Trains from Venice

 

  See Venice Santa Lucia station information

  Map of Venice showing stations

I want to go from Venice to...

      

       Click here if your journey starts in another city.

This page explains how to travel by train from Venice to other cities all over Europe, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Train information is current for 2018.

Before you buy your tickets...

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

Which station in Venice?  Santa Lucia!

Venice Santa Lucia is the main station in Venice, often abbreviated to Venezia SL, located in the city of Venice itself on the banks of the Grand Canal, 20 minutes walk from the Rialto Bridge and 27 minutes walk from St Mark's Square.  Venice Mestre is an industrial area on the mainland at which most trains call on their way into or out of Venice S.L.  So always make sure you buy tickets to or from Venice Santa Lucia, unless you specifically want Mestre.  On this page, 'Venice' means Venice Santa Lucia unless it says otherwise.  Map of Venice showing stationsSee Venice Santa Lucia station information.


Venice to other Italian towns & cities from €9.90!
Venice to Florence, Rome & Naples...
Venice to Verona...
Venice to Trieste...
Venice to Pompeii, Sorrento, Amalfi...
Venice to Palermo, Catania, Siracuse & Sicily...

Option 1, by daytime train.  Venice to Sicily in a single day, an epic ride...

  • You can travel from Venice to Palermo, Catania or Siracuse by train in a single day, albeit with a very early start and late evening arrival.  You take a Frecciarossa or Frecciargento train from Venice Santa Lucia to Rome Termini or Naples Centrale, then the afternoon InterCity train from Rome Termini or Naples Centrale to Sicily.

    The journey takes you along the coast past cliffs and beaches to the toe of Italy, then the Naples-Palermo/Catania/Siracuse train gets shunted onto a ferry to cross the Straits of Messina, a unique experience, have your camera ready.  There's no catering car on the InterCity train, so bring your own picnic and bottle of wine or beer.

  • Fares start at just €39.80 in 2nd class or €59.80 in 1st class.  Book ahead for Trenitalia's cheap Super-Economy and Economy prices.

  • Buy tickets at either www.loco2.com, www.italiarail.com or Italian Railways' own site www.trenitalia.com.

    Tip:  I'd allow at least 45 minutes between trains in Rome or Naples, if necessary book each train separately.

    All 3 sites sell the same tickets, all offer ticketless travel for Italian intercity & high-speed trains, you simply quote your booking reference on board the train.  Booking opens 120 days ahead, except when the mid-June & mid-December timetable changes are imminent when the booking horizon shrinks to less than this with some trains loaded before others.

    1.  www.loco2.com is easy to use, it's written in plain English, it can be used in €, £ or $, and it has no booking fee.

    2.  Italiarail.com is also easy to use, it's in plain English, it can be used in €, £, $ & Aus$.  They charge a €3.50 booking fee but they'll refund this if you email seat61@italiarail.com with your PNR after you book.  A key advantage is that it can be cheaper than Trenitalia.com for 2 or more people travelling together as explained here.

    3.  Trenitalia.com is fairly easy to use but you need to use Italian-language place names and it has a few quirks so see this advice on using it.   There's no booking fee.

Option 2, by high-speed train to Rome then overnight sleeper.  The time-effective option...

  • Step 1, take an early-evening Frecciarossa or Frecciargento train from Venice Santa Lucia to Rome Termini in around 3h50. 

  • Step 2, take one of the two direct sleeper trains from Rome to Palermo, Catania or Siracuse, one usually leaving Rome Termini around 21:30, the later one at around 23:00.  Make sure you allow at least 1 hour between trains in Rome.  In the morning these sleeper trains are shunted onto a ferry to cross the Straits of Messina, a unique experience, have your camera ready.  They arrive in Sicily next morning.

  • These sleeper trains have Comfort couchettes with 4-berth compartments, ideal for families.  They also have sleeping-cars with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin.  The couchettes convert to seats for daytime use, the sleepers convert to a private sitting room with sofa.  There's no restaurant car (although morning tea or coffee is provided), so bring your own picnic and bottle of wine or beer.  See more information & photos of Italian domestic sleeper trains.

  • Florence to Rome starts at €19.90, then Rome to Sicily starts at €39.90 including a Comfort couchette or from €79.90 with a bed in a cosy 2-bed sleeper.  Book ahead for Trenitalia's cheap Super-Economy and Economy prices.

  • Buy tickets at either www.loco2.com or www.italiarail.com.  If you'd like longer in Rome between trains (perhaps plan to have dinner there, or an afternoon wander) book each train separately, it makes no difference to the price.

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Venice to Paris from €35...

Option 1, Venice to Paris by train in a single day...

Take fast daytime trains from as little as €49.  This is the most direct & cheapest option.  How about an afternoon in Turin?

