10 great bars and cafes near railway stations in Europe: readers’ travel tips

Speedy bites, beer by the litre and ice-cream find a place to shine in cafes and bars, from classic to shabby chic, calling at all stations between Dublin and Vilnius

Winning tip: Drink with Tony Soprano, Vilnius

Inside Vilnius’s unassuming 19th-century socialist-realist station itself is shabby-chic Bar Peronas. It serves excellent local beer (€2.50) alongside solid cocktails; if you’re feeling adventurous, try Herba Devynia, a Lithuanian take on a bitter Italian amaro made from bark, roots, herbs, fruit, blossom and leaves. Seating spills out on to the railway platform, where you can sit alongside a five-metre tall statue of Tony Soprano clad in a dressing gown as you watch trains shuttle off towards Minsk and on to Saint Petersburg. Once the sun goes down, talented local DJs play anything from hip-hop and techno to Balkan beats and afrojazz.
Rob

Perfectly positioned pub, Dublin

Ireland, Dublin, Parkgate Street, Ryans

“Bongo” Ryan’s of Parkgate Street is three minutes’ walk across the Liffey from Heuston station, and within a short stroll of Guinness’s St James’s Gate Brewery. It’s one of Dublin’s finest Victorian pubs, housing a cosy snug and sturdy mahogany bar. If you can tear yourself away, it is a short walk to historic Kilmainham Gaol and the immense grandeur of Phoenix Park. The National Museum of Decorative Arts & History is a block away. If I had 24 hours in Dublin, I’d spend a few of them here.
Tim

Books and coffee, Copenhagen

Nørreport Station

Paludan Bogcafe, Denmark’s oldest book cafe, is a short walk from Nørreport Station and a 15-minute stroll from central station. In the city’s old Jewish quarter, the cafe is busy from 9am-10pm with students, shoppers, tourists and old friends. It’s a perfect escape from the chain stores on Strøget. It’s tucked away behind the old university library, and almost every wall is lined with new and antique books. Stop for coffee and cake, a cold beer, or even a glass of wine – you probably won’t find large glasses for £5 anywhere else. The food may well be Copenhagen’s best kept secret.
Rhiannon Jackson

Amazing beer, Brussels

Glasses of beer in the famous bar Chez Moeder Lambic

Between the Eurostar terminal at Brussels Midi and Brussels Centraal station (10-15 minutes’ walk from either) is Moeder Lambic at Place Fontainas. The beer selection is fantastic, with some of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. The food is good value, particularly for Belgium, with sandwiches, soup and sharing boards.
Chloe

Wine and pinxtos, San Sebastián

Bodega Donostiarra, San Sebastian

After arriving at San Sebastián-Donostia station, don’t follow the crowds towards the tourist-packed Parta Vieja. Instead, stick to the east side of the Uremea, and walk for eight minutes along the riverbank to Bodega Donostiarra in the Gros neighbouhood. This lively wine and pintxo bar has been serving the local community since 1928, when this was a working-class area of shanties and workshops. The potted plants and sun terrace may be new, but the house speciality , a bocadillo, or small baguette, of fresh tuna, salty anchovy and local green pickled peppers (€3.10), is timeless. And lovely wines by the glass cost from €1.30.
Joanna

Straight to the strudel, Leipzig

Ludwig Cafe, Leipzig Central Station

On the vast concourse of Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, the city’s monumental station, is the Ludwig bookshop and cafe bar. If the station is the cathedral, Ludwig is its library or cloister. It’s a calm, airy and refined space, with dark wood, high ceilings, stained-glass skylights and cosy club chairs. It serves reasonably priced drinks, sandwiches and snacks, though I had a coffee and a giant slab of apfelstrudel. Browse the books and magazines, listen to the train announcements, or watch the trams in the square outside through tall, elegant windows. It makes a marvellous waiting room, though frankly I suggest visiting even if you have no train to catch.
Kevin Sullivan

Guardian Travel readers' tips

We're asking our readers for recommendations from their travels, with a selection of these tips being featured online. Each week, the best entry (as chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet) will win two first-class Interrail Global Passes from Eurail that allow for seven days of travel within one month, and are worth up to £384 each (depending on the age of the traveller). To enter the latest competition visit the readers' tips homepage

A litre, just metres from the station, Munich

People drinking at Augustiner biergarten

Augustiner is said to be Munich’s oldest independent brewery, dating back to medieval times, and it has a beer garden (established in 1812 by Büchl brewery) under chestnut trees beside the central station, making it the perfect place to have your first, or last, beer in the city. Musicians wander and traditional Bavarian dress is much in evidence. It has a wide range of typical Bavarian cuisine, plus light snacks and veggie dishes. A half-litre of lovely Augustiner Edelstoff is a reasonable €3.95.
Lorcan

