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First time Interrail route


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Hello all! Please excuse my total lack of knowledge here. I’m a first time inter-railer trying to sort out a map for my first little adventure. I thought it would be an amazing way to spend the summer just after I graduate. I have a route in mind, but I’m really not sure if it works at all. I’ve been trying to look at what trains fall under the interrail, but sometimes it can get a bit confusing, especially around Spain and France, but this is the proposed route I’ve come up with for my first experience. So we’d be starting in Dublin, as that’s where I’m from, and flying in to Madrid to start this journey.

Madrid → Barcelona
Barcelona → Milan (I'm not sure if you can get a direct train; I’d imagine you need to stop off at Marseille or Nice.)

Milan → Venice

Venice → Florence
Florence → Bologna
Bologna → Milan (using this as a bridge to get to Munich)
Milan → Munich
Munich → Prague
Prague → Berlin
Berlin → Amsterdam(I assume again we’d need to get a transfer from Cologne or something close to it.)
Amsterdam → Paris(If there is a direct train via the inter-rail, if not then I’d assume you’d bridge in Brussles)
Paris → London

Then London to Dublin via flight. That is the route I would love to take if it were possible; if I could get any assistance with this, that would be absolutely amazing. We’re hoping to get all this travelling done within 30 days. It’s a lot, but me and my partner think we can do it. If you guys want to recommend any other routes you think a newly graduated 20-year-old university student might find easier on the bank while still retaining that amazing experience overall, please feel free to give suggestions. Thank you all so much for your help in advance!

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Best answer by seewulf 9 January 2023, 08:08

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“An alternative approach, especially starting in Madrid would be to use regional trains from Barcelona, there are 2 routes but the obvious one is via Port Bou into France, and then regional and Inter City trains to Milan. It obviously takes a bit longer but saves about 60 to 80 euro on TGVs to Paris and then to Milan.” With regards to this would a lot of these regional trains be covered by interrail or would they be of extra cost to us? 

 

 

These trains are fully included in your pass. No reservation cost, no extra tickets. Hence the suggestion :)

It’s a nice route btw, with lot of nice views on the coast and the étangs between Perpignan and Montpellier. Much nicer than the high speed routes over Paris.

If you go for a monthly pass, you can just hop on or hop off trains in any station you’lld like to stretch your legs a bit and enjoy the views. French regional trains (TER) are usually quite comfortable, with good seats in comparison to other regional trains elsewhere.

It’ll also gives you plenty of options to do different day trips, if you’re a bit fed up with city life and just want a walk in the forest, mountains or cooling of somewhere in a lake or river if it gets to hot in the cities during your trip. - As your itinerary is quite city heavy.

There’s also a ferry to Genua I think, from Barcelona. But that’s not included in the pass. Timewise you might even gain some time, taking that one, especially if there would be an overnight option.

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“An alternative approach, especially starting in Madrid would be to use regional trains from Barcelona, there are 2 routes but the obvious one is via Port Bou into France, and then regional and Inter City trains to Milan. It obviously takes a bit longer but saves about 60 to 80 euro on TGVs to Paris and then to Milan.” With regards to this would a lot of these regional trains be covered by interrail or would they be of extra cost to us? 

The regional train are covered by Interrail and you don't need to pay any reservations. 

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For me that last point sounds sacriligious indeed 😅. But your budget is what it is. You probably will have some luggage, so you’lld better factor in a bit of an extra cost too.

You will travel in high season, so prices will be getting higher qutie soon. The dark, cold and wet january months usually helps people to book their summer trips ;)

The route you mentioned is quite slow though. A quick check on the train planner, on a random Thursday for this month (without High speed trains) has a long travel time in one go. More than 20 hours.

You might want to split it in smaller bits. Montpellier, Nîmes, Avignon, are nice smaller cities. Or even in a much smaller place that has a station (Lunel, Beaucaire, Aubagne, St.-Cyr-sur-Mer, some random suggestions...)… But, it’s high season anyway, so don’t expect modest prices anywhere.

Or you could try to get a TGV to Valence from Perpignan, Narbonne, Montpellier or Nîmes, change to a TER there to Chambèry, and take the TGV to Milan. That can be done in +/- 12 hours with a milder reservation cost.

