Your favourite spots

A grand tour of Europe by 5 locals from our Community

Have you ever wanted to deep-dive into a country and experience it as the locals do? Want to find the best cafés, museums or undisturbed scenic spots? With the help of 5 locals from our Eurail/Interrail Community you can do just that. They've shared their 5 top places to visit in their home countries: England, Finland, Serbia, Sweden and Hungary.

From western Europe, to Nordic countries, to the Baltics, you can visit them all with a Eurail/Interrail Pass. Plus, the extensive European railway network means it's easy to get away from the big cities and discover local spots. Take your pick below!


England

by Luke Edwards

My top 5 places in England include some of its modern cities, history highlights and a one of our favourite holiday destinations.

Manchester

I have to start with my home city. Manchester has everything, (Maybe not the weather!), from the best restaurants to music to culture. It’s very cosmopolitan with some cultural old buildings and lots of new state of the art ones.

Top neighbourhoods include the Gay Village, which is very vibrant, especially on a weekend, and also the historical Chinatown, with the huge Chinese Arch.

Oh and there is never a bar or pub far away, so you can sit down and rest your legs. If it’s something a bit more cultural you want then there is Manchester Art Gallery, which is free to enter, or the Central Library, with it’s big wide roof. If the weather is nice head to Heaton Park to stretch your legs or to have a picnic.

York

75 minutes by train from Machester, you'll arrive in York, one of the most historic cities in the UK. If you are a train enthusiast, then as you leave the station go next door to the National Railway Museum, to see trains from the present and past in all their glory.

Then it’s on to the Jorvik Centre, where you can learn about the Viking history of York. You must also walk atop the ancient Roman city walls and visit the medieval York Minster, whose spires tower over the city. Then head up the ancient, winding streets, where you will find traditional pubs - but mind the low ceilings!

If you want to head a bit out of the city then the North Yorkshire Moors are only a short bus ride away. You can enjoy a walk while looking at breathtaking views.

Cornwall

Nicknamed the English Riviera as it tends to have a sunnier climate than the rest of the country, Cornwall is the furthest South West region and has some stunning beaches, particularly Newquay, which is also perfect if you like surfing. Further up the coast is Looe, a small fishing town with some narrow streets and fresh fish to be had.

Close to the town of St Austell is the Eden Project which is well worth a visit. It houses the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants and lots of gardens, within it's extraordinary biomes.

Penzance is a nice place and has plenty of art galleries, like Penlee House Gallery and places of beauties like Trengwaiton Garden and Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens.

Carry on a bit further and you reach the furthest west point of Cornwall, Lands End. A lot of people take on charity runs and bike rides from here all the way up to the most northerly point of Britain, which is John O’Groats in Scotland.

Top tip: Cornwall may be a remote part of England, but you can get there comfortably from London on the Night Riviera Sleeper train, arriving in Penzance in 8h 10m!

Cambridge

Everyone knows Cambridge as a university city, with Kings College, famed for it’s choir and towering gothic chapel, and Trinity, which was founded by Henry VIII. But the city has so much more to offer with plentiful attractions and beautiful green space, including the Backs. I would recommend a visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum, with plenty of classic art and antiques pieces which will pass away the time in splendour, especially if the weather is not so nice.

Another unique feature of Cambridge are its ‘’Punts’’. These are small boats, like Venice's gondolas, which will take you around the city on the River Cam, captained by an experienced "punter".

Like York, there are a lot of small windy streets with little independent cafés and pubs. In a lot of pubs you can play board games, so on a rainy day why not get some drinks in and play Monopoly! Finally if you wanted to head into London there are regular fast trains taking only 30 minutes.

London

The capital and a place with something for everyone. The London Eye is my favourite - you go up slowly and can see all across the centre of the city. A visit to Buckingham Palace is a must for any tourist, especially to see the changing of the guard at Midday everyday. You also have Westminster with the cathedral and the Houses of Parliament.

For entertainment take a trip to the West End around Holborn, Leicester Square and Covent Garden where there are plenty of bars, restaurants and theatres. Madame Tussards is another favourite where you can see famous celebrities as a waxwork and get your photographs taken with them.

For a good evening out visit Soho for a different experience, but if it’s relaxation you want then head to Regent's Park and have a walk around.


Finland

by Minh Nguyen

My favourite spots will show you all of Finland, from Helsinki in the south, all the way to Lapland in the north.

Suomenlinna

Take a ferry for 15 minutes from Helsinki and you'll find Suomenlinna, a perfect place for a summer date. The island is a sea fortress, but is surrounded with trees and summer flowers. The views from and within the island are also quite picturesque. My tip is to visit this island during summer time when you get a chance to see such an amazing sunset from the island over the sea.

Porvoo

This is definitely a must for its colourful wooden houses, built at the water's edge. Located about 1h 45m by train from Helsinki, this village will certainly entertain your eyes with its small red buildings by the river, while the other colourful houses behind charm their way into your heart. Best to visit on a hot summer day, making sure to have an ice cream by the river while enjoying the view!

Kuopio

A lesser-known city, located in Northern Savonia and surrounded by many lakes. From the Puijotorni (torni means tower in Finnish), not only will you get to see the city itself, but you can also view the lakes and surrounding small islands in panorama. I’ve been here only once but it’s quite scenic. Plus, the forest leading to the tower is also worth a couple of photos!

