Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

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This page explains how to travel by train from Bratislava to other European cities and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Information current for 2024.

Pictured right:  The civilised way to go. Lunch and a beer in the restaurant car of a Bratislava to Berlin express...

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, "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)

Top 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...


How to buy tickets for journeys within Slovakia

Bratislava to Kosice

Bratislava to Poprad-Tatry

Slovakian InterCity & fast trains

On the Bratislava - Poprad Tatry - Kosice main line, ZSSK's best trains are classified IC (InterCity) or R (Rychlik, meaning fast).  They both use similar high-quality air-conditioned cars like the ones shown below.  All IC trains and most R trains have a restaurant car which also has a bar area.  Treat yourself to a meal in the restaurant car, it's not expensive and ZSSK's restaurants are very good.  There's usually one 1st class car, but various 2nd class cars, in 2nd class you can usually choose between a seat in an open-plan car or seats in a car with classic side corridor and 6-seat compartments.

Intercity train from Bratislava to Poprad Tatry & Kosice, at Bratislava

Bratislava-Poprad Tatry-Kosice R train.

Bar on Bratislava to Poprad Tatry & Kosice train   2nd class open-plan seats on Bratislava to Poprad Tatry & Kosice train

Bar area at the other end of the restaurant car.

 

2nd class open-plan on a Bratislava-Kosice train.

1st class on Bratislava to Poprad Tatry & Kosice train   2nd class compartment on a train from Bratislava to Poprad Tatry & Kosice

1st class on a Bratislava-Poprad Tatry-Kosice train.

 

2nd class compartment on a Bratislava-Kosice train.

Intercity train from Bratislava to Poprad Tatry & Kosice, at Bratislava   Restaurant car on a train from Bratislava to Poprad Tatry & Kosice

IC (Intercity) or R (Rychlik, fast) train.

 

Restaurant car.

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Bratislava to London

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Bratislava to Paris

Option 1, Bratislava to Paris in a single day - the scenic route via the Arlberg Pass

Railjet train from Bratislava to Zurich

Step 1, Bratislava to Zurich by railjet train, seen here at Bratislava Hlavna.  Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

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.

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

First class.

 

Economy (2nd) class.

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Crossing the Salzach at Salzburg:  View of the Fortress Hohensalzburg on the left hand side as the railjet crosses the river after leaving Salzburg Hbf.

Cutting across Germany:  From Salzburg to Kufstein the train takes a short cut through Germany without stopping, see the route map here.  All fast Vienna-Salzburg-Innsbruck trains do this, they're still considered Austrian domestic trains even they spend an hour on German territory!  Such a train is called a Korridorzug.

Kufstein station and castle   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

Kufstein:  The train stops at Kufstein, where the castle towers above the station.

Above right, lunch is served.  In railjet first & business class, the steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat.

Scenery in the Tirol

Mountains near Innsbruck.  The train calls briefly at Innsbruck Hbf.

Scenery on the Arlberg route

River Inn:  Running alongside the river Inn in the Tirol, somewhere between Φtzal & Landeck.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Arlberg Pass:  Above, brooding skies over the Arlberg pass.  The pass itself is long, narrow and curvaceous with the train snaking along the valley sides, often high above the valley floor.

Arlberg Tunnel:  Between St Anton am Arlberg & Bludenz the train passes through the Arlberg Tunnel, 6.2 km (6.3 miles) long and opened in 1884.  See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlberg_Railway_Tunnel.

Schaan-Vaduz station   Sargans Castle

Liechtenstein:  The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Vaduz station.

 

Sargans castle:  Watch out for hilltop castles, this is the one at Sargans.

The lakes between the Austrian border and Zurich

Swiss lakes:  Between Sargans & Zurich the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Walensee and then the Zόrichsee.

