Amsterdam being the kind of destination it is, there is an excellent chance that you’ll either arrive, depart, or both, by train, and this isn’t even counting the short trip from Schiphol Airport to Centraal Station. Most people know about the full Eurail Passes, but not everyone is aware that there are several smaller and cheaper variations of that, and one of these might be ideal for your holiday.
Sure, this is a small country, but the trains are fast and super efficient. Most people tend to stick to the Randstad area (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht) in the Netherlands, and if you plan on staying in this small area then a Holland Pass doesn’t make sense. But if you want to explore more of this country these can be ideal.
- 3 travel days within 1 month – US$153/US$102/US$79 for 1st Class, 2nd Class, Youth
- 5 travel days within 1 month – US$245/US$166/US$125 for 1st Class, 2nd Class, Youth
You can get a rail pass that covers all of Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg (often called Benelux or the Low Countries), but prices are more than 50% higher than the Holland Pass and it’s not really too useful for most people.
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Benelux-France Pass & Benelux-Germany Pass
These are quite a bit more expensive than the Benelux Pass alone, but at least they combine this small region with a huge country that is best explored by train. They carry the same price, starting with 5 travel days within 2 months for youths at US$268. Travelers 26 and over can get the lower Youth price in groups of 2 or more, and other offers, discounts, and benefits are available as well.
Eurail Global Passes
The best-known passes are right for many people since they allow you to cover great distances for a low average price if you use them efficiently. They cover 18 countries, including all the most expensive countries for Europe train travel, except for the UK and Ireland. If you are planning on spending most of your time in Spain and Italy, they aren’t a great deal since the individual tickets there are fairly cheap. But if you are planning on moving around the north, especially Scandinavia, these can be an excellent deal and really fun as well.
The cheapest ones in 2008 are:
- Youth (under 26) 2nd Class, 15 consecutive travel days – US$492
- Youth (under 26) 2nd Class, 10 travel days out of 2 months – US$581
But 1st Class and age 26+ passes are also available, and all of them come in longer durations as well.
Get more information and all specific prices here for all Eurail, Regional, and Country passes.