From Europe’s longest bar to a wholesome beer spa, via some life-saving beer tunnels: we travelled with an Interrail Pass from Rotterdam to Pilsen visiting some of Europe’s best breweries, bars, beer gardens and cellars. We immersed ourselves in history… and eventually in beer too.
Our favourite train routes from around the world
The highlands, the sea, the whisky, Harry Potter… there are many reasons to travel to Scotland and there’s no better way to cross the rugged highlands than by train. The West Highland Line is considered one of the most beautiful stretches in the world and the train even takes you to places that are inaccessible by car.
Across Europe, thousands of miles of railway have been abandoned over the years and left to rust. But in one German town, an old line that once transported Prussian troops and military equipment and later shuttled children to and from school has been brought back to life. Today, you can enjoy a ride along the disused railway on a draisine— or rail bike.
The tiny red and white trains of the narrow-gauge Pinzgaubahn make their way slowly through Austria’s Pinzgau Valley for 53 km. Villages and picturesque churches dot the landscape as you head towards one of the highlights at either end of the line – the Zeller See and the famous Krimml Waterfalls, the highest in central Europe.
There’s no better way to discover a country than from the gently rocking first-class carriage of a train winding its way through deep gorges and mountain passes. Croatian Railways may not rival the glamour of the Orient Express and the gentle rocking may not always be quite so gentle, but the landscape you pass through is all the more impressive.
May 8, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the surrender of the Wehrmacht in Berlin, which brought the Second World War to an end in Europe. As the last remaining witnesses to these dark pages of history pass away, many places of reflection and commemoration are only gaining in significance.
In these strange times of self-isolation and social distancing we find ourselves in, it’s hard not to feel a little disconnected from the world going on around us. A world which, for now at least, we’re forbidden from venturing out into.
But being stuck in our homes does not mean we have to press pause on our sense of adventure. Travelling is about far more than just transporting yourself from A to B. It’s about discovery and learning and letting your inquisitive side take over. And thankfully you can do all of this now from the comfort of your own home. So grab your phone or tablet or even stream it on your TV and join me on a stroll through some of Europe’s greatest museums, just without the queues and admission fees.
Relaxing, eco-friendly travel without the queues and security checks of an airport? Here are our top reasons why you should ditch flying and travel the 500 km between Berlin and Munich, one of Germany’s busiest routes, by train.
As a student, I would often find myself waiting on the platform at Essen railway station, on my way to university, weighing up whether or not to throw caution to the wind and jump on the train to Westerland/Sylt instead. Whenever I saw the train, the lyrics to the famous German song “Westerland” by Berlin punk band Die Ärzte – a somewhat sarcastic homage to this most touristic and middle-class of German seaside resorts – would run through my head. “Oh I have such a yearning, That I think I’m going insane,” it goes. Sod university, I’d think. “Take me back to the North Sea…” Alas, I never did jump on the train. I was a student after all and I couldn’t afford a holiday anywhere, let alone to the wealthy island of Sylt, where Westerland is located.