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This page explains how to travel by train from Berlin to other cities all over Europe, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way. Information current for 2022.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Berlin to Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt & other German destinations...
Berlin to Munich from €17.50.  See the video...
ICE4 at Munich Hbf

High-speed ICE trains link Munich & Berlin.  Several types operate this route including ICE1, ICE3, ICE4 & ICE-T, see more information about ICE trains.  This is an ICE4 at Munich Hbf.

1st class on an ICE4 train   Restaurant car on an ICE4 train

1st class on an ICE4...

 

Restaurant car on an ICE4.  Sample menu.

Bar counter car on an ICE4 train   2nd class on an ICE4 train

Bar counter at the other end of the kitchen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE4...

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Berlin to London & UK...

Option 1, Berlin to London by high-speed train & Eurostar...

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar links Continental Europe with London...

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier.  Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

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

Option 2, Berlin to London via the Hoek van Holland-Harwich ferry - the ferry alternative...

 

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, 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  

Dinner before bed?  Metropolitan à la carte restaurant.

 

Standard outside cabin.  Larger photo.  360º photo.

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Berlin to Dublin & Ireland...

Option 1, Berlin to Dublin via London & Holyhead - daily departures...

Option 2, Berlin to Dublin via Paris & Cherbourg - several times a week...

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats

Sail from Cherbourg to Dublin aboard Irish Ferries' WB YeatsWB Yeats photos courtesy of Irish Ferries.

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats club cabin   Irish Ferries' WB Yeats deluxe cabin

Club cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet...

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Berlin to Paris from €39.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Paris in a day...

An ICE3 (class 407) at Paris Gare de l'Est

A Germany-Paris ICE, at Paris Gare de l'Est More information about Paris-Germany ICEs.

Bistro-restaurant on a class 407 ICE3   Lunch in the bistro on an ICE train

Bistro-restaurant car...

Lunch in the restaurant car...

2nd class seats on a class 407 ICE3   Class 407 ICE3 1st class seats

2nd class seats...

 

1st class seats...

Cafe-bar on a class 407 ICE3   Lunch served at a 1st class seat on an ICE train

Cafe-bar, at the other end of the restaurant car...

Meal served at my seat in 1st class...

Option 2, Berlin to Paris by high-speed train with an overnight stop - a time-effective option...

Option 3, the lo-cost option from Berlin to Paris:  Berlin-Cologne by Flixtrain from €9.99, lunch in Cologne, Cologne-Paris by Thalys from €35.

A lo-cost Flixtrain at Hamburg Hbf

A lo-cost Flixtrain...

Option 4, Berlin to Paris with an overnight stop in Amsterdam...

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Berlin to Strasbourg...

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Berlin to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Nice & other cities in France...

Option 1, using the direct TGV from Frankfurt to Lyon, Avignon, Aix en Provence & Marseille - recommended, avoids having to cross Paris!

Frankfurt to Marseille TGV

Step 1, Frankfurt to Marseille by direct TGV Duplex, seen here ready to leave Frankfurt am Main Hbf...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes...

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV Duplex at Frankfurt

1st class seats on the upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. 360º photo.

 

The TGV to Marseille, boarding at Frankfurt am Main Hbf.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

Option 2, Berlin to Lyon & the South of France via Paris...

Option 3, Berlin to Lyon & the South of France using the Berlin-Basel Nightjet sleeper train...

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Berlin to Brussels & Bruges from €27.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Brussels by high-speed train - fastest & most comfortable...

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.

Option 2, the lo-cost option from Berlin to Brussels:  Berlin-Cologne by Flixtrain from €9.99, lunch in Cologne, Cologne-Brussels by Thalys or ICE from €19.

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Berlin to Amsterdam from €37.90:  See the Berlin to Amsterdam page...
Amsterdam-Berlin InterCity   Inside the Amsterdam to Berlin bistro car

An Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train...

 

The bistro car.  Larger photo.

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   2nd class seats on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

 

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

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Berlin to Luxembourg from €37.90...
Double-deck train between Koblenz, Trier & Luxembourg

Koblenz to Luxembourg by double deck regional train.  This is a CFL double-decker at Luxembourg.

1st class on a Koblenz-Luxembourg train   1st class on a Koblenz-Luxembourg train

1st class on the upper deck. Larger photo.

 

2nd class on the upper deck.  Larger photo.

Scenery along the Moselle between Koblenz & Luxembourg

Scenery along the Moselle between Koblenz & Luxembourg in the morning sun, the mists still clearing.  For the best river views, sit on the right hand side of the train going east from Luxembourg, left hand side going west from Koblenz.

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Berlin to Basel, Zurich, Geneva & Switzerland from €37.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Switzerland by sleeper train - the time-effective option...

The Nightjet sleeper from Berlin to Zurich

The Nightjet sleeper from Berlin to Basel & Zurich, boarding on platform 3 at Berlin Hbf.

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

 

The 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 Nightjet sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Nightjet couchette car at Zurich HB...

Option 2, Berlin to Switzerland by daytime train...

ICE4 at Frankfurt Flughafen

An ICE4 at Frankfurt Flughafen.  Most Berlin-Switzerland ICEs are now ICE4.  Click on the interior images below for larger photos.

1st class on an ICE4 train   Restaurant car on an ICE4 train

1st class on an ICE4...

 

Restaurant car on an ICE4...

Bar counter car on an ICE4 train   2nd class on an ICE4 train

The bar counter, other end of the restaurant car.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE4...

Option 3, Berlin to Switzerland with overnight stop in Frankfurt - a time-effective option...

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Berlin to Verona or Venice from €49.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Venice by evening ICE to Munich & Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option.

ICE3

Step 1, Berlin to Munich by ICE with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Various types of ICE operate this route.  More information about ICE.

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

2nd class seats on an ICE3.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3.  Larger photo.

ICE-T restaurant car   ICE-T restaurant car meal

Restaurant...

 

Dinner in the diner...

The Nightjet sleeper train from Munich to Venice at Munich Hbf

Step 2, Munich to Venice by Nightjet sleeper train, seen here on platform 12 at Munich HbfMore information about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe sleeper, 2-bed   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   4-berth couchette compartment from Cologne to Vienna

2-berth deluxe sleeper.  More info about Nightjet trains.

