Buy train tickets from Prague to Krakow, Vienna, Budapest, Berlin, Dresden

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

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets

Take a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer all the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or a €35 point-to-point ticket?".  How far ahead can you buy train tickets?

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Prague to Českύ Krumlov
Prague to Brno, Ostrava, Karlovy Vary & elsewhere in the Czech Republic
Czech Super City train at Prague

SuperCity pendolino trains.  These modern pendolino tilting trains operate the premium SuperCity services linking Prague and Ostrava, the Czech Republic's second city.  Reservation is compulsory and there's a cafe-bar & free WiFi on board.

 

SuperCity 1st class.  Courtesy of CD.

 

SuperCity 2nd class.  Courtesy of CD.

Suggested day trips from Prague

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Prague to London

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Prague to Paris from €55

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

The Prague to Zuirch sleeping car boarding in Prague

Step 1, Prague to Karlsruhe by sleeper train.  This is a Czech sleeping-car of the Comfortline type, as used on the Prague-Karlsruhe-Basel-Zurich 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.

 

Same sleeper with beds folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Similar to a deluxe, without the shower & toilet.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe sleepers are virtually identical to standard, but with more floorspace & compact shower & toilet.  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.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

Step 2, Karlsruhe to Paris by TGV Duplex, seen here arrived at Paris Est. These impressive 320 km/h double-deck trains link Paris & Germany.  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.  360Ί 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.  360Ί photo.

 

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

Option 2, Prague to Paris using the Prague-Zurich sleeper - also a time-effective option, very similar to option 1 above

The Prague to Zuirch sleeping car boarding in Prague

Step 1, Prague to Zurich by sleeping-car.  Above, the Prague to Zurich sleeping-car boarding at Prague Hlavni platform 6.  More about the Prague to Zurich 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.

 

Same sleeper with beds folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Similar to a deluxe, without the shower & toilet.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe sleepers are almost identical to standard ones, with more floorspace & compact shower & toilet.  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.

TGV-Lyria from Zurich to Paris, at Zurich HB

Step 2, Zurich to Paris by TGV in 4h03.  Above, a 320 km/h double-deck TGV-Lyria boarding at Zurich HB.

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.  360Ί photo.

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

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

 

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

Option 2, Prague to Paris using the Linz-Paris Nightjet sleeper train, 3 times a week - also safe, comfortable & time-effective

Czech bistro car

Step 1, Prague to Linz by 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 often one or two cars with side corridor & classic 6-seat compartments.

 

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

Dinner in the bristro   Czech bistro car

An inexpensive meal 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.

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 3, Prague to Paris in a single day from €54.90 - the cheapest option, a chill-out day

Express train from Munich to Prague

Step 1, Prague to Munich by air-conditioned express with smart modern Czech Railways open-plan cars & comfortable Lδnderbahn 'Alex' compartment cars, power sockets at all seats, refreshment trolley & free WiFi.

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

Choose a Lδnderbahn compartment car.

 

Or a Czech Railways open-plan car.

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

Step 2, Munich to Paris using a TGV Duplex, an impressive 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck high-speed train.

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.  360Ί photo.

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

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

 

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

Option 4, Prague to Paris with overnight stop in Munich, from €55 - As option 2, but an overnight stop in Munich breaks up the trip nicely

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Prague to Lyon, Avignon, Aix en Provence, Marseille

Option 1, Prague to Lyon & southern France with an overnight stop in Munich

Frankfurt to Marseille TGV

The TGV Duplex from Frankfurt to Lyon, Avignon & Marseille, about to leave Frankfurt (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 2, Prague to Lyon & southern France using the Prague-Zurich sleeper

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Prague to Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo

Option 1, Prague to Nice & the South of France using the Vienna-Milan sleeper

Czech Railjet train to Vienna at Prague Hlavni station

Step 1, take a fast modern railjet train from Prague to Vienna.  This is a Czech railjet boarding at Prague Hlavni.  More about Prague-Vienna railjets.

Economy seats on a Prague to Vienna Railjet train   1st class seats on a Czech Railjet train

Economy (2nd) class.  Mainly unidirectional seating but with some tables for 4.  All seats have power sockets & free WiFi.  Larger photo.

 

First class.  Mainly unidirectional, with some tables for 2 & tables for 4.  Larger photo

Restaurant car on a Prague-Vienna railjet train   Business class on a Czech railjet train

Restaurant car for snacks, meals, beer, wine, tea & coffee.  You don't need to reserve, just turn up & sit down.  There's waiter-service at tables or order at the counter & take back to your seat.  Larger photo.

 

Business class = premium 1st class.  Just 6 seats at one end of the 1st class car.  Same seats but very different layout from business class on Austrian railjetLarger photo.

Nightjet sleeper train boarding at Vienna Hbf

Step 2, Vienna to Genoa 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 photo Video of deluxe room

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Nightjet couchette car.

Italian InterCity train

Step 3, Genoa to Ventimiglia by Intercity train.  Above, an Intercity at the magnificent Milan Centrale.

2nd class   1st class

2nd class.  Larger photo.

 

1st class.  Larger photo.

TER train at Juans-les-Pins station

Step 4, take a TER local train from Ventimiglia to Monaco, Nice & Cannes.  Here, a TER rolls into Juan les Pins station, between Nice & Cannes.

Coastal scenery between Nice & Ventimiglia

Coastal scenery from the upper deck of the TER from Ventimiglia to Nice & Cannes.

Option 2, Prague to Nice & the South of France with an overnight stop in Verona - mountains and coastline

Option 3, Prague to Nice & the South of France with overnight stop in Venice - A little longer than option 2, but with a stopover in Venice

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Prague to Brussels & Bruges

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

The European Sleeper at Prague

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

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

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

 

5-berth couchette compartment.

European Sleeper 5 berth couchette   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

5-berth couchettes, night mode.

 

Breakfast can be added when you book.

European Sleeper runs along the Elbe river valley

In summer when it's light you'll see great scenery along the Elbe river between Prague & Dresden.  This is a morning view from the eastbound sleeper.

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

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

Step 1, Prague to Berlin by EuroCity train.  It's so civilised:  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Prague-Berlin express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Prague-Berlin trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  More about the journey from Prague to BerlinCourtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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

1st class seats.

 

2nd class seats in a compartment car.

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

Step 2, Berlin to Cologne & Cologne to Brussels by ICEMore about ICE trains.  Above, an ICE3neo at Brussels Midi.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

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

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

Step 1, Prague to Berlin by EuroCity train.  It's so civilised:  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Prague-Berlin express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  More about the journey from Prague to BerlinCourtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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

1st class seats.

 

2nd class seats in a compartment car.

The Nightjet sleeper from Berlin to Zurich

Step 2, Berlin to Brussels by Nightjet.  Above, a Nightjet at Berlin Hbf.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 4, Prague to Brussels with an overnight stop in Berlin - same as option 2 but with an overnight stop

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Prague to Amsterdam from €46.90

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

The European Sleeper at Prague

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

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

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

 

5-berth couchette compartment.

European Sleeper 5 berth couchette   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

5-berth couchettes, night mode.

 

Breakfast can be added when you book.

European Sleeper runs along the Elbe river valley

In summer when it's light you'll see great scenery along the Elbe river between Prague & Dresden.  This is a morning view from the eastbound sleeper.

Option 2, Prague to Amsterdam in a single day - how about a few hours in Berlin?

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

Step 1, Prague to Berlin by EuroCity train.  It's so civilised:  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Prague-Berlin express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Prague-Berlin trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  See the photos & video on the Prague to Berlin pageCourtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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

1st class seats.

 

2nd class seats in a compartment car.

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 2, Berlin to Amsterdam by Intercity train.  More about Berlin-Amsterdam Intercity trains.

Beef ribs and Spatburgunder red wine on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   2nd class on the Intercity

A meal in the bistro car.

 

2nd class seats.

Option 3, Prague to Amsterdam with an overnight stop in Berlin - same as option 1 but with an overnight stop

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Prague to Luxembourg from €46.90
Double-deck train between Koblenz, Trier & Luxembourg

Koblenz to Luxembourg by double deck regional train.  This is a CFL double-decker at Luxembourg.

1st class on a Koblenz-Luxembourg train   1st class on a Koblenz-Luxembourg train

1st class on the upper deck. Larger photo.

 

2nd class on the upper deck.  Larger photo.

Scenery along the Moselle between Koblenz & Luxembourg

Scenery along the Moselle between Koblenz & Luxembourg in the morning sun, the mists still clearing.  For the best river views, sit on the left hand side of the train going west from Koblenz.

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Prague to Zurich, Basel, Geneva & Switzerland from €37.90

Option 1, Prague to Basel & Zurich by sleeper train - safe, comfortable, time-effective

The Prague to Zuirch sleeping car boarding in Prague

A Czech sleeping-car of the Comfortline type used on the Prague-Basel-Zurich 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.

 

Same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Similar to a deluxe, 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 inaugural departure from Prague, leased from RDC as CD don't have enough 200km/h couchette cars of their own.  Photos courtesy of @_wrzlbrnft_

Option 2, Prague to Zurich by direct sleeping-car - safe, comfortable, time-effective

The Prague to Zuirch sleeping car boarding in Prague

The sleeping-car to Zurich, boarding at Prague Hlavni platform 6.  More about the Zurich to Prague sleeper.

City Night Line standard (economy) 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.  Enlarge photo.

