The best trains in Italy:  A Eurostar Italia ETR500 power car

Buy train tickets in Italy at www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com www.italiarail.com or Italian Railways' website www.trenitalia.com.

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      Click here for journeys starting in another city

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      See Rome Termini station information

This page explains how to travel by train from Rome to other European cities and how to buy tickets the cheapest way. Train information is current for 2021.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

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

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...

Which station in Rome?

Rome Termini is the main central station in Rome, walking distance from most of the sights, and used by most trains.  However, Rome Tiburtina and Rome Ostiense are also important, but a little further out of the centre.  On this page, 'Rome' means Rome Termini unless it says otherwise.  Map of Rome showing stations.


Rome to other Italian towns & cities from €9.90, www.italiarail.com
Rome to Florence, Venice, Milan, Turin, Naples...
Rome to Pompeii, Sorrento, Amalfi...
Rome to Palermo, Catania, Siracuse & Sicily from €19.90...

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Rome to London from €74...

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Rome to Paris from €59...

Option 1, Rome to Paris in a day - fastest, cheapest and scenic...

Option 2, Rome to Paris with an overnight stop in Turin - the option I'd recommend, with all the scenery in daylight...

Rome to Turin by high-speed Frecciarossa...

A Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale

A Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale More information on Frecciarossas & explanation of the 4 classes.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   A Frecciarossa 1000 train at Milan Centrale

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

 

Executive class, 1+1 across width.  Larger photo.

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

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

 

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

Turin to Paris by high-speed TGV...

TGV train from Paris to Milan about to leave Paris Gare de Lyon

A Milan-Turin-Paris TGV at Paris Gare de Lyon.  There's no check-in, just be on board at departure time...

TGV bar car   Food on board the TGV from Milan to Paris

Step 2, travel from Turin to Paris by high-speed TGV...  Above left, the cafe-bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes  Above right, The cheese platter from the cafe-bar.  Larger bar photo.

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

A table for four in 2nd class on the TGV.  360 degree photo.

 

1st class seats on the Turin-Paris TGV.  360 degree photo.

Mountains from the TGV train to Italy

Take a good book, a bottle o' red, and enjoy the scenery from Italy to Paris with your feet up...  These are mountains in France...  Watch the Paris-Milan TGV video guide.

Scenery from the train between Oulx and Turin

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

Option 3, Rome to Paris via the Bernina Express & Swiss Alps from €106 - much slower, but the ultimate Alpine scenic experience...

First class seats   Bernina Express panormaic cars

Bernina Express 1st class seats...

 

the Bernina Express uses panoramic carriages...

The train descends from the Bernina Pass

The Bernina Express descends from the Bernina Pass...

The Italy to Paris Thello sleeper train was suspended in March 2020 and has now been permanently discontinued.

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Rome to Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo...
A Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale

Step 1, take a high-speed Frecciarossa from Rome to Milan in 2h55 at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  This is a Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan CentraleMore information about Frecciarossas & explanation of the 4 classes.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   A Frecciarossa 1000 train at Milan Centrale

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

 

Executive class, 1+1 across width.  Larger photo

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

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

 

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

Frecciabianca train at Milan Centrale

Step 2, take an Intercity or Frecciabianca train from Milan to Ventimiglia in around 3h45.  Here, a Frecciabianca is boarding 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 3, take a TER local train from Ventimiglia to Monaco, Nice & Cannes.  Ventimiglia to Nice takes an hour along the coast.  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...

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Rome to Brussels & Bruges from €64...

Option 1, by high-speed train with overnight stop in Paris...

Option 2, by high-speed train with overnight stop in Turin...

Option 3, using the Rome-Munich Nightjet sleeper train - an easy & time-effective option, with no need to cross Paris... 

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Munich.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 4, by day trains with overnight stop in Munich - if you prefer day trains to sleepers, also avoids crossing Paris...

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Rome to Amsterdam from €64...

Option 1, Rome to Amsterdam in a single day - daily except Saturdays...

ETR610 EuroCity train at Frankfurt Hbf

The Milan-Frankfurt train at Frankfurt Hbf.  There's a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Photo courtesy of @Nordkommission.

Frecciargento train 2nd class seats   Frecciargento train 1st class seats

2nd class on a Trenitalia ETR610...

 

1st class on a Trenitalia ETR610.

Lake Maggiore, seen from the train

Lake Maggiore, seen over lunch in the restaurant car...

Option 2, Rome to Amsterdam using the Rome-Munich sleeper - the safe, comfortable & time-effective option... 

