To check train times & fares within Switzerland, use the Swiss Railways website www.sbb.ch.

  See Zurich HB station information

I want to go from Switzerland to...

Click here if your journey starts in another country.

This page explains how to travel from Swiss cities to other European cities, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Train information is current for 2019.

Before you buy your tickets...

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

European 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...


Buying tickets for journeys in Switzerland:  See the train travel in Switzerland page...
Swiss Passes, Half Fare Cards & Swiss Transfer tickets:  Click here...

Switzerland to London from €59.90...

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Switzerland to Paris by TGV from €29...
TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon   TGV bar car

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

 

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

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

2nd class (standard class) with a mix or unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats are 2+2 across the car width.  360 degree photo.

 

1st class seats, used for standard première & business première.  Seats are arranged 2+1 across the car width.  360 degree photo.

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Switzerland to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Nice or anywhere in France from €25...

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Switzerland to Brussels & Bruges from €39.90...

Option 1, by ICE high-speed trains via Cologne:  Switzerland to Brussels in as little as 6h22 from €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class - easiest route...

Option 2, by high-speed trains via Paris - cheap & fast, but involves crossing Paris.  E.g. Geneva to Brussels in as little as 5h36...

Option 3, Geneva to Brussels in as little as 6h14 using the direct Lyon-Brussels TGVs - fast & convenient with no need to cross Paris...

Option 4, by direct Basel-Brussels EuroCity trains in 6h30.  This option is no longer available, as these trains were discontinued in April 2016.

High-speed ICE3 train at Brussels Midi   ICE2 train, 2nd class

An ICE3 at Brussels Midi platform 5...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

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

ICE3 1st class seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro car.  See sample menu.

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Switzerland to Luxembourg...

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Switzerland to Amsterdam from €39.90...

By fast & comfortable daytime trains...

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 car.  See sample menu.

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Switzerland to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy from €29...

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).  The choice is yours!  With the daytime trains increasingly fast, there are no longer any sleeper trains between Switzerland and Italy.

Option 1, by bullet-nosed ETR610 EuroCity train to Milan, then high-speed train to Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples - the fast & comfortable way...

ETR610 EuroCity train to Milan at Zurich HB

Step 1:  Take an ETR610 train from Switzerland to Milan.  One per day runs Geneva-Lausanne-Brig-Milan-Venice and one per day runs Zurich-Lugano-Milan-Venice.  This is a train to Milan about to leave Zurich.  More information about ETR610 trains.

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

2nd class table for four, ideal for families...

 

1st class seats, 2+1 across car width.  See larger photo.

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

The restaurant car on an ETR610.  Larger photo.

 

Dinner in the diner...

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

The Zurich to Milan trains take the Gotthard main line through the Swiss Alps, past Lake Lugano...

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel train

Zurich-Milan trains pass the Zugersee, Vierwaldstattersee & Lake Lugano, all in Switzerland.  Geneva-Milan trains skirt Lake Leman, and both Geneva-Milan & Basel-Milan trains pass Lake Maggiore in Italy.  Above, Lake Maggiore is seen from the restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel over an enjoyable lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent Swiss red wine...

A Frecciarossa 1000 at Milan Centrale

Step 2, take a high-speed Frecciarossa train from Milan to Florence, Rome or Naples.  This is 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 simple meal at your seat, around €18.  More about Frecciarossas.

Option 2, the ultimate scenic route:  Switzerland to Milan via the slow but amazing Bernina route...

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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Switzerland to Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne & Germany from €39.90...

Option 1, Zurich or Basel to Berlin or Hamburg by Nightjet sleeper train - comfortable, civilised & time-effective...

Double-deck sleeping-car on a Nightjet at Zurich

The safe & comfortable Nightjet to Zurich.  This is a double-deck sleeping-car arrived 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, by daytime train...

ICE2 first class ICE2 second class High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin, at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

ICE2 1st class.

ICE2 2nd class.

ICE2 at Berlin.  More info about ICE

   

Treat yourself to lunch!

 

ICE2's elegant restaurant car...

 

ICE2's convivial bistro-bar car...

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Switzerland to Munich from €29.90...
EuroCity train from Zurich to Munich

A EuroCity train from Zurich to Munich, boarding at Zurich HB...

2nd class seats on Munich-Zurich EuroCity train   Restaurant car on Zurich to Munich train

2nd class seating...  Larger photo.

 

The Swiss restaurant car:  Treat yourself!  Larger photo.

Scenery from the train   1st class seats on Munich-Zurich EuroCity train

Scenery from the train.  Courtesy Discoverbyrail.com.

 

1st class seating...  Larger photo.

