Eurail Pass Review: Eurail Global Pass
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In 2011, I went to Freiburg, Germany to do an exchange program for the summer. I thought that since I was there anyway, I wanted to travel around Europe during my break. I bought the 15 continuous days Eurail global pass.
At that time, I remembered that it was only for the youth and people in their early 20’s but now, they also have different packages for adults over 27 and kids under 12 are FREE. Awesome!
You know when you’re young, (maybe you are still young), that you think you can do anything and everything. I thought so too! This is why I decided to get the 15 continuous days because I wanted to go to so many countries and I didn’t have a lot of time.
I chose to travel during the summer reading week break and the weekends around it. Sometimes, I would even come back on Sunday night for an early Monday morning class and leave again on a Thursday night.
Here are some of the places I visited from my Freiburg base (in no particular order):
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands
- Leipzig, Germany (where Bach was born)
- Basel, Switzerland
- Munich, Germany
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Berlin, Germany
- Vienna, Austria
- Hamburg, Germany
- Koln, Germany
- Hannover, Germany (half day)
Can’t wait to see all these places? Get your Eurail pass here.
So, How does it work?
You can use the Eurail pass to travel to different countries in Europe by train.
Eurail is for non-European residents only. European residents have a different pass called Interrail. When the train ticket inspector comes to check, you might need to show your passport along with the Eurail pass.
You can get it online to be shipped to you
- Choose your package based on how old you are and how many countries you would like to visit. Please note that children under 12 are free per paying adult.
- Check that you are travelling within 11 months of purchasing this pass.
- Start planning where you want to go while waiting for the pass to be shipped to you.
- Activate your ticket at any train station in Europe. You need to go to a counter to do this.
Enjoy your travels!
If you want to read more before you go, you can check the following items out:
Here are some frequently asked questions:
How do I activate my Eurail pass?
- You can go to a train station and find where people buy their tickets. Go up to the counter with your Eurail pass and let them know when you would like to start using the pass. If they cannot understand you, you might want to write down the date or ask for someone who speaks your language.
- Make sure that you check for the correct date because it was such a hassle for me when I had to change the date due to a miscommunication.
Can I use it on local trains within the country where my Eurail pass is valid?
- Just show it to the ticket inspector if they ask you for your ticket.
- I went to Switzerland and was able to use it all the way to visit Mount Titlis. I was there as a child and so I wanted to go again. Can you imagine the look I got when I brought winter boots to Germany in the summer? It was totally worth it!
Are overnight trains included?
- Yes, they are included. You can sleep on these trains. They are usually slower than the regular day bullet trains so I actually slept all the way to my destination. Set an alarm that will wake you up but not the rest of the people on the train. The ones I took didn’t have bunk beds, but you can look into them.
Reserved vs non-reserved seating
- When I first got on the train, I didn’t know that there were reserved seatings. It’s basically certain seats that people book in advance. Eurail has a reservation service if you would like to book your seats.
- When all the seats were booked, I had to stand the whole time or find a seat someplace else.
Eating on the train
- You can eat on the train, just be mindful of the people around you. I often bring something small and simple – not messy or have a strong smell.
If you have more questions, check out Eurail’s frequently asked questions page.
Necessary tips when using Eurail pass:
- Get the package with the number of days within 1 month or 2 months if you want to enjoy exploring each individual place/country and have the time. Don’t be like me to aim to go to so many places while studying at the same time. I was exhausted.
- Write down on the pass where you’re travelling from and to.
- Be prepared for train delays. Check the schedule and know that it can happen.
- If you’re travelling alone on the overnight train, be aware of your surroundings both at the train stations and on the train.
- Relax and enjoy the scenic view on the train.
- Know what time you’ll arrive at your destination and get ready to get off.
- Take a ton of pictures and videos. You’ll want to remember your experience in Europe.
Excited for your European journey? Get your Eurail pass online.