Includes French Motorail from Calais to Nice, Narbonne, Toulouse, Brive & Avignon, Dutch motorail (Auto Slaap Trein) from Holland to Italy & the south of France, German Motorail (DB AutoZug) from Dusseldorf to Italy & Austria, motorail to Turkey & Greece, car ferries to Spain & Scandinavia. © Columbus Travel Media Ltd. All rights reserved 2020, Due to the impact of COVID-19, you are recommended to check travel restrictions from your government sources and contact local venues to verify any new rules, The Caledonian Sleeper speeding through the Scottish Highlands, Depart Rome at night and wake up in Palermo, Sicily, Soaring over Vilnius, plus 14 other offbeat things to see and do in Vilnius, 22 reasons why you should fall in love with Estonia, The complete guide to smoking marijuana in Amsterdam coffeeshops, 19 things to know before travelling to Cuba, Discover the treasures of Croatia on a charter yacht with Goolets. One of the most interesting aspects of this journey is the train boarding a ferry to cross the Baltic Sea, something that passengers will be able to boast about when discussing their most unique travel experiences. German rail company Deutsche Bahn and the main national train operators in France, Switzerland and Austria said the routes from Vienna to Paris, via Munich, and Zurich to Amsterdam, via Cologne, will be … Typically departing at around 11pm, passengers can get a good night’s sleep and then wake up early to catch a glimpse of Croatia’s little-explored countryside at sunrise before pulling into the coastal town. From reclining seats to private sleeping cabins, there's a travel option for every wish and budget. The route runs all year and advance booking is essential.• Berths from €48 , vr.fi, Budapest’s Keleti station, where this sleeper originates, leaves the utilitarian terminus crowd behind with its grand facade, high ceilings and sense of space and light. The railway companies from Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland are planning to launch new cross-border night train connections in Europe from 2021. Frequency: daily Approx duration: 11.5 hours While night trains were being retired across Europe, the Austrian railway company, ÖBB, bucked the trend by buying unwanted sleeper wagons and putting them to work. Summer, however, is a completely different story with the midnight sun illuminating everything that is special about rural Scandinavia: shimmering lakes, scented pine forests and rugged mountains. Rolling out of the Hungarian capital in the early evening, the service arrives in Prague bright and early the next morning. On the day of departure of the night train, you can take as many trains as you want; it's on the same day after all. One of the most exciting European night trains. The ÖBB, which claims the title of Europe’s largest operator of night trains, said travelling between Vienna and Brussels by train emits 10 times less CO2 than the same journey by air. This is one route to fight to keep the blinds up for. Passengers have plenty of time to wine and dine in the Croatian capital before hotfooting it to the Dalmatian Coast on a late-night sleeper train. For much more on night trains in Europe, check The Man in Seat Sixty-One's exhaustive list of sleeper options. If you’re in a shared cabin and want to ensure your valuables are safe, keep them within reach and out of sight while you sleep. Night trains in Europe are just as safe as their daily counterparts. Run by the Finnish operator VR, the journey begins in the art-deco magnificence of Helsinki Central Station and over 12 hours whisks its way towards Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. As you would expect from a train operating between these heavyweight gastro destinations, the service has a dedicated dining cart serving French and Italian fare. Thello night trains were created as a joint venture between Veolia Transdev, a private transport company, and Trenitalia (Italian Railways).. Thello currently operates just one overnight route: Paris to Venice, two romantic greats. It’s also a special experience to travel from Italy’s industrial, artistic northern cities to the tip of the beautiful rural south. The idea of SBB (Switzerland), ÖBB (Austria), Deutsche Bahn (Germany) and SNCF (France) is to connect a total of 13 European metropolises by night trains by December 2024. Great Western Railway (GWR) operates the Night Riviera, which has recently been refurbished to feature charging points, hotel-quality duvets and hanging space, plus airline-style seats in the seated carriages. We present seven overnight routes through Europe – you could wake up the next morning in the deep south, the far north or even Russia :) 01 | Austrian Federal Railways operates multiple ÖBB Nightjet services between Belgium (from 19 th January 2020), Germany, Austria , Switzerland and Italy . A guide to European motorail trains, taking your car by train across Europe. Rolling out of London under the cover of darkness, passengers can enjoy dinner and a few drinks in the classically-decorated dining cart before retiring to their cabin and then waking 804km (500 miles) away in Fort William, Scotland. Depart Rome at