Or -with a monthly pass- you could find some accomodation a bit outside the big cities, in a smaller city or town with good rail connections. This usually saves money and than you’re always a quick trainride away from the city :)

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All Trenitalia are covered Inc VM to Milan. 

Re flying between Mad and Mil why? You can easily find a double for well under 100 per night and travelling by regional and IC train from VM to Milan is only 3 euro each. The routing is picturesque and relaxing.

You have 2 days of adventure. Assuming you have a fixed number of days away you have the same food bill. One place worth a stop is Cannes rather than Nice. Smaller and station is in centre of town. Trains to VM from there..

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I think you’ll find cities like Nîmes, Montpellier, Avignon a bit cheaper than Marseille. (And nicer in IMHO)

If you’re really adamant on Marseille, it’s a good middle point anyhow. You probably can find cheaper accomodation in the outskirts or something like Aubagne. Marseille has a good tram system so you’re absolutely not tied to the vincity of train stations. Same counts for most of your destinations!

I wouldn’t be too scared of hostels too if your budget is tight. Most have a selection of seperate bedrooms, without the chaos and snorrers of a big dormitory. There are really nice, reasonably priced private hostel rooms to be found this far in advance!

Or the ferry, Barcelona - Genua. It has the cost of a reasonably priced hotel night, and you travel sleeping at night. And you skip high season prices in the south of France :) But you do lose the nice views. Choosing is losing alas!

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For theoretical route planning I always use this tool, since it allows you to select types of trains you want to avoid: https://hafas.bene-system.com/bin/query.exe/en?protocol=https:&L=profi

The DB planner can also do that. Or are there any additional features in the BeNe planner?

It looks very nineties, but it’s a bit quicker than the DB planner and you see more connections on one page.

Ah OK. For quick searches, I use the text interface of the DB planner:

https://reiseauskunft.bahn.de//bin/query.exe/dl (in English)

You can very nicely copy the output into a file (use Courrier font to format if not plain text).

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Important that you be clear whether you are considering using the railway as a mode of rapid transport between cities or more of a sedate journey of exploration.

Using high speed trains as you would use short hop airlines is fine, but many of the countries you are planning charge mandatory reservation fees for those trains, which can rack up a few hundred Euros. 

An alternative approach, especially starting in Madrid would be to use regional trains from Barcelona, there are 2 routes but the obvious one is via Port Bou into France, and then regional and Inter City trains to Milan. It obviously takes a bit longer but saves about 60 to 80 euro on TGVs to Paris and then to Milan.

As Seewulf points out there are direct services from Bologna, Verona and Venice through the alps to Munich.

At this stage I would advise keeping your plans reasonably flexible and, depending on budget, I would suggest you consider a flexible pass that allows you unlimited travel days during the pass validity. You can then base yourself at various hubs and day trip at leisure - examples would be Munich or Nuremberg for Bavaria, Bologna for Northern Italy. In Germany for instance you can freely use the whole ICE network and up to 2 hours each way puts an easy radius of 200km in hand. Vienna would also put most of Austria in range. If nothing else it means you don’t need to lug your luggage around on every journey.

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Important that you be clear whether you are considering using the railway as a mode of rapid transport between cities or more of a sedate journey of exploration.

Using high speed trains as you would use short hop airlines is fine, but many of the countries you are planning charge mandatory reservation fees for those trains, which can rack up a few hundred Euros. 

An alternative approach, especially starting in Madrid would be to use regional trains from Barcelona, there are 2 routes but the obvious one is via Port Bou into France, and then regional and Inter City trains to Milan. It obviously takes a bit longer but saves about 60 to 80 euro on TGVs to Paris and then to Milan.

As Seewulf points out there are direct services from Bologna, Verona and Venice through the alps to Munich.

At this stage I would advise keeping your plans reasonably flexible and, depending on budget, I would suggest you consider a flexible pass that allows you unlimited travel days during the pass validity. You can then base yourself at various hubs and day trip at leisure - examples would be Munich or Nuremberg for Bavaria, Bologna for Northern Italy. In Germany for instance you can freely use the whole ICE network and up to 2 hours each way puts an easy radius of 200km in hand. Vienna would also put most of Austria in range. If nothing else it means you don’t need to lug your luggage around on every journey.