Option 2, Venice to Paris by daytime trains with an overnight stop in Turin...

To see all the scenery in daylight you can use high-speed daytime trains with an overnight stop in Turin from just €48.  The overnight stop breaks up the trip nicely and allows you to see something of wonderful Turin.  This would probably be my own first choice!

Frecciarossa power car   Frecciarossa Business class

Step 1, take a high-speed Frecciarossa ETR500 train from central Venice to Milan or Turn.  The name means Red Arrow.  More info about Frecciarossas.

 

Business (1st) class, all seats with power sockets, complimentary coffee, juice or prosecco included.

TGV bar car   TGV from Milan to Paris

Step 2, take the TGV from Milan or Turin to Paris...  Above left, the cafe-bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes  Above right, the TGV at Paris Gare de Lyon.  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 to Paris.  360 degree photo

 

1st class seats on the Paris-Milan 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, Venice to Paris by direct Thello sleeper train.  This is easily the most time-effective option, from central Venice to central Paris in effect as fast as flying and it saves a hotel bill too.  It's a fun option, even if Thello isn't the best-run sleeper train in the world - just bring a picnic and bottle of wine and have a blast...

Refurbished sleeping-car on the Paris to Venice 'Thello' sleeper train   1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper, in evening mode, on the Paris-Venice Thello overnight train...   2-bed sleeper, night mode, on the Paris-Florence/Rome overnight train...

A sleeping-car on the Thello sleeper train to Venice boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More Thello info here.

 

Sleeper with beds folded away.  Larger photo360.

 

2-bed sleeper.  Larger photo360 degree photo.

Thello couchette compartment   Boarding the Thello sleeper train at Paris.

4 or 6 berth couchette compartment.  Much more comfortable with just 4 people.  Larger photo360 degree photo.

 

A couchette car on the Thello train from Paris to Venice, at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More Thello info here.

Option 4, Venice to Paris via the Bernina Express & Swiss Alps from €96 - much slower, but the ultimate Alpine scenic experience...

This journey is longer and costs a bit more, but it will be a highlight of your whole trip.  If time isn't pressing and you want the ultimate train ride through the Alps, I'd strongly recommend considering this option, it's fabulous...

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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Venice to Nice from €35.  Venice to Cannes, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Avignon...

Option 1:  Using the comfortable Thello trains from Milan to Nice, Cannes, Marseille - recommended option...

Thello train from Marseille & Nice to Milan, at Marseille St Charles   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

A Thello train to Nice about to leave Milan Centrale.  See more photos & information about these Thello trains...

 

1st class seats on Thello.  More space per person than 2nd, with seats arranged 2+1 across the car width.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Cafe counter on the Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  Very comfortable, seat arranged 2+2 across the car width.

 

The small cafe-bar counter on the Milan to Nice & Marseille Thello train serving tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks.

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

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

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

Option 2:  Using Italian trains to Ventimiglia, and a French local train - a useful fall-back if the Thello train timings don't suit...

Italian InterCity train at Milan   6-seater compartment on an Italian InterCity train   TER regional train Nice to Ventimiglia

Italian InterCity trains link Milan & Genoa with Ventimiglia on the French/Italian border.  Most cars are of the traditional side-corridor type with 6-seater compartments (pictured above).

 

Double-decker regional trains like this link Ventimiglia with Monte Carlo, Nice & Cannes every 30 minutes.

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Venice to Brussels, Bruges & Belgium from €64...

Option 1, using the overnight Thello sleeper train from Venice to Paris... 

Option 2, by daytime TGV via Paris...

Option 3, through the scenic Brenner Pass to Innsbruck then Nightjet sleeper train to Cologne & Thalys to Brussels.

  • Step 1, take the afternoon EuroCity train leaving Venice Santa Lucia every day at 13:50 and arriving Innsbruck at 18:36.  This is a wonderful journey, over the causeway across the lagoon from central Venice to the mainland, over to Verona and up the wonderfully scenic Brenner Pass with lunch in the elegant Austrian restaurant car. A real treat, see the Brenner Pass scenery video here.  In Innsbruck there's time for dinner.  Buy the Venice to Innsbruck ticket from €39 at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket or show it on your smartphone or laptop.

  • Step 2, now travel by Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaving Innsbruck at 20:44 and arriving Cologne Hbf at 08:15 next morning, with comfortable sleeping-car and couchettes.  This will save a hotel bill, too!  Fares from Innsbruck to Cologne start at €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment, see the Nightjet information page.

    Also buy this ticket at German Railways www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket.  You can also book this sleeper at www.trainline.eu which connects to the Austrian Railways system rather than the German and is sometimes cheaper.  It's worth checking prices on both sites!

