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10 Reasons to Choose a First Class Interrail Pass

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Travelling across Europe with interrail (for Europeans) or Eurail (for the rest of the world) is a travel rite of passage. Whether you are a hard-saving graduate, millennials after a fun adventure that is different from your normal holiday or recent retirees with time to travel, it is an amazing way to see the continent. There is no question there, the question we hope to answer is why you should choose a first class Interrail pass like we did. Here are 10 reasons you will love a first class Interrail pass.

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1.) More Personal Space

The first and the most obvious difference between first and second class on European dreams as a side and comfort of the seats. This isn’t true on every train, sometimes the only difference is literally the addition of a small headrest cover (southern railway I’m looking at you). However, on 90% of services, you can expect a seat with more legroom, which is wider than standard or second class, and often with a nicer cover and more padding. And some trains have in the visually reclining seats, and Sam, like the French TGV, have comfortable foot rests that flip up to support your lower legs.

2.) More Space in General

In the carriages, you’ll often find that the seats are less densely packed. Many first class carriages have single seats on the side of the aisle, perfect for solo travellers. This is especially handy if you have to use a laptop as you won’t need to worry about your flapping elbows whilst you type.

As the prices for first class on European trains can be a lot more expensive than standard. It is possible you will have carriages half empty or entirely empty. This is great for peace of mind…and peas in general. less people means less stress that your bag or go missing, less noise in the carriage and more relaxing for you.

3.) The Toilets

Even the bathroom in first class can be fancier, and as they are shared with fewer travellers, they are normally a little fresher too. (No matter which class you are in, remember that many stations charge to use the bathroom so using them on board is always a good plan).

Going Interrailing? Check out our Interrail packing list here

4.) Physical Convenience

Train companies will oten arrange their carriages so that the first class are closer to the entrance or exit (at the front or back of the train). Look for this on Thalys and Eurostar in particular. This is probably designed for people who have to rush off to their very important business meetings but if you are Interrailing, you may just appreciate the time saving for a tight connection or just so you don’t have to drag your bag so far.

5.) Easier Booking

First class reservations are typically easier to snatch up as there are less people trying to reserve the seats. Often we strolled through packed second class cabins to our reserved first class seats in a nice, quiet cabin.

6.) Those Little Extras

Fancy a free newspaper? Or maybe you need some more modern entertainment. Perhaps a plug and free Wi-Fi would suffice? Well you’re funny little extras in many of first class carriage in Europe. The newspaper is more of a rarity, but I am guessing the power outlet for every seat is probably more useful in this day and age.

7.) First Class Lounges

There aren’t loads of lounges on offer to first class Interrail pass holders but those that do exist after a chance to sit and relax. In huge busy stations like Vienna heading up to the quiet sanctuary of the SBB lounge is a godsend. Are you fine plugs free Wi-Fi is, snacks and drinks. I’ve visited and stocked up on nibble before my Nightjet train to Strasbourg..

If you haven’t already booked an Interrail ticket, use our link. It won’t cost you any extra but will help support the blog – BOOK NOW

8.) At Seat Service (Paid Food)

There are a few trains that offer at sea service. You will need to pay but it’s nice to pick something from the menu and have it arrive at your location. The alternative, staggering through a cluttering train and queueing at the buffet car seems a lot less appealing. The service can range from tea and coffee, too full on meals on some long-distance trains and even glasses of champagne on some special Swiss translate the Glacier Express or the Belle Époque.

One company that offers what I think is the best at-seat service is Regio Jet. These trains operate between Vienna, Budapest and Prague. The reservation to sit in business class is just €2.50 with your first class Interrail pass. This includes a welcome drink and you can opt for sparkling wine so that makes the fee worth it alone. Then you have a menu full of incredibly cheap food and drink options to choose from. Sushi and a slice of cake for €3.50? Nice!

9.) At Seat Service (Free Food)

In the UK you may get a meal, especially on the East Coast services that travel up the country. At the very least you should get a coffee on a long distance train. Check individual company websites to see what they offer.

When travelling on the Eurostar, first class Interrail pass holders are in Standard Premier. In this carriage you are served a small, cold meal with juice or wine. It makes the reservation fee feel a little more worth it and the journey a little more luxurious.

10.) The Superior Views

A nice view is a nice view, I’ll grant you that. However, in some trains, especially in Switzerland, the first class carriage gets a superior window set up. Panoramic windows that extend right up to the ceiling give travellers beautiful views right up to the sky. Combine these with reclining seats and you have an exceedingly pleasant way to spend a few hours whilst covering a few miles.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re travelling for leisure or business, using a first class Interrail pass promises a much more comfortable and convenient way to travel. It would definitely help make a truly memorable train adventure across Europe.

Rosie xx

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