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Munich.  More information about Nightjets...

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

High-speed ICE3 train at Amsterdam   ICE2 train, 2nd class

An ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal platform 2...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro.  See this month's menu.

Option 3, Rome to Amsterdam by day trains with overnight stop in Zurich - if you prefer day trains to sleepers...

Option 4, Rome to Amsterdam by day trains with overnight stop in Munich - Another option if you prefer day trains to sleepers...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Verona to Munich, at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the Brenner Pass scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these Austrian EuroCity trains.

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

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

 

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

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...

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

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

Mountains on the Brenner route...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here...

Option 5, Rome to Amsterdam via Paris - the route to use if you want to stop off in Paris...

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Rome to Luxembourg...

Option 1, Rome to Munich by Nightjet sleeper train then daytime trains to Luxembourg...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Florence to Munich.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Zurich...

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Rome to Geneva, Zurich, Lucerne, Basel & Switzerland from €59...

Choose between fast, comfortable & scenic (option 1, using mainline trains) and slow, comfortable, fabulous world-class highlight-of-your-trip scenic (option 2, via the Bernina Express).  With the daytime trains increasingly fast, there are no longer any sleeper trains between Rome & Switzerland, although there are plans to reintroduce on in 2024, when new rolling stock becomes available.

Option 1, by high-speed train from Rome to Milan, then EuroCity train from Milan to Brig, Geneva, Bern, Basel, Zurich, Lucerne...

  • How to buy tickets, the easy way...

    Buy tickets at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com.  Both are easy to use, in €, £ or $ (www.thetrainline.com can also sell in CHF), overseas credit cards are no problem, there's a small booking fee.

    www.thetrainline.com connects to both the Italian and Swiss ticketing systems.  www.raileurope.com connects to the Italian system and can sell full-flex Swiss tickets through an arrangement with French Railways.  That means both sites can sell from Venice to anywhere in Switzerland, at least in principle.  Each handles the data slightly differently, so I'd check both sites.

    Booking for the international EuroCity trains opens 90 days ahead.  However, booking for Swiss domestic trains only opens 60 days ahead.

    Italian high-speed trains & the EuroCity trains are ticketless, you simply quote the booking reference on the train.  Swiss domestic tickets can be printed out or a mobile ticket can be shown on your smartphone.

  • How to buy tickets, advanced...

    Now for the science bit.  Trenitalia's ticketing system can sell tickets for the international EuroCity trains between Italy & Switzerland, and obviously for its own trains within Italy, but cannot access SBB's ticketing system so cannot sell any journey involving a Swiss domestic train.

    Meanwhile, the Swiss ticketing system can sell Swiss domestic tickets & tickets for the international EuroCity trains to Italy which it jointly runs with Trenitalia, but it cannot access Trenitalia's ticketing system so cannot sell Trenitalia's cheap fares within Italy.

    Step 1, run an enquiry on the all-Europe online timetable provided by German Railways at www.bahn.de.  Look for a suitable journey, ideally with as few changes as possible.  Note down the trains you want, identifying the Italian train, the EuroCity train and any Swiss domestic train.

    For example, say you ran an enquiry from Rome to Zermatt.  You'd pick a journey that suits you:  A high-speed Frecciarossa from Rome to Milan, a EuroCity (EC) train from Milan to Brig, then a Swiss train from Brig to Zermatt.  Then you'd split the booking like this:

    Step 2, book the Italian train and EuroCity train using the Italian ticketing system at www.thetrainline.com or www.raileurope.com (both 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 the €3.50 booking fee to seat61 users if you email them afterwards at seat61@italiarail.com) or www.trenitalia.com (in €, more fiddly, requires Italian-language place names, see advice on using it).

    In our example, you'd book from Rome to Brig.  Booking opens 90 days ahead.  Italian high-speed trains and the EuroCity are ticketless, you just quote the booking reference on board.

    Step 3, now add a Swiss domestic ticket separately using either www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in CHF, €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Swiss Federal Railways site www.sbb.ch (in €, no fee).  Regular Swiss tickets are fixed-price, cannot sell out, and are good for any train that day, so this bit isn't as crucial.  You could buy at the station on the day if you like!

    In our example, you'd book from Brig to Zermatt.  Booking opens 60 days ahead (if necessary, wait to book this bit).  You print your own ticket.

ETR610 EuroCity train at Milan Centrale

A EuroCity train about to leave Milan Centrale for Switzerland.  More information about these EuroCity trains.

