Interrail is a train ticket for first or second class at a flat rate that allows unlimited train journeys with certain European railway companies over a certain period of time . Required reservations and surcharges for some trains are not included in the ticket and must be paid for before the start of the journey. The pass also grants bonuses for certain companies (such as ferry companies and railway museums).
The ticket options are the “Interrail Global Pass” for 33 European countries and the “Interrail One Country Pass” for individual countries or groups of countries. Apart from that, the prices are staggered according to the period of validity and age groups.
Acquisition and Validity
Citizens or residents of the following 50 countries or parts of the country can purchase the Interrail rail pass:
In 31 member states of the Interrail community:
In 19 other European countries or parts of the country:
The Eurail ticket is intended for people from other countries .
Interrail Global Pass
The Interrail Global Pass is valid for several European rail companies in 35 European countries:
The Global Pass is not valid in your own country of residence. With a Global Pass, however, it is possible to make one trip from home to the border or to an airport and back. These trips must be made within the validity period of the pass and require a travel day if you are traveling with a Flexi Pass. It is available in several time variants:
- 4 travel days of your choice within one month
- 5 travel days of your choice within one month
- 7 travel days of your choice within one month
- 10 travel days of your choice within two months
- 15 travel days of your choice within two months
- 15 travel days in a row
- 22 travel days in a row
- a month in a row
- two months in a row
- three months in a row
Interrail One Country Pass
The Interrail One Country Pass is valid for 3, 4, 5, 6 or 8 days of your choice within a month and within one country. (Exceptions: The Benelux countries Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are combined into one Benelux passport. The passport for Austria is also valid in Liechtenstein. The passport for France is also valid in Monaco.) A One Country Pass cannot be acquired for the own country of residence. The prices vary from country to country and are divided into the following categories (descending in level):
- Level 1 - Germany, France and Great Britain, ItalyPlus
- Level 2 - Norway, Sweden, Austria and Spain
- Level 3 - BeNeLux, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, GreecePlus and Switzerland
- Level 4 - Greece, Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Czech Republic and Hungary
- Level 5 - Bulgaria, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey and the Republic of North Macedonia
All prices are given in euros and are valid in all participating countries. The prices are divided into four tariff groups:
- Children (4 to 11 years): half of the full price
- Young people (12 to 27): reduced full price
- Adults (28 to 59): full price
- Seniors (from 60): slightly reduced full price
In the past, the Interrail ticket cost less for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary due to the generally lower price level there. With the adoption of a corresponding European law, prices have been the same in all countries since April 1, 2007.
A one-month Global Pass costs 515 euros for young people and 670 euros for adults (as of April 2019). The prices for the individual One Country Passes are based on the price level of the respective countries and the size of the available rail network.
For some train types, especially for high-speed trains such as TGV , a surcharge or a reservation (which is often included in the surcharge) is required and should be paid for before the journey begins. The relevant conditions in the individual countries are different.
Discounts can be used with an Interrail ticket on certain ferries or on certain buses.
Participating railway companies
The most important railway companies in most European countries take part in the Interrail offer. Of all European countries, the railway companies of Albania , Moldova , Russia , Transnistria , Ukraine and Belarus and naturally the countries without a railway network ( Andorra , Iceland , San Marino , Vatican and Cyprus ) are not involved. Rail routes in Northern Ireland are included in the price of an Interrail card for the Republic of Ireland .
|(Railway) abbreviation||country||(Railway) transport company|
|Rail Delivery Group / Britrail||Great Britain||Association of Railway Companies (Great Britain)|
|Attica||Greek islands||Attica Shipping Group (Superfast Ferries - Blue Star Ferries)|
|BDŽ||Bulgaria||Bulgarian State Railways|
|CD||Czech Republic||Czech railways|
|CFARYM (MŽ)||North Macedonia||Railways of the Republic of North Macedonia|
|DSB||Denmark||Danish State Railways and the private railway company Arriva, with the exception of the DSB trains “IC Bornholm” between Copenhagen and Ystad|
|Elron||Estonia||Estonian State Railway Company|
|EST||Eurotunnel (F – GB)||Eurostar International|
|LEO Express||Czech Republic||LEO EXPRESS|
|MÁV START||Hungary||Hungarian railways|
|MZ-T||North Macedonia||Macedonian Railways|
|Vy||Norway||(formerly Norges Statsbaner )|
|ÖBB||Austria||Austrian Federal Railways|
|PV||Latvia||Latvian State Railways|
|PKP||Poland||Polish State Railways|
|Renfe||Spain||National network of the Spanish railways|
|RegioJet||Czech Republic||RegioJet as|
|SBB / CFF / FFS||Switzerland||Swiss Federal Railways including numerous private railway companies.|
|SJ||Sweden||Swedish Railways and the private rail companies Arlanda Express, Connex, Merresor , Vy Tåg and Inlandsbanan .|
|SNCB||Belgium||National Society of Belgian Railways|
|SNCF||France||National Society of French Railways|
|TCDD||Turkey||Railways of the Republic of Turkey|
|THA||Belgium – Germany – France||Thalys - high-speed trains|
|Trenitalia||Italy||Trenitalia (passenger division of the Italian State Railways)|
|ŽFBH||Bosnia-Herzegovina (Federation)||Railways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|ŽPCG||Montenegro||Railways of Montenegro|
|ŽRS||Bosnia-Herzegovina (Rep. Srpska)||Railways of the Republika Srpska|
|ZSSK||Slovakia||Railways of the Slovak Republic|
Interrail was created in the context of a time when the classic family and package tours, which had become established in Europe during the 1950s and 1960s, were being questioned by young people of the 1968 movement and the hippie trail gained importance as an alternative form of travel .
