Cathedral & main square, Krakow, Poland.  Easy to reach by train from London..!

UK to Poland without flying: Main square, Krakow

UK to Poland by train

It's easy to travel from the UK to Poland by train.  Travel from London to Berlin by Eurostar & high-speed train on day 1, stay overnight, then take an air-conditioned express from Berlin to Warsaw, Krakow or Gdansk on day 2.  London-Brussels from £78 return, Brussels-Warsaw or Brussels-Krakow from €46.90 each way.  The train journey from London to Poland is safe and comfortable, with a chance to see Berlin on the way.  This page explains all you need to know.

Train times, fares & tickets

small bullet point  London to Warsaw & Poznan

small bullet point  London to Krakow & Katowice

small bullet point  London to Oswiecim (Auschwitz)

small bullet point  London to Łσdź

small bullet point  London to Wroclaw

small bullet point  London to Szczecin, Gdansk, Gdynia

Route map:  UK to Poland by train

Route map, London to Poland by train

small bullet point  London to Zakopane & the Tatra mountains

small bullet point  London & Cambridge to Poland by ferry from Harwich

small bullet point  UK to Poland by ferry from Hull or Newcastle

small bullet point  Starting from other UK towns & cities

International trains to/from Poland

small bullet point  Trains from other European cities to Poland

small bullet point  Trains from Warsaw to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Krakow to other European cities

Other useful information

small bullet point  Useful country information: currency, dial code...

small bullet point  Warsaw Centralna station information

small bullet point  Krakow Glowny station information

small bullet point  Hotels in Poland - suggested places to stay

small bullet point  Custom-made holidays to Poland by train

small bullet point  How to buy train tickets within Poland

small bullet point  Luggage & left luggage

small bullet point  Taking bikes    Taking a dog 

small bullet point  General European train travel information

small bullet point  Insurance, mobile data, VPN & other tips

Route map

Route map, London to Poland by train

Useful country information

Train operator in Poland:

PKP (Polskie Koleje Panstwowe), for express trains within & from Poland see www.intercity.pl which also does online booking for domestic Polish express trains.  To check train times for all Polish routes I recommend rozklad.sitkol.pl/bin/query.exe/en To book international trains starting in Poland contact reliable Polish ticket agency www.polrail.com.  All-Europe online train times

 

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

 

+48

Currency:

£1 = 4.9 zlotys, €1 = 4.3 zlotys, approx.  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.poland.travel, www.poland.pl    Recommended guidebooks

Hotels in Poland:

Poland hotel search    Backpacker hostels

Visas:

UK citizens don't need a visa to visit Poland.

Page last updated:

28 November 2023.  Train times valid 10 December 2023 to 14 December 2024.


London to Warsaw & Poznan

There are several good options for travelling from London to Warsaw by train, by all means go out one way and back another:


Option 1, London to Warsaw using the European Sleeper

This is the fastest, most time-effective journey, using the thrice-weekly Brussels-Berlin European Sleeper which launched on 26 May 2023.  London to Warsaw in under 24 hours!

London ► Warsaw on Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Warsaw ► London on Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Berlin by European Sleeper

Launched by two sleeper-loving entrepreneurs in May 2023, the European Sleeper has a sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, couchette cars with 4 and 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in the fare in sleepers & couchettes. Light snacks and drinks can be ordered from the attendant, but there's no restaurant car so bring a picnic and maybe a bottle of wine!  More information about European SleeperBerlin Hbf station guide.

Sleeping-car

Berlin to Brussels by European Sleeper.  This is the inaugural train about to leave Brussels Midi on 26 May 2023. Click the interior photos for larger images.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   4 or 6 berth couchette compartment

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a single.

 

Couchettes, can be sold as 4 or 6 bunk.

3. Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train

These comfortable air-conditioned trains have a restaurant car, treat yourself to lunch.  More information about these EuroCity trainsWarsaw Centralna station guide.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

A Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity train on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class, some like this, some in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


Option 2, London to Warsaw using the Brussels-Berlin Nightjet

Similar in time & convenience to option 1, but using the new Brussels-Berlin Nightjet sleeper train which starts running 3 days a week from 10 December 2023.  The Nightjet has some sleepers with en suite toilet & shower, and is due to become daily from autumn 2024.

London ► Warsaw Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

Warsaw ► London Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Brussels to Berlin

 by Nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

 

 3. Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity

 From €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €37.90 each way in 1st class.

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.  On Nightjet & EuroCity, return fares are twice the one-way fare.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ΦBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet.  Above, a Nightjet sleeper at Brussels Midi.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

3. Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train

These comfortable air-conditioned trains have a restaurant car, treat yourself to lunch.  More information about these EuroCity trainsWarsaw Centralna station guide.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

A Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity train on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class, some like this, some in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


Option 3, London to Warsaw with overnight stop in Brussels

If you prefer daytime trains and hotels to sleepers, choose this option or option 4.  Leave London after the end of the working day (ideal if you're travelling from the west country, north of England, Wales or Scotland), stay overnight in Brussels, then enjoy a chill-out trip across Europe from Belgium to Poland next day - with free WiFi and dinner and some beers in a Polish restaurant car to look forward to.  What's not to like?

This option runs from London to Warsaw daily except Saturdays, from Warsaw to London daily except Sundays.

London ► Warsaw

Warsaw ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

Back to top


Option 4, London to Warsaw with overnight stop in Berlin.

The same route and same daytime trains as option 3, but with the overnight stop in Berlin.  That means it's not quite as time-effective, but it breaks up the trip nicely and there are no early starts or late arrivals.  There's also the chance to stop off in Berlin!  Departures are daily.

London ► Warsaw

Warsaw ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Another way to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

Have your trip arranged as a package

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Cologne by ICE3

Germany's superb ICEs have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  50 minutes after leaving Brussels the ICE calls at Liθge, where you can admire the impressive station designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava.  As you approach Cologne Hbf you'll see the twin towers of Cologne Cathedral on the right, next to the station.  More information about ICE3 Brussels Midi station guideCologne Hbf station guide.

ICE3M to Cologne & Frankfurt, boarding at Brussels Midi

An ICE3M to Cologne at Brussels Midi.  More about ICE trains Advice on changing trains in Brussels.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

3. Cologne to Berlin by ICE2

ICE2 trains have a restaurant car, bar car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi. In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  Immediately after leaving Cologne Hbf, the train crosses the Hohenzollern bridge over the Rhine.  It passes through the industrial Ruhr via Wuppertal & Hamm.  After leaving Hannover, the train passes non-stop through Wolfsburg - look out for the original Volkswagen factory on the left, built in 1938.  The train then travels at up to 280 km/h (174 mph) on the high-speed line to Berlin Hbf, where it arrives at the low-level platforms.  More information about ICE2Cologne Hbf station guide Berlin Hbf station guide.

ICE second class   High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

 

An ICE2 at Berlin Hbf.

ICE2 restaurant car   ICE2 bar car

Restaurant car.  Larger photo.

 

Bar car.  Larger photo.

ICE2 at Berlin   ICE first class

Boarding an ICE2 at Berlin Hbf.

 

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

4. Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train

These comfortable air-conditioned trains have a restaurant car.  See the Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity page for more photos, tips & information.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

A Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity train on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class, some like this, some in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


London to Krakow & Katowice

The fastest & cheapest way from London to Krakow or Katowice is via Berlin, as in options 1 & 2 below.  Alternatively, it can be cheaper and only a bit longer to travel via Prague, so why not combine the two great cities of Prague & Krakow in one flight-free trip?  By all means go out one way and back another.  If you also want to visit the museum at Auschwitz, or in Polish, Oswiecim, see here.


Option 1, London to Krakow using the European Sleeper

This is the fastest, most time-effective journey, using the new thrice-weekly Brussels-Berlin European Sleeper which launched on 26 May 2023.  London to Krakow in a little over 24 hours!

London ► Krakow on Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Krakow ► London on Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Berlin by European Sleeper

Launched by two sleeper-loving entrepreneurs in May 2023, the European Sleeper has a sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, couchette cars with 4 and 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in the fare in sleepers & couchettes. Light snacks and drinks can be ordered from the attendant, but there's no restaurant car so bring a picnic and maybe a bottle of wine!  More about European SleeperBerlin Hbf station guide.