Option 4, by day trains with overnight stop in Munich - Easy, scenic, ideal if you prefer day trains to sleepers...

  • Day 2, travel from Munich to Brussels by luxurious ICE train & Thalys from €29.90+€19, leaving Munich Hbf at 07:54, change in Frankfurt & Cologne, arriving Brussels Midi at 14:35.  Do not risk an earlier connection, just in case of delay.  The ICE has a bistro-restaurant car, Thalys has a cafe-bar, both trains have power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Book this at the Belgian Railways site www.b-europe.com as that can book German trains and Thalys, you print your own ticket.  Alternatively, you might get a better price at the German Railways site www.bahn.de, but with much fiddling of times using the add intermediate stops feature and a suitable stopover time to get a German ICE train for all sectors.

Option 5, using the Venice-Munich Nightjet sleeper train - an easy and time-effective option... 

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Munich on the excellent Austrian Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:04 and arriving Munich Hbf at 06:10.

    Fares from €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper, deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

    Book this at the German Railways site www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  You can also book this sleeper at www.trainline.eu which connects to the Austrian Railways system rather than the German so is sometimes cheaper.  It's worth checking prices on both sites!

  • Step 2, travel from Munich to Brussels by luxurious ICE train & Thalys from €29.90+€19, leaving Munich Hbf at 07:54, change in Frankfurt & Cologne, arriving Brussels Midi at 14:35.  Do not risk an earlier connection, just in case of delay.  The ICE has a bistro-restaurant car, Thalys has a cafe-bar, both trains have power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Book this at the Belgian Railways site www.b-europe.com as this can book both German trains & Thalys and print your own ticket.  Alternatively, you might get a better price at the German Railways site www.bahn.de, but with much fiddling of times using the add intermediate stops feature and a suitable stopover time to get a German ICE train for all sectors.

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Venice to Amsterdam from €70...

Option 1, Venice to Amsterdam via the scenic Brenner Pass & Innsbruck-Cologne Nightjet sleeper train - a time-effective option.

  • Step 2, now travel by Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaving Innsbruck at 20:44 and arriving Cologne Hbf at 08:15 next morning, with comfortable sleeping-car and couchettes.  It's safe, comfortable & fun, and saves a hotel bill, too!  Fares from Innsbruck to Cologne start at €59 in 6-berth couchette, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment, see the Nightjet information page.

    Book this sleeper at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  You can also book it at www.trainline.eu which connects to the Austrian Railways system rather than the German so is sometimes cheaper.  It's worth checking prices on both sites!

  • Step 3, now take a smart German ICE train from Cologne to Amsterdam, leaving Cologne Hbf at 08:44 and arriving Amsterdam Centraal around 11:28.

    Fares from €19.90 in 2nd class or €49.90 in 1st class, also buy this ticket at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.

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 Innsbruck to Cologne.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 2, Venice to Amsterdam by day trains with overnight stop in Munich - Easy, scenic, ideal if you prefer day trains to sleepers...

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

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

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

Mountains on the Brenner route...

Option 3, Venice to Amsterdam using the Venice-Munich Nightjet sleeper train - an easy and time-effective option... 

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Munich on the excellent Austrian Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:04 and arriving Munich Hbf at 06:10.

    Fares from €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper, deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

    Book this sleeper train at the German Railways site www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  You can also book it at www.trainline.eu which connects to the Austrian Railways system rather than the German so is sometimes cheaper.  It's worth checking prices on both sites!

  • Step 2, travel from Munich to Amsterdam on luxurious ICE trains, leaving Munich Hbf at 07:54, making one easy change in Frankfurt and arriving at Amsterdam Centraal around 15:57.  ICE trains have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares from €39 in 2nd class or €69 in 1st class.

    Book this at the German Railways site www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.

Option 4, Venice to Amsterdam via the Venice-Paris Thello sleeper train...

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Venice to London from €74...

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Venice to Geneva, Zurich, Lucerne, Basel, Zermatt & Switzerland from €18...

Choose between fast, comfortable & scenic (using mainline trains, either option 1 direct or option 2 with a change in Milan) and slow, comfortable, fabulous world-class highlight-of-your-trip scenic (option 3, via the narrow-gauge Bernina Express).  With the daytime trains increasingly fast, there are no longer any sleeper trains between Italy & Switzerland.

Option 1, by direct train from Venice to Switzerland - first see if these direct trains suit your schedule...

Option 2, by fast train to Milan, then ETR610 EuroCity train from Milan to Brig, Geneva, Bern, Basel, Zurich, Lucerne - if the direct trains don't suit you...

  • How to buy tickets if your journey involves a Swiss domestic train, e.g. Venice to Zermatt, Interlaken, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen & so on...