 

Same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Similar to a deluxe, without the shower & toilet.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe sleepers are almost identical to standard 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.

The Prague to Zuirch sleeping car boarding in Prague

The sleeping-car from Prague, arrived at Zurich HB.

Option 3, Prague to Switzerland in a single day from €37.90 - the cheapest option

Express train from Munich to Prague

Step 1, Prague to Munich by air-conditioned express with smart modern Czech Railways open-plan cars & comfortable Lδnderbahn 'Alex' compartment cars, power sockets at all seats, refreshment trolley & free WiFi.

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

Choose a Lδnderbahn compartment car.

 

Or a Czech Railways open-plan car.

Munich to Zurich train, at Munich HB

Step 2, Munich to Zurich by EuroCity train, with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, seen here on platform 27 at Munich Hbf More about Zurich-Munich EuroCity trains.

1st class on a Zurich to Munich Astoro train   Restaurant car on a Zurich to Munich Astoro train

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

 

Restaurant car.  Larger photo.

Lunch on an Astoro train   1st class seats on an Astoro train

Lunch in the restaurant.

 

2nd class.  Larger photo 360 degree photo.

Option 4, Prague to Switzerland with an overnight stop in Munich - same as option 3, but with an overnight stop in Munich.

Option 5, Prague to Switzerland with overnight in Salzburg, from €54 - a recommended option, great scenery & chance to see Salzburg

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Prague to Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples & Italy

Option 1, Prague to Italy using the Vienna-Rome or Vienna-Venice Nightjet sleeper train - the most comfortable & time-effective option, recommended!

Czech Railjet train to Vienna at Prague Hlavni station

Step 1, Prague to Vienna by fast modern railjet train.  This is a Czech railjet boarding at Prague Hlavni.  More about Prague-Vienna railjets.

Economy seats on a Prague to Vienna Railjet train   1st class seats on a Czech Railjet train

Economy (2nd) class.  Mainly unidirectional seating but with some tables for 4.  All seats have power sockets & free WiFi.  Larger photo.

 

First class.  Mainly unidirectional, with some tables for 2 & tables for 4.  Larger photo

Restaurant car on a Prague-Vienna railjet train   Business class on a Czech railjet train

Restaurant car for snacks, meals, beer, wine, tea & coffee.  You don't need to reserve, just turn up & sit down.  There's waiter-service at tables or order at the counter & take back to your seat.  Larger photo.

 

Business class = premium 1st class.  Just 6 seats at one end of the 1st class car.  Same seats but very different layout from business class on Austrian railjetLarger photo.

Nightjet sleeper train boarding at Vienna Hbf

Step 2, Vienna to Italy by nightjet sleeper train.  This is the sleeper from Vienna to Florence & Rome boarding at Vienna Hbf.  More 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

Nightjet couchette car.

 

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Sunrise as the sleeper train crosses the causeway into Venice

Sunrise as the Munich-Venice Nightjet crosses the causeway over the lagoon into Venice.  Courtesy of Andreas Wiedenhoff.

Option 2, Prague to Venice in a single day from €44.80, comfy, scenic

A railjet train about to leave Vienna

The afternoon railjet to Venice, about to leave Vienna Hbf.  More photos & info about Vienna-Venice railjets.

Railjet restaurant car   Business class seats on a railjet train

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

 

Business class.  About business class.

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

First class.

 

Economy class.

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

Option 3, Prague to Venice with an overnight stop in Vienna from €44.80 - same as option 2, but an overnight stop breaks up the journey nicely

Option 4, Prague to Florence or Rome by scenic daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich, from €54

EuroCity train from Munich to Innsbruck & beyond

Munich to Italy by EuroCity train.  This is a EuroCity train at Munich Hbf.  More about these Brenner EuroCity trains.

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

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

 

1st class leather seats.  You'll also find seats in classic 6-seat compartments.

Mountains on the Brenner route.

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

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

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

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

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Prague to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain

Option 1, Prague to Barcelona & Spain with overnight stop in Munich

Option 2, Prague to Barcelona & Spain with overnight stop in Paris

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 3, Prague to Barcelona & Spain using the Prague-Zurich sleeper & with overnight stop in Marseille - a pleasant alternative

  • Day 1, travel from Prague to Zurich by direct sleeping-car, leaving Prague Hlavni at 18:20 & arriving Zurich HB at 08:20.

    This comfortable Czech Comfortline sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 & 3 bed deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. More about this Prague to Zurich sleeper train.

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

    Book this train at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz.

    Booking usually opens 60 days ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Day 2, travel from Zurich to Marseille by high-speed TGV, leaving Zurich HB 13:34, changing at Dijon and arriving Marseille St Charles 19:47.

    Times vary, check your date online.  The Zurich-Dijon TGV-Lyria & Dijon-Marseille TGV have a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at around €60.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this journey 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 www.sncf-connect.com (in €, no fee).

    Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your phone.

  • Day 3, travel from Marseille to Spain by AVE S100, leaving Marseille St Charles at 08:04, arriving Barcelona Sants 12:38 & Madrid Atocha 15:45.

    This comfortable Spanish high-speed train has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Look out for Bιziers cathedral on the right, colonies of flamingos on the ιtangs in southern France, the Fort de Salses on the right approaching Perpignan and great views of the imposing 2,784m Mt Canigou as the train rounds the southern end of the Pyrenees.  More about AVE S100 & the journey.

    Fares from Marseille to Barcelona start at €25 in 2nd class or €45 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Fares from Marseille to Madrid start at €44 in 2nd class or €54 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this journey at either www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, small booking fee) or using Renfe's own website www.renfe.com (in €, much more fiddly, may reject some overseas credit cards, see advice on using it).

    Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your phone.

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Prague to San Sebastian
  • Step 2, travel from Paris to Hendaye on the Spanish border by TGV Duplex Ocιane, leaving Paris Montparnasse at 16:11 arriving Hendaye 20:47.

    The 16:11 TGV doesn't run on Saturdays, on Saturdays leave Paris at 15:11 and change at Bordeaux.

    The TGV has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €25 in 2nd class or €45 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both sites easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the French Railways website www.sncf-connect.com (in €, no fee).

    Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your phone.

  • Step 3, transfer from Hendaye to San Sebastian by Euskotren metro, every 30 minutes, journey 37 minutes, fare €2.75.

    Simply walk out of Hendaye station and turn right, the little Euskotren station is just 50m away.  Buy a ticket at the Euskotren station from the machines or staffed counter with cash or card and hop on the next half-hourly Euskotren to San Sebastian Amara station.  More about the Paris to San Sebastian journey.

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Prague to Lisbon & Portugal

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Prague to Andorra

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Prague to Berlin from €18.90 or Dresden from €15
  • Comfortable EuroCity trains with restaurant car link Prague Hlavni with Berlin Hbf in 4h09 every 2 hours, see the timetable here.

  • Fares start at €18.90 in 2nd class or €37.90 in 1st class.

    Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  More about the journey from Prague to BerlinPhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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Prague to Munich from €15
  • Every day, 7 comfortable trains link Prague Hlavni with Munich Hbf, see the Prague to Munich page.

  • Fares start at just €16 or from €39 in 1st class.  These are limited-availability advance-purchase fares.

  • It's a great journey by train, with air-conditioning, power sockets and (in most cars) free WiFi.  Pleasant Bohemian woodland and farm scenery comes as standard.

  • Book at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz, see tips & advice for using it.  Look for trains marked No transfers (Ex).  

    Booking usually opens 92 days ahead.  You print out your own ticket.  Easy!

    Also check the German Railways website int.bahn.de, but CD is usually cheaper.

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Prague to Frankfurt from €19
  • Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class or €36.90 in 1st class.

    Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead. 

  • In the search results you'll see various options with 1, 2 or 3 changes.  Here's how to make sense of what you see:

    Option 1, via Dresden with 1 change:  This would be my first choice, a lovely journey.  You'll see this option every two hours with 1 transfer marked EC, ICE.  If you click the Show details link you'll see the change is at Dresden with just over an hour between trains.

    I'd choose this option even though it's not the fastest, as it's the simplest with only 1 change of train.  It uses a comfortable EuroCity train from Prague to Dresden and a high-quality ICE train from Dresden to Frankfurt, with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, it takes you over the scenic line along the Elbe river valley between Prague and Dresden, see the photos & video.  The bonus?  An hour or so in Dresden is enough time for a look-round, the Frauenkirche is 22 minutes walk from the station.  Or just have a coffee.  What's not to like?

    Tip:  If you'd like a longer stop in Dresden, either a few hours or an overnight stop, click Stopovers, enter Dresden and a suitable length of stay in hours.  Dresden is well worth a stop, even for a few hours left luggage lockers are available.

    Option 2, via Regensburg with 1 change.  This uses an express train then an ICE train.  Journey time is similar to option 1, but option 1 would still be my first choice because of the scenery and the better quality train with restaurant car on the initial leg.

    Option 3, via Cheb with 3 changes, marked IC, RE, RE, ICE:  This is usually the fastest option, using a swish air-conditioned Czech Interjet train to Cheb, then a smart German regional express from Cheb to Marktredwitz to Nuremberg and a superb German ICE train to Frankfurt.  You'll see it roughly every couple of hours, The trains are comfortable, scenery pretty enough, you can see what the trains and scenery are like on this route on the Prague via Cheb page.  But with an extra change in Marktredwitz needed in 2024, it's just too many changes.

The morning express from Prague to Cheb

Czech Interjet trains like this link Prague with Cheb, change for Nuremberg & Frankfurt.

