Which trains can you use with an InterRail or Eurail pass in each country?  

Which trains need a reservation & how much does it cost?

How can you reserve online?

This page explains which train operators are covered by Eurail & InterRail passes in each country, which trains require a reservation and how much the passholder reservation fee is likely to be.  It is not 100% complete, so always check in the timetable to see if the train you want to take is supplement payable or special fares apply and check prices when you book.  If you have more accurate information, please email me.  Reservation fees are the same whether you have a Eurail pass (for overseas visitors) or InterRail pass (for European residents).  The supplements below are per person per journey.  The first class fee is usually the same as the 2nd class one, but is sometimes higher as shown below.  Map of rail network in the Eurail & InterRail countries.  If you don't find the train you want, or want to double-check these prices, see www.eurail.com or www.interrail.eu.

Select the country where your journey starts or in which you want to travel...

Austria  Belgium  Bosnia  Bulgaria  Croatia Czech Republic  Denmark  Finland  France  Germany  Great Britain   Greece  Hungary  Ireland  Italy  Lithuania  Luxembourg  Macedonia  Montenegro  Netherlands  Norway  Poland  Portugal  Romania  Serbia  Slovakia  Slovenia  Spain  Sweden  Switzerland  Turkey.

Austria

 

What's covered?

InterRail & Eurail passes give unlimited travel on Austrian Federal Railways (ΦBB), www.oebb.at.

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by ΦBB and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run jointly by ΦBB & the national railways in those countries.

Passes also give unlimited travel in 2nd class on competing hourly Westbahn trains Salzburg-Vienna, www.westbahn.at. If you want to upgrade to Westbahn Plus (= 1st class) you pay a surcharge on board, around €8.50 if you have a 1st class pass or €17 if you have a 2nd class pass.

New from 2019, passes give unlimited travel on privately-run Regiojet trains between Vienna & Prague.

Passes give unlimited travel on Micotra trains between Villach & Tarvisio in Italy.

Passes give unlimited travel on Raaberbahn trains between Vienna/Graz & parts of Hungary.

Help with train times...

For train times within Austria see www.oebb.at

See international train times & routes from Vienna

See international train times & routes from Salzburg

See international train times & routes from Innsbruck

Using a pass on national trains...

Using a railpass in Austria is easy, as reservation is 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.

If you want an optional reserved seat on an Austrian long-distance train, you can make a reservation-only booking for around €3 per seat at the Austrian Railways website, see the instructions here.

Nightjet sleeper 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.  Passholder reservations for nightjet trains currently cannot be made online, so call a European rail ticketing agency or book at a station.

Using a pass on trains to Germany...

By daytime train (IC, ICE or railjet):  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train and show your pass, nothing more to pay unless you want a reserved seat.  You can make an optional seat reservation for a few euros at either the German Railways site (€4.50 see the instructions here) or Austrian Railways site (€3, see the instructions here).  Reserving is a good idea at busy times.

By Nightjet sleeper train:  Vienna to Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg.  Innsbruck to Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg:  Seat €14, couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-berth sleeper €54, bed in 2-berth sleeper €74, bed in single-berth sleeper €124, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €94, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €144.  Only a 2nd class ticket or pass is now needed for all Nightjet accommodation types, as from 2017.  Passholder reservations for nightjet trains currently cannot be made online, so call a European rail ticketing agency or book at a station.

Using a pass on trains to Switzerland...

By daytime railjet train, Vienna, Linz, Salzburg Innsbruck to Zurich:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train and show your pass, nothing more to pay unless you want a reserved seat.  You can make an optional seat reservation for around €3 at the Austrian Railways site, see the instructions here.  This is a good idea as it's a long journey, especially at busy times such as Friday or Sunday afternoons.  This is a lovely journey via the scenic Arlberg Pass, see the photos, tips & information on the Arlberg Railway page.

By Nightjet sleeper train, Vienna or Linz to Zurich:  Seat €14, couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-berth sleeper €54, bed in 2-berth sleeper €74, bed in single-berth sleeper €124, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €94, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €144.  Only a 2nd class ticket or pass is now needed for all Nightjet accommodation types, this is new from 2017.  Passholder reservations for nightjet trains currently cannot be made online, so call a European rail ticketing agency or book at a station.

Using a pass on trains to Italy...

By daytime EuroCity train, Innsbruck to Verona, Bologna or Venice:  Reservation is compulsory for journeys to Italy, ask for a passholder reservation, €14 fee in 2nd class, €18 fee in 1st class.  This cannot be made online.  See the photos & information on the Munich & Innsbruck to Venice page.

By daytime railjet train, Vienna or Villach to Venice:  Reservation is compulsory for journeys to Italy, ask for a passholder reservation, €10 in 2nd class, €15 in 1st class.  This cannot be made online.  See the photos & information on the Vienna to Venice page.

By Nightjet sleeper train, Vienna or Salzburg to To Venice, Milan, Florence or Rome:  Seat €14, couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-berth sleeper €54, bed in 2-berth sleeper €74, bed in single-berth sleeper €124, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €94, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €144.  Only a 2nd class ticket or pass is now needed for all Nightjet accommodation types, as from 2017.  Passholder reservations for nightjet trains currently cannot be made online, so call a European rail ticketing agency or book at a station.

Using a pass on trains to Hungary...

Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck to Budapest by railjet, EuroCity or other express train:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train and show your pass, nothing more to pay unless you want a reserved seat.  You can make an optional seat reservation for around €3 at the Austrian Railways site, see the instructions here.  This is a good idea at busy times such as Friday or Sunday afternoons.  More information about Vienna to Budapest trains.

Using a pass to the Czech Republic...

Vienna to Prague by railjet train:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train and show your pass, nothing more to pay unless you want a reserved seat.  You can make an optional seat reservation for around €3 at the Austrian Railways site (see the instructions here).  This is a good idea at busy times such as Friday or Sunday afternoons.  More information about Vienna to Prague trains

Vienna to Prague by Regiojet train:  Reservation required, €3 in Standard, €5 in Relax or (with a 1st class pass) €10 in Business.  Regiojet passholder reservations cannot be made online, so either approach staff on the train before departure or go to the Regiojet/Student Agency sales point at Vienna Hbf More information about Vienna to Prague Regiojet trains.

Vienna to Cesky Krumlov via Ceske Velenice:  This is all on regional trains, so no reservation necessary or possible, just hop on and show your pass.  However, InterRail & Eurail passes don't cover the GWTR local trains between Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov, this only costs €1.60 or so, you can pay on board the GWTR train using the ticket machines which take cash & contactless cards.  How to plan this journey.

Using a pass on trains to Slovakia...

Vienna to Bratislava by hourly regional train:  Just hop on and sit in any empty seat, no reservation necessary or possible.

Vienna to Bratislava by once per day railjetReservation is optional, you can hop on the train and show your pass with nothing more to pay unless you want a reserved seat.  You can make an optional seat reservation for around €3 at the Austrian Railways site, see the instructions here.  This is a good idea at busy times such as Friday or Sunday afternoons.

Vienna to Kosice & Slovakia by InterCity (IC):  Reservation is required, this varies from €3-€12 in 2nd class or €13-€22 in 1st class depending on distance.

Using a pass on trains to Poland...

Vienna to Krakow or Warsaw by daytime EuroCity train:  Reservation is compulsory, seat reservation fee around €3.50.  Reservations for these trains cannot be made online so just make a reservation at the station, there are almost always places available even on the day.

Vienna to Krakow or Warsaw by EuroNight sleeper train:  €29 for a couchette in 6-berth, €39 for a couchette in 4-berth, €44 for a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €59 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €119 for a bed in a single-bed sleeper, €79 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper with shower & toilet, €139 for a bed in a single-bed sleeper with shower & toilet (all fine with 2nd class pass).  Reservations for these trains cannot be made online, so call a European rail ticketing agency or book at a station.

Using a pass on trains to Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia...

Vienna to Ljubljana, Zagreb or Belgrade by EuroCity train:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train and show your pass, nothing more to pay unless you want a reserved seat.  You can make an optional seat reservation for around €3 at the Austrian Railways site (see the instructions here).

Using a pass on trains to Romania...

Vienna to Sighisoara, Brasov or Bucharest by Dacia Express sleeper:  Couchette in 6-berth €13.40, couchette in 4-berth €20, bed in 3-berth sleeper €28, bed in 2-berth sleeper €42.  Bed in single-berth sleeper (requires 1st class pass) €98.

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Belgium
 

What's covered?

InterRail & Eurail passes give unlimited travel on Belgian National Railways (SNCB), www.belgianrail.be

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by SNCB and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by SNCB & the partner railways in those countries.

Help with train times...

For train times within Belgium see www.belgianrail.be

See international train times & routes from Brussels

See international train times & routes from Bruges

Using a pass on national trains...

Using a railpass in Belgium is easy, as reservation is not necessary or even possible on Belgian domestic trains.  You can simply hop on any train, find an empty seat and show your pass when asked.

There are two exceptions...

The Brussels airport trains require a €5.20 supplement, paid at the station or on board the train.

High-speed Thalys trains are reservation compulsory and carry a hefty €15+ passholder reservation fee, so avoid using them for domestic Belgian journeys such as Brussels-Antwerp or Brussels-Liege, use the alternative Belgian InterCity trains for free instead.

Using a pass on trains to Great Britain...

Brussels to London by Eurostar:  Eurail & InterRail passes now cover Eurostar from Brussels to London, on payment of a special passholder fare of €30 in standard class or (if you have a 1st class pass) €38 in standard premier. You can buy Eurostar passholder tickets online, see the Eurostar page for full details.

Using a pass on trains to France...

Brussels to Paris by high-speed Thalys train:  You must make a passholder reservation costing €20 in 2nd class, €30 in 1st class.  Passholder places are limited by a quota which can sell out even if the train isn't full - so book sooner rather than later!  You can buy Thalys passholder tickets online at b-europe.com as explained here.

To save money or if all Thalys tickets have sold out:  You can travel from Brussels to Paris avoiding Thalys by using regional trains Brussels-Charleroi-Maubeuge-Paris as shown here in Brussels-Paris option 3.  It takes much longer than Thalys, there's only 1 or 2 departures per day and it means 2 changes of train, but no reservation is necessary, no fees to pay, just board the trains and show your pass.

