How to Interail Europe: Vienna

Vienna. It’s a breathtaking city, rich in history, music, palaces and museums!

Where to Stay Do Step Inn Central Hostel was probably one of the best hostels during out trip, aligning well with our budget and it was really close to the train station to avoid carrying our rucksacks for too long. There’s a great kitchen to use and supermarkets are close by – we took the opportunity to cook in both nights and save money! It is about a 20 minute walk into the centre of Vienna.

The City’s Highlights

St Stephen’s Cathedral – This is honestly the most beautiful cathedral I have seen. It is known for its intricately tiled roof, standing out in the centre of the city, but as we entered inside the cathedral, it was definitely a ‘wow’ moment. The architecture was stunning, the organ sounded beautiful, creating an incredible atmosphere within the Cathedral.

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Hofburg Palace – This is one of the biggest palace complexes in the world and is now home to the Spanish Riding School (which you can see a glimpse of!) and numerous museums. Across the road from the Hofburg Palace, there is also MuseumsQuartier so you will not be short of museums to visit in this area of the city! I’ve heard that you can purchase tickets to see a concert inside Hofburg Palace but it wasn’t something that we did!

Schönbrunn Palace – This palace is considered Austria’s most significant cultural monument and it was another ‘wow’ moment – no pictures will do this palace justice. The grounds are EXTENSIVE and by walking around, you can admire the palace from pretty much every angle. As you walk down the Great Parterre, you’ll find the Neptune Fountain – symbolising how monarchs controlled the destiny of their nations. The gardens continue up to the ‘Gloriette’, where the views of the palace and the city are actually incredible.

Sigmund Freud Museum – There are so many museums based in Vienna, you have to pick one really. The Sigmund Freud Museum is based in his original apartment, which was really interesting to read into parts of his work and observe them as such. The amount of information is slightly overwhelming, it felt like I was reading a huge essay throughout the visit.

Cafe Central – This is a popular destination, but it lives up to the hype. Most likely you will have to wait for a table inside, but they are really efficient at doing so. The interior decor is stunning, a very authentic and classic feel and you might not believe me, but the coffee is worth the price!

Belvedere Palace Gardens – This was a pit stop after checking out of the hostel, before the next train (onto Budapest!). Spending a few hours sunbathing and admiring at a palace was a great way to relax. Inside the palace, there are numerous exhibitions which might be worth checking out!

There is PLENTY to see and do in Vienna and we managed to pack quite a bit into two days so hopefully this gives a good idea of how you can see lots of Vienna in a short space of time!

How to Interail Europe: Berlin

Berlin is ALWAYS a city that people recommend as it has so much to offer. Train delays from Brussels meant that our time in Berlin was less than planned and we only had one full day in the city. But our train journey did pass through Cologne and as the cathedral is situated right outside the train station, it’s a beautiful place to change trains. A German choir were also singing right outside the station, which was probably one of the points where I realised how special our Interail trip would be.

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How to Interail Europe: Brussels

So, it’s been about a month since I last posted on my blog and if you’ve been following my Instagram account, you will have seen my daily updates from Interail trip around Europe. Over the last three weeks, I’ve explored ten cities (on a budget) so have collated some comprehensive detail to create a mini travel guide. We spent around 2-3 days in each city and will hopefully be returning to our favourites!

Starting the Interail trip with Brussels fell into place really, as the Interail pass includes a Eurostar journey, counting as one of our ‘travel days’. However I’ll admit that before planning the trip, visiting the Belgium capital wasn’t something I had considered.

Where to StayHostel Galia provided quite a luxury start to our interailing trip, with an extensive buffet breakfast included with the room price. Location wise, it’s close to the main train station and a short walk to the city centre, easy to explore Brussels on foot.

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Views from Hotel Galia
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Food & Drink – Brussels is well know for fries, chocolate & beer – a winner if you ask me. There is a fries shop on pretty much every corner so for our first night, we had a ‘mitraillette’, a huge baguette overflowing with chips, from Fritland – all for a measly € 5.

Chocolate shops can also be found on pretty much every corner, but there is also the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate where you can see what it is all about. Included in the € 6 entrance fee, there is a demonstration kitchen where the chocolatier shows how pralines are commonly made & you’re able to taste a few of the batches afterwards. The museum is fairly close to the Grand Place, so a good one to pop into whilst you are exploring the area.

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All the chocolate shops had beautiful interiors!

Beer sampling was definitely a highlight, we found plenty of bars with cheap beer – often € 1 during ‘happy hour’. The best place to visit is Delirium Village, with 8 bars to choose from and hundreds of beers to sample. This was the perfect spot to enjoy some beers and watch the Belgium v Brazil World Cup game – the atmosphere was SO good.

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The City’s Highlights

Architecture – I’m not sure I can actually covey how good the archiecture is, from the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula to Grand Place with the Guildhall buildings, each is designed in a unique way and completely breathtaking. There are plenty of picturesque streets to wander through and if you head to the Royal Palace, that is definitely a landmark to visit and admire the architecture.

Hidden Gems – It is worth mentioning that Brussels does have quite a few hidden gems and it’s definitely worth taking an evening walk in the city to properly explore (and have dinner/beers). On our first walk in the city, we completely missed Mont Des Arts park and garden. It was only when heading back down the hill from the Royal Palace to Grand Place that we stumbled across the stunning views of Brussels from Mont Des Arts.

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Mont Des Arts

EU Parliament – Although this is pretty touristy, it is worth a visit. The Parliamentarian visitors centre showcases a lot of historical information about the formation of the EU. You could spend hours reading all the information and seeing the EU Parliament building felt quite monumental.

Brussels is not a city to miss off your European city list and I would definitely like to return to Belgium at some point!