Brussels Midi station concourse.

small bullet point  Brussels Midi station guide

small bullet point  Recommended hotels in Brussels

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      Click here if your journey starts in another city

This page explains how to travel by train from Brussels to other cities all over Europe, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Information current for 2024.

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?".  How far ahead can you 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...

bullet pointWhich station in Brussels?

Brussels Midi is the main station in Brussels - it's Brussels Midi in French, Brussels Zuid in Flemish, and Brussels South station in English, it's all the same place.  Unless otherwise stated all trains leave from there, including Eurostar.  Frequent local trains cross the city, linking Brussels Midi, Brussels Central and Brussels Nord.  See Brussels Midi station guide.

Brussels Central is 5 min walk from the famous Grande Place, most domestic trains stop there, as do the hourly Brussels-Rotterdam-Amsterdam intercity trains (but not Eurostar high-speed trains or Brussels-Germany ICEs).

Brussels Nord is in the north of the city, served by many domestic trains and some international expresses including ICEs on their way to and from Brussels Midi.


Brussels to Bruges, Ghent & other destinations in Belgium

Brussels to Bruges

Belgian intercity train from Brussels to Bruges

A Belgian intercity (IC) train about to leave Brussels Midi for Ghent, Bruges & Oostende.

2nd class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train 1st class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

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Brussels to London from €57

Option 1, Brussels to London by Eurostar

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

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

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

Option 2, Brussels to London by train & ferry - the overnight ferry alternative

You can take an early evening train from Brussels to Rotterdam and the metro to Hoek van Holland, then sail overnight in a cosy private cabin to Harwich, for a train to London or Cambridge next morning.  It's comfortable, affordable and time-effective.  For details, see the London to Brussels page.

Stena Line ferry at Hoek van Holland

The Hoek van Holland to Harwich ferry is a floating hotel with private cabins, restaurant, bar, lounges, shop & kennels.

Standard outside cabin on Stena Line ferry   Stena Plus lounge on the ferry to Hoek van Holland

Above left, a standard outside cabin.  Larger photo.  360º photoAbove right, the Stena Plus lounge with complimentary red & white wine, tea, coffee & snacks.

Bar on the Stena Line ferry to Hoek van Holland   London to Amsterdam via the Stena Line ferry

Above left, the bar on 9 deck. Above right, a Captain's Class cabin with complimentary minibar, toilet & shower.

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Brussels to Dublin & Ireland

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

Option 2, Brussels to Dublin via Paris & Cherbourg - several departures 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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Brussels to Paris

Option 1, Brussels to Paris by Eurostar (formerly Thalys) high-speed train

A Eurostar (formerly Thalys) to Paris at Brussels Midi

A Eurostar at Brussels Midi.  See panorama photos inside the train More about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Option 2½, Brussels to Paris by fast EuroCity train  **** additional for the Olympics ****

Belgian intercity train from Brussels to Luxembourg

A Belgian train of the sort likely to operate the Brussels-Paris EuroCity service.

2nd class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train 1st class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Brussels to Paris by regional trains for a fixed-price €47

Brussels to Paris changing at Maubeuge

Above:  Changing trains at Maubeuge: On the left, the modern air-conditioned Belgian electric train between Maubeuge & Charleroi.  On the right, the TER between Maubeuge & Paris, consisting of a classic né cassé (broken nose) electric locomotive and old but smooth & comfortable French Corail cars.  Photo courtesy of @Nordkommission.

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Brussels to Lille

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Brussels to Strasbourg

Option 1, Brussels to Strasbourg by direct high-speed train - fastest & easiest

TGV at Brussels Midi

A TGV at Brussels Midi.

TGV 2nd class seats   Cafe-bar on a TGV

Above left, TGV 2nd class with seats 2+2 across the car width. Larger photo.  Above right, the cafe bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

TGV at Brussels Midi   1st class on TGV

Above left, a TGV at Brussels Midi.  Above right, 1st class with seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Brussels to Strasbourg via Paris - the next simplest route, with a 7-minute walk between stations in Paris

Option 3, via Luxembourg & Metz - the most direct route, but much slower, taking over 6h

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Brussels to Bordeaux, Toulouse, Biarritz, Lourdes, Nantes, Brittany

Option 1, by-passing Paris - the easiest option

TGV at Brussels Midi

A TGV at Brussels Midi.

TGV 2nd class seats   Cafe-bar on a TGV

Above left, TGV 2nd class with seats 2+2 across the car width. Larger photo.  Above right, the cafe bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

TGV at Brussels Midi   1st class on TGV

Above left, a TGV at Brussels Midi.  Above right, 1st class with seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Option 2, via Paris - involves changing trains & stations in Paris, but the fastest, most frequent & usually cheapest option

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Brussels to Lyon, Avignon, Montpellier, Cannes, Nice & other French cities

Option 1, by-passing Paris - the easiest option

TGV at Brussels Midi

A TGV at Brussels Midi.

TGV 2nd class seats   Cafe-bar on a TGV

Above left, TGV 2nd class with seats 2+2 across the car width. Larger photo.  Above right, the cafe bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

TGV at Brussels Midi   1st class on TGV

Above left, a TGV at Brussels Midi.  Above right, 1st class with seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Option 2, via Paris - means changing stations in Paris, but often faster & cheaper.

