Useful Tips

Eurolines Pass - 51 European cities for € 250


Subscription Global Pass by Eurail - Your train ticket for traveling around Europe. Take unlimited trips to 28 countries in three months. If you want to take a short trip to the Mediterranean, and then go beyond the Arctic Circle, to Scandinavia or take a big tour of Europe, the Eurail subscription can satisfy all your needs. Eurail is intended only for persons residing outside Europe.

Eurail season ticket ONE country

Eurail subscription for one country - your lucky ticket for traveling by train in one country in Europe. A flexible schedule for 3, 4, 5 or 8 days in transit for one month. An ideal offer for those who want to visit only one country. You can also buy a subscription for one country to several countries, but in this case we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Global Pass subscriptions from Eurail, which provide the best price for such trips.

How does Eurail work?

Useful tips about Eurail. What is Eurail. What is a day on the road. Rule 19:00 hours for night trains. Which trains are included. Where can I buy.

A brief overview of European trains in countries covered by Eurail.

Eurail Subscription CANNOT be purchased in your current country of residence (Germany). Travel with an Interrail membership card.

Seasonal Travel

Eurolines Pass routes are divided by season, and their cost depends on this.

So, in the 2013-14 season. The following seasonal distinctions existed:

  • from 24.06 to 05.09 and from 10.12 to 03.01 - high season - A.S,
  • from 01.04 to 23.06 and from 06.09 to 28.10 - the average season - M.S,
  • from 04.01 to 25.03 and from 29.10 to 09.12 - low season - B.S.

Validity of the Eurolines Pass

In addition to seasonality, travel cards differ in terms of use: tickets for a month or 15 days.

There are also separate travel cards for different age categories (young people under 26 years old and ordinary adult passengers). Children under two years old always travel for free. Ticket prices include all mandatory fees: ferry crossings, tolls, tourist tax.

Where to buy Eurolines Pass?

Eurolines Pass can be purchased on the official website of the airline network, provided that the ticket is activated no earlier than seven days after the acquisition. On the site you will find all conditions of sales and ticket prices.

To go on a trip earlier than the time specified during the purchase, you will have to apply with a ticket to any Eurolines office located in one of the countries of the route network. You can get a Eurolines Pass ticket in those cities where you can leave with this ticket.

The date of the first trip and its route should be indicated immediately when buying a ticket. This should be done for your convenience - this is how you reserve a seat on the bus. It is especially important to reserve seats during the high season - buses at this time are almost always crowded. Reservation of places is possible not only online. Reservations can be made both at Eurolines offices and at ticket offices at the bus station of the bus departure point.

If all seats have already been sorted out for a specific flight, you will be put on the waiting list. Do not reserve a place unnecessarily, just in case. You may be charged a penalty for changing the reservation date.

On the Eurolines Pass website, in the corresponding section, you can see the bus schedule.

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Pros and Cons of Rail Travel

Let's start with a quick overview of the pros and cons of traveling by train across Europe.