2nd class seats on a Prague to Cheb Interjet train   1st class seats on a Prague to Cheb Interjet train

2nd class on an Interjet train with power outlets & free WiFi.  Larger photo.

 

1st class on an Interjet train with power outlets & free WiFi.  Larger photo.

Scenery from the train between Cheb & Prague   Scenery between Nuremberg & Cheb

Hills & forest between Prague & Cheb.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

 

Scenery between Cheb & Nuremberg.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

Cheb station, en route from Brussels to Prague

Easy & relaxed interchange at Cheb.  The blue train on the left is the Czech train arrived from Prague, the red train on the right is the German regional train to Nuremberg.  As you can see, it takes only seconds to walk from one train to the other at Cheb.  The German train will wait a bit if the Czech train is late.

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Prague to Nuremberg from €17
  • Trains link Prague with Nuremberg every hour, departures from Prague Hlavni are at 05:35 then every hour at xx:35 until 17:35.

    Departures on odd-numbered hours take 4h40 with 1 change at Schwandorf, using a Prague-Munich express train as far as Schwandorf then a German regional train.

    Departures on even-numbered hours take 4h45 with 2 changes at Cheb & Marktredwitz, using a swish Czech Interjet train from Prague to Cheb, then two German regional trains.  Both changes are easy, the interchange at Cheb simply means walking a few metres across the platform.  More about the journey from Prague to Nuremberg via Cheb.

    German Railways (DB) and Czech Railways) both sell these same trains, but with different pricing.  Use whichever suits.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website int.bahn.de - more flexible

    If you buy from the Germans, the fare is €39 one-way or €72 return with a Prague Special fare.

    A Prague Special ticket is good for any departure that day via either Cheb or Schwandorf.  You can buy at this price even on the day of travel.

  • Buy tickets at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz - cheaper, if you pre-book and go via Cheb

    Cheap advance-purchase First Minute fares start at €17 (422 CZK) or €32 (794 CZK) in 1st class.

    However, you'll only find these cheap fares on the route via Cheb.  For the route via Schwandorf Czech Railways only offer full-flex fares (shown as International ticket) for €72 (1796 CZK).  Obviously, you'd be better off buying a €39 Prague Special from the Germans!

    Booking opens 92 days ahead, specified departure only, no changes, no refunds.  You can find First Minute fares even booking a week or two ahead and you simply print your own ticket.

The morning express from Prague to Cheb

Czech Interjet trains like this link Prague with Cheb, change for Nuremberg & Frankfurt.

2nd class seats on a Prague to Cheb Interjet train   1st class seats on a Prague to Cheb Interjet train

2nd class on an Interjet train with power outlets & free WiFi.  Larger photo.

 

1st class on an Interjet train with power outlets & free WiFi.  Larger photo.

Scenery from the train between Cheb & Prague   Scenery between Nuremberg & Cheb

Hills & forest between Prague & Cheb.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

 

Scenery between Cheb & Nuremberg.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

Cheb station, en route from Brussels to Prague

Easy & relaxed interchange at Cheb.  The blue train on the left is the Czech train arrived from Prague, the red train on the right is the German regional train to Nuremberg.  As you can see, it takes only seconds to walk from one train to the other at Cheb.  The German train will wait a bit if the Czech train is late.  See more photos, information & travel tips on Prague to Nuremberg via Cheb here.

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Prague to Rothenburg ob der Tauber from €25
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a much-visited medieval town in Germany.  It's easy to travel there by train:

    06:35, changing Cheb, Marktredwitz, Nuremberg, Ansbach & Steinach arriving Rothenburg 12:51.

    08:35, changing Cheb, Marktredwitz, Nuremberg, Ansbach & Steinach arriving Rothenburg 14:51.

    10:35, changing Cheb, Marktredwitz, Nuremberg, Ansbach & Steinach arriving Rothenburg 16:51.

    12:35, changing Cheb, Marktredwitz, Nuremberg, Ansbach & Steinach arriving Rothenburg 18:51.

    14:35, changing Cheb, Marktredwitz, Nuremberg, Ansbach & Steinach arriving Rothenburg 20:51.

    The changes are easy - at Cheb, it's literally walking 20 feet across the width of a platform from the excellent Czech Interjet train to the waiting German regional express to Nuremberg.  And there's some nice scenery, and these are all comfortable trains with toilets, luggage space and room to move.  More about the journey from Prague to Nuremberg via Cheb.

    There are also departures via Schwandorf, buy DB don't offer affordable Sparpreis fares on that route, only €140+ flexible fares, so stick with the route via Cheb.

  • Fares start at €20.90 in 2nd class or €33.90 in 1st class.

    Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.  I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

    For this journey, Czech Railways (www.cd.cz) don't sell any affordable fares via any route, so buy from int.bahn.de.

  • How about a stopover in Nuremberg?

    Nuremberg has a pleasant old town, a railway museum and the thought-provoking historic Party Rally Grounds.  You can stop for several hours and still do the journey in a day, or stop overnight and have a more leisurely look round. 

    To get a stopover, click Stopover, enter Nuremberg and specify a number of hours.

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Prague to Passau €18

Option 1, Prague to Passau through Austria, via Linz

  • Prague to Passau (where many river cruises start) takes 5h30 or so by train with 1 easy change in Linz in Austria.

    You travel from Prague Hlavni to Linz on a comfortable air-conditioned Prague-Linz EuroCity train with bistro car, power sockets & free WiFi, then from Linz to Passau Hbf on a superb German ICE-T train with restaurant car, power sockets & free WiFi.

  • Fares start at around €18 in 2nd class or €35 in 1st class.

    These are advance-purchase First Minute fares, so book ahead.

  • Buy tickets at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz.

    Booking opens up to 90 days ahead.  Look for journeys with just 1 change.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.

    Tip:  To see only sensible 1-change options via Linz in the search results, go to www.cd.cz, enter Prague to Passau and your date of travel, click More options, click Travel via and enter Linz, now click Connection parameters, then Transfers, then reduce the desired number of transfers to just 1.  Easy when you know how!

Option 2, Prague to Passau through Germany, via Regensburg

  • This takes slightly longer, 5h50 to 6h50 depending how connections work, with 1 easy change at Regensburg.

    You travel from Prague Hlavni to Regensburg on a comfortable Prague-Munich express train with refreshment trolley, power sockets & free WiFi, then from Regensburg to Passau Hbf on a superb German ICE-T train with restaurant car, power sockets & free WiFi.

    If you fancy a stroll in Regensburg, use the Stopover feature to add a stopover of a few hours.

  • Fares start at around €20.90 in 2nd class or €33.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • Book at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  Look for journeys with just 1 change.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.  I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.

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Prague to Cologne, Hamburg & other German cities

Prague to other German cities by train

  • The German Railways website int.bahn.de sells tickets from Prague to anywhere in Germany from €18.90 upwards.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as a EuroCity express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river towards Dresden, Berlin & Hamburg.  Change in Dresden or Berlin for Dόsseldorf & Cologne.  Photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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Prague to Vienna in 4 hours from €14.90

Option 1, Prague to Vienna by railjet train with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi

  • Since December 2017 these railjets have been joined by up to four daily trains run by competing private operator Regiojet with fares from just €15, see the Vienna to Prague page.

Czech Railjet train to Vienna at Prague Hlavni station

A blue Czech Railjet train from Prague to Vienna, seen at Prague Hlavni.  More about Prague-Vienna trains.

Option 2, by competing Regiojet train from €15 with free WiFi, power sockets & at-seat service

A RegioJet train to Prague at Vienna Hbf

A RegioJet train at Vienna Hbf.

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Prague to Linz, Hallstatt & Salzburg from €23.70:  See the Prague-Salzburg page
  • Prague to Hallstatt

    You can book Prague to Hallstatt at www.cd.cz with fares from €19 and print your own ticket.

    Look for journeys with 1 easy change at Linz, journey time as little as 6h26.  Booking usually opens 92 days ahead.

    The train arrives at Hallstatt railway station (Hallstatt Bahnhof) on the east side of the Hallstatter See (Hallstatt Lake).  Hallstatt town is on the west side of the lake, so you need to take a small local ferry called the Stefanie from Hallstatt Bahnhof (to Hallstatt town, this sails shortly after most train arrivals and takes 15-20 minutes, see www.hallstattschifffahrt.at for a timetable.  You pay for the ferry separately at the quayside before boarding, around €3 per crossing, children under 4 free, children under 14 at a reduced fare.

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Prague to Innsbruck from €19
  • You can travel from Prague to Innsbruck in comfort by train  with one easy change in Linz, centre to centre in 7h23 from €19. 

    It's an air-conditioned Czech EuroCity train from Prague Hlavni to Linz in 3h45, then a swish Austrian railjet train from Linz to Innsbruck Hbf in 2h56.  There's a range of departures to choose from through the day.

    On the Czech EuroCity train there's a bistro car serving drinks & meals, 1st class passengers are served at their seat, there are power sockets at all seats, free WiFi and plenty of room for luggage.

    On the Austrian railjet train there's a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi - 1st class passengers have food and drink orders taken and served at their seat.

  • Fares start at a bargain €19 (around 550 CZK) if you pre-book.  Indeed, you'll often find these €19 First Minute fares available online even looking just a few days ahead.  Or treat yourself to 1st class from €39.

