Mathilda, Anton and Linnea’s Interrail Trip
Mathilda, Anton, and Linnea’s Interrail Trip
Our train hitch started from Hässleholm, and our first stop on our train hitch was: Amsterdam.
Here we strolled along the beautiful canals and tried to avoid being hit by all the millions of cyclists cycling right and left. Tip!! Pay attention, the bikers are wild!
We went to the famous “iAmsterdam” sculpture outside the Rijksmuseum. In the evening we checked into the Red Light District, very different but still cool to see and experience. We roamed most of the city and ate good food.
The next day we went up early in advance to get the most out of our last day in Amsterdam. After a good breakfast buffet at our hostel, we visited the bench from the movie “The fault in our stars”. Maybe not so strange if you don’t like the movie, but we still felt that we wanted to see it before we went home. We had checked into Anne Frank’s house, but when the queue was about 100 meters long, we ignored this. Now in retrospect, we understand that we should have booked a ticket there so that we had missed the long queue.
We felt satisfied with the time we got in Amsterdam and did not think we missed anything. Now we finally got to see Paris, the city we heard so much about!
Name: Mathilda, Anton, Linnea
Three people, three interrail passes and one dream. Discovering the world together.
The train to Paris went unusually fast, we had booked seats on a real luxury train, so we went as kings. We arrived quite late at night to the hotel in Clignancourt. Now in retrospect we regret that we did not look up the area where we would live a little more, because it felt like a very unsafe and dirty area.
On tomorrow’s schedule we had booked in with the main attractions and we started with the triumphal arch. We couldn’t really relax as we were so excited to see the Eiffel Tower, so we headed for Champ De Mars pretty quickly and WOW. As soon as we could see the tower behind the trees, we became like ecstasy. It was really better and bigger than on film. We chose not to go up into the tower, but we were pleased to see it from below. After the Eiffel Tower we went to the Tuilerie Garden, a huge park with cool sculptures and nice flowers. In the afternoon / evening we went to Les Halles, did some shopping and ate an overly expensive burger.
The next day we started with a hearty brunch at a very small organic café, “Le Pain Quotidien”. Nice staff and affordable brunch! Satisfied and contented, we went to Sacré Coeur, a large church, where there was a mighty view over almost all of Paris. To get up to Sacré Coeur you could either take the stairs, or as we did, a kind of cabin lift that went on track. This lift was included in the daily ticket (Metro) that we had purchased.
Then we visited other famous attractions, such as Notre Dame, the Louvre Pyramid and the Louvre Museum. Admission to the museum was free for all EU citizens under the age of 25, so we went in for free and could watch no less than: Mona-Lisa.
During the evening we bought lots of picking food which we then took with us to the Eiffel Tower where we sat on a blanket almost all evening, ate good food, watched the sun go down behind the tower and just completely enjoyed. A wonderful evening in our taste.
Now we wanted to test on some nightlife and ended the evening at a jazz bar with live music and a great atmosphere. A perfect end to the city that would be one of our favorites of the entire trip! The day after, our train left early in the morning for the next destination: Barcelona.
Again: Luxury train. The booking was a good decision and we were able to relax properly on the train. We arrived in the afternoon, checked in at our hostel “Soul Backpackers Barcelona” (a tip) and then set out to find a place where we could eat good Spanish supper. We found a cozy little restaurant and ate delicious paella. We were pretty tired after the long train journey so it was an early night in bed.
After several days of heat without any access to the sea, it obviously felt like the next day to go to the beach where we sunbathed and bathed. The water was very dirty, but it didn’t matter to us much because we had longed for the sea.
In the evening we decided to go out on the town with a german girl we met at our hostel. We met a couple from the US and together we had a fun evening at a lot of different bars. One favorite was the “First Cocktail Bar” where it was full of Post-it patches on the walls. We drank good drinks, talked and laughed together. It was a late night / night and the next morning’s sleep.
Well rested we went to Parc Güell, a park with cool architecture and at the top a viewpoint. The thousands of steps and the extreme heat made the trip up to the top difficult, but the view was really worth it!
