An Interrail Pass offers unlimited train travel across Europe – 33 countries, and over 40,000 destinations to be precise! Choose between a Global Pass for cross-border travel and a One Country Pass for unlimited travel in a nominated country.
Interrail Passes can only be used by European citizens and permanent residents of Europe. You’ll find the full list of participating countries below, plus loads of other useful information.
If you’re a UK resident, Brexit won’t affect the Interrail Pass. You’ll still be able to purchase and use one as normal after 1 January 2021.
Think of this as your European Rail Pass. Global Pass options range from 3 days of travel in a month to 3 months of unlimited travel. The pass is valid in 33 countries for travel to over 40,000 destinations.
This pass offers unlimited rail travel in one country. Available as a 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8-day pass, the One Country Pass can be used in 33 countries, including Italy, France and Switzerland. Prices vary between countries.
Interrail Passes are paper passes; they’ll be sent to you via registered mail. You’ll also receive a guide on how to use your pass and a railway map.
Your pass allows you one outbound (and one inbound journey) in your country of origin, so you can begin travelling as soon as it arrives in the post! Say you’re travelling from London – you could use your pass for a train to Gatwick Airport, or a Eurostar journey to France from St Pancras. Your pass’ validity period begins as soon as you take that first journey.
Your Interrail Pass will have two sections that need filling out as you travel:
Doing the above validates your Interrail Pass and means you won’t get in trouble with the ticket inspector!
High-speed trains, overnight trains and panoramic trains (like the famous Bernina Express) usually require a seat reservation, which will come at an additional cost. This can be as little as €3, but can reach up to €25 for a seat reservation on pricey trains. The following countries aren’t as Interrail friendly as they almost always require a seat reservation in advance:
The Interrail Planner app will tell you whether your train needs a seat reservation. However, you won’t always be able to pay for your seat reservation through the app. Some train operators don’t integrate with the Interrail app, so your best bet is to book your seat reservation in person at the station. Download the app on the App Store and Google Play.
You can also use Interrail's online portal for seat reservations in certain countries. Check that out here.
There are two types of Global Pass: Flexi and Continuous.
Flexi passes offer a set number of travel days in a given time period (1 or 2 months). On your travel days, you can take as many trains as you like. You mark down the dates of each of your travel days on the Travel Calendar in your pass, and the details of each individual journey in your Travel Diary.
Continuous passes offer unlimited travel within a period of validity, which ranges from 15 days to 3 months. You don’t have travel days to ‘spend’; a Continuous pass acts as an unlimited European train pass.
*Prices correct August 2020
One Country Passes are available for 33 countries.
The One Country Pass offers unlimited train travel in one country for a certain number of days in a month. Just like the Flexi passes, you’ll have a set number of travel days to use within a month. Choose between 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 days of unlimited train travel.
Italy Interrail Passes are now available on mobile. Totally paper-free, you won’t have to worry about damaging or losing your pass – provided you keep hold of your phone! You won’t have to manually note down each trip; simply add your journey straight from the Interrail Rail Planner app to make the ticket inspector’s job that much easier. Find out more about Mobile Passes for Italy.
Get up to 25% off a full-price Global Pass if you’re under 27, and 10% off if you’re over 60. Plus, kids under 11 travel free with parents.
Get 25% off the price of an adult Global Pass if you’re under 27 years old. Available for First and Second Class passes.
Get 10% off the price of an adult Global Pass if you’re over 60 years old. Available for First and Second Class passes.
Kids aged 11 and under can travel for free when accompanied by an adult (travelling with an Adult Pass or Senior Pass).
Generally speaking, you won’t need to make a seat reservation when travelling on local, suburban or regional trains. By contrast, you’ll need to make a reservation and pay an additional fee to travel on most high-speed (e.g. AVE, TGV, Frecciarossa), panoramic and sleeper trains.
You need to activate your Interrail Pass within 11 months of the issue date. You can do this online using Interrail’s free activation service at checkout, or at a European station (still free of charge) once you’ve received your Interrail Pass.
Children under 4 travel for free and don’t need an Interrail Pass. On crowded trains, parents may be asked to put the child on their lap, as they’re not guaranteed their own seat. If you’d like a seat for your child, you must reserve it in advance by getting a free Interrail Child Pass. You can get 2 free Interrail Child Passes (for children aged 0-11) with your Interrail Adult Pass.
Children aged 4-11 also travel for free – they’ll just need a free Interrail Child Pass. A maximum of two children can travel for free with one adult. If more than two children are travelling with one adult, a separate Youth Pass needs to be purchased for the additional children.
Buying an Interrail Pass really depends on your travel plans. If you want to enjoy unlimited and flexible travel across one or more countries, and your itinerary includes plenty of train travel, then an Interrail Pass is certainly the best option for you. On the other hand, if you’re happy with a few short train rides or your dates are fixed, you may find it cheaper to buy point-to-point tickets in advance.
You can buy a One Country Pass for the following countries:
Flexi Passes start from £168 and Continuous Passes start from £302.
Here are the latest prices (Standard Class) for the Flexi passes, correct as of August 2020:
|Pass type||Youth (12-27)||Adult (28-59)||Senior (60+)|
|4 days in 1 month||£168||£224||£201|
|5 days in 1 month||£193||£257||£231|
|7 days in 1 month||£228||£305||£275|
|10 days in 2 months||£274||£365||£329|
|15 days in 2 months||£337||£449||£404|
Here are the latest prices for the Continuous passes, correct as of August 2020:
|Pass type||Youth (12-27)||Adult (28-59)||Senior (60+)|
Louisa Johns | Travel writer
I bought an InterRail pass to spend three weeks travelling to/from and around Italy with my cousin. There are a few different passes that you can buy that last different lengths of time and allow you to travel for different numbers of days – we went for a pass that let us travel for up to 10 days over three weeks.
You weren't able to use an InterRail pass in your own country at the time of writing (you can now), so to start the journey we first had to buy Eurostar tickets to get us to Paris. If you book ahead, you can usually find cheap Eurostar tickets. To get down into Italy, we got a sleeper train from Paris to Nice at no extra cost, before getting a local scenic train along the coast and through to Ventimiglia in Italy, where we changed on to a faster train to Milan. The sleeper was great fun, saving us a night’s accommodation cost as well as meaning we had more time during the day to actually explore where we were going. Different sleeper trains offer a variety of carriages to choose between but for the cheaper berths be prepared to share with others if there are fewer than four of you travelling together.
We used a wide variety of trains to city-hop around Italy, from high-speed trains to Rome (which go up to 300kph) to local lines for day trips between Florence and Pisa. Unsurprisingly the longer, faster trains were a lot comfier and it’s definitely worth booking seat reservations in advance to make sure you’re not going to be standing. As we knew where we were going we could do this from the UK but ticket offices in Europe will also allow you to make reservations. On the way back due to a delayed train, we missed our connection, but the ticket office was really helpful in swapping our reservation to a later train.
The European rail network is really easy to navigate, and we really enjoyed taking our time travelling around getting to see some of the countryside instead of simply flying over it. City-hopping was really easy and the pass can be used for many different types of trips - if you want to change your journey as you go, or stay a few extra days anywhere it’s not a problem, but equally, it works for those who like planning their journeys in advance.