  • Buy tickets at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz looking for journeys from Prague to Innsbruck with 1 transfer at Linz.  See my tips & advice for using cd.cz.  Booking usually opens 92 days ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Switching trains in Linz only takes a few minutes - just so you don't worry, in the unlikely event that there's a delay and you miss the onward train, you're entitled to travel onwards on a later train at no charge, even with a cheap train-specific ticket. Trains run regularly from Linz to Innsbruck.

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Prague to Copenhagen, Malmφ, Gothenburg & Stockholm

Option 1, Prague to Stockholm using the Hamburg-Stockholm sleeper train - the time-effective option

  • Step 2, travel from Hamburg to Stockholm by sleeper train, leaving Hamburg Hbf at 22:03, arriving Stockholm Central 09:57 next morning.

    Run by SJ (Swedish Railways), the train has one or two sleeping-cars with compact 1 & 2 berth compartments with washbasin, several 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with en suite toilet & shower, couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A bistro car is attached between Malmφ and Stockholm.  More about the Hamburg-Stockholm sleeper train.

    Fares start at €44.90 with a couchette in 6-berth, €69.90 with a couchette in 4-berth, €79.90 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €164.90 with a single-bed sleeper all to yourself.  All prices per person per bed, fares vary like air fares so book ahead.

    Book tickets at SJ's website www.sj.se.

    Booking opens several months ahead, You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.

Hamburg-StockholmSJ EuroNight at Hamburg Altona   6-berth couchette on the Hamburg-Stockholm SJ night train

The inaugural Hamburg to Stockholm SJ EuroNight train in Hamburg on 1 September 2022. The author rode this first departure.  More about this train.

6-berth couchettes.

Larger photo.

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

2-bed sleeper.  Larger photo.

The inaugural train from Hamburg to Stockholm calls at Padborg, just after entering Denmark.

Scenery from the Hamburg to Stockholm train

Typical Swedish scenery on the morning run into Stockholm.

Option 2, Prague to Copenhagen in a day from €39.90.  Onwards to Stockholm, Gothenburg or Oslo next day.

  • How much does it cost?

    Prague to Copenhagen starts at €37.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.

    Prague to Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmo starts at €69.90 in 2nd class or €99.90 in 1st class.

    Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • How to buy tickets

    Book from Prague to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmφ at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead, you print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.

    When booking from Prague to Stockholm or Gothenburg, click Stopovers and enter Copenhagen with a length of stay of (say) 10:00.  This gets you the overnight stop in Copenhagen.

    If you have any problems booking from Prague to Sweden (for example you find no affordable 1st class fares), split the booking.  First book from Prague to Copenhagen using int.bahn.de.  Then book from Copenhagen to Malmφ, Gothenburg or Stockholm using www.sj.se or Omio.com.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen

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

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

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

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

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

An X2000 train at Stockholm Central

Copenhagen to Stockholm by tilting 200km/h X2000, seen at Stockholm CentralMore about X2000 trains.

1st class seats on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train 2nd class seats on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train

1st class on an X2000.  Larger photo.

 

2nd class on an X2000.  Larger photo.

Bistro seating area on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train   Bistro seating area on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train

Bistro seating on an X2000 train. Larger photo.

 

Bistro on an X2000 train. Larger photo.

On the Oresund link!

Crossing the impressive Φresund bridge from Denmark to Sweden.

Option 3, Prague to Copenhagen with an overnight stop in Hamburg

  • How much does it cost?

    Prague to Copenhagen starts at €37.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.

    Prague to Stockholm starts at €69.90 in 2nd class or €99.90 in 1st class.

    Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • How to buy tickets

    Buy tickets at German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    To get the overnight stop in Hamburg, click Stopovers and enter Hamburg Hbf with a suitable length of stay, say 11 hours.  Adjust the departure time and length of stay to get the trains you want each side of Hamburg.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

Option 4, Prague to Copenhagen with an overnight stop in Berlin

  • How much does it cost?

    Prague to Copenhagen starts at €37.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • How to buy tickets

    Buy tickets at German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    To get the overnight stop in Berlin, click Stopovers and enter Berlin Hbf with a suitable length of stay, say 11 hours.  Adjust the departure time and length of stay to get the trains you want each side of Berlin.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.  I recommend registering when prompted, so you can log on at any time and check or reprint tickets.  

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Prague to Oslo & Norway

Option 1, Prague to Oslo with overnight stop in Copenhagen - by train all the way

Option 2, Prague to Oslo with overnight stop in Hamburg - by train all the way

Option 3, Prague to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo cruise ferry - the most comfortable way to Oslo

  • Step 1, travel from Prague to Kiel by direct train, leaving Prague Hlavni at 12:28 arriving Kiel Hbf at 20:20.

    Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class or €36.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Buy a ticket at the German Railways website int.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Stay overnight in Kiel.  The InterCity Hotel Kiel gets good reviews, is relatively inexpensive and is right next to the station and a few minutes walk from the ferry.  The B&B Hotel Kiel City is also next to the station with good reviews, and is even cheaper.  For something upmarket, the Atlantic Hotel Kiel gets great reviews and is in Bahnhofsplatz in front of the station.

    In Kiel it's a 7 minute 450m walk from Kiel Hbf to the Color Line ferry terminal, see walking map.

  • Step 2, sail from Kiel to Oslo by luxurious overnight Color Line ferry, normally sailing at 14:00 and arriving Oslo at 10:00 next morning.

    The m/v Magic or m/v Fantasy have a full range of en suite cabins, suites, bars, restaurants and lounges.  Make sure you're on deck next morning as the ship sails through spectacular scenery up Oslo Fjord.  The ship docks at the modern Color Line terminal about 2 km from the city centre.  Color Line provide transfer buses to Oslo Sentral station costing 55 krone, or there are plenty of taxis.  If you have little luggage it's possible to walk.  See map of Oslo showing ferry terminal.

    Check times & buy tickets using the Direct Ferries website or at www.colorline.com.

    Money-saving tip:  It appears that it's considerably cheaper to book on Color Line's Norwegian website www.colorline.no in Norwegian Krone, for example a €274 fare becomes the equivalent of €164.  You'll need to use Google Chrome translation to translate the Norwegian.  You are still able to enter a UK or other European address and contact details.  Feedback appreciated.

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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Prague to Helsinki & Finland

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

  • Day 1, travel from Prague to Hamburg by EuroCity train, leaving Prague Hlavni at 10:28 and arriving Hamburg Hbf 17:11.

    The EuroCity train has a restaurant car, power sockets at seats & free WiFi.  There's great scenery between Prague and Dresden along the Elbe river, see the photos & video here.

    Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class or €36.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or phone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

    Tip:  You should book from Praha hl.n. to Skandinavienkai Terminal, Lόbeck as one transaction as this gets you a through ticket to the ferry terminal covering the train from Prague to Hamburg, the regional train to Lόbeck and the bus to the Skandinavienkai Terminal.  If you'd like time for dinner in Lόbeck (see suggested restaurant here), click Stopovers and enter Lόbeck Hbf with a length of stay of (say) 2 hours, entering an earlier departure time.

  • Book onward trains within Finland at the Finnish Railways website www.vr.fi.

Finnlines ferry Travemunde-Helsinki

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

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

Standard cabin.  Larger photo.

 

Gym with a view.

 

Sauna.

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

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Prague to Bratislava from €15

Option 1, Prague to Bratislava by EuroCity train run by the Czech & Slovakian & national railways - the most frequent option

EuroCity train to Budapest about to leave Prague

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

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

1st class.

 

2nd class compartment seating.

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

Restaurant car.

 

Lunch & a beer.

Option 2, Prague to Bratislava by competing Regiojet train - 4 per day, can be cheaper, with great on-board service

A RegioJet train to Prague at Vienna Hbf

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

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

Business class.  Larger photo 360° photo.

 

Relax class.  Larger photo 360° photo..

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

Standard class Astra car.  Larger photo360° photo.

Regiojet Astra car at Vienna.

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

  • The sleeper train Metropol leaves Prague Hlavni 22:03 every night and arrives Bratislava Hlavna at 06:02.

    It has an excellent air-conditioned Czech sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin.  Morning tea or coffee is included in the fare.   The train's final destination is Budapest.

The sleeper train from Budapest to Prague

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

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

Washstand, soap & towels provided.  Larger photo.

 

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

 

The corridor.  Each compartment locks securely.  Larger photo.

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Prague to Poprad Tatry & Košice

Option 1, Prague to Poprad Tatry & Kosice by daytime train - choose from 3 competing operators

  • Czech Railways (CD) run an early morning and mid-afternoon SuperCity train from Prague to Poprad Tatry (6h30) or Kosice (7h25).

    SuperCity trains are high-quality tilting Italian-designed pendolinos, all seats reserved, with cafe-bar, food & drink orders taken and served at your seat, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  See the SuperCity train information on the CD website (please let me know if this link stops working).

    If you book ahead even a few days or weeks, First Minute advance-purchase fares with the SuperCity reservation included start at €19 in 2nd class or €39 in 1st class.  Full-price bought on the day is around €55 in 2nd class.

    Buy tickets at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz.

    Booking usually opens 60 days ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your phone.

  • Private operator Regiojet operate an excellent morning and afternoon train, with 4 classes, on-board at-seat catering and free WiFi, see more about Regiojet trains and their 4 classes.  Fares are cheap, even at short notice - I can recommend their Business & Relax classes!

    Book at www.regiojet.com and show you booking on your phone.

