Interrailing through Eastern EuropeWatch
I was planning on going interrailing at some point next summer with a friend, and was wondering if you could give me some advice.
We would go for a month, and at the moment I'm thinking of a route from Istanbul to Amsterdam, going through Sofia, Belgrade, Sarajevo, maybe Croatia, Slovenia, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Berlin and ending in Amsterdam. Does anyone have any advice on whether they think it's feasible, or if they've done anything similar?
I can totally sympathise with wanting to go from Istanbul though. I've traveled a lot and still haven't been there.
Take Sofia out for certain! Croatia isn't anything special unless you wanted to chill on a beach but you can chill on a lake somewhere in Apls. Belgrade's great for a party, as is Berlin & Amsterdam. I haven't been to Warsaw. Krakow I think is an easier destination which is good although very catered to tourists.
If you are going to Bosnia I'd strongly recommend Mostar, staying at Majdas Hostel and taking Bata's (Majdas brother) tour. It's one of the most memorable days of my life! And while you're in Sarajevo stay at Harris Hostel, Harris is a cool guy and will take you on a tour.
The only way it seems possibly to get Istanbul into the trip I think is to get a flight from Istanbul into another Major city. Around the whole Balkans area trains are terrible. There's usually only single tracks, so trains have to wait to for other trains to cross huge distances before they can. It's not uncommon for a 6 hour journey to take 24 hours. Going from Belgrade to Budva (Monte*****) took me pretty much 48 hours and Istanbul is more than double the distance!
Although I haven't taken a train from Istanbul so I may not be totally correct. And never take anything someone says as gospel! Especailly not me, haha.
Have a good trip!
Source: I plan trips around Europe for people (Sadly never further east than Serbia/Poland/Hungary.
PS. Why are you not going to Budapest!?
I wouldn't bother buying an interrail pass for most of that, fares in Eastern Europe are ridiculously cheap (10 euros often for flat out fares across a few countries) and also the rail network is pretty bad. For example There is probably only one train every 2 days that goes from sarajevo to croatia and they're often delayed so if you had connections you're kinda stuck.
I've been to everywhere on your list except sarajevo and sofia and would recommend them all except Prague which I found very overrated unless you're just wanting a booze weekend. It's beautifully but has been destroyed by tourism. Lake bled in Slovenia is absolutely love as is Ljublanja.
EDIT: Also agree for adding Budapest, amazing city.