Interrail vs buying tickets separate

  • 6 January 2022
  • 2 replies

Hey guys, this year I want to travel through Portugal and Spain. I noticed it would be much cheaper to buy every ticket directly at the railway operations (260€ vs. 100€)


1. Do the train tickets always cost the same in Portugal/Spain in view of the time of purchase and the season?

2. When are the tickets available for September? At the moment you can only buy tickets for February. 

3. Why should I buy an interrail ticket instead of buying the train tickets separately?


Thank you in advance. Regards, Carlos 

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

1.) The prices are made by demand if a trains in emptyer you get cheaper fares. The saverfares or early bird fares are often not refundable or exchangeable (with Interrail or Eurail you get a mix of flexibility & money saveing ;) )

2.) In Spain quite late usually just 2-3months in advance :/

3.) If you wanna stay flexibile (day of travel, new destination) Interrail can be a good choice as the cheap fares online are often non refundable or exchangeable fares.

Please Note Spain is not Interrail friendly as almost all trains need a reservation on top of the Railpass.

My advice if you have a fixed Route/shedule and you know you will travel for sure then it´s better to book Point to Point tickets (Carefull with the changeing Covidregulations i´ve lost 4 tickets because i couldn´t go due the Covid Lockdown & as the tickets were not exchangable or refundable I lost the money)

If you wanna be a bit flexible (However Spain with Interrail is not real flexible) i recommend to buy a railpass (Interrail/Eurail) + the needed reservations on top of the pass

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

PT-ther railway is named cp-check their site, its also complete in /en/. Nearly all prices here are fixed-except a few advacne for the IC trains. They also do their own railpass-for the whole country or for areas around the major towns. You MAY even get 50% discount off the normal fares-depends on your status, which you did not detail as such.

ES-the national railway is renfe and as seewulf already explains is notorious IR-UNfriendly. On the main axis MAD_Barca there are now also low-cost trains from RENFE (AVLO) and a competitior from FR-QuiGO- their fares are lower, these trains are not in IR.

RENFE also has its own rail'’pass'’ but its for a certain nr of trips-not days-it may work out a little cheaper as buying all tickets separately. Seniors can buy a '’carta dorada'’ for a few eur and then get 40/50% discount with it.

The advance discounts are only for the '’AVE/Avant=hi speed trains, other trains are fixed price. Around all main cities are extensive '’cercanias/rodalies'’ local systems, whcih are quite cheap and not in any timetable/planner, only their own special site.

Both countries, but ES much more, also have extensive long-dist BUS (named '’coach'’ by british) systems-these serve many more towns and are a bit cheaper as the trains. FLIX is just a minor player here- the main one is, but there are many others and there is not a centralized system.

IR mostly has its use when people make multi-country long trips. Alas, to reach this you have to pass FR of course, which is also not very IR-friendly (mostly named after ES as being the worst in it!)