TGV-Lyria from Zurich to Paris, at Zurich HB

2. Zurich to Paris by TGV-Lyria. Above, a 320 km/h double-deck TGV-Lyria at Zurich HB.

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.  360Ί photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV-Lyria Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

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

 

TGV-Lyria.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

Option 2, Bratislava to Paris using the Vienna-Paris Nightjet sleeper train 3 times a week - the time-effective option

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf.  More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

Nightjet sleeper train boarding at Vienna Hbf

Step 2, Vienna to Paris by Nightjet sleeper trainMore about Nightjets.

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 train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 3, Bratislava to Paris using the Vienna-Zurich sleeper - another time-effective option

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf.  More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

Double-deck sleeping-car on a Nightjet at Zurich

Step 2, Vienna to Zurich by Nightjet sleeper.  This is a double-deck sleeping-car arrived at Zurich HB. Courtesy of DiscoverbyRail.com.

   

2-berth sleeper on the lower deck.

 

Stairs down to pair of lower compartments.

 

1 or 2-bed sleeper on lower deck with washbasin, viewed through window.  Set up as 1-bed.  Note how compact the compartment is.

TGV-Lyria to Geneva at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 3, Zurich to Paris by TGV-Lyria. These 320 km/h double-deck trains now operate all TGV-Lyria services.

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.  360Ί photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV-Lyria Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

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

 

TGV-Lyria.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

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Bratislava to Nice & the South of France

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Bratislava to Lyon

Option 1, Bratislava to Lyon using the Vienna-Zurich sleeper - most time-effective

Option 2, Bratislava to Lyon using the Bratislava-Zurich railjet - in a day

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Bratislava to Strasbourg

Option 1, by daytime trains

Option 2, by sleeper trains - the time-effective option

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Bratislava to Brussels or Bruges

Option 1, Bratislava to Brussels in a single day from €46.90

Option 2, Bratislava to Brussels using the Vienna-Brussels Nightjet sleeper on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays - the most comfortable & time-effective option

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf.  More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

The Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Vienna at Brussels

Step 2, Vienna to Brussels by Nightjet sleeper train.  The inaugural Nightjet left Vienna for Brussels on 19 January 2020.  Above, the inaugural southbound train is ready to leave Brussels the following night, the first scheduled sleeper train to leave Brussels in 16 years - naturally, the Man in Seat 61 was on board!  More about Nightjet trains.

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 on the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet.

Option 3, Bratislava to Brussels using the Vienna-Cologne Nightjet sleeper - on days when the direct Vienna-Brussels Nightjet isn't running

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Bratislava to Amsterdam from €46.90

Option 1, Bratislava to Amsterdam using the Vienna-Amsterdam Nightjet sleeper train - the most comfortable & time-effective option

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf.  More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

Nightjet sleeper train boarding at Vienna Hbf

Step 2, Vienna to Amsterdam by Nightjet sleeper train, seen here at Vienna HbfMore  about Nightjets.

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 couchettes   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

Option 2, Bratislava to Amsterdam in a single day from €46.90

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Bratislava to Luxembourg from €37.90

Option 1, Bratislava to Luxembourg in a single day

Option 2, Bratislava to Luxembourg overnight using the Vienna-Koblenz sleeper - the time-effective option

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Bratislava to Zurich & Switzerland

Option 1, Bratislava to Zurich by direct railjet train - the best option if the timing suits you

Railjet train from Bratislava to Zurich

The Bratislava-Zurich railjet train at Bratislava Hlavna More about railjet trainsCourtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant car.

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

First class.

 

Economy class.

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Crossing the Salzach at Salzburg:  View of the Fortress Hohensalzburg on the left hand side as the railjet crosses the river after leaving Salzburg Hbf.

Cutting across Germany:  From Salzburg to Kufstein the train takes a short cut through Germany without stopping, see the route map here.  All fast Vienna-Salzburg-Innsbruck trains do this, they're still considered Austrian domestic trains even they spend an hour on German territory!  Such a train is called a Korridorzug.

Kufstein station and castle   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

Kufstein:  The train stops at Kufstein, where the castle towers above the station.