Sleeping-car

Berlin to Brussels by European Sleeper.  This is the inaugural train about to leave Brussels Midi on 26 May 2023. Click the interior photos for larger images.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   4 or 6 berth couchette compartment

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a single.

 

Couchettes, can be sold as 4 or 6 bunk.

3. Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel

This comfortable air-conditioned train has a restaurant car, treat yourself to lunch and a beer or two.  More about these EuroCity trains Krakow Glowny station guide.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

The Berlin-Krakow Wawel, boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf with this 1st class car at the rear.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class is open-plan on the Wawel.

 

2nd class. Some cars are open-plan like this.

2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Other 2nd class cars have compartments like this, with side corridor & 6-seat compartments.  Click images for larger photos.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  A steward will take your order.  Larger photo.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


Option 2, London to Krakow using the Brussels-Berlin Nightjet

Similar in time & convenience to option 1, but using the new Brussels-Berlin Nightjet sleeper train which starts running 3 days a week from 10 December 2023.  The Nightjet has some sleepers with en suite toilet & shower, and is due to become daily from autumn 2024.

London ► Krakow Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

Krakow ► London Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Brussels to Berlin

 by Nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

 

 3. Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity

 From €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €37.90 each way in 1st class.

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.  On Nightjet & EuroCity, return fares are twice the one-way fare.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ΦBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet.  Above, a Nightjet sleeper at Brussels Midi.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

3. Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel

This comfortable air-conditioned train has a restaurant car, treat yourself to lunch and a beer or two.  More information about these EuroCity trains Krakow Glowny station guide.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

The Berlin-Krakow Wawel, boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf with this 1st class car at the rear.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class is open-plan on the Wawel.

 

2nd class. Some cars are open-plan like this.

2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Other 2nd class cars have compartments like this, with side corridor & 6-seat compartments.  Click images for larger photos.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  A steward will take your order.  Larger photo.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


Option 3, London to Krakow with overnight stop in Brussels

If you prefer daytime trains and hotels to sleepers, choose either this option or option 4.  Leave London after the end of the working day (ideal if you're travelling from the west country, north of England, Wales or Scotland), stay overnight in Brussels, then enjoy a chill-out trip across Europe from Belgium to Poland next day - with free WiFi and dinner and some beers in a Polish restaurant car to look forward to.  What's not to like?

London ► Krakow

Krakow ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.  Brussels Midi station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Cologne by ICE3

Germany's superb ICEs have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  50 minutes after leaving Brussels the ICE calls at Liθge, where you can admire the impressive station designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava.  As you approach Cologne Hbf you'll see the twin towers of Cologne Cathedral on the right, next to the station.  More information about ICE3 Brussels Midi station guideCologne Hbf station guide.

ICE3M to Cologne & Frankfurt, boarding at Brussels Midi

An ICE3M to Cologne at Brussels Midi.  More information about ICE Advice on changing trains in Brussels.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

3. Cologne to Berlin by ICE2

ICE2 trains have a restaurant car, bar car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi. In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  Immediately after leaving Cologne Hbf, the train crosses the Hohenzollern bridge over the Rhine.  It passes through the industrial Ruhr via Wuppertal & Hamm.  After leaving Hannover, the train passes non-stop through Wolfsburg - look out for the original Volkswagen factory on the left, built in 1938.  The train then travels at up to 280 km/h (174 mph) on the high-speed line to Berlin Hbf, where it arrives at the low-level platforms.  More information about ICE2Cologne Hbf station guide Berlin Hbf station guide.

ICE second class   High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

 

An ICE2 at Berlin Hbf.

ICE2 restaurant car   ICE2 bar car

Restaurant car.  Larger photo.

 

Bar car.  Larger photo.

ICE2 at Berlin   ICE first class

Boarding an ICE2 at Berlin Hbf.

 

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

4. Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Oder

This comfortable air-conditioned train has a restaurant car.  See the Berlin-Poland EuroCity page for more photos, tips & information.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

A Berlin-Krakow EuroCity train, boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.  Yellow stripe above the windows = 1st class.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class open-plan seats.

 

2nd class. Some cars are open-plan like this.

2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Other 2nd class cars have compartments like this, with side corridor & 6-seat compartments.  Click images for larger photos.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  A steward will take your order.  Larger photo.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


Option 4, London to Krakow with overnight stop in Berlin

The same route and same daytime trains as option 3, but with the overnight stop in Berlin.  That means it's not quite as time-effective, but it breaks up the trip nicely and there are no early starts or late arrivals.  There's also the chance to stop off in Berlin!  Departures are daily.

London ► Krakow

Krakow ► London

How much does it cost?

  • London to Brussels by Eurostar starts at £52 one-way or £78 return in standard class, £97 one-way, £140 return standard premier (1st class).

  • Brussels to Berlin starts at €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €69.90 each way in 1st class.

  • Berlin to Krakow starts at €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €39.90 each way in 1st class.

  • Fares are dynamic like air fares, so for the cheapest prices book early and avoid busy times such as Fridays or Sunday afternoons.

How to buy tickets

  • Buy tickets at www.raileurope.com This allows you to book all your tickets together in one place.

    Anyone from any country can use www.raileurope.com, in plain English, international credit cards accepted and fares shown in multiple currencies. There's a small booking fee.

    First book your ticket from London to Berlin.  If you're returning, book London to Berlin as a round trip because Eurostar return fares are significantly cheaper than two one-ways.  Add this to your basket.  Then book from Berlin to Krakow one-way for the following day, add to basket, and (if returning) book from Krakow to Berlin one way for the day prior to your Berlin-London journey, add this to your basket and check out.

    You print your own ticket, or you can load the Eurostar ticket into the Eurostar app, and show the DB ticket on your laptop or phone.

  • When does booking open?

    Booking for Eurostar opens up to 6 months ahead, sometimes more.  Onward trains to Germany open up to 6 months ahead, often less when the mid-December timetable change intervenes. Booking for trains between Berlin & Poland only opens 60 days ahead.  I recommend waiting until your trains are open for booking at least as far as Berlin before committing to a non-refundable Eurostar ticket.  More about when booking opens.

  • Booking tips

    Fares are dynamic like air fares, so book early for the cheapest prices and avoid busy days such as Fridays or Sunday afternoons.

    After booking you can use the Eurostar Manage Booking system to select an exact seat on Eurostar.

  • Seat reservations

    A seat reservation is automatically included with every ticket on Eurostar and the Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity trains.  However, seat reservations on the Brussels-Cologne-Berlin ICE trains are optional, if you want a reserved seat it can be added during the booking process for fee of around €4.50 each way.  A reserved seat is a good idea, especially at busy periods, so I'd add one when prompted.

Another way to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

Have your trip arranged as a package

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Cologne by ICE3

Germany's superb ICEs have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  50 minutes after leaving Brussels the ICE calls at Liθge, where you can admire the impressive station designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava.  As you approach Cologne Hbf you'll see the twin towers of Cologne Cathedral on the right, next to the station.  More information about ICE3 Brussels Midi station guideCologne Hbf station guide.

ICE3M to Cologne & Frankfurt, boarding at Brussels Midi

An ICE3M to Cologne at Brussels Midi.  More information about ICE Advice on changing trains in Brussels.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

3. Cologne to Berlin by ICE2

ICE2 trains have a restaurant car, bar car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi. In 1st class, bistro orders are taken at your seat.  Immediately after leaving Cologne Hbf, the train crosses the Hohenzollern bridge over the Rhine.  It passes through the industrial Ruhr via Wuppertal & Hamm.  After leaving Hannover, the train passes non-stop through Wolfsburg - look out for the original Volkswagen factory on the left, built in 1938.  The train then travels at up to 280 km/h (174 mph) on the high-speed line to Berlin Hbf, where it arrives at the low-level platforms.  More information about ICE2Cologne Hbf station guide Berlin Hbf station guide.

ICE second class   High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

 

An ICE2 at Berlin Hbf.

ICE2 restaurant car   ICE2 bar car

Restaurant car.  Larger photo.

 

Bar car.  Larger photo.

ICE2 at Berlin   ICE first class

Boarding an ICE2 at Berlin Hbf.

