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confused about the interrailling 'special trains'

Travel Forums Europe confused about the interrailling 'special trains'

1. Posted by Nat_1985 (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Hi guys,

I am planning to travel around eastern europe during June/July and I have saved up to by an interrail pass, but while I have been researching, I have realised that the pass doesn't mean you can get on any old train and the cost will be included :O so now I'm all confused... if anyone has interrailed around europe before can you let me know which train links require extra payment, and how much are the supplements? The places I really want to visit are: Gdansk and Krakow - Budapest - A few places in Bulgaria (Varna, Veliko Turnavo and Sofia) - Bar (Montenagro) - Split and Zagreb in Croatie - Ljubljana - Vienna. I know where I want to go, the dilema is just 'how'?! Is it even such a good idea to plan it all in advance or shall i just wing it ;) ??

Thanks for any help! xx

2. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 8y

you have to pay to book a train in advance, and you often cant take really fast trains (you have to pay a bit extra), you cant take sleepers (pay extra)... shitty huh! interrail tickets arent as good value as they used to be!

3. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 8y

Hi, as Jaxstar said, on the vast majority of services you can just hop on and use your pass without the need for a supplement, but in some cases you'll want to make a seat reservation (either because the service requires a reservation or because it's likely to be busy). In this instance it usually costs about 3 Euros or so.

In addition you have supplements on certain trains such as TGV services which again are usually quite small (from about 1 Euro to 15 Euros). Most of these supplements are in Western Europe so you shouldn't have too many problems, but seat61 has an overview of what train services have supplements and how much they're likely to cost.

http://www.seat61.com/InterRail.htm#supplements

For me, I think far too much is made of these charges as for the most part they're very small and they only apply to a handful of journeys. I'd just budget an extra 20-30 Euros for your whole trip and stop worrying about it!

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 18, 2008, at 11:51 AM by BlankFrack ]

4. Posted by Merryman (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y

I did a similar route to you last summer and only paid a supplement once, for a sleeper train from Krakow to Vienna.

Having paid 20 euros then myself and my friends decided it was absolutely pointless as border guards wake you up every hour or so asking for passports and so the amount of sleep gained is very small!

I'd just get on trains and sleep in normal seats, its not that comfortable but its fine for a night and saves money/hassle. If you are fine doing this you can pretty much get on or off any train you like at any point in Eastern European- no supplements or problems at all.

Of the places you talked about I visited Krakow, Budapest, Vienna and Ljubljana which were all good fun and had lots to see and do. I also went to Bar but wouldn't recommend staying there long, go straight to Budva or preferably Kotor which are both much nicer- Kotor is stunning and one of the best places I visited!

I wouldn't advise planning anything in advice, just see how it goes. Perhaps if you get down to Montenegro go from Kotor to Dubrovnik (quick bus journey and pretty cheap) as both are incredible places to see and then take the train from near Dubrovnik to Sarajevo...its the most scenic train ride that I went on in a month through beautiful countryside and Sarajevo at the end is quite unique and has lots to do. Then you could easily take an overnight train up to Zagreb from there...

Good luck!

5. Posted by Nat_1985 (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Hey thanks guys :) lots of useful info, and looks like I'll be giving Koto a visit :)

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Quoting Merryman

Having paid 20 euros then myself and my friends decided it was absolutely pointless as border guards wake you up every hour or so asking for passports and so the amount of sleep gained is very small!

Not anymore. The Eastern European countries are part of the Schengen area since Jan 1st 2008, so no more border checks there - just like in the rest of Europe.

7. Posted by Dutch-Dimi (Budding Member 15 posts) 8y

Not anymore. The Eastern European countries are part of the Schengen area since Jan 1st 2008, so no more border checks there - just like in the rest of Europe.

I doubt if this holds for the train pass checks aswel. Since I even got a check on the train from Germany to the Netherlands.

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Quoting Dutch-Dimi

Not anymore. The Eastern European countries are part of the Schengen area since Jan 1st 2008, so no more border checks there - just like in the rest of Europe.

I doubt if this holds for the train pass checks aswel. Since I even got a check on the train from Germany to the Netherlands.

Well, of course they check your tickets, what do you expect? But the conductors are held to check the tickets right after departure for night trains, so that when you board the train to Berlin in Warschaw at 23:30 the conductor will come around no later than midnight and you can sleep until 7:14 instead of being woken at 4:30 at the border.

9. Posted by PeteW27 (Budding Member 50 posts) 8y

When I was interailing around Europe a few years ago now, I found buying the "Thompsons European Timetable" er, timetable book invaluable. It also let you know what trains cost extra. I found that travelling the longest journeys overnight to be the best (Berlin to Verona, Italy for example) so that you don't lose a day travelling. If Italy is in your iternary though, be warned that the youth hostels there are few and far between, especially compared to the likes of Germany and the UK. Best book in advance! Have fun!!!