A Eurostar (formerly Thalys) to Paris at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Paris by Eurostar, seen here at Brussels Midi.  See panorama photos inside the train More about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

TGV Duplex train from Paris to Nice

Step 2, Paris to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Cannes or Nice by double-deck TGV Duplex, seen at Paris Gare de Lyon.

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

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

 

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

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

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

 

A TGV Duplex.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

Option 3, Brussels to Toulon, Cannes, Antibes & Nice, using the Paris-Nice overnight train

A Eurostar (formerly Thalys) to Paris at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Paris by Eurostar, seen here at Brussels Midi.  See panorama photos inside the trainMore about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Step 2, Paris to Cannes, Antibes or Nice by Intercité de Nuit More about Intercités de Nuit.

Intercite de Nuit 2nd class 6-berth couchette   Intercite de Nuit 2nd class couchette

2nd class 6-berth couchettes.

 

A cosy 2nd class couchette.

Intercite de Nuit 1st class couchette   Intercite de Nuit 1st class 4-berth couchette

1st class couchette, made up for the night.

 

1st class 4-berth couchettes.

The Paris to Nice sleeper running along theMediterranean coast

The Paris to Nice Intercité de Nuit running along the Côte d'Azur in the morning sun.  Photo courtesy of Noam auf Gleis 13.

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Brussels to Amsterdam from €25
A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Eurostar to Brussels at Amsterdam Centraal.  See panorama photos inside the train.

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Brussels to Rotterdam

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Brussels to Luxembourg for €23.80
Belgian intercity train from Brussels to Luxembourg

A Belgian intercity (IC) train from Brussels to Luxembourg route, at Luxembourg station platform 1.  The yellow stripe above the windows indicates first class.  There's no catering, so bring your own supplies.  There are just two power sockets per coach, one at each end of the car above head height.

2nd class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train 1st class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

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Brussels to Basel, Zurich, Geneva & Switzerland from €39.90

Option 1, Brussels to Basel & Zurich using the Nightjet sleeper train from Cologne - the time-effective overnight option

AB33 sleeping-car on the Amsterdam-Zurich Nightjet train

The sleeping-car on the Amsterdam-Cologne-Zurich sleeper train.  More about NightjetsWatch the video.

Single-bed sleeper on Amsterdam-Zurich train   Single-bed sleeper on Amsterdam-Zurich train

Single sleeper, washbasin behind door on right. Larger photo.

 

Breakfast next morning.  Larger photo.

Couchette compartment on Amsterdam to Switzerland Nightjet train   Couchette compartment on Amsterdam to Switzerland Nightjet train

4 or 6 berth couchettes, bedding supplied.  Larger photo.

 

Couchette car from Amsterdam arrived at Basel.

Option 2, Brussels to Switzerland by daytime trains - the fastest daytime option to Basel, Zurich, Luzern, Bern

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

An ICE3neo at Brussels Midi with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICE trains.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

Option 3, Brussels to Switzerland via the Rhine Valley - the slower scenic route, takes an extra hour

EuroCity train from Zurich

EuroCity train boarding at Zurich HB.

2nd class seats on Munich-Zurich EuroCity train   Restaurant car on EC9 Hamburg-Cologne-Zurich train

2nd class seating.  Larger photo.

 

The Swiss restaurant car:  Treat yourself!  Larger photo.

Swiss panorama car, Munich to Zurich train   1st class seats in panorama car, Munich to Zurich train

Panorama car with 1st class seats, only available on train EC9.  Make sure you reserve a seat in car 263 as there is just one 1st class panorama car and two other regular 1st class cars.  See advice on booking it.

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle seen from the train

Pfalzgrafenstein castle on the Rhine.  See the Rails Down the Rhine page.

Option 4, Brussels to Geneva via Lyon - the easiest route to Geneva, avoiding Paris

Option 5, Brussels to Switzerland via Paris - the fastest & sometimes cheapest route, if you don't mind crossing Paris.  Lunch in Paris?

Option 6, Brussels to Switzerland with an overnight stop in Paris - a time-effective option

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Brussels to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy from €58

Option 1, Brussels to Italy in a single day - with one easy same-station change in Lyon.

TGV at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Lyon by TGV, seen here at Brussels Midi.

TGV 2nd class seats   Cafe-bar on a TGV

Above left, TGV 2nd class with seats 2+2 across the car width. Larger photo.  Above right, the cafe bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

TGV at Brussels Midi   1st class on TGV

Above left, a TGV at Brussels Midi.  Above right, 1st class with seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Paris to Florence by Frecciarossa: A Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale

Step 2, Lyon to Turin or Milan by Frecciarossa seen here at Milan Centrale.  More about the Paris-Milan FrecciarossaInterior photos in this section courtesy of Nicholas Brooke.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   Frecciarossa 1000 Premium class seats

Standard class, with seats arranged 2+2 across the car width.  Larger photo.

 

Premium class seats, identical to Standard class but in leather, sold as Standard on this route.  Larger photo.

Frecciarossa 1000 Business class seats   At-seat meal on Frecciarossa 1000

Business class seats 1+2 across car width, with tables for 2, tables for 4 & complimentary prosecco. Larger photo.

 

In business class you can order a simple meal at your seat, around €18.

Frecciarossa 1000 executive class   Frecciarossa executive meeting room

Executive class at one end of the trainLarger photo.

 

The Executive class meeting room.  Larger photo.