 

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

4. Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel

This comfortable air-conditioned train has a restaurant car.  See the Berlin-Poland EuroCity page for more photos, tips & information.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

The Berlin-Krakow Wawel, boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf with this 1st class car at the rear.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class is open-plan on the Wawel.

 

2nd class. Some cars are open-plan like this.

2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Other 2nd class cars have compartments like this, with side corridor & 6-seat compartments.  Click images for larger photos.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  A steward will take your order.  Larger photo.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


London to Oswiecim (Auschwitz)

  • If you are visiting the museum at Oswiecim, better known by its infamous Germanic name, Auschwitz, you travel to Krakow as shown above then take a local train.  Regular local trains link Krakow Glowny with Oswiecim every hour or two, see int.bahn.de" to check train times. 

  • Once in Oswiecim, there are two camps to visit:

    Auschwitz I was an ex-Polish army barracks in the town itself about 20 minutes walk from the station -turn right outside the station then veer left.

    Auschwitz-Birkenau II was a purpose-built concentration camp a little way out of town, about 25 minutes walk from the station (turn right, then turn right again at the first major road bridge across the railway).  There are also regular buses between Krakow and Oswiecim, see www.busy-krk.pl/en/how-to-get-to-auschwitz.php.

Back to top


London to Łσdź

Łσdź is pronounced 'wooch' or 'woodge' and it's one of Poland's largest cities.  It's easy to reach by train, I show two good options below but you can also travel by ferry via Hoek van Holland, or by ferry from Hull or Newcastle.

Option 1, using the European Sleeper

This is the fastest, most time-effective journey, using the new thrice-weekly Brussels-Berlin European Sleeper launched on 26 May 2023.  London to Łσdź in under 24h!

London ► Łσdź

Łσdź ► London

  • Day 1, travel from Łσdź to Berlin by train, leaving Łσdź Kaliska at 12:07, changing at Kutno and arriving Berlin Hbf at 18:06.  Check times for your date of travel at int.bahn.de.

  • Have dinner in Berlin, there are plenty of eateries at the station.  The bar of the Steigenberger Hotel across the forecourt makes an excellent VIP waiting room, it offers both drinks and food.

How much does it cost?

  • London to Brussels by Eurostar starts at £52 one-way or £78 return in standard class, £97 one-way, £140 return standard premier (1st class).

  • Brussels to Berlin by European Sleeper starts at €49 in a seat, €79 with a couchette in 6-berth, €99 with a bed in 4-berth, €109 with a bed in 3-bed sleeper, €129 with a bed in 2-bed sleeper, €159 with a bed in single-bed sleeper.

    All per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.  Children under 4 travel free, without their own berth.  Children under 12 travel at a child rate.

  • Berlin to Łσdź starts at €27.90, check times & buy tickets at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 3, finally, book the Berlin-Łσdź train at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens 60 days months ahead, you can book the other trains and leave this until later if necessary.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.  I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

Using an Interrail pass

  • Alternatively, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Poland using an Interrail pass.  It usually costs more than advance-purchase tickets booked a few months in advance, but if fares are expensive or you need flexibility, see how to use an Interrail from the UK to Poland.

Option 2, using the Brussels-Berlin Nightjet

Similar in time & convenience to option 1, but using the new Brussels-Berlin Nightjet sleeper train which starts running 3 days a week from 10 December 2023.  The Nightjet has some sleepers with en suite toilet & shower, and is due to become daily from autumn 2024.

London ► Łσdź

  • Day 1, travel from Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Brussels Midi at 19:07 on Tuesdays & Thursdays, 19:03 on Saturdays, arriving Berlin Hbf 08:26.

    This new train starts running from 10 December 2023.  It's planned to increase frequency to daily from autumn 2024.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There's a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The train has a couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and an ordinary seats car.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    There's no restaurant car, but in sleepers or couchettes you can order drinks, snacks and hot dishes from a room service menu, served in your compartment.  The sleeper & couchette fares include a light breakfast with tea or coffee, served in your compartment.

Łσdź ► London

  • Day 1, travel from Łσdź to Berlin by train, leaving Łσdź Kaliska at 12:07, changing at Kutno and arriving Berlin Hbf at 18:06.  Check times for your date of travel at int.bahn.de.

  •   Don't risk any tight connections.

    Have dinner in Berlin, there are plenty of eateries at the station.  The bar of the Steigenberger Hotel across the forecourt makes an excellent VIP waiting room, it offers both drinks and food.

    Have dinner in Berlin, there are plenty of eateries at Berlin Hbf.  The bar of the Steigenberger Hotel across the forecourt makes an excellent VIP waiting room, it offers both drinks and food.  You've time for an evening stroll to the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate, just 17 minutes walk from the station.

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Brussels to Berlin

 by Nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

 

 3. Berlin to Łσdź by EuroCity

 From €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €37.90 each way in 1st class.

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.  On Nightjet & EuroCity, return fares are twice the one-way fare.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 3, book the train from Berlin to Łσdź either using www.thetrainline.com again (to keep all your bookings together ion one place, small booking fee) or using the German Railways website int.bahn.de (no fee).  Westbound, I recommend setting transfer time to at least 45 minutes.

    Booking opens 60 days ahead, you can book the other trains and leave this until later if necessary.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.  If using int.bahn.de I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

Using an Interrail pass

  • Alternatively, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Poland using an Interrail pass.  It usually costs more than advance-purchase tickets booked a few months in advance, but if fares are expensive or you need flexibility, see how to use an Interrail from the UK to Poland.

Option 3, with overnight stop in Berlin

London ► Łσdź

Łσdź ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

  • Alternatively, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Poland using an Interrail pass.  It usually costs more than advance-purchase tickets booked a few months in advance, but if fares are expensive or you need flexibility, see how to use an Interrail from the UK to Poland.

Back to top


London to Wroclaw

Wroclaw, the former German provincial city of Breslau, is easy to reach by train.  I show three good options below but you can also travel by ferry via Hoek van Holland, or by ferry from Hull or Newcastle.

Option 1, using the European Sleeper

This is the fastest, most time-effective journey, using the new 3-times-a-week Brussels-Berlin European Sleeper which launched on 26 May 2023.  London to Wroclaw in under 24 hours!

Hotel tip:  In Wroclaw, I recommend the excellent Hotel Altus Palace, a 9-minute 700m walk from the station (see walking map), a 10-minute walk from the old town's main square, it has both a restaurant and spa.

London ► Wroclaw

Wroclaw ► London

How much does it cost?

  • London to Brussels by Eurostar starts at £52 one-way or £78 return in standard class, £97 one-way, £140 return standard premier (1st class).

  • Brussels to Berlin by European Sleeper starts at €49 in a seat, €79 with a couchette in 6-berth, €99 with a bed in 4-berth, €109 with a bed in 3-bed sleeper, €129 with a bed in 2-bed sleeper, €159 with a bed in single-bed sleeper.

    All per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.  Children under 4 travel free, without their own berth.  Children under 12 travel at a child rate.

  • Berlin to Wroclaw starts at €27.90 in 2nd class or €37.90 in 1st class.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 3, finally, book the Berlin-Wroclaw train at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens 60 days ahead, you can book the other trains and leave this until later if necessary.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.  I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

Using an Interrail pass

  • Alternatively, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Poland using an Interrail pass.  It usually costs more than advance-purchase tickets booked a few months in advance, but if fares are expensive or you need flexibility, see how to use an Interrail from the UK to Poland.

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Berlin by European Sleeper

Launched by two sleeper-loving entrepreneurs in May 2023, the European Sleeper has a sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, couchette cars with 4 and 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in the fare in sleepers & couchettes. Light snacks and drinks can be ordered from the attendant, but there's no restaurant car so bring a picnic and maybe a bottle of wine!  More information about European SleeperBerlin Hbf station guide.

Berlin to Brussels by European Sleeper.  This is the inaugural train about to leave Brussels Midi on 26 May 2023. Click the interior photos for larger images.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   4 or 6 berth couchette compartment

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a single.

 

Couchettes, can be sold as 4 or 6 bunk.

3. Berlin to Wroclaw by EuroCity train

This comfortable air-conditioned train has a restaurant car, treat yourself to lunch.  More information about these EuroCity trains.

Wroclaw Glowny trainshed

The EuroCity train Wawel, arrived at Wroclaw Glowny.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class seats on the Wawel.