Czech Super City train at Prague

SuperCity pendolino trains.  These modern pendolino tilting trains link Prague with Poprad Tatry & Kosice twice per day.  Reservation is compulsory and there's a cafe-bar & free WiFi on board.

 

SuperCity 1st class.  Courtesy of CD.

 

SuperCity 2nd class.  Courtesy of CD.

Option 2, Prague to Poprad Tatry & Kosice by sleeper train

  • An overnight sleeper train links Prague with Poprad Tatry & Košice, leaving Prague Hlavni at 22:14.

    The sleeper train has 4 & 6 berth couchettes and comfortable air-conditioned sleeping-cars with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin.

    Tip:  The final destination of this sleeper is Humennι, this is what's shown on the departure boards in Prague.

  • Even booked a week or two in advance, First Minute advance-purchase fares start at around €22 with a couchette (simple bunk in 4 or 6 bunk compartment) or €35 with a bed in a 2-bed double sleeper or €45 with a single-bed sleeper all to yourself.  If you buy on the day, expect to pay perhaps €40 more full-price.

  • Buy tickets at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz

    For sleeper trains, leave 2nd class selected.  Booking usually opens 60 days ahead.  You print your own ticket.

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Prague to Budapest from €16

Option 1, Prague to Budapest by daytime train

EuroCity train to Budapest about to leave Prague

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

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

1st class.

 

2nd class compartment seating.

Option 2, Prague to Budapest by competing Regiojet train

  • In addition to the EuroCity trains run by the national rail operators, since July 2020 private open-access operator Regiojet operates 2 trains a day from Prague to Budapest with 4 classes (lo-cost, standard, relax & business) with fares from just €16, more information here.

  • Book at www.regiojet.com.

A RegioJet train to Prague at Vienna Hbf

A RegioJet train at Vienna Hbf.  More about Regiojet trains & their 4 classes.

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

Business class.  Larger photo 360° photo.

 

Relax class.  Larger photo 360° photo..

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

Standard class Astra car.  Larger photo360° photo.

Regiojet Astra car at Vienna.

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

  • A time-effective sleeper train leaves Prague Hlavni at 22:03 every night and arrives at Budapest Nyugati at 08:29 next morning.

    The train has a comfortable Czech sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments, morning tea or coffee and a light breakfast are included in the sleeper fare.

The sleeper train from Budapest to Prague

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

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

Washstand, soap & towels provided.  Larger photo.

 

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

 

The corridor.  Each compartment locks securely.  Larger photo.

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Prague to Brasov & Bucharest from €48

Option 1, Prague to Romania using the Budapest-Bucharest sleeper - the most time-effective option

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Romania by sleeper train Ister, leaving Budapest Keleti at 19:10 and arriving Brasov 08:50 & Bucharest Gara de Nord 11:30 next day.

    This safe & comfortable train has a Romanian air-conditioned 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 in the evening so take a picnic & bottle of wine, although a bar car is attached at Simeria for the morning run into Bucharest serving coffee and breakfast.  Enjoy the lovely Alpine scenery through the Carpathian mountains between Brasov & Bucharest.

    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.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book at the Romanian Railways website bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro.

    Click EN top right for English.  Booking opens up to 90 days ahead.  For Bucharest type Bucuresti.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or phone.

    You can also 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 phone.  If www.mavcsoport.hu won't offer tickets for a 2-bed or 1-bed sleeper, book 3 tickets in a 3-bed sleeper to get sole occupancy.

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Prague to Romania by daytime trains with overnight stop from €48 - if you prefer day trains & hotels 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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Prague to Ljubljana & Rijeka from €40

Option 1, Prague to Ljubljana in just an afternoon & evening, all year round

  • Step 1, travel from Prague to Graz by air-conditioned railjet train leaving Prague Hlavni at 12:44 and arriving Graz at 19:33.

    The railjet train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Have dinner in Graz.

  • Step 2, travel from Graz to Ljubljana by air-conditioned EuroCity train Drava, leaving Graz at 21:38 and arriving Ljubljana at 01:03.

    This train has come from Budapest, it's composed of excellent modernised air-conditioned Hungarian carriages with open-plan seating in both 1st & 2nd class.  There's no catering car so bring a picnic & some beer or wine.  It's routed across Austria via Graz.

  • Fares start at around €55 in 2nd class or €69 in 1st class.

    Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • Book from Prague to Ljubljana at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz, see tips for using it.

    Important:  To avoid getting a later departure with a risky few minutes connection in Graz, before running the enquiry, click More options, then Connection parameters then Transfers.  Change from regular to 4 hours to from 30 minutes to 4 hours.  You could also reduce Maximum number of transfers to 1.

    Booking opens 60 days ahead.  You print your own ticket.

The Budapest to Ljubljana train Drava at Budapest Keleti

The Drava from Graz to Ljubljana.  The Drava starts in Budapest.

1st class seats on the Budapest to Ljubljana train Drava   2nd class seats on the Budapest to Ljubljana train Drava

1st class seats on the Drava.

 

2nd class seats on the Drava.

Option 2, Prague to Ljubljana in a single day via Vienna, all year round

Option 3, Prague to Ljubljana using the Munich-Ljubljana sleeper - the most time-effective option

  • Step 1, travel from Prague to Munich by express train, leaving Prague Hlavni at 15:35 and arriving Munich Hbf at 21:18.

    By all means take an earlier train and spend a pleasant evening in Munich.  The train has refreshments available, power sockets at all seats and (in most cars) free WiFi.  See a timetable and more about trains from Prague to Munich.

    Fares start at €16 in 2nd class or €39 in 1st class.  These are limited-availability advance-purchase fares.

    Buy a ticket at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz, see tips for using it.

    Booking usually opens 92 days ahead.  You print your own ticket.

    Have dinner in Munich - for local Bavarian food and a beer or two before boarding the sleeper I recommend the Augustiner Keller (www.augustinerkeller.de) at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf, see walking map.

    Transfer from Munich Hbf to Munich Ost by frequent S-Bahn train taking 8 minutes.

  • Step 2, travel from Munich to Ljubljana by sleeper train Lisinski, leaving Munich Ost at 23:54 and arriving Ljubljana at 08:09 next morning.

    It has an excellent air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, see the photos below, a modern Croatian air-conditioned couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats. See the Croatian sleeper video.

    Fares start at €49 with a couchette in 6-berth, €59 with a couchette in 4-berth, €89 in a 2-bed sleeper with washbasin or €129 in a single-bed sleeper with washbasin, all per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book the sleeper at www.thetrainline.com (in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, same prices).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 3 for Rijeka, change at Ljubljana.  Buy a Ljubljana-Rijeka ticket at the station, check times using int.bahn.de.

Express train from Munich to Prague

Step 1, Prague to Munich by air-conditioned express with smart modern Czech Railways open-plan cars & comfortable Lδnderbahn 'Alex' compartment cars, power sockets at all seats, refreshment trolley & free WiFi, seen here at Munich Hbf.

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

In 2nd class, choose a Lδnderbahn compartment.

 

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

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

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

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

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360Ί photo.

Option 4, Prague to Ljubljana with an overnight stop in Vienna

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

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

Lunch in Slovenian restaurant car   Slovenian restaurant car

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

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

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

 

1st class open-plan seating.  There's just one section of 1st class seats on this train.

Between Vienna & Graz the Emona travels over the famous Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Scenery from the train between Zagreb and Vienna

Scenery in Slovenia, between Maribor & Zidani Most.

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Prague to Zagreb from €29

Option 1, Prague to Zagreb via Budapest from €29 - the cheapest option

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Zagreb by Intercity train Agram, leaving Budapest Deli at 15:35 and arriving Zagreb at 21:59.

    The Agram has one comfortable air-conditioned Hungarian car with open-plan 2nd class seats and one air-conditioned Croatian car with 6-seat 2nd class compartments, plus various older Hungarian cars only going as far as the border.  There's no 1st class and no catering car so take your own picnic & wine.

    Fares start at just €9.  This is a limited-availability advance-purchase fare.

    Book this at the Hungarian Railways website www.mavcsoport.hu, see my advice on using it.

    Booking opens 60 days ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it in the MAV app.  Suggested hotels in Zagreb.

Intercity train Agram from Budapest to Zagreb

The Intercity train Agram at Budapest Deli, the Croatian car in the foreground, the Hungarian car  next to it, then in the distance at the front of the train the older Hungarian cars going as far as the border.

2nd class seats on the Budapest to Zagreb train Agram   2nd class seats on the Budapest to Zagreb train Agram

2nd class compartment in the Croatian car.

 

2nd class open-plan seats in the Hungarian car.

Lake Balaton seen from the Budapest to Zagreb train

The train runs along the southern shore of Lake Balaton, Hungary's largest lake.  Courtesy of Della Mcvay.

Sunflowers seen from the train from Budapest to Zagreb

The train passes fields of sunflowers.  Courtesy of Louise Donnelly.

Option 2, Prague to Zagreb via Vienna from €45 - slightly faster, with a restaurant car on both trains

EuroCity train Croatia from Vienna to Zagreb

Vienna to Zagreb on the Croatia:  This is the EuroCity train Croatia about to leave Vienna Hbf for Zagreb.

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

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

 

1st class leather seats.  You'll also find seats in classic 6-seat compartments.

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

The elegant Austrian restaurant car. Larger photo.

Dinner with wine on board.

The EuroCity Croatia travels over the famous Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Scenery from the train between Zagreb and Vienna

Scenery in Slovenia, between Maribor & Zidani Most.

