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1 month in Europe: the alternative tour

This 1-month itinerary skips over some of Europe's tourism hotspots in favor of lesser-visited but equally unforgettable destinations. Ready to go one stop further and experience some of Europe's highlights and hidden gems? This itinerary is for you. 


Itinerary highlights 

For this itinerary, we recommend:

  • Eurail Pass: Global Pass
  • Travel days: 1 or 2 months Continuous Pass
  • Tip: Travelers can split up long train journeys by exploring stopover cities. For example, travelers going from Zagreb (Croatia) to Bologna (Italy) may choose to stay in Villach (Austria) for a day or two. 


Click here or on the map to view this route in our Trip Planner

Ghent, Belgium

    View on medieval Ghent
View on medieval Ghent
  • Don't miss St. Bavo Cathedral, filled with famous artwork such as the Ghent Altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers. 

  • Ghent's large student population contributes to a lively atmosphere in the medieval center. 

  • Art and music are everywhere during the Gentse Feesten, a spectacular 10-day festival held in July.

Travel by train to Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in just over 1.5 hours.

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

    Skyline of Rotterdam
Skyline of Rotterdam
  • Amsterdam's neighbor to the south has a futuristic skyline that's unique in the Netherlands.

  • Modern architectural landmarks include the Erasmus Bridge and the Market Hall.

  • Up for a concert? Rotterdam is home to dozens of live music venues.

Take a train from Rotterdam to Leipzig (Germany) in under 8 hours.

Leipzig, Germany

    Colditz castle near Leipzig
Colditz castle near Leipzig
  • Leipzig has been called the "New Berlin" for years, due to its vast creative scene. 

  • Enjoy the city's architectural variety and check out St. Nicholas Church, where Johann Sebastian Bach once played the organ.

  • Visit the Spinnerei Art Centre, a former cotton spinning mill that is now home to more than 100 artists' studios. 

The train will take you from Leipzig to Warsaw (Poland) in just over 7 hours.

Warsaw, Poland

    The Warsaw Uprising monument
The Warsaw Uprising monument
  •  Catch a live concert of composer Frédéric Chopin's music, performed daily in Warsaw's picturesqure Old Town.
  • On a sunny day, take a stroll or enjoy a bike ride on the kilometers-long promenade along the Vistula river. 

  • In Warsaw's Praga district, former factories have been transformed into restaurants, art galleries, and beyond. 
Travel by train from Warsaw to Budapest (Hungary) in just over 10 hours.

Budapest, Hungary

    Buda Castle at sunset
Buda Castle at sunset
  • Budapest is a visually striking city, split in two by the Danube River. Visit Buda Castle for some of the best views of the city.

  • Bask in Baroque beauty (and sip a latte or two) at Budapest's famous coffee houses and cafes. 

  • Pick up some groceries and souvenirs and sample local specialties with a visit to Budapest's Central Market Hall. 

Take a bus from Budapest to Belgrade (Serbia) in 6 hours. This bus is not included in the Pass. 

Belgrade, Serbia

    Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress
  • Go for a stroll around Kalemegdan, a large park situated where the Danube and Sava rivers meet.
  • Take in the view from atop the Belgrade Fortress, which has historical roots dating back to the Neolithic period. 
  • Consider a day trip to Novi Sad (or another Serbian destination) by train. The journey from Belgrade to Novi Sad, included in the Pass, takes under an hour.
Take a bus from Belgrade to Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 8.5 hours. This bus is not included in the Pass. 

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The Sebilj fountain in Sarajevo's Bascarsija
The Sebilj fountain in Sarajevo's Bascarsija
  • Begin with a cup of Bosnian coffee at the historic Bascarsij. Nearby, you'll find local artisans selling traditional copper and other souvenirs.  
  • Ride the cable car up to Trebević and soak in a sweeping view of Sarajevo before taking a short hike on walking paths through the forest. 
  • Take the train to Mostar, a picturesque city in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. This train ride, included in the Pass, takes under 3 hours.
Take a bus from Sarajevo to Zagreb (Croatia) in 8 to 9 hours. This bus is not included in the Pass. 

Zagreb, Croatia

    Zagreb city center
Zagreb city center
  • Start your day by getting some fresh fruit at Dolac Market, a beautiful square famous for its red umbrellas used by vendors. 
  • Visit the unique Museum of Broken Relationships and unpack the universal experiences of loss and heartbreak.
  • After the museum, take a long walk around Zagreb's Upper Town. Don't miss the Church of St. Mark's colorful tiled roof.  
Travel by night train from Zagreb to Bologna (Italy) via Villach (Austria) in 10 hours.

Bologna, Italy

    Aerial view of Bologna
Aerial view of Bologna
  • Travelers can lose themselves for days exploring Bologna's medieval churches, long porticoes, and hidden canals.

  • The University of Bologna is the crown jewel of this lively student city, dating back to the year 1088.

  • Climb to the top of the Clock Tower for a breathtaking view of Bologna. 

Travel by train from Bologna to Lyon (France) in about 9 hours.

Lyon, France

    View of Lyon from Fourvière Hill
View of Lyon from Fourvière Hill
  • Lyon, home to more than 4,000 restaurants, is said to be the gastronomical capital of France
  • Signs of the city's history and architectural variety are everywhere you turn, from the ancient Roman theater to the futuristic Musée des Confluences.

  • Visit the soaring Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and symbol of Lyon. 

Flying out from Paris? The train will get you there in just under 2 hours.

What Pass should I get for one month in Europe?

The Eurail Global Pass allows travelers to explore 33 European countries by train. Choose a 1 or 2 months Continuous Pass for maximum flexibility.