Take Eurostar & TGV high-speed train from London to Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Avignon, Strasbourg, Perpignan or anywhere in France

A TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

Hotels in Paris - hotel suggestions

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      Click here for journeys starting in another city

This page explains how to travel by train from Paris to other cities all over Europe and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Information current for 2023.

Tip:  If leaving from the Gare de Lyon, have a meal before your train at the fabulous Train Bleu restaurant or use the Big Ben bar as your VIP waiting lounge.  If leaving from the Gare du Nord, I recommend the Brasserie Terminus Nord across the road.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets

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

bullet pointParis station guides

Paris Gare du Nord

Paris Gare de l'Est

Paris Gare de Lyon

Paris Gare d'Austerlitz

 

Paris Gare Montparnasse

Paris Gare de Bercy

Paris Gare St Lazare


Paris to anywhere else in France
Paris to Nice from €25, see the Paris to Nice page

The impressive 300 km/h TGV Duplex trains from Paris to Nice take as little as 5h40 centre to centre with fares from €25.  A flight takes 4 hours of train, airport, flight, airport & bus, as well as pumping up to 10 times the CO2 emissions into the upper atmosphere.  As an experience, there's no comparison:  After speeding down the scenic Rhone Valley at up to 300 km/h (186 mph), they slow right down and pass Marseille with the Chateau d'If visible out in the bay.  After St Raphael, the train skirts the Cote d'Azur past rocky headlands, yacht-filled bays and millionaires' villas.  THIS is the way to arrive!  For more information, see the Paris to Nice by train page.  And there's a sleeper option, too.  Scenery photo courtesy of Mike Sloan.

TGV Duplex train from Paris to Nice

A double-deck TGV Duplex 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 & microwaved hot dishes.

 

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

Coastal views from the train between Toulon and Nice

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Paris to Corsica

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Paris to London in 2h20 from €57

Option 1, Paris to London by Eurostar in 2h20

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

A Eurostar e320 train.  More about Eurostar.

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier.  Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

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

Option 2, by train & ferry

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Paris to Dublin from £88.50

Option  1, Paris to Dublin via a direct France-Ireland ferry

Train from Normandy at Paris St Lazare

Step 1, take a double-deck TER train from Paris to Cherbourg, seen here at Paris St Lazare. Courtesy of Nicholas A Milligan.

1st class on Le Havre to Paris Train Nomad   2nd class on Le Havre-Paris Train Nomad

1st class seats on the Train Nomad TER trains, upper deck.

 

2nd class seats on the Train Nomad TER trains, upper deck.

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats

Step 2, 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.

Option  2, Paris to Dublin via London

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Paris to Brussels, Antwerp or Liege from €29

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

A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Eurostar (formerly Thalys) at Paris.  See panorama photos inside the trainMore info 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 the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

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

Paris to Brussels changing at Maubeuge

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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Paris to Bruges or Ghent from €35
A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

1. Paris to Brussels by Eurostar, seen here at Paris Nord.  See panorama photos inside the trainMore info 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 the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Belgian intercity train from Brussels to Bruges

2. Brussels to Ghent or Bruges by Belgian intercity (IC) train, seen here about to leave Brussels Midi.  Some cars on this route are now double-deck.

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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Paris to Amsterdam from €35
A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Eurostar in Paris.  See panorama photos inside the trainMore information 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 the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Dutch windmill!

You'll know when your train reaches Holland!  North & South Holland are two provinces of the 12 that make up the Netherlands.  To understand the difference between Holland and The Netherlands, watch this nifty video.

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Paris to Luxembourg from €39
TGV Duplex at Luxembourg

A TGV Duplex at Luxembourg station.

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

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

 

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

An TGV Duplex at Luxembourg   First class on board a TGV Duplex

A TGV Duplex at Luxembourg.

 

1st class seats on upper deck. 360º photo.

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Paris to Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Zurich from €29
TGV-Lyria to Geneva at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV-Lyria euroduplex train at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 320 km/h double-deck trains now operate all TGV-Lyria services.

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

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

 

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

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

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

 

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

Crossing the Cize-Bolozon viaduct on the Haut-Bugey Line, on a Geneva to Paris train

The Paris-Geneva route has the nicest scenery of all the TGV-Lyria routes.  The TGV leaves the high-speed line and slows right down to join the Haut-Bugey Line for the last hour or so into Geneva.  After a short tunnel the train crosses the spectacular Cize-Bolozon viaduct over the Ain gorge (above), the major structure on the Haut-Bugey line.  The best view from the viaduct is on the left hand side of the train, pictured above.

