Interrail trip across Europe was actually the first real trip that Luka and I took so it holds a very special place in my heart. We traveled in the second part of September, right before I started college.
We traveled through Munich and Frankfurt to Brussels and stayed there for a couple of days. Then we traveled to Amsterdam, Groningen, and Utrecht in the Netherlands and explored each of the lovely cities for a few days. Our last stop was Berlin and we explored the German capital for another 3 days. We came back to Ljubljana through Munich.
What is Interrail?
The Interrail Pass is a rail pass available to European Citizens. It’s a paper train ticket that allows you to travel on almost all trains in Europe and with it, you get access to railways and ferry companies in 33 countries. Interrail Pass the perfect way to explore Europe by train with one simple ticket.
How to use my Interrail Pass?
Update your Travel Diary details on the ticket before each journey. Write in blue or black permanent ink and never change a date.
Be very careful when writing in the dates for your journeys, as they cannot be corrected. If they are corrected, your altered travel date can be interpreted as attempted fraud. In case you make a mistake, you will have to mark the correct date in a new box, which means you lose one travel day if traveling with a Flexi Pass.
On the train, you have to show a valid passport or identity document together with your Interrail Pass to train staff when requested.
What is the best thing about traveling with Interrail?
The best thing for me is the feeling of backpacking across Europe. I felt so adventurous and spontaneous carrying around my giant red backpack.
It’s also really cool that you don’t have to buy every train ticket separately or worry about it beforehand. Most of the time, you just get to the train station and board the train – simple as that!
Another great thing about Interrail is that you can get the insurance in case you lose your pass. If you lose it, you have to pay for each train ticket but you can send the Interrail Company all the tickets and invoices afterward, and they pay you back! I wish we had bought the insurance (it’s an additional 20 EUR or so) because I lost our tickets and we had to Flixbus back.
What's the biggest limitation of Interrail?
I would say that it could partially take away the spontaneity. I guess it depends on which plan you take.
We took a Flexi pass that limits your train travels to a limited number of days within the two-week period. If you want to visit more locations, you need to plan carefully when and how you are going to get to the next city. It can sometimes be tricky and we actually decided to combine it with Flixbus for one short route between cities because we did not want to waste another traveling day.
Also sometimes, you might have to book certain trains in advance and pay an additional fee. And you might have to pay additional money to take a night train.
Where did you travel?
We decided to go to Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany (read about our trip and itinerary here). It’s quite far away from Slovenia so it was two full days of traveling by train altogether but that was fun for a change! It was the first time I ever took a night train and that was a unique experience as well.
I would say that our route was a great choice because trains in that part of Europe are fast and frequent. We would spend much more money on buying each train ticket separately, for sure!
The only city we did not stop in from mentioned above was Frankfurt. We visited all the other cities and bought postcards in each one!
Which pass did you take?
We took a Flexi Pass that is valid for two weeks and has five travelling days. There are different Flexi Passes to choose from depending on the duration of your travel and the traveling you want to do. Continuous Pass is also available and can be used as often as you want during the period that it is valid for since traveling days are not limited.
What are your tips and tricks to enjoy my Interrail journey even more?
1. Check out the extra benefits that you get with your Interrail pass. The benefits include but are not limited to discounted transportation on busses and ferries across Europe, and discount at sightseeing attractions.
2. Check out how to mark an overnight journey in the Flexi Pass Travel Calendar to save a travel day.
3. Use the Rail Planner App to check if train reservations are compulsory. Trains in France, Spain and Italy are very popular and therefore, often require a reservation. On the other hand, high-speed train in Germany and Austria usually don’t require reservations.
Would you recommend Interrail to your friends?
Yes and no.
Yes, because it was an amazing experience and I remember that I was really happy on this trip. Traveling with a huge backpack on a train makes you feel kind of adventurous.
No, because I think plane tickets are so cheap within Europe it is more time-saving, and maybe even moneywise smarter to buy Ryanair flights and occasionally take a train or a bus ride. Of course, in this case, you lose the whole adventure and spontaneity vibe.
What are some of the last things I should consider before planning my Interrail trip?
1. Take your ticket with the insurance. We skipped this part and I did not even take time to read about it but I lost our tickets and hence, we had to pay for our tickets all the way back from the Netherlands to Slovenia.
2. Download Interrail Rail Planner App to help plan your European rail journey. The app also includes all the participating railway companies that are listed per country.
3. Write the travel dates in just an hour before the journey. I know you might have planned everything carefully but it could happen that you would absolutely love the city you are staying in and want to stay for an extra day. If you do not write dates in the Travel Calendar in advance, you can be more flexible and stay for another day or two.
Let me know if you have any more questions in the comments below. I would love to give you all the information I have! Where would you want to travel with Interrail Pass?