Buy an InterRail train pass online and explore Europe by train!

I recommend comparing prices at each of these vendors before buying:

Buy an InterRail from MyInterRail.co.uk

www.myinterrail.co.uk is provided by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), better known as National Rail.

Buy an InterRail from Voyages-sncf UK

uk.voyages-sncf.com (formerly www.raileurope.co.uk) is the UK's biggest European rail agency

Buy InterRail pass from International Rail

www.internationalrail.com is an experienced European train ticketing agency...

After buying an InterRail pass, you can make reservations to go it at uk.voyages-sncf.com (click 'Rail Passes' & select 'Seat reservation').

Or buy by phone in UK:  0844 248 248 3,

lines open 09:00-17:00 Monday-Friday.

Click for advice on train reservations.

What is an InterRail pass?

InterRail is the railpass range for European residents.  A Global InterRail pass gives unlimited train travel on almost all the scheduled train services run by the national train operators across most of Europe.  A single-country InterRail pass gives unlimited travel on the national train operator in just one country.  InterRail passes date back to 1972, when the national railways of Europe clubbed together to offer a rail pass for young people aged under 26 giving unlimited train travel across the Continent.  There are now child, youth, adult & senior InterRail passes for anyone resident in Europe (see full details of who qualifies here).  It's an ideal way to explore Europe at ground level, stress free, with someone else doing the driving.  The range of InterRail passes was revised in April 2007, and the current 2013 range is explained here.  If you live outside Europe, you can't buy an InterRail pass, but can buy a Eurail pass instead.

How to choose, buy & use an InterRail pass...

This page explains how to choose, buy & use an InterRail pass to explore Europe by train...

  Who qualifies for an InterRail pass?

  InterRail pass or normal point-to-point tickets?

  InterRail Global Pass types & prices

  InterRail single-country pass types & prices

  How does an InterRail pass work?

  When must you make reservations or pay extra fees with an InterRail pass?

  Using sleepers & couchettes on overnight trains

  How to make reservations & pay supplements

  How to buy an InterRail pass

  How to find more information about InterRail

  Train travel in Europe general information

  Hotels, hostels & accommodation in Europe

Country-by-country InterRail supplements & reservations guide explaining which trains are covered by an InterRail pass in each country, which trains need reservations & what the extra fees are.

Download InterRail map - map showing train routes in the participating countries.

Sponsored links...

 

Who can buy an InterRail pass?Example InterRail train pass

Should you buy an InterRail pass or normal point-to-point tickets?

InterRail passes are all about flexibility, spontaneity and freedom.  InterRails generally save money (indeed, they often save a lot of money) over longer-distance full-price train tickets bought on the day, especially if you qualify for the cheaper under-26 youth InterRails.  They give you a big advantage - total freedom to go where you want, when you want, at a very affordable price.  Just bear in mind that many western European train operators have adopted airline-style pricing, with 'budget train fares' if you book in advance on a 'no refunds, no changes to travel plans' basis.  For example Paris to Zurich starts at just £23 if you book in advance, the same journey costs £109 if you turn up at the station and buy a full-price ticket on the day.  An InterRail saves a lot of money compared to the £109 fully-flexible price, but doesn't necessarily save money over the cheapest £23 price, especially as in this case there's a £10 passholder reservation fee to pay (read more about InterRail reservations & supplements here).  So if you have a simple itinerary that you are willing to pre-book and fix in a tablet of stone on a 'no refunds, no changes to travel plans' basis, for example London to Paris, Paris to Zurich, Zurich to Venice, Venice back to Paris and Paris back to London, the absolute cheapest option is usually to buy cheap 'budget train fares' online in advance.  You'll find advice on which websites to use to book which European trains on the Buying European train tickets page.  And obviously, you wouldn't use an InterRail for just a few cheap local hops, such as Pisa to Florence which only costs €6 full-price, but that's obvious, isn't it?  However, if you plan to travel all over Europe, want flexibility, aren't sure how long you'll spend in each place and want to enjoy the freedom to go where you want, when you want, then an InterRail pass is ideal, even if it works out a bit more expensive than the cheapest pre-booked budget train fares option.


The Global InterRail pass...

The InterRail Global Pass is the international rail pass for European citizens who want to make a Grand Tour of Europe.  An InterRail Global Pass gives you unlimited stress-free train travel throughout Europe for as little as £11 per day if you're under 26, £17 a day if you're over 26, a bargain! (that's the 1 month pass price divided by 31, if you were wondering).  These are prices from uk.voyages-sncf.com (formerly www.raileurope.co.uk), but I recommend comparing prices at www.myinterrail.co.uk & www.internationalrail.com too.  I usually find that the cheapest vendor is www.myinterrail.co.uk, but check each of them.

New low season discount:  You can get 15% off these prices if you buy before 31 March for travel starting on or before 16 May, or buy for travel starting after 15 September 2014.

Global InterRail pass prices...
2nd class InterRail 1st class InterRail

Adult

(aged 26-59)

Youth

(under 26)

Child

(4-11 inclusive)

Senior

(over 60)

Adult

(aged 26-59)

Child

(4-11 inclusive)

Senior

(over 60)

5 days within 10 days (flexi) £245 £160 £123 £220 £384 £192 £346
10 days within 22 days (flexi) £347 £234 £174 £314 £547 £274 £492
15 days continuous £385 £272 £193 £347 £604 £302 £545
22 days continuous £450 £300 £225 £406 £707 £354 £637
1 month continuous £581 £385 £291 £524 £914 £457 £823

Single-country InterRail passes...

You can buy one or more InterRail passes covering just one country each.  These also come in 1st class adult, 2nd class adult, 1st class child (aged 4-11), 2nd class child (4-11), and 2nd class youth (aged 12-25 inclusive) versions.  Prices vary by country, and I recommend comparing prices at www.myinterrail.co.uk, uk.voyages-sncf.com & www.internationalrail.com as one can be slightly cheaper than the other.

Single Country InterRail prices...  

Adult 1st class

Adult 2nd class

Child 1st class

Child 2nd class

Youth 2nd class

3 days within 1 month (flexi)

Prices vary by country, so check & compare prices at

www.myinterrail.co.uk, uk.voyages-sncf.com & www.internationalrail.com

4 days within 1 month (flexi)

6 days within 1 month (flexi)

8 days within 1 month (flexi)


   
 

InterRail pass

user guide & map...

InterRail train passes come with a guide & free European rail map

InterRail passes come with a user guide and a simple European rail map.

   

How does an InterRail pass work?

When must you make a train reservation or pay a supplement?

Sleepers & couchettes on overnight trains...

How to make reservations or pay supplements with an InterRail pass...