1st class table for two   1st class seats on an ETR610 train

Table for 4 in 2nd class, ideal for families...

 

1st class seats on the ETR610 EuroCity train...

Restaurant car of a tilting 'Pendolino' train from Geneva to Milan.   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

Restaurant car on an ETR160...

 

Lunch!

Lake Maggiore, seen from the train

This is Lake Maggiore, seen from the restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel EuroCity train over an excellent lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent Swiss red wine...

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

This is Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan-Zurich EuroCity train...

Option 2, Rome to St Moritz, Chur, Zurich via the Bernina route.  This is much slower and a little more fiddly to book, but it's an amazing experience, arguably the best Swiss Alpine train ride of them all...

  • This is a slow local route, with part of the journey on the fabulous narrow-gauge Bernina Railway.  But it's one of the most scenic routes in the Alps, or anywhere for that matter.  Watch the video:  Milan to Zurich via the wonderfully scenic Bernina route.

  • Step 1, take an early high-speed train from Rome Termini to Milan Centrale, arriving any time before 09:40.  Book this at either www.italiarail.com & www.trenitalia.com.

  • Step 2, take a local train from Milan Centrale to Tirano.  The 10:20 from Milan connects with the Bernina Express itself, with time for a sandwich and beer in Tirano, see the Bernina Express page.  However, these trains run every 2 hours throughout the day, fare around €12, you can check train times at www.trenord.it.  No reservation is necessary or even possible, you just buy a ticket to Tirano from the self-service machines at Milan Centrale and hop on the next train.  At Tirano, the Italian railways station is right next to the Rhδtische Bahn one on the same town square. 

  • Step 3, now take one of the regular Rhδtische Bahn trains from Tirano to St Moritz & Chur.  This is the fabulous Bernina Express route over the Bernina Pass.  You can check times & prices from Tirano to St Moritz, Chur or Zurich at the main Swiss Railways website www.sbb.ch.  If you take one of the regular normal local trains, no reservation is necessary or possible, just turn up, buy a ticket and hop on.  Only if you want to use the once or twice daily Bernina Express with its special all-reserved panoramic carriages do you need a seat reservation, see www.rhb.ch and the seat61 Bernina Express page.

    How to buy a cheap ticket from Tirano to Zurich from €29.90...  Normal Swiss fares are expensive, so see my instructions for buying a cheap advance-purchase ticket from Tirano to Chur or Zurich here.

  • Step 4, on arrival in Chur, simply cross the platform to the waiting half-hourly InterCity or InterRegional train to Zurich.  Again, no reservation necessary or possible, if you're bound for Zurich simply buy a ticket to Zurich in Tirano.  You can check times and fares from Tirano to Zurich at www.thetrainline.com or www.sbb.ch.

First class seats   Bernina Express panormaic cars

Bernina Express 1st class seats...

 

the Bernina Express uses panoramic carriages...

The train descends from the Bernina Pass

The Bernina Express descends from the Bernina Pass...

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Rome to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain...

Option 1, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Marseille - the most direct option...

  • Day 1, travel from Rome to Ventimiglia on the French border, leaving Rome Termini at 06:57 by Frecciabianca train, changing at Genoa Piazza Principe onto a regional train, arriving Ventimiglia at 16:03.  There's great scenery along the coast both between Rome & Genoa and between Genoa & Ventimiglia.

  • Day 1, travel from Ventimiglia to Marseille by TER local train, leaving Ventimiglia 16:55, changing at Nice Ville, arriving Marseille St Charles 21:03.  There's more great scenery along the coast between Ventimiglia & Toulon.

  • Stay overnight in Marseille.  Inexpensive hotels with good reviews just outside Marseille St Charles station include the Ibis Marseille Centre Gare St Charles, Holiday Inn Express Marseille St Charles.  Marseille is well worth a longer stopover.

  • Day 2, travel from Marseille to Spain by AVE-S100, leaving Marseille St Charles at 08:02, arriving Barcelona Sants 12:34 & Madrid Atocha 15:41.

    The AVE-S100 high-speed train has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  You'll pass Bιziers cathedral, flamingos on the lakes in the South of France between Montpelier & Perpignan, the historic Fort de Salses right by the tracks, and get great views of the imposing 2,784m Mt Canigou as the train rounds the southern end of the Pyrenees, see the photos & information here.