 

2nd class, some like this, some in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Wroclaw Glowny station exterior

Wroclaw Glowny, one of Europe's most beautiful stations.

Option 2, using the Brussels-Berlin Nightjet

Similar in time & convenience to option 1, but using the new Brussels-Berlin Nightjet sleeper train which starts running 3 days a week from 10 December 2023.  The Nightjet has some sleepers with en suite toilet & shower, and is due to become daily from autumn 2024.

London ► Wroclaw

  • Day 1, travel from London to Brussels by Eurostar, leaving London St Pancras at 13:01, arriving Brussels Midi at 16:06.

    Eurostar has two cafe-bars, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    A later 15:04 departure is possible, but the 13:01 is a safer connection as the sleeper is occasionally retimed earlier.

    Tip:  At Brussels Midi, the Pullman Hotel bar makes an excellent VIP waiting room.

  • Day 1, travel from Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Brussels Midi at 19:07 on Tuesdays & Thursdays, 19:03 on Saturdays, arriving Berlin Hbf 08:26.

    This new train starts running from 10 December 2023.  It's planned to increase frequency to daily from autumn 2024.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There's a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The train has a couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and an ordinary seats car.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    There's no restaurant car, but in sleepers or couchettes you can order drinks, snacks and hot dishes from a room service menu, served in your compartment.  The sleeper & couchette fares include a light breakfast with tea or coffee, served in your compartment.

Wroclaw ► London

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Brussels to Berlin

 by Nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

 

 3. Berlin to Wroclaw by EuroCity

 From €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €37.90 each way in 1st class.

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.  On Nightjet & EuroCity, return fares are twice the one-way fare.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 3, book the train from Berlin to Wroclaw either using www.thetrainline.com again (to keep all your bookings together ion one place, small booking fee) or using the German Railways website int.bahn.de (no fee).

    Booking opens 60 days ahead, you can book the other trains and leave this until later if necessary.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.  If using int.bahn.de I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

Using an Interrail pass

  • Alternatively, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Poland using an Interrail pass.  It usually costs more than advance-purchase tickets booked a few months in advance, but if fares are expensive or you need flexibility, see how to use an Interrail from the UK to Poland.

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ΦBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet.  Above, a Nightjet sleeper at Brussels Midi.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

3. Berlin to Wroclaw by EuroCity train

This comfortable air-conditioned train has a restaurant car, treat yourself to lunch.  More information about these EuroCity trains.

Wroclaw Glowny trainshed

The EuroCity train Wawel, arrived at Wroclaw Glowny.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class seats on the Wawel.

 

2nd class, some like this, some in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Wroclaw Glowny station exterior

Wroclaw Glowny, one of Europe's most beautiful stations.

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Berlin

London ► Wroclaw

  • Alternatively, spend the day exploring Berlin, then take the direct train leaving Berlin Hbf at 18:52 arriving Wroclaw Glowny at 22:53.  This train consists of EuroCity seating cars attached to the night express to Vienna & Budapest.

Wroclaw ► London

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Dresden

London ► Wroclaw

  • Stay overnight in Dresden Find hotel near the station in Dresden.

  • Day 2, travel from Dresden to Wroclaw Glowny (= main station) by local train.  There are several a day, journey time 3h55, look up times at int.bahn.de.  No reservation is necessary or possible, just buy a ticket at the station and hop on.  The fare is likely to be around €35.

Wroclaw ► London

Back to top


London to Szczecin, Gdansk & Gdynia

All these cities are easy to reach by train.  I show three good options below, but you can also travel by ferry via Hoek van Holland, or by ferry from Hull or Newcastle.

Option 1, using the European Sleeper

This is the fastest, most time-effective journey, using the new thrice-weekly Brussels-Berlin European Sleeper launched on 26 May 2023.

London ► Szczecin, Gdansk, Gdynia

  • Day 2, travel from Berlin to Gdansk or Gydnia by EuroCity train, leaving Berlin Hbf 12:52, arriving Gdansk Glowny 18:30 & Gdynia Glowna 18:56.

    A restaurant car is available for lunch, treat yourself to an inexpensive meal and a beer or two.  More about Berlin-Poland EuroCity trains.

    For Szczecin, there are regular trains every hour or two from Berlin Lichtenburg to Szczecin Glowny, journey time 1h49 to 3h30, just use int.bahn.de to find train times & tickets for your date of travel.  You can also go from Berlin Hbf to Szczecin with one change en route, see int.bahn.de.  I'd allow at least 2 hours between trains in Berlin.

Gdynia, Gdansk, Szczecin ► London

  • Day 1, travel from Gydnia or Gdansk to Berlin by EuroCity train, leaving Gdynia Glowna at 09:00 or Gdansk Glowny at 09:26 and arriving Berlin Hbf at 15:06.  A restaurant car is available for breakfast and lunch, treat yourself!  More about Berlin-Poland EuroCity trains.

  • From Szczecin, there are regular trains to Berlin every hour or two usually with one simple change, journey time 2h30 to 3h30, just use int.bahn.de to find train times & tickets for your date of travel.

  •   I'd allow at least 2h between trains in Berlin.
  • Have dinner in Berlin, there are plenty of eateries at the station.  The bar of the Steigenberger Hotel across the forecourt makes an excellent VIP waiting room, it offers both drinks and food.

  • Day 1, travel from Berlin to Brussels by European Sleeper, leaving Berlin Hbf 22:56 on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays arriving Brussels Midi 09:27.  In winter from 7 November 2023 to 24 March 2024 it won't usually run on Thursdays, see the European Sleeper page.

    The European Sleeper has a sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed rooms with washbasin, couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments and seats cars.  Check times at www.europeansleeper.eu as they can vary.  More about the European Sleeper.

  • Day 2, travel from Brussels to London by Eurostar, leaving Brussels Midi at 12:52, arriving London St Pancras at 13:57.

    Eurostar has two cafe-bars, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

How much does it cost?

  • London to Brussels by Eurostar starts at £52 one-way or £78 return in standard class, £97 one-way, £140 return standard premier (1st class).

  • Brussels to Berlin by European Sleeper starts at €49 in a seat, €79 with a couchette in 6-berth, €99 with a bed in 4-berth, €109 with a bed in 3-bed sleeper, €129 with a bed in 2-bed sleeper, €159 with a bed in single-bed sleeper.

    All per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.  Children under 4 travel free, without their own berth.  Children under 12 travel at a child rate.

  • Berlin to Gdansk or Gdynia starts at €27.90 in 2nd class or €37.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Berlin to Szczecin costs just €13.80 each way, fixed price, if bought from ticket machines in Berlin.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 3, finally, book the train from Berlin to Gdansk or Gdynia at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens 60 days ahead, you can book the other trains and leave this until later if necessary.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.  I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

    For Szczecin, wait until you reach Berlin, then use the self-service machines to buy a Berlin-Stettin ticket for just €13.80, valid from any Berlin urban area station to any rail station, tram or bus stop in the Szczecin urban area, on any train including IC and EC trains.  You should select Stettin, not Szczecin, as your destination on the machines to see the Berlin-Stettin ticket appear.

Using an Interrail pass

  • Alternatively, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Poland using an Interrail pass.  It usually costs more than advance-purchase tickets booked a few months in advance, but if fares are expensive or you need flexibility, see how to use an Interrail from the UK to Poland.

Option 2, using the Brussels-Berlin Nightjet

Similar in time & convenience to option 1, but using the new Brussels-Berlin Nightjet sleeper train which starts running 3 days a week from 10 December 2023.  The Nightjet has some sleepers with en suite toilet & shower, and is due to become daily from autumn 2024.

London ► Szczecin, Gdansk, Gdynia

  • Day 1, travel from London to Brussels by Eurostar, leaving London St Pancras at 13:01 and arriving Brussels Midi at 16:06.

    Eurostar has two cafe-bars, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    A later 15:04 departure is possible, but the 13:01 is a safer connection as the sleeper is occasionally retimed earlier.

    Tip:  At Brussels Midi, the Pullman Hotel bar makes an excellent VIP waiting room.

  • Day 1, travel from Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Brussels Midi at 19:07 on Tuesdays & Thursdays, 19:03 on Saturdays, arriving Berlin Hbf 08:26.

