City Night Line from Paris to Munich

May 7th, 2013, 05:51 AM
  #1  
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City Night Line from Paris to Munich

Hello

I'm looking to take a train from Paris to Munich and am a bit confused on what I am finding on DB Bahn.com. I will be travelling with my 70 year old mother and my 12 & 13 year old children who have never been to Europe or travelled by train. My daughter is a bit of a worry wort so I want to make sure that she feels safe if we're travelling at night. I see a selection for a 4 person Day couch and a selection for 4 persons in a 4-person berth couchette (I have selected 1st class travel) and then there are sleeper options. Can someone help me understand the difference between the day couch, the couchette and the sleeper.

Also, if you were me, would you go with the CNL or would you take the TGV during the day given my daughter's fears? The problem with the day is that it gets us to Munich late and ultimately we need to transfer to Innsbruck which is not convenient for family to pick us up.

Thanks,
Colleen
eureka_16 is offline  
May 7th, 2013, 07:39 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi Colleen,
We have taken the CNL between Paris and Munich many times.
Take a look at www.seat61.com/citynightline.htm for a complete description and photos of the compartments.
You do not want the day coach. This is basically a seat, in an unlocked compartment and you will spend the night sitting up.
Sleeper compartments are closed/lockable 1 ,2 or 3 bed compartments. They have a wash basin and you can pay extra for a little shower/toilet room. There is an attendant on duty in the cars.
I think that what you want is the 4 person couchette. This is a closed/lockable compartment with 4 bunks.
There really isn't a difference in 1st/2nd class on this train (except for the day coach). The compartments do not differ in class. The other difference is in the light breakfast they serve the sleeper compartments. Nothing that you can't miss, a cup of coffee/tea and a roll basically.

I think that you should take the sleeper train. It is very safe and a fun experience . You do lock the door from the inside and it cannot be opened by anyone (including train personnel) from the outside.
The bathroom is at the end of the corridor so you would accompany your daughter down there . The train attendant will collect your passports at the start of the journey and return them to you before arrival the next morning.


You would want to pack some snacks and drinks to have a little picnic in your compartment.
My kids were a little apprehensive when they first did the ride but it is quite an adventure.
Goldens is offline  
May 7th, 2013, 07:51 AM
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I rode lots of overnight trains when my son was young and he always thought it to be a great adventure - a great experience for kids. Goldens has given you all the info and my experiences echo what he/she says exactly.

For lots of great info on European trains and overnight trains I always spotlight these IMO fantastic sites - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Is this the only train trip you will be doing? If doing more in Germany then look at the France-Germany railpass that lets you hop on virtually any train anytime in Germany - but to make it pay you'd have to be riding several trains of an hour or more.
PalenQ is offline  
May 7th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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Thanks Golden and PalenQ.

PalenQ - this is likely the only train ride in Germany however we will be travelling by train from Innsbruck to Rome, Venice, and possibly Pompeii and Pisa, back to Innsbruck so I am considering a railpass for Austria and Italy. Those legs are next on my list of things to do.
eureka_16 is offline  
May 7th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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City Night Line from Paris to Munich
Posted by: eureka_16 on May 7, 13
I'm looking to take a train from Paris to Munich and am a bit confused


I haven't been on that particular night train but I've been on plenty of others. Here is generally what you can expect, http://tinyurl.com/y57vft. It's a great way to travel. The bonus features are that night trains save a day of your trip and the cost of a night in a hotel. I think your kids will love it. Mother will probably prefer a lower bunk unless she is good on ladders.
spaarne is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 02:26 AM
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Don't buy a pass.

Innsbruck-Rome book Innsbruck-Verona from €19 at www.oebb.at then book Verona-Rome from €19 at www.trenitalia.com, allowing at least 45 min in Verona to change, just in case of any delay.

In fact, I'd go Innsbruck to Venice on the direct train round about 13:00, from €39 booked at www.oebb.at

Then Venice Santa Lucia to Rome booked from €19 at www.trenitalia.com.

Do you REALLY want a €70-per-day railpass plus €10 passholder reservation fee to make a journey which you could easily pre-book for €19 or €29 or €39 including reservation online with zero fees, printing your own ticket??
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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- this is likely the only train ride in Germany however we will be travelling by train from Innsbruck to Rome, Venice, and possibly Pompeii and Pisa, back to Innsbruck so I am considering a railpass for Austria and Italy.>

I do not believe there is any railpass that includes both Austria and Italy - yes there are passes for each country but you are not traveling enough in either to make them pay off - especially in Italy because of the 10 euro surcharges.

Now do not expect to easily be able to get the 19 euro fares Man in Seat 61 constantly hypes like a used car salesman but even normal fares would be cheaper than a pass.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 11:56 AM
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Unsure if this reply will make this topic pop up to the top of the list for responses - but I am struggling with the DBahn site for this same itinerary. I've tried paying with a US issued credit card (VISA), spoke with my bank, confirmed the purchase and I am getting this error:

"Dear Customer,

An error occurred during the booking process for the night train. Please try again later.
The error has been recorded. We apologise for any inconvenience."

Most recently, I just tried with PayPal and got the same error message. Any feedback?

