Spoiler alert! This guide is quite long (and thus its name: ultimate guide) so, if it is the first time reading this post I suggest you go and prepare a LARGE cup of coffee/tea, get comfortable for this first part (of two). This guide is intended to be as detailed and entertaining as possible to be able to clarify all the possible doubts that you might have about your future trip through Europe.
What is The Train Pass Used to Travel Through Europe?
The train pass to cross Europe, also known as Eurail or Interrail, is a pass that allows you to make UNLIMITED train journeys using the national train network of the country or countries that you bought for, and for the time you choose; so that you can travel freely and explore one or more countries at your will.
A normal train pass is purchased from one fixed destination to another, there are no specific destinations here, only the coverage area. Now, picture the Eurail pass like it is a public transport pass in a city where you can use all the transport (metro, bus, tram) you want within the city for one, two, three or several days. The same happens here but to travel by train between countries or within a single country, with no boundaries or restrictions.
Important Side Note
When the train pass refers to unlimited train travel, it really refers to unlimited, as long as it is within the characteristics you purchased. If you decided to use 10 trains in a day or travel from Spain to Turkey by train, you can do so.
What is The Difference Between Eurail And Interrail?
Both the Eurail and Interrail passes are brands that belong to the same company, in 2019 one of the major changes made by this company is that the Eurail passes were as similar as possible to the Interrail passes. Meaning that they standardized the coverage area, duration, type of passes, but we’ll get a word about that about that later.
In short, the difference between a Eurail pass and Interrail is between you are a foreigner or a permanent resident. But both passes cover the same routes and use the same trains. If on your trip you make friends who are European and are traveling with Interrail you can travel with them with your Eurail pass.
It is important to mention that Eurail or Interrail are not a type of train, nor are there any special trains, it is just the name of a brand that encompasses the service of national lines. Do not expect the name “Eurail” to appear on the screen of the train station.
For practical purposes from now on the pass will be referred as Eurail, although if you are reading this and you reside within Europe then it is exactly the same, but your pass is called Interrail, no sweating now, it’s plain and easy. Stay tuned for the second part, where we’ll cover the rest of this ultimate guide!