To check train times & fares in Austria, use either www.thetrainline.com or the Austrian Railways site www.oebb.at.

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This page explains how to travel by train from Innsbruck to other key European cities, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Information current for 2022.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  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)

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...


Innsbruck to Salzburg, Vienna, Hallstatt, Graz & other destinations in Austria...
A railjet train about to leave Vienna

A railjet at Vienna Hbf, Austria's premier train...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

First class, with black leather seats...

 

Business classAbout.

 

Restaurant...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet arrived at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf spot on time.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

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Innsbruck to London from €78...

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Innsbruck to Paris from €48...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Paris via Zurich - the scenic route...

A railjet train about to leave Innsbruck

Step 1, Innsbruck to Zurich by railjet, through the scenic Arlberg Pass.  Above, a railjet waits to leave Innsbruck.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

First class, with black leather seats...

 

Business classAbout.

 

Restaurant...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet arrived at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf spot on time.  More photos & information about railjets.

 

Economy class, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

The mountains of Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In railjet 1st & business class, a steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

The railjet clips a corner of Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through the little station of Schaan-Vaduz.  Once in Switzerland, the train runs alongside the Zόrichsee, then along the Walensee...

TGV-Lyria to Geneva at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 2, Zurich to Paris by TGV-Lyria... These 320km/h (199 mph) 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 upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. 360Ί photo.

 

A TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

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Innsbruck to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Cannes, Nice, Monaco...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Lyon & the South of France in a day...

Option 2, Innsbruck to the South of France with overnight stop in Verona...


Innsbruck to Bordeaux, Nantes & other French cities...

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Innsbruck to Brussels & Bruges from €59...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Brussels using the Innsbruck-Cologne Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option...

The Nightjet sleeper at Innsbruck

Step 1, Innsbruck to Cologne by Nightjet.  Above, the Nightjet at Innsbruck Hbf.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Nightjet couchette car...

A high-speed ICE3 train at Cologne Hbf

Step 2, Cologne to Brussels by ICE.  Above, an ICE3 at Cologne Hbf.  More information about ICE.

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

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

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

Food is served on china with metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

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

Option 2, Innsbruck to Brussels in a single day by high-speed train...

ICE3M to Cologne & Brussels, boarding at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

An ICE3 to Brussels at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf.  More information about ICE.

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

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

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

Food is served on china with metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

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

Option 3, Innsbruck to Brussels via the scenic Rhine Valley - much slower, but with a great ride along the Rhine...

Option 4, Innsbruck to Brussels with an overnight stop in Cologne...

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Innsbruck to Amsterdam from €59...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Amsterdam by Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option...

The Nightjet sleeper at Innsbruck

Innsbruck to Amsterdam by Nightjet.  Above, the Nightjet ready to leave Innsbruck Hbf.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet...

Option 2, Innsbruck to Amsterdam in a single day...

ICE3M to Cologne & Brussels, boarding at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

An ICE at Frankfurt (Main) HbfMore information about ICE trains...

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

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

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

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

 

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

Option 3, Innsbruck to Amsterdam with an overnight stop in Cologne...

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Innsbruck to Luxembourg...

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Innsbruck to Zurich, Basel, Geneva & Switzerland from €19...
A railjet train about to leave Innsbruck

Innsbruck to Zurich by railjet, through the scenic Arlberg Pass.  Above, a railjet about to leave Innsbruck.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business classAbout.

 

Restaurant car...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet arrived at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf spot on time.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

The mountains of Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In railjet first & business class, a steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

The railjet clips a corner of Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through the little station of Schaan-Vaduz.  Once in Switzerland, the railjet runs alongside the Zόrichsee, then along the Walensee...

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Innsbruck to Venice, Florence, Milan, Rome & Italy from €29.90...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Italy by daytime trains through the Brenner Pass - the scenic option...

EuroCity train to Verona about to leave Innsbruck

A EuroCity train about to leave Innsbruck for Verona & Italy.  You don't need to book a table in the restaurant car, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these EuroCity trains.

Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

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

 

1st class leather seats.  You'll also find seats in classic 6-seat compartments with side corridor, too....

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

The elegant restaurant car.  See larger photo.

Lunch with wine on board...

Mountains on the Brenner route...

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

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

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

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

Option 2, Innsbruck to Bologna, Florence & Rome by Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option...

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

A Comfortline sleeping-car on a nightjet train.  More information 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

 

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 couchettes   Couchette car on sleeper train

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train...

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Innsbruck to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain...

Innsbruck to Barcelona & Spain with overnight stop in Zurich or Geneva...

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 photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

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Innsbruck to San Sebastian...

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

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

Paris to Toulouse or l'Hospitalet by Intercitι de Nuit, seen here at Paris Gare d'AusterlitzMore information about Intercitι de Nuit trains Watch the video.

InterCite de Nuit couchette   Refurbished French 2nd class 6-berth couchettes   Refurbished French 1st class 4-berth couchettes

Couchette with sleeping-bag & mineral water

 

2nd class 6-berth couchettes...