Mountains from the TGV train to Italy

The Frecciarossa dashes from Paris to Lyon then slows right down through the Alpine foothills.  These are mountains in France, in autumn.

Scenery from the train between Oulx and Turin

And these are mountains in Italy in summer.  Scenery between Oulx and Turin, courtesy of www.discoverbyrail.com.

Option 2, Brussels to Italy with overnight stop in Lyon - same as option 1, but with overnight stop in Lyon rather than Milan

Option 3, Brussels to Italy in a single day via Paris - similar to option 1, slightly faster, but involves crossing Paris

A Eurostar (formerly Thalys) to Paris at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Paris by Eurostar.  Above, a Eurostar at Brussels Midi. See 360º photos inside the trainMore about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

A Paris-Milan Frecciarossa at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 2, Paris to Turin or Milan by Frecciarossa seen here at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More about the Paris-Milan FrecciarossaInterior photos in this section courtesy of Nicholas Brooke.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   Frecciarossa 1000 Premium class seats

Standard class, with seats arranged 2+2 across the car width.  Larger photo.

 

Premium class seats, identical to Standard class but in leather, sold as Standard on this route.  Larger photo.

Frecciarossa 1000 Business class seats   At-seat meal on Frecciarossa 1000

Business class seats 1+2 across car width, with tables for 2, tables for 4 & complimentary prosecco. Larger photo.

 

In business class you can order a simple meal at your seat, around €18.

Frecciarossa 1000 executive class   Frecciarossa executive meeting room

Executive class at one end of the trainLarger photo.

 

The Executive class meeting room.  Larger photo.

Mountains from the TGV train to Italy

The Frecciarossa dashes from Paris to Lyon then slows right down through the Alpine foothills.  These are mountains in France, in autumn.

Scenery from the train between Oulx and Turin

And these are mountains in Italy in summer.  Scenery between Oulx and Turin, courtesy of www.discoverbyrail.com.

Option 4, Brussels to Italy with overnight stop in Paris - same as option 3, but with overnight stop in Paris rather than Milan

  • How to buy tickets

    Buy tickets for each of these trains at either www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (whichever you prefer).  Book each train individually, adding it to your basket, then check out.

    www.raileurope.com and www.thetrainline.com connect to both the Italian and French booking systems so you can book all these trains in one place, in plain English, in €, £ or $.  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  There's a small booking fee.

    The Italian trains are ticketless, you simply print out your booking reference or show it on your phone.  For the Eurostar, you print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your phone.

  • How to buy tickets, advanced

    Alternatively, you can book each train separately, more effort, more fiddly, same fares, but no booking fee.  First book the Eurostar at the French Railways website www.sncf-connect.com.  Then book from Paris to your Italian destination at www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, $ or £, they'll refund their small booking fee to seat61 users if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com afterwards) or www.trenitalia.com (in €, more fiddly, requires Italian-language place names, see advice on using it).

Option 5, Brussels to Venice using the Stuttgart-Venice Nightjet sleeper train - a comfortable & time-effective option

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Stuttgart by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt.  ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICE trains.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

The Nightjet sleeper train from Munich to Venice at Munich Hbf

Step 2, Stuttgart to Venice 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 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 Munich-Amsterdam sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Nightjet couchette car.

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 6, Brussels to Milan, Florence, Rome using the Munich-Italy Nightjet sleeper train - a time-effective option with dinner in Munich

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Munich by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICE trains.  Above, an ICE3neo at Brussels MidiPhotos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Rome

Step 2, Munich to Florence or Rome by Nightjet sleeper train.  This is the Munich-Rome sleeper boarding on platform 11 at Munich HbfMore 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 photo Video 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 sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

Option 7, Brussels to Italy with overnight stop in Basel or Zurich - via Germany & Switzerland rather than France

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Zurich on ICE trains.  Above, an ICE3neo at Brussels MidiMore about ICE trains.  Photos courtesy of OM the rails

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

EuroCity train from Zurich to Milan at Zurich HB

Step 2, Zurich to Milan by EuroCity train.  This is a SBB Giruno train about to leave Zurich HBMore about Zurich-Milan EuroCity trains.

n
1st class on Giruno   Restaurant car on Giruno

Giruno, 1st class.  Larger photo.

 

Restaurant car with bar counter. Larger photo.

2nd class on Giruna   Bar counter in the restaurant car

Giruno 2nd class.  Larger photo

 

Level boarding. Note the destination screen in the door. 

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train on the Gotthard route.  On the Zurich-Milan Gotthard route you'll also pass the Zugersee & the Vierwaldstattersee in Switzerland, and if it's a train routed via Como, you'll glimpse Lake Como too.

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Brussels to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain from €68

Option 1, Brussels to Barcelona & Madrid in a single day - breakfast in Brussels, dinner in Spain, no need to cross Paris!

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Lyon by TGV.  Above left, 2nd class seats with a mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

AVE from Barcelona to Lyon   2nd class seats on an AVE S100

Step 2, Lyon to Barcelona by AVE S100, seen here at Barcelona Sants.

 

2nd class seats, all with power sockets & free WiFi. Panorama photo of 2nd class.

1st class seats on the Barcelona to Lyon AVE train   The cafe-bar on an S100 AVE

1st class seats on an S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Panorama photo of 1st class.