    This new train starts running from 10 December 2023.  It's planned to increase frequency to daily from autumn 2024.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There's a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The train has a couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and an ordinary seats car.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    There's no restaurant car, but in sleepers or couchettes you can order drinks, snacks and hot dishes from a room service menu, served in your compartment.  The sleeper & couchette fares include a light breakfast with tea or coffee, served in your compartment.

  • Day 2, travel from Berlin to Gdansk or Gydnia by EuroCity train, leaving Berlin Hbf 12:52, arriving Gdansk Glowny 18:30 & Gdynia Glowna 18:56.

    A restaurant car is available for lunch, treat yourself to an inexpensive meal and a beer or two.  More information about Berlin-Poland EuroCity trains.

    For Szczecin, there are regular trains every hour or two from Berlin Lichtenburg to Szczecin Glowny, journey time 1h49 to 3h30, just use int.bahn.de to find train times & tickets for your date of travel.  You can also go from Berlin Hbf to Szczecin with one change en route, see int.bahn.de.  I'd allow at least 2 hours between trains in Berlin.

Gdynia, Gdansk, Szczecin ► London

  • Day 1, travel from Gydnia or Gdansk to Berlin by EuroCity train, leaving Gdynia Glowna at 09:00 or Gdansk Glowny at 09:26 and arriving Berlin Hbf at 15:06.  A restaurant car is available for breakfast and lunch, treat yourself!  More information about Berlin-Poland EuroCity trains.

  • From Szczecin, there are regular trains to Berlin every hour or two usually with one simple change, journey time 2h30 to 3h30, just use int.bahn.de to find train times & tickets for your date of travel.

  •   I'd allow at least 2h between trains in Berlin.
  • Have dinner in Berlin, there are plenty of eateries at Berlin Hbf.  The bar of the Steigenberger Hotel across the forecourt makes an excellent VIP waiting room, it offers both drinks and food.  You've time for an evening stroll to the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate, just 17 minutes walk from the station.

  • Day 1, travel from Berlin to Brussels by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Berlin Hbf at 20:18 on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, arriving Brussels Midi at 09:56 next morning.

    This new train starts running from 10 December 2023.  It's planned to increase frequency to daily from autumn 2024.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There's a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The train has a couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and an ordinary seats car.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    There's no restaurant car, but in sleepers or couchettes you can order drinks, snacks and hot dishes from a room service menu, served in your compartment.  The sleeper & couchette fares include a light breakfast with tea or coffee.

    Tip:  On arrival at Brussels Midi, the Pullman Hotel bar makes an excellent VIP waiting room.

  • Day 2, travel from Brussels to London by Eurostar, leaving Brussels Midi at 12:52 arriving London St Pancras at 13:57.

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Brussels to Berlin

 by Nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

 

 3. Berlin to Gydnia or Gdansk by EuroCity

 From €27.90 each way in 2nd class, €37.90 each way in 1st class.

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.  On Nightjet & EuroCity, return fares are twice the one-way fare.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 3, book the train from Berlin to Gydnia or Gdansk either using www.thetrainline.com again (to keep all your bookings together ion one place, small booking fee) or using the German Railways website int.bahn.de (no fee).

    Booking opens 60 days ahead, you can book the other trains and leave this until later if necessary.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.  If using int.bahn.de I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

    For Szczecin, wait until you reach Berlin, then use the self-service machines to buy a Berlin-Stettin ticket for just €13.80, valid from any Berlin urban area station to any rail station, tram or bus stop in the Szczecin urban area, on any train including IC and EC trains.  You should select Stettin, not Szczecin, as your destination on the machines to see the Berlin-Stettin ticket appear.

Using an Interrail pass

  • Alternatively, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Poland using an Interrail pass.  It usually costs more than advance-purchase tickets booked a few months in advance, but if fares are expensive or you need flexibility, see how to use an Interrail from the UK to Poland.

Option 3, with overnight stop in Berlin

London ► Szczecin, Gdansk, Gdynia

  • For Szczecin, there are regular trains every hour or two from Berlin Lichtenburg to Szczecin Glowny, journey time 1h49 to 3h30, just use int.bahn.de to find train times & tickets for your date of travel.  You can also go from Berlin Hbf to Szczecin with one change en route, see int.bahn.de.

Gdynia, Gdansk, Szczecin ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

  • Step 1, buy tickets from London to Berlin, see the instructions on the London to Germany page.

  • Step 2, buy tickets from Berlin to Gdansk or Gdynia at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens 60 days ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.

    For Szczecin, wait until you reach Berlin, then use the self-service machines to buy a Berlin-Stettin ticket for just €13.80, valid from any Berlin urban area station to any rail station, tram or bus stop in the Szczecin urban area, on any train including IC and EC trains.  You should select Stettin, not Szczecin, as your destination on the machines to see the Berlin-Stettin ticket appear.

Using an Interrail pass

  • Alternatively, you can travel from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Poland using an Interrail pass.  It usually costs more than advance-purchase tickets booked a few months in advance, but if fares are expensive or you need flexibility, see how to use an Interrail from the UK to Poland.

Back to top


London to Zakopane

  • To reach Zakopane at the foot of the famous Tatra mountains, first travel from London to Krakow using any of the options shown in the London to Krakow section above.

  • Then travel from Krakow to Zakopane by train, using int.bahn.de to find train times.  There's a train every few hours, journey time is about 3 hours 30 minutes, and it's a very scenic run.  You can buy a Krakow to Zakopane ticket at the station in Krakow.  You can also check times at www.intercity.pl.

Back to top


London to Poland via Harwich - Hoek van Holland

The ferry alternative!  If Eurostar is expensive, especially at short notice, the ferry can be cheaper.  If you live in East Anglia, the ferry can be more convenient, there's even a direct train from Cambridge to Harwich which connects with the night boat.  If you want to avoid the Channel Tunnel or if there are strikes in France, this is also the route for you.  Or you may simply prefer a leisurely cruise across the North Sea in a cosy private cabin with toilet, shower & satellite TV, after an excellent dinner in the ship's restaurant.  The route via Harwich & Hoek of Holland is one of those shown in dark blue on the route map above.  There are two departures a day, the day boat and the night boat.

Using the night boat

London, Cambridge, Harwich ► Warsaw, Krakow

  • Day 1, travel from London to Amsterdam overnight by Stena Line Rail & Sail.

    You leave London Liverpool Street at 18:45 Mondays-Fridays, 19:36 Saturdays or 20:00 Sundays by direct train to Harwich International.

    You leave Cambridge at 19:47 Mondays-Saturdays or 19:45 on Sundays by direct train to Harwich International.

    At Harwich, the station is right next to the ferry terminal, you simply walk off the train into the terminal, through a simple security & passport check, check in at the Stena Line desk to get your boarding card & cabin key, then straight onto the Stena Line ferry to Hoek van Holland.

    The ferry sails at 23:00 and arrives at Hoek van Holland at 08:00 Dutch time next morning.

    All passengers travel in cosy private cabins with en suite toilet & shower, satellite TV & free WiFi.  Deluxe Comfort class & Captains class cabins are also available.  You can have a late dinner in the restaurant and settle into your cabin. 

    Day 2, take the frequent metro train from Hoek van Holland Haven to Schiedam Centrum and change onto a Dutch intercity train arriving Amsterdam Centraal at 10:25, see the Stena Line Rail & Sail page for full details.

  • Day 3 for Krakow & Wroclaw, travel from Berlin to Wroclaw & Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel.

    This leaves Berlin Hbf at 10:52 & arriving Wroclaw 15:05, Katowice 17:15 & Krakow Glowny 18:07.

    The EuroCity train Wawel is a comfortable air-conditioned Polish train with restaurant car serving drinks, snacks and full meals.  Treat yourself to an inexpensive meal and a beer or two in the restaurant car!

Krakow, Warsaw ► Harwich, Cambridge, London

  • Day 1 from Krakow & Wroclaw:  Travel from Krakow to Berlin by EuroCity train Wawel, leaving Krakow Glowny at 10:00, Katowice 10:53 or Wroclaw 12:56 arriving Berlin Hbf at 17:06.  EuroCity train Wawel is a comfortable air-conditioned Polish train with restaurant car serving drinks, snacks & meals.