 

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

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

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

 

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

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Innsbruck to Munich...

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Innsbruck to Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg & Germany from €19.90...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Germany by daytime trains...

Option 2, Innsbruck to Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Hamburg by Nightjet sleeper train...

The Nightjet sleeper at Innsbruck

Innsbruck to Cologne, Dόsseldorf or Hamburg by Nightjet.  Above, the Nightjet boarding at Innsbruck Hbf.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet...

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Innsbruck to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm & Scandinavia...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Copenhagen in a single day.  On to Gothenburg, Stockholm, Oslo next day...

Option 2, Innsbruck to Copenhagen & Scandinavia using the Innsbruck-Hamburg sleeper train...

The Nightjet sleeper to Vienna at Cologne Hbf

Step 1, Innsbruck to Hamburg by Nightjet.  Above, the Nightjet ready to leave Innsbruck Hbf.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet...

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Hamburg Hbf

Step 2, Hamburg to Copenhagen by Intercity train.  This is a Hamburg-Copenhagen IC3 leaving platform 5 at Hamburg Hbf on a busy summer day.  The yellow stripe above the windows indicates first class, located at one end of both 3-car units.  More information about the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey.

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

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

 

An IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg.

125 mph tilting 'SJ2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station SJ2000 2nd class seats

Step 3, Copenhagen to Stockholm by X2000 train seen here at Copenhagen main station...

 

2nd class seats on an X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.  Larger photo.

SJ2000 train   SJ2000 buffet car seating area   SJ2000 self-service buffet car.

X2000 bistro car...

 

X2000 bistro car seating area.  Larger photo.

 

Bistro self-service...

Winter scenery fro a Copenhagen-Stockholm train

Winter scenery from a train between Copenhagen & Stockholm. Courtesy of Radoslav Sharapanov

Option 3, Innsbruck to Copenhagen & Scandinavia with overnight stop in Hamburg...

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Innsbruck to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo cruise ferry - the most comfortable way to Oslo...

The Nightjet sleeper to Vienna at Cologne Hbf

Step 1, Innsbruck to Hamburg by Nightjet and take a regional train to Kiel.  Above, the Nightjet boarding at Innsbruck Hbf.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet...

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

Step 2, sail from Kiel to Oslo with Color Line.  This photo is taken from the exit of Kiel station, so you can see how close the ferry is.  It's a 5-6 minute walk across the harbour, with a street lift up to a connecting walkway which takes you to the ferry terminal. If you have reserved one of what Color Line call their "5 star suites", check in at the desk rather than the machines and you'll be directed to a special lounge to wait with free tea, coffee, juice, snacks & WiFi.  You'll also have priority boarding of the ship.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

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

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

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry...

 

More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to this....

Option 2, Innsbruck to Oslo via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way, or using the cheaper DFDS Copenhagen-Oslo cruise ferry...

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Innsbruck to Helsinki & Finland...

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

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

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

 

Cabin on the ferry...

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

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Innsbruck to Prague or Cesky Krumlov from €19...

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Innsbruck to Bratislava from €39.90...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Bratislava by direct railjet train - once per day, the easiest option if timings suit you... 

Option 2, Innsbruck to Bratislava by railjet to Vienna & regional express to Bratislava - regular departures morning to late afternoon...

The train from Vienna to Bratislava...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

The hourly regional express train from Vienna to Bratislava Hlavna

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Innsbruck to Budapest from €29.90...
A railjet train from Vienna to Budapest, arrived at Budapest Keleti

A railjet on platform 9 at Budapest's historic Keleti stationMore information about railjets.

Business class on the Vienna to Venice train   Business class on the Vienna to Venice train

Economy (2nd) class...  Larger photo.

 

First class...  Larger photo.

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Innsbruck to Brasov, Bucharest & Romania from €58...

Option 1, Innsbruck 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 @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 2, Innsbruck to Romania using the sleeper train Dacia Express from Vienna to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest.

Dacia Express sleeping-car

The Dacia Express has an air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car, seen here at Bucharest.  You can check the train formation at www.vagonweb.cz Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

Washbasin   Dacia Express sleeper compartment   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

Sleepers:  Each compartment can be sold as a single, double (as here) or triple.  Most compartments have a washbasin as shown, two compartments have a shower & toilet.  Beds fold away to form a private sitting room for day use.  Larger photo.

 

Couchettes:  4 & 6-berth, bedding is provided.  Larger photo.

Dacia Express couchette car

The Dacia Express has one couchette car, seen here at Bucharest.  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

Scenery in Transylvania

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

Dacia Express bar-bistro car

The Dacia Express en route to Bucharest...  Photo courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

  Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest

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

Dacia Express Carpathian mountains

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

Option 3, Innsbruck to Romania by daytime trains with overnight stop in Budapest...