  • Day 2, travel from Barcelona to other Spanish cities by high-speed train:  There are regular trains from Barcelona Sants to Valencia or Alicante, there's a 15:50 direct AVE from Barcelona Sants to Cordoba, Malaga & Seville arriving in the evening, and a 15:30 Alvia train from Barcelona Sants to Pamplona & San Sebastian, arriving in the evening.

  • How much does it cost?

    Rome to Genoa starts at €19.90 in 2nd class or €29.90 in 1st class.

    Genoa to Ventimiglia by regional train is around €14, fixed-price.

    Ventimiglia to Marseille by TER costs around €41, fixed price, but a promotional price of €25 is sometimes available.

    Marseille-Barcelona starts at €25 in 2nd class or €49 in 1st class.  Marseille-Madrid starts at €35 in 2nd class or €59 in 1st class.

    Barcelona to Malaga or Seville starts at around €45.  Barcelona to Pamplona or San Sebastian starts at around €28.

    Fares vary like air fares (except for regional & TER trains), book ahead for the cheapest prices.

  • Buy tickets the easy way...

    Go to either www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com.  Book from Rome to Marseille on day 1 and add it to your basket.  Then book from Marseille to Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Seville, Malaga or wherever for day 2, add it to your basket and check out.

    www.thetrainline.com & www.raileurope.com both connect to the Italian, French & Spanish rail ticketing systems, so you can buy all these tickets together in one place, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem.  There's a small booking fee.

    Booking for Trenitalia trains, French trains & the Marseille-Spain AVE normally opens up to 4 months ahead.  Booking for Spanish domestic trains opens 60 days ahead, but this varies.

    Italian Frecciabianca trains are ticketless, you just quote your booking reference to the conductor on board.  For the AVE and TER trains, you print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your smartphone.  For Spanish trains & Italian regional trains, you print your own ticket.

  • Alternatively, you can book each train separately like this, although it's more work and the fares should be the same, but no booking fee...

    Step 1, book from Rome to Ventimiglia using either www.italiarail.com (easy to use, English place names, and they'll refund their €3.50 booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your PNR) or Italian Railways' own site www.trenitalia.com (you'll need to use Italian language place names).  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference to the conductor on board the train.

    Step 2, book from Ventimiglia to Marseille at the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (in €, more fiddly).  You print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your smartphone.

    Step 3, book from Marseille to Barcelona or Madrid for day 2 at the French Railways website en.oui.sncf.  You print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your smartphone.

    Step 4, book any onward trains within Spain at the Spanish Railways website www.renfe.com (much more fiddly, may reject some overseas credit cards, see this advice on using it, it's a lot easier to use www.thetrainline.com).  You print your own tickets.

TER train at Juans-les-Pins station

By TER local train from Ventimiglia to Nice.  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...

AVE S100 at Barcelona Sants

By AVE from Marseille to Barcelona.  This is an AVE-S100 at Barcelona Sants.

 

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

Cafe-bar...

AVE train at Barcelona  

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

 

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

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  Seen from the train and one of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline all the way from Girona to Perpignan...

Option 2, by daytime high-speed trains with hotel in Geneva...

  • This is a pleasant way to go, with interesting scenery on the way and a chance to spend some time in Geneva.  Leave Rome mid-afternoon, sleep soundly in a hotel in Geneva, spend a pleasant morning in Geneva next day, then take a TER regional train to Lyon and high-speed AVE to Barcelona arriving in the evening.

  • Day 1, travel from Rome Termini to Milan Centrale by Frecciarossa high-speed train & from Milan Centrale to Geneva by ETR610 EuroCity train.

    You can leave Rome at 13:50, change Milan, arriving Geneva at 21:21.  Or leave Rome at 15:50, change Milan, arriving Geneva at 23:54.

    Fares start at €29.90 for Rome-Milan + €29 for Milan-Geneva.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book from Rome to Geneva at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, small booking fee), using either of these websites means all your tickets can be booked together in one place.  Or book at www.italiarail.com in €, £ or $, the small fee will be refunded if you email them afterwards at seat61@italiarail.com.

  • Stay overnight in Geneva.  Suggested hotels with good reviews near the station include Hotel Cornavin Genθve, Hotel Les Arcades, ibis Styles Geneva Gare.  Hotels in Switzerland can be expensive, if you're on a budget you can book budget private rooms in a one-star hotel or backpacker hostel near the station using www.hostelworld.com.

  • Day 2, travel from Geneva to Barcelona, leaving Geneva at 11:30 by TER regional train, change trains at Lyon Part Dieu (arrive 13:25, depart 14:28) onto the afternoon AVE-S100 high-speed train to Barcelona, arriving Barcelona Sants at 19:33.