 

...en suite toilet & shower.

 

4-berth couchettes...

Sunrise as the sleeper train crosses the causeway into Venice

Sunrise as the Munich-Venice Nightjet crosses the causeway over the lagoon into Venice.  Courtesy of Andreas Wiedenhoff.

Option 2, Berlin to Venice in a single day from €49.90 - the daytime option with great scenery...

EuroCity train from Munich to Innsbruck & beyond

A EuroCity train at Munich Hbf.  More photos & information about these Austrian EuroCity trains.

2nd class seats in an open-plan car   Austrian first class seats

2nd class seats, some in open-plan saloons like this, some in 6-seat compartments.

 

1st class leather seats.  You'll also find seats in classic 6-seat compartments.

Mountains on the Brenner route...

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads for Trento & Verona...

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

Option 3, Berlin to Venice  with overnight stop in Munich - as option 2, but with an overnight stop.

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Berlin to Florence, Rome, Milan, Verona or anywhere else Italy from €39.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Italy using the Nightjet sleeper train from Munich to Milan, Bologna, Florence or Rome - the most time-effective option...

Berlin to Munich ICE-T train at Leipzig

Step 1, Berlin to Munich by ICE with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Various types of ICE operate between Berlin & Munich.  More information about ICE trains.

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant.  In 1st class you're served at your seat.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See  current month's menu.

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train...

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T...

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Rome

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Rome, boarding on platform 11 at Munich Hbf.

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

 

The 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 Munich-Amsterdam sleeper

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car.

Option 2, Berlin to Florence or Rome in a single day - the daytime option with great scenery...

EuroCity train from Munich to Innsbruck & beyond

A EuroCity train at Munich Hbf.  More photos & information about these Austrian EuroCity trains.

2nd class seats in an open-plan car   Austrian first class seats

2nd class seats, some in open-plan saloons like this, some in 6-seat compartments.

 

1st class leather seats.  You'll also find seats in classic 6-seat compartments.

Mountains on the Brenner route...

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads for Trento & Verona...

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

Option 3, Berlin to Italy via the Brenner Pass with overnight stop in Munich - as option 2 but with an overnight stop...

Option 4, Berlin to Italy using the Berlin-Zurich Nightjet sleeper train, then a scenic ride through the Alps...

Option 5, Berlin to Italy by daytime trains via the Swiss Alps - also a scenic ride, in a day or with overnight stop...

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Berlin to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain from €79...

Option 1, Berlin to Barcelona & Spain with overnight stop in Paris...

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

Paris to Barcelona by TGV Duplex.  Here, a TGV Duplex is boarding at Paris Gare de LyonSee more information, photos & video about the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats on the upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class a TGV Duplex upper deck   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.  360º photo.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar...

 

View from the train, passing Béziers...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

Option 2, Berlin to Barcelona & Spain with overnight stop in Marseille...

Frankfurt to Marseille TGV

Step 1, Frankfurt to Marseille by direct TGV Duplex, seen here ready to leave Frankfurt am Main Hbf...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes...

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV Duplex at Frankfurt

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. 360º photo.

 

The TGV to Marseille, boarding at Frankfurt am Main Hbf.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

AVE S100 at Barcelona Sants

Step 2, Marseille to Barcelona by AVE...  Above an AVE-S100 at Barcelona Sants. 

 

1st class seats on an AVE S100.  360º photo of 1st class.

Cafe-bar...

AVE train at Barcelona  

These S100 AVE trains operate the TGV/AVE services from Madrid to Marseille, Barcelona to Lyon, Toulouse.  This is an AVE-S100 at Barcelona Sants.

 

2nd class seats on the S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Luggage goes on the racks at the car ends or above the seats.  360º photo of 2nd class More photos & info about AVE S100.

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

Option 3, Berlin to Paris by high-speed train, French sleeper train to the Spanish border & onward Spanish trains...

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Berlin to San Sebastian...

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Berlin to Lisbon, Porto, Faro & Portugal...

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Berlin to Andorra...
Intercite de nuit overnight train in Paris

Paris to Toulouse or l'Hospitalet by Intercité de Nuit, seen here at Paris Gare d'AusterlitzMore information about Intercité de Nuit trains Watch the videoPhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

InterCite de Nuit 1st class couchette, 4-berth   InterCite de Nuit 2nd class couchette, 6-berth   French couchette car corridor

1st class 4-berth couchettes, as recently refurbished.  Courtesy of @Bristol_Phil.  Photo in 2nd class courtesy Dan Chester.

 

2nd class 6-berth couchettes

 

Chilling in the corridor...  Courtesy Dan Chester.

InterCite de Nuit 2nd class upper berth couchettes   InterCite de Nuit couchette

Upper berths, 2nd class, showing compartment lighting & temperature controls above door.  Courtesy of Dan Chester.

 

Each couchette is provided with pillow, lightweight sleeping bag, bottled water & kit with ear plugs and eye mask.

The castle at Foix

If you choose to go via l'Hospitalet, you stay on the sleeper train as it climbs into the Pyrenees south of Toulouse.  This is Foix, between Toulouse & l'Hospitalet.  The castle is on the right just south of the station.

Mountains in the Pyrenees

Beyond Foix, the sleeper train climbs higher into the mountains...

Mountain   l'Hospitalet station

...and arrives at l'Hospitalet-pres-l'Andorre station, pictured above right...

Bus station next to Toulouse Matabiau station   Bus station next to Toulouse Matabiau station

Road transport to Andorra...  This is a Toulouse to Andorra bus at Toulouse bus stand 15.

 

The bus station in Toulouse Matabiau forecourt.  Photo courtesy of Andrew McIntyre.

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Berlin to Vienna from €37.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Vienna by railjet train departing 06:17 - a leisurely daytime option with restaurant car...

Railjet train to Vienna at Berlin Hbf

The early morning railjet to Vienna, about to leave Berlin Hbf platform 1.  More information about railjets.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About business class.

 

Restaurant.  In 1st & business you're served at your seat.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Economy class seats on a railjet train

First class.

 

Economy (2nd) class.

A railjet train about to leave Berlin to Vienna

The railjet Vindobona ready to leave Berlin Hbf.

Option 2, Berlin to Vienna by ICE train departing 10:05 - a leisurely daytime option with restaurant car...