Thank you so much to the both of you for help. I suppose to just give more context on things, we plan on starting this journey on the 6th July and hope to end it around the 4th August. With the cities we have plotted, we can get the pass for 15 travel days in a month for €398, but I personally think it is better to just get the 1 month global pass so we can have extra coverage just in case one of the days falls through etc.

 

Do you recommend maybe a changed route? Is Madrid just too difficult to start in? The main cities that we really want to hit are: Madrid; Barcelona; Milan; Venice; Florence; Prague; Berlin; Amsterdam; Paris; London. Some of the cities like Bologna, Munich etc we are just using them as cities so we don’t spend 20+ hrs on trains lol. If you have any suggestions for an alternate route I’d be happy to hear about them :). What kind of budget do you think would be good for this trip? I’ve already had a look at accomodation in all of the cities we planned on staying in and it’s working out around €780 p.p. A bit pricey but me and my partner are paying a bit extra to just ensure that we both have a double bed to sleep in and a private room. I’ve just heard way too many horror stories of shared rooms in hostels that have just totally put me off it.

 

“An alternative approach, especially starting in Madrid would be to use regional trains from Barcelona, there are 2 routes but the obvious one is via Port Bou into France, and then regional and Inter City trains to Milan. It obviously takes a bit longer but saves about 60 to 80 euro on TGVs to Paris and then to Milan.” With regards to this would a lot of these regional trains be covered by interrail or would they be of extra cost to us? 

 

Again thank you to both Seewulf and yourself for the help so far, it’s incedibly useful! :)

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“An alternative approach, especially starting in Madrid would be to use regional trains from Barcelona, there are 2 routes but the obvious one is via Port Bou into France, and then regional and Inter City trains to Milan. It obviously takes a bit longer but saves about 60 to 80 euro on TGVs to Paris and then to Milan.” With regards to this would a lot of these regional trains be covered by interrail or would they be of extra cost to us? 

The regional train are covered by Interrail and you don't need to pay any reservations. 

Perfect ok thank you AnnaB and BredanDB, that helps a lot! I suppose the proposed route using regionals then from Barcelona would be:

Barcelona → Port-Bou
Port-Bou → Montpellier
Montpellier → Marseille
Marseille → Nice
Nice → Milan via Ventimiglia?

Does that sound like that would be correct? I thought I remember seeing somewhere that the Ventimiglia → Milan was no longer covered by inter-rail since 2019? Not sure how true that is but. So would that route be a good way to get to Milan?

Another thing me and my partner looked at too considering we’re on a relaitvely tight budget, would be getting a flight from Barcelona to Milan. I know to some of you that sounds sacrilegious, but we’d probably end up spending easily €100 ish in those 4/5 cities with food and accomodation in one of the cities so we’re not travelling all night. Whereas a cheap flight from Barcelona to Milan runs about €12-€20. Let me know what you guys think :)

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For me that last point sounds sacriligious indeed 😅. But your budget is what it is. You probably will have some luggage, so you’lld better factor in a bit of an extra cost too.

You will travel in high season, so prices will be getting higher qutie soon. The dark, cold and wet january months usually helps people to book their summer trips ;)

The route you mentioned is quite slow though. A quick check on the train planner, on a random Thursday for this month (without High speed trains) has a long travel time in one go. More than 20 hours.

You might want to split it in smaller bits. Montpellier, Nîmes, Avignon, are nice smaller cities. Or even in a much smaller place that has a station… But, it’s high season anyway, so don’t expect modest prices anywhere.

Or you could try to get a TGV to Valence from Perpignan, Narbonne, Montpellier or Nîmes, change to a TER there to Chambère, and take another TGV to Milan. That can be done in +/- 12 hours with a milder reservation cost.

Or -with a monthly pass- you could find some accomodation a bit outside the big cities, in a smaller city or town with good rail connections. This usually saves money and than you’re always a quick trainride away from the city :)

Haha I knew it would sound wrong to some people. Ye so that proposed route that I picked, we would ideally pick a stop of point so probably Marseille, we’d stay there for the night and then get travelling again the next day towards Milan. While I personally would love to do those smallers bits like Nimes, I’m just trying to remain budget conscious here lol.

