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InterRail Guide: Part Four – Berlin to Bruxelles (Brussels)

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On the last leg of our recommended InterRail itinerary, redspottedhanky.com suggests you take in Berlin, Amsterdam and Bruxelles (Brussels). Your journey starts with a straightforward hop from Praha hlavni nadrazi to Berlin Hauptbahnhof – no changes and straight into the centre of town.

Berlin

With so much to see and do, Berlin is a city where you need a plan. Top of the list: the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Sobering and frightening, it’s up there with Hiroshima in Japan and Tuol Sleng in Cambodia. Expect to be affected. Other locations for the history-conscious traveller include the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin War Memorial and the 1936 Olympic Stadium. It’s not all historical horror, though: Berlin is now one of the most vibrant centres for alternative art and music in Europe. Get into the graffiti, hit the DIY gallery scene and get your rocks off at some of the heaviest gigs or craziest clubs in town. It’s all good.

Connections: Berlin-Amsterdam

After a heavy history lesson in Germany’s capital, your connection to Europe’s most permissive city is one easy change away. Take the train from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Hannover Hauptbahnhof, then it’s on to Amsterdam Centraal for some canalside R and R…

Amsterdam

“The Dam”’s anything goes reputation isn’t quite true, but it’s still the place to be if you want to sample unfamiliar delights. Finding a coffee shop is as easy as falling off a log. Finding one that isn’t full of teenage tourists is harder without local knowledge, so expect a good slice of cheese with your baggie. Whatever you do, though, don’t fall into the trap of forgetting everything else the city has to offer: a bustling centre full of galleries, bars and museums; sharing a jenever (carefully!) with the locals in an Old Amsterdam pub; taking a canal boat; or just lingering over a meal in a traditional restaurant. Hey – you’re in Amsterdam. There’s no hurry.

Connections: Amsterdam-Bruxelles (Brussels)

Your InterRail pass will get you onto a direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to Bruxelles-Midi. Confusingly, Midi is actually in the south of the city: but you can get into town easily, from the Metro station (in the same building).

Bruxelles (Brussels)

Mad as a Baroque castle, dull as dishwater – Bruxelles defies pigeonholing. Beneath a sometimes confusing surface, it’s a mixture of laid back people watching, crazy beer and homegrown art just waiting to be discovered. Head to Matonge (the African quarter) for a bazaar experience that’ll blow your mind, take a second look upwards to see the city’s Gothic buildings in all their splendour and treat yourself to the greatest chocolate on earth from a proper Belgian chocolatier. Don’t forget the moules et pommes frites, washed down by a half-pint strong enough to make a Trappist sing.

 

22 Days, One Pass, No Boundaries

So there you have it. A three week sample of the delights that a InterRail Global Pass has to offer. The only question left now, where will you go?

We’d love to hear what you choose, which is why we’re giving you the chance to travel around Europe First Class, for free, as our very own Travel Guru! Check out http://www.redspottedhanky.com/travel-guru/ to find out how you and a friend can win your very own European rail adventure, courtesy of our friends at Rail Europe.

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