This blog post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure here.
Following a vegetarian, vegan or any other special diet can pose some necessary challenges. But in your own country, you know exactly where to get all the food that you can eat and of course you have had your own kitchen to prepare those food whenever you feel like it.
When you are traveling, however, these challenges can become serious because you simply don’t know where to get your food to start with. It does pose even more challenges, when you are eurorailing/interrailing because you are constantly on the move from one city to the other, from one country to the other by train.
Eurorailing and interrailing: traveling across and discovering Europe by train. The difference is that an Interrail Pass can only be used by European citizens and official residents. If you are not a European citizen, but you can prove that you live in Europe (a Proof of Residence is needed), you can use an Interrail Pass. Non-European citizens can use a Eurail Pass instead.
And when you stay in a particular city for a few days, then you’ll have to make sure that you know where to get your food. Believe me, it’s not at all as easy as I would like. I regrettably couldn’t fully follow my vegan diet, but I thankfully managed to follow a vegetarian diet for the whole 3 weeks interrailing across 12 European countries. The followings are how to stay vegetarian while I was interrailing:
1. Take your own food
Taking your own food can keep you going for at least 2 – 3 days. My favorites include cashews, almond, dried fruit, various nuts and seeds are ideal, healthy food because they are rich in protein and vitamins, and easy to pack. Buy some more of these dried food wherever you find them, and take them with you wherever you go across Europe by train.
2. Do your homework up front
Doing your homework up front to find out where the vegetarian or vegan restaurants are before you arrive at your destinations, can make all the difference. Keep in mind though, that the definition of vegetarian or vegan can be slightly different than what you have known. In that case, ask them kindly to include or exclude something in your meal. As I did at Baraka Cafe and Restaurant, Thessaloniki and Athens in Greece, and they were more than happy to accommodate my request.
3. Find the (super)markets
This is by far the best option because you can just ask the staff of your hotel or hostel where the nearby supermarkets are. You can also use the Foursquare app on your smartphone and hit the keyword “grocery” to find where they actually are. It is super convenient because at a supermarket, you can find (almost) everything you want/need, from food to toiletries. For instance, it is quite easy to find supermarkets inside the Roma Termini Railway Station in Rome, Italy and the Munich Hauptbahnhof in Munich, Germany.
4. Don’t forget the malls
Wherever you are, by all means, don’t forget to visit the malls. The bigger the malls the bigger your chance to find various of food, vegetarian and vegan food included. I was at one of the biggest malls in Lisbon (Portugal), called Armazens do Chiado, and I was looking for a t-shirt when I came across this small vegetarian food court called, Vitaminos. This meal salad (see photo above) contains some pasta, lettuce, vegetarian balls, spinach, corn, mushrooms and black olives. Yummy! And do you know what? I even forgot buying the t-shirt 🙂
Favorites hotels in Lisbon:
5. Go to any restaurant
Finding vegetarian or vegan restaurants in unfamiliar cities or countries can be a little bit tricky though, especially if you are in hurry, or you’re just too hungry to keep on looking, or if/when you’re out of options. Just go to any restaurant where vegetarian menus are also more likely to be served, like for example: Japanese restaurants. I enjoyed some Miso soup at Sasau in Munich and other vegetarian dishes at Sushi Circle, Postdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany.
Favorites hotels in Berlin:
Despite the necessary challenges, there are so many options to keep up with your vegetarian, vegan or other special diet. Be challenged and be creative are the right keywords for staying true to your diet while you are eurorailing/interrailing by trains in Europe.
Now, it’s your turn. How do you stay vegetarian or vegan while you’re eurorailing/interrailing? Share your experience with us in the comment section below. Thank you.