In the evening we decided to make our way up to Bunkers Del Carmel, a 360 degree viewpoint. W o w. If the second vantage point was good, there are not even words to describe it. Even though it was pitch dark, it really felt like you saw EVERYTHING. Barcelona suddenly looked much bigger and we were completely taken by the big, illuminated city.
The next day we visited the huge basilica of Sagrada Familia. Unfortunately, it was under construction, but it didn’t matter to us.
We mostly stayed in the shade as it was so incredibly hot in Barcelona, so a visit to the La Boqueria food market which fortunately lay in the shade, was perfect. There was everything from fruits and nuts to fish heads and pig brains. We went back to our hostel, cooked some lunch and packed our bags and then in the evening took the night bus to Nice. It was hard to leave Barcelona and our newfound friends, but also to leave our hostel where we were so happy. It was so family friendly and lovely atmosphere and we would really recommend it if you go here.
After Barcelona we really had plans to go directly to Italy, but since we were not tired of sitting on a train for so long, we chose to take a short stop in Nice instead. Here we stayed only one night, but still managed to visit the beach where we sunbathed and bathed in the turquoise water.
Finally, we were in Italy, which we longed for! We had rented an apartment in La Spezia where we stayed for five nights. It was so nice to finally be able to relax properly and not feel that you had to have any “musts”. We would really recommend “The Turtles Garden” where we stayed. A very nice guy who rented out a ground floor apartment near the station overlooking the mountains and the whole of La Spezia. A plus was that there were three domesticated turtles in the garden that you could spend time with. Great and personal!
The first evening we went out to eat at a restaurant. Hungry as we were, we took the first best one (which, however, turned out to be far from the best) and when the bill then came in, we were shocked. In Italy there is something called Coperto, which means an envelope fee. In short, we had to pay 6 euros extra because we had borrowed their tablecloths and napkins etc. We had never heard of this before but after a little research it turned out to be quite normal in Italy. So, keep an eye out for Coperto on the menu if you visit Italy!
Not far from La Spezia, more precisely only 5-20 minutes by train, are Cinque Terre, the five small villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Manarola and Corniglia. In each village there are colorful houses lined up on the cliffs, crystal clear water and cozy restaurants. We visited three of the villages and our favorite was Vernazza. Here you could jump off cliffs, snorkel with the fish in the water, chill on the hot pebble beach or go around the village and eat Italian ice cream. Because it was so easy to get there by train, you could easily visit all the villages on one day, but when we liked Vernazza so much we were there for the most part. Since we chose to live in La Spezia we came away fairly cheap unlike if we lived in any of the villages, so we could with good conscience treat ourselves to ice cream every day haha! If you want to visit Italy but not in a big city then La Spezia is really perfect.
Another city we visited in Italy was of course Rome. There we saw the classic sights such as the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Fontana Di Trevi, the Pantheon and even a small part of the Vatican City, St. Peter’s Square. When it was quite expensive to visit St. St. Peter’s Church we ignored it. We were not overly impressed with Rome, it was quite dirty and the food was just so expensive. We were happy to stay here for two nights but still felt it was fun to experience. Fontana Di Trevi and the Colosseum were our favorites here!
From Italy we went to Croatia and Pomer. At first, we had been aiming to live in Pula, but we found the world’s coolest accommodation in Pomer, located just outside Pula. Here we stayed at a glamping (more luxurious campsite) called “Arena one 99 glamping” and WOW. We stayed for five nights in a large and luxurious tent right by the sea. The tent was furnished with everything you needed, and we really enjoyed it here.
The glamping included sun loungers on the beach, free luggage transfers (in a small golf cart) around the glamping and even jacuzzi baths if you felt like it. They also borrowed bicycles to use freely in the area, which was quite large.
