How to use your Interrail pass

So you want to go on a European rail trip, meeting lots of other travellers and experiencing what Europe has to offer? With an Interrail pass, you can do just that. Let us explain everything you need to know about the Interrail pass and how it works so you can set off on an amazing adventure of your own making.

Getting started
Going places
Outbound and inbound travel
Using travel days
Train reservations
Getting extra benefits
Recording journey details

Getting started

First off, you'll need to decide what kind of pass you need for your trip. Are you planning a rail trip across Europe? Then the Interrail Global Pass is a perfect match! If you want to explore a single European country, the Interrail One Country Pass fits your plans best.

When you buy your pass, make sure to fill in your personal details correctly. Your first and last name, date of birth and passport or ID card number will be printed on your pass, so it's important that these details match your passport or ID card.

The Interrail travel pack The Interrail travel pack With your Interrail pass, you'll receive an Interrail package, consisting of a pass guide with information on how to use your pass, a railway map, a wristband and a pass wallet to keep all your travel documents safe and together.

Once your pass arrives, please double check all the details to make sure they're correct. If there are any mistakes in the details printed on your pass, the pass won't be valid for travel. In that case you can send it back to us. Find out how to return your pass

Personal details on your pass cover Personal details on your pass cover The last step is filling in your personal details on the Interrail pass cover. Once that's done, it's time to pack your bag and prepare yourself for the journey!

You can set out on your first train journey any time after midnight on the first day your pass is valid. You need to complete your last train journey by midnight on the final day your pass is valid.

Going places

Your pass lets you travel on all national railways and ferry lines participating in the Interrail product. You can find a complete list in your Interrail pass guide and on our website. View list of railway companies covered by the pass

Enter your outbound and inbound journey details Journey details in your travel diary

Outbound and inbound travel

Enter your outbound and inbound dates

Your Interrail pass comes with a travel diary including date fields for outbound and inbound travel. If you have an Interrail Global Pass and wish to travel in your country of residence, you need to enter these dates. This will entitle you to use your Interrail Global Pass in your country of residence on those 2 dates.

As with all Interrail trips you make, you need to enter the journey details of your outbound and inbound journeys in the travel diary. If you have flexi pass, you need to enter the same dates in your travel calendar.

Using travel days

A travel day lasts 24 hours from midnight to midnight. On a travel day you have access to the train networks where your Interrail pass is valid.

Flexi pass or continuous pass?

If you’re travelling with a flexi pass, you can travel on each day during the overall validity of your pass. The number of travel days depend on the pass you choose. So if you're travelling with a Global Pass 5 days within 15 days you have 5 travel days which you can use within a 15-day period. Decide on the go when to use your travel days.

If you have a continuous pass (only available with the Interrail Global Pass) you can travel on every single day within the validity of your pass.

Interrail pass travel calendar Don't forget to fill in your travel calendar Fill in the travel calendar

If you have a flexi pass, remember to fill in the date of each travel day in the travel calendar, which is printed on your Interrail pass. Do this before you board your first train of the day. Not doing so is the same as travelling without a ticket, so watch out – you could end up with a fine! 

Make sure you enter the date correctly into the travel calendar. If you make a mistake you'll have to enter the correct date in the next travel day box and consequently lose a travel day!

Save travel days by taking night trains

Is your first trip of the day a direct night train departing after 7 p.m. (19:00) and arriving at its final stop after 4 a.m. (04:00)? If it is, then you'll save yourself a travel day as you just have to fill in the arrival date in the travel calendar. This rule is called the 7 p.m. rule.

The 7 p.m. rule also applies to all free night ferries covered by your Interrail pass, regardless of the departure and arrival time. Choose whether you enter the departure or arrival date on your Interrail pass.
Read more about the 7 p.m. rule

Train reservations

A reservation is a guaranteed seat on a specific train. For some trains in Europe a reservation is mandatory, meaning you need it to board the train. This includes high-speed and night trains and many trains in France, Italy and Spain.

The Interrail Premium Pass allows you to make advance reservations for free using the Reservation Service. For all other Interrail passes, reservation fees aren't included in your pass. 

You can often avoid reservation fees by researching an alternative route. This usually means more stops and a longer travel time, but at the same time it saves you any additional costs and gives you the chance to visit other destinations.
Read more about train reservations

Getting extra benefits

Get extra benefits with your Interrail pass, including free or discounted travel on European buses and ferries.

  • Free benefits: These benefits require the use of a travel day, so make sure you fill in the date on the travel calendar.

  • Discounted benefits: Take advantage of these benefits any time, even if you've used up all of your travel days. Just makes sure the journey takes place during the validity of your pass.

Read more about pass benefits

Recording journey details

Fill in the travel diary

Ticket inspectors will ask to see your travel diary together with your Interrail pass. Therefore, it's important to record the details of every journey you make in your travel diary. For every train, bus or ferry you travel on, you must fill in the journey details before boarding. If you run out of space in your travel diary, you can download additional pages.

Travel diary Interrail Make sure to fill in your journey details before boarding the train!

Read the full conditions of use of your Interrail pass.

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