Take a TGV from Nice to Paris from €25

A double-deck 186 mph TGV Duplex about to leave Paris for Nice.  Far better than flying...

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      Click here for journeys starting in another city

      See COVID-19 information & update

      Train information is current for 2021.

Travelling from Cannes or Antibes?  This page shows departure times from Nice, but all trains heading west towards Marseille, Lyon or Paris call at Antibes 14-25 minutes after leaving Nice and Cannes 25-35 minutes after leaving Nice so you can pick up the train there.  Going east towards Italy, simply catch a local train from Cannes or Antibes to Nice and pick up the train there.

Travelling from Monaco or Menton?  Trains heading east from Nice to Italy all call at Monte Carlo 15-20 minutes after leaving Nice and Menton 35-40 minutes after leaving Nice.  If you're going west towards Marseille, Lyon or Paris, catch a local train every 30 minutes from Monte Carlo to Nice, allowing plenty of time for connections.  Although there's usually at least one through train between Monte Carlo & Paris each day.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

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


Nice to Paris by TGV from €25...

Nice to Paris by sleeper train from €19...

The Nice to Paris sleeper train is back!  Discontinued in 2017, the Nice-Paris Intercitι de Nuit is restored from 19 April 2021.  It leaves Nice 19:16 every day, Antibes 19:41, Cannes 19:52, arriving Paris Austerlitz 06:55.

It has 1st class 4-berth couchettes from €59, 2nd class 6-berth couchettes from €29 & reclining seats from €19.  More information about Intercitιs de Nuit.

Book at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (in €, more fiddly).

Nice to Cannes, Juan les Pins, Monte Carlo, Menton by local train...
Nice to Marseille, Avignon, Lyon, Perpignan, Toulouse & other destinations in France
The view from the train...
Coastal views from the train between Toulon and Nice

Trains from Nice to Paris skirt the Cote d'Azur between Nice & St Raphael, past rocky headlands, yacht-filled bays and millionaires' villas.  This is the way to arrive!  Photo courtesy of Mike Sloan.

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Nice to London by TGV & Eurostar...

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Nice to Brussels or Bruges...

Option 1, Nice to Brussels using the Nice-Paris overnight train - the most time-effective option...

Option 2, Nice to Brussels using a direct Marseille-Brussels TGV train - the easiest option, avoids changing trains & stations in Paris...

Option 3, Nice to Brussels via Paris - with a wider choice of departures and often cheaper fares, if you don't mind crossing Paris...

Option 4, with overnight stop in Paris...

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Nice to Amsterdam...

Option 1, Nice to Amsterdam using the Nice-Paris overnight train - the most time-effective option...

Option 2, Nice to Amsterdam in a single day - a chill-out day, this route avoids having to change trains & stations in Paris.

Option 3, Nice to Amsterdam via Paris - offers a wider range of departures and is often cheaper, if you don't mind changing trains & stations in Paris...

Option 4, with overnight stop in Paris - the time-effective option with minimal impact on the working day...

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Nice to Luxembourg...

Option 1, using a direct Marseille to Luxembourg TGV - easiest, avoids the need to change trains & stations in Paris...

Option 2, via Paris...

TGV to Paris at Luxembourg   TGV bar car

A Paris-Luxembourg TGV at Luxembourg.  There's no check-in, you just walk up to it & get on.

 

The cafe-bar, serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  Larger photo.

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

2nd class are arranged 2+2 across the car width.  See 360 degree photo.

 

1st class seats are arranged 2+1 across the car width.  See 360 degree photo.

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Nice to Geneva, Zurich & Switzerland from €44...

Option 1, via France - usually the best route if you're heading for Geneva, Lausanne or Montreux...

Option 2, via Milan - usually the best route if you're heading for Lugano, Lucerne, Brig, Interlaken, Zermatt or Zurich...

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich EuroCity train on the Gotthard route.

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Nice to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy from €15...

Option 1, using the direct Thello trains from Nice & Monte Carlo to Genoa & Milan - recommended option...

Thello train from  Nice to Milan, at Milan Centrale

Step 1, Nice to Genoa & Milan by Thello, seen here at Milan Centrale.  More photos & information about Thello trains.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Nice and Genoa.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

Yachts seen from the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Coastline seen from the Thello train from Nice to Milan

More scenery along the coast from Nice to Genoa...

A Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale

Step 2, Milan to Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples by Frecciarossa.  This is a Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan CentraleMore information about Frecciarossas & explanation of the 4 classes.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   A Frecciarossa 1000 train at Milan Centrale

Standard class, 2+2 across width.  Larger photo.

 

Executive class, 1+1 across width.  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 and tables for 4 and complimentary prosecco. Larger photo.

 

In business class you can order a meal at your seat, around €18.  More information about Frecciarossas.

Option 2, if none of the 3 daily Thello trains suit you, you can combine a French local train to Ventimiglia with an Italian train onwards...

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Nice to Sicily...
Sleeper train to Sicily on board the ferry

Dawn as the sleeper train from Rome approaches Sicily on board the train ferry.  Courtesy of Richard Simcox.

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Nice to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain...

Option 1, Nice to Barcelona in a single day...

Option 2, Nice to Barcelona & Madrid with overnight stop in Marseille...

AVE S100 at Barcelona Sants

To Barcelona by AVE...  An AVE-S100 at Barcelona Sants. 

 

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

Cafe-bar...

AVE train at Barcelona  

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

 

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

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

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

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Nice to San Sebastian...

Option 1, via Barcelona...

Option 2, via Hendaye on the Spanish border...

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Nice to Ibiza & Mallorca...

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Nice to Lisbon, Porto, Faro & Portugal...
En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet   Trainhotel at Madrid

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

...return from dinner to find the attendant has made up the beds...

 

Gran Clase sleepers have toilet & shower...

 

The trainhotel Lusitania from Madrid to Lisbon is an articulated Spanish Talgo train.  Seen here at Madrid Chamartin station.

Sud Express trainhotel cafe-bar...    

The trainhotel's cafι-bar serves drinks & food.  Grab a barstool early, it gets crowded later on!

   

4-berth tourist class sleepers (Turista Cama), cosy & inexpensive.  They convert from beds to seats.

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Nice to Andorra...

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Nice to Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin & Germany...

Option 1, Nice to Munich or Berlin using the Milan-Munich sleeper - the time-effective option...

Thello train from  Nice to Milan, at Milan Centrale

Step 1, Nice to Milan by Thello, seen here arrived at Milan Centrale.  More photos & information about Thello trains.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

View from the train along the Ligurian coast between Nice & Genoa.  Courtesy of Lucas Martin.

Nightjet sleeper

Step 2, Milan to Munich by Nightjet sleeper 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...

Option 2, Nice to Cologne, Dusseldorf or Frankfurt in a day, via Paris...

Option 3, Nice to Munich in a day, via Verona...

Option 4, Nice to Frankfurt, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin with overnight stop in Marseille...

Frankfurt to Marseille TGV

The direct TGV Duplex from Marseille to Frankfurt, arrived at Frankfurt am Main Hbf...

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Option 5, Nice to Munich or Berlin with overnight stop in Verona - a scenic option with coastline and mountains...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity to Munich, seen at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, 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...

Austrian second class seats   Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

Second class seats, mostly in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor like this, but some cars are open-plan saloons...

 

First class leather seats.  On a few trains you'll find 6-seat compartments too....

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

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

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

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads from Verona to Innsbruck...

Mountains on the Brenner route...

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Nice to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria...

Option 1, using the nightjet sleeper train from Milan to Salzburg or Vienna - the time-effective option...

Thello train from  Nice to Milan, at Milan Centrale

Step 1, Nice to Milan by Thello, seen here arrived at Milan Centrale.  More photos & information about Thello trains.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

View from the train along the Ligurian coast between Nice & Genoa.  Courtesy of Lucas Martin.

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Step 2, Milan to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper 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...

Option 2, by Russian sleeper train, every Sunday morning - a direct high-quality sleeper train from Nice to Vienna...

Option 3, by day trains with overnight stop in Venice - a scenic option to Vienna or Salzburg...

Scenery from the train on the Semmering Railway

Scenery between Venice & Vienna.  More photos & information about the Venice to Vienna journey.

Option 4, by day trains with overnight stop in Verona - a scenic option to Innsbruck, Salzburg or Vienna...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity to Munich, seen at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, 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...

Austrian second class seats   Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

Second class seats, mostly in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor like this, but some cars are open-plan saloons...

 

First class leather seats.  On a few trains you'll find 6-seat compartments too....

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

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

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

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads from Verona to Innsbruck...

Mountains on the Brenner route...

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Nice to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo & Stockholm...

