Europe offers train traveller paradise with its rail network covering more than 200,000km.
The beloved Interrail pass has been a popular way for thousands to see the continent from a train window over the years.
After snapping up an Interrail flash 50-year anniversary pass at half price earlier in May, many more will be taking to the rails this year.
The big question is: Where to go?
There are many routes to choose from, including the fjords in Norway and the beaches of Greece.
Here’s a guide that will help you pack the best of Europe if you only have one month. Train prices are available for those who were not able to get a discounted pass.
What is an Interrail Pass?
Interrail passes allow holders to travel anywhere in Europe on the extensive train network.
Both European residents as well as non-Europeans can apply for the rail pass. Interrail passes can be shown to staff on the phone so you can board all trains. Prices start at EUR185 for two or more country.
You have a variety of options for purchasing a pass, but global pass holders (the type of ticket sold in the sale) can visit more than 40k destinations in 33 countries.
You can take all of the below journeys on an Interrail global Pass.
Amsterdam, the bicycle-friendly, canalside capital in the Netherlands
Amsterdam makes a great city to start your rail adventure. You can pack a picnic in the Vondelpark, take a look at the masterpieces in Rijksmuseum or relax in one of the many cafes.
People love to bike. The city has 2.5 bikes per resident, though some of them may be found at the bottom end of a canal. You can hire a bike to explore the city’s network canals or ride along the Amstel which runs past the Jewish Quarter and Magere Brug bridge.
Berlin, Germany – Dance the night away
How do I get there? Take the direct intercity train from Amsterdam to Berlin in 6.5 hours.
EUR27 when booked in advance
Berlin offers something for everyone. You want to party the night away (and every day thereafter)? Some of the best dance clubs in the city are located here. You’ll find everything you need, from pulsing techno beats in a converted warehouse or mellow jazz bars.
The Berlin wall is a concrete barrier that divided Berlin between the capitalist West and the Soviet East. History buffs can walk its length. Although the wall was destroyed in 1989, a stretch of 0.8 miles remains. This is the longest and largest open-air art gallery in the world.
Wander movie set Prague, Czech Republic
How do I get there? Take the EuroCity bullet train from Berlin to Prague (in 4 hours 30 minutes). EUR38
This scenic UNESCO-listed city is commonly known as the “city of a thousand spires” and has been used as the backdrop for blockbuster Hollywood films like “Casino Royale” and “Mission Impossible”.
You can enjoy a craft beer under the influence of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectures, or you can wander the Palace Gardens beneath Prague castle. You won’t get bored with the museums covering everything, from Kafka to the KGB.
Salzburg, Austria: Hear the sounds of music
How do I get there? Take the Czech intercity train from Prague to Linz and then take a Railjet train up to Salzburg (total trip is 6 hours). EUR25
This charming Austrian town is often called “the Stage of the World” and was the birthplace of Mozart. It also served as the location for the Sound of Music.
You can wander through the stunning geometric gardens of Schloss Mirabell or visit the Imbergstieg. These steps, also known as the “Dark Staircase”, descend from Kapuzinerkloster Monastery’s park to the street level of the UNESCO-listed Old Town.
Enjoy the tranquil waters of Lake Bled in Slovenia’s glacial lakes
How do I get there? Take an OBB train from Salzburg to Villach HBF and then take the train to Bled (approximately 4 hours).
After spending weeks in crowded cities, take a break and enjoy the fresh air and breathtaking scenery of Lake Bled. You can swim in the clear waters of the lake and visit the island at the center.
Get away from the crowds of Venice, Italy
How do I get there? Take a regional train from Lake Bled to Villach HBF and then change to a train to Venezia.
Venice is a beautiful city in the world, and one of the most visited.
There are still ways to enjoy these wide piazzas and winding canals safely. You can still wander the narrow backstreets and bustling piazzas but be careful of the gondolas which clog the city’s waterways. You can join the Grand Canal’s residents to enjoy the public vaporetto system for a fraction of the cost of a gondola ride. Venetian artisans make artisan products better than poorly made souvenirs.
What makes train travel so popular?
You’ll be able to avoid the chaos, cancellations that plague European airports, and you’ll also travel with a clear conscience.
The European Environment Agency states that rail travel contributes 14 grams to CO2 emissions per passenger mile. Air travel generates 285 grams per passenger mile.