Making reservations at the station, as you go:

Making train reservations in advance, online:

Making train reservations in advance by phone:

InterRail passes - a warning about quotas...

Tips for finding hotels in Europe...

 
 

How to buy an InterRail pass...

Buy an InterRail pass online...

Buy an InterRail at

uk.voyages-sncf.com

Buy online

 

Buy an InterRail online at

www.internationalrail.com

Buy online

 

Buy an InterRail online at

www.myinterrail.co.uk

Buy online

Buy an InterRail by phone...

How to find more information about InterRail...


The country-by-country guide to InterRail...

Which trains are covered by InterRail in each country?  

Which trains require a reservation or extra fees? 

How much are the reservations & extra fees?

Here's a list of each country that participates in the InterRail pass scheme, explaining which train operators are covered in that country, what other train or ferry operators give discounts, and what supplements you may have to pay for trains to, in and from that country.  These supplements must all be paid before boarding the train, either at the ticket office or in advance from a ticketing agency.  You may be fined (or pay a higher supplement) if you board the train without first paying the supplement.  Unless otherwise shown, a supplement always includes the cost of the seat reservation.  This list of trains which carry supplements is not exhaustive, there may be other trains that carry a supplement, but it will give you a good idea.  It's equally important to know which trains don't have a supplement, so I mention those too.

Where a discount or reduction is offered, you must travel within the overall validity of the pass, but holders of a flexi InterRail pass don't need to use up a 'flexi day'.  So for example, if you bought a 10 days in 22-day InterRail pass, you could buy a DFDS Seaways ferry ticket from the UK to Denmark with the 25% reduction, the ferry must sail after the overall 22 day pass validity has started, but you don't need to use up any of your 10 flexi days, you can save these until you get on your first train after arriving in Denmark. 

Austria

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by ΦBB (Austrian federal railways, www.oebb.at)

InterRail passes are also valid on competing Westbahn trains Salzburg-Vienna, www.westbahn.at.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Using a railpass in Austria is easy, as reservation is only optional not mandatory on almost all Austrian domestic daytime trains, and there are no supplements to pay, even on Railjet trains.  So you can simply hop on any train, find an empty seat and show your pass when asked.

Overnight train from Vienna to Bregenz (per person):  couchette in 6-bunk compartment €22, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €30, bed in 3-bed sleeper €50, bed in 2-bed sleeper €65 to €79.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

To Germany by IC, ICE, RailJet or regional train from Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck:  No supplement.

To Zurich from Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck by RailJet train:  No supplement, reservation optional.

To Budapest by RailJet train from Vienna or Salzburg:  No supplement.  Reservation optional.

To Prague by Railjet train from Vienna:  No supplement.  Reservation optional.

To Verona or Venice or Bologna by EuroCity from Innsbruck:  €5 supplement, reservation compulsory.

To Venice, Florence or Rome by EuroNight train from Vienna:  Seat €25, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €39, 4-bunk couchette €48, berth in 3-berth deluxe sleeper with shower €105, berth in 2-berth standard sleeper €105, berth in single-berth standard sleeper €126.  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €116, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €158.

To Berlin by overnight train from Vienna:  Couchette in 6-bunk compartment €22, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €30, bed in 3-bed sleeper €50, bed in 2-bed sleeper €65 to €79.

To Cologne, Dusseldorf or Hamburg by EuroNight sleeper train from Vienna or Linz:  Seat €25, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €39, 4-bunk couchette €48, berth in 3-berth deluxe sleeper with shower €105, berth in 2-berth standard sleeper €105, berth in single-berth standard sleeper €126.  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €116, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €158.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

Belgium

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by SNCB (Belgian National Railways, www.belgianrail.be)

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Using a railpass within Belgium is easy, as reservation is not necessary or even possible on Belgian domestic trains, and there are no supplements to pay, even on Belgian InterCity trains.  You can simply hop on any train, find an empty seat and show your pass when asked.

There's one exception:  The Brussels airport trains require a €2.20 supplement, paid at the station or on board the train.

However, you should avoid making domestic Belgian journeys such as Brussels-Antwerp or Brussels-Liege on the irregular international high-speed Thalys trains, as a reservation is required and a hefty fee payable by passholders.  Use the alternative Belgian InterCity trains for free, instead!

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Brussels to Amsterdam:  A special passholder fare applies to the high-speed Thalys trains, a whopping €39 in 2nd class, a massive €62 in 1st class, with passholder places limited by quota, see the advice here.  The €39 passholder fare is actually more than the cheapest fare you can buy without a pass at www.thalys.com!  No fee if you use the regular InterCity trains on the classic route via Roosendaal.

Brussels to Cologne:  No supplement for travel on an ICE train, but high-speed Thalys trains requires a passholder fare with compulsory reservation costing a whopping €39 in 2nd class, a massive €62 in 1st class, with passholder places limited by quota.  This is only €6 less than the cheap fare you can buy without a pass at www.thalys.com!  You can avoid Thalys by using the four daily ICE trains or by using much slower hourly local trains, changing trains at Aachen.

Brussels to Paris:  Travel on the high-speed Thalys trains requires a passholder fare with compulsory reservation costing a whopping €39 in 2nd class, a massive €62 in 1st class, with passholder places limited by quota, see the advice here.  This is actually €4 more than the cheapest €35 fare you can buy without a pass at www.thalys.com!  You can avoid using Thalys by taking a local train Brussels to Mons, Mons to Lille and a TGV from Lille to Paris (€3-€5 seat reservation).

Brussels to France by TGV (not Thalys):  Reservation compulsory, €5 fee.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by ZFBH/ZRS (Railways of Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Bulgaria

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by BDZ (Bulgarian State Railways, www.bdz.bg)

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Local trains, barz & patnicheski slow trains do not require reservations. Seat reservation is compulsory on all express trains (Expresen), this costs around €0.50, and can only be done when you're in Bulgaria.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Reservation is obligatory on all main international trains.

Croatia    

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by HZ (Croatian national railways, www.hzpp.hr)

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

A €1 compulsory reservation fee is charged for the premier air-conditioned ICN daytime train from Zagreb to Split and for InterCity trains Zagreb to Rijeka, Osijek, Cakovec.

Czech Republic    

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by CD (Czech national railways, www.cd.cz)

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

A €7 supplement is charged for SC SuperCity trains.  There's no supplement to pay on any other domestic train.  On EuroCity or InterCity trains, reservation is optional for a €3 fee.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Prague to Vienna by EuroCity train: No supplement.  Reservation optional.

Prague to Dresden & Berlin by EuroCity train:  No supplement, reservation optional.

Prague to Budapest or Bratislava by EuroCity train:  No supplement, reservation optional.

