Le Passe Interrail permet de découvrir l’Europe en train

Interrail: 6 Itineraries from Paris to Travel Europe by Train

To the point The Interrail Pass offers a borderless tour for those wishing to explore Europe's fascinating diversity. Here's a look at 6 train itineraries to explore the Old Continent and discover its hidden gems.

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The idea of spending several days on a train can leave some travelers doubtful. Air travel is often the easiest way to get around: one flight, sometimes a stopover, and you’re landed at your destination in a few hours. But in a world where everything moves too fast, why not slow it down and give yourself time to experience the journey, and above all, to enjoy the most ecological means of transportation? To inspire you to take your time, here are 6 itineraries from France guiding you around Europe by train with Interrail.

Interrail Passes are only available to residents of Europe. Canadians must obtain a Eurail Pass. The prices and destinations remain the same; the only difference is that the Interrail Pass is for European residents and the Eurail Pass is for non-European citizens.

What is the Interrail Pass?

A great pass for exploring Europe, the Interrail Pass is a train ticket that allows passengers to discover 33 countries at reduced prices. Thanks to more than thirty partnerships with various rail and river companies, it offers travelers the chance to freely explore more than 30,000 destinations across the Old Continent.

With flexible validity periods ranging from a 4-day getaway to a 3-month adventure, the Interrail Pass allows every traveler to plan the trip that suits them best.

Once the Pass is in hand, all passengers have to do is board the trains they want, when they want. Some trains require a reservation, but most do not.

To purchase an Interrail Pass, simply visit the SNCF website.

Interrail Pass - Ticket prices

The Interrail Pass offers two options:

  • Global Pass
  • One Country Pass

Interrail Pass Prices - One Country Pass

As its name suggests, the One Country Pass allows you to travel through just one country. If you’re planning to travel a lot in just a few days, it may be worth buying one. Otherwise, I recommend buying train tickets directly from the rail company of the country you plan to visit. Prices are likely to be more affordable than the Interrail Pass.

Interrail Pass - Global Pass Prices

The Global Pass, on the other hand, is a very attractive option for travelers. It allows you to make two journeys from your country of residence (one to leave the country and one to return, including transfers), and an unlimited number of trips in the 33 participating countries.

There are two available packages:

  • Flexi Pass
  • Continuous Pass

The Flexi Pass allows you to travel a certain number of days in a month, depending on the package selected. The Continuous Pass allows you to travel for a certain number of consecutive days, making it particularly useful for spontaneous trips.

Package prices depend on the number of travel days planned. Only regular train journeys are included in the price. To travel on high-speed trains, you need to reserve a seat; and to reserve a seat, you have to pay an extra fee, the cost of which varies according to the length of the journey and the destination chosen.

Interrail - Flexi Pass Prices
Travel days Price (€) Price ($)
4 days over 1 month 212 € 314 $
5 days over 1 month 239 € 354 $
7 days over 1 month 286 € $423
10 days over 1 month 335 € 496 $
15 days over 1 month 415 € 614 $
Interrail Pass price -Continuous Pass
Days Price (€) Price ($)
15 consecutive days 357 € 528 $
22 consecutive days 440 € 651 $
1 consecutive month 522 € 773 $
2 consecutive months 620 € 918 $
3 consecutive months 717 € 1061 $

If you’re traveling with your family, Interrail is free for children up to and including 11 years old, but their reservations are subject to a charge.

Interrail Pass - Best Routes

Remember: avoid train travel if you’re in a hurry. If you’re short on time and only have a few days to spare, here are a few examples of itineraries that could still meet your needs. Pack your bags!

Interrail Pass - 4-Day Itinerary

France - Germany - Austria - Slovakia - Hungary

Trip Duration Booking fees Recommended hotel
Paris-Munich ≈ 9 h Between €15 and €30 Residence Inn Munich Central
Munich-Vienna ≈ 4 h None Le Méridien Vienna
Vienna-Bratislava ≈ 1 h None AC Hotel Bratislava Old Town
Bratislava-Budapest ≈ 2 h 40 None Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest

We start our journey on an overnight train between Paris and Munich, arriving in Germany just in time for breakfast. On the menu? Bread rolls and pretzels. We then spend the day wandering around the city center, before setting off again the next day for Vienna, a city rich in museums. After seeing Sissi’s opera house and castle, we head for Bratislava, which we can visit in just a few hours, then end our adventure in Budapest, where we get to soak in the thermal baths before leaving.

