One advantage of Eurail…

One advantage of a Eurail Pass is that it allows you to hop on and hop off trains all day long. That’s what happened when we left Geneva and crossed Switzerland.

We went from Geneva to a small town where we met some friends. After that it was on to Bern. And after Bern, Thun.

After divesting ourselves of our bags, we went back to Bern and spent the evening floating down the river and downing some beers with friends. Then it was back to Thun for a good night’s sleep. And all the transport was hassle-free thanks to our Eurail Pass. It also helps when you’re not counting every journey you do, but enjoying as much travel as you want to on one of your “on” days.


When a cheap Euro rail pass isn’t cheap

I’ve spoken to some people who found a Eurail Pass wasn’t the cheap Euro rail pass they expected. So, what’s with that?

Firstly, every time we’ve used Eurail Passes, we’ve found them to be amazing value. This time, we’re actually trying to track what we would have spent if we were buying point-to-point tickets. We’ll let you know how it ends up.

The reason a Eurail Pass might cost more than point-to-point tickets is if you are travelling in cheap countries! Italy is much cheaper than Switzerland; Spain is much cheaper than Sweden.

Before you organize your Eurail Pass, you should have a rough idea of where you’re going to travel and when. Use this to your advantage by checking those prices online before you buy. It’s not the most accurate, but Jizdenka does a very good job of accessing international train costs. You can supplement this information with information from the national sites.

Whatever you choose, enjoy your time in Europe 🙂


First class from Bern to Berlin with Eurail

One of the strangest features of the Eurail Pass is that they force everyone over the age of 26 into First Class. This doesn’t appear to be a problem! (Although you may be able to make your journey’s more cheaply by buying second-class point-to-point tickets.)

Here’s our experience of complementary nuts and cookies as we travelled from Bern to Berlin, reaching speeds of around 250km/hour, on an ICE train.

Reservations on Bern-Berlin are recommended but not compulsory if you take this route during the day (I’m not sure about at night). We choose a time we thought wouldn’t be busy and had no problems finding seats. In fact, we had a whole six-seater cabin to ourselves for 90% of the train trip.


Validating your Eurail Pass

On day one of our Euro rail adventure, we headed from Geneva to Thun with

The ride was smooth and beautiful, plus we were met by a friend in Bern and had a great time exploring the local towns, floating down the river towards the parliament buildings, and hanging out with new-found friends at a few parties.


Unboxing your Eurail Pass

Today we’re in Geneva, Switzerland and we got our Eurail Global Pass tickets!

This is the big unboxing of our Eurail map, Eurail Traveller’s Guide, Eurail Timetable and — of course — Eurail Pass tickets.

From Geneva we’re heading east … check back tomorrow to see where we end up!


The difference between Eurail and Euro Rail Pass

The Eurail and the Euro Rail Pass are one and the same. In fact, the Eurorail is actually an informal name for the Eurail Pass.

The name confusion is based around a branding change made to simplify and shorten the name from “Euro Pass”. Even now, years after the change, people still refer to the Eurail Pass as Euro Pass or Euro Rail Pass.

Travel on the Eurail Pass

The Eurail Pass gives you hop-on, hop-off access to most of Europe’s train network. Bookings are more and more necessary in Spain and Italy, which comes with extra costs.

The traditional Eurail pass covers 21 countries, as of 2009: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Other passes, such as the Eurail Selectpass, allow one to select a series of bordering countries. For fare calculation purposes, some regions count as one country: Benelux, Slovenia-Croatia, and Serbia-Montenegro-Bulgaria. The United Kingdom is notably absent, but provides a separate set of passes. Source: Wikipedia

Where can I buy a Eurail Pass?

Eurail Passes are generally only available to people from outside Europe (and some other States). Although you can buy a Eurail pass inside Europe, it’s both easier and cheaper to buy them outside. If you’re already in Europe, consider having them sent to family or friends, then posted to you by courier. In some cases this case save you a chunk of cash!

What about the InterRail pass?

The InterRail pass is a different ticket again. It is only available to residents of Europe.

Eurail or EuroRail

Whether you call it the Eurail, the Euro Train or the EuroRail Pass, you’re sure to have a lot of fun travelling around Europe. Check out more Eurail Stories or information on Euro train passes for inspiration, tips and advice for European train travel.


What to read?

One of the great joys of train travel is all that time to catch up on reading. We’re excited to have come across the bookstore guide right at the same time TravelBlogs has released their reading lists for 2008.

Sonja and Ivan are travelling around Europe exploring the bookshops. The bookshops! It’s a geek’s dream and their early posts are a great sign of things to come. With a relaxed and personal tone it’s full of information.

A recent report on Paris touches on some of my favourite haunts: Shakespeare & Co and the San Francisco book company amongst them. I also found out about a few new places to check out on my next visit — the Abbey looks especially inviting.

If you happen to find yourself in, let’s say Amsterdam or Berlin or any other city, we hope that this Bookstore Guide will help you find the books you are looking for so make sure you stop and browse…

Written by Mark the tips in: Discoveries | Tags: , , , , , ,

With Christmas coming…

With Christmas coming I was excited to stumble across this great-looking book, perfect for the Eurail enthusiast. It would make a great gift for someone heading to Europe during the holidays or celebrating their graduation with a Eurotrip adventure.

Europe by Eurail 2009: Touring Europe by Train is hot off the press and ready to help you plan a Eurail journey in the new year. It contains route information, timetables and plenty of advice from seasoned Eurail pros.

Looking for gifts for other travelers this Christmas? Get the free “Gift ideas for travelers” download from Indie Travel Podcast to browse through heaps of great ideas. If you really want to splash out and celebrate, you can buy Eurail Passes for next Spring at heavily discounted prices.

Christmas should be a time to give, so we’re supporting Passports with Purpose. This charity fundraiser is in support of Heifer International and is run by a small group of travel bloggers. It’s well worth a look.

Written by Mark the tips in: Specials | Tags: , , , , , ,

Spring 2009 Eurail Discounts

Right now is the time to buy if you’re after a Eurail Pass in Spring 2008. RailEurope, amongst others, is offering massive 30% discounts including up to one week free on the Eurail Global Pass. Click here for Rail Europe.

Sales finish 30 November!

These discounts are available for a limited time and are valid for travel in March, April and May 2009. If that’s when you’re travelling, get in now and save yourself some cash! You’ll also get Free shipping on orders of $399 or more.

Written by Jo the discount in: Specials | Tags: , , , ,

Photos from Swiss Pass Journey

Here are some photos taken during my 2006 Eurail trip through Switerland. It was easily the most scenic of all our travels that year. Except, perhaps the South Island of New Zealand.

Swiss countryside - 9
Swiss countryside

Brienz - 12
Brienz, near Interlaken.

Bern - 26
Magnificent Bern. With real bears.

Swiss mountain journey - 10
Swiss mountain journey.

Swiss mountain journey - 15
Train carriages ahead.

Written by Craig the admin in: Stories | Tags: , , , , , ,

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