Berlin to Vienna ICE train

The ICE Berolina...  On its first day of operation, 9 December 2018, the very first Berlin to Vienna Berolina arrives at Vienna Hbf spot on time.  Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler .

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant car.  I highly recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T to Vienna...

Option 3, Berlin to Vienna by nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective overnight option...

Nightjet sleeper train from Berlin to Vienna

The Nightjet sleeper from Berlin to Vienna, boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

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

 

The 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 Munich-Rome sleeper

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on the Munich-Amsterdam Nightjet.

Option 4, Berlin to Vienna with overnight stop in Prague...

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Restaurant photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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Berlin to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Hallstatt & Austria from €29.90...

Berlin to Salzburg or Innsbruck by daytime trains...

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Berlin to Legoland, Odense & Copenhagen from €37.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Copenhagen by daytime trains, daily all year round...

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Hamburg Hbf

The late afternoon Hamburg-Copenhagen IC3 leaving platform 5 at Hamburg Hbf on a busy summer day.  The yellow stripe above the windows indicates first class, located at one end of both 3-car units.  More information about the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey.

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen

Boarding a Danish IC3 train at Hamburg Hbf...

 

1st class seats on an IC3 train.  Larger photo.

2nd class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen   A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...

2nd class seats on a IC3 train.  Larger photo.

 

An IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg.

Option 2, Berlin to Copenhagen by Snälltåget sleeper train, daily April-September, certain dates in October...

The Snalltaget sleeper toHamburg & Berlin, at Stockholm Central

The Snälltåget sleeper from Berlin to Copenhagen & Stockholm.  This is in fact the southbound train at Stockholm Central the day the new service was launched, about to make its inaugural departure on 28 June 2021, postponed from May.  Courtesy of Robert Enskog....

Stockholm-Berlin couchette, day mode   Stockholm-Berlin couchette, night mode

The Snälltåget sleeper train uses ex-German Railways couchettes, sold as a whole private compartment for up to 6 people.  Bedding is provided, toilets & washrooms are at the end of the corridor.  Photos courtesy of Snalltaget.

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Berlin to Stockholm, Gothenburg & Malmö from €56.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Stockholm using the Hamburg-Stockholm sleeper train, starting 1 September 2022 - the time-effective option...

Hamburg-StockholmSJ EuroNight at Hamburg Altona   6-berth couchette on the Hamburg-Stockholm SJ night train

The inaugural Hamburg to Stockholm SJ EuroNight train at Hamburg Altona, 1 September 2022.  The author rode this first departure...

6-berth couchettes.

Larger photo.

Couchettes in day mode on the Hamburg-Stockholm train   Hamburg-StockholmSJ EuroNight at Padborg

Couchettes in day mode, en route to Stockholm.  Larger photo.

The inaugural train from Hamburg to Stockholm calls at Padborg, just after entering Denmark.

Scenery from the Hamburg to Stockholm train

Typical Swedish scenery on the morning run into Stockholm...

Option 2, Berlin to Stockholm by train in a single day - the comfortable daytime option...

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen station

Hamburg to Copenhagen by Intercity train seen here at Copenhagen.  More about Hamburg to Copenhagen trains.

2nd class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen   1st class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen

2nd class seats on an IC3 train.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an IC3 train.  Larger photo.

An X2000 train at Stockholm Central

Copenhagen to Stockholm by tilting 200km/h X2000, seen at Stockholm CentralMore about X2000 trains.

1st class seats on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train 2nd class seats on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train

1st class on an X2000.  Larger photo.

 

2nd class on an X2000.  Larger photo.

Bistro seating area on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train   Bistro seating area on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train

Bistro seating on an X2000 train. Larger photo.

 

Bistro on an X2000 train. Larger photo.

On the Oresund link!

Crossing the impressive Öresund bridge from Denmark to Sweden...

Option 3, Berlin to Stockholm using the Malmö-Stockholm sleeper... 

Option 4, Berlin to Malmo & Stockholm by direct Snälltåget sleeper train, daily April-September & certain dates in October...

The Snalltaget sleeper toHamburg & Berlin, at Stockholm Central

The Snälltåget sleeper from Berlin to Copenhagen & Stockholm.  This is in fact the southbound train at Stockholm Central the day the new service was launched, about to make its inaugural departure.  Courtesy of Robert Enskog...

Stockholm-Berlin couchette, day mode   Stockholm-Berlin couchette, night mode

The Snälltåget sleeper train uses ex-German Railways couchettes, sold as a whole private compartment for up to 6 people.  Bedding is provided, toilets & washrooms are at the end of the corridor.  Photos courtesy of Snalltaget.

Option 5, Berlin to Gothenburg using Stena Line's Kiel-Gothenburg overnight ferry...

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Berlin to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, Berlin to Oslo via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way...

Option 2, Berlin to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo cruise ferry - the most luxurious way to Oslo...

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

This photo is taken from the exit of Kiel station, so you can see how close the ferry is.  It's a 5-6 minute walk across the harbour, with a street lift up to a connecting walkway which takes you to the ferry terminal. If you have reserved one of what Color Line call their "5 star suites", check in at the desk rather than the machines and you'll be directed to a special lounge to wait with free tea, coffee, juice, snacks & WiFi.  You'll also have priority boarding of the ship.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

Boarding the Color Line ferry to Oslo in Kiel...

Kiel to Oslo ferry, Color Class suite   Kiel to Oslo ferry, restaurant

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry...

 

More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to this....

Option 3, Berlin to Oslo, by train to Copenhagen then DFDS overnight ferry to Oslo - cheaper than Color Line...

DFDS ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo

The huge DFDS luxury overnight cruise ferry Crown Seaways berthed at Oslo...  Courtesy of Ivor Morgan.

Atrium on the ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo   Standard cabin on the ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo

The ferry is a floating hotel, with cabins, suites, restaurants, bars and entertainment.  The Pearl Seaways even features an outdoor jacuzzi but reportedly her sister ship Crown Seaways lacks this.  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

1, 2, 3 or 4 berth standard cabin on the Crown Seaways with shower & toilet and satellite TV.  Larger photoCourtesy of Ivor Morgan.