  • Day 1 from Warsaw:  Travel from Warsaw to Berlin by EuroCity train.  Daily except Saturdays you can leave Warsaw Centralna at 16:45 and arrive Berlin Hbf at 22:06.  Or on any day of the week you can leave Warsaw Centralna at 12:45 and arrive Berlin Hbf 18:06.  A restaurant car is available serving drinks, snacks & meals.

  • Stay overnight in Berlin.  Top choice here is the InterCity Hotel Berlin Hbf (my favourite), only 200m from Berlin Hbf's main entrance, relatively inexpensive with great reviews, or if you're in the money, the excellent 5-star Steigenberger Hotel just outside the station.  If you're on a budget, the cheaper 3-star Motel One Berlin-Hbf is behind the station or use www.hostelworld.com.  Of course, if you really want to push the boat out, the famous Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is next to the Brandenburg Gate just 17 minutes walk away.

  • Day 2, from Berlin to Amsterdam by Intercity train, leaving Berlin Hbf at 08:07 and arriving Amsterdam Centraal 14:00, or take the 10:07 arriving 16:00.

  •   The Intercity train has power sockets at all seats, refreshments available.
  • Day 2, travel from Amsterdam to London overnight by Stena Line Rail & Sail.

    You take the 18:35 train from Amsterdam Centraal to Schiedam Centrum and change onto the frequent metro train to Hoek van Holland Haven.  At Hoek, the metro station is right next to the ferry terminal.  Check in at the Stena Line desk, walk onto the ferry & sail overnight to Harwich.

    The ferry sails at 22:00 and arrives at Harwich International at 06:30 next morning, UK time.

    All passengers travel in cosy private cabins with en suite toilet & shower, satellite TV & free WiFi.  Deluxe Comfort class & Captains class cabins are also available.  You can have a late dinner in the restaurant and settle into your cabin. 

    Day 3, Take a train from Harwich to London Liverpool Street arriving around 08:56, or from Harwich to Cambridge arriving 09:41 (10:39 on Sundays).  See the Stena Line Rail & Sail page for full details.

How much does it cost?

  • London or any Greater Anglia station to Hoek van Holland starts at £62 per person each way, plus cabin.

    Cabins start at £34 for a single berth cabin or £45 per cabin for a 2-berth, and are compulsory on the night sailing.  For full details of fares and cabin types and costs, see the Stena Line Rail & Sail page.

    Hoek to Schiedam by metro costs around €4.

  • Schiedam Centrum to Warsaw by train starts at  €37.90 each way in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 1, book from London or any Greater Anglia station to Hoek van Holland at www.stenaline.co.uk/rail-and-sail/to-holland.

    This is a special Stena Line Rail & Sail ticket, see the Stena Line Rail & Sail page for more tips & information on how to buy one.

    You buy the metro ticket from Hoek van Holland to Schiedam or Rotterdam at the metro station using the ticket machines or simply by touching in & out with any contactless bank card.

  • Step 2, book your trains from Schiedam Centrum to Warsaw or Krakow & back at the German Railways website int.bahn.de like this:

    To get a through ticket from Schiedam Centrum to Warsaw or Krakow with a robust connection in Amsterdam and an overnight stop in Berlin, enter Schiedam Centrum to Warsaw Centralna or Krakow Glowny, click Stopovers, enter Amsterdam Centraal as a first stopover with a stay of 1 hour, then enter Berlin Hbf as a second stopover with a stay of (say) 14 hours.

    Adjust the length of stay and departure time as necessary to get the trains you want between Schiedam, Amsterdam & Berlin and (the following morning) Berlin & Poland.

    Incidentally, even train-specific Sparpreis or Supersparpreis tickets are good for any train on the Schiedam-Amsterdam part of this journey, so when you get to Schiedam you can take the next available train to Amsterdam, you don't have to wait for the one specified on your ticket.

    Tip:  Booking into Poland only opens 60 days ahead.  By all means book Schiedam to Berlin first as this opens up to 6 months ahead, then book Berlin-Poland separately, when booking opens.

What's the journey like?

Step 1, London to Amsterdam by train & ferry

A train takes you from London's Liverpool Street station directly to the ferry terminal at Harwich.  You walk off the train, into the terminal, get your boarding card & cabin key at the Stena Line check-in desk and walk straight onto the overnight ferry to Hoek van Holland.  The superferry Stena Britannica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  Have a late dinner in the restaurant, retire to bed in a private cabin with en suite toilet & shower and satellite TV.  At Hoek van Holland, you walk off the ship, through passport control and straight onto the station for the frequent metro train to Schiedam & Rotterdam.  Change at Schiedam Centrum for a Dutch Railways (NS) train to Amsterdam CentraalThe journey from London to Holland is explained in detail on the Stena Line Rail & Sail page See the video.

Captain's Class cabin on ferry   Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland

Captain's Class cabin on the Harwich-Hoek ferry with double bed, complimentary minibar with sparkling wine, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer.  Larger photo.

 

Boarding the Stena Britannica at Harwich.  She's a floating hotel to Hoek van Holland, with easy rail connections on either side of the Channel.  Restaurants, bars, shop, kennels, cinema.

Metropolitan restaurant on the Stena Line ferry   Standard outside cabin on ferry

Dinner before bed?  Metropolitan ΰ la carte restaurant.

 

Standard outside cabin.  Larger photo.  360Ί photo.

Step 2, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train

You then take a comfortable Intercity train from Amsterdam Centraal to Berlin HbfSee the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity page for photos, tips, and what to see along the way.

A DB InterCity train

A German Intercity train.  More information about Intercity trains.

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seating is usually in open-plan saloons like this, most seats unidirectional, but with some tables for 4.  Sometimes you'll find 2nd class compartment cars with side corridor and ten 6-seat compartments  Larger photo.

Step 3, Berlin to Warsaw or Krakow by EuroCity train

These comfortable air-conditioned trains have a restaurant car.  See the Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity page for more photos, tips & information.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

This is the Berlin-Krakow Wawel, boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class seats on the Berlin-Krakow Wawel.

 

2nd class seats.  Some are in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car on the Wawel.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  A steward will take your order.  Larger photo.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Using the day boat

It's an early start from London, but Stena Line's Harwich to Hoek van Holland daytime crossing connects nicely with the 3-times-a-week European Sleeper from Rotterdam to Berlin, with easy onward connections to Poland, making this a good option if the days and times suit you.

London & Harwich ► Warsaw, Krakow

  • Step 1, travel from London to Harwich by train.

    You leave London Liverpool Street at 06:00 Mondays-Fridays, 06:36 Saturdays or 06:44 Sundays, check train times at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    At Harwich, the station is right next to the ferry terminal.  You walk off the train and into the terminal, check in at the Stena Line desk and walk onto Stena Line's luxurious superferry to Hoek van Holland.

    This is an integrated train & ferry service, see the Stena Line Rail & Sail page for full details, photos & travel tips.  The special fare from London to Hoek van Holland is valid from any Greater Anglia station, for example Romford, Ilford or Ipswich.

  • Step 2, cruise from Harwich to Hoek van Holland with Stena Line.

    On Mondays-Saturdays the ferry sails at 09:00 arriving 17:15.  On Sundays she sails at 09:00 arriving at 18:00.

    The superferry Stena Hollandica has bars, self-service and ΰ la carte restaurants, lounges, a premium Stena Plus Lounge, cinema & children's play area.  There's free WiFi in the lounges, restaurants & bars on 9 deck.  A private cabin is optional (but half price) on the day crossing, all cabins come with toilet & shower & satellite TV.  Deluxe Comfort class & Captains class cabins are also available, also half price.

  • Step 3, hop on the metro from Hoek van Holland to Rotterdam.

    On arrival at Hoek van Holland, walk off the ferry into the terminal and go through passport control.  Walk out of the terminal to the adjacent metro station and hop on the metro from Hoek van Holland Haven to Eendrachtsplein in downtown Rotterdam, the metro leaves every 20-30 minutes, journey time around 30 minutes, see metro network map.  Buy a ticket using the ticket machines or simply touch in and out with any contactless bank card.  From Eendrachtsplein it's an 850m 11-minute walk to Rotterdam Centraal, see walking map.

