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Why visit Europe by train?

First of all for the simple fact that trains represents the most hassle-free choice to reach your destination.

Then for the fact that trains go everywhere in Europe, from small villages to major cities. They are safe, modern and very comfortable.

The rail network in Europe is one of the most extensive in the world. The implication of important national railway companies like the SNCF, DB, SBB, RENFE, TRENITALIA etc. means that western European countries are leading the race to offer the most convenient way to travel from city centre to city centre.

What is a rail pass?

Rail passes are widely used by travellers looking to experience as much as they can when visiting Europe. By knowing the advantages of a rail pass you will also understand how it works.

One or more countries: You can choose to buy a rail pass covering one country, two neighbouring countries or multiple countries. You can even visit 28 countries with the Eurail Global Pass!

Unlimited travel: Take 1 train or 5 trains a day or travel 50km or 400km. With a rail pass, you can travel as much as you want.

Flexibility: Travel whenever you want, wherever you want. No need to plan ahead! A rail pass offers unmatched freedom to make multiple journeys.

Seat reservation at a nominal price: A rail pass offers a special passholder fare to travel on board all trains which require a seat reservation. This means that you will only pay a small fee to travel on board premium trains like the TGV, Eurostar, Thalys, TGV Lyria and more.

Rail pass activation

Rail passes must be activated within 6 months of the issuing date at a railway station in Europe.

Make sure to bring along your travel documents as a railway official will fill in your passport number before stamping your rail pass to validate it.

Before boarding it is mandatory to write down the date of travel on your rail pass as well as recording your trip in the Travel Report on the rail pass cover.

Train ticket vs Rail pass

A train ticket is cheaper if you book in advance and plan on doing only 2 or 3 trips.

A rail pass is better if you want the freedom to travel extensively in one or more countries.

Finding out what is the best product for you, will save you money and time.

Answer 3 short questions to know whether a train ticket or a rail pass is best for you

Consecutive vs Flexible validities

Flexible validities allow you to choose which days you want to travel within the period covered by your rail pass.

E.g. For a rail pass with a validity of 5 days within 1 month. If you activate your rail pass on the 1st of the month, you can travel on the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 12th and 30th of this month.

Consecutive validities give you unlimited travel during consecutive days.

E.g. For a rail pass with a validity of 3 days continuous. By activating your rail pass on the 1st of the month, you can use it until the 3rd.

What is a seat reservation?

A seat reservation is a guaranteed seat on-board a train. Seat reservations are compulsory for most high speed, international, and night trains. However, as you will be travelling with a rail pass, you will only have to pay for a small reservation fee, as opposed to the usual standard fare.

Advance seat reservation is a great way to avoid wasting time and most importantly be in the unpleasant situation where no seats are available once in Europe.

Book your seat reservation online with Rail Europe and enjoy a hassle-free trip.

Remember, you can board most regional trains without any prior seat reservations!