you can choose a One-Country Eurail Pass. If you wish to travel in Nordic Europe or Benelux, Eurail also offers the Scandinavia Pass which covers Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, and the Benelux Pass which covers Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

The 33 countries in which travel can use a Eurail Pass are:

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • The Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Montenegro
  • The Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Türkiye
  • The UK (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland)

Map of the countries and routes that are covered by Eurail

The map below shows the all countries where you can travel with a Eurail Pass in 2024. You can see all the train routes, as well as ferry routes, bus routes, and cable cars which are included in a Eurail Pass, as well as those which are not (see map legend).

The Eurail network in 2024.

The Eurail network in 2024. Map: Eurail

If you wish to see a higher-quality and zoomable version of this maps, check out the PDF created by Eurail.

What is the difference between a Eurail Pass and a Global Pass?

Eurail paper Pass

Photo: Ugi-Creative/Shutterstock

A Global Pass is a type of Eurail Pass that covers the entire Eurail network, i.e. 33 countries. Eurail also offers a One-Country Pass for those who wish to travel by train in only one country, as well as a Scandinavia Pass, and a Benelux Pass for those who want to travel in those regions only.

What is the difference between Rail Europe and Eurail?

Rail Europe is an online platform where travelers can purchase train tickets and Eurail Passes. Rail Europe does not have its own rail passes, it only sells the passes created by Eurail.

Eurail is a company that offers flexible rail passes (call Eurail Passes) allowing travel by train in up to 33 countries without the need to purchase individual tickets. You cannot purchase individual tickets via Eurail, only passes.

Is Eurail cheaper than Interrail?

There is no price difference between Eurail Passes (for non-European residents) and Interrail Passes (for European residents). Eurail Passes and Interrail Passes are owned by the same company, Eurail B.V., which is itself owned by over 35 European railway and ferry companies.

Can foreigners use Eurail?

Eurail Passes can be purchased by non-European citizens and non-European residents, while Interrail Passes can only be purchased by European citizens and European residents.

What does Eurail not cover?

Some trains, mainly long-distance trains and high-speed trains, require a seat reservation, the price of which is not included in the price of your Eurail Pass. That means that you may have to pay extra to reserve a seat in those specific trains.

The Eurail/Interrail Rail Planner app has a “no reservations needed” filter so you can always opt for the train journey that does not involve paying extra.

Privately owned ultra-luxury trains like the Venice Simpleton Orient Express or the British Pullman are not included in any of the Eurail Passes.

Can you take sleeper trains with a Eurail Pass?

Sleeper trains are included in all Eurail Passes, including the Caledonian Sleeper that operates between London and several cities in Scotland, the Night Riviera Sleeper which runs from London to Penzance, the European Sleeper which travels between Brussels and Prague, and many more night trains.

What are the most comfortable sleeper trains you can book with a Eurail Pass?

We talked to Jody Bauer, Research Analyst at Eurail, and she gave us the lowdown on the most comfortable night trains you can ride with a Eurail Pass:

  • NightJet trains, which run all over continental Europe
  • The Caledonian sleeper, which runs between London and Scotland
  • The Santa Claus Express night train, which runs from Helsinki to Rovaniemi
  • The SJ Night Train, which runs all over Sweden
    • Can two people use the same Eurail Pass?

      No, your Eurail Pass is personal and cannot be shared with anyone else. If you’re traveling as a pair, family, or a group, each person needs their own Eurail Pass.

      Does Eurail include buses?

      Eurail Passes include more than just trains. With your Eurail Pass you can ride some buses, as well as some ferries. Refer to Eurail’s network map (above) or the Eurail/Interrail Rail Planner app to see what buses are included.

      Can you travel to London with Eurail Pass?

      Yes, you can travel from continental Europe to London with your Eurail Pass. There are multiple ways to do so:

      • You can ride the Eurostar from Paris, Lille, or Brussels to London. Note that you’ll need to pay a fee for your compulsory seat reservation.
      • You can travel by ferry from Dieppe in France to Newhaven in England, and then ride the train from Newhaven to London
      • You can travel by ferry from Hoek Van Holland in the Netherlands to Harwich in England, and then ride the train from Harwich to London.

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