    OK, here's the problemwww.italiarail.com & www.trenitalia.com can book the direct EuroCity trains from Milan to key Swiss cities, but they can't book journeys which involve a change of train within Switzerland onto a Swiss domestic train, because Italian Railways cannot sell tickets for the Swiss domestic part of the journey.  www.loco2.com can book such journeys, but it doesn't connect directly to the Swiss system so can't do print-at-home Swiss domestic tickets, conventional tickets have to be posted and will only be posted to UK addresses.

    Now here's the solution.   Use the journey planner at www.bahn.de to find a suitable journey, note where the change is within Switzerland.

    First use www.loco2.com or www.italiarail.com or www.trenitalia.com to book from anywhere in Italy to that interchange point.

    Then use the Swiss Railways website www.sbb.ch to buy a print-at-home ticket for the Swiss domestic journey from the interchange point to your final destination.  Or you can buy at the station as there's one fixed price and no reservations necessary for Swiss domestic trains, but buying a print-at-home ticket in advance saves time so you can hop on the next available connection.

    So for Venice to Interlaken, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, you'd book from Venice to Spiez at www.loco2.com or www.italiarail.com using a direct Milan-Spiez train, then buy a separate ticket from Spiez to Interlaken Ost, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald either in person at Spiez station or online at www.sbb.ch with print-at-home tickets.

    For Venice to Zermatt, you'd book Venice to Brig at www.loco2.com or www.italiarail.com, then Brig to Zermatt at the station or online at www.sbb.ch with print-at-home tickets.

    For the record, Swiss Railways, www.sbb.ch can book from Italy to anywhere in Switzerland as one transaction with print-at-home tickets, but it cannot access the cheaper economy & super-economy fares for Trenitalia trains south of Milan, it will always charge you the most expensive base fare for the Italian domestic leg.  So for journeys from Venice to Switzerland I'd recommend booking as above, and not with sbb.ch.

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

ETR610 train, as now used on all Milan-Switzerland EuroCity trains.  More information about ETR610 trains.

 

2nd class seats on the stylish ETR610 EuroCity train...

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, northbound...

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel 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...

Sion castle, see from the train to Venice

Sion castle, as seen from a Venice to Geneva train.  This route train passes through the famous Simplon Tunnel, opened in 1906, on the very route used by the celebrated Simplon Orient Express of Agatha Christie fame.

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

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

Option 3, the ultimate scenic route:  Venice to St Moritz, Chur, Zurich via the Bernina Pass.  This is much slower and more fiddly to book, but it's an amazing experience, easily the best train ride of all through the Swiss Alps...

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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Venice to Barcelona & Spain from €91...

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

  • Day 1, travel from Venice to Marseille, using the 11:50 Frecciarossa train from Venice Santa Lucia to Milan Centrale from €19.90 then the 15:10 Thello train from Milan Centrale to Marseille from €30, arriving Marseille St Charles at 22:36.

    This Milan-Marseille Thello train runs on Saturdays & Sundays all year round, and every day from 25 March to 16 September 2018.

    On days when it doesn't run (or any other day if you like), you leave Milan on the earlier 11:10 Thello train to Nice and change there for a French train along the scenic Cote d'Azur to Marseille St Charles, arriving around 19:07.  On the plus side, you now have more of an evening in Marseille...

    This is a very pleasant journey with fabulous coastal scenery through Genoa, San Remo, Nice & Cannes.  By all means take an earlier train and stop off in Nice or spend an afternoon in Marseille, a great city to visit

  • 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.

  • Day 2, travel from Marseille to Barcelona & Madrid by direct AVE-S100 high-speed train, leaving Marseille St Charles at 08:01 and arriving Barcelona Sants at 12:38 and Madrid Atocha at 15:45.  Fares for this leg start at €39 in 2nd class or €59 in 1st class.

  • Day 2 afternoon, change in Barcelona for Spanish high-speed trains to Valencia or Alicante, or the 15:50 direct AVE-S112 high-speed train to Cordoba, Malaga or Seville arriving in the evening.  Barcelona to Malaga or Seville starts at around €45.

  • To buy tickets the easy way...

    Go to www.loco2.com, book from Venice 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.loco2.com connects directly to the Italian, French and Spanish rail ticketing systems, so you can buy all these tickets at the cheapest prices all in one place.  All international credit cards are accepted.  Tickets within Spain & for the Barcelona-Marseille train will be print-at-home, the Florence-Marseille trains are ticketless, you just quote your booking reference to the conductor on board.

Thello train from Marseille & Nice to Milan, at Marseille St Charles   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

A Thello train to Nice about to leave Milan Centrale.  See more photos & information about these Thello trains...

 

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

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Cafe counter on the Thello train from Nice to Milan

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

 

The small cafe-bar counter on the Milan to Nice & Marseille Thello train serving tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks.

