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Interrail between Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Holland

Rail journey in Northern Europe: Basel, Frankfurt, Cologne, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Anversa, Brussels, Bruges, Bern.



Interrail: travel by train in freedom

Interrail is a flexible rail ticket that allows you to travel around Europe, using trains, ferries and other transport arrangements. There are certain rules including entering and leaving your country and the number of travel days; the nice thing is that on the chosen day of travel you can take all the transport you want. You can change your route and plan at any time, but it's best to organize your stops to book high-speed trains. Great prices for those who are young and under 28 years old.

PS: unbelievable but true, German trains are always late!

🚅 Interrail map countries, costs and info on www.interrail.eu



Switzerland: Basilea

Capital of culture and music, Basel was important in history since the Roman Empire: it was in fact the oldest Roman colony on the Rhine and today there is an important archaeological site 20 km away. To visit the historic main square Marktplatz the Gothic Cathedral (Basler Münster) which houses the remains of Erasmus of Rotterdam. Near the medieval Spalentor gate, from which the ancient city walls departed, and the Mittlere Brücke bridge, another symbol of the city. In Basel you can find raclette and cheese fondue.



Germany: Frankfurt am Main and Cologne

Frankfurt is a modern city, always on the move, an important financial center and headquarters of the European Central Bank. The main square is called Römerberg, surrounded by characteristic wooden buildings built between the 15th and 17th centuries: among these the most beautiful is the town hall: Rathaus or Römer. This is the best preserved historical part of the city and little else is left due to the bombings of the Second World War. Of note are the Kaiserdom and the Paulskirche, where the first parliament of united Germany met in 1848. Finally there is the reconstructed house with the museum of the famous poet and writer Goethe.

🎫 Entrance to Goethe's house only on site 10 euros


Continuing northwest, we arrive in Cologne. Cologne Cathedral is famous throughout Germany for its stained glass windows, especially the one installed by artist Gerhard Richter in 2007 and made up of 11,500 glass pieces in 72 colors that look like pixels. The city is bathed by the Rhine River and which can be admired from the Hohenzollern Bridge and the KölnTriangle panoramic terrace. Carnival is famous here in Cologne, but the Christmas period is not bad either with the Christmas markets and the incredible amount of firecrackers and fireworks on the river on New Year's Eve.

🎫 Entrance to the Duomo free, terrace about 5 euros.



Holland: Utrecht and Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a beautiful city and at sunset it acquires a surreal charm. Among the most beautiful places: the cubic houses in the shape of an inverted cube in the area of the old port called Blaak; continuing along the old port, one is struck by the lights and geometric shapes of the modern buildings that blend with the moored historic boats. Finally, the Markthal, a covered market with a very high vault and painted with gigantic and colorful fruits and vegetables.


Utrecht looks like a small Amsterdam between canals and bicycles. To visit the City Castel Oudaen, the Cathedral and its Pandhof garden,


🚲 AMSTERDAM and OTHER PLACES IN HOLLAND Read the blog




Anversa

Anversa is the Capital of Diamonds and the cradle of Flemish painting with the works of Rubens, Bruegel and Van Dyck. First thing to visit is the eclectic Antversa Central Station, one of the most beautiful and particular railway stations in the world. Near the Diamond District with 4 Bags and a "showroom" of 2 sq km. Going down you walk down the De Meir shopping street and arrive at the main square Grote Markt and the statue of Silvio Bravo about to throw the giant's right hand into the river (the name of the city comes from this legend). Near the Anversa Cathedral there is the UNESCO heritage tower with a carillon of 47 bells. Another important stop is the Rubenshuis, the house where Rubens lived until his death with ten masterpieces by the master and works by some of his pupils such as Anthony Van Dyck.



Belgium: Brussels

The capital of Belgium is full of unexpected beauties. The Grande Place is a UNESCO heritage site and among the most beautiful squares in Europe: surrounded by beautiful buildings of various architectural styles of the guilds, the Town Hall and the Hotel de la Ville. During the Christmas holidays and for the Bright Festival the buildings are light up with colors in time with the music. To the north of the square opens the medieval quarter Ilot Sacré with streets full of shops and restaurants: you must absolutely try the gauffre (waffel) even with butter alone they are delicious, the moules (mussels), the Belgian beer (it's strong) and the chips fries that were born right here.


To visit the neighborhood of the European headquarters: European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Council. The RMFAB museum founded by Napoleon and that of the famous painter René Magritte.

The Royal Palace, on the other hand, is open to the public during the summer months when the Belgian royals are out. Finally, outside the centre, the Atomium in Heyse park is the symbol of progress and of the city: it soars up to 100 m in height with spheres 18 m in diameter, some of which are open to the public.

🍴 Gouffre, ffench fries and moules

🍺 Delirium Café it's a city icon, wooden with over 2000 beers to try

🎫 Entrance to the Magritte Museum 10 euros




Bruges

The romantic town par excellence with a timeless medieval charm and postcard views. Declared a UNESCO heritage site for its splendid cobbled streets, canals, small bridges, brick houses, old bell towers.

The two main nuclei are the Burg, the main square where the castle once stood, and the Grote Markt, where the market was held. For 8 centuries, the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges has housed a fragment of the cloth used to dry Christ's blood after his crucifixion. The Begijnhof, a UNESCO heritage site, was the place of the beguines: single women and often rich widows who lived in seclusion. Finally, the Minnewater or Lake of Love, a lake surrounded by a magnificent park and a suggestive bridge.




Switzerland: Bern

The capital of Switzerland, but it does not look like a capital at all and already at nine in the evening everything is silent in the historic centre. However, this small town enchants and remains suspended in time and tranquility. The historic center is elegant with arcades, ancient buildings and many tram tracks. One of the most beautiful points is the Marktgasse and the Clock Tower, with its astronomical clock that on the stroke of every hour comes alive with bears, jesters and other mechanical figures dancing. The Cathedral and adjoining terrace which has spectacular views over the river and older quarter. In Bern there is also the Albert Einstein House-Museum where he lived for a few years with his wife from 1903. Finally, one cannot miss the BarenPark, bear park, free and in the open air, where you can see real specimens of bears symbol of the city.

🛌 Landhaus, really nice hotel near Bear Park.




Have a nice trip!




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