Prague to Cologne, Zurich or Basel by direct City Night Line sleeper train:  Seat €11.50, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €27.50, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €37.50, berth in 3-bed sleeper €55, berth in 2-berth sleeper €75, berth in single-berth sleeper €115 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €75, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €115.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

Prague to Krakow or Warsaw by sleeper train: €10 per person in 6-bunk couchette, €14 in 4-bunk couchette, €18 sharing far more comfortable 3-bed sleeper (recommended), €26 sharing a 2-bed sleeper (also recommended), all bookable with a 2nd class pass, a 1st class pass is only required for single occupancy of a sleeper.  You can check Polish sleeper and couchette supplements online at www.wars.pl.   The sleeper supplement includes complimentary tea/coffee and croissant.

Prague to Venice by sleeper train:  Similar to City Night Line supplements above.

Denmark

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by DSB (Danish State Railways, www.dsb.dk)

 

Other InterRail benefits:

30% discount on Stena Line ferries (including Frederikshavn-Gothenburg)

50% discount on Color Line ferries (including Frederikshavn-Oslo).

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

No supplements to pay on any normal internal train, including Danish InterCity trains.  Reservation on InterCity trains is optional, it costs €4.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Copenhagen to Hamburg by EuroCity ICE train:  No supplement.

Copenhagen to Stockholm by SJ2000 125mph train:  Supplement €7 in 2nd class, €17 in 1st class, reservation compulsory, you can make reservations online at www.acprail.com (small fee payable) or with no fee at www.sj.se, although it sometimes struggles with overseas credit cards - you must run an enquiry as if buying a ticket, but under 'customer card' select 'Pass 2 cl (InterRail/Eurail)' or 'Pass 1 cl (InterRail/Eurail)' as appropriate.  When the results appear, you must select the price in the 'refundable' column as this is the passholder reservation (obvious if you look at the prices, the fares in the other columns are for complete tickets not just reservations!).

Finland

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by VR (Finnish state railways, www.vr.fi)

InterRail passes give free travel Stockholm-Turku on Silja Line ferries (cabin berths extra)

InterRail passes also give free travel on Veljekset Salmela bus service Kemi/Tornio-Haparanda (across the top from Sweden into Finland)

Other InterRail benefits:

50% discount on Viking Line ferries Stockholm-Helsinki and Stockholm-Turku.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Reservation on InterCity trains is optional, if you want a reserved seat it costs €1.70 to €7.20 depending on distance. 

Reservation on 'Pendolino' trains is compulsory, the fee varies between €2.50-€4.70 in 2nd class, €4.20-€7.00 in 1st class.

You can make passholder reservations in Finland online at www.acprail.com

France

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by SNCF (French national railways), www.voyages-sncf.com.

Other InterRail benefits:

No discount on Nice-Digne private railway (reduction previously given discontinued)

50% discount on Corsican Railways

30% discount on Irish ferries (including direct Ireland-France ferries).

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

In France, railpass holders must pay a fee and make a seat reservation to travel on almost all long-distance trains.

TGV high-speed trains:  These run on most long distance routes, and seat reservation is compulsory.  A supplement is charged which includes the reservation fee, €6 'off-peak', €18 'peak', applies to both 1st and 2nd class.  There's a quota for passholder places at the €6 rate, when it is sold out the €18 rate will apply.  See the advice on French passholder quotas here.

Tιoz trains: These run on routes such as Paris-Limoges-Toulouse, Bordeaux-Toulouse-Marseille-Nice.  Seat reservation compulsory, €6 fee.

Intercitιs de Nuit overnight couchette trains (formerly 'Lunιa') in France:  Couchette in 6-bunk compartment about €20, 1st class couchette in 4-berth compartment (with 1st class pass) €20.

However, there is no supplement to pay or reservation required on local or regional trains including TER (Trains Express Regionaux), or InterCitι long distance trains which still operate on a few routes such as Boulogne-Paris.

You can make passholder reservations within or starting in France online at uk.voyages-sncf.com, click 'Rail Passes' then select 'Seat reservation'. 

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

To the UKEurostar Paris to London:  Passholder fare €82 one-way, €144 return.  This is over twice the price of the cheapest regular fare without a pass, which starts at £39, so buying a normal ticket at www.eurostar.com is far cheaper than using your pass, if you can commit to a particular date & train in advance.

To Belgium, Netherlands:  Thalys high-speed trains from Paris to Brussels & Amsterdam:  A special passholder fare applies, a whopping €39 in 2nd class, a massive €62 in 1st class, with passholder places limited by quota, see the advice here.  Your pass must cover all the countries travelled through, a higher passholder fare applies for anyone with a pass that covers just one of the countries.  The €39 passholder fare is actually €4 more expensive than the cheapest €35 advance-purchase fare you can buy without a pass at www.thalys.com!  You can avoid Thalys by taking a TGV (€3-V5 seat reservation) from Paris to Lille, then local trains from Lille Flandres to Mons, Bruges & Brussels.

To Luxembourg:  Paris-Luxembourg by TGV, reservation compulsory, €3 fee in both classes.

To Germany:   TGV or ICE from Paris to Munich or Frankfurt:  Reservation compulsory, fee €13 in 2nd class, €30 in 1st class (includes food in 1st).  Thalys from Paris to Cologne:  A special passholder fare applies, a whopping €39 in 2nd class, a massive €62 in 1st class, with passholder places limited by quota.  Your pass must cover all the countries travelled through, a higher passholder fare applies for anyone with a pass that covers just one of the countries.  The €39 passholder fare is only €6 less than the cheap fare you can buy without a pass at www.thalys.com!

To SwitzerlandLyria TGV high-speed trains from Paris to Lausanne, Geneva, Basel, Bern & Zurich:  If your pass covers both France and Switzerland, the fare is €9 in 2nd class or from €21 in 1st class (includes food).  If your pass only covers France, the fare is about €35-€45.  Reservation compulsory, passholder places limited by quota, see the advice here.

To ItalyParis-Italy TGV trains Paris-Turin-Milan:  Reservation is compulsory and the passholder fare is now a whopping €55 in 2nd class, €75 in 1st class.  Passholder places are limited by quota, see the advice here.  It will often cheaper to put your pass in the waste paper bin and buy a normal ticket, as these start at just €29 in 2nd class, €35 in 1st class including reservation if you book in advance at uk.voyages-sncf.com or www.capitainetrain.com

The Thello sleeper train from Paris to Milan, Verona, Venice didn't used to accept passes at all, but from 1 April 2014 there's a 25% discount off the full-price Flexi fare if you have an InterRail pass covering France or Italy or both.  However, it may still be cheaper to buy an advance-purchase Smart or Go fare without the discount from just €35, see the Thello sleeper train page.