Scenery along the Haut-Bugey line, seen from the Geneva to Paris train

The train snakes through the hills on the wonderfully scenic Haut-Bugey line.

Scenery along the Haut-Bugey line, seen from the Geneva to Paris train

More scenery as the Paris-Geneva TGV-Lyria heads through the hills along the river valley between Bourg en Bresse & Bellegarde.  This great view is on the right hand side, although you can't pick sides when booking.

Lake seen from the Paris to Geneva train

Nearing Switzerland, the train passes a lake, probably the Lac de Nantua, left hand side.

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Paris to Turin & Milan

Option 1, Paris to Turin & Milan by French Railways TGV - direct trains, 3 per day

Option 2, Paris to Turin & Milan by Trenitalia Frecciarossa - direct trains, 2 per day.

Option 3, Paris to Milan via Switzerland

Option 4, Paris to Milan via the fabulous alpine Bernina  route - slower but incredibly scenic & well worth considering

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Paris to Verona & Venice

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Paris to Florence

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Paris to Rome & Naples

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Paris to Genoa, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Livorno

Option 1, Paris to Genoa, Cinque Terre, La Spezia, Pisa & Livorno in a day - early departure, every day

Option 2, Paris to Genoa & Cinque Terre in a day - late morning departure on Saturdays & Sundays

Option 3, Paris to Genoa & Cinque Terre in a day - afternoon departure on weekdays

Option 4, Paris to Genoa, Cinque Terre & Pisa with an overnight stop in Milan

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Paris to Sicily

Option 1, Paris to Sicily via Milan - the simplest option, using Italy's most epic sleeper train

Coastal view from the Palermo to Milan sleeper train

Room with a view.  The Milan to Sicily sleeper travels overnight from Milan, then speeds along the coast of Italy in daylight, often right next to the water, before being shunted onto a ferry to cross the Straits of Messina to Sicily.  Courtesy Philip Dyer-Perry.

2-bed sleeper, night mode, on the Milan-Sicily sleeper  

Milan-Sicily train on board the train ferry

2-berth sleeper.  It converts to a sofa by day.  Larger photo

 

Yes, the train goes onto a ferry!  This is the Milan-Sicily sleeper train on board the train ferry from Villa San Giovanni to Messina. Photos courtesy of Andrew Harris.

Option 2, Paris to Sicily via Rome or Naples

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Paris to Barcelona from €39

Option 1, Paris to Barcelona, Girona, Figueres by high-speed train from €39

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 320 km/h double-deckers link Paris & Barcelona.  Watch TGV Duplex video.

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   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

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

 

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

Option 2, Paris to Barcelona by overnight train via Latour de Carol

Option 3, Paris to Barcelona by overnight train via Perpignan/Cerbère

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Intercité de nuit sleeper train at Paris Gare d'Austerlitz 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.

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Paris to Madrid

Option  1, Paris to Madrid in a day - the fastest option, from €77

Club class on a Spanish S103 AVE train   An S103 AVE train at Madrid Atocha station

Comfort class (1st class) seating (formerly Club) on the AVE train.  A meal with wine is included on Mondays-Fridays.

 

An S103 AVE train as used between Barcelona & Madrid, seen here at Madrid Atocha station.  See virtual tour

Turista class on a Spanish S103 AVE train   Preferente class on a Spanish S103 AVE train

Standard class (2nd class) on the AVE train.

 

Comfort class (1st class)  seating.

Scenery between Barcelona & Madrid

Scenery from the high-speed AVE between Barcelona & Madrid.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Madrid Atocha station - the tropical garden in the old trainshed   At Madrid Atocha, high-speed trains depart from a modern extension.

Madrid Atocha station.  One of my favourite stations, the grand old trainshed has been preserved and turned into a tropical garden complete with turtle pool.  See the Madrid Atocha station guide.

Option  2, Paris to Madrid in a day via San Sebastian - a slower but cheaper route, from €42

Option  3, Paris to Madrid with an overnight stop in Barcelona - the fastest route, but with an overnight stop, from €46

Option  4, Paris to Madrid with overnight stop in San Sebastian

Comfort (1st) class seats   Alvia train at Madrid Chamartin

Comfort class (1st class)

 

At Madrid Chamartin.

Standard (2nd) class seats   The cafe bar

Standard class seats (2nd class).

 

The cafe-bar does an excellent cafe con leche.

Scenery between San Sebastian & Barcelona

The train descends from the foothills of the Pyrenees onto the plain below.