The RailEurope "agency" line listed on DBahn.com said typically they only accept European cards. Wondering what to do! I want to purchase at the "special" lower price. Many thanks.
ckwmn is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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See http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/. Phone them. Byron or Linda should be able to help you.
spaarne is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 12:49 PM
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A few other things you should be prepared for. You need to get to the train station well ahead of time, be prepared to board expeditiously (not rushing, but not dilly dallying either), and most of all BE FLEXIBLE. We took a night train once. The attendant took our passports -- I believe because we would be doing a border crossing overnight), which made me extremely nervous. While the compartment was very comfortable, we heard many bumps in the night and could tell that we had one "longish" stop along the way. The next morning, we rose early and got dressed. I went out to get our passports so that I wouldn't forget them (and was so nervous to have them out of our sight even for a short time). The attendant asked if we were ready for breakfast. The next thing we knew there was a commotion in the hallway. We were all asked to gather our things and go across the platform to change trains in five minutes as our train had mechanical difficulties. We know that there were people that were left behind. Some were not even awake yet!

Anyway, in our many years of train travel, we've learned that you have to be prepared for anything
Leburta is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 03:19 PM
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Anyway, in our many years of train travel, we've learned that you have to be prepared for anything>

ditto to that! One night train from Amsterdam to Munich I was roused from my couchette by Geman customs police - far after the German border and was taken to the baggage car - at 3 am - and they emptied every little thing on the floor and looked at every little thing - when they saw I had nothing they did not even say sorry or thank you but just left me there with my belonging strewn all about - happening in Germany I had (false) ideas of the Third Reich.

That said like Leburta I have taken zillions of trains for years and hundreds literally of night trains and have never even been inspected at borders before - the conductor will usually take your passports if crossing borders like Leburta says - they say so Customs officials if they come on the train - and in "borderless" Europe they often IME do - can then inspect passports without waking you up.

they always return the passports promptly though unnervingly at times just before your arrival.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 03:47 PM
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For obvious reason, the Amsterdam-Munich night train is much more often subject to Customs inspections than the Paris-Munich night train ;-)
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 12:25 PM
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Responding to ckwmn and the DBahn message..."Dear Customer,
An error occurred during the booking process for the night train..." I had the same problem trying to book Night Line from Paris to Munich and tried everything. I had read you can not book prior to 90 days before travel, so I waited for that day to come went through the whole booking process and on final submit continually got that message. I called and emailed around trying to get an answer, and someone told me to wait until 60 days prior to travel, but I kept at it daily and about 65 days prior to travel date it let me complete the transaction. American credit card was no problem. We got one of the DBahn "spezial" rates for our sleeper compartment which saves 2-3 hundred euros compared to the "normalpreis" so it's worth digging for the rate daily if necessary. I never did get an answer on what the problem was. As efficiently as the trains run in Europe, they don't seem to having the booking part as smooth for some of the international routes.
Jim_G is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 01:36 PM
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Paris to Munich? Three weeks ago we took the same trip with a change in Mannheim. I would not bother with the night train and yes, I know it saves you a night in a hotel and yes, CNL services are great but for this route I would not bother. It is an easy daytrip IMO.
Dukey1 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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Dukey
I am unclear about your trip. Are you saying that they woke you up in your sleeper compartment at 2:00 to change trains in Mannheim? That would be bizarre and certainly not how the Night Line train normally runs the route. We did look at taking the 15:25 TGV from Paris. That would have meant leaving Paris 5 hours earlier (and who wants to leave Paris earlier?), and arriving Munich at 21:25 on the last weekend of Oktoberfest. So, we would have taken a beating on the hotel rates, for little use of the hotel, as we are on to Salzburg in a car the next morning. For us the Night Line is a perfect fit even if somehow we are moved at 2 in the morning, which I don't think will occur.
Jim_G is offline  
Aug 7th, 2014, 08:44 AM
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Why is the wagon lit conductor holding passports between France and Germany? Or are people referring to what used to be.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 7th, 2014, 08:46 AM
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Trains don;t always run exactly as expected.

We took the train from Berlin to Prague some years ago (but during the day)and there were not supposed to be any changes. but about 3 hours into the trip - all of a sudden we had to switch trains. Not sure if it was an equipment issue or what - and we could not find anyone to ask.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 7th, 2014, 09:11 AM
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We took the CNL from Amsterdam to Prague....it all went smoothly, no issues, and was a fun experience. We did book the 6 person couchette for the 4 of us, having read that you got slightly more room in those compartments. CNL is a separate company from dbahn, though, even though it is booked on that site. It wasn't available to book until 30 days out...I kept getting the error response, also, and then was told that the tracks were under construction. I kept trying daily and finally it all went through. We would do it again on another trip!!!
dodi66 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2014, 11:04 AM
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We did book the 6 person couchette for the 4 of us, having read that you got slightly more room in those compartments>

curious as to how a compartment I have always seen was the same size with 6 people in it could have more room than one with 4 people in it.

I have never heard the 4- or 6-person compartments were difference sizes - especially since to make a 4-person compartment they just do not fold down the middle bed IME so they can use for either 4 or 6 berth ones. Maybe that train is different now?
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 7th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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Seems CityNightLIner (CNL) trains are now part of the Deutsche Bahn group - may be a company within a company but is owned by DB if Wikipedia is correct:

PalenQ is offline  

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