Night trains in Europe – Cross Europe in a sleeper train

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Traveling Europe by rail is an adventure and we recommend everyone to try it at least once!

This type of trip is suitable for every traveler and it can be a romantic and relaxing journey.

Unlike with flights, there are no cues for luggage, check in, security checks and boarding.

You don’t have to throw out your bottle of water before buying the same one again after security.

Well yes, it may be obvious that I’m not a big fan of flying anyway, so these Europe night trains sound even more appealing to me!

I do love a road trip, but still, traveling by train is so much more relaxing. You don’t have to keep your eyes on the road the entire time and you’re allowed to nap every once in a while. You can even cover ground while sleeping on a night train.

Ultimately, I can’t express enough how interesting and exciting it is to travel through an entire continent with overnight trains.

Since we wrote our previous post about how to travel Europe by train, a lot of things have changed. For that reason, we decided to write a new article about train travel in Europe (in this era).

Because our previous post became so long and detailed, I decided to split the post up and create separate articles with the different types of trains you can take in Europe.

In this article, you’ll find the different night trains in Europe. Surprisingly, most of the recent changes in train types have occurred in the night trains department and over the last few years, a lot of night trains has been put to sleep them self.

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Now, we introduce to you the current fleet of trains in Europe, because who doesn’t dream of taking the Amsterdam to Budapest train or Paris to Rome night train? I

In this article, we collected as many night trains as possible!

Pin it!

Night trains in Europe

Night trains in Europe

Night trains are our favorite trains, because you cover a lot of ground while you’re sleeping.

But that’s not the only reason!

It’s the entire experience of living on a train and the feeling of going back in time.

Most of the older overnight trains have been suspended, so it’s more of a modern feeling these days and in most trains, you’ll get all the luxury you’ll need.

But for me it will always have this Orient Express feeling.

We listed the most important night train services below with a little information about the stops, the seating options, …

EuroNight - EN

EuroNight is the nocturnal version of the Eurocity and InterCity trains.

The EuroNight trains usually travel on international journeys and they use carriages of different national rail companies.

EuroNight sleeper train are available all over Europe and there are a lot of trajectories or routes you can follow to travel to the entire continent.

Available Journeys with the EuroNight Train

  • EN 406 – EN 407: Vienna – Krakow – Warsaw
  • EN 414: Zagreb – Villach – Zurich
  • EN 462 – EN 463: Budapest – Vienna – Munich
  • EN 477 – EN 40406: Prague – Vienna
  • EN 480: Rijeka – Salzburg – Zurich
  • EN 498: Zagreb – Ljubljana – Salzburg – Munich
  • EN 40462: Budapest – Vienna – Zurich
  • EN 40465: Zurich – Zagreb
  • EN 40467: Zurich – Vienna – Budapest
  • EN 50463: Munich – Salzburg – Ljubljana – Zagreb
  • EN 50466: Prague – Linz – Zurich
  • EN 50467: Zurich – Prague
  • EN 60406 – EN 60444: Vienna – Poprad – Kosice
  • EN 60463: Munich – Salzburg – Rijeka

Practical information about the EuroNight

  • You can book these train journeys with your Interrail or Eurail pass.
  • Air conditioning inside the cabins
  • Charging sockets
  • Wi-Fi is not available during this trip
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Types of seating in EuroNight trains

  • Standard Seating
  • Couchette
  • Sleeper
  • Sleeper Deluxe

Food

Some EuroNight trains have a dining car, while other have a train attendant in each carriage who can fix some meals for travelers.

Languages Spoken

  • First of all: Local Languages
  • But Usually, the staff speaks English as well

Night Jet

OBB Night Jet sleeper trains are operated by OBB, the Austrian Federal Railway company.

Night Jet trains have been operational since 2006 and they eventually replaced many of the former City Night Line trains, which were operated by the Deutsche Bahn. The German railway company stopped offering night trains at the end of 2016 and luckily many operators have jumped on the opportunity to take over the night train empire.

Make sure to check out the Night Jet website because it is super interesting and good looking!

