European Interrailing

Discussion in 'The Front Room' started by Aoami, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Aoami

    Aoami I am a FH squatter

    Thinking about doing this for a month, maybe longer, in the summer. Has anyone done it before? Any tips?

    I'm liking the look of a ferry from Dover to Calais, down to Paris then going west through the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Turkey then back round through Greece, Austria, Monaco, Spain. Then after the month is up perhaps catching a boat from southern spain to Morocco/Algeria for a few days before flying home.

    Is this too ambitious for a month? How far in advance should we book hostels?

    Thanks
     
  2. cHodAX

    cHodAX I am a FH squatter

    I have been considering this myself for quite a while, infact I almost did it when I was 19 but ended up going to Spain with a mate and working in bars for the summer season, what a mistake that was. Anyway, wish I could give you some tips but all I really remember is that the eurorail pass was the way to go at the time.

    Hope you do it fella, will be a great experience.
     
  3. Vasconcelos

    Vasconcelos Part of the furniture

    Jesus christ thats sounds like a fukin A trip! :cheers:
     
  4. Fafnir

    Fafnir FH is my second home

    Well anyone would have know goin to Spain during the civilwar was a misstake. But you should go on a backpacker trip now since most countries have senior citizen discount.. :p
     
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  5. cHodAX

    cHodAX I am a FH squatter

    God fuck yourself in the ass with a hedgehog on a broomstick!
     
  6. Fafnir

    Fafnir FH is my second home

    May i lube up first?
     
  7. Ormorof

    Ormorof FH is my second home

    i did a smaller interrail trip last summer, two weeks from Dublin-Helsinki by train and boat

    what i would look into is not only booking hostels in advance but the trains, not such a big problem in eastern europe im told but with many operators in france, benelux, germany etc they require a pre-booking (with a small booking fee only usually a couple of euros if you have an interrail pass)

    pain in the freaking ass though, i figured the whole point of interrail was you didnt need to buy a ticket but after i was hit with a €90 ticket fee because i hadnt pre-booked between france and belgium (even though the interrail pass clearly listed their trainline as interrail friendly)I booked every train from then onwards in advance

    if you heading up to denmark might be worth doing germany first as you can then hop on an intercity train Hamburg/Vienna and then eastern europe is open to you :)
     
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  8. Aoami

    Aoami I am a FH squatter

    Yeah the pass itself is quite cheap (i think anyway) £370 or so for a month. It'd probs be cheaper to sort out the trains individually but a million times more hassle.
     
  9. Aoami

    Aoami I am a FH squatter

    Ouch! Thanks for the advice. How do you book the trains? How early would you recommend doing it? Did you do it in the summer - were the trains very busy?
     
  10. Ormorof

    Ormorof FH is my second home

    it was in july and some of the trains were packed, we tried booking the direct train from amsterdam - copenhagen but they wouldnt let us as it was fully booked days in advance so we had to go Amsterdam - Cologne (Köln for non-brits) - Hamburg - Copenhagen

    there should be info about how to book the trains on interrails website, otherwise i would book your next train out on the day you arrive in the new place :)

    but i would double check how it works in eastern europe, a friend of mine travelled around hungary/romania/bulgaria a few years ago and they booked hostels in advance only to find they paid nearly 50-60% more than if they had paid on the day and train tickets were absurdly cheap with the interrail pass (she said it was around €8 from Budapest to Bucharest)
     
  11. old.Tohtori

    old.Tohtori FH is my second home

    If you end up in Finnish territory, i can point you in some directions :p
     
  12. Raven

    Raven Brrrrr!

    Take plenty of lube.
     
  13. TdC

    TdC Trem's hunky sex love muffin Staff member Moderator

    tbh I'd say ... book only your first and last hostels in advance. the rest a day or so before you get there. also, go SLOW and take time to actually see stuff dude.

    maybe pop a few countries off your list, and go see them next time? draw your route on google maps, check how many km's it is, and work out how much train time there will be between your start and end points. then work out how much travel that will equate to per day/days/week. if you think that's cool, then do it, but there's nothing worse than having to rush through places because you don't have the time to check them out.

    also, it is wise to look ahead and approximate when you will be where, because there may be (cool) local stuffs going on like a festival, market, holiday of some sort, etc. that kind of stuff can be a huge plus to your trip, but it could also be a hinderence.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Urgluf

    Urgluf Part of the furniture

    I've done interrailing for a month!