Coastal views from the train between Toulon and Nice

View from the train between Nice & Marseille...

 

Marseille to Barcelona & Madrid by Spanish S100 AVE train.  See more photos & information about these AVE-S100 high-speed trains.

 

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

 

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

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 trains with overnight stop 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 Venice late 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.

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Geneva by direct ETR610 EuroCity train, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 16:20 and arriving Geneva at 23:21.  Fares start at just €29 in 2nd class or €49 in 1st class booked at www.loco2.com or www.italiarail.com.  By all means take an earlier train to enjoy the scenery in daylight through the Alps and arrive earlier in Geneva, although you'll then need to change trains in Milan.

  • Stay the night in Geneva, and spend next morning exploring this lakeside city. Suggested hotels with good reviews near the station include Hotel Cornavin Geneve, 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.

  • Step 2, travel from Geneva to Barcelona by TGV.  Usually you'll find a TER regional train leaving Geneva at 11:22, change trains at Lyon Part Dieu (arrive 13:22, depart 14:24) onto a direct AVE-S100 high-speed train arriving Barcelona Sants at 19:31.  Fares start at around €69 in 2nd class.

    Buy tickets at www.loco2.com (anyone from any country, no booking fee), www.raileurope.com (US residents), www.raileurope-world.com (residents of Australia, Canada, Asia, Africa, South America) or www.trainline.eu (anyone from any country, no booking fees, with seating options).  You usually print your own ticket.  If you use www.loco2.com you can both Venice-Geneva and Geneva-Barcelona tickets in one place as one transaction, recommended.

    What's the journey like?  Between Valence & Barcelona you'll follow the same route taken by the Paris-Barcelona TGVs, see the photos & video on the Paris to Barcelona page.  You'll pass flamingos on the lakes in the South of France between Montpelier and Perpignan, the historic Fort de Salses right by the tracks, with great views of the massive Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees, visible all the way from Perpignan to Girona.

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

Step 1, Venice to Geneva by bullet-nosed ETR610 EuroCity train.  More information about ETR610 trains.

 

2nd class seats on an ETR610, all with power sockets.  See panorama photo.

Lake Leman, seen from a Geneva-Milan train

The view from the train:  Lake Leman on a wintry day.

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

Step 2:  Geneva via Valence to Barcelona by TGV Duplex.  Above left, 1st class seats on TGV Duplex upper deck.  That's a 'club duo' on the left & a 'club quatre' on the right.  Above right, a TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.

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

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

 

2nd class seats on TGV Duplex upper deck.  There's a mix of unidirectional seating and some tables for four like this...

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.  More photos & a video about this journey...

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

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Venice 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 a private toilet & shower...

 

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

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Venice to Berlin from €39.90

Option 1, Venice to Berlin in a single day - a chill-out day via the scenic Brenner Pass...

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Verona by Frecciarossa train, leaving Venice at 06:50 arriving Verona Porta Nuova at 08:00 with fares from just €9.90.  A later departure from Venice is possible, but I'd allow at least 45 minutes between trains in Verona in case of delay which is why I suggest this departure.

  • Step 2, travel from Verona to Berlin with a change of train in Munich, leaving Verona Porta Nuova at 09:04 by smart Austrian EuroCity train, changing at Munich Hbf (arrive 14:26, depart 14:55) onto a superb ICE train arriving Berlin Hbf at 19:29.  Fares from Verona Porta Nuova to Berlin start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

    The Austrian EuroCity train has an elegant restaurant car and goes via the scenic Brenner Pass, a real treat.  The German ICE train has a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

  • Buy tickets at www.loco2.com as follows:  Enter Venice to Berlin, click More options, enter Verona (any station) as a via station and set duration to 45 minutes.  Now run the enquiry, looking in the search results for journeys with 2 changes that match the times above.  Your Venice-Verona journey is ticketless, you just quote the booking reference on board.  For Verona-Berlin you print your own ticket or show it on your smartphone.  I recommend Loco2 to book this journey as it's easy to use and it lets you book both Italian trains & German/Austrian trains all in one place.  It accepts all international credit cards and charges no booking fee.  Alternatively, you can book the Venice to Verona train at www.trenitalia.com (you'll need to use Italian place names) then book from Verona to Berlin at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.

  • A later journey is possible if you prefer, same journey as above but two hours later:  Step 1, travel from Venice to Verona leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 09:02, also booked at at either www.loco2.com  from €19.90.  Step 2, travel from Verona to Berlin leaving Verona Porta Nuova at 11:04 changing at Munich Hbf and arriving Berlin Hbf 21:29, also booked at www.bahn.de from €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

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

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 2, Venice to Munich by Nightjet sleeper train, then on to Berlin by ICE train - the time-effective option...