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest

The morning train from Budapest to Bucharest at Budapest Keleti, with modern air-conditioned Romanian carriages...

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   2nd class Romanian InterCity coach

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

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats in an air-conditioned Romanian carriage.  Larger photo.

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Innsbruck to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Slovenia & Croatia from €29.90...
Austrian restaurant car between Munich and Villach   Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

An early lunch in the Austrian restaurant car as the Alpine scenery flies by.  This is a smart Austrian EuroCity train from Salzburg to Villach...

 

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

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...and 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 and Zagreb...

 

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

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

The EuroCity train Sava, arrived at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

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Innsbruck to Belgrade, Sofia & Montenegro...

Innsbruck to Belgrade by day trains with overnight stop in Zagreb - a scenic option....

if you're going to Sofia...

If you're going to Montenegro...

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Innsbruck to Krakow & Warsaw...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Krakow & Warsaw using the Vienna-Poland sleeper train - the time-effective option...

Modern Polish sleeping-car

The modern Polish sleeping-car on the Vienna-Krakow-Warsaw overnight train.  Courtesy of WieselFahrer...

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 a 3-berth.  It can also be sold as a single or double.

 

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

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet...

Option 2, Innsbruck to Warsaw by railjet & EuroCity train - the leisurely daytime option...

Morning EuroCity train from Vienna to Warsaw

A EuroCity train from Vienna to Warsaw & Gydnia at Vienna Hbf.  On these PKP Polish Railways cars, the green stripe above the windows indicates 2nd class.  Yellow indicates first class.  Red indicates the restaurant car.  Courtesy of Jennifer Delaney.

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

Most 2nd class cars have compartments like this with side corridor & 6-seat compartments, although one or two cars may have open-plan saloons.  All 1st class seats are in 6-seat compartments on these trains.  Click images for larger photos.

Polish restaurant car

Restaurant car...

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Innsbruck to Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn...
  • Day 2, travel from Warsaw to Kaunas & Vilnius, leaving Warsaw at lunchtime, changing at Bialystok and arriving Kaunas in Lithuania in the evening, with connections to Vilnius, see the Warsaw to Vilnius page for details.  Warsaw-Vilnius costs around €24, buy a ticket at the station in Warsaw.

  • Day 3, for onward travel from Vilnius to Riga, see here.

  • Day 4, for onward travel from Riga to Tallinn, see here.

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Innsbruck to Kiev & Ukraine...
The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

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

The Vienna-Kiev 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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Innsbruck to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Option 1, Innsbruck to Moscow via Kiev - avoiding Belarus...

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

These modern sleeping-cars run from Vienna to Moscow...

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Innsbruck to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

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

  • Stay overnight in Verona.  Hotels near the station with good or great reviews include the Corte Merighi Rooms & Breakfast, Novo Hotel Rossi, Guesthouse Verona or (a little closer to the centre but with fab reviews) the Relais Empire.

  • Day 2, travel from Verona to Bari, leaving Verona Porta Nuova around 07:50.

    Fares start at €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this at either www.thetrainline.com (keeping all your bookings together in one place) or www.italiarail.com (they'll refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com afterwards) or www.trenitalia.com.  Booking normally opens 120 days ahead.  It's ticketless, you just quote the reference on the train.

    In Bari it's a 10 minute taxi ride or 25 minute walk to the ferry terminal next to Bari's pleasant old town.  I'd allow at least 3 hours between train and ferry in Bari, including the 2-hour ferry check-in.

  • Day 2, sail from Bari to Patras with Superfast Ferries.  The ferry sails normally daily except Sundays at 19:30 arriving Patras at 13:00 the next day (day 3).  On Sundays the ship sails at 13:30, too early to make connections from Verona.

    Check ferry times, dates, prices & buy tickets using the Direct Ferries website or at www.superfast.com or www.ferriesingreece.com

    The ship is modern and comfortable, with restaurants, bars, lounges and sun decks.  You can book a deck place (a nice cheap option in summer if you have your own sleeping bag) or a reclining seat or a berth in various types of cabin, including luxury cabins 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 number 18 links the port with the town bus station every hour on the hour, fare €1.20 or you can hop in a taxi for around €7, journey time 15-20 minutes.

  • Day 3, from Patras it's 3 hours to Athens by bus/train combo.  There's a bus/train combined timetable from Patras to Athens on www.trainose.gr but it takes a bit of finding.  Buy the bus ticket when you reach Patras, it costs around €18.

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

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

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

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

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

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Innsbruck to Istanbul & Turkey...

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bullet pointHotels in Innsbruck

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

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

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

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

 

Confused.com 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 myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flagIn the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct.

UK flagIf you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

UK flagYou can use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

  Australian flag New Zealand flag  Irish flag    If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

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

A Curve card saves on foreign transaction fees...

 

Curve card

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then charge you a currency conversion fee.  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 balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  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 - I get some commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it 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, and I get a small commission to help support this site.

 


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