    You've time for dinner in Rotterdam, try Kaapse Maria (www.kaapsebrouwers.nl) for craft beer and good pub food, half way between Eendrachtsplein & Rotterdam Centraal, see location map.  Check opening hours, it's open Monday & Friday but closed Wednesdays.  Alternatively, Le Nord (lenord.nl), La Cazuela & Dunya are all good bistros 5 minutes walk north of the station, see walking map.

Warsaw, Krakow ► Harwich & London

  • Step 3, hop on the metro from Rotterdam to Hoek van Holland.

    Walk from Rotterdam Centraal to Eendrachtsplein metro station, 850m, 11 minutes, see walking map.  Take the metro to Hoek van Holland Haven, it runs every 20-30 minutes, journey time around 30 minutes, see metro network map.  Buy a ticket using the ticket machines or simply touch in and out with any contactless bank card.  The ferry terminal is right next to Hoek van Holland Haven metro station.  Walk into the terminal and check in at the Stena Line desk.  You'll need to leave downtown Rotterdam around 12:00 Monday-Friday or 11:30 Sundays, allowing for travel time and ferry check-in.

  • Step 4, cruise from Hoek van Holland to Harwich with Stena Line.

    The ferry sails at 14:15 Monday-Saturday or 13:45 on Sundays, arriving Harwich at 19:45.

    The superferry Stena Britannica has bars, self-service and ΰ la carte restaurants, lounges, a premium Stena Plus Lounge, cinema & children's play area.  There's free WiFi in the lounges, restaurants & bars on 9 deck.  A private cabin is optional (but half price) on the day crossing, all cabins come with toilet & shower & satellite TV.  Deluxe Comfort class & Captains class cabins are also available, also half price.

    At Harwich, the ferry terminal is right next to the station.  Walk off the ferry, into the terminal, through passport control and onto the train.

  • Step 5, travel from Harwich to London by train.

    On Mondays-Saturdays a train leaves Harwich International at 20:45 arriving London Liverpool Street station at 22:14.  On Sundays, leave Harwich at 20:30, arriving London Liverpool Street at 21:44.  Check train times at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

How much does it cost?

  • London or any Greater Anglia station to Hoek van Holland starts at £62 per person each way with a Rail & Sail ticket.

    For full details of fares & cabin costs, see the Stena Line Rail & Sail page.

  • Hoek van Holland to Rotterdam by metro costs around €4.

  • Rotterdam to Berlin by European Sleeper starts at €79 with a couchette, see the European Sleeper page for more details.

  • Berlin to Warsaw or Krakow starts at €27.90 each way in 2nd class or €37.90 each way in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

How to buy tickets

  • Step 2, book the sleeper train from Rotterdam to Berlin at www.europeansleeper.eu.

    Booking usually opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.

  • Step 3, book the train from Berlin to Warsaw or Krakow at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens 60 days ahead, by all means book the other tickets and leave this until later.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.  I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

  • You can buy the Rotterdam metro ticket at the metro station using the ticket machines or simply touch in & out with a contactless bank card.

What's the journey like?

1. London to Rotterdam by train & ferry

A train takes you from London Liverpool Street station directly to the ferry terminal at Harwich International.  You walk off the train and into the terminal, get your boarding card at the Stena Line check-in desk and walk straight onto the ferry to Hoek van Holland.  The superferry Stena Hollandica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  There's a self-service and ΰ la carte restaurant, two bars, lounges, a premium Stena Plus Lounge, cinema & children's play area.  There's free WiFi in the public areas on 9 deck.  At Hoek van Holland, you walk off the ship, through passport control and out of the terminal to the adjacent metro station for the frequent metro train to Rotterdam.  See the Stena Line Rail & Sail page for full details, photos & travel tips.

Stena Line ferry at Hoek van Holland

The Stena Hollandica at Hoek van Holland, a floating hotel, with restaurants, bars, lounges, shop, kennels, cinema.

Stena Plus lounge   Metropolitan restaurant on the Stena Line ferry

Stena Plus Lounge with complimentary tea, coffee, wine.

 

Lunch in the Metropolitan ΰ la carte restaurant?

Cabin on Stena Line ferry   Deck area on the Stena Line ferry

Standard outside cabin. Larger photo  360Ί photo

 

Open deck aft on Deck 9 for some sea air.

2. Rotterdam to Berlin by European Sleeper

Launched by two sleeper-loving entrepreneurs in May 2023, the European Sleeper has a sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, couchette cars with 4 and 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in the fare in sleepers & couchettes. Light snacks and drinks can be ordered from the attendant, but there's no restaurant car so bring a picnic and maybe a bottle of wine!  More information about European SleeperBerlin Hbf station guide.

The European Sleeper train

Above, the westbound European Sleeper calls at Amsterdam Centraal.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   4 or 6 berth couchette compartment

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a single.

 

Couchettes, can be sold as 4 or 6 bunk.

3. Berlin to Warsaw or Krakow by EuroCity train

These comfortable air-conditioned trains have a restaurant car.  See the Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity page for more photos, tips & information.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

This is the Berlin-Krakow Wawel, boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class seats on the Berlin-Krakow Wawel.

 

2nd class seats.  Some are in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car on the Wawel.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  A steward will take your order.  Larger photo.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


Scotland & the North to Poland

If you live in the North of England or Scotland, the fastest option is to take a train up to London and travel from London to Poland using Eurostar as described above.  If you choose this option, see this advice on buying cheap connecting train tickets to London.  But there are some useful ferry alternatives which allow you to by-pass London, and spend a day in Amsterdam on the way.  DFDS Seaways run an excellent daily overnight cruise ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, and P&O Ferries run a daily overnight cruise ferry from Hull to Rotterdam.  So take the overnight ferry to Holland, head onwards by train to Berlin, and after an evening and night in the German capital, hop on a morning train to Poland!

Scotland & North ► Warsaw, Krakow

  • Day 3 for Krakow, travel from Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel.

    You leave Berlin Hbf at 10:52 & arriving Wroclaw 15:05, Katowice 17:15 & Krakow Glowny 18:07.

    The EuroCity train Wawel is a comfortable air-conditioned Polish train with a restaurant car serving drinks, snacks and full meals.  Treat yourself to an inexpensive meal and a beer or two in the restaurant car!

Krakow, Warsaw ► Scotland & North

  • Day 2, travel overnight by ferry from Rotterdam to Hull with P&O Ferries or from IJmuiden (near Amsterdam) to Newcastle with DFDS Seaways, whichever is most convenient for you.  Next morning (day 4) transfer to the station and take a train home.

    For details of timetables, fares & how to buy tickets from Amsterdam to the UK via these ferry routes, see the Hull-Rotterdam page or the Newcastle-Amsterdam page.

Fares & how to buy tickets

  • Step 1, check the ferry times and buy your ferry ticket at www.dfds.co.uk (Newcastle-Amsterdam) or www.poferries.com (Hull-Rotterdam). 

  • Step 2, check train fares and buy a train ticket from your local station to Hull or Newcastle online as shown on the UK page or using www.nationalrail.co.uk.

  • Step 3, Amsterdam to Warsaw by train starts at  €37.90 each way in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Book this at int.bahn.de as follows:

    To get Amsterdam to Warsaw or Krakow with an overnight stop in Berlin, enter Amsterdam Centraal to Warsaw or Krakow, click Stopovers and enter Berlin Hbf with a length of stay of (say) 14 hours.  Adjust the length of stay and departure time as necessary to get the trains you want between Amsterdam & Berlin and (the following morning) Berlin & Poland.

    If can't get your head around this, just use int.bahn.de to book Amsterdam-Berlin as one ticket and then Berlin-Poland as another ticket next day, although that usually costs a bit more.

What's the journey like?

Step 1, Newcastle to Amsterdam (DFDS) or Hull to Rotterdam (P&O) by overnight cruise ferry

Both ferries have private en suite cabins, restaurants, bars, cinema, a floating hotel.  If travelling with DFDS from Newcastle, a transfer bus takes you from IJmuiden ferry terminal to Amsterdam Centraal station next morning.  If travelling with P&O from Hull, a transfer bus takes you from Rotterdam Europoort ferry terminal to Rotterdam Centraal, from where frequent Dutch trains run to Utrecht.

Princess of Norway (now Princess Seaways) at Newcastle   A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

DFDS Seaways Princess of Norway (now Princess Seaways) about to sail overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam.  The ferry also has deluxe Commodore class cabins with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  See the video.