  1. You immediately come to the city center. Unlike airports, European railway stations are located right in the city center. You do not need to spend time and money to get to the city - you are already in it. When the standard way from the airport takes 20 - 60 minutes and costs from 10 to 80 dollars.
  2. No long checks. In most cases, you do not have to go through a lengthy search process before boarding a train, as opposed to a flight. You just need to go through the frame at the station, buy a ticket at the machine, if you haven't picked it up online and hop on the train.
  3. There are no baggage restrictions. If you have many bags, you will not be deployed home and will not be asked to pay extra for luggage. The main thing is that you can drag your bag onto the train.
  4. E-tickets. Many railway services accept electronic tickets that come to your phone after purchase. This means that you do not have to queue at the ticket office, just go to the controller with the phone.
  5. You can take food with you, even alcohol. You will definitely find new friends if you decide to treat fellow travelers. Such is the romance of trains.
  6. Wide railway network. In Europe, railway transport is very developed. Regular passenger trains run even to small cities. Most often, several trains a day go along the route. On popular routes, trains in Europe depart every hour.
  7. You can sleep comfortably. If you travel a long distance, you can take the night train. These trains have special sleeping cars (usually with 2 or 6 berths in a compartment). A bed will cost you an extra $ 35- $ 65, the same cost per night in an average hostel, but you will save time. There are regular sit-down cars in night trains, if you don’t want to overpay, take a seat in them, but sitting in bed is not very convenient.
  8. Spontaneous trips. Trains allow you to make spontaneous trips, came to the station, took a ticket for the next train and on the road.
  9. Beautiful views. Europe has very beautiful suburbs, you will enjoy them from the train window.
  10. Peace and quiet. The train is a great place to sit back and relax. There is something very pacifying to stare out the window and watch how fields, houses and forests alternate at a speed of 270 km / h outside the window. You can read a book or write a couple of postcards to loved ones, plan your next trip or work on a computer. Some trains even have special quiet cars.
  11. Comfort. As a rule, the seats on trains are larger and more comfortable than on airplanes, especially in low-cost airlines. You can get up and take a train ride at any time. Many trains have seats with a table where you can sit opposite each other. In addition, tourist trains are rarely crowded, and you can safely take the neighboring free space.
  12. Always on time. Trains in Europe come on schedule in 90% of cases, when planes are only 65%.
  13. Beautiful train stations. Historically, train stations have been a central place for trade and travel. Therefore, many European cities showed their status and prosperity by building beautiful train stations.
  14. Discounts for youth. Many countries in Europe offer discounts to people under 26 years old.

© MichaelGaida / / CC BY 2.0

Cons of traveling to Europe by train

1. Price. Traveling by train is an expensive pleasure. If you want to choose a train instead of an airplane to save money, it won’t work. There are many cheap flights in Europe, and high-speed trains are the most expensive way to travel. You can save if you buy a train ticket in advance. But a ticket bought at the last minute will always be more expensive.

You can compare prices for trains, buses and planes on

2. Slowly over long distances. Most high-speed trains accelerate to 240 - 290 km / h, which is still 2 times slower than an airplane. In addition, on long routes, there is a high probability that you will have to ride ordinary slow trains. Therefore, if you are in a hurry, it is better to choose a plane. For example, from Paris to Budapest, you will travel by train in 15 hours, when by plane in just 2.5. In addition, a ticket will cost less.

3. I have to think. Train schedules can be confusing for any beginner. Fortunately, there are many applications that help you figure it out, but you still have to think about it.

In all large and some small cities there is more than one station. In Paris, there are as many as 6. Here it is common to arrive at one station, and leave from another. Therefore, carefully read what is written on the tickets.

Sometimes you have to change stations during one trip. For example, there is no direct route from London to Lyon. Eurostar has a route in which the train stops at the northern station of Paris, from there you need to take the metro to the eastern station and take the train to Lyon.

4. Strikes - This is a national entertainment in Europe. They happen several times a year. But since European people - well-mannered, they warn in advance - we will strike from this to such a number. You just have to live with it.

Save money on accommodation in Europe by renting apartments with locals with Airbnb. Get 2100 rub. as a gift for the first reservation.

Route Sites

The first one is Rome2Rio. Just enter the desired direction in it, it will show all the train routes (as well as aircraft, buses and cars) that are available for your trip. The site has a very convenient visual interface. You can compare travel time and prices. Here you can buy tickets. But often, RailEurope is cheaper.

There is also a wonderful German site, where you will find the schedule of each European train. It is very convenient when you want to make a difficult route with connections. Unfortunately, you can only book tickets for German trains.

© RonPorter / / CC BY 2.0

How to buy train tickets in Europe

Before you go on a railway trip, you need to buy tickets, and this is not always as easy as it seems, especially if you want to buy a ticket cheaply.

This is because each country has its own national rail service, and they work a little differently. Fortunately, there are services that simplify the process. Here we will talk about them.

Look for interesting excursions in specially trained search engines:

  • Tripster - unusual excursions from local residents.
  • Sputnik - low cost group tours.

Only Russian-speaking guides.

Train Ticket Prices

In Europe, there are 2 pricing systems for train tickets: variable and fixed.

