Route: London Brussels Amsterdam Hamburg Copenhagen Berlin Krakow Warsaw Vilnius Riga Tallinn Helsinki St Petersburg Yaroslavl Moscow Kiev Prague Cesky Krumlov Vienna Paris London
Duration: 56 nights
Transport: This route is an 57 day trip which travels all the way from the UK to Russia and back! You’ll spend 52 in your accommodation with four spent on night trains. Otherwise, you’ll travel by train, bus or ferry during the day.
Sustainability:This trip only creates 551 kg of carbon emissions! To fly the same route would cost 2074.7
Reviews: All independent reviews
This route is the perfect way to experience Europe by rail in all its forms. You’ll start off in Western Europe, with enough time to enjoy the sights in every city, before winding east and north all the way to Russia. Spend 2 weeks in this vast and intriguing country before heading back via the Ukraine and Central Europe. This trip is perfect if you’ve seen a lot of Western Europe and fancy a big adventure… it’s not for the faint-hearted!
Only have 6 weeks to travel? Check out the 42 night option to fit in with your plans.
If you’ve always dreamed of Europe’s Eastern frontiers, this trip is to you. You’ll start off from London, before heading on to the Belgian capital. Check out Europe’s most impressive square, taste silky Belgian chocolate, and let’s not forget about that beer…
Continue on to Amsterdam, home of world famous nightlife and sometimes questionable past times… but also plenty of fascinating museums and historic art galleries too!
Take a comfortable train to the heart of Hamburg in the morning. 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.
You’ll continue your journey eastwards via Berlin. Seek out the city’s famous street art at the East Side Gallery, head to a biergarten to sample the local brew, walk across the buzzing Potsdammer Platz or visit the iconic Brandenburg Gate.
Travel on and stop off in the cultural heart of Poland – Krakow – to sample as many pierogis as you can manage before moving on to the city’s famous nightlife. Don’t miss a day trip out to Auschwitz – a sobering and important sight for any traveller. Next stop off in Warsaw, the Polish capital. Often overlooked, this is the place to go for traditional Polish food and crafts at cheap prices.
Now it’s time to kick off the Baltic part of your trip! Vilnius and Riga – although they might often be known as stag-do destinations – play host to a huge number of Baltic cultural centres, from museums explaining the role the Soviet Union played in the history of this region, to galleries featuring local artists. Next up is Tallinn, where the Old Town has plenty of Russian influence, as well as Scandinavian style – think a mixture of Stockholm and St Petersburg. It’s also full of trendy cafes and bars, with a blossoming foodie scene to check out.
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 – you won’t regret it! Hop aboard the train and start the Russian portion of your adventure! First up it’s St Petersburg, which will blow you away with its sheer glamour. Think gilded palaces and ballrooms, immaculately dressed people and expertly-mixed vodka cocktails. Next, Yaroslavl gives you a taste of something a little more understated, with a slower pace of life – the city is a Unesco World Heritage centre, famous for its Orthodox cathedral and traditional Russian architecture.
Head on to Moscow to discover the grittier side of Russia – on the one hand, check out the impressive Kremlin and Red Square, and on the other, notice the enormous number of Soviet blocks which still dominate the capital’s skyline.
Head back towards Western Europe and make a pitstop in Kiev, the beautiful capital of Ukraine, before you continue your homeward journey via Prague for some fresh chimney cake and crisp Pilsner Urquell! Seek out the city’s famous street art at the John Lennon Wall and explore the charming pastel-coloured Old Town before you move on to the incredibly quaint walled city of Cesky Krumlov.
Next nip down to fascinating Vienna to explore the palaces and gardens of one of Europe’s great cities. Explore the rides at Prater Park or hire a pedalo on the Danube. Heading back into the heart of Western Europe, finish your trip in the City of Light. Paris needs no introduction, so what better place to finish your trip than on the banks of the Seine…
Finally, you’ll hop back on a relaxing train back to London, and onwards back to wherever you started in the UK for free using your Interrail pass!
You can apply for a Russian visa 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. For further 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). Check out Portia’s blog on travelling in Russia for more tips and advice on getting your paperwork sorted!
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.
Night Train to Kiev – 22 hours
Ukraine’s capital is a stunning city with a history as fascinating as it is turbulent. The large number of students gives the city an unexpectedly progressive and young outlook – you only have to look to the 2014 riots to see what its population is capable of. Learn more about the city’s past and present by checking out the excellent museum and art scene.
Take a craft beer tour to discover Kiev’s awesome underground brew-houses
Explore Caves Monastery with it’s stunning golden rooves
Feeling daring? Travel out to Chernobyl to check out the exclusion zone.
Night Train to Prague – 20 hours
Prague is beautiful, with no better word to describe it. On whichever side street or square, the intricate architecture prevails, with every building unique and full of colourful detail. The Czech Republic is also the home of Pilsner beer, with no lack of establishments to sample it.
Cross the enchanting Charles Bridge
Marvel at the curvy design of the dancing building
Try all the Czech Pilsner beers in the old town pub
Train to Cesky Krumlov – 3 hours
Cesky Krumlov is often sighted as the “undiscovered” Prague. We’re not sure how undiscovered it really is, but it certainly makes a great value addition to your stay in the Czech capital. Enjoy the pretty pastel buildings, slow pace of life and quieter (but just as quaint) old town.
Try out Night Rafting – head out with a trained guide and discover the river after dark
Head underground to discover the old mines which made Cesky Krumlov rich
Visit the Eggenburg Brewery to see how their tasty Pils is made.
Train to Vienna – 5 hours
Vienna is crisp, clean and chic with its biggest draw factor being the multitude of classical palaces and grand imperial buildings. Whether you’re into your royal history or not, the sheer scale of it here will be encapsulating for all, whilst not forgetting the great bars and eateries.
Visit the Spanish riding school of Vienna
Eat real Apple Strudel and Wiener Schnitzel
Go to a classical concert in a city renowned for music
Night Train to Paris – 15 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
Train to London – 4 hours
Home time! Either finish your journey here or continue your onward journey home to your nearest UK station for free using your Interrail pass!
For free! All your transport to and from the UK is included so you don’t need to worry about anything else apart from your Visa!