Good or bad Interrail travel plan ?

joanna_vdv @ 24-02-2008 14:39

Hey, I'm planning on doing a month or so travelling July-August (alone!). I'll probably be starting in Turin (music festival), and would ideally like to factor Paris, Munich, Berlin and Cologne into my plans. Other than that, I'm not too bothered, but I'd also like to see Stockholm.

Any suggestions from the more experienced? 🙂

admin @ 24-02-2008 19:19

Sounds like a good itinery you have. I'd recommend taking night trains as this will mean you don't waste days sitting on trains when you can be climbing Cologne cathedral, etc. You can do Munich to Berlin overnight and Paris from either of those is an overnight trip. Cologne and Bonn are good but you might find them a bit quiet compared to the others. I'd recommend staying fro 2 to 3 nights in each of the bigger places so that you can have a good look round and recover from overnight trains. You can also take an overnight train from Berlin, Ost to Krakow and from there an overnight to Prague. Both of these places are full of character and everything is cheaper there. I'd also recommend taking couchettes: cost from 17 -21 pounds in western Europe. It's much more comfortable and you arrive less fatigued. You also get to meet other backpackers and swap stories and advice. Have a great trip.

iaink

joanna_vdv @ 24-02-2008 19:23

Thanks a lot! I have a friend to visit in Cologne so that's why I want to go there 🙂 .

Sorry to be a pain, but any advice on the order in which I should do stuff?

admin @ 24-02-2008 22:24

Hi,

Well if you start in Turin, you can get to Milan (100 miles) and take an overnight to Munich, although you might want to do this in the daytime as the scenery is stunning. From Munich you could go overnight to Paris. Paris up to Koln is only a few hours and from there or Bonn you can take an overnight to Berlin. From there it's an overnight to Krakow and another to Prague which brings you back towards the west again. I did a route something like that last year and it worked out fine. I don't know what your end point is but you can easily get out a map and create a tour that ends just where you want to be.

I find that the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable has all of the information that I need to plan train times and routes ahead. It's available for about 15 quid or you can get it and photocopy the bits you want in your local library. I always start planning months ahead of a trip and I've already started for my trip this July: It's a lot of fun.

You might want to book some Hostels in advance, on the net, e.g., https://rail.shop/hostelworld , for the busy places. It is a lot better than arriving in a strange place after a long train journey and then having to search for a bed for the night.

I forgot to mention Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps. From Basel to Interlaken and then on to Grindelwald takes just a few hours: great HI Hostel - and some of the best scenery in Switzerland is right in front of your balcony. Basel has an overnight train to Berlin and there is an overnight train to Amsterdam from Basel which goes through Cologne. As you can see, the possibilities are myriad! Have an excellent trip.

iaink

Thanks a lot! I have a friend to visit in Cologne so that's why I want to go there 🙂.

Sorry to be a pain, but any advice on the order in which I should do stuff?

joanna_vdv @ 25-02-2008 20:36

Oooh, that's nice, I wanted to see the Alps/Switzerland as well. I've been looking at some maps (dangerous) and I thought perhaps Turin-Milan-Basel/somewhere that side of Switzerland-Paris-Munich-Cologne-Berlin-Prague. Does it sound feasible?

Thank you so much for your help! Where are you planning on going this time round then?

Joanna

admin @ 26-02-2008 16:29

You're welcome. This forum is a great place to get advice and be helpful. I've had lots of useful feedback here.

Up to Basel from Turin, according to my Cook's Timetable, is a day's travel. Are you planning a whole month because, if you are you'll get lots more in to your trip. Those destinations you've mentioned will give you plenty of variety and they will join up nicely with night trains.

I'm taking a 10 days in 22 pass, starting at the beginning of July, like I did last year as I find that moving on every two or three days is perfect. As I don't get a discount, because I'm (well!) over 26, the one month pass is quite expensive and not really necessary.

The plan for this year is to take 4 or 5 days in Barcelona before my pass begins and then have another 3-4-5 days somewhere warm and sunny at the end of my pass which will make a full month's holiday.

After Barcelona I have thought about going along to Marseille or Nice and then down to southern Italy to take the ferry - very cheap for Interrailers - over to Athens-Thesaloniki-Belgrade-Budapest-Munich and ending in Bordeaux to fly back to Luton.

