Planning a trip around Europe this summer and wondering what might be the unmissable cities to stop at? We've got the 3 unmissable cities for your InterRail adventure right here. Clues: tulips, a historic wall and a street parade...
Discovering Europe by train
So you've discovered Europe’s rail-worthiness and are picking out your main stops for the adventure of a lifetime. Exploring Europe by train is one of the most freeing experiences. Your journey suddenly becomes completely flexible, leaving you in charge to decide the ‘when and where’s’ instead of fretting about flight connections. But with so much to see, what stops should you prioritize? Here are three stops on your next InterRail adventure that you can’t afford to miss:
Stop 1: The city of canals and museums
Amsterdam is a must-stop when trekking around Europe. This city is filled with historical moments, culture, art and entertainment. Picture yourself breathing big breaths of fresh air while you sit at a flower-filled café as the sun warms up your cheeks. The capital of the Netherlands is all about relaxing, taking it slow and letting your mind wander down its canal-lined streets. Take some time to refresh, for example at the beautiful Vondel Park, and then dive right into the top three attractions; the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.
Anne Frank House
Millions of people have picked up the published version of Anne’s diary and been shocked and saddened by the events it details, but not everyone has had the chance to step into her reality. Visiting the Anne Frank Museum is not just to walk through a space hidden by a bookcase; it is to be reminded of a time not so long ago where hate took over. Inside you will find a number of exhibitions including items from the eight people who hid in the annex as well as some short films that piece their stories together. As this is a hugely popular attraction, we recommend grabbing tickets well in advance.
Make your way to Rijksmuseum, a national museum filled with arts and history. The incredible collections inside were once found at The Hague, but in 1808 they were moved to Amsterdam and became part of the largest art museum in the country. When you step inside you will be greeted with familiar, famous works and interesting pieces you could never have imagined. Art lovers will need a good four hours to make their way around, so be sure to schedule enough time!
© Rijksmuseum 2014 John Lewis Marshall
Van Gogh Museum
Make time to step into the mind of the misunderstood genius that painted the world in ways we will never forget. The Van Gogh Museum is dedicated to the works of this troubled artist, covering its walls with incredible strokes of blue beauty. Some of his famous Self-Portraits can be found here, along with paintings such as; The Potato Eaters, The Yellow House and Wheatfield with Crows.
With a room right on the canal at Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam you are within walking and biking distance to these top three museums. Why not hire a bike and pedal your way through the city instead of using public transport? Green Budget Bikes are just down the road from the hotel and offer normal bikes, tandems and more.
Stop 2: The city that pulled down its wall
Berlin is saturated in culture and controversial history making it a place that will interest every kind of traveler. Learn the story of the monumental wall and its fall at Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall Memorial.
Checkpoint Charlie Museum
The location of Checkpoint Charlie, a famous symbol for the Cold War, is located right in the heart of Berlin. This crossing point is the most well-known and is a popular attraction. Today there is still a checkpoint booth, albeit not the original, so you can see how people would have passed through. Right by the guard house, there is also a private museum known as Checkpoint Charlie Museum that you shouldn’t miss. See their exhibitions detailing the story of the wall and walk around yourself, or have a guide take you through while explaining the significance of the items and displays as you go.
Berlin Wall Memorial
Another excellent place to help wrap your head around the divide of East and West is the Berlin Wall Memorial. At the memorial, you can find a 60-meter section of the wall, a Chapel of Reconciliation, a Documentation Center on the wall and a window of remembrance with photos of those that lost their lives there trying to cross the border. Start your trip at the Visitor Center to get an idea of the grounds and watch the short film introducing the wall before going to discover this dark piece of history.
East Side Gallery
If you want to see even more memories from the past and fill your Instagram with thought provoking pics, you are in luck. Over 100 artists decorated the east side of the Berlin Wall in the 1990s and these paintings are still on display today. Head down to the East Side Gallery and let the cool, and sometimes abstract works, tell stories of peace, despair and hope.
Stay close to these attractions when you book with Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin. The hotel is right by Alexanderplatz, where the peaceful revolution known as Alexanderplatz Demonstration took place. This demonstration led to the fall of the wall and is a popular attraction. Then walk across to the square and check out the Weltzeituhr, a giant world clock that has become an icon for the city.
Stop 3: The place to party this summer
When on any Interrail adventure, try to time-up your visits with big events where possible. Although Zurich is probably already on your visit list, here's just another reason why you should hop on a Swizz-bound train this summer.
Zurich Street Parade
If you have arrived in the sunny Swiss city of Zurich in August and want to put your party pants on, then you have chosen the perfect month for it. Each August the streets fill with partygoers, famous DJ’s, dancing and love. This year, the Zurich Street Parade takes place on the 11th of August but throughout the whole weekend, you will find parties across the city. The parade is all about excellent techno and house music, freedom, generosity and tolerance and attracts around a million people each year – talk about a party!
Guests staying at Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport can take the S16 train to Zurich Stadelhofen and be within 10 minutes’ walking distance to the starting stage. With a room at Radisson Blu you wake up close by the airport for any early bird flights, or you can hop back onto the InterRail trains and continue exploring around Europe.
Have a memorable trip around Europe by train with Radisson Blu!