    The AVE train has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  You'll pass Bιziers cathedral, flamingos on the lakes in the South of France between Montpelier & Perpignan, the historic Fort de Salses right by the tracks, and get great views of the imposing 2,784m Mt Canigou as the train rounds the southern end of the Pyrenees, see the photos & information here.

    Geneva-Lyon costs a fixed-price €29.60.  Lyon-Barcelona starts at €39 in 2nd class or €59 in 1st class, these fares vary like air fares.

    Buy tickets at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (in €, more fiddly, no fee).  You print your own ticket.  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your smartphone.

Option 3, Italy to Barcelona by cruise ferry...

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

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

 

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

 

Gran Clase sleepers have toilet & shower...

 

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

Sud Express trainhotel cafe-bar...    

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

   

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

Option 2, Rome to Faro & the Algarve using a bus from Seville...

  • Day 2, travel from Seville to Faro by bus.  Buses run from Seville Plaza de Armas to Faro several times daily, journey time around 3h40, fare around €16-€20.

    Buses are run by Damas, Eva-Bus & Alsa amongst others, you can check times & buy tickets for various bus companies all in one place at Omio.com.  You print your own ticket.

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Rome to Andorra...

  • Step 2, travel from Marseille to Toulouse by Intercitι leaving Marseille St Charles at 09:31 & arriving Toulouse Matabiau at 13:14.

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

    Book this train at either www.thetrainline.com or www.raileurope.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (in €, more fiddly, but no fee).  Booking for French trains opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your smartphone.

  • Step 3, travel from Toulouse Matabiau station to Andorra la Vella by bus.  Andbus run several buses per day taking 4 hours, fare €33.  There's a bus leaving Toulouse Matabiau station (bus stand 15) at 15:00 arriving Andorra 19:00.  Check times & book the bus at www.andorrabybus.com.  I'd allow at least an hour between train and bus in Toulouse, just in case of delay.

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Rome to Munich, Berlin & Germany from €39...

Option 1, Rome to Munich by Nightjet sleeper train & onward train to Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin or anywhere in Germany - the time-effective option...

  • Step 1, travel from Rome to Munich by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Rome Termini at 20:17 every night and arriving Munich Hbf at 09:21.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There are toilets & a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The sleeping-car attendant can serve drinks, snacks & light meals from a room service menu.  The train has couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €69.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €89.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

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

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

  • Step 2, travel from Munich to anywhere in Germany, for example leaving Munich Hbf 10:51 by ICE train arriving Berlin Hbf at 15:29.

    Book from Munich to any German destination at the German Railways website www.bahn.de with fares from €18.90 upwards, allowing at least 1 hour between trains in Munich.  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Munich.  More information about Nightjets...

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 2, Rome to Hamburg or Berlin using the Zurich-Hamburg/Berlin sleeper - another time-effective option...

  • Step 1, travel from Rome to Milan by Frecciarossa, leaving Rome Termini at 10:50 and arriving Milan Centrale at 14:00.

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

    Fares start at €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st 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 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 just quote your booking reference on board.

  • Step 2, travel from Milan to Zurich by EuroCity train, leaving Milan Centrale at 15:10 and arriving Zurich HB at 18:27.

    The EuroCity train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  It's a lovely run through the Alps, past Italian and Swiss lakes and passing through the world's longest railway tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel.  Have dinner in Zurich, I can recommend the steak-frites and a beer at the Brasserie Federal on the main concourse at Zurich HB.

    Fares start at €29 in 2nd class or €49 in 1st 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 www.trenitalia.com (in €, requires Italian language place names, see advice on using it).  Booking opens up to 90 days ahead.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board.

  • Step 3, travel from Zurich to Germany by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Zurich HB at 19:59 & arriving Hamburg Hbf 07:53 or Berlin Hbf 07:38.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet train has portions.  The Hamburg portion  has two air-conditioned double-deck sleeping-cars (1 & 2 bed compartments with washbasin, 1 & 2 bed deluxe compartments with shower & toilet, plus a few 3-berth compartments with washbasin), couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments & ordinary seats.  The Berlin portion has a Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet.  The sleeper & couchette fares include a light breakfast with tea or coffee in the morning, See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, tips, photos & video.

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €69.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €89.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

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

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

Option 3, Rome to Munich & Germany via the Brenner route - a scenic daytime option...

  • How much does it cost?

    Rome to Bologna starts at €19.90 in 2nd class or €29.90 in 1st class.