So without doing all that travelling in one go, it would be about 8hrs or so each day travelling, So Barcelona → Marseille in total would be about 7-8hours maybe more, and then the same from Marseille → Milan. Does that sound feasible to stay the night in Marseille or do you think there’s a better stop of point elsewhere?

 

Again thank you so much for your help on this. Talking about this seemed so exciting but then actually looking at planning trains has me nervous a bit XD.

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All Trenitalia are covered Inc VM to Milan. 

Re flying between Mad and Mil why? You can easily find a double for well under 100 per night and travelling by regional and IC train from VM to Milan is only 3 euro each. The routing is picturesque and relaxing.

You have 2 days of adventure. Assuming you have a fixed number of days away you have the same food bill. One place worth a stop is Cannes rather than Nice. Smaller and station is in centre of town. Trains to VM from there..

I was having a look at Cannes, And flying would be from Barcelona to Milan, it would just say costs on things like food on the train journey from Barcelona → Milan. Personally I’d love to do the whole train route, but me and my partner are just trying to remain conscious of our budgets and we’re not sure how much the cities that we need to stop in between Barcelona → Milan are going to eat up.

Ye Cannes seems a lot nicer, I haven’t heard the best of things about Nice I won’t lie lol.

 

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I think you’ll find cities like, Nîmes, Montpellier, Avignon a bit cheaper than Marseille.

If you’re really adamant on Marseille, it’s a good middle point anyhow. You probably can find cheaper accomodation in the outskirts or something like Aubagne. Marseille has a good tram system.

I wouldn’t be too scared of hostels too if your budget is tight. Most have a selection of seperate bedrooms, without the chaos and snorrers of a big dormitory. ;)

Or the ferry, Barcelona - Genua. It has the cost of a reasonably priced hotel night, and you travel sleeping at night. And you skip high season prices in the south of France 🙂 But you do lose the nice views. Choosing is losing alas!

It’s not so much that Marseille is a real bucket list place for me, it just seems like the best middleground place between Barcelona and Milan. Our main focus really is just that getting from Barca to Milan. It’ll be nice seeing the cities of France like Montpellier etc. But I just think our budget and the time we want to spend kind of rules out those smaller places north of Marseille like Nimes etc. 

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It’s a bit tricky indeed to do it in one go. The fastest way Barcelona-Milan, over Paris has an extortianate reservation fee, adding an extra reservation fee to Milan and you’re at the cost of a hotel night for 2 persons. And choosing for regional trains, than you’ll need to have an overnight stay what so ever if you dont want to spend 24 hours continuosly on trains. And the ferry costs the same anyway.

Whatever the option, price will be more or less the same. A catch 22.

But you’re early to book, I’m sure you can find something very reasonably priced somewhere between Marseille and Nice for July, in relative proximity to a station. You can take whatever train and get out anywhere you want. The whole region is dotted with holiday accomodations. The flexibility of a continous global interrail pass it is sometimes too nice too handle.😅

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It’s a bit tricky indeed to do it in one go. The fastest way Barcelona-Milan, over Paris has an extortianate reservation fee, adding an extra reservation fee to Milan and you’re at the cost of a hotel night for 2 persons. And choosing for regional trains, than you’ll need to have an overnight stay what so ever if you dont want to spend 24 hours continuosly on trains. And the ferry costs the same anyway.

Whatever the option, price will be more or less the same. A catch 22.

But you’re early to book, I’m sure you can find something very reasonably priced somewhere between Marseille and Nice for July, in relative proximity to a station. You can take whatever train and get out anywhere you want. The flexibility of a continous global interrail pass it is sometimes too nice too handle.😅

That does sound amazing haha! I haven’t really looked into just how flexible the pass is. I get that it’s like….you just add the train journey to your phone and then away you go but that always just sounds way too good to be true. Apart from the France getting to Italy side of things, do you see any other issues with the rest of the route we have planned? Particularly getting from Bologna → Munich, then Munich → Prauge etc. Or are they pretty straightforward. Once again thank you so much for all your help this really means a lot. Me and my partner both realise that we are kind of planning 6 months in advance and I’m sure some of the trains themselves have no idea what times they will be running in 6 months lol. Just felt it was necesssary considering it will be my first time ever doing it so. Planning as soon as possible seemed like the best option :)

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I just want to make an extra to not tie yourself too much to big cities. Otherwise you’re cramming 10+ city trips in one holiday, which is in it essence always quite expensive.

