Unless you’re an extreme in taking the train everywhere in Europe, you shouldn’t get a rail pass. Why? There are numerious operators that will try to sell you a pass. However, what they won’t tell you upfront is a few things:

  1. Their tools for booking the train routes are bad. They will either tell you 2 things.
  2. That they would recommend x pass and what routes are covered with that pass [But not including the cost of the necessary, but not included seat reservations]
  3. The individual prices for what they would sell the ticket for.

  4. Every seat reservation performed by the rail pass seller has a fee of 8e [which was the case for EuRail] on top of the seat reservation cost by the carrier. [For the Thalys trains, that’s 39e]. These prices are per high speed train and per person. This is going to get very expensive very quick.

  5. The rail passes don’t cover high speed trains.

  6. To get a refund on these passes you’ll forfeit a predatory restocking fee. [There is no reason for this fee]

  7. To use the passes, you usually have to get the passes “activated” which is a matter of a stamp/docs verification at the trainstation. In the case of the Gard du Nord Est station in Paris. That’s not easy to find.

Need another reason? Deutche Bahn, Thalys, MegaTrains UK, and the Irish rail accept American credit cards and offer the home print option for their tickets. On top of that, the reservations include a seat reservation.

If you’re going to be travelling a lot by train get a Bahn 25/50/100 card, or the equivalent discount card.

Going back to the question about buying a rail pass?

No you shouldn’t.