Style and substance, Turin

Night exterior view of Caffe Torino, Piazza San Carlo,

Exit Porta Nuova train station and within a few hundred metres you come to the baroque grandeur of Piazza San Carlo, and two of Turin’s most famous cafes. Café San Carlo (1882) has the ambience of a palace, but I prefer the art nouveau Caffè Torino (1903). Italian style, grandeur, history, architecture, and coffee at normal prices. Try a traditional bicerin, a mix of espresso, chocolate and milk. I found it while changing trains, fell in love with the cafe and the city, and went to live there for a year. I return as often as I can.
Neil Pearce

Ober and out in Interlaken, Switzerland

The Hüsi Bierhaus, a six-minute walk from Interlaken West Station, is a must for craft beer lovers when visiting the Bernese Oberland. This timber-framed, green-shuttereds chalet has more than 70 bottled beers and about 20 on tap. Since 2018 it has been brewing its own, including the top selling Wingover IPA, a hoppy, blonde ale dedicated to the town’s paragliding community. Beer has even found its way into the kitchen, with bread made from the brewery’s spent malts, a bier-bratwurst, and nachos smothered in a rich, tomato, jalapeño and beer salsa.
Alex

Ice-cream heaven, Florence

I stumbled on Gelati del Bondi when I got off the train in Florence last summer. It’s a five-minute walk from Florence Station up Via Nazionale as you head into town. Unlike some Italian ice-cream bars, it has places to sit both inside and outside. It’s not fancy but has 40 delicious flavours. The fresh caramel, made with French butter, or the Medici Special, with a secret ingredient, are among its signature offerings. Cones from €2.
Gonca

Looking for a holiday with a difference? Browse Guardian Holidays to see a range of fantastic trips

Contributor

Guardian readers

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
10 great restaurants near stations in Europe: readers’ tips
From dumplings and sauerkraut to paella and pizza, superb meals can be had by walking a few minutes from the station … but allow for the waddle back to take a bit longer

Guardian readers

21, Feb, 2020 @6:30 AM

Article image
10 great hotels near railway stations in Europe: readers’ tips
Tipsters hitch a ride through the age of steam, spend a night in a former prison cell and awake to the Alps through their window at these places to stay close to a terminus

Guardian readers

06, Mar, 2020 @6:30 AM

Article image
10 of the best railway hotels in Europe: readers’ travel tips
A friendly welcome and comfortable bed are just the tonic after a long journey: our tipsters know the best hotels near stations from the Med to the Tirol

Guardian readers

02, May, 2019 @5:30 AM

Article image
Brilliant winter holidays in Europe: readers’ travel tips
Your wintry wanderings take in a Dickensian Christmas festival, snowshoeing, skiing and digging a snow hole bedroom – plus cosy bars and hotels to warm up in

Guardian readers

23, Nov, 2019 @10:00 AM

Article image
10 of the best winter city breaks in Europe: readers’ travel tips
Glühwein and hot chocolate, snowy views, empty museums and comfort food … Guardian readers pick the best European cities for an atmospheric winter holiday

Guardian readers

08, Dec, 2016 @12:56 PM

Article image
10 of the best city B&Bs in Europe: readers' travel tips
After wolfing down breakfast at these comfy B&Bs, our tipsters were ready to explore the town – often with top recommendations from their hosts

Guardian readers

04, Apr, 2019 @5:30 AM

Article image
10 of the best museums close to railway stations in Europe: readers’ tips
From antiquity to computer games, there’s never a dull moment for the culturally curious with a couple of hours to fill at a European station. And the cafes aren’t bad either

Guardian readers

14, Feb, 2020 @6:30 AM

Article image
10 great vintage shops and shopping districts: readers’ tips
Whether it’s retro trainers, communist-era curios or even a gorgeous wedding dress, our tipsters come up with the goods in the UK and Europe

Guardian readers

16, Nov, 2019 @8:00 AM

Article image
10 of the best city neighbourhoods in Europe: readers’ tips
Parks with city views, great-value restaurants and lesser-known museums rewarded our tipsters who wandered out of touristy city centres from Dublin to Budapest

Guardian readers

10, Feb, 2020 @6:30 AM

Article image
Great parks and green spaces in the UK: readers’ travel tips
Sensory playgrounds for children, a second world war airfield converted into a deer park, and an ever-changing stretch of coastline are among your favourites

Guardian readers

22, Aug, 2019 @10:00 AM