Above right, lunch is served.  In railjet first & business class, the steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat.

Scenery in the Tirol

Mountains near Innsbruck.  The train calls briefly at Innsbruck Hbf.

Scenery on the Arlberg route

River Inn:  Running alongside the river Inn in the Tirol, somewhere between Φtzal & Landeck.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Arlberg Pass:  Above, brooding skies over the Arlberg pass.  The pass itself is long, narrow and curvaceous with the train snaking along the valley sides, often high above the valley floor.

Arlberg Tunnel:  Between St Anton am Arlberg & Bludenz the train passes through the Arlberg Tunnel, 6.2 km (6.3 miles) long and opened in 1884.  See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlberg_Railway_Tunnel.

Schaan-Vaduz station   Sargans Castle

Liechtenstein:  The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Vaduz station.

 

Sargans castle:  Watch out for hilltop castles, this is the one at Sargans.

The lakes between the Austrian border and Zurich

Swiss lakes:  Between Sargans & Zurich the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Walensee and then the Zόrichsee.

Option 2, Bratislava to Switzerland by daytime trains with one easy change in Vienna - if the timing of the direct train doesn't suit you

Option 3, Bratislava to Switzerland using the Vienna-Zurich Nightjet sleeper - the time-effective option

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

Double-deck sleeping-car on a Nightjet at Zurich

Step 2, Vienna to Zurich by Nightjet sleeper train.  This is a double-deck sleeping-car arrived at Zurich HB. Courtesy of DiscoverbyRail.com.

   

2-berth sleeper on the lower deck.

 

Stairs down to pair of lower compartments.

 

1 or 2-bed sleeper on lower deck with washbasin, viewed through window.  Set up as 1-bed.  Note how compact the compartment is.

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Bratislava to Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome & Italy from €44

Option 1, Bratislava to Venice in a day

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

A railjet train about to leave Vienna

Step 2, Vienna to Venice by railjet, seen here about to leave Vienna HbfMore about Vienna-Venice railjets.

Railjet restaurant car   Business class seats on a railjet train

Restaurant car.

 

Business class.  About.

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

First class.

 

Economy class.

The railjet travels over the famous Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  See the Vienna to Venice by train page for more information, photos & video.

Option 2, Bratislava to Italy by sleeper train - the most comfortable & time-effective option

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf.  More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

Nightjet sleeper train boarding at Vienna Hbf

Step 2, Vienna to Venice, Florence or Rome by Nightjet sleeper trainMore about Nightjets.

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, 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 couchettes   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

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Bratislava to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain

Bratislava to Barcelona & Spain with overnight stop in Zurich or Geneva

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees.  Seen from the train and one of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline all the way from Girona to Perpignan.

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Bratislava to Lisbon & Portugal

Bratislava to Lisbon via Paris, Barcelona & Madrid

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Bratislava to Andorra

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Bratislava to Berlin & Hamburg from €46.90

Option 1, Bratislava to Berlin & Hamburg by EuroCity Hungaria - the direct daytime option

The EuroCity train Hungaria about to leave Berlin Hbf for Budapest

The EuroCity train Hungaria calls at Berlin Hbf.

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 Prague & Dresden 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 1, Bratislava to Berlin & Hamburg by day trains - alternative daytime options

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train. More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Step 2, Vienna to Berlin & Hamburg by ICE Berolina.  This is the Berolina at Vienna Hbf.  More 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.

Option 2, Bratislava to Berlin by sleeper train - the time-effective option, saves a hotel bill too

EuroNight sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest

Bratislava to Berlin by sleeper.  This is the southbound sleeper at Berlin Hbf.  More about this sleeper 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 3, Bratislava to Hamburg using the Vienna-Hamburg sleeper train - the time-effective option

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Bratislava to Munich from €34.90

Option 1, Bratislava to Munich by daytime trains

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

A railjet train about to leave Vienna

Step 2, Vienna to Munich by railjet.  Above, a railjet about to leave Vienna HbfMore about railjets.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant car.