Scenery from the train between Zagreb and Vienna

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

Option 3, Prague to Zagreb using the Munich-Zagreb sleeper - the most time-effective option, all year round.

  • Step 1, travel from Prague to Munich by express train, leaving Prague Hlavni at 15:35 and arriving Munich Hbf at 21:18.

    By all means take an earlier one for an afternoon or evening in Munich.  The train has a minibar, power sockets at all seats & (in most cars) free WiFi.  More about these Prague to Munich trains with timetable.

    Have dinner in Munich - for local Bavarian food and a beer or two before boarding the sleeper I recommend the Augustiner Keller (www.augustinerkeller.de) at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf, see walking map.

    Fares start at €16 in 2nd class or €39 in 1st class.  These are limited-availability advance-purchase fares.

    Buy a ticket at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz.

    Booking usually opens 92 days ahead.  You print your own ticket.

    Transfer from Munich Hbf to Munich Ost by frequent S-Bahn train, taking 8 minutes.

  • Step 2, travel from Munich to Zagreb by Croatian sleeper train Lisinski leaving Munich Ost at 23:54, arriving Zagreb at 10:39.

    It has an excellent air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, see the photos below, a modern Croatian air-conditioned couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats. See the Croatian sleeper video.

    From 11 December to 8 January, 22 March to 8 April & 9 May to 29 September 2024, there's a direct Croatian sleeping-car for Rijeka, leaving Munich Ost at 23:54 & arriving Rijeka 11:17.

    Fares start at €49 with a couchette in 6-berth, €59 with a couchette in 4-berth, €89 in a 2-bed sleeper with washbasin or €129 in a single-bed sleeper with washbasin, all per person per berth.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book the sleeper at www.thetrainline.com (in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, same prices).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

Express train from Munich to Prague

Step 1, Prague to Munich by air-conditioned express with smart modern Czech Railways open-plan cars & comfortable Lδnderbahn 'Alex' compartment cars, power sockets at all seats, refreshment trolley & free WiFi, seen here at Munich Hbf.

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

In 2nd class, choose a Lδnderbahn compartment.

 

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

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

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

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

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360Ί photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

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

Option 4, Prague to Zagreb with an overnight stop in Vienna

Option 5, Prague to Zagreb using the Prague-Budapest sleeper - with a morning in Budapest, well worth considering

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Zagreb by Intercity train Agram, leaving Budapest Deli at 15:35 and arriving Zagreb at 21:59.

    Fares start at just €9 if you book online in advance.

    Book this at the Hungarian Railways website www.mavcsoport.hu, see my advice on using itBooking opens 60 days ahead.

    Incidentally, the Hungarian Railways site only sells cheap advance-purchase fares, it does not sell regular fares.  As there are no cheap 1st class fares you can't buy 1st class tickets online, only at the station at full-flex prices.  So stick with 2nd class as this is perfectly comfortable, it's simply not worth paying €70 at the station for 2" more legroom when a €9 fare is available in 2nd class.

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Prague to Split & Dubrovnik

Option 1, Prague to Split & Dubrovnik via Zagreb - daily, all year round

An ICN train Zagreb at Split station   1st class seats on the fast tilting ICN train from Zagreb to Split

The daytime trains to Split:  These fast, tilting, air-conditioned ICN trains link Zagreb & Split once or twice a day through great scenery.  Above right, first class seats.  You can now buy tickets online at www.hzpp.hrExterior photo courtesy of Gareth Davison.

Scenery seen from the Zagreb-Split train

Scenery between Zagreb and Split seen from the train.  Photo courtesy of Pαraic Maguire.

Option 2, Prague to Split using the Vienna-Split sleeper - 3 times a week May-October, recommended

  • Step 1, travel from Prague to Vienna by air-conditioned railjet train leaving Prague Hlavni at 12:44 & arriving Vienna Hbf at 16:49.

    The railjet train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €14.90 in 2nd class, €29.90 in 1st class or €44.90 in business class (premium 1st).  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book the railjet at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee, booking opens up to 6 months ahead) or the Czech Railways site www.cd.cz (in CZK, see my tips for using it, booking normally opens 3 months ahead).  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Split by sleeper train, running on Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays from 3 May to 2 October 2024.

    It leaves Vienna Hbf at 18:05 and arrives in Split at 08:10 next morning.

    This Slovakian sleeper train starts its journey in Bratislava, with three comfortable air-conditioned sleeping-cars with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, a couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments and ordinary seats.  You can see details of train formation & carriages if you go to www.vagonweb.cz switch it to English, click train formations and search for train number EN 1153.

    Fares start at €29.90 in a seat, €49 in a couchette, €79.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €99.90 in a 2-bed sleeper, €149.90 in a single-bed sleeper.

    Book at either www.thetrainline.com (easy, in €, £ or $, small booking fee, international credit cards no problem) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, same prices).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead, you print your own ticket.

  • Step 3 for Dubrovnik, take a bus from Split.  There are buses every hour or even every half hour, run by several companies.  Journey time between 3h45 and 4h35, fare around €13-€17.  Buy a ticket at the bus station in Split.

Scenery from the Vienna-Split train

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

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

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

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

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

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Prague to Belgrade & Montenegro

Option 1, Prague to Belgrade with overnight stop in Zagreb

  • Step 1, travel from Prague to Vienna by air-conditioned railjet train leaving Prague Hlavni at 10:44 and arriving Vienna Hbf 14:49.

    The railjet train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €14.90 in 2nd class, €29.90 in 1st class or €44.90 in business class (= premium 1st).  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book the railjet at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee, booking opens up to 6 months ahead) or the Czech Railways site www.cd.cz (in CZK, see my tips for using it, booking opens 92 days ahead).  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Zagreb by EuroCity train, leaving Vienna Hbf at 15:58,change at Villach, arriving Zagreb at 22:20.

    There's a restaurant car from Vienna to Villach serving snacks, meals, beer & wine so treat yourself to dinner, and at least in summer enjoy the scenery along the beautiful UNESCO-listed Semmering route through the mountains between Vienna & Graz.

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

    Book this at www.thetrainline.com (easiest to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, same prices).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Stay overnight in Zagreb.  There are some good hotels just a stone's throw from the station, I suggest the historic Esplanade Hotel, Palace Hotel or Central Hotel.

  • Step 2, travel from Zagreb to Belgrade by train, leaving Zagreb at 11:04 and arriving Novi Beograd 18:04 & Belgrade Centar at 18:12.

    This train was suspended due to Covid-19 and remains suspended in 2024.

    This train has air-conditioned Serbian carriages with comfortable 2nd class seats, but no 1st class.  There's no dining-car, so bring a picnic and some beer or wine.

    The fare is around €29 bought at the station in Zagreb or paid on board the train, but tickets cannot be bought online.

    While the train is suspended, take a bus from Zagreb to Belgrade

    It's a 17-minute 1.3 km walk from Zagreb station to Zagreb bus station, see walking map.

    A Flixbus leaves Zagreb bus station at 14:00, arriving Belgrade bus station at 19:30.

    The fare is around €20, buy a ticket at www.flixbus.com.

  • Step 4 for Montenegro, transfer to Belgrade Centar station and either take the overnight sleeper Lovcen to Podgorica and Bar arriving in the morning on day 3, or stay overnight in Belgrade and take the daytime train Tara next day.  See the Belgrade to Montenegro page for schedule, fares & how to buy tickets.  Change at Podgorica for regular buses to Budva or Kotor.

  • If you need to stay overnight in Belgrade, I recommend the historic Hotel Moskva.

Option 2, Prague to Belgrade with overnight stop in Budapest - by train all the way

  • Stay overnight in Budapest.  The highly-recommended 3-star T62 Hotel is across the road from Budapest Nyugati and a traveller's favourite.  The cheaper 3-star Star Inn Budapest Centrum is few minutes walk away.  The 4-star Radisson Blu Bιke Hotel is one block away.

  • Day 2, travel from Budapest to Belgrade as shown on the Budapest-Belgrade page.

    You leave Budapest Nyugati at 05:50, change at Szeged, Subotica & Novi Sad, arriving Belgrade Centar at 20:27.

    All direct Budapest-Belgrade mainline trains remain suspended until at least 2025 while the line is modernised for 200 km/h operation.  However, in 2024 it's possible for the determined traveller to reach Belgrade on local trains via this somewhat round-about route.  It's a long but interesting journey, with time for lunch in Subotica.

Serbian local train of the type used between Subotica and Novi Sad

Serbian local train of the type used between Szeged & Subotica and Subotica & Novi Sad.  They are air-conditioned, 2nd class only, with toilets.  Courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com.

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Prague to Sofia

Option 1, Prague to Sofia via Bucharest

  • Day 1, travel from Prague to Budapest by EuroCity train, leaving Prague Hlavni at 05:44 and arriving Budapest Nyugati at 12:28.

    The Czech EuroCity train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Transfer from Nyugati to Keleti station by taxi, tram or metro and have lunch in Budapest.

    Fares start at €20 in 2nd class or €37 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Buy tickets at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz.

    Booking opens up to 3 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it in the CD app on your phone.

  • Day 1, travel from Budapest to Bucharest on the sleeper train Muntenia, leaving Budapest Keleti at 15:10 and arriving Bucharest Nord at 08:42.

    The Muntenia has 4 & 6-berth couchettes and ordinary seats.  A Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments is attached from Arad (depart 21:04) to Bucharest.  There's no catering car, so bring your own food & drink.