Suite on the ferry   Suite on the ferry

Commodore Class suite with double bed on board the DFDS superferry to Oslo.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Sunset at sea on the DFDS ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo

Scenery in Oslo Fjord on the voyage to Norway...  Courtesy of Ivor Morgan.

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Berlin to Helsinki & Finland...

Option 1, Berlin to Helsinki using a direct ferry from Germany - the easiest option...

Finnlines Star class ferry to Helsinki   Cabin on the Finnlines ferry to Helsinki

One of Finnlines 3 star class ferries to Helsinki.  Courtesy of Finnlines.

 

Cabin on the ferry...

Option 2, Berlin to Helsinki, by train to Stockholm then ferry...

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Berlin to Prague from €18.90...
Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  See the Berlin to Prague page for times, fares, tips & how to buy ticketsPhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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Berlin to Český Krumlov for €29.40...
Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  See the Berlin to Prague page for times, fares, tips & how to buy ticketsPhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Scenery along the river Elbe

Between Berlin & Prague the train runs along the pretty river Elbe, or Labe in Czech.  One of Europe's major rivers, the Elbe eventually flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven near Hamburg.  Watch for river boats, even the occasional paddle steamer.  See the photos & video of this part of the journey here.

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Berlin to Karlovy Vary for €31...

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Berlin to Brno for €27.90...

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Berlin to Bratislava from €46.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Bratislava by EuroNight sleeper train Metropol - the time-effective option, saves a hotel bill too...

EuroNight sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest

The Berlin to Budapest sleeper train Metropol, boarding at Berlin Hbf.  More information about this train.

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Budapest to Berlin   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

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

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Berlin to Bratislava by EuroCity train - the direct daytime option...

The EuroCity train Hungaria about to leave Berlin Hbf for Budapest

The EuroCity train Hungaria about to leave Berlin Hbf for Bratislava & Budapest.

1st classopen-plan seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest   1st class compartment on a Hungarian EuroCity train

1st class.  You can choose to sit in a 1st class open plan (saloon) car like this...  Larger photo.

 

...or in a 1st class car with side corridor & classic 6-seat compartments like this.  Larger photo.

2nd class seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest   2nd class seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest

2nd class.  You can choose to sit in a 2nd class open plan (saloon) car like this...  Larger photo.

 

...or in a 2nd class car with side corridor & classic 6-seat compartments like this.   Larger photo.

2nd class seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest   The restaurant car of the Hungaria from Berlin to Budapest

Lunch on the Hungaria.  There are no table reservations, just go along & sit down.  Courtesy of @_DiningCar...

 

Restaurant car on the Hungaria Larger photo.  Photo courtesy of Siddhartha Verma.

Scenery along the river Elbe

Between Dresden & Prague the train runs along the pretty river Elbe, or Labe in Czech.  One of Europe's major rivers, the Elbe eventually flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven near Hamburg.  Watch for river boats, even the occasional paddle steamer.  See the photos & video of this part of the journey here.

Option 3, Berlin to Bratislava by daytime trains - alternative daytime option....

Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Step 1, Berlin to Vienna on the ICE Berolina.  On its first day of operation, 9 December 2018, the very first Berlin to Vienna Berolina arrives at Vienna Hbf spot on time.  More information about ICE-T trainsCourtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler .

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant car.  I highly recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T to Vienna...

The train from Vienna to Bratislava, at Vienna Huaptbahnhof...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

Step 2, Vienna to Bratislava by regional express train. More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

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Berlin to Poprad-Tatry & Kosice from €46.90...

Option 1, Berlin to the Tatra mountains in a day...

Option 2, Berlin to the Tatra mountains using the Prague-Slovakia sleeper - the most time-effective option, with dinner in Prague...

Option 3, Berlin to the Tatra mountains using the Berlin-Bratislava sleeper - also a time-effective option...

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Berlin to Budapest from €46.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Budapest by sleeper train Metropol - the time-effective option which saves a hotel bill...

EuroNight sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest

The Berlin to Budapest sleeper train Metropol, boarding at Berlin Hbf.  More information about this train.

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Budapest to Berlin   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

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

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Berlin to Budapest by EuroCity train Hungaria - the direct daytime option...

The EuroCity train Hungaria about to leave Berlin Hbf for Budapest

The EuroCity train Hungaria about to leave Berlin Hbf for Bratislava & Budapest.

1st classopen-plan seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest   1st class compartment on a Hungarian EuroCity train

1st class.  You can choose to sit in a 1st class open plan (saloon) car like this...  Larger photo.

 

...or in a 1st class car with side corridor & classic 6-seat compartments like this.  Larger photo.

2nd class seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest   2nd class seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest

2nd class.  You can choose to sit in a 2nd class open plan (saloon) car like this...  Larger photo.

 

...or in a 2nd class car with side corridor & classic 6-seat compartments like this.   Larger photo.

2nd class seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest   The restaurant car of the Hungaria from Berlin to Budapest

Lunch on the Hungaria.  There are no table reservations, just go along & sit down.  Courtesy of @_DiningCar...

 

Restaurant car on the Hungaria Larger photo.  Photo courtesy of Siddhartha Verma.

Scenery along the river Elbe

Between Dresden & Prague the train runs along the pretty river Elbe, or Labe in Czech.  One of Europe's major rivers, the Elbe eventually flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven near Hamburg.  Watch for river boats, even the occasional paddle steamer.  See the photos & video of this part of the journey here.

Option 3, Berlin to Budapest by day trains - alternative daytime options...

Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Step 1, Berlin to Vienna on the ICE Berolina.  On its first day of operation, 9 December 2018, the very first Berlin to Vienna Berolina arrives at Vienna Hbf spot on time.  More information about ICE-T trainsCourtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant car.  I highly recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T to Vienna...

A railjet train from Vienna to Budapest, arrived at Budapest Keleti

Step 2, Vienna to Budapest by railjet.  This is a railjet on platform 9 at Budapest's historic Keleti stationMore information about railjets.

First class seats on a railjet train   Economy class seats on a railjet train

First class.

 

Economy (2nd) class.

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Berlin to Bucharest, Brasov & Romania...

Option 1, Berlin-Budapest by sleeper, day at leisure in Budapest, Budapest to Brasov & Bucharest by sleeper - the most time-effective option...