Option 5, Paris to Madrid using an overnight train to the Spanish border

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Paris to Malaga, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Cadiz from €79

Option 1, Paris to Andalucía with overnight stop in Barcelona

Complimentary at-seat meal in Club class & Preferente Class   AVE Club class on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga

AVE S112 as used from Barcelona to Malaga & Seville.  Known as a pato (duck), no prizes for guessing why!

 

AVE Comfort class.  Leather reclining seats, all with power sockets.

AVE Tourist class seats on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga   AVE Preferente seating on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga

AVE Standard class.  Comfortable seats, 2 abreast each side of the aisle, mainly unidirectional but some bays of 4 around a table like this.

 

AVE Comfort class.  Reclining seats, power sockets for laptops & mobiles, mainly unidirectional but some tables for 2 and tables for 4.

Option 2, Paris to Andalucía using a French overnight train

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Paris to Valencia or Alicante from €65

Option 1, Paris to Valencia or Alicante by high-speed train in a single day

Option 2, Paris to Valencia or Alicante by high-speed trains with overnight stop in Barcelona

Option 2, Paris to Valencia or Alicante using a French overnight train to the Spanish border & onward trains

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Paris to Bilbao

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Paris to San Sebastian from €29

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Paris to Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, A Coruna

Option 1, Paris to Galicia with an overnight stop in San Sebastian

Alvia & Intercity trains at Vittoria

The connection at Vitoria-Gasteiz:  On the right, the Intercity train from San Sebastian has arrived at Vitoria/Gasteiz.  On the left, the Alvia train from Barcelona to Galicia picks up passengers.  These Alvia-S130 trains are nick-named Patito (little duck) by staff, no prizes for guessing why.  They have adjustable axles so can run on standard-gauge high-speed lines at up to 250 km/h or on Iberian broad gauge classic lines at lower speed. Photo courtesy of Ekain Munduate.

Turista seats on the intercity train   Turista Plus seats on an Alvia train

Standard class seats on the Intercity train, 2+2 across the car width.

Comfort class seats on an Alvia train, 1+2 across the car width.

Scenery in Galicia seen from the train

Scenery as the train enters Galicia on its way to Vigo.  Photo courtesy of Martin Hill.

Option 2, with overnight stop in Barcelona - Easier than option 1, though it takes a fraction longer and costs a little more.

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Paris to Ibiza & Mallorca

Option 1, Paris to Menorca or Mallorca by ferry from Toulon - the most comfortable & convenient option, several times a week April-October.

The ferry from Toulon to Mallorca

The Mega Express Two (on the right) is one of the ferries used from Toulon to Mallorca & Menorca.  Photographed in Nice.

Sunset on the Med from the ferry Mega Express Two   A cabin on Corsica Ferries

Sunset on the Med.

 

A cosy cabin with shower & toilet.

Option 2, Paris to Ibiza or Mallorca via Barcelona

Option 3, Paris to Ibiza or Mallorca using a French overnight train

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Paris to Gibraltar
Madrid-Algeciras train at Madrid Atocha

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

Cafe-bar on Madrid-Algeciras train   Turista Plus seats on Madrid-Algeciras train

Cafe-bar, with bar stools.

 

Comfort class seats.

Turista seats on Madrid-Algeciras train   Algeciras station

Standard class seats.

 

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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Paris to Lisbon & Portugal

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

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

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Paris to Porto

Option 1, Paris to Porto via Barcelona & Vigo - fastest option, currently running

Option 2, Paris to Porto via San Sebastian & Vigo - slower, but can be cheaper.  Currently running normally

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Paris to Faro & the Algarve

Option 1, Paris to the Algarve using a bus from Seville to Faro

Option 2, via Lisbon, the all-train option, slower

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Paris to Andorra

Option 1, Paris to Andorra using a Toulouse-Andorra bus

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

Step 1, Paris to Toulouse by TGV Duplex.  This is a TGV Duplex at Paris Montparnasse. Click the images below for larger photos.

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar, upper deck car 4 (or 14)

 

TGV Océane 2nd class.

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

TGV Océane 1st class.  An innovation on TGV Océane, all 1st class seats (except the end ones) rotate to face direction of travel, or can be rotated to make a face-to-face group of 2 or 4 seats.  The drop-down tables open to reveal USB & 2-pin power sockets.

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

Step 2, Toulouse to Andorra by bus, seen at bus stand 15.  Toulouse bus station is right next to the rail station.