    Rome to Verona starts at €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class.

    Bologna or Verona to Munich or anywhere in Germany starts at €37.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

    Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • How to buy tickets...

    Book from Rome Termini to Munich or anywhere in Germany at www.raileurope.com, but (and this is important) click More options, enter either Verona (any station) or Bologna Centrale as a via station and a stopover duration of 45 minutes.  Look for journeys with just 1 change to Munich or 2 changes if going beyond Munich.

    www.raileurope.com connects to both the Italian and German ticketing systems so can source both tickets as one seamless booking.  You can pay in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, there's a small booking fee.

    The Italian train opens for booking up to 4 months ahead.  It's ticketless, you quote the booking reference on board.  The Austrian/German trains open for booking up to 6 months ahead, you print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

    Alternatively, you can book the Italian train at www.italiarail.com (in €, £ or $, the small fee will be refunded if you email them afterwards at seat61@italiarail.com) or www.trenitalia.com, then book the Austrian/German trains from Bologna or Verona to anywhere in Germany at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Verona to Munich, at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these Austrian EuroCity trains.

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

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

 

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

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...

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

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

Mountains on the Brenner route...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here...

Option 4, Rome to Frankfurt & Germany via the Gotthard route - another scenic daytime option...

  • Step 2, travel from Milan to Frankfurt by ETR610 EuroCity train leaving Milan Centrale at 11:20 and arriving Frankfurt (Main) Hbf at 18:44.

    The EuroCity train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  It travels along Lake Maggiore and through the Swiss Alps via the famous Simplon & Lφtschberg route.  Change in Frankfurt for Cologne, Dusseldorf & so on.  It's even possible to reach Hamburg or Berlin shortly after midnight!

    Fares from Milan to Germany start at €59.90 in 2nd class or €119.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book from Milan to anywhere in Germany at the German Railways website www.bahn.de (in €, no booking fee) or at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (in €, £ or $, small booking fee, allows you to keep all your bookings together in one place), looking for the 11:20 departure.  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

ETR610 EuroCity train at Milan Centrale

An ETR610 at Milan Centrale, as used on the direct Milan-Frankfurt EuroCity train.  More information about ETR610 trains.

1st class table for two   1st class seats on an ETR610 train

Table for 4 in 2nd class, ideal for families...

 

1st class seats on the ETR610 EuroCity train...

Lake Maggiore, seen from the train

Lake Maggiore, seen over lunch in the restaurant car...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car on an ETR610...

 

Dinner in the diner...

Option 5, Rome to anywhere in Germany with overnight stop in Munich...

  • Day 1, take a high-speed train from Rome Termini to Verona Porta Nuova in 2h50, then a comfortable Austrian EuroCity train with restaurant car from Verona Porta Nuova to Munich Hbf via the scenic Brenner Pass in around 5h10, see the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

    You can leave Rome Termini as late as 12:15 arriving Munich Hbf at 22:27, but by all means take an earlier train for an evening in Munich.

    Book from Rome Termini to Munich at www.raileurope.com, first clicking More options, entering Verona (any station) as a via station and a stopover duration of 45 minutes.  Look for journeys with just 1 change.  Now re-run the enquiry with Bologna (any station) entered as a via station to see if this gives a cheaper or quicker 1-change journey, once or twice per day it does.

    www.raileurope.com can be used by anyone from any country, in €, £ or $, small booking fee.  Italian trains open for booking up to 4 months ahead, it's ticketless, you quote the reference on board.  The EuroCity trains open for booking up to 6 months ahead, you print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

    Alternatively, book the Italian train at www.italiarail.com (in €, £ or $, the small fee will be refunded if you email them afterwards at seat61@italiarail.com) or www.trenitalia.com, then book the EuroCity train from Bologna or Verona to Munich at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.

  • Day 2, take comfortable ICE or IC trains from Munich to anywhere in Germany.

    Fares start at €18.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

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

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Rome to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €59..

Option 1, Rome to Salzburg & Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option... 

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna HbfMore information about Nightjet trains...

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

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger 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 couchettes   Couchette car on sleeper train

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet sleeper train...

Option 2, Rome to Salzburg or Vienna in a day via Venice - a scenic daytime route with lunch in Venice...

Option 3, Rome to Innsbruck, Salzburg or Vienna in a day via the Brenner Pass - another scenic daytime option...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Verona to Munich, at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these Austrian EuroCity trains.

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

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

 

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

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...

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

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

Mountains on the Brenner route...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here...

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Rome to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm...

