Interrailing is probably one of the coolest things you can do while young. The freedom of hop in and off in trains while discovering one of the most beautiful regions in the world is an experience I can recommend to everyone. After preparing a guide about how the different Interrail passes work, we decided to take a step further and show you some tips on how to make your trip more comfortable and less expensive
If you plan your journey carefully, interrailing on a budget is possible. Cost of train tickets, accommodation, food and entertainment do vary between countries in Europe, but there are many ways to enjoy a low-cost trip. Luckily, with some preparation, rail travel in Europe does not have to cost nearly as much as you may think! To help you plan the perfect trip around Europe, we have put together a handy guide on interrailing tips from our own experience traveling around the Europe.
Plan your route and compare train fares
Make sure to plan your European interrailing itinerary and to compare the costs of different train fares. Save money by travelling outside of the high season. Travel on the cheapest day of the week too. You will save yourself a lot of money and dodge the swarms of travellers. This will enable you to travel for a fraction of what it would normally cost during peak times. Compare costs on websites like Safe a Train and begin planning and pricing up your train journey.
Save on accommodation by taking the night train
On any European travel adventure, one of the biggest expenses is accommodation. The choice of where to sleep for the night very much depends on your budget and the type of experience you are looking for. Night trains are a good option for spending less money on accommodation. There is no additional fee to travel on a night train and you will also maximise your time by travelling while you sleep. If you are travelling from Milan to Paris or Venice to Paris the Thello Trains are an efficient and comfortable way to reach your destination. Travelling on a night train is one of the great interrailing tips as it is a fantastic way to stretch your budget during your trip!
NOTE: Although there are no extra fees for traveling at night, seat reservation is obligatory and of course: Beds are way more expensive than that uncomfortable seat.
Take advantage of free city attractions
In some cities, you can visit a variety of museums and attractions for free. London has an exceptional range of museums and attractions to visit, completely free of charge. In European cities, such as Copenhagen, free admission into museums is offered once a week. Berlin has an incredible free walking tour of all the city’s main attractions.
Many other cities like Amsterdam have an annual night where all museums open their doors to the public for free. Your budget does not have to be big to explore these incredible cities. Make sure to take advantage of all these wonderful free attractions.
Eat where the locals do – Interrailing tips
European cities can be expensive to eat, especially when you are on a tight budget. Try to avoid dining in restaurants situated in the main tourist areas. These are the restaurants that are more expensive and often the quality of food is less than places further out. Try to walk out of the main tourist areas and eat among the locals for delicious food that is half the price.
Thinking of interrailing Europe? Go online and check Save a Train to find out some fares and start planning your next adventure. There are plenty of options available throughout different European rail networks.
It has been less than four hours driving and we already passed snowy mountains, Mediterranean beaches and fairy tale towns. A road trip around Andorra might surprise you more than you might think.
It´s 9 in the morning and we are ready to depart from Barcelona on a road trip to Andorra and back through France. I´m very excited, since it´s the first time I will be in the Pyrenees and with not many photographs or videos of certain parts of the region, I´m practically letting Google Maps lead the way. From Barcelona to Andorra it is going to be at least 4 hours of driving. However, with many stops on the way, we expect to spend the whole day driving.
We are not only excited about the mountains, on the road along the coastline on the way back we also expect to see some of the natural wonders and majestic Mediterranean beaches Catalonia has to offer.
A road trip in Northern Spain will definitely show you a different side of Spain. Driving along the narrow streets of Catalonia feels more like a road trip in Poland or the Czech Republic. From an arid and relatively flat landscape (something very common in the central and southern part of Spain), streets start winding and beautiful mountain landscapes start appearing in the horizon.
Small villages like Cercs, located at the right bank of the Llobregat river are nice spots for getting a coffee, some juice or get out for a walk. Many small towns like this are located along the foothills of the Pyrenees and with almost zero tourists stopping around, these places are the perfect spots to experience a more local side of Catalonia.
Roads in Spain can be narrow but they don´t have much traffic and are easy for drivers of all experience levels. Driving regulations in Andorra are just like in any other EU country. Although Andorra doesn’t belong to the European Union, it does belong to the Schengen area, which means there are no border controls or passport stamps.
NOTE: Cars exiting Andorra can get controlled from time to time by either the Spanish or French customs police. Products like alcohol and cigarettes are extremely cheap in Andorra. For that reason there are limits for the export of these.
Andorra is a very small country. Crossing from one side to the other by car can take less than one hour. Still, don´t underestimate what this small country has to offer: Andorra hides some of the most beautiful natural parks in the Pyrenees. At an altitude of 1023m, Andorra la Vella is the most elevated European capital, making it a great spot for long hikes, a ski trip or just some days of relaxation.