Interrail-Itineraire-Paris-Budapest

Interrail Pass - 5-day itinerary

France - Spain - Portugal

Trip Duration Booking fees Recommended hotel
Paris-Barcelona ≈ 6 h 50 Between €25 and €35 Le Méridien Barcelona
Barcelona-Madrid ≈ 5 h 30 Between €10 and €25 The Madrid EDITION
Madrid-Vigo ≈ 4 h 20 Between €8 and €15 AC Hotel Palacio Universal
Vigo-Porto ≈ 4 h 20 None Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa
Porto-Lisbon ≈ 2 h 50 5 € Lisbon Marriott Hotel

Why not spend a few days in the sun? From Paris, you can reach Barcelona in less than eight hours, where tapas, the seaside and good cheer await you. Then on to Madrid, Spain‘s cultural capital, and Vigo, a small port city that provides access to the three islands at the entrance to the Ría de Vigo, part of the Illas Atlánticas de Galicia National Maritime Terrestre Park. For dessert, we push on to Portugal, and wander through the streets of Porto, then Lisbon. For the return trip, if you’re in a hurry, hop on a direct flight between the Portuguese capital and Paris.

Not enough time? Rather than heading for Vigo after visiting Madrid, head for San Sebastian in northern Spain. This small town is a real gem, appreciated for its impressive bays, delectable cuisine and boho neighborhoods. From there, it’s less than 7 hours to Paris.

Interrail-Itineraire-Paris-Lisbonne

Interrail Pass - 7-day itinerary

France - Germany - Poland - Czech Republic - Austria

Trip Duration Booking fees Recommended hotel
Paris-Berlin ≈ 9 h Between €15 and €30 Sir Savigny Hotel, Berlin, a Member of Design Hotels™
Berlin-Crakow ≈ 11 h None AC Hotel Krakow
Krakow-Prague ≈ 6 h None St. Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Prague
Prague-Vienna ≈ 4 h None Le Méridien Vienna
Vienna-Salzburg ≈ 2 h 20 None Schloss Fuschl – a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa – Fuschlsee-Salzburg
Salzburg-Innsbruck ≈ 1 h 50 None AC Hotel Innsbruck
Innsbruck – Munich ≈ 1 h 50 None Residence Inn Munich Central

A new night train links Paris to the German capital. We make the most of it by jumping in, making sure not to forget our earplugs. Nearly ten hours later, we’re ready to set off and discover Berlin. We spend two or three days there, then head for Krakow on an overnight bus. From here, you can plan a guided tour of the Auschwitz concentration camp, now a memorial site. Then it’s on to Prague, which will captivate you with its beauty, and why not Vienna? Once in Austria, we take the opportunity to visit the Alps via Salzburg and Innsbruck, and then head back to Paris via Munich.

Interrail-Itineraire-Paris-Innsbruck

France - Croatia - Slovenia - Italy

Trip Duration Booking fees Recommended hotel
Paris-Zagreb ≈ 16 h 45 35 € The Westin Zagreb
Zagreb – Ljubljana ≈ 2 h None Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana Mons
Ljubljana – Venice ≈ 7 h None The St. Regis Venice
Venice – Florence ≈ 2 h €15 The St. Regis Florence
Florence – Rome ≈ 1 h 35 None The Rome EDITION
Rome – Naples ≈ 1 h None The Ritz-Carlton – Naples

Getting to Croatia from Paris takes time (and patience). Departures are usually around 6 pm. Two changeovers are planned in Germany, before arriving in Zagreb at 10.39 am. With the Interrail Pass, you’ve used up two days, leaving just 5 to go.

If you don’t have the patience or time for this trip, you could hop on a plane to Split, then take a train between Split and Zagreb. The journey takes just under seven hours and the booking fee is 1 euro.

After Croatia, off to Slovenia. We explore Ljubljana and the surrounding mountains, then head for Italy. Take a gondola ride on the canals of Venice, contemplate the architecture of Florence, immerse yourself in history in Rome and feast on pizza in Naples.

Interrail-Itineraire-Split-Naples

Interrail Pass - 10-day itinerary

France - Germany - Netherlands - Denmark - Norway - Sweden

Trip Duration Booking fees Recommended hotel
Paris – Amsterdam ≈ 1 h 20 None W Amsterdam
Amsterdam – Hamburg ≈ 5 h 30 None The Westin Hamburg
Hamburg – Copenhagen ≈ 6 h None AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen
Copenhagen – Gothenburg ≈ 3 h 50 None Radisson Blu Riverside Hotel
Gothenburg – Oslo ≈ 3 h 30 None Moxy Oslo X
Oslo – Bergen ≈ 7 h None Moxy Bergen
Bergen – Stockholm ≈ 14 h Between €10 and €20 AC Hotel Stockholm Ulriksdal
Stockholm – Kiruna ≈ 15 h 5 € Camp Ripan

We go from South to the North. From Paris, we head for Amsterdam, then on to Hamburg, a particularly picturesque German port city, well worth a visit. Then it’s off to Scandinavia. We visit Copenhagen in two or three days, then head north. Göteborg, Oslo, Bergen… After Norway, the Interrail route continues to Sweden. We quickly visit the capital, and take a second night train, this time to Kiruna in Swedish Lapland, near Abisko National Park. I hope you haven’t forgotten your hiking boots!