night and wake up in Palermo, SicilyBargotiPhotographt / Thinkstock. Night trains in Europe are widely known and used and they are part of a grand adventure that you should experience at least once in a lifetime. Until then, night trains will run in this direction to and from Düsseldorf. A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations, its print heritage stretches back more than 30 years, with the online portal reaching its 20-year anniversary in 2019. ÖBB Nightjet night train routes With so many routes to choose from, the ÖBB Nightjet is a great way to travel. The excellent and comfortable Thello night train is the only overnight option for travelling between France and Italy by train. Before World War 1 it transported Russian nobility to the French Riviera. Here are 10 of the best night trains in Europe that still operate today: Railroad tracks at a major train stationPatrick Poendl / shutterstock. An old faithful among inter-railers, this classic overnight service whisks passengers between two of Eastern Europe’s prettiest cities, Budapest and Prague. The curtain fell on the service during WWI, but was revived in 2010 and sees passengers enjoy the 2,607km (1,620 miles) journey that traverses eight countries – Russia, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Monaco and France. Available in English, German and Spanish versions, the WTG provides detailed and accurate travel content designed to inspire global travellers. Traveling by Train at Night. Travelling twice weekly, depart Brussels with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, then enjoy a comfortable bed and arrive at 7.27am.• Berths from €60, nightjet.com, Known as Trenhotel Lusitania, the “train hotel” is an efficient and eco-friendly way to travel between these two capitals. If you take another train after the night train has arrived, you'll have to use a new travel day. The best thing about this service is its access to the West Country without flying – or hours spent driving. Don’t forget visas for Belarus and Russia.• Follow the Union Flag and then International Routes, berths from £250, rzd.ru, The most recent route to be added to the Nightjet service, this sleeper offers good links from the UK via the Eurostar to Vienna, which by the end of 2020 promises to be one of the best-connected European cities for rail travel. They will sign a letter of intent on Tuesday, according to an invitation to a press conference on Friday from Deutsche Bahn and the German Ministry for Transport, the Belga press agency reports. There’s also a short but sweet wine list, naturally. Passengers boarding the Thello have the enviable opportunity to fall asleep in Paris and wake up in Venice, two of Europe’s most romantic cities. You can travel all across Europe during the night, covering large distances while sleeping and saving daylight for exploring. Night trains offer a comfortable way to travel by night. European night trains are becoming something of an endangered species, but these 10 overnight sleeper trains are still holding strong on the continent A fantastic way to traverse mainland Europe, night trains are cost-effective and environmentally-friendly, considering passengers can save money on hotel rooms and trains produce far less CO2 than planes. While the prominence of high-speed trains today has resulted in fewer night trains being available, a select few routes are still open to the public and offer the same nostalgic romanticism as the classic overnights of old. Night train services are having a renaissance, thanks to renewed investment from operators, amid the need to fly less• Enter our competition to win two first-class Interrail Passes, Last modified on Thu 13 Feb 2020 07.50 EST, The country that’s home to Greta Thunberg and that coined the term flygskam (flight shame) has plans to introduce new sleeper routes this year. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. Throughout the night it’s possible to disembark at 14 stops, from Taunton to Penzance, and from where sea connections go to the Isles of Scilly.• Berths from £50, gwr.com, Looking for a holiday with a difference? The Nightjet network spreads across Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, but this is one of the only routes offering double-decker rolling stock. “Getting on a train in Munich or Berlin in the evening and arriving in Paris or Brussels in the morning after a relaxed journey – with our Trans-Europ-Express TEE 2.0 and attractive night train services we will be travelling in ways that are even better for our climate and the environment in Europe in the future. If unsure about all those days spent doing the Trans-Siberian, get just a taste on Europe’s longest sleeper train. The announcement marks the biggest extension of the European night train network in … We're official agents for rail and bus operators in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. Rail Europe sells tickets across Europe and our coverage is increasing all the time. Attempting to send passengers back to the golden age of rail travel, the Madrid-Lisbon overnight service, operated by Trenhotel Lusitania, is the closest you’ll come to an authentic