 

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

Option 2, Paris to Andorra by overnight train to Toulouse then bus, or by overnight train to l'Hospitalet then taxi

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Intercité de nuit sleeper train at Paris Gare d'Austerlitz 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

Step 2, 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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Paris to Berlin from €39.90

Option 1, Paris to Berlin by Nightjet sleeper train 3 times a week - the time-effective option, starting10 December 2023

The Nightjet sleeper from Berlin to Zurich

A Nightjet sleeper train at Berlin HbfMore information about Nightjets.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 2, Paris to Berlin using the Karlsruhe-Berlin sleeper train - time-effective option, runs every day

Option 3, Paris to Berlin by high-speed train from €39.90 - in a single chill-out day

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

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

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

Bistro-restaurant car.

Lunch in the restaurant car.

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

2nd class seats.

 

1st class seats.

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

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

Meal served at my seat in 1st class.

Option 4, Paris to Berlin with overnight stop in Mannheim

Option 5, Paris to Berlin with an overnight stop in Amsterdam

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Paris to Hamburg from €39.90

Option 1, Paris to Hamburg in a single chill-out day

Option 2, Paris to Hamburg using the Freiburg-Hamburg Nightjet sleeper train

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Paris to Munich from €39

Option 1, Paris to Munich by direct TGV, every afternoon

Option 2, Paris to Munich using other departures through the day

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est. These impressive 320 km/h double-deck trains link Paris with Stuttgart & Munich.

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

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4 (or 14), serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved dishes.

 

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

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

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

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 next to the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

Option 3, Paris to Munich by direct Nightjet sleeper train 3 times a week - the time-effective option

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

A comfortline sleeping-car on a Nightjet sleeper train.  More information about Nightjets.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

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Paris to Cologne (Köln) & Düsseldorf from €35
A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Eurostar in Paris.  See panorama photos inside the trainMore information 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 the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

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Paris to Koblenz

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Paris to Mannheim, Frankfurt, Stuttgart from €39.90
An ICE3 (class 407) at Paris Gare de l'Est

An ICE3 to Germany at Paris Gare de l'Est More information about Paris-Germany TGV & ICE trains.

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

Bistro-restaurant car.

Lunch in the restaurant car.

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

2nd class seats.

 

1st class seats.

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

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

Meal served at my seat in 1st class.

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Paris to Salzburg from €39.90

Option 1, Paris to Salzburg by direct Nightjet sleeper train 3 times a week - the time-effective option

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

A comfortline sleeping-car on a Nightjet sleeper train.  More information about Nightjets.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 2, Paris to Salzburg in a single day - fastest & cheapest route through Germany

Option 3, Paris to Salzburg with an overnight stop in Zurich - the scenic route via the Arlberg Pass

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

Day 1, Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria.  This is the 16:22 to Zurich at Paris Gare de LyonMore about TGV-Lyria.

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

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

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

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

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

 

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

A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

Day 2, Zurich to Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna by railjet, seen at Zurich HB More about railjets.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant car.

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

First class.

 

Economy class.

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Swiss lakes:  Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Schaan-Vaduz station

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

 

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

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

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Mountains near Innsbruck.  The train calls at Innsbruck Hbf for several minutes.

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

Kufstein:  The train stops at Kufstein, where the castle towers above the station.  Above right, lunch is served.  In first & business class on a railjet, the steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat.

Cutting across Germany:  East of Kufstein, the train takes a short cut through Germany without stopping, see the route map here.  All fast Vienna-Salzburg-Innsbruck trains do this, they're still considered Austrian domestic trains even though this short cut means they spend an hour on German territory!  Such a train is called a Korridorzug.  The train crosses back into Austria near Freilassing, just before Salzburg.

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Salzburg:  View of the Fortress Hohensalzburg on the right hand side as the railjet crosses the River Salzach into Salzburg Hbf heading east.

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Paris to Innsbruck, Linz or Vienna from €49.90

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

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

A comfortline sleeping-car on a Nightjet sleeper train.  More information about Nightjets.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 2, Paris to Vienna in a single day by high-speed train - the fastest option

Frankfurt to Vienna ICE train

An ICE-T from Frankfurt to Vienna, at Frankfurt (Main) 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.

 

Lunch in the restaurant.  In 1st class you can 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.

Option 3, Paris to Vienna using the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet sleeper - another time-effective option, 3 times per week

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

 

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 Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet.

Option 4, Paris to Vienna using the Zurich-Vienna Nightjet sleeper - another time-effective option, runs every day

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 1, take a TGV-Lyria from Paris to Zurich. This is the 16:22 to Zurich at Paris Gare de Lyon.

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

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

 

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

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

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

 

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

Double-deck sleeping-car on a Nightjet at Zurich

Step 2, take the Nightjet sleeper from Zurich to Vienna, overnight while you sleep.  This is one of the double-deck sleeping-cars at Zurich. Courtesy of DiscoverbyRail.com.