Brussels to other French destinations such as Lyon, Avignon, Marseille by direct TGV by-passing Paris:  Reservation compulsory, €20 fee in 2nd class, €30 fee in 1st class.

No reservation is necessary or even possible for the regular cross-border regional trains from Belgium to Lille.

Using a pass on trains to the Netherlands

Brussels to Amsterdam by high-speed Thalys train:  A special passholder fare applies, €15 in 2nd class, €25 in 1st class.  Passholder places on Thalys are limited by a quota which can sell out even if the train isn't full - so book sooner rather than later!  You can buy Thalys passholder tickets online at b-europe.com as explained here.

Brussels to Amsterdam by hourly InterCity (IC) train:  There's no fee if you use the regular hourly InterCity trains, although these take just over 3 hours rather than 2 hours.  These have no reservations, you can just hop on, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.  You can check times at www.b-europe.com (Tip:  Select Direct trains only and look for trains marked IC).

Using a pass on trains to Germany...

Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt by ICE high-speed train:  Reservation is optional, you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.  You can reserve a seat if you like for a few euros at the German Railways website, see the instructions here.  This is a good idea at busy times such as Friday or Sunday afternoons.

Brussels to Cologne by Thalys high-speed train: You must make a passholder reservation costing €20 in 2nd class, €30 in 1st class.  Passholder places are limited by quota which can sell out even if the train isn't full - so book early!  You can buy Thalys passholder tickets online at b-europe.com as explained here although the obvious solution is to save your money by taking an ICE instead!

Using a pass on trains to Luxembourg...

Brussels to Luxembourg by InterCity trains:  Seat reservation neither necessary nor possible, you just hop on any train, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.

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Bosnia
 

What's covered?

InterRail & Eurail passes give unlimited travel on all trains run by ZFBH/ZRS (Railways of Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Reservation not required on local trains.

Reservation is necessary to travel on the excellent Talgo trains between Sarajevo & Mostar, Banja Luka and Bihac, €0.50 in both classes.

Help with train times...

See train times Sarajevo-Zagreb

See train times Sarajevo-Mostar

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Bulgaria
 

What's covered?

InterRail & Eurail passes give unlimited travel on all trains run by Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ), www.bdz.bg.

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by BDZ and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by BDZ & the partner railways in those countries.

Help with train times...

For train times within Bulgaria see www.bdz.bg

See international train times & routes from Sofia

Using a pass on national trains...

Local trains, barz & patnicheski trains do not require reservations.

Seat reservation is compulsory on express trains (Expresen), this costs around €0.50 and can only be done at stations in Bulgaria.

Sleeper trains within Bulgaria:  Bed in 3-bed sleeper €5.80, in 2-bed sleeper €7.80, in single-bed sleeper €15.

Using a pass on international trains...

Sofia to Belgrade, Bucharest or Thessaloniki by daytime train:  Reservation is obligatory on all main international trains, but a seat reservation only costs around €1.25.  Reservations cannot be made online, but there are always places available, just make reservations at the station.  See tips for buying tickets (or making reservations) at Sofia station.

Sofia to Istanbul by sleeper train:  €10 supplement for a couchette in 4-berth compartment or €15 supplement for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper.  If you have a 1t class pass, a single-bed sleeper all to yourself costs €35.

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Croatia
 

What's covered?

InterRail & Eurail passes give unlimited travel on all trains run by Croatian Railways (HZ), www.hzpp.hr.

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by HZ and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by HZ & the partner railways in those countries.

Help with train times...

For train times within Croatia, see www.hzpp.hr

See international train times & routes from Zagreb

See international train times & routes from Dubrovnik & Split

Using a pass on national trains...

Air-conditioned ICN trains from Zagreb to Split and InterCity trains between Zagreb & Rijeka, Osijek, Cakovec:  Reservation necessary, €3.60 in both classes.

Zagreb-Split sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-berth €10.  Bed in 3-bed sleeper €15, bed in 2-bed sleeper €25, bed in single-bed sleeper €40.

Reservations cannot be made online, but it's easy to make a reservation at the station, places almost always available.

Using a pass on international trains...

Zagreb to Vienna, Budapest or Belgrade:  Seat reservation is optional, you can just get on the train, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  If you want a reserved seat, this costs around €3.  If you want a seat reservation on the direct Zagreb to Vienna train, you can make it at the Austrian Railways website as shown here.

Zagreb to Munich or Zurich by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-bed sleeper €54, in 2-bed €74, in single-bed €114.  Reservations cannot be made online.

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Czech
Republic   
 

What's covered?

InterRail & Eurail passes give unlimited travel on Czech Railways (CD), www.cd.cz.  That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by CD and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by CD & the partner railways in those countries.

New from 2019, passes give unlimited travel on most Regiojet trains for a small fee, see www.regiojet.com.

New from 2019, passes give unlimited travel on most Leo Express trains for a small fee, www.leoexpress.com.

Passes are not valid on private local train operators Arriva or GWTR.

Trains to Cesky Krumlov:  Your pass covers the Czech Railways (CD) trains from Prague or Linz to Ceske Budejovice, which is the junction station for the branch line to Cesky Krumlov.  But the local trains from Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov are now operated by private operator GWTR which doesn't accept InterRail or Eurail passes.  However, the fare is less than €2, so all you have to do is buy a ticket for this short 40-minute hop, either at the green & orange GWTR ticket kiosk at Ceske Budejovice or using the machines on board the train which take contactless cards or cash.  There's a once-daily Prague-Cesky Krumlov direct train run by CD, your pass is of course valid on this CD train all the way to or from Cesky Krumlov.

Help with train times...

For train times within the Czech Republic see www.cd.cz.

See international train times & routes from Prague

See international train times & routes from Cesky Krumlov

Using a pass on national trains...

On the fast tilting SuperCity (SC) trains between Prague & Ostrava, reservation is compulsory for a €8 fee, you can make these reservations online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

On EuroCity, InterCity & other express trains you can just board the train, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked, although you have the option to reserve a seat if you like for around €3.  If you want a seat reservation you can make one online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

On Regiojet trains (see www.regiojet.com, for example Prague-Ostrava) compulsory seat reservation costs €3 in Standard class or €5 in Relax class, with any class of pass (pay the extra €2 for Relax, it's worth it!).  With a 1st class pass you have the option to pay €10 for a Business class seat.  Regiojet reservations cannot be made online, so either approach staff on the train before departure or go to the Regiojet/Student Agency sales point at Prague Hlavni.

Using a pass on trains to Germany...

Prague to Berlin or Dresden by EuroCity train:  Reservation is optional, so you can just board the train, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.  However, these trains get very busy so reserving a seat for around €4 is a good idea, especially in summer or on Friday & Sunday afternoons at any time of year.  You can make seat reservations to go with your pass online at the CD website, see the instructions hereSee the photos, video, tips & info on the Prague to Berlin page.

Prague to Munich by express train:  Reservation is optional, so you can just board the train, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.   If you want a seat reservation you can make one online at the CD website, see the instructions hereSee the photos, video, tips & info on the Prague to Munich page

Prague to Nuremberg & Frankfurt via Cheb or Schwandorf:  You can check times from Prague to Germany via these two useful routes at www.cd.cz, clicking Advanced options, then Travel via and then entering Cheb or Schwandorf in the via box.  These routes avoid the need to use any long-distance buses!  Reservation is unnecessary on these two routes route unless the Prague-Cheb train is a SuperCity (SC) trains when a €7 fee applies.  You can make a Prague-Cheb SuperCity reservation online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

Using a pass on trains to Austria...

Prague to Vienna by railjet train: Reservation is optional, so you can just board the train, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.  However, reserving a seat for around €4 is a good idea on this busy route, especially in summer or on Friday & Sunday afternoons at any time of year.  You can make seat reservations to go with your pass online at the CD website, see the instructions hereSee the photos, video, tips & info on the Prague to Vienna page.

Prague to Vienna by Regiojet (www.regiojet.com).  Reservation required, €3 in Standard, €5 in Relax or (with a 1st class pass) €10 in Business.  Regiojet passholder reservations cannot be made online, so either approach staff on the train before departure or go to the Regiojet/Student Agency sales point at Prague Hlavni See the photos, video, tips & info on the Prague to Vienna page

Prague to Linz (for Salzburg & Innsbruck):  Reservation is optional on both the Czech train to Linz and onward Austrian railjet trains to Salzburg & Innsbruck, so you can just board the train, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.  However, if you want an optional reserved seat, you can make Prague-Linz seat reservations for a few euros per seat at the Czech Railways website, see the instructions here.  Seat reservations from Linz to Salzburg or Innsbruck can be made at the Austrian Railways website, see the instructions hereSee the photos, video, tips & info on the Prague to Salzburg page.

Using a pass on trains to Switzerland...

Prague to Zurich by EuroNight sleeper train:  With 2nd class pass, bed in 3-berth sleeper €45, bed in 2-berth sleeper €58, bed in single-berth sleeper €110.  With 1st class pass, bed in 3-berth deluxe sleeper with shower & toilet €45, bed in 2-berth deluxe sleeper with shower & toilet €58, bed in single-bed deluxe sleeper with shower & toilet €110.

Passholder reservations for this train cannot be made online, so call a European rail ticketing agency or book at a station.  Tip:  If you can book a month or two in advance you might find it less hassle to just buy a complete ticket at www.cd.cz, as the cheapest advance-purchase fare including a bed in a sleeper can be the same as you'd for the sleeper supplement to go with a pass.

Prague to Zurich by daytime trains with a change at Munich or Linz/Salzburg:  None of the daytime trains Prague-Munich & Munich-Zurich or Prague-Linz and Linz-Salzburg-Zurich require reservations, you can just hop on and show your pass when asked.  Seat reservations are optional, reservations from Prague to Munich or Linz can be made at the Czech Railways website as shown here.  Seat reservations Munich-Zurich can be made as shown here, reservations from Linz or Salzburg to Zurich can be made as shown here.

