Description & Itinerary

If you’re going to interrail Europe, you may as well go the Whole Hog, right? This package is our most popular European backpacking route, and with our favourite 4-week option, you’ll spend a good few days in each city. This gives you plenty of time to see the sights, and enjoy some nights out without having to catch a train early the next morning. Perfect for all you late risers!

If you wake up late in Amsterdam or fancy a few more hours in Berlin, don’t worry! The joy of interrailing is that a lot of your journeys are open. So you can change your plans at the last minute and cram more sightseeing in, if you prefer! For a quick whistle-stop tour, choose the 2- or 3-week versions to see the essentials. If, like us, you can’t bear to miss anything, go for five weeks or more!

Start your European backpacking route in Paris and settle in with a café au lait, croissants and taking in the city’s iconic landmarks, before heading off to experience the famously buzzing night-life in Amsterdam. With coffeeshops and museums galore, you’ll have the perfect mix of culture and partying to contend with! Next up is the cosmopolitan and edgy atmosphere in Berlin, the European city that never sleeps. Carry on to Prague for gorgeous Gothic scenery by day, and long, boozy nights in secret underground bars by night. Next, head south to classical Vienna, the music capital of the continent, before making your way up the Danube River to Bratislava and grand old bohemian Budapest.

After one too many in the Ruin Bars, recuperate at a spa before heading to the underrated Croatian capital, Zagreb. With a buzzing cafe culture and chilled bars, you won’t go hungry or bored! If you go for the longer trip, you’ll get to see the breath-taking cultural hub of Ljubljana. Otherwise, you’ll head west straight through Slovenia and you’ll wind up in Italy. Ride the gondolas down the canals of Venice and get lost in its picturesque labyrinth of quaint backstreets. Next up, is a trip to the artists’ haven of Florence. Soak up the medieval splendour and enjoy the style and glamour of what was once the capital of Italy. Fancy a day trip away? Head out to the scenic vineyards of Tuscany on a hunt for the perfect grape. Who knows, you might even get to make your own wine!

Finally, as you pull in to Rome, prepare to be spoilt for choice when it comes to sight-seeing in one of the world’s most photogenic cities. The Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain and Castel Sant’Angelo, are all dead-cert must-sees, of course! Be sure to tick off the smallest country in the world, the Vatican City, and spend the last few days of your European backpacking route exploring the historic streets, piazzas and palaces of Old Rome. When night falls, the city really comes alive! Head to any of the city’s many unique clubs and chilled bars, and you’ll be guaranteed a great trip finale!

If you choose a longer trip option, you’ll get to see the bonus beachy destinations of Nice and Barcelona. Soak up the sun and rub shoulders with celebrities in the capital of Mediterranean France, before heading to one of Spain’s most famous cosmopolitan cities. Drink in the surreal art and architecture, before drinking in the bustling nightlife with beer and sangria on your last few nights! How else would you toast the end of such an amazing trip?

Paris (3 Nights)

Paris is a byword for romance, a synonym for style and the epitome of elegance. The pride of France and one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris needs little introduction, from the Eiffel Tower to the Pont Neuf, bedazzling visitors and oozing charisma at every turn.

Highlights

  • See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre museum
  • Watch a cabaret act the famous Moulin Rouge
  • Experience the colourful nightlife of the Marais

Amsterdam (2 Nights)

Despite being credited with certain recreational pastimes, there is actually a lot more to the city than the stereotypical picture, with its abundance of engaging museums, beautiful townhouses and canals. Find out what makes Amsterdam the beating heart of the Netherlands.

Highlights

  • Visit the Van Gogh Museum
  • Discover Europe’s biggest historic centre by pedal
  • Take a tour of the red light district

Berlin (3 Nights)

Berlin is the alternative, cool kid of Europe and a pro at being edgy. It’s how people dress, their liberal attitudes, the graffiti, the skaters and BMXers, the art, the clubs and the food. Berlin is also crammed full of fascinating WWII history around every corner.

Highlights

  • See a section of the old Berlin Wall
  • Climb the dome of the renovated Reichstag
  • Discover the nightlife of Schoneberg and Kreuzberg

Prague (3 Nights)

Prague is beautiful, with no better word to describe it. On whichever side street or square, the intricate architecture prevails, with every building unique and full of colourful detail. The Czech Republic is also the home of Pilsner beer, with no lack of establishments to sample it.

