Paris Berlin ↠ Prague Krakow ↠ Vienna Budapest ↠ Venice

In 2013, two of my best friends and I travelled around Europe for 3 weeks. We decided the easiest and quickest way to get everything done was by interrailing (or Eurail if you're outside of Europe). Our journey took us in a loop from Paris to Venice through Eastern Europe and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.

We chose the '10 days in a month' global pass - which means out of the time we were there, we could only allow 10 days for travelling in between destinations. There are lots of passes available depending on how long you want to go and where you want to go (i.e. throughout Europe - global pass - or just in one country - one-country pass), which you can find here! We only had a set amount of time free over that summer that all 3 of us could travel for, but if we'd had more time, I'm sure we would've gone for longer!

Planning your route does take time, and I recommend you know where you're going and how long for before you book your pass - or at least have a rough idea of it! The longest we spent in one place was 4 nights, and I think the shortest was about 2 nights; we decided that the further the destination was from home, the longer we'd spend there, as living in the UK, flights out to continental Europe are pretty easy to find!

Using the pass sounds a bit complicated and confusing but it's actually really easy. The only thing to remember is to fill in the right days with the route and time (there might be more sections on there which I can't remember but they're easy to follow) on the pass, and then show both the pass and your passport when the ticket inspector comes around on the train. If you don't fill it in and/or don't have your passport on you, they will likely kick you off the train - as we saw when two men were kicked off our train from Berlin to Prague just past the border to the Czech Republic!

Once you book your pass, Interrail/Eurail send you a kit with everything included - a map with train companies and information, your pass, and a FAQ. Though looking on the website now, it looks like they've updated it since I went so now you get a wristband and travel wallet too! I really recommend downloading the Rail Planner App - it was so helpful when we wanted to sort out trains last minute and when booking seats; some rail companies in Europe charge for reservations on their trains and won't let you on without one, and the app will tell you all about this, especially when language barriers are an issue!

Accommodation wise, we stayed in hostels in all but one location. I'd never stayed in a hostel before this time so was a bit wary, but honestly, they're nothing to worry about - everyone is so friendly and looking to meet other travellers too :) we stayed in dorm rooms to keep costs down, and most, if not all, had lockable storage space in the rooms to keep your valuables safe. I really like staying in dorms now because they're really sociable, and I've met some lovely people through them, but if you prefer your space and privacy, most hostels will offer private rooms too; though these are usually a bit more expensive! The website we used to book was and it was so good that I used it again for my solo trip around the USA and Canada!

Most hostels will also have loads of free city maps - these are a godsend, so take advantage whenever you can! It saved us so much money later on when we realised we didn't need to have bought maps in advance so they're not always necessary!

It might seem like a lot to organise, but it's really a lot of fun! I really enjoyed getting to see so many places I'd never have even thought of going to before, but now I'm so glad I did; and so many people I know are now only just visiting the same places! I went with some of the loveliest, genuine people I know which made a big difference, and made it such a lovely time! Definitely a trip worth doing!

M x

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