  • Spend a day in Budapest.  Left luggage lockers are available.  If you have a ticket for a single or double sleeper you can use the 1st class lounge on platform 9 at Budapest Keleti for an hour or two after arrival and before departure.

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Romania by sleeper train Ister, leaving Budapest Keleti at 19:10 & arriving Brasov 09:23 & Bucharest Gara de Nord 11:59 next day.

    This sleeper train Ister has an air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and a Romanian couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  There's wonderful almost Alpine scenery through the Carpathian mountains between Brasov and Bucharest, a real treat.  Ister is the ancient name for the Danube.

    Fares start at €39 with a couchette in 6-berth, €46 with a couchette in 4-berth, €69 with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €84 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €162 with a single-bed sleeper all to yourself.  All prices per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at the Romanian Railways website bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro.  Click EN top right for English.  Booking opens up to 90 days ahead.  For Bucharest type Bucuresti.  It can book seats, couchettes or sleepers.  You print your own ticket.

    You can also book at the Hungarian Railways website www.mav-start.hu, see my advice on using it.  For Bucharest type Bucuresti.  You show your ticket in the MAV app on your smartphone.

EuroNight sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest

Step 1, Berlin to Budapest by sleeper train, see here boarding at Berlin Hbf...

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Budapest to Berlin   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

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

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

2-berth sleeper on the Ister   The Ister at Bucharest Nord

A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with washbasin.  Larger photo.

 

Step 2, Budapest to Romania by sleeper.  This is the sleeping-car on the westbound Ister at Bucharest.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the westbound Ister, boarding at Bucharest.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats by day.  Courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com .

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Berlin-Vienna by day train, Vienna to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest by Dacia Express - the fastest option...

  • Step 1, travel from Berlin to Vienna by superb German ICE-T train Berolina, leaving Berlin Hbf at 10:04 every day & arriving Vienna Hbf 17:45.

    It has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, see the ICE information page.  In 1st class food & drink orders are taken & served at your seat, no need to visit the restaurant.  This train is routed through Germany via Nuremberg.

    Fares start at €37.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Romania on the EuroNight sleeper train Dacia Express, leaving Vienna Hbf at 19:42 every evening and arriving next day in Simeria 07:36, Sighisoara 10:09, Braşov 13:26, Ploeşti 15:08 & Bucharest Nord at 15:47.

    The Dacia Express has modern & comfortable Romanian sleeping-cars (1, 2 & 3 bed compartments, including a couple of deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet) and couchettes (4-berth & 6-berth compartments).  There's wonderful Alpine-style scenery through the Carpathian mountains between Brasov and Bucharest, a real treat...

    From 12 December 2021 the Dacia Express will also convey a second portion from Vienna to Bucharest via Timişoara, also leaving Vienna Hbf at 19:42 and arriving Timişoara Nord at 05:52, Craiova 12:42 & Bucharest Nord at 16:05.  This portion has a Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments, and ordinary seats.

    From 12 December 2021 the Dacia Express will convey a portion from Vienna to Cluj Napoca, also leaving Vienna Hbf at 19:42 and arriving Cluj Napoca at 08:19.  This portion has a Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments, and ordinary seats.

    Fares start at €59 with a couchette in a 6-berth compartment, €69 with a couchette in a 4-berth compartment, €79 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €99 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper or €159 with a bed in a single-berth sleeper all to yourself.  All per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at.  Booking normally opens 90 days ahead.  In the search results, look for the direct train marked D with no changes.  If it says not available you can't book it, but if a Sparschiene fare is shown you can.  You collect tickets from an ÖBB ticket machine in Vienna.

    You can also (as of 2022) book this train at the Romanian Railways website bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro.  Click EN top right for English.  Booking opens up to 90 days ahead.  For Vienna type Wien, for Bucharest type Bucuresti.  It can book seats, couchettes or sleepers.  For Austria to Romania journeys you now print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.  Tip:  Prices might be cheaper than on oebb.at, so check both sites!

    Tip:  If you like, you can check the consist for this train, check car numbers & see in what order cars for different destinations are marshalled using www.vagonweb.cz.  Change cs to English upper left, then click Train formations, scroll down to Austria & click D, then look for Dacia.

Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Step 1, Berlin to Vienna on the ICE Berolina.  On its first day of operation, 9 December 2018, the very first Berlin to Vienna Berolina arrives at Vienna Hbf spot on time.  More information about ICE-T trainsCourtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant car.  I highly recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T to Vienna...

Dacia Express sleeper at Vienna   Dacia Express sleeper at Vienna

Step 2, Vienna to Romania on the Dacia Express.  The Dacia has an air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car of their most modern type.  Each compartment can be sold as a single, double or triple.  Most have a washbasin, two compartments have a shower & toilet.  Beds fold away to form a private sitting room for day use.  Sleeper photo courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom.  Larger photo.

Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest   Dacia Express couchette car

The Dacia Express couchette car, boarding at Vienna Hbf.  There is one Romanian couchette car with 4 & 6-berth compartments, bedding provided.  Larger photo.

Scenery in Transylvania

Transylvania:  The Dacia Express crosses rural Transylvania.  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

  Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest

Enjoy lunch and a beer in the bar car, as a bar-bistro is attached to the Dacia Express in Romania between Simeria & Bucharest.  Photos courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom & @_DiningCar.

Dacia Express Carpathian mountains

The Carpathian mountains:  Almost Alpine scenery between Brasov & Bucharest...  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom.

Option 3, Berlin to Romania by daytime trains with overnight stop in Budapest - if you prefer daytime trains & hotels...

  • Day 1 until 11 December 2021 & from 1 September 2022, travel from Berlin to Budapest by EuroCity train Hungaria, leaving Berlin Hbf at 09:16 and arriving Budapest Nyugati at 20:20.

    Between Dresden & Prague the Hungaria runs along the scenic Elbe river valley, grab a seat on the left hand side of the train for the best river views,  see the tips, photos & video here.  The train also has a Hungarian restaurant car, have a meal and a beer or two while you travel...

    Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Day 1 from 12 December 2021 to 31 August 2022, travel from Berlin to Budapest by ICE-T & railjet train, leaving Berlin Hbf at 10:04, changing at Vienna Hbf and arriving Budapest Keleti at 20:19.  Both trains have a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €46.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Buy a ticket at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket (it must be printed in this case, it cannot be shown on a mobile device).

