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Train travel in Europe is as common as car travel in North America. In Europe, every country has a dedicated rail service. But traveling through various countries can be challenging, given the different languages, different rules and all the planning. In 1959, a number of railway companies got together to create a single European rail pass, the "Eurail Pass".  With this pass, traveling between countries became easier, faster and more economical than ever before.

Planning your Eurail trip is all part of the fun. Follow these 5 steps to help you plan your European vacation of a lifetime. 

Plan your Europe trip in 5 steps

 

Planning your rail trip through Europe is all part of the fun. Follow these 5 steps to help you plan a memorable vacation:

  1. Order your Eurail pass

  2. Plan your route

  3. Schedule your travel times

  4. Book your train reservations

  5. Book your accommodation

 

1

Order your Eurail pass

 

First things first, you need to choose your Eurail pass. Decide which countries you want to discover and how many train travel days you need to visit all your destinations. Then you’re ready to choose and order your pass. We can deliver to a home or work address, or even to your accommodation in Europe.

View all Eurail passes

2

Plan your route

 

Once your pass is on the way, you're ready to come up with your route. To help you, use the Eurail map that shows the main European train and ferry routes included in the Eurail pass. There's also a map showing the approximate travel times between popular cities to give you an idea of the amount of time you'll need.

View the Eurail map

 

3

Schedule your travel times

 

Once you know the route you want to take, you can use the Eurail timetable to look up specific train times. You’ll be able to see the departure and arrival times and if you need to change trains along the way. You’ll also be able to check if you need to make a reservation for a particular train.

Use the Eurail timetable

4

Book your train reservations

 

Once you know the route you want to take, you can use the Eurail timetable to look up specific train times. View departure and arrival times, details of connections between trains and see if a reservation is required.

Note that the number of seats available for Eurail pass holders is limited on most French trains below. Reserve these trains as soon as possible. Read more about limited seats. 

Read more about train reservations

5

Book your accomodation

 

Now to arrange where to sleep. You've got plenty of accommodation options in Europe, from fancy hotels and cosy  B&Bs to budget hostels and campgrounds. There's also an extensive network of night trains in Europe, transporting you across long distances while you sleep.

Read more about accommodation options

Rail planner app

 

The Rail Planner app is a handy free app that offers an offline timetable and details of the Eurail benefits.

Download free for:

Tips on using the app

Things to keep in mind: In the search results overview it is not stated if a train needs a reservation or not. You’ll have to open and expand one of the search results to find out if you need a reservation.

In the rail planner app, Thello trains (Paris to Rome/Venice) are displayed as EN (Euronight trains). The Thello is unfortunately not included in the Eurail pass, so you’ll have to buy a full fare ticket. These trains are listed as follows:

  • Paris –  Rome:  EN 207

  • Rome – Paris:   EN 227

  • Paris –  Venice: EN 221

  • Venice – Paris:  EN 220

Travel resources

 

Get additional help planning your Eurail trip with these useful travel resources:

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