1-berth sleeper in Nightjet double-deck sleeping-car   Nigtjet double-deck sleeper, standard 1 or 2 bed sleeper, lower deck

Standard 1 or 2 bed sleeper, upper deck, set up as a single.  More photos & information.

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.

 

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Option 5, Paris to Zurich by afternoon TGV, overnight stop, Zurich to Austria by the scenic Arlberg route - the scenic option

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

Day 1, Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria.  This is the 16:22 to Zurich at Paris Gare de LyonMore about TGV-Lyria.

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

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

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

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

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

 

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

A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

Day 2, Zurich to Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna by railjet, seen at Zurich HB More about railjets.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About business class.

 

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

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

First class.

 

Economy class.

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Swiss lakes:  Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Schaan-Vaduz station

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

 

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

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

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

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

Scenery in the Tirol

Mountains near Innsbruck.  The train calls at Innsbruck Hbf for several minutes.

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

Kufstein:  The train stops at Kufstein, where the castle towers above the station.  Above right, lunch is served.  In first & business class on a railjet, the steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat.

Scenery as the train cuts across Germany

Cutting across Germany:  East of Kufstein, the train takes a short cut through Germany without stopping, see the route map here.  All fast Vienna-Salzburg-Innsbruck trains do this, they're still considered Austrian domestic trains even though this short cut means they spend an hour on German territory!  Such a train is called a Korridorzug.  The train crosses back into Austria near Freilassing, just before Salzburg.

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Salzburg:  View of the Fortress Hohensalzburg on the right hand side as the railjet crosses the River Salzach into Salzburg Hbf heading east.

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Paris to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm & Scandinavia from €79

Option 1, Paris 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 information on 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 a sunny morning run into Stockholm.

Option 2, Paris to Copenhagen & Stockholm using the Freiburg-Hamburg sleeper

Option 3, Paris to Copenhagen in a single day!  Stay overnight, on to Gothenburg, Stockholm or Oslo next day

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 information 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, Paris to Copenhagen & Stockholm by comfortable daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg

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Paris to Oslo & Norway

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

Option 2, Paris 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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Paris to Helsinki & Finland

Option 1, Paris to Helsinki using a Finnlines ferry from Germany - the easiest route

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, Paris to Helsinki by train to Stockholm, then ferry

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Paris to Prague & Cesky Krumlov

Option 1, Paris to Prague using the Karlsruhe-Prague sleeper train - the most time-effective option

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

Step 1, Paris to Karlsruhe by TGV Duplex, seen here at Paris Est. These impressive 320 km/h double-deck trains link Paris & Germany, a relaxing journey with reading book & glass of wine.  Book an upstairs seat for the best views.

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 & microwaved 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   An TGV Duplex to Munich at Paris Est.

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

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

The Prague to Zuirch sleeping car boarding in Prague

Step 2, Karlsruhe to Prague by sleeper train.  This is a Czech sleeping-car of the Comfortline type, as used on the Zurich-Basel-Karlsruhe-Prague sleeper train.

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 virtually identical to standard, 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.

Couchette car 6-berth   RDC couchette car

6-berth couchettes.  There are also 4-berths.  Larger photo.

 

Couchette car on the night train to Prague, leased from RDC as CD don't have enough 200km/h couchette cars of their own.  Photos courtesy of @_wrzlbrnft_

Option 2, Paris to Prague or Cesky Krumlov using the Zurich-Prague sleeping-car - another time-effective option

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 1, Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria, a 320 km/h double-decker high-speed train. This is the 16:22 TGV-Lyria boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon, .

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

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

 

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

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

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

 

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

The Zurich to Prague sleeping car boarding at Zurich HB

Step 2, Zurich to Prague by sleeping-car, seen here at Zurich HBMore information about the Zurich to Prague sleeper.

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 with 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 3, Paris to Prague in a single day from €55 - usually the cheapest option, but not as time-effective as options 1 & 2

TGV Duplex from Paris Gare de l'Est to Stuttgart & Munich

Step 1, Paris to Munich by TGV Duplex, an impressive 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck train.

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

Cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4 (or 14), serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved dishes.

 

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

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

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

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

The Czech EuroCity train from Prague to Munich

Step 2, Munich to Prague by air-conditioned express train with smart modern Czech Railways open-plan cars & comfortable Länderbahn Alex compartment cars, power sockets at all seats, refreshment trolley & free WiFi.

2nd class compartment in a Landerbahn car   2nd class open saloon car

In 2nd class, choose a Länderbahn compartment...

 

...or a Czech Railways 2nd class open-plan car.