The daytime train from Budapest to Bucharest

The daytime train from Budapest to Bucharest has modern air-conditioned Romanian carriages.  Three cars travel all the way, additional cars are attached whilst in Hungary, and additional cars and a bar car are attached between Drobeta Turnu Severin & Bucharest.

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   2nd class on the Budapest to Bucharest train

On the left, the daytime train to Bucharest is about to leave Budapest Keleti...

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the Budapest to Bucharest train.  There are power outlets under the tables.  Larger photo.

Bar stools on the Budapest to Bucharest train   Bar car on the Budapest to Bucharest train

A bar car is attached between Drobeta Turnu Severin & Bucharest.  Photos courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com.

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Berlin to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Rijeka, Sarajevo, Split, Dubrovnik...

Option 1, Berlin to Munich by day train then Munich to Zagreb by sleeper - the most comfortable & time-effective option...

  • Step 1, travel from Berlin to Munich by high-speed ICE train leaving Berlin at 18:05 arriving Munich Hbf 22:01.

    The ICE train has a  restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, see more information about ICE trains.

    Fares start at €29.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Personally, I'd take the earlier 16:30 ICE (they run regularly through the day) and have dinner in Munich between trains.  For a Bavarian meal and a beer or two, I recommend the Augustiner Keller (www.augustinerkeller.de) at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf, see walking map.

    Book this train at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Step 2, travel from Munich to Zagreb by sleeper train Lisinski, leaving Munich Hbf at 23:20 and arriving Ljubljana 06:00 & Zagreb 08:32.

    The Lisinski has a modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car with comfortable 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, a Croatian air-conditioned couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments and ordinary seats.  See the photos below & see the Croatian sleeper video.

    Fares start at €49.90 with a couchette in a 6-berth, €59.90 with a couchette in a 4-berth, €66.90 with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €86.90 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €129.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, a little more fiddly, same fares).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 3, take an onward connection...

    For Sarajevo, see the Zagreb to Sarajevo page.

    For Rijeka, change in Ljubljana.  Buy a Ljubljana-Rijeka ticket at the station, check times using www.bahn.de.

    For Split, either stay overnight in Zagreb and take a daytime train from Zagreb to Split next day (a great idea as it's a lovely scenic route well worth seeing by day) or take the overnight sleeper from Zagreb to Split.  The fare by daytime train is only around €20 in 2nd class.  See the Trains from Zagreb page for details.  Buy tickets at the Croatian Railways website www.hzpp.hr - though it's not usually a problem to get places on the day.  www.hzpp.hr can sell daytime tickets and couchettes on the night train, but not sleepers.

    For Dubrovnik, take a bus from Split to Dubrovnik.  Buses leave every hour or even every half hour from Split bus station taking between 3h45 and 4h35 to Dubrovnik bus station.  There are various operators, the fare is between €13 & €17.  Buy at the bus station on the day, it's easy.

ICE3

Step 1, Berlin to Munich by ICE with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Various types of ICE operate this route.  More information about ICE.

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

2nd class seats on an ICE3.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3.  Larger photo.

ICE-T restaurant car   ICE-T restaurant car meal

Restaurant...

 

Dinner in the diner...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Munic to Zagreb, boarding in Munich

Step 2, Munich to Ljubljana or Zagreb by sleeper train.  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb is boarding on platform 12 at Munich Hbf.  It has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berth, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments convert to a private sitting room for evening or morning use.  A light breakfast is included in the sleeper fare.

The Croatian couchette car is the next vehicle to the right, also modern & air-conditioned with 4 & 6 bunk compartments, ideal for families.  Couchettes convert from bunks to seats for evening or morning use.

Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   4 or 6-berth couchettes on train from Munich to Zagreb

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360º photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava...

Option 2, Berlin to Vienna by sleeper then onward daytime train to Ljubljana & Zagreb...

  • Step 1, travel from Berlin to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Berlin Hbf at 18:43 & arriving Vienna Hbf at 07:00 next morning.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet 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 are toilets & a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The sleeping-car attendant can serve drinks, snacks & light meals from a room service menu.  The train has couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    Fares start at €59.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €69.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €89.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €109.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €159.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, same prices, a bit more fiddly, no fee).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead and you print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Ljubljana leaving Vienna Hbf at 07:58, arriving Ljubljana at 13:57.

    For Zagreb, change at Zidani Most, arriving Zagreb at 17:12.

    This is the EuroCity train Emona, air-conditioned with restaurant car.  It takes the UNESCO-listed Semmering route south of Vienna, with more great scenery further south into Croatia.  Enjoy a freshly-cooked lunch in the Slovenian restaurant car.

    Buy tickets from Vienna to Ljubljana or Zagreb from €29.90 at www.thetrainline.com (in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, same prices, a bit more fiddly, no fee).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead and you print your own ticket.

  • Step 3, take an onward connection...

    For Sarajevo, see the Zagreb to Sarajevo page.

    For Rijeka, change in Ljubljana.  Buy a Ljubljana-Rijeka ticket at the station, check times using www.bahn.de.

    For Split & Dubrovnik, travel to Zagreb, then either stay overnight in Zagreb and take a daytime train to Split next day (a great idea as it's a lovely scenic route well worth seeing by day) or take the overnight sleeper to Split.  The fare by daytime train is only around €20 in 2nd class.  See the Trains from Zagreb page for details.  Buy tickets at the Croatian Railways website www.hzpp.hr - though it's not usually a problem to get places on the day.  www.hzpp.hr can sell daytime tickets and couchettes on the night train, but not sleepers.  Then take a bus from Split to Dubrovnik.  Buses leave every hour or even every half hour from Split bus station taking between 3h45 and 4h35 to Dubrovnik bus station.  There are various operators, the fare is between €13 & €17.  Buy at the bus station on the day, it's easy.

Option 3, Berlin to Budapest by sleeper then onward daytime train...

EuroNight sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest

Step 1, Berlin to Budapest by sleeper train Metropol, seen here boarding at Berlin Hbf...

