A global InterRail pass is your gateway to Europe. There are 30 different countries you can travel to, each one worth a visit.
But unless you want to see nothing but trains and stations, you're not going to want to visit all 30 in a single trip. It’s best to choose a specific area to travel around. Aim to see four or five countries in a month rather than trying to squeeze in as many as you can. And remember, there's quite enough in most European countries to keep you occupied for a month. It might be that your best bet is getting a single-country InterRail pass.
There are a number of popular routes to choose from. You need to decide which part of Europe you want to see first, and then plan out your route. Here are a few ideas to help you decide:
If you want to InterRail around central Europe then best bet is to start off in either Split or Zagreb (Croatia). You can fly into either of these two cities with Easy Jet or Ryan Air.
From Split, we recommend this circular route:
Split >> Zagreb >> Ljubljana (Slovenia) >> Budapest (Hungary) >> Belgrade (Serbia) >> Zagreb >> Split
Travelling around Central Europe is great fun and it’s cheap too. Croatia is a particular backpacker favourite due to its pristine beaches, amazing dive spots, booming party towns and stunning waterfalls.
If you want to InterRail around eastern Europe then your best bet is to start off in either Prague (Czech Republic) or Budapest (Hungary). You can fly to either of these two cities cheaply with Easy Jet or Ryan Air.
From Prague, we recommend this route:
Prague >> Warsaw (Poland) >> Bratislava (Slovakia) >> Llubjana (Slovenia) >> Vienna (Austria) >> Prague
For our second route, start off in Budapest in Hungary – also easily accessible by budget airline – then take this route:
Budapest >> Bucharest (Romania) >> Constanta (Romania)>> Sofia (Bulgaria) >> Belgrade (Serbia) >> Budapest
If you want to InterRail around Scandinavia then your best bet is to start and finish in Copenhagen (Denmark). It’s by far the cheapest city to fly into. From Copenhagen, we recommend this route:
Copenhagen >> Gotenborg (Sweden) >> Oslo (Norway) >> Stockholm (Sweden) >> Helsinki (Finland) >> Stockholm (Sweden) >> Copenhagen
Of all the regions of Europe, this is the most expensive, but it does have some of the best landscapes. Even though Stockholm (Sweden) is one of the world’s most expensive cities, it’s also one of the world’s most fun. People who travel around Scandinavia are shocked by how kind and welcoming people are, and how much there is to see and do.
We've got two routes in southern Europe:
Our first route involves starting by flying to Rome. There are plenty of other options in Italy, but Rome is generally the cheapest flight destination.
From Rome, take the following route:
Rome >> Naples >> Bari >> Patras (Greece, by ferry) >> Athens >> Thessaloniki >> Istanbul (Turkey)
Then fly home from Istanbul.
Our second route starts by flying to Lisbon in Portugal.
From Lisbon take the following route:
Lisbon >> Porto >> Santiago di Compostella >> Madrid >> Seville >> Granada >> Madrid >> Barcelona
Then fly home from Barcelona.
If you want to InterRail around the Balkans, try starting off in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. You can fly there cheaply with EasyJet or Ryanair.
From Zagreb, we recommend this route:
Zagreb >> Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina) >> Podgorica (Montenegro, by bus) >> Belgrade (Serbia) >> Skopje (Macedonia >> Athens (Greece)
Then fly home from Athens.
The Balkans is a backpacker favourite because you get a little of everything; culture, the challenge of travelling through a couple of difficult countries, and lazing on a beach at the end of it.
The most popular InterRailing routes are through western Europe. There are so many options for getting around it’s difficult to know where to start.
Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Berlin, Munich, Dublin, Luxemburg, Amsterdam, London, Manchester – they’re all great places to begin a tour and all are easily accessible by cheap flights.
But our advice is to go either for Berlin or Paris. Both are amazing rail hubs from which to set out. From Paris, we recommend:
Paris >> Brussels (Belgium) >> Amsterdam (Netherlands) >> Cologne (Germany) >> Berlin >> Munich >> Zurich (Switzerland) >> Milan (Italy) >> Marseilles (France) >> Paris
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Quote of the Moment
“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”
Robert Louis Stevenson