Option 4, Paris to Prague using the Paris-Linz Nightjet sleeper 3 times a week - another time-effective option

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

Step 1, Paris to Linz by Nightjet sleeper trainMore information about Nightjets.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Czech bistro car

Step 2, Linz to Prague by Czech EuroCity train.  The train has power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  The car nearest the camera is the combined 1st class & bistro-car.

2nd class open saloon seats   Czech bistro car

2nd class seats, most in open-plan cars like this, but there are one or two cars with side corridor & classic 6-seat compartments.

 

1st class seats are open plan, in half of the bistro car.  The steward takes bistro orders at your seat.

Dinner in the bristro   Czech bistro car

An inexpensive lunch in the bistro car with wine or draught beer.

 

Bistro.  2nd class passengers may use these leather seats next to the counter when eating or drinking.

Scenery seen travelling from Prague to Salzburg by train

Between Linz and Prague the train snakes through farmland and occasional forest.  It calls at the southern Bohemian city of Ceske Budejovice - more familiar by its former German name, Budweis - home of the original Budweiser beer.

More scenery going from Prague to Salzburg by train

The Bohemian countryside keeps on rolling by.

Option 5, Paris to Prague with overnight stop in Munich from €55 - same as option 1, but with an overnight stop

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Paris to Bratislava & Slovakia

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

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 1, Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria. Above, a 320 km/h double-deck TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon.

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

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

 

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

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

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

 

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

Railjet train from Bratislava to Zurich

Step 2, Zurich to Bratislava by railjet train, this is the westbound train seen at Bratislava Hlavna.  Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About business class.

 

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

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

First class.

 

Economy (2nd) class.

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Swiss lakes:  Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Schaan-Vaduz station

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

 

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

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

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Mountains near Innsbruck.  The train calls at Innsbruck Hbf for several minutes.

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

Kufstein:  The train stops at Kufstein, where the castle towers above the station.  Above right, lunch is served.  In first & business class on a railjet, the steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat.

Cutting across Germany:  East of Kufstein, the train takes a short cut through Germany without stopping, see the route map here.  All fast Vienna-Salzburg-Innsbruck trains do this, they're still considered Austrian domestic trains even though this short cut means they spend an hour on German territory!  Such a train is called a Korridorzug.  The train crosses back into Austria near Freilassing, just before Salzburg.

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Salzburg:  View of the Fortress Hohensalzburg on the right hand side as the railjet crosses the River Salzach into Salzburg Hbf heading east.

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

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

Step 1, Paris to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper trainMore information about Nightjets.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

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

Step 2, Vienna to Bratislava by regional express train seen here at Vienna Hbf.  More about Vienna-Bratislava trains.

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

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Paris to Budapest from €79

Option 1, Paris to Budapest using the Zurich-Budapest sleeper - the most time-effective option, runs every day

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 1, Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria, a 320 km/h double-deck high-speed train.  This is the 16:22 TGV-Lyria boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.

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

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

 

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

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

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

 

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

Hungarian sleeper train

Step 2, Zurich to Budapest by Hungarian sleeper train.  Above, the sleeper attendant waits to greet passengers outside his sleeping-car at Zurich HB.  Some complimentary Hungarian sparkling wine awaits you in your sleeper.

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Budapest to Zurich   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

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

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes.

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

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

Step 1, Paris to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper trainMore information about Nightjets.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

A railjet train about to leave Vienna

Step 2, Vienna to Budapest by railjet. with restaurant car & free WiFi.  More information about Vienna-Budapest 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.

A Railjet train at Budapest

The railjet has landed.  A railjet arrived spot on time on platform 9 at Budapest Keleti station, built 1881-1884.

Option 3, Paris to Budapest in a single day

Option 4, Paris to Budapest using the Stuttgart-Budapest sleeper -Similar to option 1, but using the Stuttgart portion of the Kalman Imre sleeper

TGV Duplex from Paris Gare de l'Est to Stuttgart & Munich

Step 1, Paris to Stuttgart by TGV Duplex, an impressive 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck train.

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

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4 (or 14), serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved dishes.

 

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

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

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

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

The sleeper train Kalman Imre from Munich to  Budapest

Step 2, Stuttgart to Budapest by sleeper train, seen above at Munich Hbf.  More information about this 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 5, Paris to Budapest with an overnight stop in Munich

Option 6, Paris to Budapest via the scenic Arlberg Pass, with overnight stop in Zurich - the all-daytime scenic route

A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

A railjet about to leave Zurich HB.

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.

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Swiss lakes:  Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Schaan-Vaduz station

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

 

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

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

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

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

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Mountains near Innsbruck.  The train calls at Innsbruck Hbf for several minutes.