That will work out quite nicely though I have thought about going back to the Swiss Alps, before heading to Greece, as it is just so amazing there and it's the kind of place that you can keep returning to.

When are you planning to go? Perhaps we'll bump into each other!

iaink




Oooh, that's nice, I wanted to see the Alps/Switzerland as well. I've been looking at some maps (dangerous) and I thought perhaps Turin-Milan-Basel/somewhere that side of Switzerland-Paris-Munich-Cologne-Berlin-Prague. Does it sound feasible?

Thank you so much for your help! Where are you planning on going this time round then?

Joanna

joanna_vdv @ 01-03-2008 13:50

I'm going about mid-July hodefully 🙂 . I'll be 18 then, and I want to do something fun and slightly adventurous before going off to uni, so I think I'll be taking the month one.

When should I buy my ticket..? I think getting across Switzerland I'll leave up to chance, might turn out nicer that way; so long as I get some nice scenery!

Joanna

admin @ 01-03-2008 18:44

Hi there,

I'd buy the ticket at least three weeks before travelling in case there are any problems or lost in the post etc. Last year I bought mine in STA travel and it arrived one week later with the wrong birth date on it and had to go back; finally arriving 3 days before my flight. I could have lost my flight and accommodation would have been messed-up.

Best to book flights perhaps 6 weeks ahead. The prices are much lower then. Have a great trip and DO try to make it to Grindelwald: the trains are excellent, fast and frequent and the scenery really will knock your socks off.

iaink

joanna_vdv @ 17-03-2008 19:59

hey! how's all the planning going? This may be an idiotic question, which I could ost likely answer myself with a bit of effort buuuut.. Whereabouts in Switzerland is Grindelwald and is it connected to Milan?

joanna

admin @ 17-03-2008 20:50

Hi Joanna,

Planning is going well but, as there is so much choice, deciding finally on just where to go this time is the difficult bit. I'm still starting in Barcelona, for 4 or 5 nights before my pass starts. Then maybe into France or up to Switzerland as there is an overnight train to Bern from Barcelona. I'm still planning going for the free ferry from Bari Italy - Patras Greece. Then up through Athens to Thessaloniki, Belgrade, Budapest and back to the West. Hopefully I'll be ending my tour down on the Med, possibly Marseille, for a few days sunburning before flying back to Aberdeen. That's the plan...so far. I'll be booking my flights 5 or 6 weeks in advance to get them cheaper and some of the accommodation too.

Gindelwald is just to the right of Bern, and up a bit, on the map.

Okay, just had a look at my Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable and it says to get to Grindelwald from Milan you do this:

Milan - Bern 3.5hrs.
Bern - Interlaken Ost, 1hr
Interlaken Ost - Grindelwald 40 mins.

Have a look on Google Earth if you can. The Eiger is right there and it is amazing; and it's even better in real life!

Cheers,

iaink



hey! how's all the planning going? This may be an idiotic question, which I could ost likely answer myself with a bit of effort buuuut.. Whereabouts in Switzerland is Grindelwald and is it connected to Milan?

joanna

joanna_vdv @ 25-03-2008 18:05

Ahh, I've been to Thessaloniki before, nice place - very beautiful right on the seafront. Sounds like a good plan!

Hmm, that trip (Milan-Grindelwald) sounds long. Perhaps I'll decide on the spur of the moment.. I'm also booking plane tickets, might do that soon - Ryanair! Nice and cheap.

Joanna

admin @ 30-03-2008 14:44

Hi J

Grind really is worth it. The scenery is so amazing that you don't even need a camera because the images stay sharp in your mind; in more than 7.2 megapixels! Ryan definitely go to near Milan, Bergamot, I think, but I can't remember where from. I found Easyjet can get me to Barcelona from my place for 60 quid. Did you stay in the hostel in Thes, and do you have any recommendations for what to see, cheap eating, etc?


iaink


Ahh, I've been to Thessaloniki before, nice place - very beautiful right on the seafront. Sounds like a good plan!

Hmm, that trip (Milan-Grindelwald) sounds long. Perhaps I'll decide on the spur of the moment.. I'm also booking plane tickets, might do that soon - Ryanair! Nice and cheap.

Joanna


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