Top Tips For Interrailing In Europe

Around 4 years ago now, I was knee deep in planning for the best holiday I have ever been on. Interrailing around Europe is a great way to travel the continent on a budget, and it really kick-started my love of travelling. That being said, planning a 2 week holiday with a lot of travelling between countries can be quite stressful, especially when you are completely unfamiliar with the place you will be travelling to. So, I’ve put together my top tips for interrailing in Europe to hopefully make the whole experience a lot easier for you!

flatlay style image of map of Europe with text overlay "Top Tips For Interrailing In Europe"


1. Decide which Interrail pass is right for you

Interrail offer three types of passes; Global, One Country and Premium. Depending on the type of trip you are planning will decide which pass you choose to purchase. We went for the global pass as this allows you to travel across the majority of countries in Europe via train and ferry. There is also a discount on this pass for travellers under the age of 27! We chose the 5 days within 15 days option, which basically means you can have 5 ‘travel days’ within your holiday. You can take as many trains as you like on the travel days, but you cannot go over the 5 days or you will have to pay for your train.

2. Plan your route, including your trains

Some of you may prefer to take a more relaxed approach to your trip, but my friend and I are both planners and we couldn’t cope with the added stress of not knowing where we were going next! One of my absolute top tips for interrailing would be to plan our a route in advance, even if it’s more of a rough guide. We planned out our route a few months in advance, including looking up the train times from one city to another. It’s worth mentioning that some journeys will require you to make a seat reservation, which will cost extra. The route we took was:

Birmingham > Budapest > Vienna > Prague > Berlin > Amsterdam > Birmingham

We also booked our flights to and from home about 5 months in advance to try and get them as cheap as possible.

Prague Scenic River Panoramic Photo

3. Research your accommodation and book in advance

My friend and I stayed in hostels for most of our trip (except Berlin where we cancelled our hostel super last minute due to recent bad reviews and ended up in a great hotel!) as we wanted to keep the budget low and the experience authentic. We did decide to book in advance as this gave us a base to plan our activities around, and we had the security that we definitely had somewhere to sleep once we arrived in the city! We used and Trip Advisor for most of our research and booking. I’ve included links below to some of the places we stayed at, but as it was a while ago, I can’t remember the names of all of them!

4. Pack light!

After all, you will be carrying your life on your back for the next few weeks! We bought 35L backpacks for a 16 day trip and this was perfect. Another one of my top tips for interrailing is to try to keep your packing to a minimum by sharing as much as possible and buying a lot of stuff whilst on the road. One tip I will share is invest in a microfibre towel. They’re super light, can be packed really small and dry much faster than a normal towel! We also packed things like a torch, travel size toothbrushes and small day bags so we could take things like our money and cameras out with us in the day without having to take our huge bags with us.

5. Walking tours are your new best friend

Walking tours are a great way to see some of the main attractions all in one day, making them essential for travellers on the go. Quite often, the tours themselves are free, but you will be asked to donate a contribution at the end of the tour. This is a great way to see the highlights of the city and stay in budget too!

Now all that is left to do is book your trip, put on your trusty interrail wristband and begin your adventure! I hope that these tips help you in planning what I promise will be the best holiday you ever have!

Where we stayed:

Budapest Budget Hostel

Dizzy Daisy Hostel Prague

Hotel Berlin Mitte by Campanile

Have you been interrailing around Europe, or perhaps another part of the world? Let me know any of your tips for interrailing in the comments, or check out my other travel posts here.

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  1. Rob says

    I’ve done it a little in the past and while I’m generally with you on the planning and booking thing I think it can also be fun to not book everything way up front. for example, plan and book some of the busier places but then leave the bits in between a bit more to chance… You can even book things as you go so like just a couple of days in advance that way you can change plans if you want but still know you won’t be sleeping out on the street.

  2. graceflood1996 says

    Love this post, so useful. I really want to go inter-railing now as it looks so cool, however I’m worried I’d struggle with packing light, how did you manage to get over to this to begin with, as thats my biggest worry about not packing everything I’d need! So glad you mentioned about planning as that would panic me so much if I didn’t have a plan. I’d love to visit Berlin, Vienna, Ljubljana and Budapest, however as I’d be travelling from London to Berlin do you reckon it would it be easier to fly? Also as I know there is quite a bit of distance between Berlin and Vienna would you recommend flying from Berlin to Vienna or getting the train? x

    Grace x |

    • whatabigailsays says

      In terms of packing, I really didn’t find it too bad as we went in the summer so it was quite hot anyways, so I was just taking dresses or little tops and shorts. Definitely invest in a large rucksack and you should be good to go!
      It probably would be best to fly out to Berlin and you can get super cheap flights online as it isn’t far. We got the train from Vienna to Berlin and I don’t remember it being that long, but I’m sure the Interrail app has the times on x

  3. Kim | The Adventure To Me says

    Such fab tips! I’m hoping to jet off travelling the world soon, but have always wanted to do Interailing round Europe, so many great places to see not far from the UK! Will definitely be referring back to this when I plan my next trip! 🙂

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