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

Kufstein:  The train stops at Kufstein, where the castle towers above the station.  Above right, lunch is served.  In first & business class on a railjet, the steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat.

Cutting across Germany:  East of Kufstein, the train takes a short cut through Germany without stopping, see the route map here.  All fast Vienna-Salzburg-Innsbruck trains do this, they're still considered Austrian domestic trains even though this short cut means they spend an hour on German territory!  Such a train is called a Korridorzug.  The train crosses back into Austria near Freilassing, just before Salzburg.

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Salzburg:  View of the Fortress Hohensalzburg on the right hand side as the railjet crosses the River Salzach into Salzburg Hbf heading east.

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Paris to Brasov, Bucharest & Romania

Option 1, Paris to Romania using the Paris-Vienna sleeper - the most comfortable option

Dacia Express sleeper at Vienna   Dacia Express 2-bed sleeper

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

Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest   Dacia Express couchette car

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

Scenery in Transylvania

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

Dacia Express Carpathian mountains

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

Option 2, Paris to Romania using the Budapest-Bucharest sleeper - daily departures

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

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

 

The sleeping-car (vagon de dormit) on the westbound Ister at Bucharest.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.

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

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

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Option 3, Paris to Romania using daytime trains with overnight stops - if you prefer day trains & hotel to sleepers

The daytime train from Budapest to Bucharest

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Paris to Ljubljana or Zagreb from €73

Option 1, Paris to Ljubljana & Zagreb using the Stuttgart-Zagreb sleeper - the most time-effective option, recommended

TGV Duplex from Paris Gare de l'Est to Stuttgart & Munich

Step 1, Paris to Stuttgart by TGV Duplex, an impressive 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck train.  This is a Paris-Stuttgart TGV at Paris Gare de l'Est.

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

Cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4 (or 14), serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved dishes.

 

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

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

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

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

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

Step 2, Stuttgart to Zagreb by sleeper:  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car to Zagreb is seen at Munich Hbf.  It has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berth, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments convert to a private sitting room for evening or morning use.  A light breakfast is included in the sleeper fare.  The Croatian couchette car is the next vehicle to the right, also modern & air-conditioned with 4 & 6 bunk compartments, ideal for families.  Couchettes convert from bunks to seats for evening or morning use.

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

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360º photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

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

Option 2, Paris to Ljubljana & Zagreb with overnight stop in Munich - the scenic option, if you prefer day trains to sleepers

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 on the Tauern route.  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  

EuroCity train Sava, arrived at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

Option 3, Paris to Ljubljana & Zagreb using the Paris-Salzburg Nightjet sleeper train 3 times a week

Not the fastest option because of the time between trains in Salzburg, but what's not to like about a morning in that wonderful city?  With just 1 change, a high-quality Nightjet sleeper train and a lovely scenic journey in the afternoon across the mountains of Austria, this option is worth considering.

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

Step 1, Paris to Salzburg by Nightjet sleeper trainMore information about Nightjets.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

Step 2, through the Austrian Alps from Salzburg to Ljubljana & Zagreb.  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps on the Tauern route, the train snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful.

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

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

 

Comfortable seats:  This is a Slovenian car, the afternoon train is in fact Austrian.

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

More lovely scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

Option 4, Paris to Ljubljana & Zagreb using the Zurich-Zagreb sleeper - similar to option 1, but with sleeper from Zurich rather than Munich

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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Paris to Dubrovnik & Split

Option 1, Paris to Split & Dubrovnik by train via Zagreb - the scenic overland route

Option 2, Paris to Split & Dubrovnik by ferry from Italy - a lovely way to reach Croatia

Ancona to Split ferries in Split Harbour   Deluxe cabin onm Ancona to Split ferry

Blue Line & Jadrolinija ferries in Split Harbour.  Above right, a deluxe cabin on the Blue Line ferry, which comes complete with an en suite Jacuzzi.  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

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Paris to Belgrade & Sofia

Option 1, Paris to Belgrade & Sofia using the Stuttgart-Zagreb sleeper

TGV Duplex from Paris Gare de l'Est to Stuttgart & Munich

Step 1, Paris to Stuttgart by TGV Duplex, an impressive 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck train.  This is a Paris-Stuttgart TGV at Paris Gare de l'Est.

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

Cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4 (or 14), serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved dishes.