Now that we had a lot of time to find something fun, we booked a kayaking tour with snorkeling in Pula. It cost about SEK 500 per person and was worth every penny. We had to borrow a kayak that we paddled out to a cave where we then left our kayaks to snorkel in the clear blue water, jump off the cliffs and see lots of fish, sea drills and huge jellyfish. The price also included drinking and lots of photos that the organizers (PulsEvents) took on one during the day. Truly an experience we recommend to anyone who wants to feel like fishing for a day. Croatia was wonderful and we are already longing for glamping and the sea.
Our second to last stop on the trip was Budapest where we stayed for three nights. Here, too, we rented an apartment that was centrally located and close to most things. We went shopping, went for a full body massage for only SEK 200 per person, ate good food, drank lots of cheap beer and lived life. However, we were a little disappointed when we heard so much that everything would be HUGE in Budapest. We only thought it was the beer and the massage that was cheap, but maybe we simply chose the wrong restaurants and areas.
We visited some ruin bars and the absolute best was Szimpla Kert, one of the oldest ruin bars in Budapest. Really worth a visit as it was something out of the ordinary. Of course, as the tourists we were, we wanted to visit some places of interest and fun places. Our top 5 favorite places in Budapest became (not in order)
+ Cat Café Budapest. Here you could drink coffee in the company of most cuddly cats.
+ Szimpla Kert, ruinable.
+ Parliament building, it was really huge.
+ Shoes on the Danube bank, a monument from the Holocaust.
+ Castle Hill, a viewpoint without it’s like.
Vi gillade verkligen Budapest och vill gärna dit igen!
The last stop before returning home was Berlin. There we met our German friend whom we met in Barcelona and who had to be our personal guide through Berlin. Due to a visit from Turkey’s president and preparations for October 3 (Germany’s reunification), both the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust monument were blocked off. It was a shame, but it gave us a reason to visit the city again! However, we got to see both the Parliament House and part of the Berlin Wall.
We also ate classic German food, Koeningsberg Klops and Schnitzel, and drank Alsterwasser (beer with sprite) and Berliner Luft, a classic German snap with a taste of peppermint, yummy!
Berlin was price wise much like in Sweden, there are both cheap areas and a little more expensive. We all loved Berlin and felt a little more at home here than we did in any other city and we really felt that we were approaching Sweden.
Last night we celebrated with the start of a German butcher’s club. Wild and crazy, just as you might imagine a German club haha! We got a perfect finish on our train adventure and felt satisfied when we sat on the train home to Sweden again.
Our train ride lasted for 31 days and during those days we had the opportunity to experience so much fun. We are happy with all the places we stayed at and felt we got everything we wanted during the trip.
SOME TIPS WE HAVE WRITTEN TO YOU THINKING ON GOING AWAY ON A SIMILAR ADVENTURE ARE:
Go with Uber. We used this instead of taxis and got away much cheaper.
Accommodation with kitchen. This way you can cook your own food and save money on this. (Check out Hostelworld, Booking and Airbnb)
Avoid the tourist traps! Rather take to the small streets of the city and look for the hidden gems, it will usually be cheaper and tastier food.
If you travel more together it can sometimes be cheaper to book a hotel room / apartment. (However, this is not as social as a hostel but sometimes a cheaper and better option when you pay for the room / apartment and not per person).
PLAN! This is really important and you do not have the stress during the journey as there is already a lot to plan and keep track of. Location booking, accommodation, check out the train / bus and places you want to visit. If you like adventure and being spontaneous you can ignore this and just go with the flow.
Traveled at night. You not only save money for accommodation, but also the travel time that you might otherwise waste on sitting on the train all day. Combine sleep and travel!
Pack smart. Don’t bring with you more than you need. Check the gasket several times and sort out unnecessary weight, believe us, it will be difficult after a while to carry around on a heavy backpack…
Hand washing detergent to be able to wash wherever you want and not have to rely on the accommodation having a washing machine.
Small travel pillow. Very nice to have on train / bus and does not take much space.
Photograph a lot. Being able to look back at the photos afterwards is like experiencing the journey time and time again. But don’t let this get your attention all the time. See you around and ENJOY!
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Find your new favourite place.
Discover Europe by train