Eurail Select Pass

Frequently Asked Questions about Eurail Select Pass

  • What are adjoining countries?

    The chosen countries must be bordering or have a direct shipping line which is part of the Eurail offer.

    Norway and Denmark are connected by the Color Line Boat-connection Hirtshals-Kristiansand.

    Norway and Finland are not adjoining countries. They have a joint border, but to get by train from Norway to Finland you will need to travel through Sweden.

    Make sure all the countries the train is going to travel through are covered in the Eurail Select Pass. If this is not the case, the passholder must buy a separate ticket for the trip.

    List of Countries that have a border that is connected by train or ship:

    Austria: Croatia/Slovenia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland

    Benelux¹: France, Germany, Ireland

    Bulgaria: Greece, Montenegro/Serbia, Romania, Turkey

    Croatia/Slovenia (SC): Austria, Montenegro/Serbia, Hungary, Italy

    Czech Republic: Austria, Germany, Slovakia

    Denmark³: Germany, Norway, Sweden

    Finland²: Germany, Sweden

    France: Benelux, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland

    Germany: Austria, Benelux, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Sweden, Switzerland

    Greece: Bulgaria, Italy, Turkey

    Hungary: Austria, Croatia/Slovenia, Montenegro/Serbia, Romania

    Ireland: Benelux, France,

    Italy: Austria, Croatia/Slovenia, France, Greece, Spain, Switzerland

    Montenegro/Serbia: Bulgaria, Croatia/Slovenia, Hungary, Romania

    Norway² ³: Denmark, Sweden

    Portugal: Spain

    Romania: Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro/Serbia

    Spain: France, Italy, Portugal

    Sweden: Denmark, Finland, Germany,  Norway

    Switzerland: Austria, France, Germany, Italy 

    Turkey: Bulgaria, Greece

    ¹ Benelux refers to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This is considered one country for the Eurail Select Pass.

    ² Norway and Finland are not bordering countries. They have a joint border, but to get by train from Norway to Finland you have to pass through Sweden.

    ³ Norway and Denmark are connected by the Color Line Boat-connection Hirtshals-Kristiansand. You can add one more connecting country to your Select Pass, like Sweden or Germany.

  • Which countries are valid on the Select pass?
    Austria, Benelux (includes Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland), Bulgaria, Croatia/Slovenia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro/Serbia, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
  • Is it possible to purchase a 2nd Class Eurail Select Pass instead of a 1st Class Eurail Select Pass?
    Eurail Select Pass is only available in 1st Class for adults and children. Eurail Select Youth Pass is offered in 2nd class to travelers under age 26.
  • Can I get a discount on train travel in Britain when I purchase a Eurail or Eurail Select Pass?
    No, but you are eligible for a passholder fare on Eurostar, which travels from Paris or Brussels to London. For travel in Britain we offer BritRail products to help you travel around the country.
  • If I'm traveling through a country not included on Eurail Select Pass, can I add that country to the pass?
    Passes are only valid for travel in the countries covered by that particular pass. If you travel through a country not included on your pass, you'll need to purchase an additional ticket for that part of the trip. For example, if you travel from Germany to Italy through Austria. If Austria is not a country you selected on your Eurail Select pass then travel through Austria will not be covered by your pass; you must purchase an additional ticket.

    If you have not purchased your pass please view our online maps to see if you will be traveling through a country you have not planned for. Select the country you would like to travel in and then the "How to get there" tab to view a map of the country.

    If you already purchased your pass and have not left North America, it is possible to upgrade your pass.

  • What are the differences between Eurail Global Pass and Eurail Select Pass?
    The best-selling Eurail Global Pass offers unlimited, First Class train travel in 24 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (includes Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Choices range from 15 consecutive days to 3 months of travel or 10 and 15 flexible days within a 2-month time period, plus money-saving Eurail Global Pass bonuses.

    The Eurail Select Pass provides unlimited train travel for the duration you select in your choice of any 4 countries that border each other, as well as attractive bonuses. Select from Austria, Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands), Bulgaria, Croatia/Slovenia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (includes Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, Montenegro/Serbia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

     
  • Are there discounts available for rail passes?

    Yes, many rail passes offer discounted options. The most common discounts are:
    • Child discount: children between 4 -11 years of age usually travel for half the price of the regular adult rate.
    • Youth Discount: If you or anyone in your party is a traveler between 12 – 25 years of age on the first date of travel, discounted rates are available for certain rail passes. These Youth Passes are generally offered in second class only, and dependent on availability within the specific country of travel.
    • Senior Discount: Seniors over the age of 60 are eligible for a discounted rate on certain rail passes. These senior rates are generally on first class travel only.
    • Saver Discount: Small groups of 2 to 5 people traveling together are eligible for savings of about 15% on certain rail passes offering the Saver option. In case of a group of six travelers, two Saver Passes may be issued for three travelers each. To sweeten the deal further, children receive an even greater discount on their portion of the Saver pass. The only rule is that the same travel days are applicable to all travelers in the party. In other words, if someone in your traveling party doesn’t travel on a day when the rest of the party is traveling, he or she cannot recuperate this travel day- it is considered used for all travelers on the rail pass.
    • Group Discount: If you travel in a party of 10 or more, see our special group offers for a more customized travel solution. Rail Europe always ensures that you get the most cost effective pass to suit your needs. To do so, we ask you to enter the details of your traveling party at the time of requesting a quote. You may also have to enter the age of certain travelers, so we can determine whether they’re eligible for certain age-related discounts.

