EuroNight Express – Overnight Rail Journeys Across Europe

EuroNight Express Overnight Rail Journeys Across Europe

From couchettes to premium sleeper cabins, there’s a night train option for every budget. Snooze your way deeper into Europe, and arrive refreshed the next day in central cities.

New timetables have created links between cities that weren’t connected before. Paris has nudged closer to Berlin, and Halle in central Germany has slipped closer to Aachen.

Budapest to Bucharest

The night train from Budapest to Bucharest is called the Ister (EN 473) or Dacia Express (EN 347) and it’s a very comfortable way to travel. These trains offer a variety of sleeping cabins including Deluxe Cabins with shower and there are even some sleeper cars that can be booked as single beds.

The cabins are very modern and have private toilet & shower facilities. You can choose from 2 or 4 berth couchette compartments or a 1, 2, or 3 bed sleeper car. All the cabins are air-conditioned and include a blanket, pillow, & slippers. A light breakfast is served in the morning and is included in the fare. The train also offers an onboard bar & snack service.

At night, the scenery on this route is mostly obscured by fog but when it clears up, the views are stunning. As the train crosses into Romania the landscape changes to more mountainous terrain and the views are breathtaking.

The Dacia Express is a very modern and comfortable train with a very good restaurant car. It’s possible to book seat only tickets for this train but sleeping berths are also available and these can be booked in advance (with a minimum of 4 nights). The Dacia Express has modern air-conditioned Romanian sleeper cars with 1 & 2 bed cabins plus several deluxe compartments with a shower and toilet as well as Romanian couchette cars with 4 or 6 berth compartments. A bar car is attached between Bucharest & Arad serving drinks & snacks but you can also take your own food and drink along on this journey.

The Ister & Dacia night trains run daily but it’s important to check the latest timetables for these services as they can change regularly. The journey takes just over 16 hours to cover the 265-mile (419-kilometer) distance from Budapest Keleti to Bucharest Nord. During the daytime, this route can be completed by a regular EuroCity or InterCity train but it’s much faster to take one of the direct overnight options that are operated by EuroNight Express.

Stockholm to Malmo

This new sleeper train, operated by SJ, is one of the newest additions to Europe’s night rail scene. It cuts the journey time from Stockholm to London down to just over 24 hours – and that’s even without any stops along the way!

The route also crosses the Baltic Sea – and the most unique feature of the Berlin Night Express is that the train smoothly runs onto a ferry during the crossing, so you can enjoy the views or catch some zzz’s on your couchette. Once the journey ends in Berlin you can either explore the city, or continue on to Malmo & Copenhagen to see more of Sweden’s stunning coast.

When you arrive in Stockholm – well-rested and ready to explore – spend the day exploring the city’s many interesting landmarks. Wander around the historic Gamla Stan district, admire the baroque style Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) or pay a visit to The Royal Chapel (Storkyrkan).

If you’re looking for an even more relaxing experience then choose a seat in the dining car and enjoy a delicious dinner while your train winds its way through Sweden’s picturesque scenery. The friendly team of staff will take care of your every need, and you can relax in the knowledge that you’re on a comfortable, safe, and reliable sleeper train.

A variety of cabin types are available depending on your budget and needs, including deluxe sleeping cabins with shower, a two-bed room or a three-bed cabin, and seating carriages. A sleeping bag, blanket and pillow are included in your ticket price and additional drinks/snacks can be purchased on board from the onboard catering service.

In the winter months this train will be running additional routes to Ostersund, Are and Storlien – these are seasonally operated trains so check with Snalltaget for the latest timetables. This train can be travelled with a European Rail Pass but you will need to select the ‘Stockholm C / Malmo’ option when booking. This train also offers a direct service from Malmo to Stockholm (not the other way around) and on selected dates the Stockholm – Berlin sleeper continues to Dresden in Germany.

Berlin to Hamburg

With 32 trains per day between Berlin and Hamburg Hbf, you can get there in about two hours. The route is operated by ICE, DB and FlixTrain. You’ll have a choice of sleeping cabins or couchettes, with single, double and multi-occupancy options available. Children up to 3 years travel free, while those aged 4 to 14 pay the equivalent of a full fare (depending on your sleeper/couchette-compartment booked). Dogs are allowed on some EuroNight services, but must be accompanied by their owner.

Travelers can expect a range of amenities on the trip, including Wi-Fi and power outlets at every seat. Most sleeping compartments are ensuite, and the train’s staff is on hand to help you with anything else you might need.

The new Nightjet train runs three times a week between Paris and Berlin, departing on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings to arrive in Berlin the following morning at breakfast time. It is joined by the European Sleeper service, which operates three nights a week between Brussels and Amsterdam and also continues to Berlin.

Both routes will see an additional service from SJ, which was recently granted permission to operate its night train to Hamburg from Stockholm via Copenhagen and Odense. It will join the existing Berlin-Hamburg train and provide a variety of sleeping cabins as well as seats in standard class.

On all EuroNight services, there is no check-in before boarding; you just show your ticket or pass to the steward at the entrance to the train. He or she will check your reservation and direct you to your compartment, where you can relax. Once the train is underway, the steward will come round for regular ticket inspections.

Whether you are traveling to or from Berlin or Hamburg, booking your overnight journey on an Ecoline train is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while enjoying Europe’s beautiful landscapes. Moreover, the train emits up to 30x less CO2 than the same trip made by plane or car. Book your seat or sleeping cabin online and look forward to an amazing rail adventure.

Brussels to Cologne

Travel from Brussels to Cologne in a night train and save on hotel costs. Many EuroNight Express trains have sleeping cabins, while others offer couchettes and regular seated accommodation. If you have a rail pass you can book reservations online before boarding. The process varies between train companies and ticket agents, so check our detailed guides for each route.

You can take a direct train from Brussels to Cologne or choose a journey with a changeover, as shown in the map below. Direct services are marked ‘Direct’, while those with a connection are labeled ‘Connection’.

There are several departures each day, with the first train leaving Brussels around 06:23 and the last departing at 20:25. The journey takes just over 1 hour and 47 minutes, covering a distance of about 185 kilometres.

The train from Cologne to Brussels passes through Liege and Aachen before arriving at Koln Hauptbahnhof (Cologne Central Station), a major train hub that connects to cities throughout Germany. Located within walking distance of the city’s celebrated cathedral and popular Sudstadt area, it also serves as a convenient gateway for further travel in Central and Eastern Europe.

Depending on your selected service, you’ll arrive at Cologne around 04:25, 08:35 or 11:25 the following day. If you booked a sleeper, the steward will prepare your cabin for the night and hand over your keys. Then you’ll have the remainder of the day to enjoy all that this fun-loving city has to offer.

Most EuroNight trains have a restaurant car where you can order meals or snacks. Some also have vending machines and cafe-bars. ICEs and some EuroCity trains have power sockets at all seats, and both come with onboard Wi-Fi and luggage storage without weight restrictions.

On the EC9 from Cologne to Basel and Zurich, you can enjoy the pleasure of sitting in a Swiss 1st class panorama car speeding along the Rhine – simply add a seat reservation when booking. For details on how to book and the benefits of doing so, see our advice on ‘Rail Trips Down the Rhine’.

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