  • Step 1, take the direct Austrian Nightjet sleeper train every night leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:04 and arriving Munich Hbf at 06:10 next morning.

    Fares start at €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper, deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

    Book this sleeper train at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  You can also book it at www.trainline.eu which connects to the Austrian Railways system rather than the German so is sometimes cheaper.  It's worth checking prices on both sites!

  • Step 2, now take a superb daytime ICE train from Munich to Berlin, leaving Munich Hbf at 07:13 and arriving Berlin Hbf at 12:23.  Fares from €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  ICE trains have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Book your Munich to Berlin ticket at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  I recommend registering when prompted, rather than booking as a guest, so you can always log in and check or re-print all your bookings.

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 trains from Venice to Munich or Innsbruck to Hamburg.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 3, Venice to Berlin by daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich - same as option 1 but with an overnight stop...

  • Stay overnight in Munich.  Try the Sofitel Munich Beyerpost, Eden Hotel Wolff, InterCity Hotel or (budget) the Pension Locarno, all these hotels are right next to the station with great reviews.

  • Day 2, take a comfortable ICE train from Munich Hbf to Berlin Hbf, these leave regularly and take as little as 3h58.

  • Venice to Berlin starts at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

  • To buy tickets, book from Venice to your chosen German destination at www.bahn.de which I have set up including an intermediate stop in Munich.  You print your own ticket or can simply show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.  For an earlier departure from Venice or longer stopover in Munich, simply adjust the departure time from Venice and/or click Add Intermediate stops and adjust the stopover duration in Munich.  Not rocket science, but a bit of trial and error is sometimes needed!

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Venice to Frankfurt, Cologne, Dusseldorf or Hamburg from €39.90...

Option 1, Venice to Frankfurt, Cologne, Dusseldorf or Hamburg in a single day via the scenic Brenner Pass...

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Verona by Frecciarossa train, leaving Venice at 06:50 arriving Verona Porta Nuova at 08:00 with fares from just €9.90.  A later departure from Venice is possible, but I'd allow plenty of time in Verona in case of delay which is why I suggest this one.

  • Step 2, travel from Verona to Cologne, Dusseldorf or Hamburg with a change of train in Munich, leaving Verona Porta Nuova at 09:04 by smart Austrian EuroCity train, changing at Munich Hbf onto an ICE train to Cologne, Dusseldorf or Hamburg arriving in the early evening with fares from €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

    The Austrian EuroCity train has an elegant restaurant car and goes via the scenic Brenner Pass, a real treat.  German ICE trains have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

  • Buy tickets at www.loco2.com as follows:  Enter Venice to your German destination, click More options, enter Verona (any station) as a via station and set duration to 45 minutes.  Now run the enquiry, looking in the search results for journeys with 2 changes that match the times above.  Your Venice-Verona journey is ticketless, you just quote the booking reference on board.  For Verona to Germany you print your own ticket or show it on your smartphone.  I recommend Loco2 to book this journey as it's easy to use and it lets you book both Italian trains & German/Austrian trains all in one place.  It accepts all international credit cards and charges no booking fee.  Alternatively, you can book the Venice to Verona train at www.trenitalia.com (you'll need to use Italian place names) then book from Verona to Germany at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.

  • A later journey is possible if you prefer, same route, same trains but two hours later:  Step 1, travel from Venice to Verona leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 09:02, also booked at at either www.loco2.com  from €19.90.  Step 2, travel from Verona to Frankfurt, Cologne, Dusseldorf or Hamburg leaving Verona Porta Nuova at 11:02 changing at Munich Hbf onto an ICE to Cologne, Dusseldorf or Hamburg, also booked at www.bahn.de from €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

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

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 2, Venice to Cologne, Dόsseldorf or Hamburg by EuroCity train to Innsbruck then Nightjet sleeper train - both scenic & time-effective...

  • Step 1, take the direct afternoon EuroCity train leaving Venice at 13:50 and arriving Innsbruck at 18:36.  This travels via the scenic Brenner Pass, see the Brenner Pass scenery video here.  The train has an elegant restaurant car, treat yourself to lunch.  Fares from €29.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  In Innsbruck there's time for dinner.

    Book the Venice to Innsbruck train at www.trainline.eu and print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, now travel by Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaving Innsbruck at 20:44 and arriving next morning at Cologne Hbf at 08:15 and Dόsseldorf at 08:42, with a separate portion arriving at Hamburg Hbf at 08:36.  It's safe, comfortable, fun and saves a hotel bill, too.

    Fares from Innsbruck to Cologne or Dόsseldorf start at €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

    Book this sleeper train at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  You can also book it at www.trainline.eu which connects to the Austrian Railways system rather than the German so can be cheaper.  It's worth checking prices on both sites!