To Spain:  Passholder fare on TGVs from Paris to Barcelona:  £23 (€26) in 2nd class, £30 (€33) in 1st class.  Toulouse to Barcelona by TGV £11 in 2nd class, £22 in 1st class.  Lyon to Barcelona by TGV £16 in 2nd class, £22 in 1st class.  The pass must cover France, or Spain, or both.  Passholder places limited by quota, see the advice here.  The quota is often sold out, consider buying a normal advance-purchase ticket instead.

To Portugal:  There's a reservation fee to pay for the TGV from Paris to Irun on the Spanish border (€6 or €18), then a sleeper supplement for the overnight Sud Express from Irun to Lisbon:  €7 in a seat, €30 for a berth in 4-bed Turista sleeper, €62 for a berth in a Preferente 2-bed sleeper, €112 for a single-bed sleeper, €91 in a 2-bed Gran Clase sleeper with shower, or €152 in a single-berth Gran Clase with shower.

You can make passholder reservations starting from France online at uk.voyages-sncf.com

Germany

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by DB Deutsche Bahn (German Federal Railways), www.bahn.de.

InterRail passes are also valid on the Berlin & Hamburg S-bahns.

InterRail passes are also valid on a number of small private local railways, for a list see www.eurail.com/trains-europe/trains-country/trains-germany.

Other InterRail benefits:

-

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Using an InterRail pass in Germany is easy, as reservation is optional not mandatory on almost all German domestic daytime trains and there are no supplements to pay, even on fast InterCity (IC) or high-speed InterCityExpress (ICE) trains.  So you can simply hop on any train, find an empty seat and show your pass when asked.

The only exceptions are a tiny handful of 'ICE Sprinter' trains aimed at the business market, marked in the timetable as 'reservation obligatory', on which a seat reservation is mandatory for €11.50 in 2nd class, €16.50 in 1st class.

Reservation on German overnight trains is mandatory.  Seat €11.50, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €27.50, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €37.50, berth in 3-bed sleeper €55, berth in 2-berth sleeper €75, berth in single-berth sleeper €115 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €75, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €115.  If you have an InterRail pass you can make 'reservation only' bookings for overnight trains online at www.bahn.de/citynightline (English button top right) and print out your own reservation in .pdf format.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

To Paris by Thalys high-speed train from Cologne:  A special passholder fare applies, a whopping €39 in 2nd class, a massive €62 in 1st class.  Your pass must cover all the countries travelled through, a higher passholder fare applies for anyone with a pass that covers just one of the countries.  The €39 passholder fare is only €6 less than the cheap fare you can buy without a pass at www.thalys.com!

To Paris by TGV or ICE from Frankfurt or Munich:  Reservation compulsory, fee €13 in 2nd class, €30 in 1st class (includes food in 1st).

To Amsterdam by IC, EC or ICE daytime train from various cities:  No supplement.  Reservation optional.

To Amsterdam by City Night Line sleeper train from Munich or Dresden:  Seat €11.50, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €27.50, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €37.50, berth in 3-bed sleeper €55, berth in 2-berth sleeper €75, berth in single-berth sleeper €115 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €75, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €115.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

To Copenhagen by EuroCity ICE train from Hamburg:  No supplement.  Reservation optional.

To Verona or Venice or Bologna by EuroCity from Munich:  Reservation is compulsory for journeys to Italy, fee €7 in 2nd class, €11 in 1st class.

To Rome, Florence or Venice by City Night Line sleeper train from Munich:  Seat €11.50, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €27.50, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €37.50, berth in 3-bed sleeper €55, berth in 2-berth sleeper €75, berth in single-berth sleeper €115 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €75, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €115.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

To Vienna by IC or ICE or RailJet from various German cities:  No supplement.  Reservation optional.

To Vienna by sleeper train from Berlin (per person):  Couchette in 6-bunk compartment €21.90, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €30, bed in 3-bed sleeper €50, bed in 2-bed sleeper €65 to €79.

To Vienna by EuroNight sleeper train from Cologne or Hamburg (per person):  Seat €25, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €39, 4-bunk couchette €48, berth in 3-berth deluxe sleeper with shower €105, berth in 2-berth standard sleeper €105, berth in single-berth standard sleeper €126.  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €116, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €158.  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €105, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €158.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

To Budapest from Berlin or Dresden by EuroCity:  No supplement.  Reservation optional.

To Budapest from Munich by RailJet train:  No supplement.  Reservation optional.

To Prague from Berlin or Dresden by EuroCity:  No supplement.  Reservation optional.

To Prague by by City Night Line sleeper train from Cologne:  Seat €11.50, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €27.50, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €37.50, berth in 3-bed sleeper €55, berth in 2-berth sleeper €75, berth in single-berth sleeper €115 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €75, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €115. Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

To Warsaw by Berlin-Warszawa Express from Berlin:  Reservation compulsory, fee €4.50 in 2nd class, €5.50 in 1st class.

To Warsaw by EuroNight sleeper train Jan Kiepura from Cologne:  Seat €4, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €20, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €30, berth in 3-bed sleeper €32, berth in 2-berth sleeper €52, berth in single-berth sleeper €112 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €65, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €125.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

To Krakow by EuroCity train from Berlin:  Small supplement (€4?), reservation compulsory.

Greece

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by OSE (Greek national railways), www.trainose.gr.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

InterCity trains (for example Athens -Thessaloniki):  Reservation compulsory, the fee varies from €7.20 to €20.30 depending on distance.

Greece-Italy ferries:

InterRail passes give free travel on Blue Star & Superfast (Attica Group) Bari-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Patras, Ancona-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Patras, and on Minoan Lines Venice- or Ancona-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Patras.

InterRail passes provide 'deck class' travel which means a place on the ferry but with no specific seat or berth.  There is space under cover on deck to use a sleeping-bag if you have one, and many backpackers do this.  Or you can pay extra for a reclining seat or cabin berth.  Very helpfully, Minoan Lines give free travel to InterRail flexi pass holders without requiring them to use up a 'flexi day' of travel.

Port taxes (a few euros) must be paid (there's no port tax on ferry routes to or from Venice).

Supplement for reclining aircraft-style seat:  About €16 on Superfast Ferries, €12 on Blue Star Ferries.

Supplement for cabin berths:  €26 to €76, depending on type of cabin.

High season supplement:  Superfast and Blue Star charge InterRail holders a summer supplement, about €16-€25.

Hungary

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by MAV (Hungarian State Railways, www.mav-start.hu) also private operator GySev.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

No supplement to pay for travel on local or regional trains.

Reservation on EuroCity trains for domestic journeys is optional, not compulsory.

