Europe’s awesome; there’s such a diverse bunch of countries and they’re all connected by an extensive railway network! If only there was a pass that covered all these countries railways…..
A couple of summers ago I traveled around Europe with a 21 day Interrail pass. I loved it so much I actually traveled for 28 days, here’s the route i took;
Paris- Amsterdam – Berlin – Prague – Munich – Bled – Budapest – Krakow.
How it works – You buy a train ticket for a one off fee that covers the majority of train lines in European countries. You then don’t have to pay for any trains while travelling, you just show your pass and hop on. There are few exceptions where you may have to pay a small fee but the majority are fully included. It’s an awesome way to see Europe and below are some reasons why you need to Interrail!
You meet people on the train.
I met a load of people (Interrailers and ‘ordinary’ folk) on the trains just by saying hi. Train journeys can sometimes be long and nothing passes the time better than a decent conversation. I ended up travelling with some of the people i met on the train – sweet right?
Most countries and trains are included.
Only some of the high speed and scenic routes incur and extra charge but the majority are included. The Interrail website can tell you which routes incur an extra charge as well as this great little app RailPlanner.
It’s a great way to see countries.
Rolling through the countryside the train window can sometimes resemble a huge TV screen showing a travel documentary. You’ll whiz past lakes, over rivers and through mountain ranges. Be sure to take your camera.
Train stations can be awesome.
Some of the train stations you visit could turn out to be one of the highlights of your day. Whether its the stunning architecture of Antwerp Station, the Harry Potter nostalgia at Kings Cross Station in London or the majestic scenery surrounding the train station in Bled, Slovenia.
Being delayed doesn’t really matter.
Your probably going to come across a couple of train delays. However, the Interrail vibe is so chilled it doesn’t really matter. I mean you can just chill at the train station for a while and wait for the next train.
Night trains are awesome.
Beds on a train? Yup, and they’re even big enough to fit 6ft 3in me in! They’re surprisingly comfy as well and taking a night train means you save valuable daylight hours were you could be exploring your destination. There’s usually a barrier to stop you rolling out, but be warned, some don’t, so just hope your rides a smooth one 😉
You can do it at your own pace.
Interrailing is completely different to booking a flight or a bus. If you miss your flight then that’s going to cost you some dollar. On the other hand, if you have an interrail pass and you miss a train there’s often not too long to wait for the next one so its no biggy. In some European countries (mostly to the East) services are less frequent, so just do a bit of research and you’ll be fine.