The train system in Europe makes it very easy for a backpacker to get around. Eurorail.com offers many options to suit your travel needs and a youth discount for people 26 and younger. It operates in most countries excluding the United Kingdom and some Eastern European countries. In addition to train tickets, many countries have special deals for Eurorail pass holders like discounts on ferries and at the Hard Rock Cafe.
The Global Pass includes 28 countries starting from EUR €279
The Select Pass includes 4 bordering countries of your choice From EUR €92
The Regional Pass allows you to choose from popular 2 country combinations From EUR €105
The One Country Pass includes one country From EUR €59
The Global Pass is the most popular option. Here are the options for length of use and prices.
Is it cheaper to buy a pass or buy tickets individually?
It depends how you use it. If you are traveling quickly from city to city, only a few days in each place, then it will be worth it. If your travel style is to stay a week or longer in each city, then it will probably be cheaper to not use the pass. A benefit of having the pass is the convenience of not needing to stand in line each time to pay and get a ticket, unless there is a reservation required, like for some night trains.
My first and only night train experience
My first and only night train experience was a bit abnormal (that’s actually an understatement). I was going from Budapest to Prague with a layover in Vienna. On the Eurail App, it shows the train schedules so I had my route figured out. I was meant to have 30 minutes in Vienna before my train to Prague which was to arrive at 9pm. On my way to Vienna, the train stopped and and everyone got off. I thought we must be in Vienna. The train had a delayed start so we arrived later than expected and I only had 10 minutes to find my next train. I asked a person for help and found out that I was still in Hungary, and clearly not going to make it to my connection. I had to wait for the next train that left in 20 minutes. When I arrived, the ticket desk told me that the next train to Prague was in 2 hours and would arrive at 4 am. The night train required a reservation, but since it was last minute, he could not enter it on the computer and told me to just pay on the train.
When I boarded the train, nobody was asking for money, and I didn’t have a seat or bed to sleep. I was wandering the hall with my backpacks and everyone had the doors shit and lights out sleeping, except for one section. Four Austrian boys were drinking beer and as I walked by they said, “Halo! D you want a beer?” Seeing that there was an open seat, I accepted the invitation and sat down and cracked open a beer. They told me that someone was sitting there, but I could sit until he returned. After chatting to the funny boys for a while a Czech guy returned with a beer so I said “Prost! Haha just kidding! Do you want your seat back?” He declined politely and offered his seat to me, so he sat in the hallway facing us. After some time the boy started to doze off and lay down. Then the unexpected happened.
The Czech guy grabbed my foot and started massaging it. Awkward. I only let it happen because I was literally just complaining how tired my feet were in Budapest and how I need a foot massage. Be careful what you wish for! So i’m trying to enjoy this creepy foot massage, but I never encouraged it. No “Thank you,” no “That feels good.” Nothing. A staff member walked by, confused, and I took the opportunity to pull my leg back in. After they passed he grabbed my other foot. Guess he needs to even it out. I was wondering how do I get out of this situation, trying to get the Austrian boys’ attention to save me. Eventually he has both my feet and it started to become more sensual touching, moving up my legs. I pretended to be asleep, but I felt my foot raise so I look and he was biting my big toe. Of course I pulled away, but he resisted and grabbed my foot tighter, so I let him continue, thinking maybe he understands that I don’t want my feet in his mouth. Now I’m really trying to figure out how to get out of this and get the boys to help me. I felt my other foot lift and he was biting my other big toe! Whoa! Where did he think this was going? We were on a night train, and he was in the hallway!
This time I pulled my foot in harder to fight his resistance and told him, “No. Stop.” It was so uncomfortable, especially being in his seat! I laid there frightened for two minutes until he finally got up and went to the bathroom. I woke up the Austrian boys and told them what happened. They laughed then told me to shut the door and turn off the lights. He came back so I offered his seat back, but he declined and just grabbed his backpack from above me and slept in the hallway. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well that night, knowing we would both get off the train at 4am, afraid that he could follow me. The train station ended up being very busy because the is a night club underground, so I didn’t feel so threatened. Definitely, the most awkward experience of my life, having a stranger bite my toes in the hallway of a night train in Europe.