How to use your Interrail pass
Now you’re the lucky owner of an Interrail pass, you’ll soon be heading off for a European rail trip of a lifetime. Before you set off, make sure you know how your pass works to get the max out of your adventure.
Once your pass arrives double check all the details so they are correct. If there are any mistakes on your pass find out what to do.
Fill in your personal and ticket details on the travel report and then pack your bag and prepare yourself for the adventure.
You can set out on your first train journey any time after midnight on the first day your pass is valid and complete your last trip by midnight on the final day your pass is valid.
Your pass lets you travel on all participating national railways and shipping lines listed on your Interrail pass cover, and on some private railways listed under extra pass benefits.
If you’re an Interrail Global Pass holder, you can explore any of the 30 participating countries – or all of them if you want. (Beside your country of residence, of course).
If you’ve chosen to focus on a single European country with an Interrail One Country Pass you have access to the national railway of that country.
If you want to cross a country not covered by your pass, simply buy a ticket that covers the train from border to border.
Interrail passes are not valid in your country of residence. However, you are entitled to a discounted train fare in your own country (certain countries only) with an Interrail Global Pass.
See overview of discounts per country
Flexi pass or continuous pass?
If you’re travelling with a flexi pass, you can enjoy train travel on each travel day during the overall validity of your pass. The number of travel days depends on the pass you choose. Decide as you go, when to use your travel days. If you have a continuous pass (only available with the Interrail Global Pass) you don't need to fill in travel days, as you can travel on every day your pass is valid.
Fill in the travel calendar
Remember to fill in the date of each travel day in the travel calendar 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 and a red face!
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!
Benefit from the 7 p.m. rule
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. Just fill in the arrival date in the travel calendar.
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.
Read more about the 7 p.m. rule
Train reservation fees aren't included in your pass. During your Interrail trip you may have to make a reservation for certain trains high-speed and scenic trains, and all night trains. Seats on these trains can be in high demand, especially within and between popular destinations such as Italy, France and Spain, and during high-season.
You can often avoid reservation fees by researching an alternative route – usually with more stops and a longer travel time – but saving you any additional costs and giving you the chance to visit other destinations.
Read more about making reservations
Get extra cool benefits with your Interrail pass, including free or discounted travel on European buses and ferries.
Free benefits: These 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 any time (even if you've used all your travel days) as long as the journey takes place during the validity of your pass.
Fill in the travel report
With the Interrail Global Pass you'll also get a travel report. Fill in personal and ticket details before you make your first train journey. For every train, bus or ferry you travel on, you must fill in the journey details before boarding.
Read the full conditions of use of your Interrail pass.