It seems a lot of people are doing it now, or everyone wants to do it, right?
Well, you should.
I interrailled Europe in the summer of 2013, visiting around 13 cities in 2 months.
If you want to know prices then it is on my other post, take a look! Europe: How to spend £20 a day in some of Europe’s most expensive cities
so what kind of ticket can you get?
Head to interrail.eu
A global pass (the one I got).
-Includes 30 countries
– For 25 and under prices: One month continuous £591, 22 days continuous £456, 15 days continuous £390, 10 days within 22 days £354, 5 days within 10 days £249.
– Prices then vary for over 25, senior and families.
-Only European residents can get an interail pass, but non-European can use a Eurail, so don’t worry.
One country pass
You can even buy one to travel around in just your favourite country.
-They start from £66 and vary depending on the country, for example Croatia £43, Italy £66, Spain £99.
-Pick from as many or as little travel days as you want.
So now you have the info, here are 10 reasons I fully recommend anyone to give it a try.
1. The trains
The train is the best and worst thing about interrailing, well, it’s the main thing.
Trains are without doubt the easiest way to travel Europe.
Saying that, some countries train system/stations in Europe leave something to be desired.
Trying to figure out times? Good luck! Talking to the person on the ticket office? Prepare to que and repeat yourself, a lot!
But it is all part of the experience and the fun.
The spontaneous trains you decided to get, the ones you had to wait hours for, the ones you ended up sleeping on their station floor. You may have tiredly moaned the whole time, at that time, but it’s those moments you look back on and laugh about.
Now, the train journey.
That is an adventure in itself. Some are boring as hell, others are more fun than some places.
You meet fellow travellers all going to the same place. You spend the entire (often 10 hour) journey making friends, playing cards, making up games, entertaining yourself. You know everyone’s life story very quickly. By the end of it you’re best friends, and you’ve already arranged to go out the next day or night at the place you’re going to.
It’s a strange but amazing time on those long train journeys.
The actual journey is an experience in itself.
Comfort. What comfort?
I’m joking, it’s not that bad. It’s surprisingly comfortable.
You do sleep when and where you can. I, if you know me or have read my other posts, am 5 ft 2″. I am therefore at an advantage. I have an amazing trick where I can curl my whole body up on a standard train seat, yes, my entire body fits in the seat, like a cat really.
So when I could, I did that, if not it was a case of sitting snoozing.
Again, you get used to it. It becomes part of the experience. By the end of the trip I actually wanted longer train journeys to nap on, Florence to Rome was too close.
(There’s Alice, loving life, when we realised the train seats pulled out to an entire bed. That may have been possibly the best train journey, ever.)
So basically, I love trains.
In Europe we have a unique opportunity. So many amazing countries right next to each other.
You need to take advantage of the fact that within 24 hours you can travel over a lot of Europe, if you wanted.
Munich to Prague, 5 hours. Prague to Krakow, 7 hours. Anywhere we went it only took maximum of a day.
In other places in the world that wouldn’t take you very far.
In Europe there is such a wide variety of cultures, people, food to explore in close proximity. It would be rude not to.
One day you can be in the bustle of Paris, the next on a beach in Split.
3. The people
What I’ve found is that a lot of the time the people you meet make the experience.
You could be anywhere, add in a group of like minded, fun people and the day becomes 10 times better and more memorable.
I’m not saying you can’t enjoy travelling on your own, you can, but for me, I love meeting new people from different countries. I have met so many amazing people on my travels, and have been fortunate enough to remain in contact and good friends with a lot of people.
One tip I can give is keep in contact with the friends you meet, it doesn’t take a lot but you never know when you might be in the same city again.
If you want to backpack hostels are a must, the amount of people you meet, friends you make is one massive advantage to interrailing that you wouldn’t get by flying and staying in hotels.
Everyone is there for the same thing, to travel, see new places and meet new people.
You’ll probably find people you meet in one city will be in the same city as you again, we definitely did.
We made friends in Paris who we met in Amsterdam, Brussels and Budapest. We made friends in Munich who we basically went to Prague with.
I am a massive hostel advocate, so I really would recommend trying one if you haven’t already. Give me a shout if you want any recommendations for any cities.
Interrailing is so much more flexible than flying.
Most trains run at least every hour (unless you’re changing in Katowice..don’t get me started on Katowice).
Due to this you are able to pick your own time, live on your own schedule, you are not tied down to concrete plans and that is the beauty of interrailing.
But do be careful and read the information, some trains in Europe expect you to have a reservation to get a particular train, most do not but it is always better to ask.
5. The price
Is it cheaper to fly or interrail? How much would it cost to travel to say 15 countries by plane or train?
One way flight to Paris from Manchester on its own? £70 at least in advance.
The price of an interrail ticket for a month continuous (that is to use in any country in that month) £591. Times that £70 by 15 countries? £1050. There is a difference.
Sounds expensive? Well yes it is a lot of money and it has gone up in price since I went (my interail pass for two months was £596…shit that is a lot) but it still is cheaper than flights. Add up all the countries we went to, and that previous flexibility, no waiting in airports in advance, etc.
If anything, quick go now! Before it goes up even more next year!
You don’t need telling that time is a precious thing and you may only get so much time off.
You want to travel as many countries as you can, right?
Well we met people doing each country for 2 days for a month. That was fitting in around 15 countries in one month. Strenuous? Yes. One hell of a time travelling? Yes.
If time isn’t on your side, cool, pack in or don’t pack in as much as you want. It is up to you.
Got time? Then take your time, take it slow, do whatever you want basically.
Due to what I pointed out before, the close proximity of countries in Europe, the cultural diversity you can experience is amazing.
Food. Architecture. Art. People. Music. Language.
These all differ from country to country.
The culture of Paris is built on art, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame cathedral. Paris has an air of art, class and fashion. Budapest’s culture with its decorative Jewish quarter, unique ruin bars and thermal baths and spas is a world away. On the other end of the spectrum is Split, a small beach town on the Croatian coast. Paved in history, a more relaxed feel within it’s old town as well as beaches at your doorstep.
Interrailing allows you the opportunity to experience different ways of life by hopping on one train and hopping off a few hours later. I loved the variety of cultures I experienced, it was incredible to one day be in a busy city, the next in a sleepy old town.
8. No airports
I touched on the no flying aspect, as someone who highly dislikes flying this is a massive advantage.
No getting to the airport an hour early, going through security, long boarding, then the actual flying.
Basically no planes is a reason in itself for me.
9. The scenery
Whilst travelling by train a lot you’ll get to see a lot of the country that you wouldn’t normally.
When the chatting dies down or you’re sleepy, or when you just don’t want to talk to anyone, you will look out the window.
I loved seeing all the little villages, towns, random buildings.
It also always gets me thinking, who lives there? What do they do there?
Just me? Okey.
It also gives you a chance to chill, think, listen to your music, things you may not get time to do normally. Things that I love to do.
10. It’s Interrailing Europe!
I feel if you don’t want to go by now, I’m not sure I can persuade you further.
But come on, it’s travelling Europe by train, what’s not to like?
Give it a look into, hopefully my information helps.
I mean where else are you going to be as happy as Alice at finding a vat of wine for around £2?
‘Til next time. 🚄🚅☀