Route: London Brussels Amsterdam Hamburg Copenhagen Berlin Krakow Warsaw Vilnius Riga Tallinn Helsinki St Petersburg Yaroslavl Moscow
Duration: 42 nights
Transport: This route is a 43 day trip taking you all the way from London through Moscow. You’ll spend 41 nights in your accommodation and 1 on a night train. All other travel will take place during the day by train, bus or ferry.
Sustainability:This trip only creates 367 kg of carbon emissions! To fly the same route would cost 1423.7
Reviews: All independent reviews
If you’ve covered most of Western Europe already and are looking for a little bit of a challenge, why not venture East? Head to some of Europe’s lesser-visited areas, including the Baltics and Russia, to catch a glimpse of what not many people get the chance to see. On this trip, you’ll leave from London to check out 3 of Russia’s most beautiful cities, as well as big cities and rugged landscapes in between!
Want an even bigger adventure? Check out the epic 8 week version of this route which loops back to London.
Start your Northern Europe holiday by hopping on the train in your local town or city and heading straight for London for your Eurostar to the Belgian capital of Brussels. Check out Europe’s most impressive square, taste silky Belgian chocolate and let’s not forget about that beer…
Then you’ll continue onwards to Amsterdam. The capital of the Netherlands is home to a liberal atmosphere, friendly people, world class cultural heritage and incredible architecture. Hire a bike to cruise around amazing canals and choose from a variety of museums (our favourites are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum), before hitting up its trendy bars, famous coffee-shops and the (in)famous Red Light District. Amsterdam is unique and endlessly fascinating – all the more reason to come back time and time again.
Next up, you’ll head to Hamburg, where you’ll have to decide whether to first explore the arty dock quarter or settle down on the main square for a historical local beer. Soon after, Copenhagen awaits; a stylish and modern city with a liberal and relaxed attitude. Join the students relaxing in the parks with a chilled beer, hire bikes and make the most of the city’s excellent cycle paths or visit the fascinating world that is Freetown Christiania.
Then, hit the ground running in bohemian Berlin, one of Europe’s most historically rich cities. With more incredible museums than you can shake a stick at, you’ll have plenty of the city’s history to explore! Wander around its streets and pass what was the border between Eastern and Western Europe before the Berlin Wall fell. Counter-balance the culture and history lessons with bar-hopping and partying at the city’s many clubs – from the edgy to the downright bizarre. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get into Berghain…
On to Poland! First, you’ll spend some time in historic Krakow. Packed with imposing and impressive architecture, homely eateries and luscious green parks – there’s plenty to fill your days with. With the city’s natural beauty, it’s hard to believe that it’s also bursting at the seams with amazing and vibrant nightlife. Whilst there, be sure take an unforgettable day trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau. We guarantee that it’ll be one of the most moving experiences you’ll ever have on your travels.
Next, you’ll stop off in Warsaw, the Polish capital. Often overlooked, this is the place to go for traditional Polish food and crafts at cheap prices. It’s also a treasure trove of fascinating WW2 history with the city being almost totally destroyed and rebuilt.
Vilnius will surprise you with it’s grand and ornate buildings – reflecting more of the old Russian influence that has played such a big part in this region’s history. Orthodox churches with colourful frescoes, beautiful market squares and pavement cafes make this small city the perfect place to unwind before venturing further into the Baltics.
Head to Riga next; its distinctive Soviet influences feel much more Eastern European, with plenty of architectural and cultural contrasts between the old and the new. Be sure not to miss Riga TV Tower which is the tallest tower in the whole of the EU and the third tallest in Europe. Be sure to take a trip up to the machine room near the top (over 300m high) and admire the incredible views of the city and beyond.
Tallinn is next on the agenda to round off the Baltic part of your trip, although the city’s Old Town has plenty of Scandinavian influence, as well as Slavic style – think a cross between Stockholm and St Petersburg. It’s also full of trendy cafes and bars, with a blossoming foodie scene to check out, rivalling that of any other European capital.
You’ll continue by ferry across the Gulf of Finland to explore Helsinki’s galleries and parks. Take a day trip out to sea and explore some of the surrounding islands, or visit the Finnish folk museum with live actors… Next, hop aboard the train and start the Russian portion of your adventure!
