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Top 6 Interrailing Destinations to Visit this Year

Top 6 Interrailing Destinations to Visit this Year main image

The summer break’s now well begun but you’ve still got a stretch of time left before September to indulge your wanderlust. Interrailing is a wonderful cheap travel solution – especially if you’re looking to travel in Europe without dipping into your overdraft. Live frugally and scrape a few euros together, stay in hostels, pack your own lunches, and see how many cities you can fit in.

A Global Pass with Interrail would cost you from €200 (~US$220) and allow you to travel in Europe to 30 destinations on a specific number of days within the space of a month. The only downside to the Global Pass – though, many report enjoying the challenge – is the necessity it creates to plan very carefully beforehand in order to make full use of the pass without running out of travel days!

Here are six European cities we think deserve a place in your itinerary:

1. Zagreb


Known for its unique Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb is a wonderfully offbeat and artistic cultural center, home to a host of exciting festivals during the summer and live music gigs on virtually every day of the week. The capital and largest city in Croatia, Zagreb boasts a warm temperate climate and a wonderful café culture. Have a wander through the cobbled streets; hop onto a tram from the city center to Lake Jarun; sunbathe, and treat yourself to delicious seafood.

2. Barcelona

With its cobbled streets, ancient city walls and whimsical mix of artistic influences, this beach-side Spanish city is an architectural gem and a delight to stroll through, whether alone or with a pack of friends. From Miró to Dali, Gaudí and Hemingway, Barcelona city has inspired and seduced many a writer, painter and actor from Spain and elsewhere. And then, there’s Catalan cooking... Rich fresh gorgeous tapas, brassy flamenco and dimly lit cava bars: what else could you ask for?

3. Budapest

Straddled over the River Danube, Budapest is marked by a noticeable Art Nouveau influence. It’s a beautiful historic city with a fin-de-siècle finish and plenty of things to do for under a tenner. Treat yourself to a coffee in the historic New York Café (trust me on this one), relax in the Veli Bej baths – and seek out live music, a few drinks and new friends in one of the Jewish Quarter’s trendy pubs.

4. Montpellier

An easygoing city where il fait bon vivre, Montpellier is a stunning student city located in the south of France known for its café culture, live music gigs and cheap student eateries. Head off to Montpellier to admire exceptional art at the Musée Frabre, have a stroll through the Jardin des Plantes, get a taste of Provencal cooking in one of the city’s little bistros and make new friends in one of its quirky student bars. One final tip: buy yourself what the Montpelliérains like to call a ‘sandwich Américain’ – a burger, ketchup, cheese and chips all lumped together into a single baguette. This is actually authentic local cuisine (and will definitely keep you going for the next leg of your Interrailing ourney).

5. Marseilles

If Montpellier’s sandwich Américain hasn’t satisfied you, why not treat your taste buds in France’s food capital with authentic and affordable Mediterranean cuisine? Fresh seafood, sardines, a little tapenade… What more could you wish for? Visiting Marseilles on a budget is entirely possible: have a stroll through the old port; visit Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica; sample pastis (an anise-flavoured spirit) in one of the fabulous bars tucked away in the Vieux Port.

6. Rome

A very walkable city, Rome is one of the most popular destinations for travel in Europe, boasting some of the most beautiful buildings in the region. It’s also entirely possible to visit on a budget. From discovering the great masters to dining in one of the lush food markets, to finding your inner Anita Ekkberg at the Trevi Fountai – most of the best things to do in Rome are free or inexpensive and entirely compatible with solo travel. Don’t forget to brave the Bocca Della Verità, enjoy an aperitivo and savor the local cuisine – arguably the best in the world!

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Written by Mathilde Frot
I'm originally French but I grew up in Casablanca, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva. When I'm not writing for QS, you'll usually find me sipping espresso(s) with a good paperback.

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1 Comment

While Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, there are plenty of other places to see there. Split is a great base for island hopping and visiting the Plitvice lakes, for example.

These are all great places but perhaps aren't easy to combine into one route. The best way to work out your interrailing route is by using https://interrailplanner.com