How to use your Interrail paper Pass
With an Interrail Pass you can experience all of Europe by rail and meet lots of other travellers. Let us explain what you need to know about the Interrail Pass and how it works, so you can set off on an amazing adventure!
Interrail Passes are delivered right to your doorstep by registered mail. For more information on how to use your Pass, we developed a Pass Guide which is downloadable in 18 languages.
Once your Interrail Pass arrives, it's always a good idea to double check all the details to make sure they're correct. If there are any mistakes in the details printed on it, your Interrail Pass won't be valid for travel. In that case you can send it back to us. Find out about returns
Now you've received your Interrail Pass, it's time to pack your bag and prepare yourself for the journey!
Your Interrail Pass lets you travel on the national railways of the 33 participating countries, as well as some participating ferry lines. You can find a complete list in your Interrail Pass Guide and on our website.
An Interrail Global Pass is valid in all of the 33 participating countries. You can use your Interrail Global Pass to make 1 inbound and 1 outbound journey within your own country. Read more about travel in your own country. Outside of your own country, you may take as many journeys as you wish.
An Interrail One Country Pass gives you access to the national railway of the country you select.
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.
Travel in your own country
Interrail Passes are designed to offer you the best of rail travel abroad. Therefore, you cannot use an Interrail One Country Pass to travel in your own country (your country of residence).
An Interrail Global Pass is valid for travel in your country of residence during only one outbound journey (to leave your country of residence) and one inbound journey (to return to your country of residence) that occur during travel days at any point in your trip.
Outbound and inbound travel
Your Interrail Pass comes with the My Trip section printed on the Pass Cover, which includes data fields for your outbound and inbound journeys. If you have an Interrail Global Pass and wish to travel from and to your country of residence, you need to record these journeys and the dates on which you take them. This will entitle you to use your Interrail Global Pass in your country of residence; once to leave the country, and once to travel back home. Outbound and inbound journeys can consist of multiple legs or transfers.
As with all journeys you take with your Interrail Pass, you need to enter the details of your outbound and inbound journeys in the My Trip section on your Pass Cover (even if you decide to record the rest of your trips in the Rail Planner app). If you have a flexi Pass, you need to enter the same dates in your Travel Calendar (this will be further explained in the block below).
Good to know: it doesn't matter when and in what order you use your outbound and inbound journey, you can use them at any point during your trip.
If you need more than one outbound and inbound journey to travel through your country of residence, you can always buy additional point-to-point tickets from your country’s rail carrier.
In order to travel in your country of residence, it must be 1 of the 33 Interrail member countries included in the pass. You can only travel with the railway companies included in the Interrail Pass.
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. Travel days on your Pass run from midnight to midnight CET. Click here for more information.
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.
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!
Recording your journey details
Before you board each new train, bus, or ferry; you must record the details in My Trip.
You can find the My Trip section on your Pass Cover, or you can choose to record your journeys in the Rail Planner app (and travel at the push of a button). Carefully choose which option suits you best, as you can't change your mind once you start using the Pass.
Keep in mind that ticket inspectors will ask to see your My Trip section together with your Interrail Pass. If you run out of space on your Pass Cover, you can download additional My Trip lines to continue travelling.
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.
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.
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 make sure the journey takes place during the validity of your pass.
How to use a mobile Pass
Would you like an alternative to travelling the old-school way? Then good news! It's now possible to travel paper free around Europe with the Interrail mobile Pass. Travel using our Rail Planner app, where you do everything from planning your trip, making your seat reservations and showing your tickets for inspection.
You can find everything you need to know about our brand-new mobile Pass by clicking on the button below.