Explore the spires and palaces of St Petersburg, and lose yourself in the fairytale landscapes of the City of the Tsars. Discover the beautiful National Ballet, Winter Palace and Catherine Park – we couldn’t think of a better way to escape reality for a while! Walk along the harbour in the midnight sun – during May and June the legendary “White Nights” play host to a huge variety of concerts and shows throughout the city.
Next you’ll board the night train and wake up fresh to explore Yaroslavl – a world heritage city that sits at the heart of the “Golden Ring” of Ancient Russian cities which have all played an important historical role in the region. This winter wonderland is a haven for snow lovers – the Volga river freezes solid every winter as temperatures drop well below freezing. In summer explore the beautful spires and traditional architecture of the city’s old town.
A quick train journey and you’ll arrive at your final stop – Moscow. The iconic power house of Russia is home to some of the country’s most famous landmarks. Red Square, with its neighbouring St Basil’s Cathedral as well as The Kremlin is a must. Don’t miss out on the more underground aspects of the city as well – from stylish coffee houses to amazingly exuberant nightlife. Moscow’s hipster culture is alive and thriving, so you shouldn’t struggle to find a stylish brunch joint to sooth any resulting hangovers after one too many vodkas!
You can apply for this up to 6 months before your trip. Once you have the visa, you MUST enter Russia within 6 months otherwise it will expire.
Euroventure is not able to provide visas, however we can supply supporting documents for your application for a fee of £3 per hostel/hotel.
For information on how to apply, please go to your nearest Russian Embassy website and look up the entry requirements for your nationality. Make sure you allow plenty of time to process this (at least 2 months).
Our partners at Real Russia are the experts in Russian tourist visas, and can process your visa for a set fee. Learn more about their visa service.
London is home to the UK’s biggest and best known museums, sights and attractions – why not customise this route to add a few nights here if you want to make the most of what the city has to offer?
Check out the country’s top museums, all of which are free!
Explore the alternative markets at Portobello road and Camden
Try all the international foodie delights in Brixton Village or Brick Lane
Train to Brussels – 4 hours
Belgium’s biggest city accommodates an eclectic mix of old and new, from Europe’s most beautiful square, lined with guild houses and continental cafes to its bureaucratic alter ego as capital of the European Union itself. Come for the delicious beer, stay for the waffles and moules frites.
Visit Mini Europe in the capital of the EU
See Europe’s most beautiful square – Grand Place
Try to find the cheeky fountain statue – Manneken Pis
Train to Amsterdam – 4 hours
Despite being credited with certain recreational pastimes, there is actually a lot more to the city than the stereotypical picture, with its abundance of engaging museums, beautiful townhouses and canals. Find out what makes Amsterdam the beating heart of the Netherlands.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum
Discover Europe’s biggest historic centre by pedal
Take a tour of the red light district
Trains to Hamburg – 5.5 hours
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, but you can still expect a green environment mixed with a maritime spirit. Check out the cool music scene which hosted the Beatles in their early days, as well as the bustling Reeperbahn district, the historical St Michaelis Church, and the famous fish market. Hamburg has an eclectic feel that’s hard not to love.
Visit the Tierpark Hagenbeck
Go to the Fischmarkt – either very late or very early
Explore the 800-year-old harbour
Train to Copenhagen – 5 hours
Copenhagen is a place where equal rights and liberal attitudes take precedence, a land where the atmosphere is incredibly safe and remarkably relaxed. Make sure you visit the hippie commune of Christiania where squatters’ rights still hold sway.
Visit the little mermaid
Go to one of the world’s oldest theme parks
Sample the fruity beers at plenty of microbreweries
Bus to Berlin – 9 hours
Berlin is the alternative, cool kid of Europe and a pro at being edgy. It’s how people dress, their liberal attitudes, the graffiti, the skaters and BMXers, the art, the clubs and the food. Berlin is also crammed full of fascinating WWII history around every corner so there’s something for everyone.
See a section of the old Berlin Wall
Climb the dome of the renovated Reichstag
Discover the nightlife of Schoneberg and Kreuzberg
Train to Krakow – 7 hours
Krakow escaped being reduced to rubble in WWII, preserving the postcard-perfect Old Town and the cellars housing its famous bars and clubs. That’s not to say it doesn’t share a chapter of history in the nearby Auschwitz concentration camp, which demands a humble visit.