Option 1, using the Zurich-Hamburg sleeper...

Double-deck sleeping-car on a Nightjet at Zurich

Zurich to Hamburg by Nightjet...  This is a double-deck sleeping-car at Zurich HB. Courtesy of DiscoverbyRail.com.

   

2-berth sleeper on lower deck...

 

Stairs down to pair of lower compartments...

 

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

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Hamburg Hbf

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

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

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

 

An IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg.

Option 2, using the Milan-Munich sleeper...

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Milan to Munich by Nightjet sleeper 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...

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stops in Marseille & Hamburg - if you prefer day trains & hotels to sleepers...

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Nice to Helsinki & Finland...

Option 1, using a Finnlines ferry from Germany to Helsinki - 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, by train to Stockholm, then ferry to Helsinki...

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Nice to Prague & the Czech Republic...

Option 1, Nice to Prague using the Zurich-Prague sleeping-car - a time-effective option...

  • Step 3, travel from Zurich to Prague by direct sleeping-car, leaving Zurich HB at 21:40, arriving Ceske Budejovice 08:52 & Prague Hlavni 11:02.

    If you're going to Ceske Krumlov, get off the sleeper at Ceske Budejovice (its former name is Budweis, that's right, where the name of the beer comes from) and take the 10:13 express train to Ceske Krumlov arriving 10:50.

    This train has an excellent air-conditioned Czech sleeping-car with 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with en suite shower & toilet and 1, 2 or 3 bed standard compartments with washbasin - there are no couchettes on this train, just a sleeping-car.  The sleeper fare includes morning tea or coffee.  The beds convert to seats for the daytime part of the journey, and there's a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the standard sleepers.  See more photos, tips & information about the Zurich to Prague sleeper See suggested hotels in Prague.

    Fares start at €45 including a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €59 including a bed in a cosy 2-bed sleeper, or €112 with a bed in a single-bed sleeper.

    Book this sleeper at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz, booking usually opens 92 days ahead and you print your own ticket.  This is the only website where this sleeper can be booked online.  Change the Czech flag to the UK flag for English, see my advice & tips for using cd.czTip:  Leave 2nd class selected, as all sleeper accommodation is technically 2nd class, even deluxe sleepers.

Thello train from  Nice to Milan, at Milan Centrale

Step 1, Nice to Genoa & Milan by Thello, seen here at Milan Centrale.  More photos & information about Thello trains.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Nice and Genoa.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

Giruno train

Step 2, Milan to Zurich by EuroCity trainPhotos courtesy of Andreas Wiedenhof.

1st class on Giruno   Bar counter in the restaurant car

Giruno, 1st class.  Larger photo.

 

Cafe-bar counter.  Larger photo

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train on the Gotthard route.

The sleeper train from Zurich to Prague

Step 3, Zurich to Prague by sleeping-car, seen here ready to leave Zurich HBMore photos & information about the Zurich to Prague sleeper.  Photo courtesy of Shaiq Ali Khan

Czech Railways standard (economy) 2-berth sleeper   Standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   City Night Line deluxe sleeper, private toilet & shower   Comfortline sleeper corridor

Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.  Larger photo.

 

The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe sleepers are almost identical to regular ones, a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.  Larger photo.

 

Just like a hotel, the corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car.  There's a shower at end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.

Option 2, Nice to Prague using the Milan-Vienna sleeper - another time-effective option...

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Milan to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper 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...

Option 3, Nice to Prague with an overnight stop in Venice - the scenic option, if you prefer day trains & hotels to sleepers...

  • Day 1, travel from Nice to Venice, leaving Nice Ville at 14:09, changing at Milan Centrale, arriving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:42.

    You travel from Nice to Milan by Thello train, with cafe counter, past great scenery along the coast as far as Genoa.  You then travel from Milan to Venice by high-speed Frecciarossa train with cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    An earlier 07:57 departure from Nice arriving Venice Santa Lucia 16:12 is also available if you'd like some time in Venice.  The station is just 15 minutes walk from the Rialto Bridge, 25 minutes walk from San Marco.

    Fares start at €34.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or www.trenitalia.com (in €, requires Italian language place names, see advice on using it).  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on the train.

  • Stay overnight in Venice - for a hotel that won't break the bank, but is 2 minutes walk from the station with good reviews, try the Hotel Maggior Consiglio or for a little more, the Hotel Abbazia.