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

First class.

 

Economy class.

Option 2, Bratislava to Munich by sleeper train

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Bratislava to Frankfurt, Cologne, Dόsseldorf & other cities in Germany from €39.90

Option 1, Bratislava to Germany by daytime trains

Option 2, Bratislava to Cologne or Dusseldorf by Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option

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Bratislava to Vienna for €11.00
The train from Vienna to Bratislava, at Vienna Huaptbahnhof...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

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

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Bratislava to Linz, Salzburg or Innsbruck

Option 1, Bratislava to Linz, Salzburg & Innsbruck by direct railjet train

Railjet train at Bratislava

The railjet train at Bratislava HlavnaCourtesy of Helmut Uttentahler.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant car.

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

First class.

 

Economy class.

Option 2, other departures with a change of train in Vienna - if the direct early morning train doesn't suit you

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Bratislava to Copenhagen, Malmφ, Gothenburg & Stockholm

Option 1, Bratislava to Stockholm using the Hamburg-Stockholm sleeper train - 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 in Hamburg on 1 September 2022. The author rode this first departure.  More about this train.

6-berth couchettes.

Larger photo

Standard sleeper, set up as a double   Hamburg-StockholmSJ EuroNight at Padborg

2-bed sleeper.  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, Bratislava to Copenhagen & Scandinavia using the Vienna-Hamburg Nightjet sleeper

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train. More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper.

 

Step 2, Vienna to Hamburg by Nightjet.  This is a Comfortline sleeping-car as used on the Vienna-Hamburg Nightjet.  More about Nightjets.

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option.

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families.  Larger photo.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen

Step 3, Hamburg to Copenhagen by EuroCity train.  From June 2023, these trains are temporarily being operated by former German Railways intercity cars and a Danish electric locomotive, until new trains being built by Talgo arrive in 2024.  The current trains have 1st & 2nd class, power sockets at seats, but no catering so bring your own food & drink.  More about the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey.

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seats are almost all open-plan like this.  There are a handful of 6-seat 2nd class compartments in one of the coaches, but only a few.

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   1st class 6-seat compartment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

The 1st class car has 6-seater compartments like this. Larger photo Larger photo.

An X2000 train at Stockholm Central

Step 4, 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 Φresund bridge from Denmark to Sweden.

Option 3, Bratislava to Copenhagen & Scandinavia by day trains with an overnight stop in Hamburg

The EuroCity train Hungaria between Berlin & Budapest

Step 1, Bratislava to Hamburg on the EuroCity train HungariaPhotos courtesy of Siddhartha Verma.

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

2nd class seats on the HungariaLarger photo.

 

Restaurant car on the Hungaria.  Larger photo.

Scenery along the river Elbe

Between Prague & Dresden 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.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen

Step 2, Hamburg to Copenhagen by EuroCity train.  From June 2023, these trains are temporarily being operated by former German Railways intercity cars and a Danish electric locomotive, until new trains being built by Talgo arrive in 2024.  The current trains have 1st & 2nd class, power sockets at seats, but no catering so bring your own food & drink.  More about the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey.

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seats are almost all open-plan like this.  There are a handful of 6-seat 2nd class compartments in one of the coaches, but only a few.

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   1st class 6-seat compartment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

The 1st class car has 6-seater compartments like this. Larger photo Larger photo.

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Bratislava to Oslo & Norway

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

Option 2, Bratislava to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo cruise ferry - the most comfortable 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...

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Bratislava to Helsinki & Finland

Option 1, Bratislava to Helsinki using a Finnlines ferry from Travemόnde in Germany - the easiest option

Finnlines ferry Travemunde-Helsinki

Finnlines operate the Finnstar, Finnmaid & Finnlady on the Travemόnde-Helsinki route.  Photo courtesy of Hubert Bartkowiak.  Photos below courtesy of Chris Russell.