    Fares start at €40 with a couchette in 6-berth or €47 with a couchette in 4-berth.  These are limited-availability advance-purchase fares

    Book this at the Romanian Railways international website bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro/en.  You print your own ticket.

    If you want the comfort & privacy of a proper sleeper from Arad to Bucharest, (1) book a 2nd class seat from Budapest to Arad from €17 using bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro/en.  You print your own ticket.  (2) Now book berths in a 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper from Arad to Bucharest Nord at the Romanian domestic website bilete.cfrcalatori.ro and print your own ticket.

  • Day 2, travel from Bucharest to Sofia by train as shown in the Bucharest>Sofia section of the Trains from Bucharest page.

    You leave Bucharest Nord at 10:47 and arrive Sofia Central at 20:21 after a pleasant day meandering across the Danube and through the river valleys of Bulgaria.  In summer it's direct, in winter you have to switch trains at Ruse.  There's no catering car, so bring your own food & drink.

    The fare is around €34.

    Book this at the Romanian Railways website bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro/en.  You print your own ticket.

Option 2, Prague to Sofia via Belgrade

  • Not currently a viable option while Zagreb-Belgrade and Belgrade-Sofia trains remain suspended.

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Prague to Krakow from €19

Option 1, Prague to Krakow by sleeper train, see the Prague to Krakow page

The sleeper train from Prague to Krakow & Warsaw

Prague to Krakow by sleeping-car.  Above, the sleeper to Krakow is boarding at Prague Hlavni.

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.

 

Same sleeper with beds folded away, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe sleepers are almost identical to regular ones, but with a 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.

The Prague to Krakow couchette car at Prague Hlavni   6-bunk couchettes on the Prague to Krakow train

Couchette car to Krakow, boarding at Prague Hlavni.

 

6-berth couchettes

Option 2, Prague to Krakow by daytime train, see the Prague to Krakow page

  • Limited-availability advance-purchase fares start at €19.  The full-price fare bought at the station is around €42.

  • Book at the Czech Railways website www.cd.czBooking normally opens 60 days ahead and you print your own ticket.

Czech bistro car

The Cracovia's 1st class & bistro car.  Courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Czech bistro car   2nd class open saloon seats

1st class seats, in the bistro car on one side of the central kitchen

 

2nd class open-plan seats.  There are also seats in classic 6-seat compartments.

Dinner in the bristro   Czech bistro car

Enjoy an inexpensive meal with wine in the bistro.

Option 3, Prague to Krakow by day train with private operator Leo ExpressSee the Prague to Krakow by train page

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Prague to Warsaw from €28

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

  • A safe & comfortable sleeper train leaves Prague Hlavni at 22:13 and arrives Warsaw Gdanska at 08:56.  This option saves time & a hotel bill!

  • What's the sleeper train like?

    The train runs every day all year round with a modern air-conditioned Czech Comfortline sleeping-car with 1, 2 or 3-bed compartments with washbasin and several deluxe compartments 1, 2 or 3 berth with en suite shower & toilet, see the photos below.

    There is a comfortable Czech couchette car with 4-berth & 6-berth compartments.

  • How much does it cost? 

    Berths are sold individually, so you do not have to pay for sole occupancy if you are a solo traveller.  You can book one bed in a 3-bed sleeper and share with other civilised sleeper passengers of the same sex, which is much cheaper.

    Advance-purchase fares start at €29 (760 Czech Koruna) with couchette in 6-berth, €39 (1022 Kr) with couchette in 4-berth, €39 (1022 Kr) with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper or €49 (1284Kr) with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or around €75 (2,014 Kr) with a single-bed sleeper all to yourself.

    Bought at the station in Prague, the fare is in the region of €60 for the basic travel ticket plus around €11 supplement for a couchette or €28 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper.  Single occupancy requires a first class ticket (around €80) plus around €55 sleeper supplement.  There are normally berths available even on the day of departure, but the sleeper can leave fully-booked, so book in advance to be sure.

  • How to buy tickets

    You can (usually) book at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz and print your own ticket, see tips for using cd.cz.

    Booking normally opens 60 days ahead.  Do read those tips - they include the workarounds for cases when you get a red Your request could not be granted message. 

  • Tip:  The sleeping-car & couchette car to Warsaw leaves Prague attached to a sleeper train to Kosice & Humennι in Slovakia, so look for the train to Humennι on the departure boards at Prague Hlavni.

The sleeper train from Prague to Krakow & Warsaw

Prague to Warsaw by sleeping-car.  Above, the sleeper to Warsaw boarding at Prague Hlavni.

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.

 

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 similar to standard ones, but with 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.

The Prague to Warsaw couchette car at Prague Hlavni   6-bunk couchettes on the Prague to Krakow train

Prague to Warsaw couchette car boarding at Prague Hlavni.

 

6-berth couchettes.

Option 2, Prague to Warsaw by daytime train - the chill-out option

  • Three comfortable EuroCity trains link Prague & Warsaw every day.  Take a good book, chill out, and enjoy a meal and beer in the inexpensive restaurant or bistro car as the train rolls through farmland & woods across the Czech Republic and into Poland.

  • An air-conditioned EuroCity train branded Silesia leaves Prague Hlavni at 06:19 & arrives Warsaw Gdanska 14:33.

    This train has 1st & 2nd class seats and a modern bistro car serving drinks, snacks and meals.  The 1st class seats are at one end of the bistro car, which is of the same sort used from Prague to Krakow on the Cracovia, see the photos & description here.  1st class passengers have food & drink orders taken and are served food & drink at their seats, an excellent arrangement.  In 2nd class, you can choose a seat in an open-plan car or a compartment car, see the photos below.

  • An air-conditioned EuroCity train called the Cracovia leaves Prague Hlavni at 10:19 & arrives Warsaw Centralna at 19:34.

    This train has 2nd class through cars to Warsaw, the rest of the train is for Krakow.  You can choose a seat in a 2nd class open-plan car or a 2nd class compartment car, see the photos below.  A bistro car is attached as far as Bohumin, see the bistro photos & description here.

  • An air-conditioned EuroCity train branded Silesia leaves Prague Hlavni at 14:19 & arrives Warsaw Gdanska at 22:49.

    This train has 1st & 2nd class seats and a restaurant car.  In 2nd class there's a choice of open-plan cars or compartment cars, see the photos below.  In 1st class on this particular train the 1st class seats are in a classic side-corridor-and-compartments car with 6-seat and some 4-seat compartments, see the photo below.

    Tip:  When booking 1st class at www.cd.cz make sure you spot the Select seat from the seating map link and use it to select a seat in more exclusive 4-seat compartment - it doesn't cost any more!

The EuroCity train Silesia at Prague

The afternoon EuroCity train Silesia boarding at Prague Hlavni.

2nd class open saloon seats on EuroCity train from Prague to Warsaw   6-seat compartment on train to Warsaw

2nd class open-plan seats, available on all 3 trains.

 

2nd class compartments, available on all 3 trains.

1st class 4-seat compartment from Prague to Warsaw   6-Restaurant car on EuroCity train from Prague to Warsaw

1st class 4-seat compartment on the afternoon Silesia.

 

Restaurant car on the afternoon Silesia.

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Prague to Wroclaw
  • You'll typically find these daily departures:

    Prague Hlavni depart 06:03, change Usti nad Orlici & Lichkov, Wroclaw arrive 11:14.

    Prague Hlavni depart 08:03, change Usti nad Orlici & Lichkov, Wroclaw arrive 14:15.

    Prague Hlavni depart 11:03, change Usti nad Orlici & Lichkov, Wroclaw arrive 16:14.

    Prague Hlavni depart 13:03, change Usti nad Orlici & Lichkov, Wroclaw arrive 18:37.

    Prague Hlavni depart 16:03, change Usti nad Orlici & Lichkov, Wroclaw arrive 21:11.

    You can normally find these by running an enquiry at the German Railways website int.bahn.de, but it won't sell tickets.

  • Step 1, travel from Prague Hlavni to Usti Nad Ulici.

    Buy a ticket at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz.  There are hourly departures.

  • Step 2, take the regional train run by Leo Express from Usti Nad Orlici to Wroclaw with an easy change at Lichkov.

    Check times at www.leoexpress.com, if that fails look them up at www.cd.cz.  There are departures several times a day.

    Buy a ticket for these Usti nad Orlici to Wroclaw regional trains at the station.

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Prague to Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Prague to Lviv, Kyiv & Ukraine

Option 1, Prague to Lviv & Kyiv by Regiojet sleeper train - running in spite of the war, comfortable, cheap, easily booked online

  • Private open-access train operator Regiojet runs a comfortable daily train service from Prague to Lviv & Kyiv, consisting of a sleeper train from Prague to Przemysl run by Regiojet themselves and a connecting seats train from Przemysl to Lviv & Kyiv run by partner Ukrainian Railways.  Regiojet sell this combo online as a fully-integrated service, making it very easy to book with lots of capacity available.

  • It leaves Prague Hlavni at 21:56 every day, arriving Przemysl at 07:43, connecting train leaves 09:35 arriving Lviv 12:27 & Kyiv at 19:57.

    The train has air-conditioned 4-berth couchette compartments which can be booked as private compartments for sole occupancy, or you can book individual couchettes in shared compartments at cheap prices.  Bedding & bottled water is provided, a light breakfast with tea or coffee is included and there's free WiFi.  The train also has ordinary seats, not recommended for an overnight journey.

