Posted 6 years ago

Next year I am hoping to interrail around Northern Europe before going to university. As I am claustrophobic my only option is train/ferry travel which I am happy with. However I have several questions regarding routes and logistics...

(Bearing in mind flying is not an option) my current route stands as:

1st day of travel: [my local station] - London (Kings Cross - St Pancreas International) - *Eurostar* - Belgium (Brussels Midi) - Germany (Köln) - Berlin

2nd day of travel: - Hamburg - Denmark (københavn)

I would then like to travel to Oslo, Narvik, Stockholm, Åland, and Helsinki but am not sure of the best route?

(I will then have to return home via train)

I will have a minimum budget of £2000 with the addition of savings accumulated over the next year. I will be travelling for a maximum of 1 month.

As a solo female (traveling for the first time at 18) I\'d like to know whether it is safe for me to sleep on trains/ferries, to camp (on campsites), and to use hostels?


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replied 6 years ago

Hi Rosie, welcome to railcc!

Regarding your route I don\'t see many problems, everything is pretty straightforward.

Most trips can be done without reservations.
Eurostar to Brussles (reservation required), then by regular ICE services without a reservation to Cologne and Berlin.
Berlin to Malmö (then Copenhagen) would be possible by night train during the summer; alternatively travel during the day via Hamburg (reservation required during the summer)
Copenhagen - Oslo via Göteborg: no reservation required
Oslo - Trondheim - Faukse (change here for bus to Narvik): no reservation required but recommended; you can use a night train on both legs of the trip, however the landscape is quite beautiful so you may just travel during the day
Fauske - Narvik by bus: [ux][/ux]
You may also consider going from Bodo via Lofoten to Narvik instead: [ux][/ux]

From Narvik you have different options available:
a) night train to Stockholm (via the Iron Ore Line: [ux][/ux]) then ferry to Aland, ferry to Turku, train to Helsinki and night ferry back to Stockholm, from there back again via Malmö - Copenhagen - Hamburg - Amsterdam to London (maybe using the Dutchflyer ferry: [ux][/ux]
b) train on the Iron Ore Line to Gällivare, stay overnight, then travelling along Inland Railway to Östersund: [ux][/ux], then stay overnight in Östersund or night train to Stockholm; then as described above ferry to Aland and so on
c) travel along the Iron Ore Line to Lulea, stay overnight then take a bus (included in Interrail) to Kemi: [ux][/ux]; from there travel by day or night train to Helsinki; then ferry to Aland, ferry to Stockholm and back home.
A quite interesting alternative to travelling home from Helsinki via ferry, then train via Stockholm would be to take the Finnlines ferry from Helsinki to Travemünde (Germany)...still I would have to check its schedules since it arrives rather late and you may end up having no onward train connections for a few hours...

Reservations from Narvik would be needed only for night trains and the Snabbtag high speed train from Stockholm to Malmö/Copenhagen and for the EC from Copenhagen to Hamburg.

Regarding your Interrail pass, you should be fine with the 10 travel days in one month: [ux][/ux]
Support our work and buy your official Interrail pass via our partner link - thank you! :)

It is definitely safe to travel on your own; especially in Scandinavia. Literally everyone will speak english and most people are really helpful in case you need to ask for help, directions,...
When travelling overnight I would recommend to keep all your important belongings (ticket, passport, cash, any bank and insurance cards) close to your body (for instance in a small pouch) as a basic safety measure. I have been travelling on a lot of night trains and never had anything stolen from me.
If you want you can also take a small steel wire and lock with you to fix your backpack to the luggage racks.

Budgetwise I\'d calculate with about 50 GBP per day for food, accomodation etc, depending on where you want to sleep, where you want to eat etc. Norway and Denmark are the most expensive countries, with Sweden and Finland being cheaper; however eating in restaurants is quite expensive everywhere.
On top of that would be the ticket plus about 100 to 200 GBP extra for train reservations (if you travel on night trains in couchette/sleeper accomodation this could be more). With your 2000 GBP plus extra savings you are going to have a really nice trip for sure. :)

If you have more questions feel free to ask. :)




replied 6 years ago

Thank you so much for answering my questions!