See Europe’s largest medieval market square
Take photos of Poland’s best preserved city
Find one of many gothic cellar bars open until late
Train to Warsaw – 3 hours
Known as the ‘Phoenix City’ after having risen from the ashes of so many ruinous wars, Warsaw is home to an abundance of Polish art, vibrant nightlife and wholesome cuisine. A plate of delicious dumplings and soup will keep you nourished while you venture around the stunning rebuilt Old Town.
See the imposing Soviet Palace of Culture
Visit the entirely reconstructed Royal Palace
Have a drink at the fashionable old town bars
Bus to Vilnius – 9.5 hours
Vilnius is home to one of Europe’s largest Baroque old towns. The spires and coloured facades have a distinctly continental feel – not surprising since you’re only a few hours away from the North of Poland. Enjoy exploring the hub of Lithuania’s culture and arts scene – and don’t forget the hearty local cuisine once the sun sets.
Enjoy amazing panoramic views from the Hill of Three Crosses
Stroll around the largest Old Town in Eastern Europe, declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Visit the fascinating Museum of Illusions
Bus to Riga – 4 hours
Riga may be austere and gracious on the surface but dig deeper and you’ll discover awesome nightlife and a wealth of Baltic culture. Wind your way around the cobbled streets by day, come evening go underground to seek out some of the Baltic region’s best music venues.
Learn about the varied and fascinating history of Latvia in a walking tour of the old town
Dance the night away, Latvian style, at Folksklub Ala Pagrabs
Marvel at the Art Nouveau style buildings – like famous building at 2a, Alberta Iela
Bus to Tallinn – 5 hours
At once a modern, stylish city and a medieval maze of passageways and cobbled streets, Tallinn is a great combination of old and new. Recently the city has become a centre for contemporary art and design, with loads of independent boutiques and ateliers springing up – perfect for whiling away slow summer days.
Visit the museum of (both) occupations
See the sumptuous Aleksander Nevsky cathedral
Drink at numerous pubs with local Estonians
Ferry to Helsinki – 3 hours
For an important harbour town it only seems right that you should take a ferry to Helsinki. In summer Finnish people enjoy their open parks, relaxed atmosphere and quirky cafes before they all disappear indoors for winter as temperatures plummet.
Visit the Finnish folk museum with live actors
Stroll through the magnificent Sibelius Park
Take a boozy sightseeing tour on the red pub-tram
Train to St Petersburg – 5 hours
St Petersburg is the city of the Tsars. From glorious opera houses to underground music scenes, classical masterpieces to street art – immerse yourself in Russian colour and culture. When you’re done, make the most of the city’s famous White Nights to party into the early hours – you can sleep when you’re dead right!?
Marvel at the incredibly ornate “Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood”, Pushkin and Catherine Palaces
Join local residents for all night parties in June during summer’s “White Nights” where the skies only reach twilight but not complete darkness
Discover authentic bargains at Udelka flea market on the weekend
Night Train to Yaroslavl – 12 hours
Check out traditional Russian hospitality in Yaroslavl – one of the “Golden Ring” cities famed for their beauty and historical importance. Explore the gorgeous cathedrals and churches, with golden domes and elaborate frescoes. Make sure you get a pic of the grand Cathedral of Assumption too!
Join Yaroslavl’s locals and kiss for good luck by the Volga River
See the UNESCO heritage area of the city which is teeming with museums and churches
Head to Pivoteka Pinta and drink the best beer in town
Train to Moscow – 4.5 hours
Home to the grand treasures of the Tzars, Russia’s modern political hub (The Kremlin) and more cultural heritage than you can shake a stick at; it’s clear that any trip to Russia has to include Moscow.
Check out Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedrals – arguably Russia’s most famous sight
Eat your way through delightfully stodgy cuisine – potatoes, Borscht, any kind of meat you can imagine and plenty of local beers (and maybe vodka) to wash it down
Sweat out all the toxins you’ve acquired in a classic Russian Banya, or bath house
Your transport from the UK all the way to Moscow is already included! You can use your Interrail pass to travel for free from your nearest train station to London on the same day as departure.
The quickest way to get back from Moscow will be to book a flight from Sheremetyevo or Domodedovo Airport.
Alternatively, if you want to travel from the UK to Russia and back by train, why not have a look at our 8 week option.