European Country Rail Passes
Discount Train Deals
Rail Pass Tips
Before purchasing any rail pass, plan out each leg of your itinerary and check the price of individual point-to-point tickets on the Rail Europe website. If you’ll be taking mostly short, inexpensive trips, it may be cheaper to purchase individual tickets than to purchase a rail pass.
Rail passes can be purchased in the U.S. from travel agents or directly from sites such as RailEurope.com, Eurail.com and ACPRail.com. In most cases, they cannot be purchased after you arrive in Europe. Discounted passes are available for youths (under age 26), or for groups of two to five people traveling together at all times. Senior discounts (for travelers over the age of 60) are available only on certain passes.
Rail passes generally come in two types: consecutive or “flexi.” Consecutive passes are valid for unlimited travel on a certain number of days in a row. These passes are best for travelers who will be moving frequently from one city to another. Most country passes are of the “flexi” variety, valid for intervals such as “four days in one month” or “five days in 15.” This means that your pass is good for a certain number of travel days (four, five, etc.) within a given period (one month, 15 days, etc.).
For more on rail travel abroad, don’t miss our comprehensive European Train Tips and Buying a European Rail Pass.