Rail Passes Around Europe

In Europe and other parts of the world, the best way to get around cities and to other countries is by train. Looking at direct fares it may seem incredibly expensive and more economical to fly. However, you can purchase a multiple-day rail pass that saves you up to 33 percent on your tickets. Passes can be purchased for three to 30 days of use and can be used from country to country. Depending on your demographic, you may even save more than 33 percent. Though saving money with a rail pass is appealing, the flexibility of a rail pass prevents you from waiting in line for tickets and is often valid on city-wide and country-wide rail services. You can purchase one pass to last the entirety of your trip.

Keep in mind that many trains will have a compulsory reservation fee. Be sure to check with the ticket office or check online. Even when carrying a rail pass, you might have to pay this additional reservation fee.

In Europe, rail passes usually come with free or discounted activities that you can take advantage of. In Switzerland, many of the lake steamers are free for rail pass holders. Check your pass information for a list of the transportation and attractions available to you in each country.

If you do a bit of research, you can usually determine the best rail pass to give you maximum flexibility and the least cost.

Check out the rail pass info at http://www.raileurope.com/index.html

You can also get very good advice (and purchase your pass) at ricksteves.com