Inter-Railing Around Europe

If you fancy spending you summer Inter-railing round France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and more, we can reliably inform you that it's an amazing experience. With just one little ticket, you can travel freely on Europe's trains for up to a month, stopping off to visit the continent's bustling cities, sun-soaked beaches, mountainside villages and much more.

How It Works

The Inter-rail ticket functions on an eight-zone system:

Zone A: Republic of Ireland.
Zone B: Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Zone C: Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Zone D: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Zone E: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg.
Zone F: Spain, Portugal, Morocco.
Zone G: Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Turkey, Attica ferry services between Italy and Greece.
Zone H: Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Romania.

There are three ticket duration and zone combinations you can choose. A one-month ticket covering all of these zones, a 22-day ticket covering two zones, or a 16-day ticket covering one zone. Inter-railers aren't permitted to travel with their pass in their own country of residence, although discounted rail travel is available on presentation of the pass when purchasing a rail ticket. Along with your ticket you'll be given a special form, which you're supposed to fill in with your journey details before you get on a train.

The Inter-rail pass is personal and non-transferable, which means that only you can use it and you may have to prove you're you (so make sure to keep your passport, or id, handy).

If you want to reserve train seats in advance, you'll have to pay to do so. And if you want to travel in a sleeping carriage with bunk beds, or on some high-speed intercity trains, you'll have to pay a supplement. Ask before you start your journey to avoid nasty surprises.

Getting Your Ticket

Go to RailEurope's website to find out about ticket prices, as well as book tickets and hostels online. Also, bear in mind that Inter-rail passes cost more for those over 26 years-old.

Before You Go

Read up on the places you're thinking of visiting beforehand: there's nothing worse than leaving a town or city behind only to read that it's home to the word's biggest bread sculpture, or that you've just missed the world chees rolling championships.

Safety

When travelling on trains, keep your valuables hidden and close - for instance, in a money-belt under your clothes. Use a cable-lock to secure your backpack to your seat or the luggage rack.

What with all this criss-crossing of the continent, you may not know when you're about to cross a border, and those armed border police piling into your carriage can come as a bit of a surprise. They'll ask to see your passport, and they may check through the contents of your rucksack thoroughly, so make sure you're not carrying anything you shouldn't.