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Ask the Experts: What’s the Best Route for Interrailing Through Europe?

Ever wondered how to Interrail through Europe? Yeah, so has Adam from Milton Keynes about to embark on his highly anticipated summer holiday. Here’s what he had to ask:

Hi, I’m thinking of taking a trip through Europe on the Interrail this summer in my break from uni, could you suggest a route that you think would be good? I will have about 4 weeks in total. Adam, Milton Keynes.

Fantastic question, so what do our Experts think? Let’s find out…

Explore Berlin

Amy Pearson from STA Travel Leeds Vicar Lane says…

Interrailing is a really fantastic way to explore Europe in a comfortable and economical way. 4 weeks is also a perfect amount of time to take in quite an extensive route. Obviously your route depends heavily on what kind of pass you decide to purchase, but if you choose a Global Pass you can have your pick of any country.

Personally, I would begin my journey in Paris, taking in all the sights and a visit to the Eiffel Tower. From there I would take the train into Northern Germany. Berlin is one my favourite cities in the world and is buzzing with culture, from the street art to WW2 history. From there I would begin to work my way down to Munich for a beer in the Hofbrahus and trek up to Neuschwanstein. I would also recommend spending some time in the beautiful Alps, maybe even indulge in some skiing before entering Austria, there is a quaint village called ‘Fussen’ on the border which is really traditional.

After being the ultimate geek and doing the ‘Sound of Music tour’ in Austria I would then head into Croatia for a spot of culture in Dubrovnik and a bit of celeb spotting in Hvar. I would then try and squeeze a few days of eating pasta in Italy and the obligatory silly photo at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I would make the last leg of my journey back to Paris to take the Eurostar back to the UK, probably a few pounds heavier after lots of pizza and ice cream.

Mingle with the celebs in Hvar.

Claire Whittington from STA Travel Brighton says…

Interrail is so much fun Adam and a great way to see Europe as the journeys are often as amazing as the destinations themselves. I spent 2 months interrailing around Europe a few years ago and one of my favourite things was how flexible the passes are, especially if you get the unlimited travel pass as you can get on and off whenever you want. My friend and I once went to the train station at 10pm and agreed to just get on the next train wherever it was going (luckily it was the beautiful Prague so we were pretty happy!)

Soak up the beauty of Budapest.

I’d recommend getting a flight to Budapest and then work your way back to Paris before getting the Eurostar back to the UK. There are so many different routes to take but personally, I would spend some time exploring the two side of the river the historic “Buda” and the more modern “Pest” before heading to Zagreb followed by spending some time chilling out at the gorgeous Lake Bled. From here head to Venice where you can wander the tiny winding streets and bridges or take to the water in a Gondola (only take a short ride though as they can be pretty pricey, use the Vaporetto boats to get around for long journeys which give you the same views from the canals at a fraction of the cost!) and then it’s on to Milan for fashion, cafe culture and, of course, shopping.

Cross the boarder to Nice and soak up the French Riviera and why not do what my friend and I did – we got an early morning train to Monaco where there is a pool right by the sea, we paid to spend the whole day there pretending we were rich and pointing out which yacht we’d like to own before hopping on a night train to Barcelona. By making the most of the night trains you can spend time in the more expensive places without having to pay for accommodation. You’re time will fly in Barcelona as you check out sights such as Park Güell and Sagrada Familia in the day and spend the nights trailing the tapas bars for some nibbles and a glass or two of cava or beer.

Enjoy the mountain scenery at Lake Bled.

It’s going to be time to head back soon but I’m you could squeeze in a stop in San Sebastian or Bordeaux on the way up to Paris to break up your final journey in Europe. Make sure you leave enough time to climb the Eiffel Tower, have a croissant or two and see the Mona Lisa in Paris before you hop on the Eurostar home.

Amazing advice, as always, Experts! What do you think? Have our Experts inspired you to take an Interrail adventure or maybe you have been there and done that and you have your own tips for some amazing places Adam shouldn’t miss – share them below!
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Showing 49 Comments

  1. Lali Sytengco

    we plan to see western europe on sept. 2013, can u suggest a customized package tour, for six, one of them is a collapsible wheelchair user, an old lady in her 80′s, we are looking for a slow pace traveling. I am from the Philippines. Italy, France, and neighboring countries, for 12-13 days.

    1680 days ago
  2. Chris from Perth WA

    Agree InterRail’s are the way to go but beware of France and SNCF’s attitude to InterRail.

    On fast trains in France you have to book a seat. But they allow only a very limited number of seats for InterRails. You can find no seat available for 20 trains in a row over 2 days.

    This happened to us last year and when we actually turned up at the station and checked the available seats on the train, they were 70% empty but the guard said we would’ve charged full price if we got on the train and took any unreserved seat.

    The staff don’t care about this.

    Different on slow regional trains – so while in France, forget InterRail on TGV trains. Add lots of extra time to take the slower trains.

    This even applies with 1st Class.

    DB in Germany, SNCB in Belgium, NS in Holland, OBB in Austria and SBB etc in Switzerland are the total opposite – lots of booking spaces if needed and friendly staff.

    Be warned with InterRail in summer holidays – wedged trains in standard are very common. Is it worth the approx 30% extra to go 1st Class and have almost 100% certainty of a seat??

    If you have the spare dosh, I would always say yes!! :)

    Good luck and have a ball

    Chris
    Western Australia & Pommy ex-pat

    1679 days ago
    • Darren

      Hi there Chris, Me and a friend are thinking of inter railing this around Oktoberfest time I’m from England he’s from New Jersey U.S.A we are thinking of working are way through France and “Belgium quickly then Germany Denmark Norway Sweden Flying from Stockholm back to Germany Maybe Hamburg Frankfurt then going down to Berlin making our way to Prague from there then going to Munich to soak up Oktoberfest (Get ridiculously Drunk) and then from there were not quite sure planning to be away for a month but from Munich we need some advice were to go Next this is where you come in can you help ?

      1397 days ago
  3. Courtney

    Hello, we are looking to go on a month vacation to eroupe. The only places we need to hit are Germany and Scotland to visit family and are wondering what the best options are for filling in the blanks. We are new travelers and will have a one year old baby with us. Any advice will help!!!

    1420 days ago
  4. Georgina

    Hello, I am planning a three week trip over Europe at the end of May .. I would like to visit Italy, Paris and Berlin. Any tips on planning and budget? Thank you :)

    1419 days ago
  5. jules

    my friend and I are hoping to take a period of 6 months to travel around europe from mid April, we are both 40+ so any advice would be welcome

    1397 days ago
  6. Aimee

    Hi, can anyone suggest the best way to get from nice to Barcelona, we are struggling to find a route. One of the reviews above says there’s a night but we cannot find it. Any help would be appreciated.

    1280 days ago
  7. Jennifer

    Hi, I am going interrailing this summer for 14 days. I want to see as many places as possible (exc Netherlands and berlin), what would you recommend?

    Also, how do you book/see night trains?

    Thanks.

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