 

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

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

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

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

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

Step 2, Stuttgart to Zagreb by sleeper:  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car to Zagreb is seen at Munich Hbf.  It has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berth, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments convert to a private sitting room for evening or morning use.  A light breakfast is included in the sleeper fare.  The Croatian couchette car is the next vehicle to the right, also modern & air-conditioned with 4 & 6 bunk compartments, ideal for families.  Couchettes convert from bunks to seats for evening or morning use.

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

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360º photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

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

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

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

Option 2, Paris to Belgrade & Sofia using the Zurich-Zagreb sleeper - similar to option 1, but using the sleeper from Zurich rather than Munich

Option 3, Paris to Sofia via Bucharest - currently the only viable option between Paris & Sofia

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Step 1, Paris to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train, 3 times a week.  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.

A Railjet train at Budapest

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

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant car.

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

First class.

 

Economy class.

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.com.

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Paris to Bar, Podgorica, Budva & Kotor & Montenegro

Option 1, Paris to Montenegro by train all the way - the adventurous overland option

Option 2, Paris to Montenegro by train to Italy then overnight ferry across the Adriatic - a lovely way to reach Montenegro, once or twice a week

Montenegro Lines ferry from Bar to Bari

The Montenegro Lines ferry to Bari at Bar ferry terminal.

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Paris to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland from €66.90

Option 1, Paris to Warsaw in a single day, possible on Mondays-Fridays

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

Step 1, Paris to Mannheim & Mannheim to Berlin by ICE.  This is a Paris to Mannheim ICE3 at Paris Gare de l'EstMore information about ICE.

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

Restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

Lunch in the restaurant, with an Erdinger Weissbier.

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

2nd class seats.

 

1st class seats.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

Step 2.  Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train - seen here at Berlin HbfMore information bout these EuroCity trains.

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

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.  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, Paris to Krakow or Warsaw using the Paris-Berlin Nightjet sleeper train 3 times a week - the time-effective option, starts 10 December 2023

The Nightjet sleeper from Berlin to Zurich

Step 1, Paris to Berlin 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 couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

Step 2, Berlin to Krakow or Warsaw by EuroCity trainThis is the Berlin-Krakow 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.  Some seats are in compartments.

 

1st class on the Wawel.

Bistro-restaurant car on the Berlin-Warsaw Express

The restaurant car on a Berlin-Warsaw express.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  A steward will take your order.  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 3, Paris to Warsaw using the Paris-Vienna Nightjet sleeper train 3 times a week

Not the fastest option because of the time between trains in Vienna, but what's not to like about a morning in the Austrian capital?  With just 1 change, a high-quality Nightjet sleeper train and an afternoon journey to Poland with restaurant car, this option is worth considering.

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

Step 1, Paris to Vienna 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 couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Morning EuroCity train from Vienna to Warsaw

Step 2, Vienna to Warsaw by EuroCity train, change at Katowice for Krakow.  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.

Option 4, Paris to Warsaw or Krakow with overnight stop in Berlin

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Paris to Vilnius. Riga, Tallinn

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Paris to Kyiv, Lviv & Ukraine

Option 1, Paris to Kyiv via Warsaw

The Kyiv Express has 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 Express at Warsaw CentralnaCourtesy 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 2, Paris to Lviv & Kyiv via Vienna

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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Paris to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia

Option 1, ride the Paris to Moscow Express from €245!  See the Paris-Moscow Express page.

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

Standard sleepers on the Paris-Moscow Express:  1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth.  More photos & information.

  One of Russian Railways new international sleeping-cars

VIP sleeper with en suite toilet & shower on the Paris-Moscow Express.  More photos & information

Option 2, Paris to Moscow using the daily Warsaw-Moscow sleeper train

This option may not be as glamorous as the direct Paris-Moscow Express, but it's very comfortable and runs every day.  It can be cheaper as there are advance-purchase fares for the Paris-Berlin-Warsaw part of the trip, and you can stop off in Warsaw on the way.

Option 3, Paris to Moscow via Kyiv - avoiding the need for a Belarus visa and any problems reaching Russia via Belarus

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Paris to Athens & Greece

Option 1, Paris to Athens by train & ferry via Italy - the leisurely way in less than 48 hours, recommended

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, Paris to Athens overland by train via Munich & Belgrade - an overland adventure

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Paris to Istanbul & Turkey

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Hotels in Paris

A special hotel for a romantic break in Paris

Room 14 at l'Hotel in Paris   The stairway at l'Hotel, Paris

Room 14 at l'Hotel, next door to room 16 in which Oscar Wilde spent his last days.

 

The beautiful light well at l'Hotel with a circular landing on each floor.

Hotels close to the Gare du Nord & other Paris stations

If you need to stay over between trains, here are some suggestions that are both very close and get good reviews:

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

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 Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.


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