Night train advice

Apr 7th, 2015, 10:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 25
Night train advice

Hi, all. A friend is planning an 11-day trip to Europe this coming July - she is starting in London and her itinerary, as well as the city she'll return to the US from, is open. She'd like to do all of her travelling via the night trains, but the schedules and connections are a bit complicated. Is there anyone with experience with this that can offer some suggestions/advice on a route/itinerary? She'll be purchasing the Eurorail pass before she leaves the US. Thanks in advance for your input!
Nylle is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Given the high speed trains that criss-cross many of the countries, I question traveling by night train – leaving at midnight and arriving at six is not the way to get a good night's rest. Or is this a way of saving hotel costs? As for the Eurorail pass, it might be or might not be worthwhile, depending on the itinerary the person plans to follow. 11 days limits the amount of traveling, unless the individual plans a "if this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium" type of travel. Many single train tickets are available at steep discounts if ordered 3 months in advance.
Michael is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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Depending on where she is going there may not BE any night trains, as trains have gotten so much faster the need for night trains has diminished.

Before she commits to a pass she should check the cost of point-to-point tickets bought in advance, although if her trip is really unplanned that won't work.

I have done quite a lot of night trains. I always book a berth in a couchette rather than sitting up all night (not sure you can even do that these days).

She should spend a lot of time on this site: and use for schedules.

Her itinerary, especially for such a short trip, should be determined by her interests, not the availability of night trains!!!
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 11:10 AM
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Does she know anything about distances in Europe? A night train can take you a very long ways--she would be crisscrossing all across Europe. Why on earth wouldn't she just use regular day trains? Does she know that all night trains require a reservation and a supplemental fee?

Use this map to determine distances:
happytourist is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 11:44 AM
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She needs to know where she is traveling before she can even consider taking night trains. There are no night trans between many cities, and on some routes, while there may be night trains -- they could be horrible connections with transfers in the middle of the night and little or no sleep.

Plus - if she is starting in London and only has 11 days she likely won't be covering all that much territory, so a pass may not be as economical as buying regular point-to-point tickets.
janisj is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,175
She certainly needs to have an idea on where she is going - is she going to Paris after London - no night train needed. There are places she could go on to from Paris by night train but she really doesn't have that much time. I have traveled quite a bit by night train - I enjoy it for about one transfer a trip. Also for many trips if you plan ahead and purchase tickets ahead of time, it will be a much better deal than a railpass. But step one has got to be where is she going?? even if it is London and then maybe two different options it would be easier to have an intelligent conversation than this inquiry.
suec1 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
What night trains does she envision taking - like janis says they do not run between every city and with the advent of high-speed trains there are fewer and fewer and is she a light sleeper - if so there is always a modicum of noise on night trains and if in a multi-person compartment the ubiqutious snorer.

Private compartments are available but at a huge huge cost over say a place in a multi-person couchette.

Anyway it is hard to imagine a Eurailpass being cost-effective in 11 days unless she is literally on the train night and day.

For lots of good stuff on European trains and overnight trains - great informative sites:; and

What is her hypothetical itinerary - if she has none well it sounds like she may not...
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
She'd like to do all of her travelling via the night trains>

It is possible and once long ago in my youth I rode night trains solely for about a month - to save money and time and loved each and every one but I would never do that at my age now - how old is your friend?

Such a night train trip would be something like:

Paris to Venice
Venice to Rome (dumpy domestic night train leaving late and arriving really early_
Rome to Vienna
Vienna to Zurich
Zurich to Amsterdam
Amsterdam to Munich
Munich to Berlin

Possible but...
PalenQ is offline  
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