Available Journeys with the NightJet

  • NJ 233: Vienna – Villach – Verona – Milan
  • NJ 235: Milan – Verona – Villach – Vienna
  • NJ 237: Vienna – Venice
  • NJ 294: Rome – Florence – Bologna – Salzburg – Munich
  • NJ 295: Munich – Rome
  • NJ 401: Hamburg – Zürich
  • NJ 420 – NJ 421: Innsbruck – Munich – Cologne – Dusseldorf
  • NJ 464: Graz – Zurich
  • NJ 466: Vienna – Zurich
  • NJ 470 – NJ 471: Zürich – Basel – Frankfurt – Berlin
  • NJ 1237 – NJ 1234: Vienna – Florence – Pisa – Livorno
  • NJ 40233: Vienna – Rome
  • NJ 40235 – NJ 40295: Milan – Verona – Salzburg – Munich
  • NJ 40236 – NJ 40436: Venice – Villach – Salzburg – Munich
  • NJ 40294: Rome – Florence – Bologna – Vienna
  • NJ 40420: Innsbruck – Munich – Hannover – Hamburg
  • NJ 40421: Düsseldorf – Innsbruck
  • NJ 40463: Munich – Salzburg – Venice
  • NJ 40470: Zürich – Hamburg
  • NJ 40490: Vienna – Frankfurt – Cologne – Dusseldorf

Practical information about the NightJet

  • Some connections allow you to take a car with you
  • Wheelchair accessible couchettes available

Types of seating in NightJet trains

  • Seating Carriage 6 seats per cabin
  • Couchette with 6 beds
  • Couchette with 4 beds
  • Women only couchettes
  • Sleeper Cabin 3 beds
  • Sleeper Cabin 2 beds
  • Sleeper Cabin 1 bed
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Food

Food menu with the option to order food with one of the train assistants

Trenhotel Spain

Trenhotel Spain is a national night train service in Spain, but there is also one trajectory taking you to Lisbon in Portugal.

The train service is called TrenHotel or Hotel Train because the Spanish RENFE wants their visitors to feel as if they have booked a night in a hotel and they offer services to match that criterium.

Upon boarding the train, you will be greeted by the sleeper compartment crew who will be at your service during the entire trip.

The Trenhotel trains might be a good option when traveling Spain by rail, as this itinerary suggests.

Available Journeys with TrenHotel

  • Lusitania: Madrid – Lisbon
  • Rias Gallegas: Madrid – Ferrol
  • Galicia: Barcelona – Viga

Practical information about the TrenHotel trains

  • Adjustable air conditioning in the sleeper cabins
  • Air conditioning in the seated areas
  • Charging socket for every traveler

Types of seating in TrenHotel night trains

  • Gran Clase Bed – Single or twin cabin with private bathroom and cabin service
  • First Class Bed – Single or twin cabin with a sink and shared bathroom
  • Tourist Class Bed – cabins with 4 beds
  • Gran Comfort Seating – extra leg space and further reclining
  • First Class Seating or Preferente Class
  • Second Class Seating or Turista Class

Food

Cafetaria area or the possibility to order food with your sleeper compartment crew.

For luxury travelers in the Gran Clase cabins, cabin service is available

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish
  • English

Thello

The Thello night trains run from Paris to Venice and it is the only night train connection run by Thello. The company also offers a high-speed train from Marseille to Milan.

Even though it’s the only connection that is operated by Thello, it is an interesting one and you can only use Thello to make this journey by night train.

Some days, no train by Thello is running, so you should always check their website in advance.

Available Journeys with Thello

  • Paris – Venice (night train)
  • Marseilles – Milan (day train)

Practical information about Thello trains

  • Charging sockets available
  • Air conditioning

Types of seating on the Thello trains

  • Premium Sleeper Cabin 1 or 2 persons with private bathroom
  • Standard Sleeper Cabin 1 to 3 persons
  • Couchette 4 or 6 persons
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Food

The train bar is open all night

The Dining area is opened from 20h to midnight

Breakfast can be purchased in the dining car or at the trolley that serves the whole train

Languages Spoken

  • French
  • Italian
  • English

Intercity Notte Italy

Intercity Night Trains are becoming more popular in Europe.

Even though it’s not always clear if an InterCity train has sleeping options, the InterCity Notte in Italy clearly does.

The Italian InterCity night train connects the most popular cities in Italy with a sleeper train.

It’s also possible to use the night trains for shorter trips with seated travel options, but all InterCity night trains in Italy have the option to book a couchette or a private sleeping cabin.