railway nostalgia trip. But post-Covid-19 and with travelers prioritizing the environment, the romance of the night train … A journey that slices through the heart of Europe, the Moscow-Nice train first departed the Russian capital in 1864 and was popular with tsars seeking sun on the Côte d’Azur. Run during the summer between June and August, the Berlin Night Express links the German capital with the city of Malmö in Sweden. Run by the Russian Railways. EN trains developed and became the standard night-train service for all Western and most Central European nations, receiving special designation from the older D-Nacht services (many of which still operate in Central and Eastern Europe). There’s no restaurant car but the cafe-bar is a convivial place to meet fellow travellers and can serve up a hot dish and a glass of vinho verde, which may help with the bumpy night’s sleep ahead. Italian sleepers are not known for hotel-like touches so prepare for a rustic experience on this route. Some of the carriages are in need of a little love and attention but it’s a fun and relatively affordable way to make this journey.• Berths from €34, renfe.com or raileurope.com, Austrian Railways (ÖBB) has managed to deliver smooth, fast and comfortable Nightjet journeys since it launched its sleeper service in late 2016. ÖBB fully understands all local and national measures that are being taken to contain the corona pandemic, but must react appropriately to this circumstance in view of the high travel barriers. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that third-party cookies will be set. This route will show you how much ground you can cover in just a single week. We have just the thing: discover Europe by night train! As you would expect, there are some spectacular views to behold both in the early evening and early morning, so enjoy them before departing one of Europe’s favourite sleepers. With both, travellers board at a busy urban station and wake trundling through natural beauty. Tell us about a museum or gallery near a main railway station in Europe to win two first-class Interrail Passes worth up to £768! Once weekly service from Nice to Moscow, via Genoa, Milan, Verona, Innsbruck, Vienna, Warsaw, and Minsk. Sleeper trains in Europe are making a comeback after a decade of budget and route cuts. This 7-hour train journey is a lesser-known gem and the cities at each end are another story altogether. Browse Guardian Holidays to see a range of fantastic trips. Leaving Nice on a Sunday morning, travel via Berlin and an extensive stop at Brest in Belarus (for visa checks and to change to Russian gauge) to arrive in Moscow in time for lunch on Tuesday. While some much-needed R&R may be the order of the evening, the cosy 4- or 6-berth cabins encourage sociability so you may find the party atmosphere following you along the tracks. The Caledonian Sleeper is one of Britain’s best-loved trains. We’ve listed some of the main sleeper trains running across Europe below. Charles Bridge, PragueCreative Travel Project / Shutterstock. Your backpack will likely be on your bed but for extra security, you can secure it to the bed with a carabiner, a cable luggage lock , or a belt. Most overnight trains offer one or two different ways to sleep; the more comfortably you sleep, the more you pay. Start a journey with a drink at the Gare de Lyon’s famous Le Train Bleu, share a picnic and stories with fellow passengers before turning in for a comfortable sleep – and then get ready to jump off in Milan as dawn breaks. Zagreb, CroatiaRudy Balasko / Shutterstock. Children under 10 travel free, cars can be taken on the train (saving on rental costs when you arrive) and the train is a double-decker, which is usually exciting for kids. For example, if you travel on a night train from 9 to 10 August, you only write down 9 August. The sleeper arrangements are pretty standard and note there may be no restaurant car until you reach Romania.• Berths from £45, mavcsoport.hu (use Bucuresti for timetable search), The UK currently has two regular sleeper services from London: the Night Riviera to Cornwall and the Caledonian Sleeper to Scotland. Sleeper trains in Europe are poised to make a huge comeback after four national railway companies announced new routes that will link up 13 cities across the continent. A fantastic way to traverse mainland Europe, night trains are cost-effective and environmentally-friendly, considering passengers can save money on hotel rooms and trains produce far less CO2 than planes. In this context, the directors of the companies signed a joint declaration which also marks the start of 2021 as the “European Year of Rails”. Look forward to a hot shower (bring your own towels), a chance to savour Polish and Russian cuisine (due to a change in the restaurant car) and being looked after by your own provodnik or provodnitsa. A view from the Stockhokm to Narvik sleeper train, competition to win two first-class Interrail Passes. It departs at 9.45pm and arrives at Lisbon’s Gare do Oriente at 7.30am. We’ve also tried some night trains in Asia and even though the experience is completely different, you still get the same feeling