Variable price Depends on demand, day of the week, season and how much in advance you are concerned about the issue of buying a ticket. Typically, this pricing model is used for high-speed trains.

To buy a ticket for a high-speed train at a lower price, you need to buy a ticket in advance, preferably in a few weeks. The closer to the day of the trip, the higher the price. Therefore, I do not recommend taking a ticket for a high-speed train at the last minute.

By paying less, you will lose flexibility. As a rule, the cheapest tickets are not refundable or exchangeable. In Russia, this is easier.

At fixed rate The price is determined only by the travel distance. This fare can be found on regular slow and regional trains. There is no difference for such a ticket when you bought it - the price is unchanged.

How to buy train tickets in Europe

There are 2 ways to buy train tickets - through the official company of each country (on their website or station) or through third-party train aggregators in Europe.

Third-party aggregators and search engines have several advantages:

  1. You can book a difficult route. Many national railway services have problems buying tickets for international routes (for example, from France to Italy) - they rarely show all available routes and do not allow you to compare prices and offers.
  2. No problem with credit cards. Many official rail sites decline cards at the time of booking. There are no such problems with aggregators. It is in their interest to deliver additional customer service and create fewer problems.
  3. Less technical bugs. All booking sites for train tickets offer the English version of the site, but they often throw it into their native language during the purchase process, and then deal with German. Don't even rely on Russian.

© hpgruesen / / CC BY 2.0

Where to buy train tickets for Europe online

From Russia, you can take a train to Europe from three cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. Direct trains run from here without connections - the railway connection with Europe has long been established.

Electronic train ticket from Moscow to Europe You can buy in the directions: Helsinki, Tallinn, Prague, Vienna, Nice, Paris and Karlovy Vary.

SPb It is connected by rail with all the capitals of the Baltic countries, there are routes to Helsinki.

From Kaliningrad go to Poland and Lithuania. And already from Vilnius there are many cheap flights throughout Europe.

Services for finding electronic tickets is the largest train ticket search service in Russia. Here you can find tickets for international trains from Russia to Europe. We have an article on the site with a detailed overview of this service. is the official distributor of train tickets in Europe. The site has recently been Russified, and it has a very simple interface, so there should not be any problems with buying a ticket. You can read the reviews here.

Each European country has sites of their own railway lines, where sometimes you can buy tickets cheaper than in aggregators. Plus there are promotions and discounts. But not all possible trains are displayed and there is no Russian language.

In some countries of Eastern Europe there is no way to buy tickets online. Every year they are becoming less and less, so I see no reason to list them here. Tickets can be bought the old fashioned way at the station or from local travel agencies. Where to find them? Ask at the reception of a hostel or hotel.

What to do with an electronic ticket

After buying a ticket, there are 3 options for using it:

  1. E-tickets come to you at the specified phone number in the form of SMS, or in the application where you bought the ticket. Just show it to the conductor on the train. This method does not yet work in all countries. But in many. In Russia, they buy bus tickets like that.
  2. Print a ticket at home. Everywhere where they sell electronic tickets, they provide the opportunity to print it on paper. You can also save the PDF file to your phone and show it to the conductor.
  3. Print a ticket for the statione. To do this, you need the order number or your card, you need to enter it in a special machine at the station. He will print a ticket.

When to buy train tickets for Europe to save as much as possible

For regional and local trains most often a fixed rate is applied. Therefore, there is no need to buy them in advance, the price will remain unchanged.

For high-speed trains it makes sense to take care in advance. Most often you will find the best price 60 to 90 days before your trip. From experience, I saw the cheapest tickets 6 weeks before the selected date. The closer to the trip, the more expensive the ticket.

Usually the price grows 2 times. For example, compare 54 and 135 euros for a train from Paris to Amsterdam. The first price - 6 weeks before the trip, the second - 2 days. On particularly popular routes, such as London - Paris, the price easily rises 4 times.

How to get discounts on tickets

Most railway services offer discounts - some of them depend on the age of the passenger, others on certain dates, routes, days of the week and regions.

Usually they give discounts to young people up to 26 - 27 years old (depending on the country).

