Newbie question regarding flexibility of Global Interrail pass (X days / Month)

  • 19 April 2023
  • 3 replies


After retirement, I plan a global pass for a couple of days (in a month) around the end of this summer. Although I’m an experienced train traveller, a couple of things are still unclear for me regarding Interrail. 


My first question is if there is something like “Zugbindung” (like you have with traditional German “Sparpreis” tickets). In other words, if I plan for example for my first day a trip from my home city in the Netherlands to Munich and a train starting at, for example 8:00, would I be allowed to decide on this first morning to take a train earlier or later? And would I be flexible regarding the route, so instead of via Hannover to take a train via Frankfurt? Or do I have to take exactly those train(s) that I selected (“Zugbindung”) when I created the trip for that first day?


My second question is how flexible I am regarding creating trips. Do I have to plan every trip (and thus every day and train) before I start using the Interrail pass? Or can it be that I enter only the first trip to (for example) Munich, stay there a couple of days until I decide I have seen enough of Munich, and then create my second trip, depending on the weather, to Rome or Zermatt?

I’m NOT asking about reservations. I know how to create them via the DB and ÖBB sites. I only want to know the amount of flexibility I have with the Interrail pass itself.



Best answer by rvdborgt 19 April 2023, 10:59

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3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

When there are no mandatory reservations required, you can board any train you'd like. You can decide 2 min before boarding, change your mind en-route, etc. Lots of flexibility !

That's why the pass is better value for money in countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland with an extensive network and frequent trains :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

With a pass, you are not tied to any train. The only limitation are trains with mandatory reservations, for which you have to have one of course and which are in some cases also limited by quota for pass holders. But without mandatory reservations, you are free to choose and change your mind at the last moment or mid-journey, and get off earlier or later than your original plan. You then just need to add any new trains to the trip report (for a paper pass) or, for the mobile pass, update the trains you had added to your pass.

You can plan in advance, but this is not a requirement. You don't have to plan anything. The only requirement is that you add a train to your pass (or write it in the trip report for a paper pass) before you board the train.

Do take note that in the mobile pass, "trip” and "journey” have different meanings. A pass can be linked to one trip only. The trip is a diary of journeys you could do, and which you can add to your pass before you board. A journey can consist of one or more trains.

Thanks. This is what I hoped for. Great! 😎