An interrail pass also helps to discover lesser known, cheaper, smaller places. Especially in summer you might just want to get out these scorchingly hot cities to cool off :). If the summer is comparable to the last summers, you can often expect 35° C + for most of your destinations below the Alps and in Central Europe that time of the year! You just want to do nothing and stay in the shade with those temperatures at midday.

For Italy, Spain and France timetables are usually available 3-4 months in advance. Sometimes even less. Spain is notoriously difficult to find timetables. Don’t stress when it doesn’t show up. Just wait a bit, but don’t be scared to book your accomodation. The rest of the other countries’ timetables should be available much longer in advance.

The rest of your journey seems doable btw, but crossing the Alps usually takes more time. But you get plenty of nice views in between. Especially if you try to avoid the super long Gotthard Base Tunnel e.g. and take local trains to soak in the views.

And book seat reservations on Eurostar as soon as you can. In Germany, Austria, Czechia, seat reservations are optional. Although trains can be very busy, especially in summer weekends! If you plan travel on weekend days, I’lld advice you to book seat reservations.

If you search timetables for e.g. one or two weeks forward from today you get an indication. It probably won’t change much for summer, maybe a couple of minutes. That way you can get an indication on how much times it takes to get from A to B.

Although engineering works always can be planned, but rerouting and alternatives (like rail replacement busses) are always available and valid with your pass.

Don’t plan tight connections between your most important trains, but add some buffer time and have alternatives in the head when something goes wrong.

But always use local apps and planners and never rely on the Interrail planner. It updates rarely and information is often wrong. Deutsche Bahn or ÖBB have good planners encompassing most of Europe.

For theoretical route planning I always use this tool, since it allows you to select types of trains you want to avoid: https://hafas.bene-system.com/bin/query.exe/en?protocol=https:&L=profi

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For theoretical route planning I always use this tool, since it allows you to select types of trains you want to avoid: https://hafas.bene-system.com/bin/query.exe/en?protocol=https:&L=profi

The DB planner can also do that. Or are there any additional features in the BeNe planner?

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I just want to make an extra to not tie yourself too much to big cities. Otherwise you’re cramming 10+ city trips in one holiday, which is in it essence always quite expensive.

An interrail pass also helps to discover lesser known, cheaper, smaller places. Especially in summer you might just want to get out these scorchingly hot cities to cool off 🙂. If the summer is comparable to the last summers, you can often expect 35° C + for most of your destinations below the Alps and in Central Europe that time of the year! You just want to do nothing and stay in the shade with those temperatures at midday.

For Italy, Spain and France timetables are usually available 3-4 months in advance. Sometimes even less. Spain is notoriously difficult to find timetables. Don’t stress when it doesn’t show up. Just wait a bit, but don’t be scared to book your accomodation. The rest of the other countries’ timetables should be available much longer in advance.

The rest of your journey seems doable btw, but crossing the Alps usually takes more time. But you get plenty of nice views in between. Especially if you try to avoid the super long Gotthard Base Tunnel e.g. and take local trains to soak in the views.

And book seat reservations on Eurostar as soon as you can. In Germany, Austria, Czechia, seat reservations are optional. Although trains can be very busy, especially in summer weekends! If you plan travel on weekend days, I’lld advice you to book seat reservations.

If you search timetables for e.g. one or two weeks forward from today you get an indication. It probably won’t change much for summer, maybe a couple of minutes. That way you can get an indication on how much times it takes to get from A to B.

Although engineering works always can be planned, but rerouting and alternatives (like rail replacement busses) are always available and valid with your pass.

Don’t plan tight connections between your most important trains, but add some buffer time and have alternatives in the head when something goes wrong.

But always use local apps and planners and never rely on the Interrail planner. It updates rarely and information is often wrong. Deutsche Bahn or ÖBB have good planners encompassing most of Europe.

