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Ideas & Inspiration Rail Pass Itinerary: The Best Of Northern Europe
Rail Pass Itinerary: The Best Of Northern Europe

Rail Pass Itinerary: The Best Of Northern Europe

This itinerary includes Amsterdam, Hamburg, Stockholm, Olso, The Flåm Railway, Copenhagen, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and Vienna


Amsterdam → Hamburg → Stockholm → Oslo → The Flåm Railway → Oslo → Copenhagen/Kobenhavn → Berlin → Warsaw/Warszawa → Prague/Praha → Vienna/Wien → Amsterdam

Why choose this routing:

Along with some of the most beautiful journeys in Europe, this suggested routing enables you to visit the most spectacular cities of northern Europe, by taking as few trains as possible.
Taking the minimum number of trains means that additional reservation fees can’t be avoided, but despite that, using rail passes can be good value on this itinerary - even compared to the hassle of tracking down the cheapest possible prices for each journey.

The itinerary is also a continuous loop, so you can follow this itinerary if you want the start and finish point of your entire trip, to be in any of the cities where each day concludes.

All timings have been verified on the usual timetable, but they can be altered due to local circumstances such as weather or works on the line.

OR our Concierge rail travel planning service, could help you plan a similar itinerary.

This 10 day rail pass itinerary includes Norway, Sweden and Denmark

The required rail pass:

If you use a 10 days of travel within two months InterRail Global Pass OR a 10 days within 2 months Eurail Global Pass you can take breaks between your days of train travel.
You can then spend some time in some fabulous destinations including Hamburg, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and Vienna.

From and to Amsterdam:

This rail pass itinerary starts and finishes in Amsterdam, which has three ticks in the box:

(1) Amsterdam is served by ICE trains from Germany, on which no rail pass reservations are required, and trains from Belgium and Paris.
So an easy option is to use purchase a rail pass valid for 15 days of travel, so that you can use these additional five days of travel to travel to and from Amsterdam by train.
(2) It’s also a budget airline destination - after all you don't have to take a train from/to Amsterdam
(3) Amsterdam has direct flights from destinations outside Europe; so ideal if you'll be flying into the continent, to use a Eurail Pass.
Schiphol Airport has easy train connections to Amsterdam city centre, but don't use your rail pass for these trains.

Managing Luggage:

The suggested routing also loops back through Hamburg on Day 6, so an option is to deposit some of your bags there and travel lighter through Scandinavia – and then pick them up on the way to Berlin.

The route:

Most of the journeys are clickable, so you can access more useful info about each individual train ride including:

(1) All you need to know about the stations where you will be joining and leaving the train.
(2) What to expect when on board each train, such as catering facilities and tips for how to manage your luggage.
(3) Insights for scenic journeys - what to look out for, which side of the train to sit on for the best of the views etc.

Plus if you click the station buttons on the journey guides, you will also usually* find:
(1) Lists of overnight accommodation with easy access to the station and with high user ratings;
(2) Links to destination guides to help you make the most of each location.
*Just the big cities, for now.

1. to Hamburg:

Seat reservations are available, but optional on these trains.

Train 1:
Depart: Amsterdam Centraal at 11:33 - the train will be heading to Berlin.
Arrive: Osnabruck at 14:51

Train 2:
Depart: Osnabruck at 15:23
Arrive: Hamburg Hbf at 17:14

An option is to take the same combination of trains, but to depart Amsterdam at 09:03 and arrive in Hamburg around two hours earlier.
Don’t be too concerned about making the connection in Osnabruck, there will another train on to Hamburg an hour later, if the train from Amsterdam is delayed

2. to Stockholm:

Train 1:
Depart: Hamburg at 08:55
Arrive: Kobenhaven H at 13:34

Between June 14th and August 26th you must reserve on this trains: 1st class = €5.90; 2nd class = €4.50
Although we recommend reserving at any time of the year, these can be a busy trains, so having a seat for the entire journey is not guaranteed.

These seat reservations can be BOOKED on the DB (German Railways) website; more info is available here.

Train 2:

Depart: Kobenhaven H at 14:19
Arrive: Stockholm Central at 19:37

Reservations = 1st class = €16; 2nd class = €7 (equivalent prices will be charged in Swedish krona)

Book these reservations on the SJ (Swedish Railways) website; booking at last a week ahead is highly recommended.
More info on how to this is available here.

3, to Oslo:

Depart: Stockholm Central at 10:51
Arrive: Oslo S at 16:09

Reservations = 1st class = €16; 2nd class = €7 (equivalent prices will be charged in Swedish krona)

Book these reservations on the SJ (Swedish Railways) website; booking at last a week ahead is highly recommended, so you may as well book, when reserving the Copenhagen/Kobenhavn to Stockholm train.

4. riding the Flamsbana:

On the Bergen line to Myrdal On the Bergen line to Myrdal
Riding the Flamsbana train Riding the Flamsbana train

An epic day trip by train from Olso to the Norwegian fjords including the majestic Flamsbana railway is entirely feasible if you will be travelling with a rail pass.

Train 1:
Depart: Olso S at 08:25
Arrive: Myrdal at 12:57

Train 2:
Depart: Myrdal at 13:15
Arrive: Flam at 14:05

Sit on the left when you board the Flamsbana train.