Using a pass on trains to Hungary...

Prague to Budapest by EuroCity train:  Reservation is optional, so you can just board the train, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.  However, reserving a seat for around €3 is a good idea.  You can make seat reservations to go with your pass online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

Prague to Budapest by sleeper train:  €34 for a couchette in a 6-bunk couchette, €44 for a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €54 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €114 in a single-bed sleeper, €64 for a bed in a 3-berth sleeper with shower & toilet, €94 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper with shower & toilet, €134 in a single-bed sleeper with shower & toilet, all bookable with a 2nd class pass.

Using a pass on trains to Slovakia...

Prague to Bratislava by EuroCity train:  Reservation optional, so nothing to pay unless you want a reserved seat for €4.  You can make a reservation to go with your pass online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

Prague to Poprad Tatry & Kosice by fast tilting SuperCity (SC) trains:  Reservation compulsory, €8 reservation fee.  You can make this reservation online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

Prague to Bratislava, Poprad Tatry, Kosice or elsewhere in Slovakia by Regiojet train (www.regiojet.com).  Reservation required, €3 in Standard, €5 in Relax or (with a 1st class pass) €10 in Business.  Regiojet passholder reservations cannot be made online, so either approach staff on the train before departure or go to the Regiojet/Student Agency sales point at Prague Hlavni.

Using a pass on trains to Poland...

Prague to Krakow or Prague to Warsaw by daytime EuroCity train:  Reservation is compulsory, but only costs around €3.50 per seat.  You can make this reservation online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

Prague to Krakow or Warsaw by EuroNight sleeper train:  €13.40 per person in 6-bunk couchette, €?? in 4-bunk couchette, bed in 3-bed sleeper €20, bed in  2-bed sleeper €30, bed in single-bed sleeper €70, bed in 2-bed sleeper with shower & toilet €??, bed in single-bed sleeper with shower & toilet €80.  You can make a couchette or sleeper reservation to go with your pass online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

Prague to Krakow by Leo Express (see timetable here):  Small reservation fee, amount not known.  The reservation cannot be made online.

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Denmark
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on all trains run by DSB = Danish State Railways, www.dsb.dk

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by DSB and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by DSB & its partner railways in those countries such as SJ (Sweden), DB (Germany).

Passes give free travel on the Φresund Link trains between Copenhagen, Malmo & Gothenburg.

Other pass benefits...

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

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

Help with train times...

For train times within Denmark www.dsb.dk.

See international train times & routes from Copenhagen

Using a pass on national trains...

No reservations necessary and nothing extra to pay on any normal Danish domestic train, including Danish InterCity trains.  Just hop on and show your pass.  Optional reserved seat on longer-distance trains €3.90 per seat.

Using a pass on trains to Germany...

Copenhagen to Hamburg & Berlin by EuroCity trainReservation is usually optional, but over the last few years it's been made compulsory in the summer months June-September, reservation fee around €4.50.  I'd recommend reserving a seat on this route at any time of year, because the length of the train is limited by the need to fit on the Rψdby-Puttgarden train ferry and it can get crowded.   You can make a seat reservation online at Danish Railways website, following the instructions here.

Using a pass on trains to Sweden...

Copenhagen to Malmo & Gothenburg by Oresund Link regional trains:  No reservation necessary or even possible, just hop on any train, sit where you like and show your pass when asked.

Copenhagen to Stockholm by SJ's X2000 125mph trainReservation compulsory, €6.60 in 2nd class, €16 in 1st class.  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 'Interrail or Eurailpass'.  When the results appear, you must select the 'refundable' price as this is the passholder reservation (obvious if you look at the prices, the other fares are for complete tickets not just reservations!).

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Finland
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on all trains run by VR = Finnish state railways, www.vr.fi.

Other pass benefits...

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

Special fares on Tallink-Silja Line ferries Stockholm-Helsinki, Stockholm-Turku, Helsinki-Tallinn.

30% discount on Finnlines ferries Helsinki-Travemόnde & Helsinki-Rostock (Germany).

Help with train times...

For trains within Finland, see www.vr.fi.

See international train times & routes from Helsinki.

Using a pass on national trains...

Reservation on InterCity & Pendolino trains is optional, if you want a reserved seat it costs €5 to €10 in 2nd class or €10-€15 in 1st class, depending on distance. 

Sleeper trains to Lapland:  Bed in 2-bed sleeper €40, Bed in 2-bed sleeper with shower & WC €45, bed in single sleeper €100, bed in single sleeper with shower & WC €110.

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

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France
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on SNCF = French national railways, en.oui.sncf/en

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by SNCF and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by SNCF & the partner railways in those countries including Thalys (to Brussels & Amsterdam). TGV-Lyria (to Switzerland), Renfe (Spain), DB (Germany).  Virtually all major international trains to or from France require reservation, as explained below...

Passes are not valid on Ouigo budget TGVs or Ouibus.

Other pass benefits...

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

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

Help with train times...

For trains within France see www.loco2.com.

See international train times & routes from Paris

See international train times & routes from Nice

See international train times & routes from Marseille

See international train times & routes from Lyon

See international train times & routes from Bordeaux

See international train times & routes from Toulouse

See international train times & routes from Montpellier

See international train times & routes from Strasbourg

Using a pass on national trains...

In France, railpass holders must pay a fee and make a seat reservation to travel on almost all long-distance trains.  You can make passholder reservations within or starting in France online at the French Railways website as shown here.

TGV high-speed trains:  These run on all major long distance routes, and seat reservation is compulsory.  A limited number of €10 passholder reservations is offered on each TGV.  When these sell out passholders can reserve any remaining places for a higher €20 reservation fee up to the point where the train is genuinely full.  Passes are not valid on Ouigo budget TGVs, as Ouigo has been set up by SNCF as a separate company.

Intercitιs with compulsory reservation: These run on routes such as Paris-Limoges-Toulouse, Bordeaux-Toulouse-Marseille-Nice.  Seat reservation compulsory, reservation fee varies between €10 and €20.

Intercitιs without compulsory reservation: These run on routes such as Paris-Caen-Cherbourg, Paris-Rouen-Le Havre and Paris-Amiens-Boulogne.  As the name suggests, you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.  Seat reservation is optional, for a €1.50 fee.

Intercitιs de nuit overnight trains (formerly Lunιa) within France:  Reclining seat €9, a couchette in a 6-bunk compartment varies between €19-25, a 1st class couchette in a 4-berth compartment (with 1st class pass) varies between €19-25.

Regional trains = TER, Trains Express Rιgionaux.  Reservation not necessary or even possible, hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.

Using a pass on trains to Great Britain...

Eurostar from Paris, Lille or Calais to London:  As from January 2017, Eurail & InterRail passes cover Eurostar to London on payment of a passholder fare of €30 in standard class if you have a 2nd class pass or €38 in standard premier if you have a 1st class pass.  See the Eurostar page for full details & how to buy Eurostar passholder tickets.

Using a pass on trains to Belgium, Netherlands...

Paris to Brussels, Rotterdam, Amsterdam by Thalys high-speed train: You must pay a special passholder fare, €20 to Brussels or €30 to Amsterdam in 2nd class, €30 to Brussels or €35 to Amsterdam in 1st class.  There's a quota for passholders which can sell out even if the train isn't full - so book early!  You can buy Thalys passholder tickets online at b-europe.com as explained here.

Tip to save money or if Thalys trains have no passholder places left:  You can avoid using Thalys by taking regional trains Paris-Mauberge-Charleroi-Brussels as shown here in Paris-Brussels option 3.  It takes much longer than Thalys, there's only 1 or 2 departures per day and it means 2 changes of train, but no reservation is necessary, there are no fees to pay, just board the trains and show your pass.  You can then take the hourly classic InterCity train from Brussels to Amsterdam.

Direct TGVs from Lyon & other French cities to Brussels:  Reservation compulsory, fee €20 in 2nd class, €30 in 1st class.

Using a pass on trains to Luxembourg...

Paris-Luxembourg by TGV:   Reservation compulsory, €6 fee in both classes.

Using a pass on trains to Germany...

Paris to Stuttgart, Mannheim, Munich or Frankfurt by TGV Duplex or ICE:  Reservation is compulsory, fee €13 in 2nd class, €30 in 1st class. 

Paris to Cologne by Thalys high-speed train:  You must buy a special passholder fare, €25 in 2nd class, €35 in 1st class.  There is a quota for passholder places which can sell out even if the train has seats available, so book early!

Paris to Berlin or Warsaw by weekly RZD Russian sleeper train:  Passes are not valid on the Paris-Moscow Express at all.

Using a pass on trains to Switzerland...

Paris to Switzerland by TGV-Lyria TGV high-speed train:  A special passholder fare must be paid, a whopping €35 in 2nd class, €68 in 1st class from Paris to Basel, Bern or Zurich, or €27 in 2nd class, €57 in 1st class from Paris to Geneva, or €21 in 2nd class, €54 in 1st class from Paris to Lausanne, although places shouldn't run out as they're taken from the full-fare quota.

Tip:  They clearly don't want passholders on these trains.  If you can book 2-3 months ahead, regular advance-purchase tickets start at €29 including reservation, booked at www.trainline.eu.  That can be cheaper than the €35 passholder fare even if you have already bought the pass.  Crazy!

Tip:  You may be happy paying the TGV-Lyria fee for a fast journey.  But you can travel from Paris to Switzerland avoiding the TGV-Lyria passholder fee (or if the quota of passholder places has run out) by taking an Intercitι from Paris to Mulhouse (compulsory reservation, €6 fee but no quota) then a TER regional train from Mulhouse to Basel SBB (no reservation necessary or possible).  You can find times using www.loco2.com.  Similarly, you can use one of several TER Paris-Lyon trains (no reservation needed, but they take 5h rather than 2h by TGV) then a TER regional train Lyon-Geneva (no reservation required & no fees).  You can find Paris-Lyon  & Lyon-Geneva times using www.loco2.com looking carefully in the search results.

Using a pass on trains to Italy...

