If you’ve a couple of weeks’ holiday to spare and fancy an eco-friendly adventure, then an InterRail trip to Northern Europe could just hit the spot. Regular, fast and efficient rail services get you around the region quickly and hassle-free. You’ll be visiting some of the most environmentally friendly cities in Europe, and enjoying some of the continent’s most stunning scenery.
Green Abode’s Great Northern InterRail Route takes you up through Belgium and Germany to Denmark, then dips into Sweden before making its way up through Norway to Trondheim in the far north. It then heads back to coastal Bergen and returns to the UK via Denmark and the Harwich ferry.
Green Abode’s InterRail Great Northern Route
London (UK) – Brussels (Belgium) – Cologne (Germany) – Copenhagen (Denmark) – Stockholm (Sweden) – Oslo (Norway) – Trondheim (Norway) – Bergen (Norway) – Oslo (Norway) – Malmo (Sweden) – Esbjerg (Denmark) – Harwich (UK)
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The first leg of the journey takes the Eurostar from London to Brussels. The ticket’s not included in the InterRail pass, but only costs from £69 return if booked in advance with Rail Eurostar.
Once the butt of anti-European jokes, the Belgian capital is now widely recognised for its myriad charms, from its ornate central square to its wonderful dining scene. Don’t miss a plate of fresh moulés frites washed down with a cold white wine. Spend a night here before continuing northwards.
It’s a journey of less than 2 hours from Brussels to historic Cologne, a city famous for its impressive Gothic cathedral and vibrant cultural life. It’s one of Germany’s largest cities, but its compact centre makes it pleasant to walk around. Definitely worth an overnight stop.
It’s a fairly long leg across to Copenhagen (about 9 hours in total), but regular trains make the journey more convenient, and you can break the journey for lunch in Hamburg en route if you choose. Once in the Danish capital you’ll want to spend a couple of nights in this fantastic maritime city. Hire a bike and travel green around the city like the locals do.
Catch the high-speed X2000 titling train from Copenhagen to the Swedish capital, a journey of about 5 hours. There’s a long bridge over the sea connecting Denmark and Sweden, which makes for a memorable part of your trip. Like Copenhagen, Stockholm is a progressive northern capital, a really charming place where you’ll want to spend at least two days. It will be hard to drag yourself away but the great north awaits!
Take the sleeper train to Oslo, then connect with the scenic rail journey north to Trondheim – this is a long, 7-hour journey, but definitely a highlight of the trip. And don’t worry, there will be time to explore the Norwegian capital later in the trip. Arriving in Trondheim you’ll find yourself in a beautiful and historic coastal city, with plenty to see and a lively, youthful atmosphere.
While it’s not part of the InterRail ticket, we heartily recommend booking the Hurtigruten ferry journey down from Trondheim to Bergen. It’s a classic Scandinavian experience past some truly memorable coastal scenery of fjords and craggy islets. Bergen is Norway’s second city, a cultural hub with a stunning coastal location and a historic quayside that’s on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The journey from Oslo to Bergen is even more scenic than the Trondheim route, and is not to be missed. It’s a trip of about 8 hours, but most of this is through stunning countryside and will seem to fly by. While you could take the sleeper train, it would be a crime to miss the route in the day. Spend the night in the compact Norwegian capital.
Travel back across the border to Sweden, with a connection in Sodertalje before arriving in Malmo, an interesting city combining cutting-edge modern architecture with old historic buildings.
The penultimate leg of this great northern rail adventure takes you back into Denmark to the port of Esbjerg. It’s only about 3 ½ hours from Malmo to Esbjerg, an attractive old city, from which you can catch the ferry over to Harwich to end your Great Northern InterRail tour.
What InterRail ticket do I need?
For this 2-week InterRail adventure a 15-day continuous Global InterRail pass is ideal. It’s superb value and the best eco-friendly way to see northern Europe.
If you fancy exploring for longer, or want to find out about other options and where to get the best deal, read The Train Hacker’s guide to InterRail passes.
Inspired to explore?
If our Great Northern InterRail Route has got you inspired for adventure, then why not have a look at our other itineraries – the grand tour of European capital cities route, the InterRail Eastern European route and the InterRail Balkans and back route.
If you need some help planning your trip, Green Abode has a handy InterRail advice guide. Europe is out there and ready to explore, so what are you waiting for, get planning your InterRail trip now!