Train 3:
Depart: Flam at 16:50
Arrive: Myrdal at 17:35

Rail pass users also qualify for a 30% discount on the Flamsbana trains, you won't have time to book tickets on arrival at Myrdal station, so board the train and seek out the conductor.

Train 4:
Depart: Myrdal at 17:40
Arrive: Oslo S at 22:27

All of the videos were taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction

Booking reservations

Reservations are required on the Oslo - Myrdal train and return, but they're free if you will be travelling with a 1st class pass; the 2nd class reservations cost the equivalent of around €6.

Reservations are usually available up to 90 days in advance

You can book reservations online by using the Eurail reservation service or the InterRail reservation service though you will be charged a €2 booking fee per reservation, per person.
Though this €2 fee can now be avoided by using the Entur rail pass reservation service.
Reservations can also be arranged at the Entur ticket desks in stations

The terms differ depending on whether you have a first class or second class rail pass.
Second class passes = the costs per seat in the Standard (second class) seating areas is NOK 50, but holders of second class passes can also opt to to travel in the equivalent of first class seats at a cost of NOK 200/300.

First class passes you can either;

  • opt to reserve prior to arrival in Norway and pay the reservation fee NOK 200/300 (plus the booking fees),
  • or avoid paying any charges at all, if you wait until you are in Norway and book at an Entur travel desk in the major stations.

Or with a First Class pass it's possible to avoid the charges by calling the Entur (Norway's national transport booking service) call center: +47 61 27 90 88 (press 9 for services in English).
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 07:00 - 23:00
Saturday: 08:00 - 21:00
Sunday: 08:00 - 23:00
( during bank holidays are shorter).

If you have a 1st class pass, make this clear when calling to make reservations in 'Komfort' class, in order to avoid being charged any fees.
If the travel adviser asks you for a payment, you are being offered a 2nd class reservation.

5. to Copenhagen:

Train 1:
Depart: Oslo S at 10:14
Arrive: Goteborg C at 13:45

Train 2:
Depart: Goteborg C at 14:40
Arrive: Kobenhavn H at 18:30

6. to Berlin:

Train 1:
Depart: Kobenhaven H at 09:26
Arrive: Hamburg Hbf at 14:06

Train 2:
Depart: Hamburg Hbf at 14:35 (the ICE train will be heading to Munchen)
Arrive: Berlin Hbf at 16:20
Or drop your bags in a left luggage locker in Hamburg hbf and see something of the city between trains, there are 1 or 2 x trains per hour from Hamburg to Berlin.

7, to Warsaw:

Depart: Berlin Hbf at 09:52
Arrive: Warsawa Centralna at 15:26

Reservations = 1st class and 2nd class = €4
These reservations can be booked on the DB (German Railways) website or at the Reisezentrum desk at Hamburg Hbf, when you arrive there on Day One.

An option is to use this travel desk at Hamburg Hbf to book all your reservations, EXCEPT for the Snabbtag trains to and from Stockholm and the Regiontog trains to/from Myrdal; we recommend booking those in advance.

8. to Prague:

Depart: Warsawa Centralna at 13:30
Arrive: Praha hl.n. at 21:34

Reservations = 1st class and 2nd class = €4 (the equivalent price in Polish zloty)
You can book these reservations when you arrive in Warszawa Centralna station the previous evening; doing that is now cheaper than booking them at the Reisezentrum desk back in Hamburg Hbf.

9. to Vienna:

Depart: Praha Hln at 08:44 or 10:44
Arrive: Wien Hbf at 12:49 or 14:49

These trains will be heading to Graz.

Seat reservations are available, but optional on these trains.

10. to Amsterdam:

Train 1:

Depart: Wien Hbf at 09:13
Arrive: Frankfurt (Main) Hbf at 15:36

Reservations are optional, but highly recommended for this journey, particularly if you want to remain in the same seat all the way to Frankfurt.

If you do want to reserve then they can be booked online on the DB (German Railways) website, or if you’ll be booking other reservations at the Reisezentrum desk at Hamburg Hbf, you may as well as book this train there too.
More info is available here.

Train 2:

Depart: Frankfurt (Main) Hbf at 16:28
Arrive: Amsterdam Central at 20:46

Reservations are recommended on this train on Mon-Friday and Sunday.
On some dates the train will arrive in Amsterdam around 30 – 60 mins later.

Approximate total train travel cost:

The total costs are based on standard* InterRail and Eurail prices + the costs of the mandatory reservation fees on the trains that have been included on this itinerary + a discounted ticket for the journey on the Flamsbana Railway

*Both of these passes are frequently discounted during 'sales' periods.

1st Class Adult = €611
2nd Class Adult = €488

Approximate* cost comparison with purchasing tickets:

Cheapest 1st class tickets = €749
Cheapest 2nd class tickets = €465

1st class tickets when booked a few days ahead of the travel date = €1190
2nd class tickets when booked a few days ahead of the travel date = €839

The costs estimates based on one Adult aged 18+ travelling solo.

*We looked through 100s of departure times/dates to assess these costs and used the most 'typical' prices we could find.

However, the prices of train tickets can fluctuate, so these cost estimates do not take into sporadic promotions and other offers; nor do they include exponentially high prices at holiday times etc.


Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.


This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.


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