Swiss panorama car, Munich to Zurich train   1st class seats in panorama car, Munich to Zurich train

1st class panorama car...

 

1st class seats in the panorama car...

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Switzerland to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €29...

Option 1, Zurich to Vienna by time-effective overnight sleeper train...

Double-deck sleeping-car on a Nightjet at Zurich

Step 1, take the Nightjet from Vienna to Zurich, overnight while you sleep.  This is a double-deck sleeping-car arrived at Zurich. 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, by daytime railjet train through the wonderfully scenic Arlberg Pass from €19...

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

A railjet to Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna about to leave Zurich HB...

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

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

Railjet is Austrian Railways premier train...  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

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

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet is running alongside the Zürichsee, then along the Walensee...

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Mountain scenery near Buchs

Watch out for hilltop castles - this is Sargans castle, seen from the train...

 

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

The mountains keep on coming...

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

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

 

In railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

The view of the Fortress Hohensalzburg as the railjet crosses the River Salzach & approaches Salzburg station....

Watch the video:  Zurich to Austria through the Arlberg Pass...

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Switzerland to Barcelona & Spain from €59...

Option 1, from Alps to the Pyrenees in a day...

Option 2, with an afternoon free & overnight stop in Avignon or Marseille - well worth considering!

 

2nd class seats on the S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Luggage goes on the racks at the car ends or above the seats.  Panorama photo of 2nd class

 

These AVE-S100 trains operate the TGV/AVE services from Madrid to Marseille, Barcelona to Lyon, Toulouse.  This is the Barcelona-Lyon AVE.  More information about these AVE-S100 trains.

 

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes...

1st class seats on an S100 AVE.  Panorama photo of 1st class

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar...

 

View from the train, passing Béziers...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

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

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Switzerland 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 the cafe-bar to find the beds made up...

 

Gran Clase sleepers have a toilet & shower...

 

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

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Switzerland to Copenhagen from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime trains - in a single day, or with an overnight stop in Hamburg...

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

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...

 

1st class seats on an IC3 train...

2nd class seats on a Danish IC3 train   IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg

2nd class seats on an IC3 train...

 

Boarding a train to Copenhagen in Hamburg.

Train boarding ferry

The view from your seat as the IC3 train slowly runs onto the Puttgarden-Rødby ferry.  Courtesy of Adina Bogert-O'Brien.  Interior & Hamburg photos above courtesy of DiscoverbyRail.com.

Option 2, using the Zurich-Hamburg Nightjet sleeper - the time-effective option!

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

2-berth sleeper with washstand.  Enlarge photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Comfortline sleeping-car, as used on the Austrian Nightjet trains from Zurich to Hamburg.  More pictures & information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families...

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

An IC3 train at Copenhagen...  Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are now EuroCity trains worked by Danish IC3 units like this.

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Switzerland to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö from €60...

Option 1, Switzerland to Copenhagen by day trains in a single day from €59, onwards to Stockholm next day...

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

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...  Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are now EuroCity trains worked by Danish IC3 units like the one above.

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

A Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train boarding at Copenhagen main station...

 

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

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

X2000 bistro car...

 

X2000 bistro car seating area...

 

Bistro self-service...

Winter scenery fro a Copenhagen-Stockholm train

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

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg.  Switzerland-Copenhagen from €69, Switzerland-Stockholm from €79...

Option 3, using the Zurich-Hamburg sleeper - the time-effective option!

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

2-berth sleeper with washstand.  Enlarge photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Comfortline sleeping-car, as used on the Austrian Nightjet trains from Zurich to Hamburg.  More pictures & information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families...

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Switzerland to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way...

Option 2, Switzerland to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo Color Line cruise ferry - the most comfortable way to Oslo...

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

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

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

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

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

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry...

 

More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to this....

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Switzerland to Helsinki & Finland...

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Switzerland to Prague from €45...  Switzerland to Cesky Krumlov from €45...

Option 1, Zurich to Prague by EuroNight sleeper train - the time-effective option that saves a hotel bill...

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, but 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.

Option 2, Switzerland to Prague via Munich - the comfortable daytime option...

Option 3, Switzerland to Prague with overnight stop in Munich - breaks the journey up nicely...

Option 4, Switzerland to Prague by daytime trains via Linz - the scenic daytime option...

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Switzerland to Bratislava...

Option 1, Zurich to Bratislava by direct railjet train - the best option if the timing suits you, runs from 9 December 2018 onwards...

Option 2, by daytime trains with an easy change in Vienna - if the timing of the direct train doesn't suit you...

Option 3, using the Vienna-Zurich nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option...

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

The hourly regional express train from Vienna to Bratislava Hlavna, about to leave from Vienna Hauptbahnhof. 

