first interail pass

  • 6 November 2023
  • 4 replies

hi. maybe a silly quetion but is my first time with the pass.

i will get a 4 days pass in 1 month, i will travel only day time in all 4 days, i will not pas the midnight in any of the days so my question is

first travel 27 nov, second travel 6 dec, third travel 10 dec, forth travel 14 dec. 

im in the one month time frame but if i get now the pass and make all reservations and tickets will it count me from my first travel day or from the moment i activet the pass? my dates are fix and i cant be flexible so i know exactly when and with what i travel also have half of the seat reservation already, the other half i cant get untill i dont have the pass or i get near a train station to ask. any help or advice is much apricieted 


Best answer by ralderton 6 November 2023, 12:45

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4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

You can buy the pass now, but don’t activate it until the day you start to travel. If you activate it today (6 Nov), it would expire one month later on 5 December - even if your first journey isn’t till the 27th.

You don’t need to have an active pass to make reservations.

Additionally, it’s best not to use a travel day until you’re sure you are travelling. Even if you think all your dates are fixed, you might find that illness or disruption means you don’t travel on the day you expect. 

@ralderton thx for your answer. i just have one issue with the trains in france and spain 😀, i need to go on 10 dec in barcelona from anywhere in switzerland, i just dont find where to book a seat, i call sbb here in swiss and they did not help, i have 2 options, geneva to lyon and barcelona or zurich to paris and barcelona, but for example the train with connection in lyon dosent show up on the rail company only on the rail planner app,im confused 😁


Userlevel 7
Badge +5

The international AVE is a pain. You cannot book this train anywhere else than at RENFE ticket counters in Spain. It feels like RENFE hates passholders... (they do).

Honestly I'd suggest going via Geneva so you avoid the expensive TGV Lyria fee (29€). You never know what could happen via Paris and it's also a big detour.

It would look like this :

- IC5 Zürich HB - Genève 09:04 - 11:47 (or earlier)

- TER Genève - Grenoble 11:59 - 14:02

- TER Grenoble - Valence TGV 14:30 - 15:33

- TGV Valence TGV - Barcelona-Sants 16:55 - 21:27 25€ (SBB ticket counters or

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

I've read multiple reports now from people who just approach the AVE staff before they board in France, and who can then buy a "reservation” for the regular €10 on board.

It's a pain indeed, but if you don't have access to a RENFE point of sales, then currently it's the only possibility.