 

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

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 2, Brussels to Barcelona in a single day via Paris - a later departure from Brussels, but means crossing Paris

A Eurostar (formerly Thalys) to Paris at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Paris by Eurostar.  Above, a Eurostar at Brussels Midi.  See 360º photos inside the train More about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 2, Paris to Barcelona by TGV Duplex.  Here, a TGV Duplex is boarding at Paris Gare de LyonMore 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 on board a TGV Duplex   TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants

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

 

TGV Duplex at Barcelona.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 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/CanigouMore about the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

Option 3, Brussels to Spain by high-speed train with an overnight stop in Paris.

Option 4, Brussels to Spain with an overnight stop in Nîmes - avoids crossing Paris

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV at Brussels Midi

2nd class with mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

 

Step 1, Brussels to Nimes by TGV

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

AVE from Barcelona to Lyon   2nd class seats on an AVE S100

Step 2, Nimes to Barcelona by S100 AVE, seen here at Barcelona Sants.

 

2nd class seats, all with power sockets & free WiFi. Panorama photo of 2nd class.

1st class seats on the Barcelona to Lyon AVE train   The cafe-bar on an S100 AVE

1st class seats on an S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Panorama photo of 1st class.

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

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 5, Brussels to Paris by Eurostar, a French sleeper train to the Spanish border, then onward Spanish trains

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Brussels to San Sebastian from €63

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Brussels to Ibiza & Mallorca

Option 1, Brussels to Ibiza or Mallorca by ferry from Barcelona - all year round

Balearia ferry from Barcelona to Ibiza

Above, a Balearia ferry in Ibiza harbour.  Courtesy of Discoverbyrail.com.

Option 2, Brussels to Menorca or Mallorca by ferry from Toulon - several times a week April-October

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Brussels to Algeciras & Gibraltar
Madrid-Algeciras train at Madrid Atocha

An Intercity train (formerly branded Altaria), at Madrid Atocha.

Standard class on an Intercity train   Comfort class on an Intercity train

Standard class seats.

 

Comfort class seats.

Cafe-bar on an Intercity train   Algeciras station

Cafe-bar.

 

Algeciras station, across the road from the bus station.

Bus M-120 for La Linea (Gibraltar's frontier) boarding at Algeciras bus station.   The Rock of Gribraltar, viewed from a taxi approaching La Linea

Bus M-120 boarding at Algeciras bus station

 

Rock of Gibraltar, seen from a taxi near La Linea.

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Brussels to Lisbon, Porto & Portugal

Option 1, Brussels to Lisbon via Barcelona & Madrid - the fastest option

Option 2, Brussels to Porto & Lisbon via San Sebastian & Vigo - slightly slower, can be cheaper

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Brussels to Faro & the Algarve

Option 1, Brussels to Faro using a bus from Seville to Faro - fastest & easiest

Also bus from Seville to Faro

Option 2, Brussels to Faro via Lisbon - a longer way round, but all-train.

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Brussels to Andorra

Option 1, Brussels to Andorra in a day

  • Step 3, travel from Toulouse Matabiau to Andorra la Vella by bus, taking 4 hours, fare €36.

    There are several services every day run by Andbus, check times at www.andorrabybus.com or Omio.com.  I'd allow at least an hour between train and bus in Toulouse, just in case of delay.  There's normally a bus leaving Toulouse Matabiau at 21:45 arriving Andorra 01:45.

    The buses leave from bus stand 15 inside the Gare Routière (bus station) immediately outside Toulouse Matabiau station.  Simply walk out of the station onto the forecourt and look to your right.  The bus station is the modern building with the glass-and-blue-framework upper section, see the photos below.

    Book the bus at www.andorrabybus.com or Omio.com.

TGV from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Hendaye, for the train to San Sebastian

Paris to Toulouse by TGV Duplex:  This is a TGV Duplex at Paris Gare Montparnasse. Click the images below for larger photos.

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar (above left) and 2nd class seats (above right).

TGV Océane 1st class seats   TGV Océane 1st class drop-down table

TGV Océane 1st class seats.  All 1st class seats (except the end ones) rotate to face direction of travel.  There are USB & 2-pin outlets above each drop-down table.

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

Toulouse to Andorra by bus, seen at bus stand 15.  The bus station is right next to the rail station.

 

Bus station in Toulouse Matabiau forecourt.  Photos courtesy of Andrew McIntyre.

Option 2, using the Paris-Toulouse-l'Hospitalet overnight train

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Paris to Toulouse or l'Hospitalet by Intercité de Nuit More about Intercités de Nuit.

Intercite de Nuit 2nd class 6-berth couchette   Intercite de Nuit 2nd class couchette

2nd class 6-berth couchettes.

 

A cosy 2nd class couchette.

Intercite de Nuit 1st class couchette   Intercite de Nuit 1st class 4-berth couchette

1st class couchette, made up for the night.

 

1st class 4-berth couchettes.

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 Andorre-l'Hospitalet 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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Brussels to Cologne, Frankfurt & Germany from €18.90
ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

An ICE3neo at Brussels MidiMore about ICE trains.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

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Brussels to Berlin from €27.90

Option 1, Brussels to Berlin by high-speed train - the daytime option

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, Brussels to Berlin by European Sleeper - the time-effective option, 3 times a week

The European Sleeper train at Amsterdam

The European Sleeper calls at Amsterdam.  This is a 5-berth couchette car, beyond it is the stainless steel sleeping-car.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

Private sleeper, can be set up as 1, 2 or 3 bed.

