It seems to be a trend right now to do long-haul exotic trips but you know where’s absolutely stunning? Europe!
Inter-railing is one of the best ways to tick off your European bucket list. You’ll get to see a wide range of countries, cultures and traditions in a matter of weeks.
I’ve been inter-railing twice but I always did a short trip and regretted not doing the whole hog.
In terms of getting from A to B most of these cities are best accessed by train or night train but I also took the bus to quite a few of them and that worked out perfectly fine too.
I’ve compiled a list of the best route and the best cities to tick off as you go:
The Lovin Route
Paris – 2 Days
Fly into the most romantic city in the world to start your three-week trip.
Paris is a great starting point because there is so much to see and do as well as amazing food and great nightclubs.
There are loads of museums and sites to see in Paris that are free if you’re under 25 and an EU citizen which means you can have an easy first few days on the budget.
The legendary Paris streets are rich with colour and smells of freshly baking bread and gooey cheese, with Rue Montorgueil a great shout for everything from pastries to oysters.
Brussels – 1 Days
Brussels is the home of the European Union but there’s much more to this capital city than that. From their beer, chocolate and wonderful architecture Brussels is a city that is well worth a visit.
You could definitely see and do a lot in a day here.
Top tips would be to check out the Atomium, the Mannequin Pis, Grand Place and order some of the famous chips.
Bruges – 1 Day
Bruges is one of the cutest places in Europe. It’s a great place to stop off an take a bit of a chill pill after the few heavy-drinking nights I’d imagine you’ll have in Paris and Brussels.
Hop on a boat to see this scenic destination in all its glory.
Amsterdam – 3 Days
After some down-time in Bruges, I’m sure you’ll be ready for the Dam.
While you’re here my top recommendations would be the free walking tour of the Red Light District, Anne Frank Tour, Pllek and the boat tours.
There’s a tonne of amazing bars and clubs in Amsterdam so if you’re ready to sesh it up, this is the place for you.
Berlin – 2 Days
Berlin is one of the coolest cities around right now. It’s steeping in history but it’s also renowned for having the best clubs in Europe, so you’ve got a little bit of everything for everyone.
The Berghain is one of the most famous nightclubs in Europe but be aware, you may be queueing for hours and might not even get in.
In terms of history and culture, the Sandemans walking tour is brill and the holocaust memorial museum is really worth doing.
Prague – 2 Days
Prague is a gem at the heart of Europe that appears to be on everyone’s to-do list. From beautiful architecture to great beer and everything in between, it has everything you need for memorable stay.
Be sure to check out the pub crawls in Prague, they’re serious craic and a great way to meet other inter-railers.
Maybe even get the shift…
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Vienna – 1 Day
Vienna is often forgotten about but it’s just a beautiful old-fashioned city. The locals are all so well dressed, heading to the opera in their spare time and smoking long cigarettes.
It’s full to the brim with amazing buildings and history. You can even visit Mozart’s apartment.
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Budapest – 2 Days
Budapest, while you don’t hear too many people talk about it that often, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and with good reason. It hosts many spa’s, massive buildings with a tonne of history, the city is full of friendly people and it’s packed to the brim with amazing culture
The bath parties during the summer are the best craic ever and such a unique nightlife experience.
Lake Bled – 2 Days
If you haven’t already heard of it, Bled is a stunning village in northwestern Slovenia. During the summer it’s super sunny and locals and visitors alike can be seen swimming in the lake, cycling, hiking and doing water sports. During the winter, it is transformed into a ski resort. Whatever season you choose to visit, and trust me I was there during torrential rains, it is one of the prettiest and most scenic places you’ll ever see.
Be sure to swim in the Lake, hike Ojstrica and toboggan down the mountains.
Zagreb – 1 Day
Zagreb is the country’s capital and it’s much more built up than any of the other areas I visited.
There’s so much history there and a walking tour is a must.
The place is loaded with restaurants and bars so it’s great craic in the evenings. It’s also very close to the national park Plitvice which is well worth the visit.
After Zagreb, I’d recommend continuing the Croatia buzz and exploring what this stunning country has to offer.
Split – 2 Days
Split is the party place.
During the evenings the place is swamped with various bar crawls, stags and hens. Prepare yourself for some of the craziest nights of your life!
Try the Tower pub crawl, it was so wild that my friends and I did it twice.
When you want to take a break from the drink, take a trip to Krka waterfalls, probably one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen!
Most hotels and hostels arrange buses to and from for a pretty good price. You’ll spend the whole day here so pack lunch, bring good footwear and don’t forget the suncream.
Zadar -2 Days
Saving best for last, Zadar was probably my favourite stop of all.
The town is built on ancient Roman ruins which still remain. It’s bursting with history, culture, art and creativity.
Down by the pier you’ll find a sea organ which plays music from the waves as well as an astonishing astrological light display. Top that off with what’s said to be the best sunsets in the world and you can see why I loved it so much.
Everything about Zadar is magic.
You can fly directly from Zadar back to Dublin Airport.