Interrail-Itineraire-Paris-Kiruna

Interrail Pass - 15-day itinerary

France - United Kingdom - Ireland

Trip Duration Booking fees Recommended hotel
Paris – London ≈ 2 h 30 20 € Conrad London St. James
London – Edinburgh ≈ 4 h 30 5 € W Edinburgh
Edinburgh – Aberdeen ≈ 2 h 30 None Residence Inn Aberdeen at Ripken Stadium
Aberdeen – Glasgow ≈ 2 h 30 None AC Hotel Glasgow
Glasgow – Manchester ≈ 3 h 30 5 € Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel
Manchester – Holyhead ≈ 3 h 30 None
Holyhead – Dublin ≈ 3 h 20 (with 30% discount) The Westin Dublin
Dublin – Galway ≈ 2 h 20 None The Dean Galway, Ireland
Galway – Limerick ≈ 2 h None Fairfield Inn & Suites Pottstown Limerick
Limerick – Dublin ≈ 2 h None The Westin Dublin
Dublin – Holyhead ≈ 3 h 20 (with 30% discount)
Holyhead – Birmingham ≈ 4 h None Four Points by Sheraton Birmingham Homewood
Birmingham – Cardiff ≈ 2 h 20 None Cardiff Marriott Hotel
Cardiff – Bristol ≈ 0 h 50 None Moxy Bristol
Bristol – Paris ≈ 6 h N/A Le Roch Hotel and Spa, Paris, a Member of Design Hotels™

Want to have a look across the Channel? Direction England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. We start our journey in London, then head off to explore the Scottish countryside. Then it’s on to Ireland, with a stopover in Manchester.

To get to Dublin from Holyhead, you have to take a ferry. To book it, visit the Irish Ferries website. You can then obtain a refund of 30% of the costs incurred by e-mailing your reference number to Interrail.

Once in Ireland, we spend two days in Dublin, then head for Galway, home to the stunning Cliffs of Moher. Limerick, named Capital of Culture in 2014, is a gem of a town, with gourmet markets, cultural treasures and Georgian architecture just two hours away.

On the way back, we stop off in Birmingham, Cardiff in Wales, then Bristol to round off our cultural stay.

Don’t forget that the 15-day Pass is only valid for one month. This means you have an average of two days to visit each city.

Interrail-Itineraire-Paris-Limerick

Bottom Line

The Interrail Pass, a precious passport for adventurers, opens the doors to the multi-faceted faces of Europe with its infinite itineraries. From the bustling alleys of Rome to the spectacular fjords of Norway, the enchanting views of Czech Republic, to sunny Spain, every holder of this rail passport can sail through an infinite palette of landscapes and cultures.

Are you a Canadian looking for affordable flights to Europe? Read our guides to save:

Questions

How to cross Europe by train?

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FR

The best way to cross Europe by train is to buy an affordable Interrail or Eurail Pass. This allows you to travel to some 30 European countries at a particularly affordable price.

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FR

What's the difference between the Interrail Pass and the Eurail Pass?

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FR

The Interrail Pass and the Eurail Pass are the same thing. Prices are the same, as are the destinations served. The only difference is that the Interrail Pass is for European residents and the Eurail Pass is for non-European citizens.

This post is also available in:
FR

How do I use an Interrail Pass?

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FR

The Interrail Pass offers reduced-price travel on most European trains, with access to the services of 35 rail companies in 33 countries. You can choose the route of your choice and board most trains simply by presenting the Interrail Pass on your phone.

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How much does it cost to travel with an Interrail Pass?

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The price depends on the length of your stay. The price of an Interrail Pass ranges from 200 euros for a four-day trip to 1,000 euros for a three-month journey.

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How to organize your trip and book tickets?

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As the itinerary crosses several countries, you have to juggle through several websites to check schedules and buy tickets. The best way to organize your trip, however, is to use the company’s Rail Planner app.

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Which countries can I travel to with an Interrail Pass?

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The Interrail Pass allows you to travel at reduced prices in 33 different countries:

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Northern Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • United Kingdom
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

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This post is also available in: FR

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