 

5-berth couchettes, day mode.

European Sleeper 5 berth couchette   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

5-berth couchettes, night mode.

 

Breakfast can be added when you book.

Option 3, Brussels to Berlin by Nightjet sleeper train - another time-effective option, 3 times a week

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

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Brussels to Hamburg from €27.90
ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

An ICE3neo at Brussels MidiMore about ICE trains.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

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Brussels to Munich from €27.90

Option 1, Brussels to Munich by daytime trains

ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.  More about ICE trains.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

Option 2, Brussels to Munich by sleeper train - the time-effective option, 3 times week

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

The Nightjet sleeper train boarding at Brussels Midi.

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

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

 

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

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, with towels & hair/body wash.  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 3, Brussels to Munich using the Cologne-Munich Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option, every day

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Brussels to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €37.90

Option 1, Brussels to Salzburg, Linz & Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train 3 times a week - the time-effective option

The Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Vienna at Brussels

Brussels to Vienna by Nightjet.  Above, the inaugural Brussels-Vienna Nightjet is about to leave Brussels Midi on 20 January 2020, the first scheduled sleeper train to leave Brussels in 16 years - naturally, the Man in Seat 61 was on board!

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 2, Brussels to Innsbruck, Linz & Vienna using the Nightjet sleeper train from Cologne - runs every day

Option 3, Brussels to Austria by daytime trains

Option 4, Brussels to Austria with overnight stop in Frankfurt

An ICE train at Vienna Hbf

An ICE-T from Frankfurt to Vienna, arrived at Vienna Hbf.

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.

 

Restaurant car.  In 1st class you can choose to be served at your seat.  I 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.

Scenery from the train

You'll glimpse the Inn and Danube rivers from the Frankfurt-Vienna ICE.

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Brussels to Legoland, Odense & Copenhagen from €49.90

Option 1, Brussels to Legoland, Odense or Copenhagen in a single day

Option 2, Brussels to Legoland, Odense or Copenhagen with an overnight stop in Hamburg

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen

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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Brussels to Stockholm & Gothenburg from €59.90

Option 1, Brussels 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, Brussels to Stockholm with an overnight stop in Hamburg

Option 3, Brussels to Stockholm with an overnight stop in Copenhagen, from €59.90

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen

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

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 4, Brussels to Gothenburg using Stena Line's Kiel-Gothenburg overnight ferry

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Brussels to Oslo & Norway

Option 1, Brussels to Oslo with overnight stop in Hamburg - by train all the way

Option 2, Brussels to Oslo with overnight stop in Copenhagen - by train all the way

Option 3, Brussels 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...

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Brussels to Helsinki & Finland

Option 1, Brussels to Helsinki using a Finnlines ferry from Germany - the easiest option

Finnlines ferry Travemunde-Helsinki

Finnlines operate the Finnstar, Finnmaid & Finnlady on the Travemünde-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, Brussels to Helsinki by train to Stockholm, then ferry

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Brussels to Prague from €46.90

Option 1, Brussels to Prague direct by European Sleeper - the most direct & time-effective option, 3 times a week

The European Sleeper train at Amsterdam

The European Sleeper calls at Amsterdam Centraal.  This is a 5-berth couchette car, beyond it is the stainless steel sleeping-car.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

Private sleeper, can be set up as 1, 2 or 3 bed.

 

5-berth couchettes, day mode.

European Sleeper 5 berth couchette   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

5-berth couchettes, night mode.

 

Breakfast can be added when you book.

European Sleeper runs along the Elbe river valley

On the glorious morning of 26 March 2024, the very first European Sleeper to Prague runs along the Elbe river valley between Dresden & Prague.

Option 2, Brussels to Prague in a day - a chill-out day with free WiFi and some great scenery

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Cologne & Cologne to Berlin by ICEMore about ICE trains.  Above, an ICE3neo at Brussels MidiICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

EuroCity train from Berlin to Prague about to leave Berlin

Step 2, Berlin to Prague by EuroCity train.  Here, the 1st class car of the EuroCity train boarding in Berlin.

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

1st class seats.

 

2nd class seats in a compartment car.

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.  Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this, one uses Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  See the photos & video on the Prague to Berlin pageCourtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Scenery along the river Elbe

Scenery along the Elbe river between Dresden & Prague.

Option 3, Brussels to Prague using the Brussels-Berlin Nightjet sleeper, 3 times a week - another time-effective option, 3 times a week

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 4, Brussels to Prague with overnight stop in Berlin - this breaks up the trip nicely, and makes it more time-effective

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Brussels to Cesky Krumlov & other Czech destinations

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Brussels to Bratislava & Slovakia from €36

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

Option 2, Brussels to Bratislava using the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option, 3 times per week

The Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Vienna at Brussels

Step 1, Brussels to Vienna by Nightjet.  Above, the inaugural Brussels-Vienna Nightjet is about to leave Brussels Midi on 20 January 2020, the first scheduled sleeper train to leave Brussels in 16 years - naturally, the Man in Seat 61 was on board!

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 photo Video 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.

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

Step 2, Vienna to Bratislava by hourly Regional Express train, seen about to leave from Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof.  Behind the locomotive is a smart Slovakian air-conditioned intercity coach, whilst the rest of the train consists of more basic non-air-con Austrian City Shuttle carriages, with interiors as shown in the photo above right.  Find a seat in the more comfortable Slovakian car if you can!