Or each country has its own promotions and discount tickets, for example, in Germany there is a Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket (weekend ticket), it allows groups of 2 - 5 people to ride regional trains on Saturday - Sunday for only 44 euros. Such discounts can be found on the sites of national railways.

© Maksym Kozlenko / / CC BY 2.0

Bundled travel Eurail

If you are going to travel a lot by train around Europe, then you should consider buying a package of travel tickets - Rail Pass or Eurail Pass. They have many different tariffs, but the point is that each trip will cost you a little cheaper than if you buy tickets separately (provided that you will use the tickets correctly), plus you will always have the opportunity to hand over / exchange a ticket, and you Do not lose in flexibility.

Read about travel details and buy here.

Eurail Pass is a single ticket / pass that allows you to ride any train in Europe. You just board the train, present the ticket to the controller and that’s it. In fact, everything is a little more complicated, but the general idea is that you can ride all European trains without buying separate tickets for each route.

Types of Travel

Global pass

  • Long lasting: You can travel around Europe unlimited from 15 days to 3 months, depending on the chosen fare.
  • Flexible: 10 or 15 days of traveling by train (they do not have to follow each other, you can ride in a day or a week, for example) for 2 months.

Select pass - From 5 to 15 days of train travel for 2 months, but you are limited in that you can travel only 3 - 5 adjacent countries. This travel card is good if you are only interested in a specific group of countries.

For example, you have a 10-day travel card between France, Switzerland and Italy. You have 2 months to use the travel card. Each day of travel will be deducted from your travel card. In one day you can make an unlimited number of trips - as much as you can.

As you can see, very cool offers. Я очень вдохновилась, когда узнала о существовании проездных, но покопавшись в подробностях, поняла, что у них есть как плюсы, так и минусы, и вы не всегда сможете сэкономить, покупая Eurail Pass. Предлагаю разобраться в подробностях.

Плюсы пакетных проездных

  • Гибкость – основное преимущество. Вам нужно узнать расписание поездов, выбрать нужный поезд, сесть в него и вперед. Отличный вариант для тех, кто не любит строгое планирование и старается плыть по течению в путешествиях.
  • Поезда дальнего следования. Если вы собираетесь много ездить на длинные дистанции, то в данном случае проездной на поезд поможет сэкономить кучу денег.On the other hand, if you intend to make several short trips, then most likely, buying individual tickets for each route will be more profitable.
  • Less stress. Piling together and trying to dock many trips is a very stressful task. For many people, it’s easier to overpay for travel than spend hours planning and lining up routes. A common story, you save either money or time.


  • Often comes out expensive, than if you bought tickets for several trips in advance. But the cheapest tickets are usually non-refundable and non-exchangeable. If you intend to buy tickets a few days before the trip, then it will be cheaper to take a ticket.
  • Overpayment for choosing a place. In some countries you will have to pay from 5 to 35 euros for the opportunity to choose a place. This can be done online or directly at the station, but preferably in advance. At you can see if you need to pay extra for choosing a place on your route or not.

© @ clemono2 / / CC BY 2.0

What to do at the station

This information is useful to you if you are at the European station for the first time. Nothing complicated, just some points differ from the situation in Russia. Each station has a chaotic atmosphere, this part of the article will help you navigate and find your train.

As I wrote above, in many cities in Europe there are several stations. Usually 2, and in Paris at all 6. Therefore, carefully study what is written on the ticket. On the water of each station there is an inscription in English with its name - it is difficult to confuse here.

At more or less large stations you will find cafes, shops with souvenirs, showers, toilets, lounges.

There are many pickpockets in Europe. Therefore, in a hustle and bustle it is easy to meet a thief or a crook. Carefully monitor your belongings and be vigilant when some "well-wishers" offer you help with buying a ticket at the machine.

Information table

In European stations, there are usually several small information boards and one main thing. It looks very ordinary, as in Russia, on it you will see information about the train number, arrival time and platform / exit number.

The ticket indicates the time of departure and trip number, but usually there is no information about the platform. You need the train number on the ticket and compare it with the train number on the board. The platform number is usually shown a few minutes before the train arrives.

