April 20, 2024

Explore Europe by Rail On These 7 New Sleeper Trains

Overnight railway journeys take me right back to my childhood. My father drove the car on a vehicle carriage, I slept in a bunk bed, and in the morning when I woke up, we were in the snowy mountains or in the sunshine somewhere in southern Europe. Then, with the onset of cheap flights, everything went out, and some of the magic of travel was lost.

Fortunately now, with sustainable travel as well as slow travel at the forefront of people’s desires, Europe has revived many of its old overnight train routes, making traveling across Europe greener and much less stressful, adding to that magic again. There are quite a few options between the different capital cities – depending on comfort levels – which are cheaper than flights and probably faster when you consider the to and from the airport, the waiting time at both ends of the flight, and the flights themselves.

Here are some of the best new European sleeper train routes:

Hamburg Wandelhalle train station

Photo credit: Luthfi Syahwal / Shutterstock.com

1. Hamburg To Stockholm

I’ll start with a favorite because I spent many nights on the ferry between Travemünde – about an hour’s drive from Hamburg – and Stockholm in my youth. It was the only non-flying option between my hometown of Hamburg and regular family stays for the Swedish summers and winters. Now I can hop on it SJ EuroNight train at either the main Hamburg train station or the Altona stop in the city. In fact, the train from Berlin has already arrived by the time it reaches Hamburg, making it an even better choice for overseas visitors. It connects the German capital with the Swedish one while crossing Denmark at night.

The train leaves Hamburg around 10 pm (Berlin around 6 pm) and arrives in Stockholm at around 10 am On board, you have different options, depending on your budget, from seat cars to couchettes and private sleeping cabins with en-suite bathrooms and breakfast included. There is no vehicular transport option on this route, but a bistro and restaurant carriage — of various shapes and sizes — is available on each train.

The Adriatic Sea and the coast of Croatia

The Adriatic Sea and the coast of Croatia

Photo credit: Zebra-Studio / Shutterstock.com

2. Stuttgart to Croatia

this Game OBB NightJet The journey is so scenic that it would be a shame to suggest you do it in your sleep. Leaving the southern city of Stuttgart at around 8:30 pm, the train arrives at various stops along the Croatian coast between 10 am and 11 am The train goes via Augsburg, Munich, into Austria via Salzburg, Slovenia via Ljubljana, and then to Croatia, with the final stop in Rijeka. If you want a way to Zagreb, there is a direct local train, as well as popular and budget-friendly ones. Choice of Flixbus. The extra journey takes about 2 hours.

If you prefer an overnight train directly to Zagreb, then there are options on the EuroNight Train from Zurich, Switzerland; Feldkirch, Austria; and also Stuttgart and Munich, Germany. In this case, you can take the link to the coast from there.

The overnight trains have all the options, from seats to private sleeping cabins, with no vehicle transport option between Stuttgart and Croatia. Between Zurich and Zagreb, however, it is available.

Gare de l'Est, Paris East Station

Gare de l’Est, Paris East Station

Photo credit: Bruno M Photography / Shutterstock.com

3. Paris to Vienna

Looking to connect between two of Europe’s most beautiful capitals? Try Paris to Vienna overnight. The IS ÖBB/SNCF NightJet departs Paris Gare de l’Est on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 7 pm, arriving in Vienna after a lie-in and breakfast at 10 am You will travel through Strasbourg in France, Munich, and Salzburg with your usual three choices of vehicle seats, couchette, or private sleeping cabin, but no transportation options. If you want to go to Vienna from London, just add the Eurostar connection between London and Paris and change from Gare du Nord to Gare de l’Est in Paris. Both stations are close to each other, making it a relatively easy connection.

4. Vienna To Italy

When you have Vienna and want to move on, why not choose the NightJet takes you across the Alps to Italy? The train also runs from Munich, if that’s where you find yourself other than Vienna. Stops along the way include Verona, Milan, Genoa, and La Spezia, where it’s a skip and a jump to Cinque Terre. Or you could stay on board and go to Ancona, an Adriatic resort on the east coast of Italy. While La Spezia gives you easy access to Cinque Terre, and places like Lucca and Pisa, Ancona lies just south of San Marino and is a port city with ferries connecting you to Zadar, Croatia.

Charles Bridge in Prague

Charles Bridge in Prague

Photo credit: TTstudio / Shutterstock.com

5. Prague To Zurich

Czech Railways has reinstated the previously popular Canopus overnight route, which takes travelers from Prague to Zurich. It has been suspended since 2016. The sleep train revived it leaves Prague at around 6:30pm and takes you through the Austrian Alps with stops in Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. He arrives in Zurich city center around 8:30 am in time for breakfast.

This train offers a choice of seats, couchettes, and single, double and triple bed cabins, with private laundry facilities, or in some cabins, private showers. The deluxe cabins, with private showers and toilets, are undoubtedly the best. But there are only three of these cabins on board, so make sure you book early. Each sleeper option provides a breakfast box with coffee or tea, bread, butter, and jam – basic, but fills the first hole. The trains also have a bistro car, and if you have a cabin, they offer “room service” – don’t get too excited about the options.

Eurostar train at St.  Pancras in London

Eurostar train at St. Pancras in London

Photo credit: Sergii Figurnyi / Shutterstock.com

6. London to Berlin

One of the most anticipated opiate train launches in 2023 is the one connecting the two highest European capitals: London and Berlin. It is Eurostar a connection between London and Brussels on the so-called “Good Night” train via Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Yes, this involves a quick change in Brussels, but it is comfortable and easy. The Eurostar leaves London in the afternoon around 3 pm, arriving in Brussels around 3 hours later. The sleeper train leaves in the early afternoon around 7:30pm, when you can snuggle down and wake up in Berlin. Like all these trains, there are different levels of budget and comfort available.

7. Munich To Rome

This is another sleeper train I hesitate to recommend because the route — across the Alps through Austria and the Italian countryside — is almost too good to take while asleep. But maybe you can make one trip in your sleep and then return during the day? Either way, it’s a worthwhile night train. The IS Game OBB NightJet Once again, it’s cheap, easy, comfortable, and saves you not only endless hours at the airport but also money and carbon footprint. Leave Munich after dinner at around 8 pm and wake up in Rome at around 9 am with plenty of time to leave your luggage at the hotel before heading out for a pasta and spritz lunch.

More On Sleeper Trains

Please note that many of the modern versions of sleeper trains do not have the option of taking your car, which is less of a problem for overseas visitors than for Europeans. But it must be taken into account if you are on a road trip through Europe.

Please check each route separately. Despite the fact that most are run by Night Jetthey all have their own vehicle transport guidelines and schedules, and not all connections run every day.

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