night train

Mar 29th, 2002, 03:24 PM
  #1  
Ginny
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
night train

We are considering traveling by night train from Budapest to Krakow & 4 days later from Krakow to Prague.I Would be interested in hearing about anyone's experience with the night trains. Did you feel safe, was it comfortable,& do you recommend it?
 
Mar 29th, 2002, 04:35 PM
  #2  
Debora
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ginny

In July 2000 we went to Europe and had some experience with night trains. We went from Paris to Berlim, in a couchette por 6 pax, but in the end was only me, my husband, and a parisian couple. It was safe - but we kept values and cash with us; comfortable but not too much. Clean sheets and pillows. We also went from Warsaw to Prague, and the train was worse than the previous one. In our cabin (it was a private one, just for two) there was a hole in the end of the bed and beginning of the wall. The sheets and pillows were worn out, but were clean. The worst part was being wake up at 2 or 3 AM to show passports and answer questions (in the Polish side of the border). As you can see, overnight trains can be good or not so good, but I strongly recomend it. Is a wonderful transport and you save time when traveling big distances. In order for you not to worry, have your values and cash with you, wear comfortable clothes (if you are in aprivate cabin you can change for pajamas, but if you are in a couchette with others it's a little difficult) to sleep with them, eat early because sometimes the snack bar or dinner car runs out of food. I would say that trains in new tourist destinations such as Prague, Budapest and Poland are not the same as in France, Germany, and so on, but you can use them without fear. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Have a good trip.

Debora
 
Mar 29th, 2002, 06:31 PM
  #3  
David
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'm one of the people who doesn't like overnight trains. Light sleeper, prone to motion sickness, want my shower in the morning.

I plan my vacations around transportation. Much more than 3 hours of travel time in Europe is wasting vacation time for me. My next trip to France in April I picked Troyes, Chaumont and Paris because the most I travel in one day is 3 hours and that's by train so I can still have a kir royale with breakfast before I depart.
 
Mar 29th, 2002, 10:19 PM
  #4  
Ben Haines
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I am an enthusiast for night trains. They are safe and comfortable, and I recommend them. It is true that they will wake you at frontiers to read your passport, but you stay in bed, and they do not say much.

You may know that your times are these.

Cracovia Express, with restaurant car. Board from 2030, leave Budapest Keleti 2105, frontiers at 0017 to 0035 and at 0228 to 0315, reach Krakow Glowny 0744. That station has pickpockets, so it is a good idea to go from the platform by lift straight up to the station roof, and there take any taxi that has a name and a phone number written on it (anonymous taxis may cheat you). If you tell the driver you want a "Bankautomat" (an ATM) you can stop on the way to draw cash: otherwise you can hold the cab at the hotel while you change cash at the desk.

Silesia Express. Krakow Glowny 2220, frontier 0005 to 0030 and 0040 to 0140, Prague Hlavni 0731. Prague Hlavny, too, has pickpockets, so this time you can walk straight to the taxi rank (on the road) for a labelled taxi to the hotel.

I give the times trains are due to stand at frontiers. Naturally, you are not awake all that time - just five minutes each country. In ten years time, with entry into the European Union, we shall all stay asleep, as in western Europe now.

We are safe because the conductor locks the outer doors of his or her car, while passengers use the fixed lock and chain to secure their own compartment doors.

With the e-mail copy of this minute I m attaching a note I keep on disc and at http://www.twenj.net/tipsnighttrains.htm on getting the best out of sleepers and couchettes.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London
 
Mar 29th, 2002, 10:23 PM
  #5  
Ben Haines
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I missed a point. I think it safest to carry on me, on the train, only needful valuables like passport, ticket, a little cash, and a credit card, and to have all else in a brown envelope wrapped in a dirty shirt in the middle of my biggest bag. Then before I leave the train I move the passport, too, to the big bag, and take it out at the next hotel reception.

Ben Haines
 
Mar 30th, 2002, 08:51 AM
  #6  
traveler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I haven't been on the night trains you mention. I would only add that when traveling in former Soviet block countries,the conditions have not been of the same standard as Western European countries. I don't mean to sound negative, I have loved visiting Prague, Budapest etc. It takes many years to re-build. I have had to be most watchful of pick pockets, and taxi rip-offs in these places. The upside is that they are incredibly inexpensive to travel within, the people are incredible and the sights magnificant. I travel solo a lot and wouldn't take a night train within these countries. With a companion I wouldn't be so skittish, but I'd probably pay the extra for a cabin just for 2.
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:05 PM.