The 9-euro ticket is a complete success – millions have secured the flat rate for local transport. On the other hand, a train ticket with a similar concept – but with many advantages – has been completely unjustly forgotten.
First of all: the 9-euro ticket can’t be beat in terms of price – and that will certainly have been the number 1 reason for many people to buy it. The heavily subsidized campaign is only available for three months, and many would like a permanent solution.
And that’s exactly what has been available across Europe with the Interrail ticket for 50 years. The concept is similar: For a (quite fair) fixed price, you can use any train in 33 European countries – you choose the validity and period of time yourself.
We took the 9 euro ticket as an opportunity to take a closer look at the often underestimated Interrail ticket, which contrary to popular belief is not just for students. Here you can find out how the Interrail pass works and what three reasons make it the better 9-euro ticket in the long term.
Interrail Pass: How the European train ticket works
With an Interrail ticket you can use as many trains as you like in the participating countries in a certain number of days. How many such travel days you have available depends on the pass you choose:
There are whole
that you can drive every day
They are significantly cheaper and more popular
flexible passportswhere you have, for example, four, five or seven travel days in a calendar month.
Prices for flexible passes start at 246 euros for adults aged 28 and over. It is cheaper for young people between the ages of 12 and 27, with prices starting at 185 euros for four travel days a month. Children between the ages of four and eleven travel for free.
What initially sounds like a lot of money is extremely fair in the price comparison. With four travel days you can replace two return flights – at a price of 246 euros you can only do this with low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, if at all. But with Interrail you protect the environment and are even more flexible on the road. Because the possibilities are limitless, which is the first reason why the Interrail ticket is the better 9-euro ticket.
Reason 1: Flexibility
Sure: With a 9-euro ticket you are also flexible. But only in the three summer months.
In the long term, the Interrail Pass offers significantly more flexibility. Anyone who buys it today does not have to enter a start date for their trip, but can travel up to eleven months later. The pass is only activated after the first use, you must then redeem your remaining travel days in the same month.
Another plus point: With the many ticket variants, everyone will find the right model – whether for a short city trip or a comprehensive tour of Europe.
Reason 2: long-distance and express trains
Anyone who spent eight hours with the 9-euro ticket in overcrowded regional trains through Wallachia without a seat just to spend Pentecost Sunday on Sylt will suddenly appreciate long-distance and express trains again.
And that is exactly what is included in the Interrail ticket. This makes the Interrail ticket, in contrast to the 9-euro ticket, a real holiday ticket. Instead of Sylt, there is suddenly the Mediterranean Sea, the Côte d’Azur or the Croatian Adriatic coast. And if you are longing to spoil the peace and quiet of millionaires at their summer residence on holiday, you will certainly find what you are looking for in Monaco.
Reason 3: More convenience
Speaking of overcrowded regional trains: In the past few days, hardly any journey with the 9-euro ticket was comfortable.
While you were thrown out before departure on some regional trains of the Deutsche Bahn because the train was too full, you can even travel in first class with Interrail.
A full first-class pass costs more than 100 euros for 7 days of travel. Our tip: reserve a seat in first class on the train yourself. A reservation is mandatory in some countries anyway, and the difference in price between first and second class is often minimal.
Another advantage of Interrail: Night trains are also included, so you can sleep comfortably on the train and save on hotel costs. This is a real insider tip, because even if the night train arrives the next day, only the day of departure counts as the day of travel.
Interrail Rail Planner: Official companion app to the Interrail ticket
Anyone going on an Interrail trip should download the associated app. With Interrail Rail Planner you can conveniently prepare your trip, find suitable train connections in all 33 countries and show your ticket directly in the app.
The smartphone applications also provide an overview of all the discounts you get with an Interrail pass, such as on ferries, city tours and accommodation.
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