Cabin on Finnlines ferry Travemunde-Helsinki   Gym on Finnlines ferry   Sauna on Finnlines ferry

Standard cabin.  Larger photo.

 

Gym with a view.

 

Sauna.

Option 2, Bratislava to Helsinki by train to Stockholm then ferry

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Bratislava to Prague for €17

Option 1, Bratislava to Prague by EuroCity train every 2h - the most frequent option

EuroCity train to Budapest about to leave Prague

A EuroCity train from Prague to Budapest about to leave Prague Hlavni.  More about these trains.

First class on Prague to Budapest traiin   2nd class compartment on Prague to Budapest traiin

1st class.

 

2nd class compartment seating.

Restaurant car on Prague to Budapest traiin   Lunch on a Prague to Budapest EuroCity traiin

Restaurant car.

 

Lunch & a beer.

Option 2, Bratislava to Prague by private operator Regiojet - 4 departures a day, can be cheaper, with great on-board service

A RegioJet train to Prague at Vienna Hbf

A RegioJet train in its distinctive yellow & grey colours.  More about Regiojet trains & their 4 classes

Business class on a RegioJet train from Vienna to Prague   Relax class on a Vienna-Prague RegioJet train

Business class .  Larger photo 360° photo.

 

Relax class.  Larger photo 360° photo.

Standard class astra car on a Vienna to Prague RegioJet train   Regiojet train at Prague

Standard class Astra car.  Larger photo360° photo.

Regiojet Astra car at Vienna.

Option 3, Bratislava to Prague by sleeper train - the time-effective option

The sleeper train from Budapest to Prague

The Czech sleeping-car from Budapest & Bratislava to Prague, boarding at Budapest Nyugati on a summer evening.

Washbasin in Prague-Budapest sleeper   Czech Railways sleeper from Budapest to Prague   Czech Railways sleeper from Budapest to Prague

Washstand, soap & towels provided.  Larger photo.

 

2-bed 'double' sleeper.  Each compartment can be sold as a single, double or triple sleeper.  Larger photo.

 

The corridor.  Each compartment locks securely.  Larger photo.

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Bratislava to Brno from €6

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Bratislava to Ostrava from €11

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Bratislava to Budapest for €17.50
EuroCity train to Budapest about to leave Prague

A Prague-Bratislava-Budapest EuroCity train at Prague Hlavni.  More about these trains.

First class on Prague to Budapest traiin   2nd class compartment on Prague to Budapest traiin

1st class.

 

2nd class compartment seating.

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Bratislava to Brasov, Sighisoara & Bucharest from €57

Option 1, Bratislava to Romania using the sleeper train Ister from Budapest to Brasov & Bucharest

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

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

 

The sleeping-car (vagon de dormit) on the westbound Ister at Bucharest.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use.  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, Bratislava to Romania using the Dacia Express sleeper train from Vienna to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest

Dacia Express sleeper at Vienna   Dacia Express 2-bed sleeper

The Dacia Express sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf.  Interior photo courtesy of Jose Carlos Barbosa.  Larger photo.

Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest   Dacia Express couchette car

The Dacia Express couchette car, boarding at Vienna Hbf.  Larger photo.

Scenery in Transylvania

Transylvania:  The Dacia Express passes villages in rural Transylvania. Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom.

Dacia Express Carpathian mountains

Carpathians:  Alpine scenery as the Dacia Express passes through the Carpathian mountains. Courtesy @PaliparanDotCom.

Option 3, Bratislava to Romania with overnight stop in Budapest - if you prefer day trains & hotel to sleepers

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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Bratislava to Ljubljana & Rijeka

Option 1, Bratislava to Ljubljana via Vienna

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train. More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

The Vienna to Triese EuroCity train Emona, about to leave Vienna

Step 2, Vienna to Ljubljana by EuroCity train Emona, seen about to leave Vienna Hbf, with its Slovenian restaurant car in the foreground and two Slovenian cars in rear.  The Austrian cars are ahead of the restaurant car.