Option 3, using the Venice to Munich Nightjet sleeper train, then onwards by daytime ICE train - another time-effective option...

  • Step 1, take the direct Austrian Nightjet sleeper train every night leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:04 and arriving Munich Hbf at 06:10 next morning.

    Fares start at €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper, deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  Breakfast is included in sleepers, served in your compartment.

    Book this sleeper train at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  You can also book it at www.trainline.eu which connects to the Austrian Railways system rather than the German so can be cheaper.  It's worth checking prices on both sites!

  • Step 2, now take a superb daytime ICE train from Munich to Frankfurt, Cologne, Dόsseldorf or Hamburg.  If you leave Munich Hbf after 07:00 you'd reach Berlin around 12:25, Hamburg around 12:55, Cologne around 12:05, Dόsseldorf around 12:35.  Fares from €39 in 2nd class or €69 in 1st class.  ICE trains have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Book from Munich to anywhere in Germany at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  I recommend registering when prompted, rather than booking as a guest, so you can always log in and check or re-print all your bookings.

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 trains from Venice to Munich or Innsbruck to Hamburg.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 4, Venice to anywhere in Germany by daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich - same as option 1 but with an overnight stop...

  • Stay overnight in Munich.  Try the Sofitel Munich Beyerpost, Eden Hotel Wolff, InterCity Hotel or (budget) the Pension Locarno, all these hotels are right next to the station with great reviews.

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

  • Venice to anywhere in Germany starts at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

  • To buy tickets, book from Venice to your chosen German destination at www.bahn.de which I have set up including an intermediate stop in Munich.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.  For an earlier departure from Venice or longer stopover in Munich, simply adjust the departure time from Venice and/or click Add Intermediate stops and adjust the stopover duration in Munich.  Not rocket science, but a bit of trial and error is sometimes needed!

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Venice to Munich or anywhere else in Germany from €39.90...

Option 1, Venice to Munich by daytime EuroCity train via the Brenner Pass, then onwards to anywhere in Germany - The scenic option!

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Venice 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 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...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

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

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

Mountains on the Brenner route...

Option 2, Venice to Munich by Nightjet sleeper train, then onwards to anywhere in Germany - This is the 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 Venice to Munich.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 3, Venice to anywhere in Germany by daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich...

  • Stay overnight in Munich.  The Sofitel Munich Beyerpost, Eden Hotel Wolff, InterCity Hotel or (budget) the Pension Locarno are all right next to the station with great reviews.

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

  • Venice to anywhere in Germany starts at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.

  • To buy tickets, book from Venice to your chosen German destination at www.bahn.de which I have set up including an intermediate stop in Munich.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.  For an earlier departure from Venice or longer stopover in Munich, simply adjust the departure time from Venice and/or click Add Intermediate stops and adjust the stopover duration in Munich.  Not rocket science, but a bit of trial and error is sometimes needed!

Option 4, Venice to Germany by daytime trains via Zurich & the Gotthard Pass.  Another scenic option...

  • To book a journey using the new direct EuroCity train to Frankfurt:

    You can book both trains in one place at www.loco2.com.  I recommend first booking the Milan to Frankfurt train (making sure you select the direct train) and adding it to your basket.  Then click Add another journey and book a suitable connection Venice Santa Lucia to Milan Centrale, allowing at least 40 minutes or longer between trains in Milan.  Add this to your basket and check out. 

    Venice-Milan is ticketless, you just quote the reference on board.  Milan-Frankfurt you print your own ticket.  Alternatively, book Milan-Frankfurt at www.bahn.de and Venice-Milan at www.italiarail.com.

  • To book other journeys with changes in both Milan and Zurich:

    Step 1, book a ticket from Venice Santa Lucia to Zurich using www.italiarail.com, as this will happily book both trains as one transaction.  You collect your tickets from the self-service ticket machines at any main Italian station.  If you want a safer connection in Milan or just want to stop off there for a while, simply split the booking into Venice-Milan then Milan-Zurich.  Allow at least 60 minutes in Zurich for connections, in case of any delay.

    Step 2, now book from Zurich HB (HB=Hauptbahnhof) to anywhere in Germany at www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.

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

    ETR610 train used on the Milan-Zurich route & the direct Milan-Frankfurt train.  More info about ETR610 trains.

     

    2nd class seats on the stylish ETR610 EuroCity train...

    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...

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Venice to Vienna & Austria from €29..

Option 1, Venice to Vienna by railjet train - the scenic option...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

Railjets are ΦBB's (Austrian Railways) premier trains...  More photos, video & information about railjets.

 

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

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

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Bistro-restaurant car...

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

Option 2, by Nightjet sleeper train from Venice to Vienna - the time-effective option...

  • An excellent Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaves Venice Santa Lucia on the banks of the Grand Canal at 21:04, arriving at Vienna Hbf at 07:55 next morning.