Reservation on InterCity trains is compulsory in Hungary, €2 fee.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Budapest to Vienna by EuroCity, InterCity or RailJet trains:  No supplement. No reservation necessary.

Budapest to Berlin by EuroCity train:  No supplement. No reservation necessary.

Budapest to Munich by RailJet train:  No supplement. No reservation necessary.

Budapest to Munich, Berlin or Venice by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-bunk compartment around €18, 4-bunk couchette €25, berth in 4-berth sleeper €35, berth in 2-berth sleeper €45 (all approximate).

Budapest to Krakow or Warsaw by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-bunk compartment around €16, 4-bunk couchette €23, berth in 4-berth sleeper €32, berth in 2-berth sleeper €40 (all approximate).

Budapest to Bucharest by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-bunk compartment around €15, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €22, berth in 3-berth sleeper €28, berth in 2-berth sleeper €42

Ireland

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by IE (Iarnrod Eireann, Irish republic railways), www.irishrail.ie.

Other InterRail benefits:

30% discount on Stena Line Ireland-UK ferries (Dublin-Holyhead, Rosslare-Fishguard, Belfast-Stranraer)

30% discount on Irish Ferries Ireland-UK & Ireland-France ferries (Dublin-Holyhead, Rosslare to Cherbourg & Roscoff, Rosslare to Pembroke)

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

No supplement to pay on any internal trains.  Seat reservation is never mandatory on any Irish train, you can just hop on and show your pass when asked.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

No supplement on the Enterprise Dublin-Belfast trains.

Italy

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by FS/Trenitalia (Italian State Railways), www.trenitalia.com.

InterRail passes are not valid on the local Circumvesuviana Railway Naples-Pompeii-Sorrento, or on the Italo high-speed trains run by new private operator NTV running Milan/Venice-Florence-Rome-Naples in competition with Trenitalia.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

There's no supplement to pay on local or Regional trains.

However, in Italy railpass holders must pay a fee and make a seat reservation to travel on almost all high-speed long-distance trains.

Frecciarossa, Frecciargento & Frecciabianca trains:  There's a €10 compulsory seat reservation charge for passholders on all high-speed Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca trains, linking Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice, Verona, Turin.  You can occasionally find an InterCity train as a cheaper alternative between these cities, but they are far slower and less frequent.

InterCity trains:  Since 2010, railpass holders do not need to reserve a seat on InterCity trains, and there's now no supplement.  Seat reservation is optional, cost €3.

Passholder reservations for Italian trains can be made in advance online at www.trenitalia.com (fiddly, no fee) or www.italiarail.com (easy, small fee), see advice on how to make Italian passholder reservations here

Passholder reservations can easily made at stations using the touch-screen self-service machines, see the step-by-step instructions here.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

To Switzerland by EuroCity trains:  Reservation compulsory, fee €10 in both 1st & 2nd class.

To Paris by Italy-Paris TGV from Milan or Turin:  Reservation compulsory, the passholder fare is now a massive and ridiculous €55 in 2nd class, €75 in 1st class.  Passholder places are limited by quota, see the advice here.  It will often cheaper to put your pass in the waste paper bin and buy a normal ticket, as these start at just €29 in 2nd class, €35 in 1st class including reservation if you pre-book at uk.voyages-sncf.com or www.capitainetrain.com.

To Paris by Thello sleeper train from Milan, Verona, Venice:  Thello didn't used to accept passes at all, but from 1 April 2014 there's a 25% discount off the full-price Flexi fare if you have an InterRail pass covering France or Italy or both.  However, it may still be cheaper to buy an advance-purchase Smart or Go fare without the discount from just €35, see the Thello sleeper train page.

To Innsbruck or Munich by EuroCity train from Verona, Venice:  Reservation is compulsory for journeys from Italy, fee €7 in 2nd class, €11 in 1st class.

Rome or Venice to Munich by City Night Line sleeper train:  Seat €11.50, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €27.50, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €37.50, berth in 3-bed sleeper €55, berth in 2-berth sleeper €75, berth in single-berth sleeper €115 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €75, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €115.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

Rome, Florence or Venice to Vienna by EuroNight sleeper train:   Seat €25, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €39, 4-bunk couchette €48, berth in 3-berth deluxe sleeper with shower €105, berth in 2-berth standard sleeper €105, berth in single-berth standard sleeper €126.  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €116, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €158.

Passholder reservations for international trains starting in Italy can be made in advance online at either www.trenitalia.com (fiddly, no fee) or www.italiarail.com (easy, small fee), see the advice on how to make Italian passholder reservations here

Italy-Greece ferries:

InterRail passes give free travel on Blue Star & Superfast (Attica Group) Bari-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Patras, Ancona-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Patras, and on Minoan Lines Venice- or Ancona-Igoumenitsa-Corfu-Patras.

InterRail passes provide 'deck class' travel which means a place on the ferry but with no specific seat or berth.  There is space under cover on deck to use a sleeping-bag if you have one, and many backpackers do this.  Or you can pay extra for a reclining seat or cabin berth.  Very helpfully, Minoan Lines give free travel to InterRail flexi pass holders without requiring them to use up a 'flexi day' of travel.

Port taxes (a few euros) must be paid (no port tax on Venice routes).

Supplement for reclining aircraft-style seat:  About €16 on Superfast Ferries, €12 on Blue Star Ferries.

Supplement for cabin berths:  €26 to €76, depending on type of cabin.

High season supplement:  Superfast and Blue Star charge InterRail holders a summer supplement, about €16-€25.

Luxembourg

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by CFL (Luxembourg State Railways), www.cfl.lu.

Other InterRail benefits:

An InterRail pass gives free travel on buses run by CFL

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

No supplements to pay on any normal internal train, seat reservation on domestic trains is neither necessary nor possible.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

To Brussels or Amsterdam:  No supplement. Reservation not necessary or even possible.

To Paris by TGV:  €3 supplement, reservation compulsory.

To Germany:  No supplement on local or even IC trains.

Macedonia

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by CFARYM (Macedonian Railways)

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

A small supplement must be paid on all domestic express trains including those to and from Belgrade, but not on purely local trains.

Montenegro

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by ZCG (Railways of Montenegro, www.zcg-prevoz.me)

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

A small supplement must be paid on all domestic express trains including those to and from Belgrade, but not on purely local trains.

Netherlands

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Dutch national railways), www.ns.nl.

An InterRail pass also gives free travel on these private local train operators who now run trains on lines that were originally part of the main NS network:  Veolia, Syntus, Noordnet, Arriva, DB Regio, Prignitzer Eisenbahn.