Paris to Turin or Milan by TGV train:  Reservation is compulsory, you must pay a hefty passholder fare of €31 in 2nd class, €45 in 1st class.  You can make passholder reservations at the French Railways website following the instructions here.  Passholder places are controlled by quota, passholder places can run out even when there are plenty of seats left.  It may be cheaper to buy a normal ticket from just €29 2nd class, €46 in 1st class including reservation if you pre-book at www.loco2.com or www.trainline.eu.

Paris to Milan, Verona, Venice by Thello sleeper train:  Thello didn't used to accept passes at all, but since 2014 there's been a 25% discount off the full-price Flexi fare if you have an Eurail or InterRail pass covering France or Italy or both.  But you'd only buy the Flexi fare if going at short notice.  It's usually much cheaper to forget your pass and just buy a cheap advance-purchase Smart or Go fare without any discount from just €29 including couchette, see the Thello sleeper train page.

Nice & Monaco to Genoa & Milan by Thello daytime train:  Special passholder fares apply, approx €27 Nice-Genoa, €34 Nice-Milan.  If you have a flexi-type pass you don't need to use up a day.  Without a pass, Nice-Milan only costs €45 full-price or from €15 booked in advance, so it can be cheaper not to use your pass even if you have already bought one!  You can book passholder tickets & check the regular fare to see if its cheaper at www.italiarail.com, it's ticketless, you just quote the booking reference on board the train.

Tip:  Thello runs the three daily direct trains from Nice to Italy.  But there's an alternative:  You don't need a reservation to take the frequent local trains from Nice or Monaco to Ventimiglia on the Italian border, then an Italian local train or one of the regular Trenitalia InterCity trains from Ventimiglia to Genoa & Milan.  Find times using www.loco2.com.

Using a pass on trains to Spain...

Paris to Barcelona by TGV:  Reservation required, €34 in 2nd class, €48 in 1st class.

Marseille to Barcelona or Madrid:  Reservation required, €34 in 2nd class, €48 in 1st class.

Lyon to Barcelona by AVE:  Reservation required, €19 in 2nd class, €26 in 1st class.

Toulouse to Barcelona by AVE:  Reservation required, €15 in 2nd class, €20 in 1st class. 

There is a quota for passholder places on all the France-Spain TGV & AVE trains, passholder places can run out even if there are plenty of seats left.  Passholder places cannot be booked online.  If you can book well in advance, consider buying a normal advance-purchase ticket instead, it makes little sense buy a pass to use these trains.

How to avoid fees:  There are no fees to pay or reservations required on the local trains from Toulouse to Latour de Carol and onwards through the Pyrenees to Barcelona, see here for details.

Using a pass on trains to Portugal...

There's a reservation fee to pay for the TGV Paris to Hendaye on the Spanish border (€10, rising to  €20 when the €10 reservations sell out), then a supplement for the overnight Sud Express from Irun to Lisbon:  Seat €7, bed in 4-berth sleeper €29.50, 2-berth sleeper €44.50 per person, 1-berth sleeper €88, 2-bed Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €58.50 per person, single-berth Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €117.

You can make passholder reservations within or starting in France online at www.raileurope.com (USA), www.raileurope.ca (Canada), www.raileurope.com.au (Australia) or www.raileurope-world.com (Asia, Africa, South America).

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Germany
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on DB = Deutsche Bahn = German Federal Railways, www.bahn.de.  That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by DB and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by DB & the partner railways in those countries.

Passes are valid on the Berlin & Hamburg S-bahns as these are run by DB.

Passes are valid on Austrian-run Nightjet trains, with a seat, couchette or sleeper reservation fee.

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.

InterRail passes are not valid on privately-run Flixtrain, or on the Kulturzug regional train Berlin-Wroclaw.

Help with train times...

For train times within Germany see www.bahn.de.

See international train times & routes from Berlin

See international train times & routes from Munich

See international train times & routes from Cologne & Dusseldorf

See international train times & routes from Frankfurt

See international train times & routes from Hamburg

Using a pass on national trains...

Using a Eurail or InterRail pass in Germany is easy, as reservation is optional not mandatory on almost all German domestic daytime trains, 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. 

If you want to reserve seat you can do that for €4.50 in 2nd class or €5.90 in 1st class using the German Railways website as explained here.

The only exceptions are a 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.  You can make a seat reservation using the German Railways website as explained here.

Nightjet sleeper trains Munich to Hamburg, Munich to Cologne & Dusseldorf:  Seat €14, couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-berth sleeper €54, bed in 2-berth sleeper €74, bed in single-berth sleeper €124, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €94, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €144.  Only a 2nd class ticket or pass is now needed for all Nightjet accommodation types.  Passholder reservations cannot be made online.

Note that ΦBB now only require a 2nd class ticket or pass for a deluxe sleeper, contrary to what the German Railways website still shows.

Using a pass to Paris & France...

Cologne to Paris by Thalys high-speed trains:  A special passholder fare applies, €25 in 2nd class, €35 in 1st class, with passholder places limited by quota which can sell out even if the train isn't full - so book early!  You can buy Thalys passholder tickets online at b-europe.com as explained here.

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

Berlin to Paris by RZD Russian sleeper train:  Passes are not valid on the Moscow-Paris Express at all.

Using a pass to Brussels & Belgium...

Frankfurt & Cologne to Brussels by high-speed ICE:  Reservation is optional on these ICE trains.  You can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  If you want to reserve seat for a few euros fee, you can do that using the German Railways website as explained here.

Cologne to Brussels by Thalys high-speed train:  A passholder fare applies, €20 in 2nd class or €30 in 1st class.  Thalys passholder places are controlled by a quota which can sell out even if the train isn't full, so book sooner rather than later or use the ICE instead.  You can buy Thalys passholder tickets online at b-europe.com as explained here.

Using a pass to Amsterdam & the Netherlands...

Berlin to Amsterdam by IC, Frankfurt or Cologne to Amsterdam by ICE:  Reservation is optional on all these services.  You can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  If you want to reserve seat for a few euros fee, use the German Railways website as explained here.

Using a pass to Luxembourg...

The regional trains linking Germany to Luxembourg have no seat reservations, you can just hop on, sit in any empty seat & show your pass when asked.

Using a pass to Switzerland...

Various InterCity, ICE & EuroCity trans link Germany with Switzerland.  Reservation is optional on all these services.  You can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  If you want to reserve seat for a few euros fee, use the German Railways website as explained here.

Using a pass on trains to Italy...

To Verona, Bologna or Venice by EuroCity from Munich:  Reservation is compulsory for journeys to Italy, fee €14 in 2nd class, €18 in 1st class.  This passholder reservation cannot be made online.

To Rome, Florence, Milan or Venice by Nightjet sleeper train from Munich: Seat €14, couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-berth sleeper €54, bed in 2-berth sleeper €74, bed in single-berth sleeper €124, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €94, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €144.  Only a 2nd class ticket or pass is now needed for all Nightjet accommodation types.  This passholder reservation cannot be made online.

Using a pass on trains to Austria...

Germany to Vienna by IC or ICE or railjet:  Reservation is optional on this route, you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  If you want to reserve seat for a few euros fee, use the German Railways website as explained here or the Austrian Railways website as explained here, the latter charges a slightly lower fee.

Nightjet sleeper train from Cologne, Dusseldorf, Berlin or Hamburg to Innsbruck or Vienna, (per person):  Seat €14, couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-berth sleeper €54, bed in 2-berth sleeper €74, bed in single-berth sleeper €124, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €94, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €144.  Only a 2nd class ticket or pass is now needed for all Nightjet accommodation types.

Using a pass to Copenhagen & Denmark...

Hamburg to Copenhagen by EuroCity train:  Reservation is usually optional, but over the last few years it's been made compulsory in the summer months June-September, reservation fee €4.50.  However, I'd recommend reserving a seat on this route at any time of year, because the length of the train is limited by the need to fit on the Rψdby-Puttgarden train ferry and it can get crowded.  You can make a seat reservation online at the Danish Railways website, see here for instructions.

Using a pass to the Prague & the Czech Republic...

Berlin or Dresden to Prague by EuroCity train:  Reservation is optional on this route, you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  However, it gets very busy in summer (and on Fridays & Sundays all year, for example) so I'd strongly recommend reserving a seat for a few euros fee, using either the German Railways website as explained here or the Czech Railways website as explained here.

Munich to Prague by Munich-Prague express train:  Reservation is optional on this route, you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.

Nuremberg or Frankfurt to Prague via Schwandorf or Cheb:  You can check times from Germany to Prague via these two useful routes at www.cd.cz, clicking Advanced options, then Travel via and then entering Cheb or Schwandorf in the via box.  These routes avoid the need to use any long-distance buses!  On ICE & regional trains you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  The same goes for Czech express trains.  Occasionally the Cheb-Prague connection is a CD SuperCity (SC) trains, reservation compulsory, €7 fee.

Using a pass to Poland...

Berlin to Warsaw, Gdansk or Gdynia by EuroCity train:  Reservation compulsory, fee €4.

Berlin to Stettin by regional train:  No reservation needed, just hop on the train.

Using a pass to Hungary...

Berlin or Dresden to Budapest by EuroCity train:  Reservation is optional on this route, you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  However, it gets very busy in summer (and on Fridays & Sundays at any time of year, for example) so I'd strongly recommend reserving a seat, using either the German Railways website as explained here or the Czech Railways website as explained here.

Munich to Budapest by railjet train:  Reservation is optional on this route, you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  If you want to reserve seat for a few euros fee, use the German Railways website as explained here.

Munich to Budapest by Kalman Imre sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-bed sleeper €54, in 2-bed €74, in single-bed €114, all fine with 2nd class pass.

Using a pass to Slovenia & Croatia...

Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb by daytime train:  Reservation optional, you can just get on and sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.

Munich to Zagreb by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-berth €20, couchette in 4-berth €30, bed in 3-bed sleeper €60, in 2-bed €80, in single-bed €120.  Reservations cannot be made online.

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Great
Britain
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on all 20-odd train operators which make up National Rail, www.nationalrail.co.uk, including LNER, Virgin Trains, Great Western, ScotRail, Transport For Wales Trains, South Western Railways and so on...

It does not cover Transport for London's London Underground or London Overground.