Option 3, Brussels to Bratislava using the Berlin-Bratislava sleeper

EuroNight sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest

The Berlin to Budapest sleeper train Metropol, 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.

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Brussels to Budapest & Hungary from €56.90

Option 1, Brussels to Budapest in a single day

ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.  Click on the interior images for larger photos.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

Option 2, Brussels to Budapest using the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option, 3 times per week

The Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Vienna at Brussels

Step 1, Brussels to Vienna by Nightjet.  Above, the inaugural Brussels-Vienna Nightjet is about to leave Brussels Midi on 20 January 2020, the first scheduled sleeper train to leave Brussels in 16 years - naturally, the Man in Seat 61 was on board!

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 photo Video 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.

 

Nightjet couchette car.

EuroCity train from Vienna to Budapest, at Budapest Keleti

Step 2, Vienna to Budapest by EuroCity train.

1st class seats on a Hungarian EuroCity train   2nd class seats on a Hungarian EuroCity train

1st class is usually in 6-seat compartments.  Larger photo.

 

22nd class, open-plan saloon type, modernised.  Larger photo.

Option 3, Brussels to Budapest using the Stuttgart-Budapest sleeper - a comfortable & time-effective option

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Stuttgart by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICE trains.  Above, an ICE3neo at Brussels MidiClick on the interior images for larger photos.  Photos courtesy of OM the rails

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

The sleeper train Kalman Imre from Munich to  Budapest

Step 2, Stuttgart to Budapest by sleeper train.  More about this sleeper train.

The sleeper train from Zurich to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes.

Option 4, Brussels to Budapest by daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich

A railjet train about to leave Munich Hbf

A railjet to Budapest about to leave Munich Hbf.

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.

Pleasant Bavarian scenery between Munich & Salzburg.

A Railjet train at Budapest

The railjet has landed.  A railjet has arrived spot on time in Budapest's historic Keleti station, built 1881-1884

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Brussels to Brasov, Bucharest & Romania

Option 1, Brussels to Romania using a sleeper from Vienna - the fastest & most comfortable option

Dacia Express sleeper at Vienna   Dacia Express 2-bed sleeper

The Dacia Express sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf.  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.  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.  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.

Dacia Express Carpathian mountains

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

Option 2, Brussels to Romania using a sleeper from Budapest

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 @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com.

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 3, Brussels to Romania with overnight stop in Budapest - if you prefer day trains & a 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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Brussels to Ljubljana & Slovenia or Zagreb & Croatia from €72

Option 1, Brussels to Ljubljana & Zagreb using the Stuttgart-Zagreb sleeper - safe, comfortable, time-effective

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Stuttgart by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Above, an ICE3M at Brussels Midi.  More about ICE trains.  Above, an ICE3neo at Brussels MidiPhotos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

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

Step 2, Stuttgart to Ljubljana & Zagreb by sleeper train.  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car to Zagreb.  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, Brussels to Ljubljana & Zagreb Using the Cologne-Munich Nightjet sleeper train

Option 3, Brussels to Ljubljana & Zagreb with overnight stop in Munich

A railjet train about to leave Munich Hbf

The 08:16 departure from Munich is a smart Austrian railjet across Austria to Villach on the Austrian-Slovenian border.  This is a railjet about to leave Munich Hbf.

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.

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

Through the Austrian Alps.  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the railjet snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful.,,

If you use the morning train from Munich, there's a quick & simple cross-platform change of train at Villach onto a Slovenian & Croatian train called the Sava.

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana & Zagreb.

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

More lovely scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb  

The EuroCity train Sava, arrived at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

Option 4, Brussels to Ljubljana & Zagreb using the Brussels-Vienna sleeper

This is a slower option, if only because of the morning at leisure in Vienna, but it's straightforward & comfortable.

The Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Vienna at Brussels

Step 1, Brussels to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train, 3 times a week.  On 20 January 2020, the inaugural Nightjet left Brussels for Vienna, the first scheduled sleeper train to leave Brussels in 16 years.  Above, that inaugural train is seen ready to leave Brussels Midi on 20 January - naturally, the Man in Seat 61 was on board!

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 photo Video 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 Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet.

EuroCity train Croatia from Vienna to Zagreb

Step 2, Vienna to Zagreb on the EuroCity train Croatia, seen here about to leave Vienna Hbf.

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

2ne class open-plan seating as used on the Croatia.  Seats in compartments also available.

 

1st class open-plan car as used on the Croatia.  Seats in compartments are also available.

Austrian restaurant car   Meal in an Austrian restaurant car on a Munich-Verona train

The elegant restaurant car.  Larger photo.

Dinner with wine on board.

Scenery from the train on the Semmering Railway

The Semmering Railway.  Shortly after calling at Vienna Neustadt, the Vienna-Zagreb train travels over the 41km (25 mile) Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  You'll get these great views southbound in summer when it's light in the evening, and all year round from the northbound train.  Read more about the famous Semmering Railway at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semmering_railway.  Sadly, this slow, curvaceous and steep section of line will be by-passed in the mid-2020s when the new Semmering Base Tunnel opens, though this could save up to 90 minutes.

More scenery on the Semmering Railway   More scenery on the Semmering Railway

The train snakes its way over the Semmering Railway, summiting near Semmering itself at 898m (2,946 feet) above sea level.

