Interrail: South to North through Eastern Europe

Match @ 04-01-2009 17:55

I'm living in Edinburgh, Scotland, and thinking about an Eastern European trip this Spring.

I'm currently thinking about an interrail trip, starting in the South (Greece) and ending in Scandinavia, travelling through various countries on the way.

My rough plan at the moment is as follows:

Cheap flight to Greece or Bulgaria, then:
Czech Republic

I'd then like to either go to St Petersburg (assuming I can get a visa - any advice on this?), or go up through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and end up in Finland, then across to Sweden, finishing with a flight or ferry home.

My main questions are:

Is this a route that works? Are there suitable train links in these directions, or things to watch out for?

How much time should I put aside for doing this? Which of the many interrail tickets would suit best?

Looking forward to your tips and advice on making this journey!

bigliettiperfavore @ 04-01-2009 20:20

Good idea..
If you are starting in Greece, the way to get to Bulgaria and avoid Turkey is via Kulata.
This is a good timetable: (in german but good) and check these detailed railway maps:

I would recommend Slovakia above Czech Republic landscapewise at least, and it's more 'different', if that's what youre looking for.

You will need a visa for Russia definately.
The interrail pass is not valid in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia to my knowledge.

This summer there were two companies running ferries from Norway to the UK (Scrabster and Newcastle), but both have been cancelled. Luckily, there are up to 3 airlines doing the Aberdeen-Stavanger/Bergen routes, and there should be a summer route from the west coast of Norway to Edinburgh and perhaps Shetland/Orkneys.

charmsc @ 14-01-2009 18:15


A friend of mine managed to get a visa to St. Petersburg through a tour agency in Helsinki, Finland then took the train from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. The only problem is that he ended up having to wait in Helsinki for about 10 days or so while his visa was being processed. You might want to try getting the visa through an agency in Edinburgh before you leave on your trip.

Estonia's old town is amazing and the ferry to Helsinki can be a little pricey if you don't book in advance. There are two companies that operate ferries - Tallink and Viking.

Hope this helps!


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