If you live in the UK, remember the limits for using an InterRail pass in your home country.

Help with train times...

About train travel in Britain

About Eurostar from London to Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam

See train times & routes from London to mainland Europe

Using a pass on national trains...

Reservation is optional on long-distance trains, you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.  If you want a reserved seat, you can make a seat reservation for free at any main station usually up to around 2h before the train leaves.  There are almost always places available.  Reservation is neither necessary nor possible on shorter-distance trains, just hop on and show your pass.

The only exception is Caledonian Sleeper & Night Riviera sleeper to Cornwall where reservation is compulsory and a fee is charged.  To use a sleeper between London & Scotland or London & Cornwall you need to pay the sleeper berth supplement, see the Caledonian Sleeper page or the Sleeper to Cornwall page for prices & how to book.

Using a pass to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam...

Eurostar can be used from London, Ebbsfleet or Ashford to Lille, Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam if you pay a special passholder fare, see here for details & how to buy tickets.

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Greece
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on OSE = Greek national railways, www.trainose.gr.  That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by OSE and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from Macedonia, Serbia & Bulgaria run by OSE & the partner railways SZ (Serbia), MK (Macedonia) & BDZ (Bulgaria).

Help with train times...

See train times & routes from Athens

Using a pass on national trains...

InterCity trains including most Athens -Thessaloniki trains:  Reservation compulsory, it's free.  Cannot be done online, just make a reservation at any main station, there are usually places available on most trains even on the day.

Using a pass on international trains...

The supplement for a couchette on the Thessaloniki-Belgrade train (if and when running) is around €8.

Using a pass on the ferries to Italy...

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

2nd class 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. 1st class passes get you an aircraft-style reclining seat.

Alternatively, you can pay extra for a berth in a shared cabin, or for a private cabin with shower & toilet.

Port taxes must be paid, around €7.

There's also a high season supplement to pay, €10 in June or September, €20 in July & August.

Supplement for reclining aircraft-style seat (included with a 1st class pass):  About €16.

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

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Hungary
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on MAV = Hungarian State Railways, www.mav-start.hu.  That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by MAV and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by MAV & the national railways in those countries.

GySev = private operator of regional trains in part of Hungary, www.gysev.hu.

Help with train times...

For train times within Hungary, see www.mav-start.hu.

See international train times & routes from Budapest

Using a pass on national trains...

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

Reservation for domestic journeys on InterCity, EuroCity & railjet trains is compulsory in Hungary, €1.50 to €3.50 fee per seat.

Using a pass on international trains...

Budapest to Vienna by EuroCity, InterCity or railjet trains:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.  You can make an optional seat reservation for around €3 at the Austrian Railways site, see the instructions hereMore information about Vienna to Budapest trains.

Budapest to Salzburg, Innsbruck or Munich by railjet train:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.  You can make an optional seat reservation for around €3 at the Austrian Railways site, see the instructions here.

Budapest to Berlin by EuroCity train:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.  If using the direct EuroCity train you can make an optional seat reservation for around €4.50 at the German Railways site, see the instructions here.

Budapest to Prague by EuroCity train:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.  You can make an optional seat reservation for around €3 at the Czech Railways site, see the instructions here.

Budapest to Prague by sleeper train:  €34 for a couchette in a 6-bunk couchette, €44 for a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €54 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €114 in a single-bed sleeper, €64 for a bed in a 3-berth sleeper with shower & toilet, €94 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper with shower & toilet, €134 in a single-bed sleeper with shower & toilet, all bookable with a 2nd class pass.

Budapest to Munich, Berlin or Zurich by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-bed sleeper €54, in 2-bed €74, in single-bed €114, all can be used with 2nd class pass.

Budapest to Krakow or Warsaw by sleeper train:  €17 for a couchette in a 6-bunk couchette, €32 for a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €44 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €83 in a single-bed sleeper, all bookable with a 2nd class pass.

Budapest to Bucharest by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-bunk compartment €13.40, 4-bunk couchette €20, berth in 3-berth sleeper €28, berth in 2-berth sleeper €42.  Bed in single-bed sleeper (requires 1st class pass) €98.

Budapest to Bucharest & Romania by daytime train:  Reservation optional, if you want a reserved seat it costs €3.

Budapest to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade on the direct trains:  Seat reservations are optional, you can hop on any train, sit in any empty unreserved seat and show your pass when asked.

Budapest to Belgrade by overnight train:  Couchette in 6-berth €8.  Couchette in 4-berth €10.

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Ireland
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on IE = Iarnrod Eireann, Irish republic railways, www.irishrail.ie.

Other pass benefits...

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

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

Using a pass on 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.  For train times see www.irishrail.ie.

Using a pass on international trains...

No supplement on the Enterprise Dublin-Belfast trains.

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Italy
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on Trenitalia = Italian State Railways, www.trenitalia.com.  That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by Trenitalia and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by Trenitalia & its partner railways in those countries.

Passes give unlimited travel on the Milan-Turin-Paris TGVs run by SNCF French Railways, for a fee.

Passes give unlimited travel on Trenord, a consortium of Trenitalia & LeNord which runs local trains north of Milan, but only on routes formerly operated by Trenitalia including Milan-Varenna-Tirano, not on routes formerly operated by LeNord, although there's no easy way to tell which is which! www.trenord.it.

Eurail & InterRail passes don't cover the local Circumvesuviana Railway Naples-Pompeii-Sorrento.

Eurail & InterRail passes don't cover Italo high-speed trains run by private operator NTV running Turin/Milan/Venice-Florence-Rome-Naples in competition with Trenitalia.

Eurail & InterRail passes don't cover the Thello sleeper train Venice-Milan-Paris, other than giving a discount on the most expensive fully-flexible fare you'd pay at short notice.

Help with train times...

For train times within Italy use www.trenitalia.com.

See international train times & routes from Rome

See international train times & routes from Florence

See international train times & routes from Venice

See international train times & routes from Milan

See international train times & routes from Naples

See international train times & routes from Pisa

See international train times & routes from Cinque Terre

Using a pass on national trains...

There are no reservations on regional or regional express trains, you can just get on, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.

However, passholders must pay for a reservation 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.

Sleeper trains within Italy, including those to Sicily:  Couchette in 4-berth €41, bed in 3-bed sleeper €48, bed in 2-bed sleeper €58, single bed sleeper €122.

Passholder reservations for Italian trains can be made in advance online at Italiarail or Trenitalia.com, see the instructions here.

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

Using a pass to Switzerland...

Venice & Milan to Geneva, Zurich, Basel, Bern, Luzern etc. by fast direct EuroCity train:  Seat reservation compulsory, cost €11 in 2nd class, €13 in 1st class.  Passholder reservations can be made online at Italiarail.com or Trenitalia.com following the instructions here.

Milan or Varenna to Tirano, St Moritz, Chur & Zurich via the amazingly scenic Bernina route:  No reservation is needed on the two-hourly Italian regional trains from Milan Centrale to Tirano, just hop on and show your pass.  No reservation needed on the hourly Swiss local trains from Tirano to St Moritz or on the connecting Swiss trains to Chur & Zurich.  Only if you choose to use the special Tirano-Chur Bernina Express panoramic tourist train is a seat reservation compulsory.

Using a pass to Paris, Nice & France...

To Paris by Milan-Turin-Paris TGV...

Reservation compulsory, the passholder fare is a hefty €31 in 2nd class, €45 in 1st class.  You can make passholder reservations at the French Railways website following the instructions here.  Passholder places are quota-controlled, so c an run out even if the train has plenty of seats left.  It may be cheaper to buy a normal ticket, as these start at just €29 2nd class, €46 in 1st class including reservation if you pre-book at www.loco2.com or www.trainline.eu.

To Paris by Thello sleeper train Venice-Verona-Milan-Paris...

Thello didn't used to accept passes at all, but there's now a 25% discount off the full-price Flexi fare if you have a Eurail or InterRail pass covering France or Italy or both.  But you'd only ever buy a Flexi fare if going at short notice.  If booking in advance it's usually much cheaper to forget your pass and just buy a cheap advance-purchase Smart or Go fare without any discount from just €35, see the Thello sleeper train page.

To Nice or Marseille by Thello train Milan-Genoa-Nice-Marseille...

Special passholder fares apply, approx €27 Nice-Genoa, €34 Nice-Milan.  If you have a flexi-type pass you don't need to use up a day.  Without a pass, Nice-Milan only costs €45 full-price or starts at €15 if booked in advance, so it can be cheaper not to use your pass even if you have already bought one!  You can book passholder tickets & check the regular fare to see if its cheaper at www.italiarail.com, it's ticketless, you just quote the booking reference on board the train.

Tip:  No reservation is necessary to use regular Trenitalia Intercity or regional trains from Milan or Genoa to the French border at Ventimiglia then French TER regional trains from Ventimiglia to Monaco and Nice.  It's just not as convenient or fast as using the three daily direct Thello trains.

Using a pass to Austria & Germany...

Venice & Verona to Innsbruck & Munich by EuroCity train:  Reservation compulsory for journeys from Italy, ask for a passholder reservation, €14 in 2nd class, €18 in 1st class for passholders.

Milan to Frankfurt by direct EuroCity train:  Reservation compulsory for journeys from Italy, ask for a passholder reservation, €11 in 2nd class, €13 in 1st class for passholders.

Rome, Florence, Milan or Venice to Munich, Salzburg or Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train:  Seat €14, couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-berth sleeper €54, bed in 2-berth sleeper €74, bed in single-berth sleeper €124, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €94, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €144.  Only a 2nd class ticket or pass is now needed for all Nightjet accommodation types.

You can make passholder reservations on the day or sleeper trains to Salzburg & Vienna (but not to Munich or Innsbruck) online at Trenitalia.com following the instructions here.

Using a pass on the ferries to Greece...

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

2nd class 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. 1st class passes get you an aircraft-style reclining seat.

Alternatively, you can pay extra for a berth in a shared cabin, or for a private cabin with shower & toilet.

Port taxes must be paid, around €7.

There's also a high season supplement to pay, €10 in June or September, €20 in July & August.

Supplement for reclining aircraft-style seat (included with a 1st class pass):  About €16.