During our stay in Andorra, we decided to stay in Encamp, a city located just a few minutes by car from Andorra la Vella and way cheaper than the capital. The architecture and style of the city makes you feel like in a small winter town of Switzerland or Austria. Cottages stand all over the mountains and with incredible views of the beautiful landscape, Andorra is not a place to stay just one day or some hours.
With a large variety of natural parks to wander around and treks that take you from one hour up to a couple of days to complete, Andorra is a great destination for adventure lovers. After long considerations on which park we should visit during our stay (which was way too short!), we finally decided to visit the Parc Natural de la Vall de Sorteny.
This natural paradise at the top of the Pyrenees was the best part of our Andorra trip. The views along the hiking path are incredible and with cameras and drones with me all the time, I felt I had to stop every two minutes to take a photo.
Other alternatives for excellent trekking are Ordino-Arcalis, the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley and of course, Coma Pedrosa, the highest mountain in Andorra and a popular destination for mountain climbers.
Once leaving via the northern border, entering France landscapes changed drastically. From one of the highest spots in Europe, roads went downhill with wonderful cliffs on one side of the street and small villages with houses in dark stone and beautiful churches started to appear. As in most parts of France, small villages there look like taken from a fairy tale. Towns like Porta or Puigcerda (on the Spanish side) are charming spots for getting some snack and continue the trip.
However, the highlight of southern France was by far Ille-Sur-Tet and its main attraction Les Orgues d´Ille-Sur-Tet. This natural attraction is located 10 minutes by car from Ille-Sur-Tet and the views are simply amazing. Les Orgues d´Ille-Sur-Tet are natural rock formations in different colours and of different heights. Named after the organ instrument for their shape, les Orgues d’Ille-Sur-Tet are definitely worth a stop. Especially with a beautiful pink sky at sunset, this location was more than perfect to finish the day.
NOTE: Although Les Orgues d´Ille-Sur-Tet closes relatively early, you can simply drive uphill a bit and get a full view of the rock formations from the best sunset spot in the area.
Back on our way to Barcelona, it seemed incredible that we saw such a diversity of landscapes in just a few days. However, our trip was not over and along the coast landscapes changed again drastically. Now we had perfect blue waters, a beautiful coastline and one or two natural parks along the way.
Although the highlight of the trip was by far Les Orgues d´Ille-Sur-Tet, a visit to Cap de Creus Natural Park was also more than what we expected. With treks along the coast, beautiful and romantic sunrises and refreshing natural swimming pools, this is a park that deserves its own article. If you ever are in Barcelona and don’t want to go that far away or do a whole road trip around Andorra, this could be the place for you.
Having seen more than ten different landscapes in altitudes from 0 to 1500 m, we felt our short road trip in Andorra went way too fast. A good feeling after finishing discovering a different side of Spain and France, as well as one of the least visited countries in Europe.
In a region of rich expats and luxury homes who would have imagined that one can find such a beautiful natural treasure. We visited Cap de Creus Natural Park and it was worth it.
Located only 1 hour away from Girona, the small town Rosas at the coast of Catalonia, is practically invaded by German, Dutch and French retirees. With bakeries offering German delicacies, bars with Dutch menus and staff who is definitely not Spanish, this place is a getaway for the northern Europeans, who want warmer weather without feeling too far away from their home countries. However, what makes this place special and unique is the Cap de Creus Natural Park, a natural paradise situated just minutes away from Rosas and the right getaway destination for those who want to see the best of the Mediterranean in a single location.
It was 5 in the morning and we woke up to watch the sunrise at Punta Falconera, a very small peninsula at the beginning of the park and very easy to reach by foot from Rosas. It was difficult to see in the dark, but equipped with a lamp and some mosquito repellent, the path was not as complicated and difficult as it seemed. The temperature in Northern Catalonia is not as high as in Barcelona or any other region of Spain, making it more comfortable for long walks and trekking. From the beginning of the park until Punta Falconera we walked not more than 20 minutes – but this part also covers less than 1% of the natural park.
While heading to Punta Falconera we could see the sky starting to turn bright. Although it was a little bit cloudy, the view was beautiful with the first sun lights reflected in some of the clouds creating a sky full of different colors. We decided to hurry up, as we did not want to miss the moment when the sun would finally come out of the horizon.
Once at the edge of Punta Falconera we could get an impressive view of the whole Cap de Creus Natural Park. Minutes before the sunrise we saw a fleet of fishing boats departing the port of Rosas. The sunrise was just about to begin and seeing at least a dozen of boats navigating towards the sunrise seemed like the end of a movie. With the temperature slowly rising we could imagine taking a swim afterwards in the blue waters of one of the many of the natural swimming pools we found on our way.