How to find your platform

To let you know what to expect, some stations have 30 platforms each. Once you know the platform number, you need to find your own in a few minutes. Sometimes this is not easy, therefore, if you are not in a hurry, I advise you to look around at the station in advance.

There are workers on each platform, usually they speak English.

Punch ticket

If you have a paper ticket, you need to break it - pass validation.

The word "punch" is conditional here, it’s just familiar to our ear. In fact,

validation is just a stamp on a ticket with a date and time. It must be done before you board the train. Look for small yellow vending machines near the entrance to the platform. Put the ticket inside the machine, he will put the stamp.

If you do not break your ticket, you will have to pay a fine - these are the rules. Controllers strictly follow this, they will think that you decided to ride a hare. If you forgot to do this, it’s best to find the controller yourself and explain the situation. Well, or you can always pretend to be a stupid tourist who didn’t understand anything, maybe it’s a ride. But better put a stamp.

Electronic tickets do not need to be “punched”; they are suitable only for a certain time and date, which are indicated on the ticket. Some paper tickets also have a date and time, they don’t need validation, but I would just put the ticket into the yellow machine just in case.

How to find your carriage

The location and number of the car are indicated on your ticket. On the side of each car is its number and often the number of seats that are in the car. Of course, you can go into any car, and then from the inside get to the right one, but it's easier to go right into your own.

In regional trains, there are often no signed places (as in our trains), you just go into any car and sit down wherever you want.

Trains do not stand on platforms for a long time, so do not bother again.

Train subscriptions allow you to travel on an extensive railway network within one country or, depending on the subscription, in several countries. They also allow you to plan your last minute trips, as well as save money by using travel discounts, benefits and bonuses. Interrail Global (.)

Interrail Global Pass is the most versatile Interrail membership card, best suited to people who want complete freedom during their trips. It gives you unlimited travel on trains in 31 European countries, and you can take advantage of Eurostar, TGV, TGV Lyria, Thalys, AVE high-speed trains with Renfe, Frecciarossa and Trenitalia and ICE trains to expand your country reach. In addition, you can choose flexible or consecutive travel dates.

Country passes

Well, maybe you just want to travel around one country. Here are some examples of different season tickets:
Italy - Embark on a romantic trip to Venice and Rome before exploring the Tuscan countryside of Italy with Trenitalia and Frecciarossa high-speed trains - Eurail Italy Pass is perfect for you.
United Kingdom - Travel around the UK and Scotland, for which we will help you get great deals on the Britrail Pass and Britrail Central Scotland pass.
France - Get to know genuine France, taking advantage of the freedom afforded by the France Rail Pass.
Switzerland - Get on and off the train with the Swiss Pass and explore the mountains, lakes and cities.
You can visit more than one country during your trip. We have subscriptions for two countries, for example, for Denmark and Germany, and the European East pass subscription, which will help you to see the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary, as well as the Balkan Flexi Pass, which allows you to visit seven countries in one month: Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania and Turkey.

No matter where in Europe you go, we have a train subscription for you that will make your railway journey faster, easier and more enjoyable.

1. Choose the right train ticket

Train tickets can be booked for trips in one specific country or you can choose one of several pre-selected combinations of a country / region. Planning a lot of trips? Try the Interrail Global Pass with trips to 30 countries, including the UK.
The price of your subscription will depend on the chosen class of service, type of passenger and the number of days in transit.

2. Book your seats

Traveling by local and regional trains allows you to not reserve seats. Just board the train with a season ticket and choose any available seat. Reservations are required for travel on most high-speed, night, sightseeing and international trains. We recommend that you always check the route you are interested in for special booking requirements.

What types of subscriptions exist?

Enjoy train rides across the territory of one European country and get the opportunity to freely explore its many cities and towns.

Use trains from surrounding countries with a single train subscription. This is a great tool for exploring the most diverse corners of Europe.

A wide range of trips by train, bus and ship, as well as free admission to more than 490 museums. There is no better or more budget way to get to know Switzerland.