Lunch in Slovenian restaurant car   Slovenian restaurant car

The Emona has a Slovenian restaurant car with inexpensive freshly-cooked scrambled eggs or omelette.  How about a glass of fizz to go with that?

2nd class seats in an open-plan car   1st class seats in an open-plan car

2nd class open-plan seating as used on the Emona.  Seats in classic 6-seat  compartments are also available.

 

1st class seating in an Austrian car as used on the Emona.  There are also seats in classic 6-seat compartments.

Between Vienna & Graz the Emona travels over the famous Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  See the Vienna to Venice by train page for more information, photos & video.

Scenery from the train between Zagreb and Vienna

Scenery in Slovenia, between Maribor & Zidani Most.

Option 2, Bratislava to Ljubljana via Budapest

Option 3, Bratislava to Rijeka by Regiojet sleeper train, summer-only, 3 times a week

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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Bratislava to Zagreb, Split & Dubrovnik

Option 1, Bratislava to Zagreb via Vienna

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

Step 1, Bratislava to Vienna by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf.  More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

EuroCity train Croatia from Vienna to Zagreb

Step 2, Vienna to Zagreb on the Croatia:  This is the EuroCity train Croatia about to leave Vienna Hbf.

 

1st class open-plan seating as used on the Croatia.  1st class seats in classic 6-seat  compartments are also available.

 

2nd class compartment seating as used on the Croatia.  Seats in open plan saloon cars also available

Between Vienna & Villach the Croatia travels over the famous Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  See the Vienna to Venice by train page for more information, photos & video.

Scenery from the train between Zagreb and Vienna

Scenery in Slovenia, between Maribor & Zidani Most.

Scenery from the train between Zagreb and Vienna

Sevnica Castle, seen from the train between Zidani Most & Zagreb.

Option 2, Bratislava to Zagreb by daytime trains via Budapest

Option 3, Bratislava to Split by direct sleeper train (for bus to Dubrovnik), runs Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays in summer - recommended.

Scenery from the Vienna-Split train

What a journey!  Scenery between Zagreb & Split seen from the sleeper train.  Photos courtesy of Rob Romans.

Sleeping-car on the train from Bratislava & Vienna to Split   Sleeper compartment on the train from Bratislava & Vienna to Split

The comfortable air-conditioned Slovakian sleeping-cars on the train from Bratislava & Vienna to Split, arrived at Split station.  Each compartment can be sold as a single, double or triple, and comes with soap, towel, fully-made up beds and a washbasin.  A light breakfast is included. Larger photo. Photo of 2-berth, courtesy of Michael Allsop.

Couchette compartment, of sort used on the train from Bratislava & Vienna to Split   Couchette car on the train from Bratislava & Vienna to Split

A couchette car on the train from Bratislava & Vienna, arrived at Split. Larger photo.

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Bratislava to Belgrade, Sofia, Montenegro

Option 1, Bratislava to Belgrade & beyond via Zagreb

Option 2, Bratislava to Sofia via Bucharest - currently the easiest option between Prague & Sofia

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Bratislava to Warsaw from €27

Option 1, Bratislava to Warsaw by sleeper train - the safe, comfortable, time-effective option

The  Polish sleeping-car from Budapest to Warsaw

Modern Polish sleeping-car on the Budapest-Bratislava-Warsaw sleeper train.

Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   Modern Polish sleeper in day mode, set up as a triple   Deluxe 2-bed sleeper in modern Polish sleeping-car   Deluxe sleepers have a private shower & toilet

Standard sleeper in evening/morning mode with seats folded out.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 3-berth, can also be set up as a single or double.

 

Deluxe sleeper, set up as a 2-berth, showing TV & wardrobe.

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet.