 

Other benefits:

30% reduction on Harwich-Hoek ferries with Stena Line.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Using a railpass within the Netherlands is easy, as reservation is not necessary or even possible on Dutch domestic trains, and there are no supplements to pay, even on InterCity trains.  You can simply hop on any train, find an empty seat and show your pass when asked.

Exception:  The special high-speed 'Fyra' trains Amsterdam-Schiphol-Rotterdam-Breda carry a surcharge, €0.70-€4.80, but there are plenty of alternative trains.

However, you should avoid making domestic Dutch journeys such as Amsterdam to Rotterdam on the irregular international high-speed Thalys trains, as a reservation is required and a hefty fee payable by passholders.  Use the alternative Dutch InterCity trains for free, instead!

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Amsterdam to Brussels:  A special passholder fare applies to the high-speed Thalys trains, a whopping €39 in 2nd class, a massive €62 in 1st class, with passholder places limited by quota, see the advice here.  The €39 passholder fare is actually €4 more than the cheapest advance-purchase fare you can buy without a pass at www.thalys.com!  There's no fee if you use the regular InterCity trains on the classic route via Roosendaal.

Amsterdam to Paris by high-speed Thalys train:  A special passholder fare applies, a whopping €39 in 2nd class, a massive €62 in 1st class, with passholder places limited by quota, see the advice here.  Your pass must cover all the countries travelled through, a higher passholder fare applies for anyone with a pass that covers just one of the countries.  The €39 passholder fare is actually €4 more than the cheapest €35 advance-purchase fare you can buy without a pass at www.thalys.com!

Amsterdam to Germany (Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt & so on) by IC or ICE train:  No supplement to pay, and a seat reservation is optional.

Amsterdam to Zurich or Munich by City Night Line sleeper train:  Seat €11.50, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €27.50, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €37.50, berth in 3-bed sleeper €55, berth in 2-berth sleeper €75, berth in single-berth sleeper €115 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €75, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €115.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

Norway

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by NSB (Norwegian State Railways), www.nsb.no.

 

Other InterRail benefits:

25% reduction on Oslo-Copenhagen ferry (not Commodore class), although mention of this has disappeared from the DFDS website (www.dfds.com) so call and ask them.

50% discount on Color Line ferries (including Oslo-Frederikshavn in Denmark)

50% discount on many regional bus services

30% discount on the Flεm Railway.

More information on InterRail ferry discounts

Reservations & supplements to pay for national & international trains:

Seat reservation is compulsory on Norwegian long-distance trains with a railpass, 50 NOK (around €6).

Oslo to Stockholm by IC train:  €3 supplement, reservation compulsory.

Oslo-Stockholm by sleeper train:  Seat €3, couchette in 6-bunk compartments €10, bed in 3-bed sleeper €16, bed in 2-bed sleeper €30 (all approximate).

You can make passholder reservations in or from Norway online at www.acprail.com

Poland

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by PKP InterCity (Polish Railways long distance trains, www.intercity.pl) & Przewozy Regionalne (Polish Railways regional trains, see http://rozklad-pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

No supplement to pay for local or regional trains.

EIC Premium trains, operated by the new Pendolino units: Reservation compulsory, €10 reservation fee.

Express InterCity (EIC), InterCity (IC), Twoje Linie Kolejowe (TLK) & most EuroCity (EC) trains:  Reservation compulsory, at no extra charge if made locally in Poland.

Berlin-Warszawa Express EuroCity trains:  Reservation compulsory, €3-€4 fee for Polish domestic journeys.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Warsaw to Berlin by Berlin-Warszawa Express:  Reservation compulsory, fee €4.50 in 2nd class, €5.50 in 1st class.  Special reduced fare charged if your InterRail covers just Germany or just Poland.

Warsaw/Krakow to Vienna/Prague by EuroCity train:  Small supplement to be paid (€4?), reservation compulsory.

Krakow-Prague, Krakow-Budapest, Warsaw-Budapest, Warsaw-Berlin by sleeper train:  €10 for a couchette in a 6-bunk couchette, €15 for a couchette in a 4-bunk couchette, €18 for a bed in a much more comfortable 3-berth sleeper (recommended), €26 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper (also recommended), all bookable with a 2nd class pass.  A 1st class pass is only needed for single occupancy, with €55 supplement.  You can check Polish sleeper and couchette supplements online at www.wars.pl.   The sleeper supplement includes complimentary tea/coffee and croissant.

Warsaw to Cologne by EuroNight sleeper train Jan Kiepura:  Seat €4, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €20, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €30, berth in 3-bed sleeper €32, berth in 2-berth sleeper €52, berth in single-berth sleeper €112 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €65, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €125s.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

Portugal

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by CP (Portuguese national railways), www.cp.pt.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

No supplement to pay on local or InterRegional trains.

InterCity trains (for example Lisbon - Faro):  Reservation compulsory, fee €5 in both classes.

Alfa Pendular high-speed tilting trains Lisbon - Porto:  Reservation compulsory, fee €5 in both classes.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Lisbon-Madrid:  Special InterRail fares apply for the 'Lusitania' trainhotel Lisbon-Madrid:  Reclining seat €30, bed in 4-berth sleeper €55, bed in 2-berth sleeper €75, 1-berth sleeper €119.

Lisbon-Paris:  Supplement for the Sud Express from Lisbon to Hendaye (for TGV to Paris):  €7 in a seat, €30 for a berth in 4-bed Turista sleeper, €62 for a berth in a Preferente 2-bed sleeper, €112 for a single-bed sleeper, €91 in a 2-bed Gran Clase sleeper with shower, or €152 in a single-berth Gran Clase with shower.  A small supplement is also payable for the TGV from Hendaye to Paris, either €6 or €18.

Romania

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by CFR (Romanian National Railways), www.cfrcalatori.ro.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

InterCity (IC) & InterRegional (IR) trains:  Seat reservation compulsory, fee €1.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Reservation is compulsory on all international trains from Romania.  Bucharest to Budapest:  Couchette in 6-berth compartment €15, in 4-berth compartment €22.  Bed in 3-bed sleeper €28, bed in 2-bed sleeper €42.  Bucharest to Istanbul: Couchette in 6-berth compartment €9, in 4-berth compartment €14.  Bed in 3-bed sleeper €22, bed in 2-bed sleeper €33. 

Serbia

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by ZS Serbian Railways, www.serbianrailways.com.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

A small supplement must be paid on all domestic express trains, but not on purely local trains.

Slovakia

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by ZSSK (Slovak Railways), www.slovakrail.sk.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national & international trains:

Seat reservation is compulsory on all InterCity and EuroCity trains, fee €3.  It's also compulsory on SuperCity tilting trains, fee €7 in both classes.