of adventure. Updated every day by a dedicated global editorial team, the portal logs 1 million+ unique users monthly. Save precious travel time by moving from one destination to the next while you sleep. Four European rail companies announced Tuesday they plan to boost the continent's network of night train connections by reviving routes that were dropped several years ago for cost reasons. ÖBB has quietly been leading the way, but even in the UK, refurbished trains on the sleeper services to Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands -- at opposite ends of the country -- in 2018 and 2019 respectively, sparked a rush to book. In summer, the midnight sun means seeing much more than normal on a sleeper and no wifi make this the perfect route to switch off and unwind.• Berths from €83, sj.se, This route offers the unusual: a chance to be on a train that boards a ferry – to cross the Strait of Messina. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and The European train network never sleeps, with night trains connecting its major cities. Snaking along the laces of Italy’s shoe-shaped peninsular, this scenic 12-hour night train from Rome to Palermo is perhaps the most romantic way to experience the country’s southern region. Around 20 minutes later, on the other side, at Messina, enjoy the view trundling along the coast of Sicily to arrive in Palermo late in the afternoon.• Berths from €60, trenitalia.com, The French Thello night train goes from the City of Light across the Alps to Milan (for onward connections on Trenitalia for Rome) and then various stops to Venice. The French Thello night train goes from the City of Light across the Alps to Milan ... which by the end of 2020 promises to be one of the best-connected European cities for rail travel. More information. And although Europe's high-speed trains get most of the flight shaming (or train bragging) love, the night trains are enjoying a resurgence. Ferry fun starts with the mid-morning arrival at Villa San Giovanni, in Calabria. EN trains have special criteria that rail companies must match in order to receive the EN designation. Offset by the spectacular scenery one will encounter en route to Sweden, this journey is as beautiful as it is unique. A travel experience showered in history, the service leaves Moscow in the evening and pulls into Nice around 42 hours, and a lot of vodka, later. If you liked this article, you might also like: The World Travel Guide (WTG) is the flagship digital consumer brand within the Columbus Travel Media portfolio. Given that one of the best things to do on a train in Europe is to travel on the top deck, being able to sleep on it is the stuff of childhood dreams. New connections from Malmö will be welcomed but for many Swedes nothing can beat the 20-hour odyssey from their capital’s Central Station across the wilderness of the Arctic Circle and on to the Norwegian town of Narvik. Night Train from Nice, France to Moscow, Russia – EN 409408. Many European train companies offer a night service for longer domestic or cross border routes. makes a purchase. It offers an affordable alternative for journeys you may otherwise think to take by plane. At the other end of this journey, spend the morning gazing at the Carpathian Mountains – as the early evening departure from Keleti doesn’t arrive in Bucharest’s Gara de Nord until lunchtime. The service runs daily, and will see you arrive in Split just in time for breakfast on the seafront. Couchettes. 6. The deluxe sleeper has a table, chairs and its own shower.• Berths from €60, nightjet.com, This sleeper is often referred to as the Santa Claus Express and ticks a lot of boxes for family trips. Connecting two of Europe’s biggest party towns, the nightly train from Prague to Krakow slips silently away from the bars and clubs northwards across the vast Czech countryside. Slumbering passengers are woken by a gentle thud as the train boards the ferry to cross the Strait of Messina into Sicily – the perfect backdrop for breakfast as the sun rises lazily over the Mediterranean. Please note that Trainline may not currently sell tickets for all night train services. Alternatively, you could catch an early ferry to the popular islands of Brač, Hvar and Šolta. The Caledonian Sleeper speeding through the Scottish HighlandsVisit Scotland. With a suite of luxury class cabins that emulate the first-class experience of a bygone era, passengers can enjoy private showers and marvel at the fact that it still takes less than 11 hours to travel from Madrid to Lisbon by train. Though much of the scenery is veiled by night, watching the sunrise over the Highlands is this journey’s greatest drawcard. Most European night trains are included in the Eurail passes. It has accommodation options to suit everyone, and takes you to Europe… Growing demand for ‘slow travel’ and the romantic allure of sleeper trains have resulted in the resurgence of the night-train in Europe. It covers all aspects, from cities to airports, cruise ports to ski and beach resorts, attractions to events, and it also includes weekly travel news, features and quizzes. 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