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TE140224
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Posted 2 months ago

Hello
We are senior +65.
Do not know how interrail works and what are the connections/routes e.g. between Finland and Portugal ?
If one chooses railing instead of flight, what kind of things he maybe wins or looses ?
-like among other things : easiness, carefree, money, time, meeting people, learn new things and culture
br. Tarmo

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MisterSteve
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replied 2 months ago

Interrail is a pass for people who live in (most of) Europe - if you live outside of this area you need Eurrail which is almost the same (it's slightly better).

With Interrail you have limited use in your home country - one trip to the border and one back from the border which are part of the number of days the pass is valid for, not extras.

The pass is valid for a number of days NOT trains, you can use several trains in one day. But in some countires long distance trains require reservatons which cost more and need to be made in advance, these can be difficult in some cases and can cost anywhere between 5€ and 40€ per person per train. In some countries not all trains are included so you need to check the list. CP in Portugal and VR in Finland are OK, but Avio in Spain, Ouigo in France, Trenitalia subsidiaries in Spain and France are important gaps. Eurostar only accept it in small numbers per train and with a high reservation fee.

The number one biggest problem with Portugal is the fact that you have to cross Spain - and Spain is very difficult with Interrail! Finland has a similar (not quite as bad) problem with Sweden.

The pass is intended for touring, a day in one place, a few days in another and so on. If you just want to go from one place to somewhere else in Europe it will not work, for a journey over 500km it will take longer than flying, over 1500km it will take much longer and could be more expensive. For a journey under 100km it will be more expensive than a simple train ticket . YOU have to carry your luggage and if train are delayed and conenctions get tight it won't be carefree. But you will meet people and you will get closer to the real country.

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Arend7
Traveller
587 comments

replied 2 months ago

For connections and routes watch www.bahn.com for electronic timetables. Do not search from Helsinki to Lisboa (you will get a heart attack by looking at that) but divide it in stages. Suppose you will take a ferry to Stockholm (from Turku). Then search for instance Stockholm-Hamburg, Hamburg-Paris, Paris-Barcelona-Madrid, Madrid-Badajoz-Lisbon. Background information for European train travel is at www.seat61.com.