For theoretical route planning I always use this tool, since it allows you to select types of trains you want to avoid: https://hafas.bene-system.com/bin/query.exe/en?protocol=https:&L=profi

Thank you so much for all of this. The bene interface is a little daunting but I’ll mess around with it and figure stuff out.

Ye I suppose really the amazing thing about inter-railing on a global pass is finding these small, quaint villages along the way that you just fall in love in, but I suppose that’s the young naive part of me that just can’t see outside the big city just yet. I think for my first inter-railing trip if I can manage to get this route done I’d be really happy, then there’s always time when I’m working in a few years and the budget is a little higher to visit more small little villages like you said, but I just don’t think that those small stop offs in tiny towns for a night or two fits in with our budget, as ironic as it is saying this considering we’re basically hitting up tourist central in every country we’re going to 🤣. Thank you so much for your help though, you’ve given me and my partner a lot to digest here and a lot to look in to. If you have any routes that you’ve recommended to friends or family, or you have a route you can recommend to a 21 year old trying to explore Europe on a relatively frugal budget I’d be really happy to have a look, I kind of just pieced this route together one night within a few hours :).

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For theoretical route planning I always use this tool, since it allows you to select types of trains you want to avoid: https://hafas.bene-system.com/bin/query.exe/en?protocol=https:&L=profi

The DB planner can also do that. Or are there any additional features in the BeNe planner?

It looks very nineties, but it’s a bit quicker than the DB planner and you see more connections on one page.

I use it for a quick first check A-B, how much time and transfers would it take before I get into the proper planning and reserving seats via the local train planner apps. It’s just personal preference. :)

@VanGendtI completely understand that, it’s a bit much at first glance. But once you get the hang of it. My first trips were also very strictly planned, and perhaps too much crammed in only a short bit of time. Where nowadays I tend to be a bit more adventurous and chill with it all. Once you get the hang of using interrail, it’s a very nice way to travel.

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Bologna to Munich has 2 direct trains a day (EuroCity Brenner) and 2 with connections in Verona. There is a 10 euro charge for this service, but it includes a reservation - easily got from OEBB,com (Austrian Rail).

Munich to Prague is straightforward with a direct connection every 2 hours.

Accommodation in Cote d Azur in June (Cannes or Juan le Pins (smaller and next door to Cannes) is available from about 60 pounds a night - including apartments. Check Booking.com as a start point.

In Bologna we stayed in the Mercedes B&B - a short walk from station and 10 mins walk to centre, but it is very popular.

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@BrendanDB Just a general question to you regarding bags. Do you have any recommendations for a good bag that’ll contain all the items we plan on bringing for the entire month trip? I know a very popular brand is Osprey, but they’re quite expensive with a lot of their bags coming in at €150+. Is there any bag suggestions you have for a bag around the €40-70 mark that would be good enough for a month long trip?

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Now that's a question I've never had here 😅.

Osprey is quite a good brand. A good bag is a very good investment, and usually lasts more than a decade. But with a student wallet, a bit pricey. But if you like hikes and trekking too, you might want to consider it.

For the cheaper brands, check something like Forclaz or Quechua. Dunno if they're available in Ireland. I have a Quechua one for over 10 years and I used it quite intensively in my student  and youth movement years. Now I'm thinking slowly of a higher-quality replacement, since it has had it's best time. 

Prices depend on the size and function of it though. Just don't go too big, you can always do your laundry under the road or book an accommodation with washing machine every now and then. 

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Last summer, we did a 17 day long Prague - Portugal and back trip on a tight-ish budget and there are a couple of things I wanted to mention:​​​​​​

  1. Take a small backpack (BrendanDB was faster:-) Packing light adds to the enjoyment, it will be nice and warm and you can always buy some clothes on the road, if needed.
  2. French Rails - they love being on strike. Expect travel disruptions and changes to timetables.
  3. Last summer, there were fires in SW France, again, we had to alter our plans.
  4. Prague - Munich was partially under reconstruction with a replacement bus service in Germany, nothing really straightforward. And Czech Rails also love doing reconstructions:-(
  5. If you´re going in July, accommodation prices will be high. I pre-booked our accommodation (much to my dislike because we had  planned to be free) in two stages and the prices differed a lot at the beginning and end of May. I know that prebooking kills the free and adventurous spirit of interrailing but in some places along the southern coast of France everthing ha been booked or very pricey.
  6. I wouldn´t worry much. Everything will get sorted out in the end:-)
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Barcelona → Port-Bou
Port-Bou → Montpellier
Montpellier → Marseille
Marseille → Nice
Nice → Milan via Ventimiglia?