Scenery from the train on the Semmering Railway

Scenery between Venice & Vienna.  More photos & information about the Venice to Vienna journey.

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Nice to Bratislava & Slovakia...

Option 1, Nice to Bratislava using the Milan-Vienna sleeper - the time-effective option...

Thello train from  Nice to Milan, at Milan Centrale

Step 1, Nice to Milan by Thello, seen here at Milan Centrale.  More photos & information about Thello trains.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Nice and Genoa.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Step 2, Milan to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper 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...

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

Step 3, Vienna to Bratislava by hourly regional express train. More about these Vienna-Bratislava trains.

Option 2, Nice to Bratislava with an overnight stop in Venice - the scenic option...

  • Day 1, travel from Nice to Venice, leaving Nice Ville at 14:09 by Thello train, changing at the magnificent Milan Centrale onto a Frecciarossa train with cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, arriving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:42.

    An earlier 07:57 departure from Nice arriving Venice Santa Lucia 16:12 is also available if you'd like some time in Venice.  The station is just 15 minutes walk from the Rialto Bridge, 25 minutes walk from San Marco.

    Fares start at €34.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or www.trenitalia.com (in €, requires Italian language place names, see advice on using it).  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on the train.

  • Stay overnight in Venice - for a hotel that won't break the bank, but is 2 minutes walk from the station with good reviews, try the Hotel Maggior Consiglio or for a little more, the Hotel Abbazia.

Scenery from the train on the Semmering Railway

Scenery between Venice & Vienna.  More photos & information about the Venice to Vienna journey.

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Nice to Budapest & Hungary...

Option 1, Nice to Budapest using the Zurich-Budapest sleeper train - a time-effective option...

  • Step 2, travel from Zurich to Budapest by EuroNight sleeper train Kalman Imre leaving Zurich HB at 21:40 and arriving Budapest Keleti at 09:19.

    The Kalman Imre has a comfortable air-conditioned Hungarian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, an air-conditioned Hungarian couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats, see more information, photos & tips about this train.

    Fares start at €59 with a couchette in 6-berth, €69 with a couchette in 4-berth, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper with washbasin or €129 in a single-bed sleeper with washbasin, all fares are per person, per berth.

    Book the sleeper at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, same fares, more fiddly).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  Look for the direct EuroNight (EN) train with 0 changes.  You print your own ticket.

    Tip:  If you like, you can check the consist for this train, check car numbers & see in what order cars for different destinations are marshalled using www.vagonweb.cz.  Change cs to English upper left, then click Train formations, scroll down to Switzerland & click nj.  Look for NJ 467.

Thello train from  Nice to Milan, at Milan Centrale

Step 1, Nice to Genoa & Milan by Thello, seen here at Milan Centrale.  More photos & information about Thello trains.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Nice and Genoa.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

Giruno train

Step 2, Milan to Zurich by EuroCity trainPhotos courtesy of Andreas Wiedenhof.

1st class on Giruno   Bar counter in the restaurant car

Giruno, 1st class.  Larger photo.

 

Cafe-bar counter.  Larger photo

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train on the Gotthard route.

Couchette car on the Kalman Imre to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

Step 3, Zurich to Budapest by EuroNight sleeper...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

6-berth couchettes...

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Munich to Budapest   The sleeper train to Budapest

2-bed sleeper.  Larger photo

 

The Zurich-Budapest sleeper at Budapest Keleti.  More information about this sleeper train.  Courtesy of Matthew Williams.

Option 2, Nice to Budapest using the Milan-Vienna sleeper - another time-effective option...

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Milan to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper trainMore 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...

Option 3, Nice to Budapest with an overnight stop in Venice - the scenic option, if you prefer day trains & hotels to sleepers...

  • Day 1, travel from Nice to Venice, leaving Nice Ville at 14:09, changing at Milan Centrale, arriving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:42.

    You travel from Nice to Milan  by Thello train, a lovely journey along the coast between Nice & Genoa, then from Milan to Venice by high-speed Frecciarossa with cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    An earlier 07:57 departure from Nice arriving Venice Santa Lucia 16:12 is also available if you'd like some time in Venice.  The station is just 15 minutes walk from the Rialto Bridge, 25 minutes walk from San Marco.

    Fares start at €34.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or www.trenitalia.com (in €, requires Italian language place names, see advice on using it).  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on the train.

