How Does Inter Rail Work?
Inter Rail splits Europe into a series of zones. These zones are:
- Zone A - United Kingdom, Ireland
- Zone B - Finland, Norway, Sweden
- Zone C - Austria, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland
- Zone D - Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia
- Zone E - Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands
- Zone F - Morocco, Portugal, Spain
- Zone G - Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Turkey
- Zone H - Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro
Inter Rail Prices*Prices are for over 26, under 26 and under 12 respectively.
- 1 Zone (16 Days) : 286€/195€/143€
- 2 Zones (22 Days) : 396€/275€/198€
- Global Pass (1 Month) : 546€/385€/273€
*Prices subject to change. Check with the vendor for current price.
Is the Inter Rail Pass Good Value for Money?
Each pass costs 18€/12€/9€ per day - there is no reduction for buying the more extensive versions of the passes.
Assuming you are staying at least two whole days in most places in Spain, you'll need to be spending 54€ (36€ if you are under 26) every three days for the pass to be worth your while. A long journey in Spain (for example from Granada to Barcelona or Valencia to Santiago de Compostela) can cost between 50€ and 90€ ($65-$118). Bear in mind that this is a long journey - most journeys will cost less than this.
Spain is in Inter Rail Zone F and includes Portugal and Morocco. Train prices are similar in these countries.
On the one-zone pass, only if you are making at least five very long journeys in 15 days in Spain, Portugal and Morocco will you recoup your costs - and if you are doing this, you haven't planned things very well.
Train travel in other countries is more expensive than in Spain, so a two-zone or global pass may be more cost efficient if you plan on visiting other countries in Europe. As an example of prices in other countries, a ticket from Nice to Paris in France costs 133€ ($175) and from Hamburg to Munich in Germany costs 115€ ($150). These are about as far as you can go in one country, so remember that the average cost of travel in these countries is a lot lower. Also take into account that for every trip you take, you may have to pay a reservation fee (which is essential in Spain and very desirable in other countries), pushing the price up even further.
Also bear in mind that if you are traveling from Spain to other countries in Europe, a Budget Flight may be cheaper (and will definitely be quicker).
This is the only pass available to European citizens (the Eurail pass is for those from outside of Europe).
Inter Rail Eligibility
You must be a citizen from one of the countries covered by Inter Rail (see above) or from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Algeria, Tunisia, Cyprus, Malta, and Iceland but you cannot buy a pass for your home zone.