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Budapest to Berlin   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

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

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Intercity train Agram from Budapest to Zagreb

Step 2, Budapest to Zagreb by Intercity train Agram, seen here at Budapest Deli with the Croatian car in the foreground, the Hungarian car  next to it, older Hungarian cars going as far as the border at the front.

2nd class seats on the Budapest to Zagreb train Agram   2nd class seats on the Budapest to Zagreb train Agram

2nd class compartment in the Croatian car.

 

2nd class open-plan seats in the Hungarian car.

Lake Balaton seen from the Budapest to Zagreb train

The train runs along the southern shore of Lake Balaton, Hungary's largest lake.  Courtesy of Della Mcvay.

Sunflowers seen from the train from Budapest to Zagreb

The train passes fields of sunflowers...  Courtesy of Louise Donnelly.

Option 4, by daytime trains with overnight hotel in Munich - if you prefer day trains & hotel to sleepers...

Option 5, by daytime trains with overnight hotel in Budapest - if you prefer day trains & hotel to sleepers...

Option 6, using the Regiojet sleeper train from Prague to Zagreb, Rijeka, Split with bus to Dubrovnik - summer-only, 3 times a week, cheapest!

Regiojet overnight train   Regiojet couchette compartment

The holiday train...  Above left, Regiojet overnight train at Prague Hlavni.  Above right, a 4-berth couchette compartment on this train, in daytime mode.  The seat back hinges up to form the upper berths.  See video of this overnight journey, taken during the 2020 season.

Regiojet arrived in Croatia   Berth on the Regiojet train to Croatia

Arrived in Croatia...

 

Couchette...

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Berlin to Belgrade, Sofia, Montenegro...

Option 1, Berlin to Belgrade & beyond via Zagreb - the route from Budapest to Belgrade is currently blocked by track upgrading...

  • Day 1, travel from Berlin to Munich by high-speed ICE train leaving Berlin at 18:05 arriving Munich Hbf 22:01.

    The ICE train has a  restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, see more information about ICE trains.

    Fares start at €29.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Personally, I'd take the earlier 16:30 ICE (they run regularly through the day) and have dinner in Munich between trains.  For a Bavarian meal and a beer or two, I recommend the Augustiner Keller (www.augustinerkeller.de) at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf, see walking map.

    Book this train at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Day 1, travel from Munich to Zagreb by sleeper train Lisinski, leaving Munich Hbf at 23:20 and arriving Zagreb at 08:32.

    The Lisinski has a modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car with comfortable 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, a Croatian air-conditioned couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments and ordinary seats.  See the photos below & see the Croatian sleeper video.

    Fares start at €49.90 with a couchette in a 6-berth, €59.90 with a couchette in a 4-berth, €66.90 with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €86.90 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €129.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, a little more fiddly, same fares).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Day 2, travel from Zagreb to Belgrade by train, leaving Zagreb at 11:04 and arriving Novi Beograd 18:04 & Belgrade Centar at 18:12.

    This train is still currently suspended due to Covid-19.

    This train has air-conditioned Serbian carriages with comfortable 2nd class seats, but no 1st class.  There's no catering, so bring a picnic and some beer or wine.

    The fare is around €29 bought at the station in Zagreb or paid on board the train, but tickets cannot be bought online.

  • For Montenegro, transfer to Belgrade Topcider station and either take the overnight sleeper Lovcen to Podgorica and Bar arriving in the morning on day 3, or stay overnight in Belgrade and take the daytime train Tara next day.  See the Belgrade to Montenegro page for schedule, fares & how to buy tickets.

  • For Sofia, stay overnight in Belgrade and travel from Belgrade to Sofia next day (day 3), see the Belgrade to Sofia page for schedule, fares & how to buy tickets.

  • For Istanbul, stay overnight in Belgrade, take the train from Belgrade to Sofia on day 3 (see details here),  stay overnight and spend day 4 in Sofia, then take the Sofia-Istanbul Express sleeper train to Istanbul (see details here).

ICE3

Step 1, Berlin to Munich by ICE with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Various types of ICE operate this route.  More information about ICE.

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

2nd class seats on an ICE3.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3.  Larger photo.

ICE-T restaurant car   ICE-T restaurant car meal

Restaurant...

 

Dinner in the diner...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Munic to Zagreb, boarding in Munich

Step 2, Munich to Ljubljana or Zagreb by sleeper train.  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb is boarding on platform 12 at Munich Hbf.  It has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berth, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments convert to a private sitting room for evening or morning use.  A light breakfast is included in the sleeper fare.

The Croatian couchette car is the next vehicle to the right, also modern & air-conditioned with 4 & 6 bunk compartments, ideal for families.  Couchettes convert from bunks to seats for evening or morning use.

Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   4 or 6-berth couchettes on train from Munich to Zagreb

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360º photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava...

2nd class seats in a Serbian air-conditioned train   The train from Belgrade to Zagreb & Zurich, about to leave Belgrade

Step 3, Zagreb to Belgrade by Serbian train.  There's no catering, so bring your own food & drink.

Option 3, Berlin to Sofia via Budapest & Bucharest - currently the easiest option between Berlin & Sofia...

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Berlin to Warsaw from €27.90:  See the Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity train page...
Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

A Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity train 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.

 

The bar...

 

Decent food, served on proper china...

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Berlin to Krakow from €27.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel - the daytime option...

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 car.  Some seats are in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car...

 

The bar...

 

Decent food, served on proper china...

Option 2, Berlin to Krakow by daytime trains via Warsaw from €37.90...

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

Step 1, by EuroCity train from Berlin to Warsaw with air-conditioned 1st & 2nd class coaches, most with compartments and side corridor like this, others with open-plan seating.  Above, a train to Warsaw about to leave 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 open-plan car.  Some seats are in compartments.

EIP train   2nd class seats on a PKP InterCity EIP train

Step 2, by EIP train Warsaw to Krakow. Courtesy www.vagonweb.cz

 

2nd class seats on a bullet-nosed EIP...

EIP train, side   EIP bar car   Table for two in EIP 1st class

Clean & electric EIP train...

 

The on board cafe-bar...

 

1st class table for two...

Option 3, Berlin to Krakow using the Rzepin-Krakow sleeper train - the  overnight sleeper option...

Option 4, Berlin to Krakow using the Stettin-Krakow sleeper train - a variation on the sleeper option...

