While airplanes are the fastest mean of transport out there, there’s something romantic and unique about trains that place them in a different category altogether. Naturally, when we think of trains, we tend to drift towards those ancient coal-chugging steel behemoths, but nowadays, modern bullet trains can reach insane speeds. If you’ve ever visited Japan, you know what I’m talking about.
However, Japan is not the only place where trains are very popular. In Europe, multi-country rail passes might be your best option to go through an amazing adventure. We decided to take a closer look at this service, and now, we’ll give you a quick rundown of some of the most important information regarding this interesting topic. Let’s begin!
Why you need to travel Europe by train
Before we get started with your options, let’s have a quick word on what makes trains so cool. Europe is not a large continent, and yet, it has a huge number of states and different cultures crammed into that small space. This is an extremely important information, as travelers taking the plane will be forced to spend tons of time stuck in airports, thus negating the time difference they saved earlier. On the other hand, those taking the train will also be a lot more comfortable, having plenty of time to relax and enjoy with a great meal, while looking at a terrific scenery along the way.
Don’t think that we’ve forgotten about cars either. Renting a car in order to travel across Europe is a definite possibility, but you’ll have to be willing to hike if you do so. A lot! You see, most European capitals are pretty old, and due to being heavily populated nowadays, their governments decided to ban the use of cars inside busy city centers. However, railways almost always go through the very heart of the cities, allowing for easy transport.
Best options for European nomads
If you are a resident of this wonderful continent, but still have a strong desire to explore the unknown, Global InterRail pass is your best option. This is especially true for travelers under the age of 28, as they can apply for the youth pass, which is a complete bargain at £437. However, if you are older than that (aged 28-59,) you’ll have to pay £599 in order to use this service every day. Children under the age of 12 get to enjoy it free of charge! Pay attention that these prices are set for 2nd class, while the 1st class will set you back some more. Despite that, I dare you to find a cheaper way of exploring the whole continent, while traveling any time you feel like it. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
The countries included in the deal involve some of the most popular tourist destinations on the continent, such as France, Spain, Russia, Portugal, Greece, Netherlands, and many more. InterRail passes became a thing way back in 1972, but are still going strong till this day. Let’s hope that trend continues in the future as well.
What you need to know if you’re not from Europe
In case your place of residence is somewhere outside Europe, your best option is the Eurail Global pass. This is not a single company, though, rather the brand name of the service provided by 26 European national train operators. Still, there’s one thing that's absolutely vital, if you’re planning on using this pass. You’ll need to acquire it ahead of time, as it’s not possible to obtain a Eurail pass once you get there.
Now, many international travelers choose to buy single point-to-point tickets instead of a Eurail pass, as it can be a cheaper option. Truth be told, you won’t save a ton of money either way, so why not relax, and explore this amazing continent without the unnecessary hassle? Moreover, if you have kids, Eurail pass is the way to go, as they get to travel with you free of charge. Not all tourists are planning on visiting 26 different countries at once, but luckily, Eurail Selectpass is the perfect solution in that case. It allows you to choose up to 4 neighboring counties, and travel there, at reduced prices. Similar to InterRail pass, Eurail pass also has 1st and 2nd class. Armed with this knowledge, you are now ready to embrace this adventure head on. Go for it! Trust me, you won’t regret it!