From Nice you can use a “hidden” but very scenic Route from Nice via Tenda to Cuneo and further to Torino :) It´s the Tendaline :) 
You can go from Nice to Breil-sur-Roya and connect there or you go from Nice via Ventimiglia to Cuneo and further :) Between Nice & Ventimiglia you could stop even few hours in Monaco :) 

 

I thought I remember seeing somewhere that the Ventimiglia → Milan was no longer covered by inter-rail since 2019? Not sure how true that is but. So would that route be a good way to get to Milan?

Yes this is partly true as at this time on the Route (Marseille) - Nice - Ventimiglia - Milan a private Railcompany called “Thello” operated on that Route they became as of 2020 part of Eurail/Interrail but stopped due Covid their operations in march/april 2020 and then stopped to exist as Trenitalia (the mothercompany of Thello) refused to spend more money for them. 

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I’m going to reply with the proposed route here. Some of the cities here have no stay days as we plan on using them to bridge us to other cities, but if you think there are better ways feel free to edit and send it back :)

https://www.interrail.eu/en/tripplanner-map#youth=2&start=2023-07-06&end=2023-08-04&travelDays=16&trip=254ES03%2C3unES02%2CaxsFR00%2C2zeFR01%2C30iFR00%2C3dzIT02%2C3g7IT02%2C3clIT01%2C3dfIT01%2C3dzIT00%2C36wDE01%2CavCZ03%2C245DE02%2C24fNL02%2C236BE01%2C240FR03%2C39eGB02

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Hello all! Please excuse my total lack of knowledge here. I’m a first time inter-railer trying to sort out a map for my first little adventure. I thought it would be an amazing way to spend the summer just after I graduate. I have a route in mind, but I’m really not sure if it works at all. I’ve been trying to look at what trains fall under the interrail, but sometimes it can get a bit confusing, especially around Spain and France, but this is the proposed route I’ve come up with for my first experience. So we’d be starting in Dublin, as that’s where I’m from, and flying in to Madrid to start this journey.

Madrid → Barcelona
Barcelona → Milan (I'm not sure if you can get a direct train; I’d imagine you need to stop off at Marseille or Nice.)

Milan → Venice

Venice → Florence
Florence → Bologna
Bologna → Milan (using this as a bridge to get to Munich)
Milan → Munich
Munich → Prague
Prague → Berlin
Berlin → Amsterdam(I assume again we’d need to get a transfer from Cologne or something close to it.)
Amsterdam → Paris(If there is a direct train via the inter-rail, if not then I’d assume you’d bridge in Brussles)
Paris → London

Then London to Dublin via flight. That is the route I would love to take if it were possible; if I could get any assistance with this, that would be absolutely amazing. We’re hoping to get all this travelling done within 30 days. It’s a lot, but me and my partner think we can do it. If you guys want to recommend any other routes you think a newly graduated 20-year-old university student might find easier on the bank while still retaining that amazing experience overall, please feel free to give suggestions. Thank you all so much for your help in advance!

From Venice & Bologna you have direct daytrains to Munich (more with a connection in Verona) 
From Florence,Bologna (Nighttrain from Rome), Milan,Verona(Nighttrain from La Sepzia) and Venice you have direct Nighttrains to Munich 

My suggestion would be to put Paris inbetween Barcelona - Milan :) it´s the easiest way :) but have in mind the reservations for the border crossing TGV´s are expensive and limited booking well in advance recommened :) 

Berlin - Amsterdam have several direct trains per day :) 

From Amsterdam you can catch direct trains to London (30€ per seat with Interrail) and again the seats are limited :) There are more connections with a change in Brussels :) (Amsterdam - Brussels with IC) 

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