Route: London Paris Luxembourg Cologne Bruges Lille London
Duration: 14 nights
Transport: This route is 15 days long, involving 14 nights in your accommodation, with no night travel. Journeys don’t take more than four hours each, so you won’t be stuck on a train for too long!
Sustainability: This trip only creates 44.2 kg of carbon emissions! To fly the same route would cost 494.
Reviews: All independent reviews
Experience quintessentially European charm with this mix of big cosmopolitan cities and quaint little towns alike, all in the space of two weeks!
With this Charms of Europe package, we’ll take you all the way there from the UK and back by rail so you won’t have to worry about arranging any flights! From Paris to Bruges, and Cologne to Luxembourg, you’ll see the best that northwest Europe has to offer with this interrailing route! With at least 2 nights in each destination, you’ll get a great idea of what each city is about, whilst having time to spare for a few day trips away.
Only have a week off? No problem! Our 1 week version could be best for you!
If you’re travelling from the UK, use your Interrail pass to travel to London from your nearest train station for free on the same day as departure! Once you have arrived in London it’s time to start this charming train adventure.
First up – the infamous City of Lights – Paris! Stroll around Montmartre with its Bohemian artist community and pretty red-canopied cafes. Go classic with the iconic sights of the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and, of course, the Eiffel Tower! If you’ve seen it all before, head to the Pompidou Centre for your modern art fix, or sip on cocktails around Quai de Jemmapes.
Next up, the vastly underrated Luxembourg, one of the world’s smallest countries. This scenic little country is nestled in between France, Belgium and Germany, and really is a hidden gem worth seeing! This tiny country has a surprising amount on offer – you’ll find its fortress and surrounding countryside enchanting and there’s also great shopping and unique, fine food.
Carry on to Cologne – a major cultural centre encompassing ten million inhabitants. Visit the famous cathedral for a taste of history, or wander around the old town markets at Christmas time for some real yuletide spirit. Try the local cuisine with a bratwurst – Germany literally has hundreds of different varieties – each region has several types. In fact, you could try a different sausage every day for a year and you still wouldn’t have got through them all! Challenge accepted!
You’ll then head to the romantic medieval canal city of Bruges. Stepping off the train into the picture perfect narrow streets, miniature houses, and intricate network of canals feels like entering a toy town. Glug your way through Belgium’s 400 delicious beers and stock up on some of the country’s finest hand-crafted chocolate. We don’t need telling twice!
Your last stop before heading home will be the buzzing university city of Lille! This cultural hub may be French, but you’ll instantly see the Flemish influences that remain throughout the city. Take a wander through the quaint historic centre of Vieux Lille, where you’ll find 17th century brick town houses, cobbled pedestrian streets and the large central square, Grand Place.
Finally, you’ll get to rest your weary bones on the Eurostar back to London. Either finish your journey here or continue your onward journey home to your nearest UK station for free using your Interrail pass!
London may be huge, but Central London can be walked all over, from the quirky pop-up stalls of the south bank to the glitz of the West End and out to Hyde Park. The buzzing cosmopolitan nature of the city probably makes it the most culturally diverse in the world.
Want a few nights in the capital? We can customise this route for you – just ask!
If you’re travelling on an Interrail pass for the trip, you can use this to get from your hometown to London for free, as long as it’s on the same day as your departure! This does not apply if you have individual tickets in PDF form.
See some world-famous landmarks
Watch a show at one of many West End Theatres
Experience the quirky nightlife of Soho
Train to Paris – 4 hours
Paris is a byword for romance, a synonym for style and the epitome of elegance. The pride of France and one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris needs little introduction, from the Eiffel Tower to the Pont Neuf, bedazzling visitors and oozing charisma at every turn.
See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre museum
Watch a cabaret act the famous Moulin Rouge
Experience the colourful nightlife of the Marais
Trains to Luxembourg – 2.5 hours
This tiny little country has a surprising amount on offer, and whilst its reputation as a financial haven may precede it, you’ll find the UNESCO fortress on the old town exquisite, and the surrounding countryside enchanting, with its cute collection of castles and sleepy villages.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town
Walk down the picturesque Chemin de la Corniche
Hire a tandem and see the city on your own terms
Trains to Bruges – 4.5 hours
Arriving in Cologne you will be delivered directly to Germany’s top tourist attraction, stepping off the train into the Cathedral Square; at Christmas furnished by a marvellous Christmas market, but all year round guarded by the imposing Gothic spires of the Cathedral.
Climb to the top of the cathedral towers
Visit the chocolate museum
Explore all the Christmas markets in December
Trains to Bruges – 3.5 hours
Bruges is absolutely stunning and you’ll find many photo opportunities in the city of canals and cute houses. It is also a gastronomic capital, with the most Michelin stars per square mile of anywhere in the world and even over 3km of beer pipelines running under the city. If you venture a little into the countryside you will see charming old-fashioned windmills and some of the best cycle routes in the world.
Go on a boat trip along the city’s famous canals
Take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the old town
Sample some of the best beers in the world at the ‘Bruges Beer Experience’ or even take a brewery tour of ‘Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan’
Trains to Lille – 2 hours
The charming little city of Lille would warm the cockles of even the most hardened traveller! Wander down its winding cobbled streets and you’ll stumble across all manner of old-world architectural gems, from its meandering canal ways to the chocolate-box houses of the Old Quarter.
Explore the crypts of the stunning cathedral
Get your fill of fine art at former swimming pool, La Piscine Museum
Fill up on local specialties – a lot of cheese, meat and beer is usually involved!
Train to London – 2.5 hours
Finish back in London or continue your onward journey home to your nearest UK station for free using your Interrail pass!
For free! You can also use your Interrail pass to travel for free from your nearest UK station to and from London on the same day as departure and arrival.