Tip:  Behind the locomotive there's usually a smart Slovakian air-conditioned intercity coach, whilst the rest of the train consists of more basic non-air-con Austrian City Shuttle carriages, with interiors as shown in the photo above right.  Find a seat in the more comfortable Slovakian car if you can!

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Switzerland to Budapest & Hungary...

Option 1, by direct daytime railjet train from Zurich to Budapest thought the scenic Arlberg Pass... 

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the Zürichsee, then along the Walensee...

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

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

 

In railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The mountains keep on coming...

Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons, all with power sockets.

 

"The railjet has landed..."  A railjet arrived at Budapest's beautiful Keleti station.

Option 2, by direct sleeper train from Zurich to Budapest - a safe, comfortable & time-effective option... 

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

The Zurich-Budapest sleeper at Zurich...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

6-berth couchettes...

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

2-bed sleeper.  Larger photo

 

The Zurich-Budapest sleeper, at Budapest Keleti.  Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video...  Courtesy of Matthew Williams.

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Switzerland to Ljubljana & Slovenia, 43m reb & Croatia...

Option 1, by direct sleeper train from Switzerland to Slovenia & Croatia...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The Zurich-Zagreb sleeping-car:  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from  Zurich to Zagreb has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  It's identical to the Zagreb-Munich sleeper, see the Croatian sleeper video See larger sleeper photo.

4-berth couchettes on Munich to Zagreb train   Couchette car on Munich to Zagreb train, at Munich

The couchette car has modern air-conditioned 6-berth and 4-berth compartments.  Above right, the westbound train is seen boarding at Zagreb. See panorama photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

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

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Option 2 by daytime trains...

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Switzerland to Dubrovnik & Split
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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Switzerland to Belgrade, Sofia, Montenegro...

Option 1, via Zagreb...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The Zurich-Zagreb sleeping-car:  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from  Zurich to Zagreb has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  It's identical to the Zagreb-Munich sleeper, see the Croatian sleeper video See larger sleeper photo.

Option 2, via Budapest...

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Switzerland to Sighisoara, Brasov, Bucharest & Romania...

Option 1, by railjet to Vienna and Dacia Express sleeper train to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest.

En suite toilet & shower on EuroNight sleeper train Ister to Bucharest   Single-berth sleeper on the EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' to Bucharest   EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' from Budapest to Bucharest

En suite toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper.

A sleeper set up as a  single-berth...

 

Modern air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car as used on both the Ister & Dacia ExpressPhotos courtesy Andy Brabin.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   6-berth couchettes   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

Romanian vagon cuseta (couchette car)...

 

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest  

Enjoy breakfast in the bar-bistro eastbound, or an evening beer westbound, as a bar-bistro is attached in Romania to both the Ister & Dacia ExpressBar-bistro photos courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Option 2, by sleeper train to Budapest, a day to explore, then sleeper train Ister to Brasov & Bucharest...

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

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   Hungarian restaurant car on the train to Brasov

An InterCity train to Romania (left) about to leave Budapest.

 

Trains may no longer have a restaurant car so bring your own food & drink...

2nd class Romanian InterCity coach   Romanian InterCity seating coach

Air-conditioned 2nd class seats used on the Traianus from Budapest to Brasov.  Or take your own picnic with beer or wine...

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Switzerland to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland from €49...

Option 1, by daytime trains in a single day...

Option 2, by sleeper to Berlin then daytime train to Warsaw...

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Switzerland to Lviv, Kiev & Ukraine...

Option 1, via Vienna...

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

Boarding the Vienna to Kiev sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf.  Photo 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.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

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

Option 2, to Lviv by daytime trains via Budapest...

The Kiev Express   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

The Budapest-Kiev train... Courtesy of Alessandro

 

A sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.

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Switzerland to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Option 1, via Kiev - runs daily & avoids Belarus, the route I'd recommend.

Option 2, via Warsaw, requires a Belarus transit visa

The Polonez from Warsaw to Moscow uses Russian air-conditioned sleeping-cars, pictured below, with compartments which can be used as 1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth (shown below right), with a shower & toilets at the end of the corridor.  See panorama photo inside one of the new Russian sleepers.

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

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Switzerland to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Option 1, by train to Italy then ferry...

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

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

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

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

Option 2, by train all the way via Belgrade...

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Switzerland to Istanbul & Turkey...

Option 1, via Bucharest...

Option 2, via Belgrade & Sofia...

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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 call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk.

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

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

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

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

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Find hotels in Switzerland & other countries

    

Favourite hotel search & price comparison: hotelscombined.com

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less.

Favourite hotel booking site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings 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.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

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.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

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

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

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

Get a VPN for safe browsing when you travel.  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 them myself.

 


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