  • Fares start at €58 with a berth in a shared compartment, or €119.90 for sole occupancy of a 4-berth couchette compartment for 1 to 4 people.

  • Book online at www.regiojet.com.

    Booking opens 1 month ahead so don't be impatient, but it often sells out so don't leave it till the last minute.  You print your ticket or show it on your phone.

Regiojet overnight train   Regiojet couchette compartment

Option 2, Prague to Kyiv using the Vienna-Lviv-Kyiv sleeping-car - a comfortable option, easily booked online

  • Step 1, travel from Prague to Vienna by railjet train, leaving Prague Hlavni at 10:44 & arriving Vienna Hbf at 14:49.

    The railjet train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €14.90 in 2nd class, €29.90 in 1st class or €44.90 in business class (= premium 1st).  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book the railjet at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee, booking opens up to 6 months ahead) or the Czech Railways site www.cd.cz (in CZK, booking normally opens 3 months ahead, see my tips for using it).  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Lviv or Kyiv by sleeping-car. leaving Vienna Hbf at 16:42 daily arriving next day in Lviv at 10:20 & Kyiv 17:03.

    Introduced in 2017, this train consists of 2 or sometimes 3 direct Ukrainian sleeping-cars attached to a Vienna-Zahony EuroCity train.  The sleeping-cars have comfortable 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, see the photos below.  At Chop on the other side of the border the through sleeping-cars are jacked up to have their wheelsets changed from European standard gauge (4'8½") to Russian gauge used in Ukraine (5').

    Vienna to Lviv costs €71.20 in a 3-berth sleeper, €79.20 in a 2-berth sleeper or around €130 in a single sleeper.

    Vienna to Kyiv costs €89.60 in a 3-berth sleeper, €99.60 in a 2-berth sleeper or around €170 in a single sleeper.

    Book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at.

    Booking for these direct sleeping-cars opens 20 days ahead, but tickets sell out a day or two after booking opens, so book as soon as the booking period opens.  If the ΦBB website says Ticket not available within 20 days it means fully-booked, if it says that more than 20 days ahead it means booking isn't open yet.

    Tickets can now be printed out so you can book in either direction.  However, you must print the ticket, it cannot be shown on a mobile device.

    Booked at the station in Ukraine, Kyiv to Vienna costs around €80, Lviv to Vienna around €60, in both cases with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf

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

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

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

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

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

Option 3, Prague to Lviv & Kyiv via Budapest - 3 hours quicker than option 1, unfortunately not bookable online

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Lviv or Kyiv by sleeping-car. leaving Budapest Keleti at 19:40 daily, arriving at Lviv at 09:20 & Kyiv at 16:03.

    Introduced in December 2017, this is a Ukrainian sleeping-car with comfortable 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, see the Ukrainian sleeping-car photos above.

    The best way to buy tickets for this train is via reliable agency www.polrail.com, with tickets posted or couriered to you for a small fee.  Polrail are based in Poland so charge in zlotys, but as they have access to Ukrainian ticketing system they are good for booking this train.  You cannot currently book online with ΦBB although you could try emailing or calling their telesales via their website www.oebb.atFeedback would be appreciated.  If you order tickets from Polrail:

    Budapest to Kyiv costs around €103 in a 3-berth sleeper €114 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €184 in a single-berth sleeper.

    Budapest to Lviv costs around €87 in a 3-berth sleeper €95 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €152 in a single-berth sleeper.

Option 4, Prague to Kyiv via Warsaw

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Prague to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia

Option 1, Prague to Moscow by direct Russian Railways sleeping-car, every day - via Belarus

  • Two or three direct Russian Railways sleeping-cars leave Prague Hlavni at 10:02 every day, travelling via Warsaw & Minsk, arriving Moscow Byelorusski at 16:58 next day.

    All international trains to/from Russia were suspended due to Covid-19 and remain suspended due to sanctions & war in Ukraine.

    The fare is approximately €155 with a bed in a 4-berth sleeper. €230 in a 2-bed sleeper or €265 in a single-bed sleeper.

    You can book this train at Czech Railways www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.  This is the recommended method.

    Alternatively, you can book with Russian Railways at www.rzd.ru although it's a little quirky and may not accept some overseas credit cards.

    This train uses impressive Austrian-built sleeping-cars with 4-berth compartments built in 2014, see photos of this type of sleeper here & see panorama photo inside one of these modern sleepers.  Each compartment can be sold as 1st class 1-berth, 1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth.  There's a bistro car in Poland and a Russian restaurant car is attached between Brest (on the Polish/Belarus border) & Moscow.

    Don't forget to arrange both your Russian visa and Belarus transit visa as the train runs via Belarus.  See my important update about travel to Russia through Belarus.

  • For St Petersburg, take this Prague-Moscow train and change in Moscow, taking either a Sapsan daytime train in 3h50 or an overnight sleeper train, see the train travel in Russia page.

The direct Prague to Moscow sleeping-cars were built in Austria in 2014.  Each compartment converts from comfortable sofas to equally comfortable beds and can be used as either 1st class 2-berth with two lower berths or as 2nd class 4-berth with all four berths in use.  There are a shower and toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments have electronic key-card locks, and the cars are very smooth-riding.  The sleeper attendant can serve lovely Russian tea for around €0.50 a glass.  Highly recommended!  Pictured above, the Moscow to Prague train pulls into Prague Hlavni.

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

Option 2, Prague to Moscow via Kyiv, avoiding Belarus and the need for a Belarusian visa.

  • Step 1, travel from Prague to Kyiv as shown above, for example taking an afternoon railjet train from Prague to Vienna on day 1 then the direct Ukrainian sleeping-car from Vienna to Kyiv arriving in Kyiv late afternoon on day 2.

  • Step 2, take a sleeper train from Kyiv to Moscow.

    There are several night trains and times vary by date, but for example there's usually one leaving Kyiv at 19:36 and arriving in Moscow Kievskaya station next morning at 10:09 (= day 3 from Prague). 2-berth & 4-berth sleepers available. Incidentally, there's also a direct train from Kyiv to St Petersburg, but this passes through a small corner of Belarus, requiring a Belarus visa and so defeating the object of the exercise.

    Kyiv-Moscow trains were suspended due to Covid-19, and are now cancelled - and the lines blown up - due to the war in Ukraine

    You can book the Kyiv-Moscow train direct with Ukrainian Railways at booking.uz.gov.ua/en/ booking from Kyiv to Moskva Kievskaya.  You collect tickets at the station in Kyiv.  Feedback appreciated!  Or you can arrange via www.polrail.com.

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Prague to Athens & Greece

Option 1, Prague to Athens by train through the Balkans

  • Not currently viable, there are no international trains to or from Greece.

Option 2, Prague to Athens via ferry from Italy - currently the most viable option

  • Day 1, travel from Prague to Vienna by railjet train, leaving Prague Hlavni at 12:44 and arriving Vienna Hbf at 16:49.

    The swish modern railjet has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €14.90 in 2nd class, €29.90 in 1st class or €44.90 in business class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee, or use the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, same fares).

    Have dinner in Vienna, see suggested restaurants.

    Tip:  If you have a sleeper ticket, you can use the ΦBB Lounge at Vienna Hbf between trains, with complimentary tea, coffee, soft drinks & WiFi.

  • Day 2, travel from Bologna to Bari by Frecciarossa, leaving Bologna Centrale at 09:45 arriving Bari Centrale at 15:27.

    The train has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  It's a pleasant run along the scenic Adriatic coast.

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

    Book this at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, $ or £, they'll refund their small booking fee to seat61 users if you email them after booking at seat61@italiarail.com) or www.trenitalia.com (in €, more fiddly, requires Italian-language place names, see advice on using it).

    Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  It's ticketless, you simply print out your booking reference or show it on your phone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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Prague to Istanbul

Prague to Istanbul via Budapest & Bucharest - currently the only viable option

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Railbookers custom-made tours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hotels in Prague

Apart from review score and price, I think the three key factors in choosing a hotel are location, location, and (you've guessed it) location.  For a longish stay, I'd book a hotel right in the heart of the old town on or near the Old Town Square where the action is.  For a shorter stay, especially if you are leaving on an early train, I'd go for a hotel near the station, so there's no time wasted in taxis, you can walk across the road and leave your bags, and it's an easy stroll across the road to the station when it's time to leave - but hotels near the station are still easy walking distance to the old town and sights.

Hotels near Prague's old town square

Ventana Hotel or Old Town Square Hotel (both 5-star), Grand Hotel Prague, Hotel Rott (both 4-star), Zlatύ kůň Golden Horse (3-star).

Hotels near Prague Hlavni station

MeetMe23 (3-star, a funky designer hotel with holographic receptionist!), Exe City Park Hotel (3-star), Chopin Hotel (3-star), Falkensteiner Hotel Maria (4-star), Esplanade Hotel (5-star, a top choice which I've used myself).

Personal recommendation:  Hotel Carlo IV

The Hotel Carlo IV is a grand 5 star hotel in the classic tradition, in an impressive 19th century building that was originally a bank.  It's an easy 3 minute stroll across the park from the station, an easy walk from all the sights, and being in Prague it isn't as expensive as you'd expect a hotel of this top calibre to be.  Great location, great staff, nice rooms, excellent breakfast, and it even has a spa and swimming pool.

 

Hotel Carlo IV, Prague, seen as you arrive from the station.

 

Room at the Carlo IV Hotel.

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

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

Backpacker hostels

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

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