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

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Lithuania
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on LG = Lithuanian Railways, www.traukiniobilietas.lt.

Help with train times...

See international train times & routes from Vilnius

Using a pass on national trains...

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

Using a pass on international trains...

Not valid on trains to Belarus or Russia.

Good for the train from Kaunas to Bialystok in Poland.

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Luxembourg
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on CFL = Luxembourg State Railways, www.cfl.lu

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by CFL and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by CFL & the partner railways in those countries, including for example the French Railways TGVs to Paris, the regular Intercity trains to Brussels, regional trains to Strasbourg.

Other pass benefits...

A Eurail or InterRail pass gives free travel on buses run by CFL.

Help with train times...

See international train times & routes from Luxembourg

Using a pass on national trains...

Reservation is neither necessary nor possible on Luxembourg domestic trains, just hop on and sit in any empty seat.

Using a pass on international trains...

To Brussels or Amsterdam by intercity or regional trains:  Reservation neither necessary nor possible, hop on, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.

To Paris by TGV:  Reservation required, €6.

To Trier & Germany by regional train:  Reservation neither necessary nor possible, hop on, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.

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Macedonia
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on MK = Macedonian Railways mzt.mk

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by MK and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from Greece & Serbia run by MK, OSE (Greece) and SZ (Serbia).

At the time I write this all trains linking Greece, Skopje & Serbia are cancelled.

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Montenegro
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on all trains run by ZCG (Railways of Montenegro, www.zcg-prevoz.me). 

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by ZCG and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from Serbia run by ZCG & partner SZ (Serbian Railways).

Using a pass on national & international trains...

A small supplement must be paid on domestic express trains including the international trains to & from Belgrade, but not on purely local trains.

Bar or Podgorica to Belgrade by sleeper train:  Couchette supplement €6 in a 6-berth or €14 in a 4-berth.  Sleeper supplement €15 for a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €20 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €40 for a single-bed sleeper, all bookable with 2nd class pass.

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Netherlands
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on NS = Nederlandse Spoorwegen = Dutch national railways, www.ns.nl.

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by NS and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by NS & its partner railways, including Thalys to Brussels & Paris, the hourly InterCity trains to Brussels run in conjunction with SNCB (Belgian Railways), and the DB (German Railways) trains to Germany.

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

Other pass benefits...

30% reduction on Harwich-Hoek ferries with Stena Line (but you may find an inclusive train&ferry ticket between London and Amsterdam better value and easier to book, see the Netherlands page).

Help with train times...

For train times within the Netherlands use www.ns.nl.

See international train times & routes from Amsterdam

Using a pass on national trains...

Using a railpass within the Netherlands is easy, as reservation is not necessary or even possible on Dutch domestic trains.  You can simply hop on any train, find an empty seat and show your pass when asked.  That goes for the German InterCity & ICE trains too.

If you have a Eurail or InterRail pass, there is no supplement to pay to use the NS domestic Intercity Direct trains between Amsterdam & Rotterdam which use the high-speed line.

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

Using a pass on trains to Brussels & Belgium...

(1)  Using Thalys trains Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp-Brussels:  A special passholder fare applies to the high-speed Thalys trains, €15 in 2nd class or €25 in 1st class.  Passholder places are limited by a quota which can sell out even if the train isn't full - so book sooner rather than later!  You can buy Thalys passholder tickets online at b-europe.com as explained here.  You can avoid the need to pay for a reservation by using the slower InterCity trains instead.

(2)  Using the slower hourly InterCity trains Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp-Brussels:  There's nothing to pay and no reservation needed (or even possible) if you use the slower hourly InterCity trains from Amsterdam & Rotterdam to Antwerp & Brussels, although these take just over 3 hours rather than 2 hours.  Just get on, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.  You can check times at www.b-europe.com (Tip:  Select Direct trains only and look for trains marked IC).

Using a pass on trains to Paris & France...

A special passholder fare applies to the high-speed Thalys trains, €25 in 2nd class or €35 in 1st class.  Passholder places on Thalys are limited by a quota which can sell out even if the train isn't full - so book sooner rather than later!

Using a pass on trains to Berlin, Cologne & Germany...

Seat reservation is optional on the IC & ICE trains from Amsterdam to Germany.  You can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  If you want to reserve seat for a few euros fee, you can do that using the German Railways website as explained here.

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Norway
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on NSB = Norwegian State Railways, www.nsb.no

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by NSB and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from Sweden run by NSB & SJ (Swedish railways).

Other pass benefits...

Discount fares on Color Line ferries (including Oslo-Kiel in Germany)

50% discount on many regional bus services

30% discount on the Flεm Railway.

Help with train times...

For train times within Norway use www.nsb.no.

See international train times & routes from Oslo

Using a pass on national trains...

Reservation is optional on Norwegian long-distance trains, NOK 50 (around €6).  You can make passholder reservations within Norway online at www.acprail.com.

Sleeper trains within Norway:  €102.60 for a private sleeper with 1 or 2 beds, per compartment.

Using a pass on international trains...

Oslo to Stockholm by Swedish X2000 train:  Reservation compulsory, €6.60 in 2nd class, €16 in 1st class.  You can make passholder reservations within Norway online at www.acprail.com.

Oslo to Gothenburg by Norwegian train:  Reservation optional, €5.40 if you want a reserved seat.  If you have a 1st class pass you can get a reserved seat in NSB Komfort (= 1st class) for free if you make the reservation an any Norwegian station.

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Poland
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on PKP InterCity = Polish Railways long distance division, www.intercity.pl.

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by PKP InterCity and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by PKP InterCity & its partner railways in those countries.

Passes also give unlimited travel on:

PKP Przewozy Regionalne = Polish Railways regional trains, http://rozklad-pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en.

Koleje Dolnośląskie = some local trains around Wroclaw in lower Silesia.

Szybka Kolej Miejska (SKM) = some regional trains around Gdynia.

 

InterRail passes are not valid on...

Kulturzug regional train Berlin-Wroclaw.

Koleje Mazowieckie = some local trains around Warsaw, but not their Słoneczny train.

Koleje Śląskie = some local trans in Silesia.

Koleje Wielkopolskie = some local trains around Poznan.

Arriva = a few privatised regional trains around Bydgoszcz/Torun/Gdansk.

The international trains to Ukraine, Belarus, Russia.

The Russian international sleeper trains passing through Poland towards Berlin & Paris.

Help with train times...

For train times within Poland use www.intercity.pl.

See international train times & routes from Warsaw

See international train times & routes from Krakow

Using a pass on national trains...

No supplement to pay for local or regional trains.

Express InterCity Premium (EIP) trains, operated by new pendolino trains:  Reservation compulsory, €10 supplement + free reservation if made at a station in Poland, or €10 supplement + €3.50 reservation if made outside Poland.

Express InterCity (EIC), InterCity (IC), Twoje Linie Kolejowe (TLK) & most EuroCity (EC) trains:  Reservation compulsory, at no extra charge if made locally at a station in Poland.  €3.50 if made outside Poland.

Polish domestic journeys made on Warsaw-Berlin EuroCity trains:  Reservation compulsory, €3-€4.

Sleeper trains within Poland:  Couchette in 6-berth compartment €14, couchette in 4-berth compartment €16, bed in 3-bed sleeper €18.50, bed in 2-bed sleeper €37, single-bed sleeper €70, all fine with 2nd class pass.

Using a pass to Berlin & Germany...

Warsaw, Poznan, Gdynia or Gdansk to Berlin by Warsaw-Berlin EuroCity train:  Reservation compulsory, fee €4.  This cannot be done online, make it at the station, there almost always places available.

Using a pass to Prague, Vienna or Budapest...

Warsaw or Krakow to Prague, Vienna or Budapest by EuroCity train:  Reservation required, €3.50.  This cannot be done online, make it at the station, there are almost always places available.

Warsaw or Krakow to Budapest by EuroNight sleeper train:  €17 for a couchette in a 6-bunk couchette, €32 for a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €44 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €83 in a single-bed sleeper, €55 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper with shower & toilet, €93 in a single-bed sleeper with shower & toilet, all bookable with a 2nd class pass.

Warsaw or Krakow to Prague by EuroNight sleeper train:  €13.40 per person in 6-bunk couchette, €?? in 4-bunk couchette, bed in 3-bed sleeper €20, bed in  2-bed sleeper €30, bed in single-bed sleeper €70, bed in 2-bed sleeper with shower & toilet €??, bed in single-bed sleeper with shower & toilet €80.  You can make a couchette or sleeper reservation to go with your pass online at the CD website, see the instructions here.

Warsaw or Krakow to Vienna by EuroNight sleeper train:  €29 for a couchette in 6-berth, €39 for a couchette in 4-berth, €44 for a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €59 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €119 for a bed in a single-bed sleeper, €79 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper with shower & toilet, €139 for a bed in a single-bed sleeper with shower & toilet (all fine with 2nd class pass).

Krakow to Prague by Leo Express (see timetable here):  Small reservation fee, amount not known.  I suggest you talk to Leo Express staff on board the train.

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Portugal
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on CP = Portuguese national railways, www.cp.pt

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by CP and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from Spain and the French border run by CP & its partner Renfe (Spanish railways).

Help with train times...

For train times within Portugal see www.cp.pt.

See international train times & routes from Lisbon

See international train times & routes from Porto

See international train times & routes from Faro & the Algarve

Using a pass on national trains...

No supplement to pay on local or InterRegional trains.

InterCity trains, for example Lisbon - Faro:  Reservation required, €5.

Alfa Pendular fast tilting trains, for example Lisbon - Porto:  Reservation required, €5.

Reservations for Portuguese trains can't be made from outside Portugal, so just make them at any main station when you get there, there are almost always places available.

Using a pass on international trains......

Lisbon to Madrid:  Special passholder fares apply to the Lusitania' trainhotel Lisbon-Madrid:  Seat €7, bed in 4-berth sleeper €29.50, 2-berth sleeper €44.50 per person, 1-berth sleeper €88, 2-bed Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €58.50 per person, single-berth Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €117.