Slovenia

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by SZ (Slovenian railways), www.slo-zeleznice.si.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Seat reservation is compulsory on all ICs trains, €4 in advance or €6.70 (2nd class) or €11.50 (1st class) if paid on board the train.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Ljubljana to Innsbruck or Munich by EuroCity:  Supplement to pay, about €5.

Spain

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by RENFE (Spanish National Railways), www.renfe.com.

InterRail passes are not valid on regional train operators www.euskotren.es and www.feve.es.

There is no longer any InterRail discount on Trasmediterranea ferries to Ibiza or Majorca, or to Morocco.  However, normal fare tickets for these ferries can be booked at the Seat61 Ferry Shop.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Rail fares in Spain are very cheap, but if you have an InterRail pass,  every Spanish long-distance train requires you to make a reservation and pay a supplement, and even most shorter distance regional trains require a seat reservation.  It's safest to assume that the only trains in Spain which don't require at least a seat reservation are suburban trains ('cercanias') around the big cities.

AVE high speed trains (Madrid to Seville, Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga, Barcelona):  Fee €10 in 2nd class, €23.50 in 1st class (includes drinks & meal in 1st class).

EuroMed (Barcelona-Valencia-Alicante), Alvia (Madrid-Cadiz, San Sebastian-Barcelona, Bilbao-Barcelona), Alaris (Madrid-Valencia), Altaria (e.g. Madrid-Algeciras): €6.50 fee in 2nd class or €23.50 in 1st class (includes meal & drinks in 1st class).

Most other long distance trains (Talgo, Arco, Avant) charge a supplement, €6.50 in 2nd class or €10 in 1st class. 

Unusually, even many shorter-distance regional trains in Spain such as those classified 'TRD' (Regional Diesel Train) require a seat reservation, €4 seat reservation fee payable.

Trenhotel overnight trains:  Reclining seat €3 , 4-berth sleeper €24, 2-berth sleeper €43, 1-berth sleeper €83.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Passholder fare on Barcelona to Paris TGVs:  £23 (€26) in 2nd class, £30 (€33) in 1st class.  Barcelona to Toulouse by TGV £11 in 2nd class, £22 in 1st class.  Barcelona to Lyon by TGV £16 in 2nd class, £22 in 1st class.  The pass must cover France, or Spain, or both.  Passholder places limited by quota, see the advice here.  The quota is often sold out, consider buying a normal advance-purchase ticket instead.

Lusitania trainhotel from Madrid to Lisbon with an InterRail pass:  Seat €30, 4-berth sleeper €55, 2-berth sleeper €75, 1-berth sleeper €119.  If you can pre-book, it's actually cheaper to buy a normal advance-purchase ticket for a bed in a 4-bed sleeper at www.loco2.com as this starts at just €33, without a railpass.

Sweden

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on the following trains:

All trains run by SJ (Swedish national railways, www.sj.se) which runs most Swedish mainline trains.

All trains run by Connex (part of Veolia Group, it operates the sleeper trains from Stockholm & Gothenburg up to the north of Sweden)

Free travel on Arlanda Express airport rail link.

Free travel on the Inlandsbanen private local railway.

Free travel on Silja Line ferries Stockholm-Turku (for train to Helsinki). Cabin berths extra.

Free travel on Veljekset Salmela bus service Kemi/Tornio-haparanda (across the top from Sweden into Finland)

Other InterRail benefits:

50% discount on Viking Line ferries Stockholm-Helsinki and Stockholm-Turku.

30% discount on Stena Line ferries (including Gothenburg-Frederikshavn in Denmark)

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

125mph SJ2000 tilting trains (for example, Stockholm-Gothenburg or Stockholm-Malmφ):  Reservation compulsory, fee 76 SEK (€7) in 2nd class or 150 SEK (€17) in 1st class (includes a light meal in 1st class).

Seat reservation on Intercity or regional trains:  35 SEK in either class.

Night train supplements within Sweden (per person):  Seat €3, couchette in 6-bunk compartments 230 SEK (€10), bed in 3-bed sleeper 375 SEK (€16), bed in 2-bed sleeper €30.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Stockholm to Copenhagen by SJ2000:  Supplement €7 in 2nd class, €17 in 1st class.

Stockholm to Oslo by IC train:  Reservation compulsory, €3 fee.

You can make passholder reservations within Sweden and for Copenhagen-Sweden & Oslo-Sweden online at www.acprail.com (small fee payable, but no credit card rejection problems).  Or you can make them with no fee at www.sj.se, although it sometimes struggles with overseas credit cards and it's a little non-intuitive - you must run an enquiry as if buying a ticket, but under 'customer card' select 'Pass 2 cl (InterRail/Eurail)' or 'Pass 1 cl (InterRail/Eurail)' as appropriate.  When the results appear, you must select the price in the 'refundable' column as this is the passholder reservation (obvious if you look at the prices, the fares in the other columns are for complete tickets not just reservations!)

Switzerland

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by SBB Swiss Federal Railways www.sbb.ch (which runs most inter-city main lines).

The Glacier Express route from Zermatt to St Moritz is partly run by MGB (not covered by InterRail) and part by RhB (covered by InterRail), so a ticket is needed for the MGB section between Zermatt & Disentis (the Youth InterRail gives a discount on MGB, but adult, child & senior ones don't).

The Bernina Express route from Chur to St Moritz & Tirano is entirely run by RhB, so covered by InterRail.

InterRail passes also give free travel on these private railways:

BLS Bern-Lφtschberg-Simplon (which runs the main Bern-Interlaken-Brig line)

FART Ferrovie Autolinee Regionall Ticinesi

MOB Montreux Oberland Bernois

RhB Rhδtische Bahn (Disentis-Chur-St Moritz-Tirano)

SOB Sudostbahn

SOB-bt Bodensee Toggenburg Bahn

SSIF Societa Subalpina di Imprese Ferroviarie

THURBO Mittelthrugau Bahn

ZB Centralbahn

InterRail holders get 50% discount on these other private train & bus services:

AB Appenzeller Bahnen
ASM Aare Seeland Mobil
BB Kehrsiten - Bόrgenstock
CJ Chemins de fer du Jura
FB Forchbahn
GGB Gornergratbahn
LAF Adliswil - Felsenegg
LEB Lausanne - Echallens - Bercher
MBC Biθre - Apples - Morges
MGB Matterhorn - Gotthard Bahn (Zermatt-Brig-Disentis), only with a youth InterRail, not adult or child)
MVR Transports Montreux - Vevey - Riviera
NStCM Chemin de Fer Nyon - St-Cergue - Morez
PB Pilatusbahn (Alpnachstad-Pilatus Kulm/Kriens-Frδkmόntegg-Pil. Kulm)
RA RegionAlps Martigny - Orsiθres / Le Chΰble
RB Rigi-Bahn
RBS Regionalverkehr Bern Solothurn
SMF-lsm Stφckalp - Melchsee - Frutt
SMtS St-Imier - Mont-Soleil
SthB Stanserhornbahn
SZU Sihltal - Zόrich - Uetliberg
TMR Martigny - Chβtelard
TPC Transports publics du Chablais
TPF Transports publics Fribourgeois
TRAVYS SA
TRN Transports rιgionaux Neuchβtelois
WB Waldenburgerbahn
WSB Wynental & Suhrentalbahn

There's no discount at all for passholders on the Jungfraubahn. 

