Trip Report: Interrail Summer Travels Across Europe

This trip report covers my experiences using a three-month Interrail pass to travel all across Europe by train during the summer holiday.

An Interrail summer

Last summer, Interrail celebrated its 50th anniversary.

For this special occasion, the European issuer of train passes launched an amazing 50% discount sale on all its travel products.

I’ve happily used Interrail passes many times before on my holidays, starting with a one-month pass at the age of 19 to backpack around Europe.

On my most recent Interrail trip I used a pass to travel across Europe from Switzerland to Croatia, Austria and Romania.

The sale therefore presented an amazing opportunity to buy an Interrail pass again.

emona eurocity train zidani most slovenia vienna ljubljana
The Emona EuroCity train from Vienna to Trieste at the Slovenian railway station of Zidani Most. ©Paliparan

Value for money

Comparing the costs of normal point-to-point train tickets and an Interrail pass plus all the required supplements and reservations for high-speed trains and sleeper trains is something which you should always do before deciding whether a certain Interrail pass is the best option for you.

I decided to buy a three-month Interrail pass for first class train travel, which cost me just £505 (€575) with the 50% discount applied.

Although I wasn’t planning to travel for three months straight, I figured that the pass would be excellent value to cover two trips that I was already planning to make.

During the summer, I had to travel back from my home in Romania to my native Netherlands to attend a wedding.

Besides, I was supposed to travel to Scotland in September for a family trip.

Normally I would fly from Romania to the Netherlands and Scotland, but I thought that it would make for a fun experiment to do both trips by train all the way.

Some quick calculations showed me that for these two trips alone I would get my money’s worth out of the Interrail pass.

cologne main station germany interrail trip report
Trains at the main station of Cologne. ©Paliparan


As I didn’t have any other trips booked during the summer holiday, I could use my three-month Interrail pass for some spontaneous escapes as well.

Interrail is especially great value in countries with high costs for train travel where you don’t require expensive supplements or reservations for (high-speed) trains.

Two of such countries are the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

I therefore decided during the summer to make a quick trip as well to both Switzerland (in combination with Northern Italy) and the UK.

However, as I had limited time available due to work commitments, I couldn’t do these trips by train all the way.

Instead, I would fly out to Bergamo and London respectively at the start of these trips and use my Interrail pass to travel around these countries.

landwasser viaduct switzerland interrail black friday sale discount
A train crossing the famous Landwasser Viaduct in Switzerland. ©Paliparan

Four big train trips

In the end, I would thus use my three-month Interrail pass for four separate trips over the summer:

– Switzerland and the North Italian lakes
– England from Cornwall to Yorkshire
– Romania to the Netherlands and back by train
– Romania to Scotland and back by train

In the individual chapters of this trip report you can find more information about my exact itinerary as well as the additional costs for supplements and reservations which I had to pay.

Of course, you can also read reviews of all the trains I took as well as destination guides of all the places I visited during the summer.

brusio spiral viaduct
The Bernina Express is crossing the famous Brusio spiral viaduct in Switzerland. ©Paliparan
swiss train dining car
A yummy Thai green curry on board a Swiss train in the Alps. ©Paliparan
night riviera train london paddington
The Night Riviera sleeper train to Cornwall at London Paddington station. ©Paliparan
hamburg zurich rhine valley train interrail
Riding along the River Rhine on board the EuroCity train from Hamburg to Zurich. ©Paliparan
caledonian sleeper train travel uk
A bed on the Caledonian Sleeper train. ©Paliparan
scotland scenery uk train
View over Loch Carron from a Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness train. ©Paliparan
hungarian sleeper train interrail
Hanging out of the window of the Hungarian sleeper train which links Budapest with Brasov in Romania. ©Paliparan

Trip report index

This ‘Interrail Summer Travels Across Europe’ trip report consists of the following parts:

1. Scenic Trains Around Switzerland and the Italian Lakes
2. From Cornwall to Yorkshire: Travels Around England by Train
3. From Romania to the Netherlands and Back by Train
4. From Romania to Scotland and Back by Train

Avatar photo


Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.