Lisbon to San Sebastian & Paris:  Special passholder fares apply to the Sud Express from Lisbon to San Sebastian & Hendaye (for the connecting TGV to Paris):  Seat €7, bed in 4-berth sleeper €29.50, 2-berth sleeper €44.50 per person, 1-berth sleeper €88, 2-bed Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €58.50 per person, single-berth Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €117.  Reservation is also required for the TGV from Hendaye to Paris, €10 rising to €20 when the €10 reservations sell out.

Porto-Vigo by express regional train:  You must ask for a seat reservation at the station before boarding, free of charge.

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Romania
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on CFR = Romanian National Railways, www.cfrcalatori.ro

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by CFR and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries jointly run by CFR & the national railways in those countries.

Help with train times...

See international train times & routes from Bucharest

Using a pass on national trains...

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

Using a pass on international trains...

Reservation is compulsory on all international trains from Romania.

Bucharest or Brasov to Budapest by daytime trains:  Reservation optional, if you want a reserved seat it costs €3.

Bucharest to Budapest or Vienna by sleeper train:  Reservation required, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €13.40, couchette in 4-bunk couchette €20, berth in 3-berth sleeper €28, berth in 2-berth sleeper €42.  Bed in single-bed sleeper (requires 1st class pass) €98.

Bucharest to Istanbul by sleeper train (runs direct in summer only):  €14 supplement for a couchette in 4-berth compartment.

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Serbia
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on ZS = Serbian Railways, www.serbianrailways.com

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by ZS and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run jointly by ZS & the national railways in those countries.

Help with train times...

See international train times & routes from Belgrade

Using a pass on national trains...

Reservation optional on express trains, for €0.90.

Using a pass on national trains...

Reservation is optional on the Belgrade-Budapest & Belgrade-Zagreb-Ljubljana trains, you can just get on and show your pass when asked.  If you want a reserved seat you can do this at the station for a few euros.

Belgrade to Budapest by sleeper train:  Couchette supplement €8 in a 6-berth or €10 in a 4-berth.

Belgrade to Podgorica or Bar by sleeper train:  Couchette supplement €6 in a 6-berth or €14 in a 4-berth.  Sleeper supplement €15 for a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €20 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €40 for a single-bed sleeper, all bookable with 2nd class pass.

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Slovakia
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on ZSSK = Slovak Railways, www.slovakrail.sk

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by ZSSK and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run jointly by ZSSK & the national railways in those countries.

Passes now good for Regiojet trains (www.regiojet.com) for a small reservation fee.

Help with train times...

See international train times & routes from Bratislava

Using a pass on national trains...

Seat reservation is compulsory on all InterCity & EuroCity trains, the cost varies between €3-€9 in 2nd class or €7-€13 in 1st class depending on distance.

Using a pass on international trains...

Seat reservation is compulsory on all InterCity and EuroCity trains, fee €3.

Seat reservation is compulsory on SuperCity tilting trains from Kosice & Poprad Tatry to Ostrava & Prague, €7.

Bratislava or elsewhere in Slovakia to Prague by Regiojet train (www.regiojet.com).  Reservation required, €3 in Standard, €5 in Relax or (with a 1st class pass) €10 in Business.

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Slovenia
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on SZ = Slovenian railways, www.slo-zeleznice.si.

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by SZ and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run by SZ & the national railways in those countries.

Help with train times...

See international train times & routes from Ljubljana

Using a pass on national trains...

Seat reservation is compulsory on all ICS trains, costing between €2-€4 depending on distance.

Using a pass on international trains......

Ljubljana to Innsbruck or Munich by EuroCity train:  Reservation optional, you can just get on and show your pass when asked.  If you want a reserved seat you can make this for around €4.50 at the German Railways website as shown here.

Ljubljana to Vienna by EuroCity train:  Reservation optional, you can just get on and show your pass when asked.  If you want a reserved seat you can make this for around €3 at the Austrian Railways website as shown here.

Ljubljana to Budapest by train:  Reservation optional, you can just get on and show your pass when asked.

Ljubljana to Zagreb & Belgrade:  Reservation optional, you can just get on and show your pass when asked.

Ljubljana to Zurich by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-bed sleeper €54, in 2-bed €74, in single-bed €114.  Reservations cannot be made online.

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Spain
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on Renfe = Spanish national railways, www.renfe.com

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by Renfe and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from France & Portugal run jointly by Renfe & the national railways SNCF (France) and CP (Portugal).

FEVE = runs narrow-gauge local trains in northern Spain around Bilbao, Gijσn, Leσn & Santander, it's now part of Renfe, www.renfe.com/viajeros/feve.

InterRail passes do not cover Euskotren (www.euskotren.eus) which runs narrow gauge trains Hendaye-Irun-San Sebastian-Bilbao.

There is no longer any pass 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.

Help with train times...

For train times within Spain use www.renfe.com or www.loco2.com.

See international train times & routes from Barcelona

See international train times & routes from San Sebastian

See international train times & routes from Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Granada, Seville, Malaga

Using a pass on national trains...

Rail fares in Spain are very cheap, but if you have an Eurail or InterRail pass, every Spanish long-distance train requires you to make a reservation and pay a passholder reservation fee, 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 any fee or seat reservation are suburban trains (cercanias) around the big cities, which also includes the rural Barcelona-Latour de Carol route.

AVE high speed trains (Madrid to Seville, Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga, Barcelona): 

€10 in 2nd class, €23.50 in 1st class - 1st class includes drinks & meal on weekdays.

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.

Avant high-speed trains for short distances:  €4 per seat.

Talgo, Alvia, Arco & most other long distance trains:  €6.50 in 2nd class or €10 in 1st class.

TRD, MD:  Unusually, even many shorter-distance regional trains in Spain such require a seat reservation:  €4 per seat.

Trenhotel overnight trains:  With 2nd class pass, reclining seat €3 , bed in 4-berth sleeper €35.  With 1st class pass, bed in 2-berth sleeper €59 per person, single-berth sleeper €111, bed in 2-berth Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €75.70, single bed Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €141.40.

Using a pass on trains to France...

Barcelona to Paris by TGV:  Reservation required, €34 in 2nd class, €48 in 1st class.

Madrid or Barcelona to Marseille by AVE:  Reservation required, €34 in 2nd class, €48 in 1st class.

Barcelona to Lyon by AVE:  Reservation required, €19 in 2nd class, €26 in 1st class.

Barcelona to Toulouse by AVE:  Reservation required, €15 in 2nd class, €20 in 1st class. 

Important:  There is a limited quota for passholder places on all the France-Spain TGV & AVE trains, passholder places can run out even if there are plenty of seats left.  Passholder places cannot be booked online.  If you can book well in advance, consider buying a normal advance-purchase ticket instead, it makes little sense buy a pass to use these trains.

How to avoid fees:  There are no fees to pay or reservations required on the local route from Barcelona to Latour de Carol and onwards to Toulouse, see here.

Using a pass on trains to Portugal...

Madrid to Lisbon by Trainhotel Lusitania sleeper train: 

Seat €7, bed in 4-berth sleeper €29.50, 2-berth sleeper €44.50 per person, single-berth sleeper €88, 2-bed Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €58.50 per person, single-berth Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €117.  There is no way to book these online, only at stations or by calling an agency and paying their booking fee on top.

Irun or San Sebastian to Lisbon by Sud Express sleeper train: 

Seat €7, bed in 4-berth sleeper €29.50, 2-berth sleeper €44.50 per person, 1-berth sleeper €88, 2-bed Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €58.50 per person, single-berth Gran Clase sleeper with shower & toilet €117.  There is no way to book these online, only at stations or by calling an agency and paying their booking fee on top.

Vigo to Porto by express regional train:  You must ask for a seat reservation at the station before boarding, free of charge.

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Sweden
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on SJ = Swedish national railways www.sj.se, which runs most Swedish mainline trains. 

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by SJ and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from Denmark & Norway run by SJ & its partner railways in those countries.

Passes also give unlimited travel on:

Φresundstεg = operator of local trains linking Copenhagen, Malmo, Gothenburg.

Arlanda Express airport rail link.

Inlandsbanen private local railway up the inner spine of Sweden.

Snδlltεget = private operator running Malmo-Stockholm & Malmo-Berlin, www.snalltaget.se.

Local operators Arriva, Krφsatεg, Norrtεg, Skεnetrafiken, Vδrmlandstrafik, Vδsttrafik.

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).

Passes do not cover private operator MTR running Stockholm-Gothenburg trains in competition with SJ, https://mtrexpress.se/en.

Other pass benefits...

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

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

Help with train times...

For train times within Sweden use www.sj.se.

See international train times & routes from Stockholm

Using a pass on national trains...

X2000 tilting trains, for example, Stockholm-Gothenburg or Stockholm-Malmφ:  Reservation compulsory, fee €7 in 2nd class or €17 in 1st class (includes a light meal in 1st class).

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

Sleeper trains within Sweden:  Seat €3, couchette in 6-bunk compartment €20, bed in 3-bed sleeper with washbasin €40, bed in 2-bed sleeper with toilet & shower €50, single-bed sleeper with toilet & shower €75.

Snδlltεget (private competitor to SJ) Malmo-Stockholm:  Reservation required, €5 in 2nd class, €15 in 1st class.

Using a pass on international trains...

Stockholm to Copenhagen by X2000:  Reservation compulsory, €6.60 in 2nd class, €16 in 1st class.

Stockholm to Oslo by X2000 train:  Reservation compulsory, €6.60 in 2nd class, €16 in 1st class.

Gothenburg to Oslo:  Reservation optional.  You can just get on and sit in any empty unreserved seat.

Gothenburg & Malmo to Copenhagen by regular Oresund train:  Reservation neither necessary nor possible, just get on, sit anywhere you like and show your pass when asked.

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!).

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Switzerland
 

What's covered?

Eurail & InterRail passes give unlimited travel on SBB = Swiss Federal Railways www.sbb.ch which runs most inter-city main lines. 

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by SBB and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from neighbouring countries run jointly by SBB & the national railways in those countries.

Tip:  If you are also visiting Paris or Italy, combining a one-country pass for Switzerland with regular cheap advance-purchase tickets between Paris & Switzerland or between Switzerland & Italy as this is often cheaper than buying a global pass and paying reservation fees for the international trains.  It's a good idea to do the maths!