Available Journeys with Intercity Notte Italy

  • Rome to Palermo
  • Rome to Calalzo
  • Rome to Siracusa
  • Rome to S Candido
  • Naples to Milan
  • Milan to Lecce
  • Venice to Lecce
  • Bolzano to Lecce
  • Bolzano to Naples

Practical information about Intercity Notte trains

  • You can not book the Intercity Notte with your Interrail and Eurail Pass
  • Tickets must be validated at the station before boarding

Types of seating on the Intercity Notte Italy

  • Excelsior Sleeper for single occupancy (on some trains)
  • Excelsior Sleeper for double occupancy (on some trains)
  • Cabin with 4 beds
  • Cabin with 3 beds
  • Cabin with 2 beds

Food

Trolley Mini Bar

Continental breakfast included with the Excelsior Sleeper and the Deluxe sleeper.

Languages Spoken

  • Italian
  • Usually English

Intercités de Nuit France

Intercités de Nuit is another InterCity night train service in Europe.

The French railway company offers its InterCity connections by night with couchettes and sleeper cabins.

Many of the French night trains have been dismissed a few years ago and only a few night train connections remain.

Available Journeys with Intercités de Nuit France

  • Paris to Toulouse
  • Paris to Briancon

Practical information about Intercités de Nuit

  • You can book the InterCite de Nuit with your Interrail or Eurail pass
  • Reservations are obligatory
  • Charging sockets available
  • Air conditioning available

Types of seating on the Intercités de Nuit

  • First Class Seating
  • Second Class Seating
  • Couchettes for 6 persons
  • Sleeper Cabins for 4 persons

Food

Dining area or cafetaria mostly available

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Languages Spoken

  • French
  • Usually English

Caledonian Sleeper

The Caledonian Sleeper Train is one of a different kind and this train is all about luxury and the experience. Instead of bringing you from one place to another while you sleep, the Caledonian sleeper resembles more of a hotel on wheels. These night trains all run between London and Scotland, but the carriages split up halfway into the journey. In these trains, people who buy first-class tickets have premium access to the lounge area, where superior dining can be expected, or have food delivered to their room.

In the spring of 2019, the Caledonian Sleeper Will start using a new set of trains. There will also be new accommodation options available, like en-suite rooms and rooms with double beds. Check the Caledonian Sleeper website to see the new trains!

Practical information about the Caledonian Sleeper

  • Reserving your seat or bed is compulsory
  • You can not book this train with your Interrail or Eurail pass
  • Booking must be done via the Caledonian Sleeper website
  • Charging sockets available
  • Air conditioning available

Types of seating on the Caledonian Sleeper

  • First Class Room for up to 2 people
  • Standard Class Cabin for up to 2 people
  • Sleeper Seat

Food

Lounge area for First-class travelers and Standard class travelers (depends on space)

Languages Spoken

  • Mostly English


Berlin Night Express

The Berlin Night Express is a seasonal EuroNight route which runs during the summer months from Berlin to Malmö.

This night train only runs from April until August and only on specific days of the week.

The most interesting part about this journey is that it crosses the sea between Germany and Sweden and for that it will be traveling on board a ferry while crossing the Baltic Sea.

During the 4 hours that the train is on board the ferry, you can get off the train and visit the ferry.

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Available Journeys with the Berlin Night Express

  • Berlin to Malmö

Practical information about the Berlin Night Express

  • You can book this journey with your Interrail or Eurail pass
  • Booking your ticket is compulsory
  • Air-conditioning available
  • Only available between April and August

Types of seating on the Berlin Night Express

  • Private Compartment
  • Couchette with 6 beds

Food

There’s no food carriage available

You can visit the restaurant on board of the ferry

Languages Spoken

  • German
  • Swedish
  • English

Snälltåget Sweden

The Snälltåget night train in Sweden takes travelers from Malmö to Åre in the northern half of Sweden overnight.

In the past it was even possible to take the night train all the way north to Lapland.

Since that service is no longer operational, travelers can only travel a little over half way through the country.

Åre is a popular hiking and skiing destination in Sweden.

Taking this night train is only possible in the fall between August and September.

Available Journeys with the Snälltåget Night Train

  • Malmö – Stockholm – Åre

Practical information about the Snälltåget night train

  • Booking tickets is compulsary
  • You can book this train with your Interrail or Eurail pass
  • Only available in August and September
  • Air-conditioning available
  • Charging sockets available
  • Wi-Fi available

Types of seating on the Snälltåget night train

  • Seat in First-Class
  • Seat in Second Class
  • Couchette with 6 beds

Food

The Pub or restaurant carriage is located at the center of the train

Languages Spoken

  • Swedish
  • English

Sleeping options in Europe Night Trains

Night trains usually also offer seated options in order to keep your night train journey budget friendly, but this is also the case on night trains where people get on and off the train for shorter distances.