    Our trip:
    Fly to milan, italy
    Milan -> Rome
    Rome -> Napoli
    Napoli -> Bari
    Bari -> Ferry -> Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Dubrovnik -> Split
    Split -> Ljubljana, slovenia
    Ljubljana -> Budapest, hungary
    Budapest -> Vienna, austria
    Vienne -> Prague, czech republic
    Prague -> Plane back to belgium

    You should know, taking the trains is abit of a hassle.. most of the times you have to pay extra. Sleeping on a train is also not that easy.. So yeah, I think your plan is FAR too ambitous. you'll be spending pretty much all the time in trains instead of having the time to actually visit the places.
    We never booked our hostels more than 3 days in advance, wasn't a problem at all. Just make sure you book the first hostel in paris so you don't have to worry about that.. :)

    if you have any other questions, let me know! :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. rynnor

    rynnor Rockhound Moderator

    How about flying instead? Use cheap advance deals to more obscure airports and you wont waste time on unpleasant trains?
     
  16. Aoami

    Aoami I am a FH squatter

    All good advice, thanks. We've been thinking about perhaps trying to stop in at a couple of music festivals on the way if we have the money. You might be right about the amount of countries, we can always go back next year!
     
  17. DaGaffer

    DaGaffer Down With That Sorta Thing

    I'd say you're pushing it a bit to do that in a month and actually manage to see/do anything. The latter part of your trip in particular looks a bit confusing, and you're also adding dog legs to your trip all over the place (a good rule of thumb is try not to visit the same place twice, not always possible but worth trying), e.g down to Paris then back to Holland, whereas you'd save time by going to Lille/Brussels/Amsterdam, (and Paris is crap anyway).

    Sit down with a map and the the Deutsche Bahn website (bahn.com - your online travel booking tool for rail journeys, holidays, city trips and car rental) and you can plan/book your tickets pretty effectively from there (I used dbahn to get from London-Moscow by train).

    Sounds like fun, but I'd definitely recommend fewer countries and more quality time in the ones you do choose.

    *edit* I see Teeds has said something similar - we are of one mind about this kind of stuff :D
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Aoami

    Aoami I am a FH squatter

    Great advice all around, thanks people.
     
  19. TdC

    TdC Trem's hunky sex love muffin Staff member Moderator

    you're the traveled one currently, I'm still jealous :D

    Aoami, try and get as smooth a loop as you can if you're training. Dog-legs, and hanging about in stations in places you've already been because you can't leave as your train will be leaving in an hour and a half really blows.

    What actually might be cool if you can swing it (thinking out loud hehe), is a cheap flight across several countries allowing you to jump from one point to another in your travel loop. For example, that would allow you to go further south than originally planned, and then fly up. You could check to see if any of the cheaper carriers operate a route from one country you're in to another further away.
     
  20. Cerb

    Cerb FH is my second home

    I haven't done it personally but I have 2 groups of friends who hve and the concensus that I got from them after hearing about both trips was

    - Sleeping at night on trains as you travel is not as easy or possible as people tell you.
    - Eastern Europe is sketchy as fuck sometimes.
    -Brussels is shit.
    - Greek people aren't very helpful.
    - You can live for 3 days off a bottle of water and a packet of biscuits.
    -Make sure the person/ people you are going with want to go to the same places as you before you leave, otherwise you may find yourselves spliting up at very little notice.
     
  21. DaGaffer

    DaGaffer Down With That Sorta Thing

    Depends entirely on the train. The problem in Europe is that you're often on relatively short runs, so sleeper trains aren't appropriate. If you can get a sleeper they're actually pretty good; I actually enjoy sleeping on trains this way.

    Totally. Not so bad in Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary but the Balkans and Bulgaria and Romania are a problem, especially as there are far fewer direct routes, so you tend to have to always route through the capital cities to go anywhere.

    Brussels is great if you know where to go. I've had some great times in Brussels. Paris on the other hand, is the most overrated city on Earth.

    Bit of a sweeping statement. I've found the opposite to be true.

    Or donated Apples from German exchange students when stuck on a train with no dining car for two days. Just sayin'.

    Best thing about travelling alone....
     
  22. Ormorof

    Ormorof FH is my second home

    we had a stop in brussels (as spending more time in CPH was shit expensive) and i found it to be pretty awesome, i hadnt expected much though

    spent a great evening in the sun on a balcony of a pub overlooking a wedding at the old stock exchange building :)

    we had been in Lille in France the day before and frankly it is the biggest pile of wank i have ever seen, such an unbelievable dump

    and we were followed by gypsy children everywhere!
     
  23. Huntingtons

    Huntingtons Resident Freddy

    i cant see how people can manage so many cities in 1 month. Id cut it down for starters, personal opinion ofc.
     

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