Cap de Creus Natural Park offers lots of activities for any person who loves adventure: from the many hiking trails along the park to diving and snorkeling in its blueish and greenish waters to sailing from one viewpoint to the other. This part of Catalonia is practically untouched and a great alternative for travelers in Girona or even Barcelona.
We had been at Punta Falconera for little more than 2 hours and the temperature was at least 10 degrees warmer. Before we went back to the town to get breakfast we decided to finally get into the sea and start the day in the refreshing waters of the Mediterranean. So far we had not met anyone else around the area and it felt like we had the park just to ourselves. Once in the water and with the sun shining in our faces, we couldn´t imagine a better place to start the morning.
With a large variety of marine life, it´s normal to see banks of fish swimming from one side to another. Swimming in the waters of the Cap de Creus Natural Park is a perfect choice for those who want to relax and take a swim, as well as for visitors who want to get more adventurous and explore the marine life or do some adventure sports.
While the Cap de Creus Natural Park can get a large amount of visitors during high season (mainly expats living in the area), this natural paradise is not touristic at all and with lots of activities to do, I can´t wait to come back next year.
Cyprus in winter is not like most European countries and with temperatures around 20 degrees, activities like trekking and cycling are just perfect for the adventurous traveler.
It´s 7 am in Tochni, a small village located between Limassol and Larnaca. The sun shines and the sky is completely blue, the temperature is warm and comfortable. I get messages on my mobile phone on how the rest of Europe is grey and cold, however I have flown less than 3 hours and I feel like in a completely different part of the world – This is Cyprus in winter.
Tochni is very quiet and calm. There is only one small shopping store in the whole village and most restaurants open only in the afternoon. Life is more relaxed and still in this part of the country. Although I have a car, something that’s almost obligatory to travel in Cyprus, the weather is perfect for a morning of hiking and wandering.
From short 1-hour hikes to full day trekking, Tochni is a good place to start a day of sports and adventure. Mountain bikes are also very popular in this area and with the coastal village of Zygi located not more than 10km away, water sports are also an option when visiting Cyprus in winter.
Cyprus is a country you need to visit with a car. Public transportation is not very good and unless you want to stay in one single area during your whole stay, a car is simply necessary. Renting a car is also a good option for a day trip to other villages around the area. From the west to the east coast of Cyprus you need at least one day driving and with beautiful natural landscapes on the western coast or Ayia Napa, traveling at least a couple of days by car is really worth it.
Trekking in the day and eating at night
If there is something that really amazed me in Cyprus it is the amount of food you will get during a meal. Meze, a traditional set of several dishes (between 8 and 10) with different kinds of local delicacies, usually accompanied by wine, juice or a local drink, is the perfect way to finish a long day. The amounts of plates on the table and the variety of flavors, make this a completely different experience when it comes to dining.
“Let me bring you some dessert”, said our waitress in a local bar in Lefkara. It´s probably the 10th dish on the table and I can´t imagine eating more. After eating different kinds of breads, meats, salads and side dishes, I´m not even sure if I can get through the whole week eating like that in this country. At least I was planning to go mountain biking the day after.
Mornings in Cyprus during the winter are very simple and relaxed. A local breakfast to get some energy for the day, a glass of fresh orange juice while looking at the rocky mountains of central Cyprus and the sound of birds singing while flying under a blue sky. I was ready to start my day and with 24 degrees outside, I could not have found a more comfortable temperature for a full day of adventure. My mountain bicycle was ready and I had already downloaded a map on my mobile phone telling me which route I wanted to take. Cyprus in Winter is warm and comfortable. The complete opposite of any other place in Europe
The roads were empty and the landscapes changed constantly. My goal for the day was to reach the Southern coast and spend the whole afternoon relaxing and reading at the beach. The waters of the Mediterranean were not very warm at this time of the year, but I did not mind in taking my towel and go for a swim.
My stay in Cyprus wasn´t short. I spent 10 days in this country and with the right mix of relaxation, adventure sports and sightseeing, time went way faster than I thought it would.
Cyprus is known as a party destination in Summer with British and Irish tourists getting drunk at techno parties on the beach. However, for me Cyprus felt more like a movie of Woody Allen: meeting new people while drinking wine, watching the sunset, food until I couldn´t eat more and romantic landscapes I will never forget.
Are you planning a trip to Cyprus? Let me give you some tips from my guide in Europe and if you want to see more of Cyprus, check out our video below!