Some night trains are InterCity train which also travel during the day.

For nighttime train journey, carriages are often added to offer sleeping options to travelers.

Some night trains offer special seating or sleeping options on their train journeys.

Seat in First class

First class seats are quite regular and you can also travel in a first class seat by day.

Seat in Second class

Second class seats are also quite regular and you can also travel in a second class seat by day.

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Special Seating options on Night trains

A lot of night trains offer their passengers a more luxurious seating option aside from first and second class seating.

The Spanish Trenhotel offers a Gran Comfort Seating option where seat recline further and more leg space is available.

The seats have a footrest that can be lifted and a comfortable, adjustable headrest.

You also get a blanket when booking these seats.

Couchettes

Couchettes are available on most night trains and they’re usually the most budget friendly way of travel in night trains.

Couchettes are available in 6 bed types and 4 bed types.

When booking a bed in a couchette, you will probably get company of other travelers, unless you book an entire couchette with your family or friends.

Bookings in a couchette are unisex and you could be sleeping with travelers of the other sex. In most night trains, it’s possible to book a bed in a women only couchette, but you have to clearly specify this.

In most trains couchettes can be locked from the inside and they can always be unlocked by the train cabin crew. Some trains have a curtain instead of a door, but this is rather an exception.

Couchette Night Train
By DB Autozug GmbH [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons - Couchette

What’s included when booking a couchette

  • A pillow, blanket and fresh linen
  • A bottle of water
  • Breakfast mostly included: depends on the exact train
  • Access to ordering food (food not included)
  • Shared bathroom
  • Shared Washing facilities

Sleeper Cabin

Sleeper cabins are available NightJet and EuroNight trains, but also on the other night trains.

They’re slightly more expensive than couchettes.

Sleeper cabins are available for single, double, triple, or quadruple occupancy.

You can either book an entire cabin with your family or friends, but you can also book just one bed in a sleeper cabin.

In that case, another traveler will join you.

Most cabins that are shared by travelers who don’t travel together are designated male or female cabins.

Sleeper cabins can be locked from the inside, but they can always be unlocked by the train cabin crew.

What’s included when booking a Sleeper cabin

  • A pillow, blanket and fresh linen
  • A bottle of water
  • Breakfast mostly included: depends on the train type
  • Breakfast can be basic or a la carte
  • Welcome drink and welcome bag with some travel goodies
  • Towels and toiletries
  • Access to ordering food or a dining area (food not included)
  • Wash basin in the sleeper cabin
  • Shared bathroom and toilet
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Sleeper Deluxe

Sleeper Deluxe cabins are available on most NightJet and EuroNight trains, but other night trains usually have a different name for their Deluxe cabins.

Extra options and treats in Deluxe Sleeper cabins depend on the railway operator, but most Deluxe cabins have a private bathroom with shower and offer a more luxurious experience with more amenities.

Deluxe cabins tend to be more spacious.

What’s included when booking a Deluxe Sleeper cabin?

  • A pillow, blanket and fresh linen
  • A bottle of water
  • Breakfast usually included: depends on the train type
  • Breakfast can be basic but usually a la carte
  • Welcome drink and welcome bag with some travel goodies
  • Private bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin
  • Towels and toiletries
  • Access to ordering food or a dining area

Excelsior Sleeper on Italian night trains

The Excelsior Sleeper class is available on the InterCity Notte in Italy and it offers high style to luxury travelers.

The Excelsior Sleeper cabins can be booked as a single or double cabin, but they’re also available as a suite.

These sleeping cabins are located in a separate carriage that is added to the train and they add quite a bit of luxury to your nightly train journey.

Cabins are equipped with private shower and fully equipped bathroom with toilet and lavatory.

Towels and linen are included and you can also use charging sockets, air conditioning, and a safe box.

Through an intercom, you can reach the train assistants to help you with almost anything you might need.

What’s included in the Excelsior sleeper

  • Private bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin
  • Air conditioning
  • Charging sockets
  • Linen and towels
  • Toiletry kit
  • Continental breakfast
  • Bottle of water
  • Italian newspaper

Using night trains in Europe

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.

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.

Should I explain further how much we love to travel by train or is that obvious by now?

We’re planning more rail journeys in the future and we’ll keep bringing up itineraries and travel tips to travel Europe by rail.

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Meanwhile, check our most interesting itinerary ideas for Europe by train and have a look at these scenic train rides in Europe.

We also have some cool Interrail itineraries for:

Make sure to pack the right things when you go train traveling through Europe!

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