Highlights

  • Cross the enchanting Charles Bridge
  • Marvel at the curvy design of the dancing building
  • Try all the Czech Pilsner beers in the old town pub

Vienna (3 Nights)

Vienna is crisp, clean and chic with its biggest draw factor being the multitude of classical palaces and grand imperial buildings. Whether you’re into your royal history or not, the sheer scale of it here will be encapsulating for all, whilst not forgetting the great bars and eateries.

Highlights

  • Visit the Spanish riding school of Vienna
  • Eat real Apple Strudel and Wiener Schnitzel
  • Go to a classical concert in a city renowned for music

Bratislava (2 Nights)

Bratislavans are incredibly friendly and, as the city has not yet been discovered by the mainstream tourist, food, beer and wine are still very cheap here. It’s just as beautiful as its neighbouring Eastern European capitals, but smaller, quieter and with an idyllic aura.

Highlights

  • Climb up to the 19th Century castle
  • Take a night tour to admire Bratislava’s beauty
  • Do some folk-art shopping at Úľuv

Budapest (2 Nights)

Proudly guarding the Danube, the once twin cities of Buda and Pest show off every architectural style from Baroque to Art Nouveau. With its rickety trams and turn-of-the-century feel you’ll be charmed by its past while you cure your hangover at the multitude of hot baths.

Highlights

  • Relax in the 15th Century thermal spas
  • Take panoramic photos from the scenic Buda castle
  • Go to Sziget rock and indie festival in August

Zagreb (2 Nights)

A city of flowers and fountains with a curious Mediterranean feel, Zagreb is a year-round destination with a museum-café-theatre culture by day and a lakeside party by night. In winter a tram ride out of the city provides scenic hiking and skiing opportunities.

Highlights

  • Catch a 360 view from the Lotrščak Tower
  • Stroll through the beautiful Mirogoj cemetery
  • Have a coffee in Kino Europa, Zagreb’s oldest cinema

Ljubljana (2 Nights)

Ljubljana is a colourful chocolate box city with a café culture that brings to it a festival atmosphere all summer long. See the castle perched above the city or take a day trip out by train to the picturesque Lake Bled, where you can hire a rowing boat and visit the island in the middle.

Highlights

  • See the 16th Century castle on the hill
  • Wander through the colourful streets
  • Take in 360 views from an art-deco skyscraper terrace

Venice (2 Nights)

Venice is nothing short of unique, built on mudbanks in the lagoon, having forgone the convenience of cars for the charisma of canals. Getting lost in Venice is part of the fun, and if you’re on foot you’ll only find small backstreets or large piazzas, not a single street in sight.

Highlights

  • Cross the iconic St Mark’s Square
  • Get lost in the alleyways and canals of the city
  • Ride the vaporetto down the grand canal

Florence (2 Nights)

If you are touring the big cities of Europe and want to escape to the countryside, then the capital of Tuscany is one of the easiest places to do it from. Not that you’d want to of course once you are seduced by the birthplace of Renaissance art and architecture.

Highlights

  • See Michelangelo’s statue of David
  • Explore countless Renaissance chapels and churches
  • Eat any number of fun flavours of exquisite ice-cream

Rome (3 Nights)

Do as the proverb says – when in Rome, do as the Romans do. If that means indulging in ice-cream, pizzerias, cafes and trattorias then so be it. Rome will delight you with its eateries and mesmerise you with its monuments. Also visit the Vatican, the world’s smallest country.

Highlights

  • Marvel at the ruins of the Roman Forum
  • See the world-famous Colosseum
  • Try real Italian coffee, ice-cream and pizza

Nice (2 Nights)

Looking out on to the French Riviera, Nice is a chic city with some of the best cuisine in the country. Its appeal was future-proofed by 19th Century British aristocrats who commissioned a beachside walkway by which to stroll at sunset, now the popular Promenade des Anglais.

Highlights

  • Explore the old-world town of Nice
  • See the sunset from the Promenade des Anglais
  • Take a sightseeing cruise of the Cote d’Azur

Barcelona (3 Nights)

Barcelona is a wondrous place which offers everything in abundance. Fine food, hip street life, spectacular views from on high, architectural and artistic marvels all around and green-space abound. A trip to the Sagrada Familia cathedral, still in construction, is a must.

Highlights

  • See the Picasso Museum in the Gothic Quarter
  • Spot Gaudi’s distinctive architecture in Parc Guell
  • Crawl the bars around Las Ramblas