Get Inspired for 2024: 9 European Night Train Adventures to Explore

Train adventures in Paris

Paris, France to Vienna, Austria

Frequency: Tri-Weekly in Both Directions

Duration: Approximately 14 Hours

Embarking each Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday night from Paris’ Gare de l’Est station is the Austrian-run OEBB NightJet service on a full-night journey to Austria’s modern Hauptbahnhof. This new and lengthy sleeper route leaves at 8pm, giving passengers the opportunity for some outdoor sightseeing (during summer) before calling it a night. Its main features coincide with the renowned Orient Express line, starting from France and progressing through Germany until reaching its destination in Austria. As you pass by Strasbourg’s stately cathedral into Germany, Stuttgart and Munich will also be visited before entering and cruising across Austria. While the sunrise in Vie provides enough time to savor, your complimentary Kaiser rolls with jam and coffee before finally arriving at Hanspruforst station.

London, England to Fort William, Scotland

Frequency: Mon – Fri, Sun

Approximate duration: 13.5 hours

Great Britain recently invested in its overnight services, with upgrades to both of its sleeper trains. The Night Riviera heads south from London’s Paddington Station through the countryside until it reaches Penzance in Cornwall. But the Caledonian Sleeper holds a special place in British hearts, departing from Euston Station each evening and making stops at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, and Fort William. For those willing to take a journey on the rails overnight, the Fort William service is particularly spectacular; sleepy travelers awake to views of the beautiful Highland landscape and arrive refreshed at their destination. These two sleeper trains are helping to retain the longstanding charm of luxury train travel for British citizens making for memories that last a lifetime.

Berlin, Germany to Stockholm, Sweden

Frequency: nightly during summer

Approximate duration: 14 hours

The Berlin-Stockholm night train service, called Snalltaget, operates between the two capital cities from April 7 to September 25, passing through Hamburg, Denmark, and the Öresund Bridge to reach Malmö. The new route replaces the previous one, which involved a ferry across the Baltic Sea, offering a smoother journey.

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Due to the growing popularity of rail travel in Sweden, inspired by Greta Thunberg’s “flight shame” movement, the Swedish government is planning to launch more night trains. This includes a Stockholm-Hamburg night service from Swedish Railways and a Göteborg-Copenhagen-Berlin line from Danish carrier DSB. For travelers looking for an adventure that doesn’t require any air travel, the options are increasing, and they keep getting better!

Trondheim, Norway to Bodø, Norway

Train adventures in Norway

Frequency: daily

Approximate duration: 10 hours

Traveling on Norwegian railways is an experience like no other, with stunning views that beg to be enjoyed. However, when it comes to the 10-hour journey between Trondheim and Bodø, opting for the night train may be the best idea as it can guarantee you a berth in this otherwise expensive country. During summer months, you don’t even have to miss out on the scenery, as long days will mean you won’t be forced to travel in darkness. Taking a night train also ensures that you can make use of the comfortable seating and facilities offered onboard these services. So whether you want to take in the views or relax, Trondheim to Bodø’s nightly rail service offers something for everyone.

Prague, Czech Republic to Kraków, Poland

Frequency: daily

Approximate duration: 8 hours

Revered for its historic cities, Central Europe is filled with an abundance of coveted destinations. Whether by train or car, the journey between Prague in the Czech Republic and Kraków in Poland should be at the top of any traveler’s itinerary. At an approximate eight-hour trek, travelers board a comfortable train every day to venture through the lovely rolling hills of Czechia. With plenty of private and shared compartments available, visitors can sleep while they sail and then wake excited to explore the royal castles, majestic squares, and bustling cellar bars of Kraków. Don’t forget to sample delicious Polish lager!

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Budapest, Hungary to Split, Croatia

Frequency: daily during the summer season (Jun-Sep)

Approximate duration: 14 hours

With a stunning view of the Keleti Station, Budapest is the perfect launchpad to experience an amazing 14 hours journey to Split, Croatia. The journey takes passengers through Hungary’s Lake Balaton and Zagreb, Croatia’s underrated capital. On arrival in Split, travelers will find themselves only a stone’s throw away from the port and easily able to take trips to Brač, Hvar, and many other wonderful sunny Adriatic islands. This route runs daily during the summer season (June to September), providing an action-packed way of experiencing these majestic countries.

Rome, Italy to Venice, Italy

Train adventure in Rome

Frequency: daily

Approximate duration: 7 hours

The InterCityNotte (ICN) rails of Italy allow travelers to make an unforgettable journey from Rome, Italy, to Venice, Italy. Every evening, the sleeper carriage departs from Roma Termini, taking passengers on a scenic exposure of Lazio, Umbria, and Tuscany. After arriving at Mestre station, travelers proceed across a lagoon causeway to Venice for a breathtaking experience upon arriving at Santa Lucia station in time for the Venetian dawn. This unique excursion discloses rustic scenery and great cultural experiences for an adventure that will ever be remembered.

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