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Blackpepper11
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Posted 1 year ago

Planning to cover Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon using interrail pass next year. Would be helpful if you suggest anything.

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Arend7
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587 comments

replied 1 year ago

Problem with this trip is making reservations for high-speed trains in France and Spain. That is very cumbersome (if not impossible) online and not possible for popular trains (called a contingent or quota). To much interrail travellers is less profit for the train companies.
If you want to use high-speed trains you should consider a one-country pass Portugal and buy tickets Brussels-Madrid en Madrid-Badajoz (border station with Portugal) or direct bus Madrid-Lisboa separatly.

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MisterSteve
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replied 1 year ago

I suggest you start by scrolling through this website looking at all the other people who wanted to go to Spain and Portugal and the answers they got. Spain is a nightmare for Interrail with compulsory reservations on many trains which are basically impossible to get out side of Spain. Then there is the lack of trains between the countries, the much written about overnight train that appears on many websites has been withdrawn and isn't coming back. There are currently no day trains on that route either. The route via Badajoz has one decent CONNECTING service leaving Madrid around 0810 and a slower alternative a few hours later. The route from Vigo to Porto has a few direct trains if you are up in the north. Portugal also has compulsory reservations on fast trains but I've never had a problem getting one a few days in advance from a station ticket office. I wouldn't bother with the one country pass for Portugal because the regional are fares are low and for longer travel you can buy in advance (including reservation) at cheaper prices from their website www.cp.pt

If you are starting in London the pass doesn't give free travel on Eurostar, it gets you access to a discounted fare which is currently around £30 each way - so if the travel for one day was only London-Brussels you would be paying one day of the pass PLUS the Eurostar fee, which will be close to Eurostars early booking fare without a pass. Thalys trains Brussels-Paris also have special rules for Interrail (but some of the trains on that route are TGV which only need reservation).

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Arend7
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587 comments

replied 1 year ago

agree, but nevertheless I'm still considering making this trip myself within the next couple of years. But with normal tickets and a "one-country PT" for the convenience (no queing at ticket-offices), not for the money.
Madrid is pretty well reachable and there are several bus companies offering direct connections between Madrid and Lisboa if Badajoz is to complicated.