The ticket was issued on March 1, 1972 by several European railway companies in Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, Denmark, GDR, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Luxembourg, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland , Spain, Hungary and the United Kingdom on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UIC .
In the wake of the advent of backpacking tourism, the aim was to offer young people up to the age of 21 an inexpensive opportunity to get to know Europe. In 1976 the upper age limit was raised from 21 to 23 and in 1979 to 26 years, in 1988 the age limit was completely lifted with the "26+" tariff.
In 1985 the Interrail ticket was upgraded with the “Interrail + Ferry” offer. Now you could use ferries of certain companies with a discount as an additional means of transport. After the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the fall of the Iron Curtain , other Central and Eastern European countries took part in Interrail from 1991, so that travel through 28 countries was possible.
In 1994 all participating countries were divided into seven zones:
- A - Ireland and the United Kingdom
- B - Finland, Norway and Sweden
- C - Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland
- D - Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary
- E - Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
- F - Morocco, Portugal and Spain
- G - Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Turkey, as well as shipping between Italy and Greece (Ancona / Bari - Corfu / Igoumenitsa / Patras)
The ticket was available either for 15 days for one zone or for one month for two, three or all zones.
Four years later, Zone D was divided into two zones:
- D - Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary
- H - Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Romania
After the political separation from Serbia and Montenegro and after Bosnia and Herzegovina joined Interrail in 2005, zones D and H last looked like this:
- D - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary
- H - Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia
On April 1, 2007, the division into zones was dissolved, since then there is only the Global Pass on offer and the One Country Pass, which replaced the Euro Domino ticket. This measure was explained with the argument of low demand. In fact, however, this led to a massive increase in the price of the offer. Countries Morocco and Russia are no longer involved in the company since the redesign.
Every year more than 170,000 travelers buy the Interrail Global Pass.
Since 2015, the civil society #FreeInterrail initiative has been campaigning for free Interrail tickets for EU citizens on their 18th birthday. The proposal has been supported by a majority of the EU Parliament and several European governments since 2016/2017 . Starting in 2021, the EU Commission wants to finance a mobility project based on the idea under the name #DiscoverEU with around 700 million euros. ( See also: Free Interrail .)
More rail passes
Similar to the Interrail concept, there are other country-specific network card offers in Europe - in addition to the EurRail ticket for residents of non-European countries.
- Balkan Flexipass (Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro)
- BritRail (UK)
- PolRail (Poland)
- ScanRail (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden) - no longer available since 2008
- Swiss Travel Pass (Switzerland)
- Jörg Stolpe: Through Europe with a backpack - the myth of the Interrail. Westdeutscher Rundfunk, 2013, accessed on November 11, 2019 .
Pages from railway companies:
- “The train of time” - memories of Interrail trips by editors of the Austrian daily newspaper “Der Standard” on standard.at
- Report from Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung July 20, 2016 Europe's largest peace movement
- Booking conditions - Article 4: Country of origin accessed on March 16, 2019.
- interrail.eu: Interrail Global Pass
- http://deutsch.interrailnet.com/ - FAQ - Are there still special prices for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia? ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- bahn.de: Interrail Global Pass
- Information on the DB website ( Memento from February 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on May 26, 2013; PDF; 1.5 MB).
- Raildude: Overview Reservations and supplements ( Memento of 19 April 2012 at the Internet Archive )
- 36,000 record kilometers by train. In: sueddeutsche.de. March 1, 2012, accessed May 30, 2018 .
- Interrail brochure 2012 ( Memento from July 16, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- DB News . In: mobile . No. 3 , March 2015, ISSN 0949-586X , , p. 52 .
- Interrail: Travel against Europe frustration . In: ZEIT Campus . ( zeit.de [accessed on October 9, 2018]).
- Free Interrail: EU plans 700 million euros for free Interrail tickets . In: ZEIT ONLINE . May 2, 2018 ( zeit.de [accessed October 9, 2018]).