    Please note, not all rail passes have Child, Youth, Senior or Saver discounts available. When entering traveler information, include the correct ages of all and our system will advise on relevant discounts available.

  • Do I need to book a rail pass for everyone in my traveling party, including children and infants?

    You will need to book a rail pass for each adult and child. In the case of a saver pass, it’s one rail pass with each name listed on the pass. A child under 4 years of age and sharing a seat with an adult does not need to book a rail pass. If the child will occupy his/her own seat, a rail pass must be purchased for them, as well as a reservation when needed.

  • Can a rail pass be issued as an e-ticket?

    At this time, all rail passes are printed as a paper document and must be shipped to you prior to your departure to Europe.

  • Do I need to buy a reservation if I already have a rail pass? How do I book one?

    Reservations are important to understand, especially when traveling with a rail pass. We have a whole article on the subject that you can read here.

    When traveling with a rail pass, a reservation is a separate document that guarantees you an assigned accommodation on a specific train. In other words, if you miss that train, you cannot transfer the reservation to another.

    Why would you need a reservation when you already have a pass? Because there are three types of trains running in Europe, and they each have their own rules. There are trains that require all travelers, including rail pass holders, to have a reservation (labeled “reservation required” in our reservation booking engine), trains that do not require rail pass holders to have a reservation but do offer reserved seating (labeled “reservation recommended”), and trains that do not require a reservation and, in fact, cannot be reserved (labeled “non reservable”). All night trains require reservations.

    Whether you need a reservation or not depends on three things: the country you’re in, the type of train you’re taking, and the policy of the rail carrier operating your train. In fact, you may find that on the same route, you have a choice between trains that require pass holders to purchase a seat reservation and trains that are non-reservable. So, know your choices. Find out whether the train you’ll be taking is “Reservation Required”, “Reservation Recommended” or “Non-Reservable”. You’ll find this information is provided for every train listed when you search for trains in our reservation booking tool.

    Of course, you can always “wing it” and book the reservations “as you go” at train stations in Europe. But know that some trains are fully booked far in advance, especially during peak travel periods. And some train companies make only some seats available for pass holders. If your itinerary is firm, it’s always better to have a sure thing and book your reservation in advance.

    Here’s a list of trains that require travelers with a rail pass to buy a seat reservation as well:

    • In Belgium/France/Germany/the Netherlands: Thalys
    • In France: TGV and some Intercités day and night trains
    • In Germany: ICE Sprinter
    • In Britain/France/Belgium: Eurostar
    • In Greece: InterCity Express
    • In Italy: Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, Frecciabianca, IC, EC and Italo
    • In Portugal: AP and IC
    • In Switzerland: Glacier Express, GoldenPass, Bernina Express, Chocolate Train, Wilhelm Tell Express
    • In Spain: AVE, Euromed, Alvia, Altaria, Alvia, Arco, Avant, Diurno, Estrella, Talgo and Trenhotel
    • In Sweden: all SJ High Speed and night trains, and through journeys to Copenhagen
    • In Finland: Allegro and Tolstoy

    Your rail pass is not valid for travel on the Italo trains within Italy or the Thello trains between France and Italy servicing such cities as Paris to Milan, Florence or Rome. You’ll need to purchase a train ticket for travel on these trains. And you will not have to add this date to your rail pass.

    Make sure to read more about seat reservations and browse the reservation section of our FAQ’s to learn more.

     

  • Can I travel with my rail pass on all high-speed trains?

    Your rail pass is not valid for travel on the Italo trains within Italy or the Thello trains between France and Italy servicing such cities as Paris to Milan, Florence or Rome. You’ll need to purchase a train ticket for travel on these trains. And you will not have to add this date to your rail pass.

  • How far in advance can I buy my rail pass?

    A rail pass can be purchased up to 6 months before your first travel day. The only requirement is that a pass be activated (stamped by a railroad official) within 6 months of the original date of issue. Then your rail pass will be good for its full validity period (usually two months).

  • “Activate my rail pass?” What does that mean and how do I do it?

    To activate your rail pass is to officially start the clock on its travel period. This is done by having a railway official stamp and date your rail pass. To do so, just go to the ticket window at the rail station before boarding your first train. A railroad official will enter the first and last day your rail pass is valid and stamp it. You will have to show your passport. Rail passes must be activated within 6 months of being purchased. If you board a train without activating your rail pass you risk being fined by the conductor.

    In addition to activating your rail pass, don’t forget that with a flexi rail pass you’ll also need to write the date of travel in the travel calendar. Not doing so is the same as traveling without a ticket, which means you’ll have to pay for a full fare ticket and risk a fine.

  • What do I do if my train goes through a country not listed on my rail pass?

    If your train travels through a country not listed on your rail pass, even though the country of origin and country of arrival are covered by your rail pass, you need to purchase a ticket for the uncovered portion of the journey. We suggest doing this at a ticket counter in advance, since tickets on the train will be more expensive.

    For example, you have a Eurail Select Pass covering Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany and you want to take the train from Munich, Germany to Venice, Italy. The most direct train route for this trip will travel through Austria. In this instance, you will need to purchase a ticket from the Germany/Austria border city to the Austria/Italy border city as travel through Austria is not covered. You don’t need to buy a ticket for the entire journey, just the section not covered by the purchased rail pass.

     

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