THE CITY SWEEPER

Interrail is about freedom and exploring Europe in an unconventional way. It’s not always about passing the capitals and biggest cities of Europe. In the spirit of this mindset, we introduce a route sweeping a bunch of, what we call, ‘second cities’. These underrated cities are often overlooked, but they have so much to offer. This route will start off in Hamburg and head West through the overlooked cities of The Netherlands, Belgium, and West Germany. You will return to Hamburg at the end of the journey knowing that many countries are more than just their capitals.

THE ROUTE

Hamburg - Bremen - Utrecht - Antwerp - Gent - Lille - Maastricht - Cologne - Hamburg

 

*You might have to reserve a seat during some of the distances on this route. Click here for more information about seat reservations or visit https://www.interrail.eu/en/book-reservations or download the Rail Planner App.

EXPERIENCES ON THE ROUTE:

Utrecht: Canoe Rental

Rent a colorful canoe in Utrecht for no more than €6 per person/hour and explore the city in a different way. Canoe down the canals of this underrated Dutch city and experience the wharves and small bridges. From the water, you’ll get a whole new view and perspective of the city. Don’t worry about your belongings or getting lost, the rental shop will provide you with waterproof bags and maps.

Antwerp: Swimming Pond in Boekenberg

Visit Antwerp during the summer and cool of in the swimming pond in Boekenberg with the locals. The swimming pond Is ecological which means that only plants and stones filter and purifies the water. No chlorine, chemicals, etc. If you are not into swimming, you can have a nice picnic under the sun on the lush lawn. Bike to the pond if possible and skip the entrance fee, because there is none.

The Netherlands: King’s Day

Be sure to be in the Netherlands on the 27th of April as it is King Willem Alexander’s birthday. It doesn’t matter where you are at this specific date, because the Dutch peoples’ celebration of their king takes place in every city throughout the country. On King’s Day, the locals will set up flea markets, wear orange clothing, and party like there is no tomorrow. The King himself visits several cities on this special day.  Take part in this festive day and feel the culture of The Netherlands!

Cologne: The Cathedral

The Cologne Cathedral is the biggest cathedral in Northern Europe. The massive building hovers above every roof in Cologne and the locals use it for orientation as it is the tallest building in the city. The cathedral has room for more than 20.000 people which is hard to believe but have a look for yourself while you are touring Cologne.

Cologne: Wakeboarding

A few kilometers lies Lake Bleibtreusee which opens a world of watersports and fun between April and October. The most popular one is waterskiing or wakeboarding in the cable park. Grab your board or skis and let the cable wire system drag you around. Lake Bleibtreusee is a brilliant way to escape the city for a day. Beginner courses are available weekly.

NB: KILROY only provides Interrail passes. Everything else is for inspirational use. KILROY does not offer assistance regarding experiences, activities or accommodation in regards to interrail.