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

Double-deck sleeping-car on a Nightjet at Zurich

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

   

2-berth sleeper on lower deck...

 

Stairs down to pair of lower compartments...

 

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

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

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

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Rome to Munich.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Danish InterCity train at Copenhagen...   1st class seats on a Danish IC3 train

All Hamburg-Copenhagen EuroCity trains are now Danish IC3 trains like this...

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm....

 

2nd class seating on the X2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the X2000 to Stockholm.

More info on X2000 trains

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stops in Munich & Copenhagen...

  • Stay overnight in Copenhagen.  Hotels near the station with good reviews include the Nimb Hotel (5-star luxe), Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (5-star), Axel Guldsmeden (4-star), Andersen Boutique Hotel, First Hotel Mayfair (3-star), Hotel Ansgar (3-star), City Hotel Nebo (2-star).

  • Day 3, travel from Copenhagen to Gothenburg by hourly Φresund train in 3h53, or travel from Copenhagen to Stockholm by fast X2000 train in around 5h15 with various departures to choose from, fares from around €28 upwards.  Book this at Omio.com or the Swedish Railways website www.sj.se.

    Tip:  You may be able to save money by buying a Munich-Stockholm or Munich-Gothenburg through ticket from German Railways like this:  Go to www.bahn.de, enter Munich-Stockholm or Munich-Gothenburg.  Before running the enquiry, click Add intermediate stops, enter Copenhagen and a stopover duration of (say) 12 hours.  It should then give you a Sparpreis fare with an overnight stop in Copenhagen, specified trains only, limited or no refunds.

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Rome to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, by train all the way, with overnight stops Munich & Copenhagen...

Option 2, using the Zurich-Hamburg sleeper & Kiel-Oslo ferry - the most luxurious way to Norway...

  • Day 1, travel from Rome to Milan by Frecciarossa, leaving Rome Termini at 10:50 and arriving Milan Centrale at 14:00.

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

    Fares start at €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st 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 www.trenitalia.com (in €, requires Italian language place names, see advice on using it).  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board.

  • Day 1, travel from Milan to Zurich by EuroCity train, leaving Milan Centrale at 15:10 and arriving Zurich HB at 18:27.

    The EuroCity train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  It's a lovely run through the Alps, past Italian and Swiss lakes and passing through the world's longest railway tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel.  Have dinner in Zurich, I can recommend the steak-frites and a beer at the Brasserie Federal on the main concourse at Zurich HB.

    Fares start at €29 in 2nd class or €49 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or www.trenitalia.com (in €, requires Italian language place names, see advice on using it).  Booking opens up to 90 days ahead.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board.

  • Day 1, travel from Zurich to Hamburg by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Zurich HB at 19:59 and arriving Hamburg Hbf at 07:53.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet train has two air-conditioned double-deck sleeping-cars (1 & 2 bed compartments with washbasin, 1 & 2 bed deluxe compartments with shower & toilet, plus a few 3-berth compartments with washbasin), couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments & ordinary seats.  The sleeper & couchette fares include a light breakfast with tea or coffee in the morning, see the Nightjet information page.

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €69.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €89.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

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

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

  • Day 2, take a regional train from Hamburg Hbf to Kiel then the overnight Color Line cruise ferry to Oslo.  The ferry sails from Kiel around 14:00, arriving in Oslo around 10:L00 on day 3 from Rome.  For full details of this Hamburg to Oslo journey, see Hamburg-Oslo option 2 on the trains from Hamburg page.

Option 3, using the Zurich-Hamburg sleeper & Frederikshavn-Oslo ferry - a cheaper option, more changes, slightly quicker...

  • Day 1-2, travel from Rome to Hamburg as shown in option 2 above.

  • Day 2, travel from Hamburg to Frederikshavn in the north of Denmark by train, and take the comfortable DFDS overnight ferry from Frederikshavn to Oslo.  This is a cheaper option than the Color Line ferry from Kiel, although Hamburg to Frederikshavn involves 2 changes and the ferry doesn't sail until very late at night.  For full details of this Hamburg to Oslo journey, see Hamburg-Oslo option 3 on the train from Hamburg page.

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Rome to Helsinki & Finland...

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

  • Day 1, travel from Rome to Munich by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Rome Termini at 20:17 and arriving Munich Hbf at 09:21. 

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There are toilets & a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The sleeping-car attendant can serve drinks, snacks & light meals from a room service menu.  The train has couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €69.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €89.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

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

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

  • Day 2, travel from Munich to Hamburg by ICE4 train, leaving Munich Hbf at 10:22 and arriving Hamburg Hbf 15:54.

    Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class or €56.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this train at the German Railways site www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead, you print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone. 

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

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

 

Cabin on the ferry...

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

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Rome to Prague from €68...

Option 1, Rome to Prague overnight via Vienna - comfortable, safe & time-effective, with a chance to see Vienna on the way...

  • Step 1, travel from Rome to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train leaving Rome Termini at 20:17 & arriving Vienna Hbf 08:52.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There are toilets & a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The sleeping-car attendant can serve drinks, snacks & light meals from a room service menu.  The train has couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €69.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €89.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

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

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

    Tip:  If you have a sleeper ticket and/or 1st class ticket for the onward train to Prague you can use the ΦBB lounge in Vienna Hbf between trains, with complimentary refreshments & free WiFi.

The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Step 1, Rome to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train...  More information about Nightjet trains...

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

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger 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 couchettes   Couchette car on sleeper train

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet sleeper train...

Czech Railjet train to Vienna at Prague Hlavni station

Step 2, take a smart modern railjet train from Vienna to Prague, with economy, first & business class, restaurant car, free WiFi and draught beer on tap...

Restaurant car   Economy (2nd class) seating

Restaurant car...  Courtesy David Malone

 

Economy (2nd) class...  Courtesy Cortney Lollar

Option 2, Rome to Prague or Cesky Krumlov via Zurich - a comfortable, safe & time-effective option...

ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy

EuroCity train, at Milan Centrale.  More information about these EuroCity trains.

 

2nd class seats on the EuroCity train...

The restaurant car on an ETR610 EuroCity train   Meal on a Swiss EuroCity train between Switzerland & Milan

The restaurant car...

 

Dinner in the diner...

The sleeper train from Zurich to Prague

The sleeping-car to Prague, ready to leave Zurich HB.  Photo courtesy of Shaiq Ali Khan

City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper   City Night Line 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.

 

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

 

Deluxe sleepers are similar to standard ones, with a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.

 

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

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Rome to Bratislava from €64...

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Rome to Budapest from €68...
The Nightjet sleeper at Vienna

Step 1, Rome to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train...  More information about Nightjet trains...

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

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger 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 couchettes   Couchette car on sleeper train

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet sleeper train...

A railjet train from Vienna to Budapest, arrived at Budapest Keleti

Step 2, Vienna to Budapest by railjet, seen arrived on platform 9 at Budapest Keleti stationMore information about railjets.

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

Economy (2nd) class...  Larger photo.

 

First class...  Larger photo.

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Rome to Bucharest, Brasov & Romania...

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Rome to Ljubljana & Slovenia, Zagreb...

Option 1, using the Rome-Austria Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option.

Option 2, by daytime trains on the direct route through Trieste...

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

Inside the ETR563.  Larger photo.

 

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

Scenery between Trieste and Ljubljana

Scenery in Slovenia, seen from the train from Trieste to Ljubljana...

Option 3, with overnight stop in Austria - a useful alternative...

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Rome to Dubrovnik & Split...

Option 1, by train via Zagreb...

Option 2, it's more time-effective to take a train to Ancona or Bari, then a comfortable overnight ferry to Croatia.

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

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

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Rome to Belgrade & Sofia...

Option 1, with overnight stop in Villach, Austria - the cheapest and simplest option...

Option 2, Rome to Belgrade via the Bari-Bar overnight ferry - a lovely journey via a spectacular railway...

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Rome to Bar, Budva, Kotor & Montenegro...
Montenegro Lines ferry from Bar to Bari

The former Montenegro Lines ferry to Bari at Bar ferry terminal...

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Rome to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland...

Option 1, using the Rome-Vienna sleeper...

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Vienna...

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Rome to Lviv, Kiev & Moscow...
The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

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

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

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

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

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Rome to Athens & Greece...
A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

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

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

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

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Rome to Istanbul & Turkey...

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bullet pointRailbookers custom-made tours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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bullet pointHotels in Rome & other cities

Hotels near Rome Termini with good or great reviews:  The Hive Hotel, Dream Station, Smooth Hotel Rome Repubblica.

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

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

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

Other hotel sites worth trying...

www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

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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bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

 

Confused.com logo

Always take out travel insurance...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flagIn the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct.

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

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

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

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

A Curve card saves on foreign transaction fees...

 

Curve card

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then charge you a currency conversion fee.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month at time of writing.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself - I get some commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

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

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.

 


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