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Using an InterRail pass in Switzerland is easy, as there are no supplements to pay and a seat reservation is not required for any journey wholly within Switzerland.  This includes travelling on international TGV-Lyria and ICE trains on the Swiss part of their journey, where they normally form part of the regular-interval Swiss domestic train service.  You just hop on any train, find an empty seat and show your pass when asked. 

The only exception to this is that a seat reservation is required and a supplement (CHF 10-20) is payable on one or two narrow-gauge tourist-orientated panoramic trains, such as the famous Glacier Express from Zermatt to St Moritz, the Bernina Express from Chur & St Moritz to Tirano or Golden Pass Panoramic trains from Montreux to Zweisimmen.

Note that an InterRail only gives free travel on the RhB section of the Glacier Express route (Disentis-Chur-St Moritz), you'll need to buy a ticket for the MGB (Zermatt-Brig-Disentis) section.  Youth passholders get 50% discount on MGB, but adult & child passholders must pay full fare.  Both ticket and Glacier Express supplement can be bought before boarding the train, at any Swiss station.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

To Milan by daytime EuroCity trains from Zurich, Bern, Basel, Luzern, Lugano, Geneva:  Supplement €10 in both 1st & 2nd class.

To Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna from Zurich by RailJet train:  No supplement or reservation necessary.

To Germany by IC & ICE trains:  No supplement or reservation necessary.

To Paris by Lyria TGV high-speed trains from Zurich, Basel, Lausanne, Bern & Geneva:  Special passholder fares charged, €9 in 2nd class, from €21 in 1st class.  Passholder places are limited by quota, see the advice here.

City Night Line sleeper trains from Zurich or Basel to Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin or Hamburg (per person):  Seat €11.50, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €27.50, couchette in 4-bunk compartment €37.50, berth in 3-bed sleeper €55, berth in 2-berth sleeper €75, berth in single-berth sleeper €115 (all bookable with a 2nd class pass).  With 1st class pass, berth in 2-berth sleeper with shower €75, berth in single-bed sleeper with shower €115.  Book at www.bahn.de (do an enquiry on the journey planner, locate the direct sleeper train, click to check availability as if you were going to buy a normal ticket, then look for the 'Book only extra charge' link at the bottom and on the next page select 'Pass offer').

Turkey

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All trains run by TCDD (Turkish State Railways, www.tcdd.gov.tr), see the Train Travel in Turkey page for routes, train times & information.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

Supplement and reservation required for all pullman seats (€1 or €2), couchettes (maybe €5) or sleepers (maybe €10 for a bed in a 2-bed room) on most long distance trains in Asian Turkey.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Reservation obligatory on international trains from Istanbul to Sofia, Belgrade, Bucharest, Thessaloniki.  Couchette supplement about €9, sleeper supplement about €22 for bed in 3-bed room, €33 for bed in 2-bed room.

United Kingdom

InterRail passes give unlimited travel on these trains:

All the 20+ privatised train operators who together make up National Rail, www.nationalrail.co.uk.  Also valid on Northern Ireland railways.  They are not valid on London Underground.

Remember that your InterRail passes don't cover trains in your home country, so if you're British you don't get any free travel in Britain or Northern Ireland.

Reservations & supplements to pay for national trains:

No surcharges to pay.  Seat reservation is never compulsory.  A supplement is payable to travel in a sleeper from London to Scotland or Cornwall.  See the Caledonian Sleeper page or the Cornwall sleeper page.

Reservations & supplements to pay for international trains:

Eurostar isn't covered.  Well, there's a £82 one-way, £144 return passholder fare, but as regular fares start at £39 one-way, they are usually far cheaper than the passholder fare if you're booking in advance.


  
Just click this button to check InterRail prices and buy online at uk.voyages-sncf.com (formerly Raileurope.co.uk).  You can buy an InterRail pass up to 3 months before the first day of validity.  After buying the pass, you can make reservations by calling 0844 848 5 848, lines open 08:00-21:00 weekdays, 09:00-18:00 Saturdays.  You can buy a Eurostar ticket (with or without pass reduction) at www.eurostar.com.

Guidebooks & Timetables...

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineThomas Cook Rail Map of Europe - buy onlineThe Thomas Cook European timetable has train, bus & ferry times for every country in Europe (eastern and western) plus currency and climate information.  It is definitely worth buying if you're planning an extensive tour with a rail pass - having your own comprehensive timetable puts you in control of your own trip, and will save you hours in queues for station information desks or struggling with station timetables which show only the most basic information.  It costs around £14.99 from the bureau de change section of selected UK branches of Thomas Cook, or you can buy online at www.thomascooktimetables.com (with worldwide delivery).  Alternatively, you can buy the twice-yearly  Independent Traveller's edition at Amazon.co.uk also with shipping worldwide.

The Thomas Cook Rail Map of Europe is easily the best and most comprehensive map of train routes all over Europe.  High speed and scenic routes are highlighted - well worth buying to go with your rail pass!  Buy online at Amazon (with worldwide delivery).

The all-Europe online timetable:  You can check train times for almost any European train journey online at www.bahn.de.  This is an extremely useful resource for trip planning, provided by the German Railways.

Recommended guidebooks...Europe by Rail - click to buy online at Amazon.  Ideal for railpass users..!Lonely Planet Western Europe - click to buy onlineLonely Planet Western Europe - click to buy online

If you're planning a grand tour, I strongly recommend investing in a Thomas Cook European Timetable for in-depth train information, and the relevant Lonely Planet Guide for in-depth country information on the sights to see, places to stay, places to eat.  Alternatively, the Europe by Rail guide combines basic train info with country information.

Click the images to buy online at Amazon.co.uk...

 

 


Finding hotels & accommodation in Europe...

Hotels & guesthouses...

It's easy to book hotels online to go with your rail pass, but there are almost too many hotel booking websites to choose from!  I recommend these sites to find a hotel in most European countries:

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Budget backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from www.ehic.org.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including all of the EU, the USA, Australia & South Africa.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.


 


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