One of the best ways to explore Europe is by train. This diverse continent has so many stunning countries packed very close together. Flights are a quick and easy way to hop from country to country, but traveling by train has many benefits of its own.
Train travel allows you to explore more slowly. You can see the landscapes and take your time. It’s also fun and comfortable.
Buying individual train journeys around Europe can add up in cost. A more cost-effective and convenient way to travel Europe by train is the Eurail Global Pass.
This article will dive into the Eurail Global Pass coverage and explain everything you need to know for traveling Europe using this method.
What is the Eurail Global Pass?
The Eurail Global Pass is a train pass that covers 33 countries in Europe. Depending on which pass you buy, you can travel to a certain number of train stations around Europe within a time frame.
This differs from the normal Eurail Pass because it allows you to travel within many different countries. If you are only visiting one country, you can get a single country Eurail Pass. But if you are visiting lots of different countries in Europe, the Eurail Global Pass coverage takes you all over the continent!
Eurail Global Pass time frames range between 4 days and 3 months. So you can buy one train pass for Europe and take whichever journeys you want within that time frame. This saves you the trouble of buying new train tickets every time you want to move somewhere new.
You can choose first or second-class tickets, and there are discounts for youths.
Countries covered by the Eurail Global Pass include:
Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Great Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
How does the Eurail Pass work?
It is really easy to use a Eurail Global Pass! You can order your pass online and select the time frame you want to travel for.
Once you receive your pass, you can visit any of the 33 countries listed above at any time within the time frame of the pass you booked. When boarding a train, you can just show your pass at the train station and get on board.
Some routes do require you to book your seat ahead of time. Overnight trains, Eurostar trains, and high-speed trains usually require a reservation. When you order your Eurail Global Pass, you will receive an information booklet that gives you more details and lets you know when you should pre-book your seat.
But once you buy the Eurail Pass, you don’t need to pay for anything else. This is your all-in-one train ticket to Europe! Just make sure you travel within the time frame outlined on your ticket.
Eurail passes do not cover local transport like trams or metros, only intercity trains.
Rail Europe is another company that offers similar European train passes. But Eurail is the most popular and for the sake of this article, we’ll just be focusing on Eurail Passes.
How much does the Eurail Global Pass cost?
The price of the Eurail Global Pass depends on the length of time you want to travel for. It also depends on if you want to book first or second class.
The difference between first and second class tickets is mainly comfort. In first class, you get adjustable seats, extra legroom and wider tables, as well as individual outlets for charging devices and cabin service for snacks and drinks. In second class, you have standard train seats with shared outlets and tables. You also have to go to the dining car to get any food or drinks.
If you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of luxury, the second class tickets are still comfy and they are much more affordable.
Here is a quick breakdown of the Eurail Global Pass costs for adults. There are two types of tickets: one that allows you a certain number of travel days within one or two months, and one that allows you continuous travel days within 15 days up to 3 months.
4 travel days in one month: $361 for first class, $271 for second class
5 travel days in one month: $414 for first class, $310 for second class
7 travel days in one month: $491 for first class, $369 for second class
10 travel days in two months: $587 for first class, $441 for second class
15 travel days in two months: $723 for first class, $542 for second class
15 days of continuous train travel: $649 for first class, $487 for second class
22 days of continuous train travel: $759 for first class, $570 for second class
1 month of continuous train travel: $982 for first class, $737 for second class
2 months of continuous train travel: $1,073 for first class, $804 for second class
3 months of continuous train travel: $1,322 for first class, $992 for second class
If you are under age 27, you can apply for the Eurail Global Pass for Youths, which will save you 20% on your ticket. You don’t have to be a student, just under age 27!
Where can I buy a Eurail Global Pass?
You can only buy the Eurail Global Pass online or on the app, before you begin your European travels. You cannot buy it in person.
Are European travel passes worth it?
This will depend on where you are traveling and how long you are traveling for.
If you’re only planning on visiting one or two countries in Europe, the Eurail Global Pass might not be worth it. Train travel in Europe can be cheap, so depending on where you’re headed, it is easier and cheaper to just buy one or two train tickets at the local stations.
But if you plan on hopping around Europe and visiting lots of different countries, European travel passes can really come in handy. Especially if you are traveling without a plan and just going with the flow, you can choose your destinations at the last minute and still have a train ticket booked.
Also, consider the prices of the countries you are visiting. If you are traveling around Western Europe or Scandinavia, where prices for everything can be quite high, European travel passes can save you money.
But if you’re traveling around Eastern Europe, where countries are really cheap, you might not save money with a Eurail Pass. Just do a bit of research and see what train journeys cost in the countries you are visiting. If the local trains are cheap, you might not need a Eurail Pass. If local trains are expensive, a Eurail Pass can save you money!
Just be flexible, do some research, and compare prices to see if the Eurail Global Pass is right for you.
Volunteering in Europe
If you are taking cost into consideration when planning your Europe trip, consider trying a Worldpackers work exchange. This means you can work in exchange for accommodation with local hosts around the continent.
Not only does this help you save money on accommodation costs, it allows you to have immersive cultural experiences! There are Worldpackers work exchange opportunities in almost all of the countries offered in the Eurail Global Pass coverage.
You can do a few work exchanges to learn more about the local culture, then use your Eurail Pass to travel from place to place. This is a very affordable and fun way to experience Europe!
Here are some examples of some top-rated work exchanges in Europe located in some of the most popular countries to visit on a Eurail trip.
Portugal: Help with cooking, cleaning, and reception in a bed and breakfast, located within a stunning national park in Gerês
So those are just a handful of epic and highly rated volunteer experiences you can have around Europe! All of these countries are connected via trains and you can use the Eurail Global Pass to hop around them.
So taking everything into consideration, whether you want to try the Eurail Global Pass is up to you. It depends on the type of trip you want and how many countries you plan to visit.
But if the costs work out in your favor, definitely try the pass! And no matter where you go, consider a Worldpackers work exchange to enjoy the local culture more in-depth and save money on accommodation.
Hello! I am a 25 year old from the USA with a knack for traveling on a budget. I fell in love with traveling while studying in Europe, and that love grew even more when I started volunteering abroad in South America. Since then, I've worked odd jobs and volunteered all over the globe while cultivating passions for hiking, wildlife photography, food, wine, animals, permaculture, and more!