Couchettes on the Budapest to Warsaw sleeper train   Couchettes on the Budapest to Warsaw sleeper train

Polish couchette car on the Budapest to Warsaw night train with 4 & 6 berth compartments.

 

6-berth couchettes. Larger photo

Option 2, Bratislava to Warsaw by daytime train - the leisurely daytime option

The EuroCity train Bathory from Budapest to Warsaw

EuroCity train Bathory from Budapest & Bratislava to Warsaw at Budapest Nyugati.  Click the photos below for larger images.

Restaurant car on the Budapest-Warsaw EuroCity train   Restaurant car on the Budapest-Warsaw EuroCity train

1st class seats on the EuroCity Bathory.

 

Restaurant car on the EuroCity Bathory.

1st class compartment on a Hungarian EuroCity train   2nd class seats on the Budapest to Ljubljana train Drava

2nd class compartment on the EuroCity Bathory.

 

2nd class open plan car as used on the Bathory.

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Bratislava to Krakow from €20

Option 1, Bratislava to Krakow by daytime train - the leisurely daytime option

The Budapest to Krakow train

The Budapest-Bratislava-Krakow cars are at Katowice, attached to the rear of the Prague-Krakow Cracovia Photo courtesy of Discoverbyrail.com.

1st class compartment on a Hungarian EuroCity train   One of the Budapest to Krakow through cars

One Budapest-Krakow car has 6-seat compartments like this.  Click the images for larger photos.

 

...the other Budapest-Krakow car has open-plan seats, wheelchair space, bike compartment.

Option 2, Bratislava to Krakow by sleeper train - the time-effective option

The  Polish sleeping-car from Budapest to Warsaw

Modern Polish sleeping-car of the type used Prague-Warsaw.

Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   Modern Polish sleeper in day mode, set up as a triple   Deluxe 2-bed sleeper in modern Polish sleeping-car   Deluxe sleepers have a private shower & toilet

Standard sleeper in evening/morning mode with seats folded out.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 3-berth, can also be set up as a single or double.

 

Deluxe sleeper, set up as a 2-berth, showing TV & wardrobe.

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet.

Couchettes on the Budapest to Warsaw sleeper train   Couchettes on the Budapest to Warsaw sleeper train

Polish couchette car on the Budapest to Warsaw night train with 4 & 6 berth compartments.

 

6-berth couchettes. Larger photo

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Bratislava to Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Bratislava to Lviv & Kyiv
The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf

Boarding the Vienna to Kyiv sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kyiv sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf. Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

A comfortable 1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car has its wheels changed at Chop

The Vienna-Kyiv sleeper is jacked up to have its bogies changed at Chop on the Ukrainian border.  Photo Helmut Uttenthaler.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Kyiv sleeping-car arrived Kyiv Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

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Bratislava to Moscow & St Petersburg

Option 1, Bratislava to Moscow via Warsaw - goes via Belarus

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

The sleeping-cars from Warsaw to Moscow are brand new Austrian-built ones owned by Russian Railways.  Each compartment converts from comfortable sofas to equally comfortable beds and can be used as either 1st class 2-berth with two lower berths or as 2nd class 4-berth with all four berths in use.  There are a shower and toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments have electronic key-card locks, and the cars are very smooth-riding.  The sleeper attendant can serve lovely Russian tea for around €0.50 a glass.  Highly recommended!

Option 2, Bratislava to Moscow via Kyiv - avoids Belarus

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Bratislava to Athens & Greece

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Hotels in Bratislava & other cities

For advice on hotels in Bratislava, see the hotels section on the Bratislava station page.

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

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Travel insurance & VPN

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection & 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 mobile data package for the country you're visiting and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM card so you don't need to buy a physical SIM, including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility listMaya.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 at time of writing.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

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 digging 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 you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  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 the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I get a small commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, vaccination records and Interrail or Eurail passes are often held digitally on your mobile phone, so it's vital to keep it charged.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over if I can't get to a power outlet.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or from Buy from Amazon.com.

 


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