Polish sleeping-car   Polish 2-bed sleeper in day mode

Polish sleeping-car of the older type used on the Stettin-Poznan-Krakow train.

 

2-bed sleeper.

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Berlin to Wroclaw from €27.90...

Option 1, Berlin to Wroclaw by direct EuroCity train...

Option 2, Berlin to Wroclaw by direct regional train Fridays & Saturdays.

The weekend Berlin to Wroclaw train  

The weekends-only train from Berlin to Wroclaw.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Option 3, Berlin to Wroclaw with a change at Poznan or Rzepin - if none of the direct trains suit you...

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Berlin to Gdansk & Gdynia from €27.90...

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Berlin to Szczecin (Stettin) for €12.70...

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Berlin to Vilnius, Riga & Tallinn...

Option 1, Berlin to Lithuania in a single day...

Option 2, Berlin to Lithuania with overnight stop & morning in Warsaw...

Warsaw to Vilnius by train, not bus

On the right, the Intercity from Warsaw has arrived at Bialystok, on the left the train to Kaunas waits to leave...

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Berlin to Lviv, Kiev & Ukraine from €85...

Option 1, Berlin to Ukraine using the Warsaw to Kiev sleeper - a good option...

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

Step 1, Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train with air-conditioned 1st & 2nd class coaches, most with compartments and side corridor like this, others with open-plan seating.  Above, a train to Warsaw about to leave 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 open-plan car.  Some seats are in compartments.

The Warsaw to Kiev train at Warsaw Centralna

Step 2, Warsaw to Kiev by sleeper.  This is the Kiev ExpressCourtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin   The Kiev Express

1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper...

 

Washbasin...

 

Kiev Express...

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Berlin to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Option 1, Berlin to Moscow by twice-weekly Swift sleeper train - runs via Belarus.  Suspended due to sanctions.

The Strizh sleeper train from Berlin to Moscow

The Strizh sleeper train from Berlin to Moscow, seen here boarding in Berlin.  It's a Spanish-built articulated Talgo train - note the relatively small size of each car, just one axle between each car.  The axles adjust automatically from standard European gauge (4' 8½") to Russian 5' gauge at Brest, as the train passes slowly through a special gauge-changing shed.   Courtesy of Stuart Wilks & Jaap van Ginkel.

2-bed sleeper with washbasin, night   2-bed sleeper with washbasin, day mode   Complimentary toiletry pack in a Strizh sleeper

2-berth sleeper with washbasin, in night & daytime modes...

 

Complimentary toiletry pack...

Option 2, Berlin to Moscow by direct Paris-Berlin-Moscow Express, once a week - suspended due to sanctions...

  • You can travel from Berlin to Moscow using Russian Railways excellent high-quality Paris-Moscow Express.

    It leaves Berlin Hbf every Friday at 07:26, arriving Moscow Belorussky around 11:45 next day, see the Paris-Moscow Express page.

    The train features modern air-conditioned Russian sleepers with 2nd class 4-berth & 1st class 2-berth compartments, VIP deluxe Russian sleepers with 1 or 2 berths, shower & toilet, and a Polish restaurant car is available throughout.  See panorama photo of a standard sleeper.

    This train was suspended due to Covid-19 and remains suspended due to sanctions.

  • How much does it cost?

    The fares is around 7,841 rubles (€125) in 2nd class 4-berth, 11,006 rubles (€175) in 1st class 2-berth, 25,982 rubles (€410) with sole occupancy of a deluxe sleeper with shower.

Option 3, Berlin to Moscow using the daily Warsaw-Moscow sleeper train.

One of Russian Railways new international sleeping-cars   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

Option 4, Berlin to Moscow via Kiev - this route avoids Belarus...

  • Day 1, travel from Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train, leaving Berlin Hbf at 09:38 every day and arriving Warsaw Centralna at 15:45. 

    Tip:  You could take the earlier 05:43 departure on Mondays-Saturdays arriving 11:42 and have time to explore Warsaw, see Warsaw Centralna station & city information.  Warsaw's historic old town is a 30 minute walk from Centralna station - if you fancy a modest splurge, the celebrated Ufukiera restaurant (www.ufukiera.pl) is excellent and right on the square in the heart of Warsaw's old town.  The Palace of Culture (a wedding cake style Soviet skyscraper and distinctive Warsaw landmark, www.pkin.pl) is right next to the station and has a viewing terrace on the 30th floor.

  • Day 1, travel from Warsaw to Kiev by Kiev Express sleeper train, leaving Warsaw Wschodnia at 17:48 & arriving in Kiev at 11:00 next morning.

    This train has comfortable Ukrainian 1, 2 & 3 bed sleepers with washbasin.  There's no restaurant car, so take a picnic and perhaps some wine or beer.  The train is jacked up at the border to have its bogies changed from standard gauge (4' 8.5") to Russian 5' gauge, an interesting experience.  See the Kiev Express photos on the London to Ukraine page.  Spend the day exploring Kiev (by all means spend a night or two here if you like).

  • Day 2, travel from Kiev to Moscow by sleeper train.

    There are several night trains, there's usually one leaving Kiev at 19:36 and arriving Moscow Kievskaya at 10:13 next morning (day 3 from Berlin).  2-berth & 4-berth sleepers are available.

    The Kiev-Moscow sleeper trains were suspended due to Covid-19, and now due to the war in Ukraine.

  • How much does it cost?

    Berlin to Warsaw starts at €27.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Warsaw to Kiev costs around around €57 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €66 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €110 with a bed in a single-bed sleeper, if you book through Polrail.  It's a few euros cheaper (€46 in 3-berth) if you manage to book online as explained below.

    Kiev to Moscow costs around €92 with a bed in 4-berth kupé or €180 with a bed in a 2-berth spalny vagon.  Polrail.com charge about €95 for a bed in a 4-berth sleeper.

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Berlin to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Option 1, Berlin to Athens by train & ferry via Italy - the leisurely option with an Adriatic cruise thrown in...

A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

2 or 4-berth cabin with private toilet & shower.

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

At sea, passing Cephalonia & Ithaca.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

Option 2, Berlin to Athens overland by train via Munich & Belgrade - a rail adventure across the Balkans...

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Berlin to Istanbul & Turkey...

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bullet pointHotels in Berlin & other cities

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

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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