Neitokainen-järvi

Järvi means lake in Finnish, and Neitokainen means the maiden. If you have seen Finland on the map, it looks like a maiden holding our her right hand... and this lake is shaped exactly like that! Even though this is an artificial lake, its special shape has attracted many people to visit, especially if you have a drone with you! The lake is located in the north of Finland, so you'll need to travel 14 hours by train (from Helsinki), then 45 minutes by road (bus or taxi), enjoying some of Finland's best road-side views.

Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi

If you are a Christmas lover, you might want to save your visit to Finland until Christmas time, and see the official Santa Claus village in Finnish Lapland.

The happy Christmas music, the lights, the white snow, make such an atmosphere of joy and happiness. I usually visit every winter with my friends, just to feel the holiday spirit. Plus, you get a chance to meet Santa Claus and his elves in his office. How cool is that?


Serbia

by Ivan Andrejic

If you're always looking for exciting new places to explore, you should put Serbia on your bucket list. The country is trending, with plenty of stunning attractions, while still being off the beaten track. But while the interest in Serbia is fresh, its history has deep roots that stretch back to Byzantine, Roman, Ottoman and early Christian times. The result is a fascinating blend of east and west. After you've discovered the famed nightlife of the capital, Belgrade, there is so much more to explore…

Đavolja Varoš (Devil's Town)

Deep in southern Serbia is one of the most unusual natural phenomena, that will take your breath away. Devil's town features 202 remarkable rock formations which were naturally created by erosion, with some standing as high as 20 metres tall. Most are topped with a mushroom-shaped chunk of rock.

The nearest big train station is in Niš. It is then easiest to drive the rest of the way (1h 40m).

Eastern Serbia

If you're into magic, vampires, legends and myths, you have to visit mysterious eastern Serbia. Vampire is the only Serbian word that whole world is now using! But in eastern Serbia you will not only discover myths of strange creatures but also "beauty from the other world" in the form of enchanting caves, springs, rivers, canyons and rural communities where "Vlach magic" is still practiced.

National Park Djerdap

Eastern Serbia is also home to UNESCO Geo-park Djerdap, one of the most beautiful national parks of Serbia, where the Danube river has its widest, but also narrowest and deepest spots. Besides protected animals and nature, you will find a lot of prehistoric and ancient roman ruins, medieval towns and castles. The closest station is at Brodica.

Lepenski Vir

Archaeological site Lepenski vir – the oldest urban settlement in Europe – was discovered in 1965, on the banks of the Danube, within National Park Djerdap. It was one of the most significant discoveries of its kind in Europe. Its culture is about 8000 years old and it represented the unknown for archeologists. It was named after the location where it was discovered.

National Park Tara

Situated in western Serbia, on the edges of one of the deepest canyons of Europe – the river Drina canyon – lies a mountain of heavenly scenery. It was named after the god Tar, who, according to legend, chose to spend his life on this mountain. From the first step you will understand why this mountain is so special. It has some of the best viewpoints in Serbia. But taking in viewpoints is just the start...  National Park Tara is also home to some of the most unique and diverse flora and fauna in Europe, where you can even spot brown bears! This natural haven can be reached in 3h 40m by train from Belgrade to Branesci.


Sweden

by Rebecca Svantesson

Experience Sweden like the Swedes do, by following me to these 5 spots in the south-west.

Nature

Sweden offers travellers a close relation to nature. On good days (and sometimes even bad ones) you can join the Swedes as they flock to beaches, like Långasand in Falkenberg, or the different nature reserves, such as Åkulla Bokskogar, where you can hike on different trails. In Sweden we have free access to these experiences thanks to allemansrätten, everyone's "right to roam" - just as long as you don’t disturb nature.

Fika

While in Sweden, you must try a traditional Swedish fika. This means taking time to enjoy a beverage (usually coffee!) and a pastry together with someone. My go to place to fika is the Haga district of Gothenburg, with various cafes located in historic buildings.

If you want to enjoy even more Swedish treats, then pay a visit to the city of Gränna. This is the home of the traditional candy cane. You can see them being handmade there to this day.

Islands

There are over 250,000 islands in Sweden, and many Swedes have island cabins which they visit every summer. The best island to visit is Ven, between Sweden and Denmark, which you can explore on rental bikes! Your ride will take you past wide fields and the sea. After your ride, you can restore your energy with a vegetarian pizza at Pumpans cafe.


Hungary

by Svetlana Shantalova

Go beyond Budapest to discover all the nature and culture that Hungary has to offer.

Boldogkovaralja

Right next to Tokaji wine region, one of the most picturesque medieval fortresses sits on top of the hill above a village. It even has a medieval restaurant, where you get to eat from wooden carved plates, spoons, knives, or your hands (since forks were not invented yet 😉).

Ipolytarnóc

In prehistoric times this was a place of high volcanic activity, so you can still find lots of fossils here. Many of them are on display in the local fossil park. I especially love the 3 fossilised pine trees!

Badacsony

A wine-making village on the foot of a hill on the northern bank of Lake Balaton. Amazing views, delicious wine!

Bánk

Not a bank, but a village with a beautiful lake, that locals lovingly call Eye of the Sea (Tengerszem). Go there in summer for Bánkitó Festival!

Mártély

A tranquil little place on the Tisza river. Excellent for hiking and canoeing.

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