Which Swiss railways offer free travel & which only give a discount?

The easiest way to understand is to see this map of Switzerland's rail network.  Solid red line = free travel with a Eurail or InterRail pass.  Dotted red line = Discount on regular fares give to passholders.  Grey lines (if within Switzerland) = no free travel or discount.  Common mistake:  The dashed red lines are tunnels, not to be confused with the dotted red lines!

The Glacier Express route from Zermatt to St Moritz is part run by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) and part by the Rhδtische Bahn (RhB) both now covered by Eurail & InterRail passes.  How to make an online reservation for the Glacier Express if you have a railpass.

The Bernina Express route Chur-St Moritz-Tirano is entirely run by RhB, so covered by Eurail & InterRail.  How to make an online reservation for the Bernina Express if you have a railpass.

InterRail passes give free travel on these private railways:

AB Appenzeller Bahnen

ASM Aare Seeland Mobil

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

CJ Chemins de fer du Jura

FART Ferrovie Autolinee Regionall Ticinesi

FB Forchbahn

LEB Lausanne - Echallens - Bercher

MBC Biθre - Apples - Morges

MGB Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn - new from 2017!

MOB Montreux Oberland Bernois

MVR Transports Montreux - Vevey - Riviera

NStCM Chemin de Fer Nyon - St-Cergue - Morez

RA RegionAlps Martigny - Orsiθres / Le Chΰble

RBS Regionalverkehr Bern Solothurn

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

SOB Sudostbahn

SOB-bt Bodensee Toggenburg Bahn

SSIF Societa Subalpina di Imprese Ferroviarie

THURBO Mittelthrugau Bahn

TMR Martigny - Chβtelard

TPC Transports publics du Chablais
TPF Transports publics Fribourgeois

TRAVYS SA

TRN Transports rιgionaux Neuchβtelois

Voralpen Express

WB Waldenburgerbahn
WSB Wynental & Suhrentalbahn

ZB Centralbahn

InterRail holders get 24% or 50% discount on these other private train & bus services:

BB Kehrsiten - Bόrgenstock

BET Bergbahnen Engelberg to Titlis

JB Jungfraubahn - see the train up the Jungfrau page.
LAF Luftseilbahn Adliswil - Felsenegg
PB Pilatusbahn (Alpnachstad-Pilatus Kulm/Kriens-Frδkmόntegg-Pil. Kulm)
RB Rigi-Bahn
SMF-lsm Stφckalp - Melchsee - Frutt
SMtS St-Imier - Mont-Soleil
SthB Stanserhornbahn
SZU Sihltal - Zόrich - Uetliberg

Help with train times...

Check train times in Switzerland at www.sbb.ch - their journey planner covers all operators, not just SBB.

See international train times & routes from Switzerland

Using a pass on national trains...

Using a Eurail or InterRail pass in Switzerland is easy, as seat reservations are not required for any journey wholly within Switzerland, you just hop on, sit in any empty seat and show your pass when asked.  This even goes for international TGV-Lyria and ICE trains on the Swiss domestic part of their journey, where they form part of the regular-interval Swiss domestic train service.

There are only a handful of exceptions, you must pay to make a seat reservation for certain narrow-gauge tourist-orientated panoramic trains, including the famous Glacier Express between Zermatt & St Moritz, the Bernina Express between Chur, St Moritz & Tirano, the Gotthard Panoramic Express, and the Golden Pass Panoramic trains between Montreux & Zweisimmen.  How to make an online reservation for the Glacier Express if you have a railpass How to make an online reservation for the Bernina Express if you have a railpass.

Using a pass to Paris & France...

Switzerland to Paris by TGV-Lyria high-speed trains:  A special passholder fare must be paid, a whopping €35 in 2nd class, €68 in 1st class from Basel, Bern or Zurich to Paris, or €27 in 2nd class, €57 in 1st class from Geneva to Paris, or €21 in 2nd class, €54 in 1st class from Lausanne to Paris, although places shouldn't run out as they're taken from the full-fare quota.  If you can book 2-3 months ahead, a regular advance-purchase ticket booked at www.trainline.eu can be just as cheap or cheaper than using a pass, even if you've already bought the pass.

Tip:  If you're happy paying the TGV-Lyria reservation fee, fine.  But if not, or if the passholder places have sold out, you can travel from Switzerland to Paris avoiding TGV-Lyria by taking a TER regional train from Basel SBB to Mulhouse (no reservation required) then an Intercitι from Mulhouse to Paris (compulsory reservation, €6 fee but no quota).  You can find times using www.loco2.com.  Similarly, you can take a TER regional train Geneva to Lyon (no reservation required & no fees) then use one of several TER Lyon-Paris trains (no reservation required, no fees, but they take 5h rather than 2h by TGV).  You can find Geneva-Lyon & Lyon-Paris TER times using www.loco2.com looking carefully in the search results.

Geneva to Lyon, Basel to Mulhouse & Strasbourg by TER regional train:  No reservation necessary or possible, hop on, find any empty seat & show your pass when asked.

Using a pass to Italy...

Zurich, Basel, Bern, Luzern, Lugano, Geneva to Milan by EuroCity train:  Reservation compulsory, fee €11 in 2nd class, €13 in 1st class.  Passholder reservations can be made online at Italiarail.com or Trenitalia.com following the instructions below.

Zurich, Chur & St Moritz to Varenna & Milan via the scenic Bernina route:  No reservation is needed on the regular hourly Swiss local trains to Tirano, just hop on and show your pass.  No reservation needed on the two-hourly Italian regional train from Tirano to Milan.  Only if you choose to use the Chur-Tirano Bernina Express panoramic train is a seat reservation compulsory.

Using a pass to Austria...

Zurich to Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna by railjet train:  Reservation is optional, you can hop on any train and show your pass, nothing more to pay unless you want a reserved seat.  You can make an optional seat reservation for a few euros at the Austrian Railways site (see the instructions here).  This is a good idea as it's a long journey, especially at busy times such as Friday or Sunday afternoons.  This is a lovely journey via the scenic Arlberg Pass, see the information on the Arlberg Railway page.

Using a pass to Germany...

By daytime train:  Various InterCity, ICE & EuroCity trans link Germany with Switzerland.  Reservation is optional on all these trains, so you can just hop on, sit in any empty unreserved seat & show your pass when asked.  If you want to reserve a seat for a few euros fee, use the German Railways website as explained here.

By Nightjet sleeper train from Zurich or Basel to Berlin or Hamburg (per person):  Seat €14, couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-berth sleeper €54, bed in 2-berth sleeper €74, bed in single-berth sleeper €124, berth in 2-berth deluxe sleeper €94, berth in single-berth deluxe sleeper €144.  Only a 2nd class ticket or pass is now needed for all Nightjet accommodation types.  This cannot be made online.

Using a pass to Prague...

Zurich to Prague by EuroNight sleeping-car:  With 2nd class pass, bed in 3-berth sleeper €45, bed in 2-berth sleeper €58, bed in single-berth sleeper €110.  With 1st class pass, bed in 3-berth deluxe sleeper with shower & toilet €45, bed in 2-berth deluxe sleeper with shower & toilet €58, bed in single-bed deluxe sleeper with shower & toilet €110.

Passholder reservations for this train cannot be made online, so call a European rail ticketing agency or book at a station.  Tip:  If you can book a month or two in advance you might find it less hassle to just buy a complete ticket at www.cd.cz, as the cheapest advance-purchase fare including a bed in a sleeper can be the same as you'd for the sleeper supplement to go with a pass.

Zurich to Prague by daytime trains with a change at Munich or Linz:  None of the daytime trains Zurich-Linz, Linz-Prague or Zurich-Munich, Munich-Prague require reservations, you can just hop on and show your pass when asked.  Seat reservations are optional, reservations from Linz or Munich to Prague can be made at the Czech Railways website as shown here.  Seat reservations Zurich-Munich can be made as shown here, reservations from Zurich to Linz can be made as shown here.

Using a pass to Slovenia & Croatia...

Zurich to Ljubljana & Zagreb by sleeper train:  Couchette in 6-berth €34, couchette in 4-berth €44, bed in 3-bed sleeper €54, in 2-bed €74, in single-bed €114.  Reservations cannot be made online.

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Turkey
 

What's covered?

InterRail & Eurail passes give unlimited travel on TCDD = Turkish Railways www.tcdd.gov.tr.

That includes all domestic local & mainline trains run by TCDD in both European & Asian Turkey and (if you've a global pass) international trains to or from Bulgaria & Romania run jointly by TCDD & its partner railways BDZ (Bulgaria) and CFR (Romania).

Help with train times...

See international train times & routes from Istanbul

See train times for key domestic routes within Turkey.

Using a pass on national trains...

Reservations are required for all long distance & high-speed trains within Turkey, but reservations are free unless you want a sleeper, for which a charge is made.  Reservations cannot be made online or from outside Turkey, just make a free reservation at any main station when you get to Turkey.

Using a pass on international trains...

Istanbul to Sofia by sleeper train:  €10 supplement for a couchette in 4-berth compartment or €15 supplement for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper.  If you have a 1st class pass, a single-bed sleeper all to yourself costs €35.

Istanbul to Bucharest by sleeper train (summer only):  €14 supplement for a couchette in 4-berth compartment.

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How to make reservations...

Some train operator websites allow reservation-only bookings for passholders, many don't.  And even if they do, it works for some routes not others.  Here's a list of those that do.

Eurostar London-Paris/Brussels...

How to make reservations at the French Railways website...

How to make Thalys reservations at the Belgian Railways website...

How to make reservations at the Trenitalia website...

How to make reservations at the German Railways (DB) website...

How to make reservations at the Austrian Railways (ΦBB) website...

How to make reservations at the Czech Railways (CD) website...

How to make reservations at the Danish Railways (DSB) website...


Booking your hotels...

Tips for booking hotels in Europe...

    

Favourite hotel search & price comparison: hotelscombined.com

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

Favourite hotel booking site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotels sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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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, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        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 ww.nhs.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for 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.


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