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Brussels to Belgrade & Montenegro

Option 1, Brussels to Belgrade & beyond using the Stuttgart-Zagreb sleeper. 

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

Step 1, Brussels to Stuttgart by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Above, an ICE3M at Brussels Midi.  More about ICE trains.  Above, an ICE3neo at Brussels MidiPhotos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

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

Step 2, Stuttgart to Zagreb by sleeper train.  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car to Zagreb.  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

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.

Option 2, Brussels to Belgrade & beyond using the Zurich-Zagreb sleeper

The Zurich to Zagreb sleeper train boarding at Zurich HB

The Zurich-Zagreb sleeper train boarding at Zurich HB as the sun sets on a summer day.  That's the Croatian couchette car on the right, the Croatian sleeping-car on the left.  See the Croatian sleeper video.

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

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

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Brussels to Sofia

Option 1, Brussels to Sofia via Bucharest

The Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Vienna at Brussels

Step 1, Brussels to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train.  Above, the inaugural Brussels-Vienna Nightjet waits to leave Brussels Midi.  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 photo Video 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 sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

A Railjet train at Budapest

Step 2, Vienna to Budapest by railjet, seen here arrived at Budapest Keleti.  More about railjet trains.

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.

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

Step 3, Budapest to Bucharest on the sleeper train MunteniaPhoto courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com .

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

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

A Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 or 3-bed compartments is attached between Timisoara & Bucharest. Courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.comLarger photo.

Option 2, Brussels to Sofia via Belgrade

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Brussels to Warsaw & Poland from €46.90

Option 1, Brussels to Warsaw in a single day - the leisurely daytime option

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train, seen here 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 compartment car.

 

2nd class car.  Some seats are in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.

 

The bar.

 

Decent food, served on proper china.

Option 2, Brussels to Warsaw using the Brussels-Berlin European Sleeper - a time-effective option, 3 times a week

Sleeping-car

The inaugural European Sleeper train about to leave Brussels Midi on Friday 26 May 2023.  Click the interior photos for larger images.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

Private sleeper, can be set up as 1, 2 or 3 bed.

 

5-berth couchette compartment.

Option 3, Brussels to Warsaw using the Brussels-Berlin Nightjet sleeper, 3 times a week - another time-effective option, 3 times a week, starts 10 December 2023

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 4, Brussels to Warsaw with overnight stop in Berlin - breaks up the trip nicely

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Brussels to Krakow from €46.90

Option 1, Brussels to Krakow in a single day - the leisurely daytime option, possible from 10 December 2023

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel.  This is the Wawel on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

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

2nd class on the Wawel.  Some seats are in compartments.

 

1st class seats on the Wawel.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  Larger photo.

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

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Option 2, Brussels to Krakow using the Brussels-Berlin European Sleeper - a time-effective option, runs 3 times a week

Sleeping-car

The inaugural European Sleeper train about to leave Brussels Midi on Friday 26 May 2023.  Click the interior photos for larger images.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

Sleeper, can be set up with 1, 2 or 3 beds.

 

5-berth couchette compartment.

Option 3, Brussels to Krakow using the Brussels-Berlin Nightjet sleeper, 3 times a week - another time-effective option, 3 times a week, starting 10 December 2023

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 4, Brussels to Krakow with overnight stop in Berlin - if you prefer day trains & hotel to sleepers, departures every day

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Brussels to Vilnius. Riga, Tallinn

Brussels to Lithuania with overnight stop in Warsaw

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Brussels to Lviv, Kyiv & Ukraine from €86

Option 1, Brussels to Lviv & Kyiv via Prague - easiest to book and usually has plenty of availability.  Includes a free day in Prague!

The European Sleeper train at Amsterdam

1. Brussels to Prague by European Sleeper, seen here at Amsterdam.  This is a 5-berth couchette car, beyond it is the stainless steel sleeping-car.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

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

 

5-berth couchettes, daytime mode.

European Sleeper 5 berth couchette   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

5-berth couchettes, night mode.

 

Breakfast can be added when you book.

European Sleeper runs along the Elbe river valley

In the morning, the European Sleeper runs along the Elbe river valley between Dresden & Prague.  See more photos.

Regiojet overnight train   Regiojet couchette compartment

2. Prague to Przemysl by Regiojet sleeper train

06:50 Intercity train from Kiev to Lviv   1st class seats on the 06:50 train from Kiev to Lviv

3. Intercity train, Przemysl to Lviv & Kyiv.

 

1st class. Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

2nd class seats on the 06:50 train from Kiev to Lviv   Cafe countrer on the 06:50 Intercity train Kiev to Lviv

2nd class. Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.

 

Cafe counter. Courtesy DiscoverByRail.

Option 2, Brussels to Kyiv using the Kyiv Express from Warsaw to Kyiv - runs daily, but can be tricky to book & sells out fast

The Kyiv Express uses modernised Ukrainian sleeping-cars with 2-berth & 3-berth compartments.  All bedding is supplied, and washrooms and toilets are at the end of the corridor.  Berths convert to seats for daytime use.  A smartly-uniformed Ukrainian railways sleeper attendant travels with each car. 

The Warsaw to Kiev train at Warsaw Centralna

A Ukrainian sleeping-car on the Kyiv 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.

 

Kyiv Express.