  • Stay overnight in Venice - for a hotel that won't break the bank, but is 2 minutes walk from the station with good reviews, try the Hotel Maggior Consiglio or for a little more, the Hotel Abbazia.

Scenery from the train on the Semmering Railway

Scenery between Venice & Vienna.  More photos & information about the Venice to Vienna journey.

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Nice to Brasov, Bucharest & Romania...
  • Step 1, travel from Nice to Budapest via the Milan-Vienna Nightjet sleeper train, as shown in the Nice to Budapest section above.

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Romania by sleeper train Ister leaving Budapest Keleti at 19:10, arriving Brasov 09:54 & Bucharest Gara de Nord 12:33 next day.

    This comfortable sleeper train has an air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, a Romanian couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  There's no restaurant car (although a bar-bistro is usually attached within Romania) so take a picnic and bottle of wine.  There's wonderful almost Alpine scenery through the Carpathian mountains between Brasov and Bucharest, a real treat...

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

    Book this train at the Romanian Railways website bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro.  Click EN top right for English.  Booking opens 60 days ahead.  For Bucharest type Bucuresti.  It can book seats, couchettes or sleepers.  For Hungary to Romania journeys you print your own ticket.

    You can also normally book at the Hungarian Railways website www.mav-start.hu, see my advice on using it.  For Bucharest type Bucuresti.  You show your ticket in the MAV app on your smartphone.  However, since MAV revamped its website in 2020, it can't book couchettes or sleepers, only seats, though this should be fixed at some point.

2-berth sleeper on the Ister   Dacia Express at Sighisoara

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

 

The sleeping-car (vagon de dormit) of the Ister at Budapest Keleti.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use. 

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 Ister, at Budapest.  Always book a couchette, not just a seat.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats for day use.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

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Nice to Ljubljana & Zagreb...
  • Stay overnight in Venice.  For a hotel that won't break the bank, but is 2 minutes walk from the station with good reviews, try the Hotel Maggior Consiglio or for a little more, the Hotel Abbazia.

  • Day 2, travel from Venice to Ljubljana or Zagreb by train as explained on the Venice to Ljubljana page.

    The fixed-price fare is around €24.

    No reservations are necessary for any of this journey, just turn up, buy a ticket and go.  There are two departures every day.

2nd class seats on the train from Venice to Ljubljana   The train from Trieste to Ljubljana

Inside the ETR563.  Larger photo.

 

The train to Ljubljana about to leave Trieste.  Courtesy of Marc Williams.

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Nice to Belgrade, Sofia & Montenegro...

if you're going to Sofia...

If you're going to Montenegro...

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Nice to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland...
Thello train from  Nice to Milan, at Milan Centrale

Step 1, Nice to Milan by Thello, seen here arrived at Milan Centrale.  More photos & information about Thello trains.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Nice and Genoa.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Step 2, Milan to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper 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...

Morning EuroCity train from Vienna to Warsaw

Step 3, Vienna to Warsaw by EuroCity train.  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.

Restaurant car oin Vienna-Warsaw train   Breakfast on the morning Vienna to Warsaw train

Polish restaurant car on the EuroCity train from Vienna to Warsaw.  Courtesy www.discoverbyrail.com.

 

A meal in the Polish restaurant car between Vienna and Warsaw.  Courtesy www.discoverbyrail.com.

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Nice to Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn...
  • Day 3, 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 4, for onward travel from Vilnius to Riga, see here.

  • Day 5, for onward travel from Riga to Tallinn, see here.

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Nice to Kiev, Lviv & 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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Nice to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Option 1, using the direct Nice to Moscow Express - once a week, runs via Belarus...

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

Option 2, Nice to Moscow via Kiev - avoids Belarus...

  • Step 1, travel to Kiev as shown in the Nice to Kiev section above.  It takes 2 nights.

  • Step 2, take one of the Kiev to Moscow sleeper trains, for example train 6 leaves at 19:36 arriving Moscow Kievskaya station at 10:09

    The fare is around €92 with a bed in 4-berth kupι or €180 with a bed in a 2-berth spalny vagon.

    You can ask www.polrail.com to book this for you too, or you can book tickets from Kiev to Moscow at the Ukrainian Railways site booking.uz.gov.ua/en/ booking from Kyiv to Moskva Kievskaya.  You collect tickets at the station in Kiev.  Feedback appreciated!

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

    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!

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Nice to Istanbul...

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bullet pointHotels in Nice & other cities

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

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

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

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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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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