 

A standard Seaways class cabin with shower & toilet on DFDS Princess of Norway from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam   Cabin on P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam

P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam at Rotterdam Europoort.  The ferry also has deluxe class cabins with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.

 

A standard outside cabin with shower & toilet on P&O's Pride of Rotterdam from Hull to Rotterdam.

Step 2, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train

You then take a comfortable Intercity train from Amsterdam Centraal to Berlin HbfSee the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity page for photos, tips, and what to see along the way.

A DB InterCity train

A German Intercity train.  More information about Intercity trains.

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seating is usually in open-plan saloons like this, most seats unidirectional, but with some tables for 4.  Sometimes you'll find 2nd class compartment cars with side corridor and ten 6-seat compartments  Larger photo.

Step 3, Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train

These comfortable air-conditioned trains have a restaurant car.  See the Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity page for more information.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

This is the Berlin-Krakow Wawel, boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class seats on the Berlin-Krakow Wawel.

 

2nd class open-plan seats.  Some are in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Back to top


Using an Interrail pass

  • Pass or point to point?

    Let's be clear, a pass will not save money over the cheapest point-to-point advance-purchase fares you might see if you book a few months ahead.  But when point-to-point fares are expensive (for example, at short notice) OR you want flexibility, for example the ability to change your mind, re-route or reschedule as necessary, a pass might be what you need.

    If flexibility is what you want, buy the pass.  If it's about saving money, you'll have to check point-to-point prices and do the maths.

    It's worth doing the maths if you are under 28, if you have kids (kids get a free pass when accompanying an adult but still need to pay reservation fees) or if you live a long way from London (as a pass covers you from your home station to London). Passes are available in 1st & 2nd class.

Back to top


How to buy train tickets in Poland

It's not difficult to buy train tickets for domestic journeys within Poland online or at the station ticket office.  It can help to write down what you want, in case staff don't speak extensive English.  UK agencies such as DB's English-speaking phone line on 00 49 (0)30 311 68 29 04 (open 08:30-17:00 Monday-Friday, 09:00-13:00 Saturday & Sunday) can usually get you reservations on international trains starting in Poland.  However, if they have problems, or if you want to see if buying locally would be cheaper, try contacting the following agency in Poland:

Buy Polish domestic tickets at www.intercity.pl

You can book Polish inter-city train tickets (but not international ones except to Berlin) online at the Polish Railways InterCity website, www.intercity.pl.  At www.intercity.pl the English button is top right, and you'll need to use the Polish spellings of Krakow and Warszawa.  You pay online with a credit card and print out your own ticket.  Many seat61 correspondents have reported success buying self-print tickets for Polish trains this way, using UK and Dutch credit cards.

  Buy train tickets in Poland from Polrail.com

Or use Polish train ticketing agency www.polrail.com

Polish train ticketing agency www.polrail.com comes highly recommended if you want to arrange train tickets within Poland in advance, or book international train tickets starting in Poland, for example, from Warsaw to Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Moscow, Kyiv, Lviv or Vilnius, or from Krakow to Prague, Budapest or Vienna, etc..  You should arrange tickets between 10 & 60 days before travel (Polish train reservations open 60 days before departure, but 10 days is necessary for the agency to buy and send tickets). Tickets can be couriered to your home address in any country, or they can arrange ticket collection within Poland, for example, at your hotel.  If you use their services, feedback is always welcome!

Check any Polish train time at rozklad.sitkol.pl

A recommended journey planner for all Polish trains, including local ones (for example, those linking Krakow with Oswiecim (Auschwitz) see rozklad.sitkol.pl/bin/query.exe/en.

Back to top


Guidebooks

Definitely take a good guidebook.  For the independent traveller, I think this means one of two guidebooks, either the Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide.  Both series are excellent.  You can buy an in-depth guide for Poland or a guide covering all the countries in Eastern Europe.

Click the images to buy online at Amazon.co.uk

Lonely Planet Eastern Europe - buy online at Amazon.co.uk   Rough Guide to Poland - buy online at Amazon.co.uk   Rough Guide to Poland - buy online at Amazon.co.uk

Back to top


European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses) or www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide) or at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses).

Back to top


Hotels in Poland

In Warsaw:  Polonia Palace & Hotel Bristol

  • The Polonia Palace Hotel is a top choice for Warsaw, just across the road from Warsaw Centralna station and from the Palace of Culture skyscraper, 25 minutes walk from Warsaw's old town.  Opened in 1913, it was one of the few hotels to emerge unscathed from WW2, and has been used by many famous people including General (later President) Eisenhower and General de Gaulle.  It provides very high quality rooms at what by western standards is a budget price.   I thoroughly enjoyed my own stay there, in a room with a great view of the Palace of Culture, and so handy for the station.  Check prices & book.

  • Warsaw's most prestigious and historic luxury hotel is the Hotel Bristol, opened in 1901 right next to the old town.  It also survived the bombing of the old town in WW2, being used as the German HQ.  Hotel Bristol is 27 minutes walk from Warsaw Centralna, but only 8 minutes walk from Warsaw old town square.  Check prices & book

Room at the Polonia Palace   Polonia Palace Hotel

A double room at the Polonia Palace.

 

The Polonia Palace from the viewing terrace of the Palace of Culture.

In Krakow

  • At the top end, the 5-star Hotel Bonerowski Palace is housed in a historic building right on the old town square itself.  The 5-star Hotel Stary is also on the old town square, and features a spa and a roof-top terrace.  Both get great reviews, and would be top choice.

  • The 4-star Hotel Francuski is in the old town on the side closest to the station, 9 minutes walk from Krakow Glowny and 8 minutes walk from the old town square.  It boasts free WiFi, art nouveau grandeur and gets great reviews.  The Hotel Unicus & Hotel Imperial are not far from the Hotel Francuski and similarly priced.

  • For something cheaper, try the 3-star Hotel Europejski, 6 minutes walk from the station and 8 minutes from Krakow's old town square, or the 3-star Hotel Polonia, 5 minutes walk from the new station, directly across the road from the old station.

  • For budget rooms, try B&B La Fontaine which is also well-located for both station and old town, or the Bubble Hotel which offers budget rooms and cheap beds in shared rooms.

In Gdansk:  Craft Beer Hotel

  • The Craft Beer Hotel is located in the city centre, next to the railway station and 200m from the old town hall.  It's a historic building which - as the name suggests - includes a craft beer brewery.  Look no further!

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: www.booking.com

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.

Back to top


Tours & holidays by train

If you want a holiday to Krakow or Warsaw by train not plane, but want someone else to organise all the train tickets & hotels for you, one specialist company can do just that, for a holiday with no airport hassles and no long days in cramped coach seats on motorways.

Railbookers logoRailbookers, railbookers.co.uk

Railbookers are a train travel specialist who can put together a tour or holiday for you as a package, including rail travel, hotels & transfers.  On their website you'll find a range of suggested tours & holidays which can be varied or customised to your own requirements.  And as you're booking a package, they'll take care of you if anything happens to one part of the itinerary such as a strike or delay.  They get very positive reviews.  For example, they suggest a 6 night trip from London to Krakow, Warsaw & Berlin.

UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

Canadian flag  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website

New Zealand flag  New Zealand call 0800 000 554 or see website.

Back to top


Travel insurance & other tips

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection and gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag  www.columbusdirect.com is also a well-know brand.

US flag  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Maya.net logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a European mobile data package and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list.  There's no need to buy a physical SIM card!  Maya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.

 

Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than getting a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When travelling you may use free public WiFi which is often insecure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using this link you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I also get some commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, hotel bookings and Interrail or Eurail passes are often now held on your mobile phone.  You daren't let it run out of power, and you can't always rely on the phone's internal battery or on being near a power outlet.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or Buy from Amazon.com.

Touring cities?  Use hill walking shoes!

One of the best things I've done is swap my normal shoes for hill-walking shoes, in my case from Scarpa.  They're intended for hiking across the Pennines not wandering around Florence, but the support and cushioning for hiking works equally well when you're on your feet all day exploring foreign cities.  My feet used to give out first and limit my day, now the rest of me gives up before they do!

 


Back to top

Back to home page