Option 3, Brussels to Lviv & Kyiv via Vienna - comfortable, but sells out fast

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf

The Vienna-Kyiv sleeping-car boarding 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.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

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Brussels to Moscow & Russia

Option 1, Brussels to Moscow using the daily Warsaw-Moscow sleeper train - suspended due to sanctions

The train from Warsaw to Moscow uses Russian air-conditioned sleeping-cars, pictured below, with compartments which can be used as 1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth (shown below right), with a shower & toilets at the end of the corridor.  See panorama photo inside one of the new Russian sleepers.

A modern Russian sleeping-car of the sort used on the Polonez   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

Option 2, Brussels to Moscow using the new Berlin-Moscow Strizh Talgo sleeper train, twice a week - 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.  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 3, Brussels to Moscow via Kyiv - avoids Belarus and the need for a Belarus transit visa

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Brussels to Athens, Corfu & Greece

Option 1, Brussels to Athens & Greece using a ferry from Italy

  • Day 2, sail overnight from Bari to Patras in Greece with Superfast Ferries.

    The ferry sails from Bari at 19:30 on Mondays-Saturdays, arriving Patras at 13:00 next day (Day 3).

    On Sundays the ship sails at 13:30, too early to make connections from Milan.

    You can check sailing times & dates at using the Direct Ferries website or at www.superfast.com or www.ferriesingreece.com.

    You should check in at the Superfast desk on the ground floor of the cruise terminal (Terminal Crociere) at Bari port with passport & booking number to get your boarding pass, ideally 3 hours before departure in summer, although in practice 2 hours or even 1½ hours is normally fine.

    You then walk 500m from check-in to the ferry, board the ferry via the foot passenger gangway at the stern and head up the escalator to the main lounge and reception desk to get your cabin key.

    The ship is comfortable, with self-service restaurant, lounge, bar and sun deck.  You can book a deck place (a good & cheap option in summer if you have your own sleeping bag), a reclining seat or various types of cabin, all with private shower & toilet.  Strolling the decks in the morning sun as the ship cruises past the islands of Cephalonia and Ithaca is the nicest part of the trip, and it's a wonderful way to arrive in Greece.

    In Patras, the ferry arrives at the new South ferry terminal a few km from the town centre.  Bus 18 links the port with the Patras bus station every hour on the hour, fare €1.20 or you can hop in a taxi for around €9, journey time 15-20 minutes.

  • Day 3, travel from Patras to Athens by Greek Railways bus/train combo.

    Hellenic Train (Greek Railways) operate an integrated bus/train service from Patras to Athens every hour or two, total journey time 3h02, fare around €18.  No prior reservation is necessary, just buy a ticket to Athens at Patras railway station ticket office.

    For example, at the time I write this, buses leave from outside Patras railway station at 14:15, 15:15, 16:00, 17:15 & 18:15, taking 90 minutes to reach Kiato railway station near Corinthos.  At Kiato they connect with a modern air-conditioned regional train taking 78 minutes to Athens Larissa Station in downtown Athens.  You can check Patra to Athens bus/train times using the journey planner at www.hellenictrain.gr.

  • Corfu:  The Bari-Patras ferry calls at Corfu on certain dates in summer.  It calls at Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland on all departures year-round.  If you can't find a direct ferry to Corfu, book the ferry from Bari to Igoumenitsa, then take the local ferry from Igoumenitsa to Corfu with Kerkyra Lines (kerkyralines.com).  These sail half a dozen times a day, crossing time 60-90 minutes, fare around €5-€10.  Buy a ticket at kerkyralines.com or when you get to Igoumenitsa.

Superfast ferry from Bari to Patras in Greece

The ferry Superfast II from Bari to Patras, boarding at Bari.  Photos courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Boarding the ferry from Italy to Greece   Lounge and reception desk on the ferry to Greece

The passenger gangway, onto the ferry.

 

Reception desk & lounge on the ferry.

Lounge & bar on the ferry from Italy to Greece   Self-service restaurant on the ferry from Italy to Greece

Lounge and bar on the Superfast II.

 

Self-service restaurant.

En suite toilet & shower on ferry to Greece   Cabin on ferry from Italy to Greece

Private cabin with en suite toilet & shower.

Scenic views from the ferry from Italy to Greece

The ferry passes Cephalonia & Ithaca then approaches mainland Greece.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

The ferry from Bari arrives at Patras

The ferry approaches the new port of Patras.

Option 2, Brussels to Athens & Greece by train all the way through the Balkans

  • There are currently no international trains to Greece, you should take a ferry from Italy.

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Brussels to Istanbul & Turkey

This is an overland adventure, taking 3 nights.

Option 1, Brussels to Istanbul via Munich, Budapest & Bucharest.

Option 2, Brussels to Istanbul via Zagreb, Belgrade & Sofia - this route is not currently viable

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Railbookers custom-made tours

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, talk to Railbookers.  Railbookers can tailor-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

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

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

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

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

New Zealand flag  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

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Hotels in Brussels & other cities

Hotels near Brussels Midi station

  • If you need a decent inexpensive hotel close to Brussels Midi station where Eurostar arrives, go for the dependable Ibis Brussels Midi just across the road or for something a little more upmarket the Pullman Hotel Brussels Midi is part of the station complex itself.  I have stayed at both, and can recommend.

Hotels in the centre of Brussels

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

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

Backpacker hostels

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

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