  • It has Austrian couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments, an Austrian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3-berth compartments with washbasin, and several deluxe 1, 2 or 3 berth compartments with toilet & shower, see pictures, video & information about Nightjet trains.  The sleeper & couchette fare includes a light breakfast.

  • Fares start at €59 in a couchette in 6-berth, €69 with couchette in 4-berth, €99 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 with a single-bed sleeper all to yourself.  Deluxe sleepers with en suite toilet & shower are also available.  A light breakfast is included in the fare in couchettes & sleepers, served in your compartment.

  • Book the sleeper train at www.trainline.eu (easiest to use, overseas cards no problem) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly).  You print your own ticket.  Look for the direct NJ train with 0 changes.

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 Venice to Vienna.  More 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...

Venice to Salzburg or Innsbruck...

Option 1, Venice to Salzburg on the late afternoon departure via Villach - the fastest way to Salzburg!

  • A comfortable Austrian railjet train leaves Venice Santa Lucia at 15:55, final destination Vienna.  Change at Villach (arrive 19:11, depart 19:16), and arrive Salzburg at 21:48.

  • Don't worry about the 5-minute interchange at Villach, this is a recognised connection which many people make, it's a simple cross-platform switch from platform 2 to platform 3.  In any case you will have a through ticket so will be looked after if there's a missed connection.

  • Fares from €29 in 2nd class or €44 1st class.  Fares vary like budget air fares, so book early for the best prices.

  • Book at www.trainline.eu (easiest to use, overseas cards no problem) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly).  You print your own ticket.

Option 2, Venice to Innsbruck or Salzburg by day trains via the scenic Brenner Pass...

  • A comfortable direct Austrian EuroCity train with an elegant restaurant car leaves Venice Santa Lucia station in central Venice every day at 13:50, it travels through the wonderfully scenic Brenner Pass to Innsbruck, arriving 18:36.  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here.  Change at Innsbruck for Salzburg, arriving around 21:04.

  • On Saturdays & Sundays there's a second direct Austrian EuroCity train also with restaurant car, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 15:35 via the scenic Brenner Pass, arriving Innsbruck at 20:36.

  • Fares start at €39 in 2nd class or €69 in 1st class.  Fares vary like budget air fares, so book early for the best prices.

  • If you're going to Innsbruck, buy tickets for this option at www.trainline.eu (easiest to use, overseas cards no problem) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly).  Simply book from Venice to Innsbruck and look for the direct 13:50 EC train with 0 changes.  Easy!

  • If you're going to Salzburg, use the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  Tip:  Click Add intermediate stops, enter Innsbruck as a via station and enter a stopover duration of 15 minutes.  This will give you a journey taking 4 minutes longer, but robust 38 minute connection at Innsbruck rather than a tight 11 interchange at Rosenheim.  You print your own ticket.  You can also try www.trainline.eu or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at, also with print-your-own tickets.

  • Other departures are available throughout the day roughly every two hours, but as these involve an Italian train between Venice and Verona, you have to split the booking between the Italian and Austrian rail websites like this:

    Step 1, book from Verona Porta Nuova to Innsbruck or Salzburg at www.trainline.eu with print-at-home tickets from €39.

    Step 2, now book a suitable connecting train from Venice Santa Lucia to Verona Porta Nuova at www.trainline.eu from €19.90, allowing at least 40 minutes to change at Verona in case of any delay.

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

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 3, Venice to Salzburg by Nightjet sleeper train - saves time and a hotel bill!

  • A comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaves Venice Santa Lucia at 21:04 and arrives in Salzburg at 04:09 (ouch!)  But you don't need to get up that early...

    The sleeper costs exactly the same whether you book it to Salzburg or book it to Linz, St Pφlten or Vienna, so I suggest booking it from Venice to Linz (arrive 06:01) or perhaps St Pφlten (arrive at 07:13) then simply hop on the next hourly double-decker Westbahn train back to Salzburg, journey time 1h05 from Linz, 2h02 from St Pφlten, you pay the €14 fare from Linz or €22 fare from St Pφlten to the conductor on board, no reservation necessary, see www.westbahn.at.  Now no need to get up at 4am.  Simples!

    Fares for the sleeper start at €59 with a couchette in a 6-berth compartment, €69 with a couchette in a 4-berth compartment, €99 with a bed in a cosy 2-bed sleeper or €139 with a single bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with en suite shower & toilet are also available.  There's a shower & toilets at the end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.  A light breakfast is included in couchettes & sleepers, served in your compartment.  See pictures & information about these Nightjet trains.

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Venice to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo & Scandinavia...

Option 1, Venice to Copenhagen in 24h by using the Munich-Hamburg Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option with great scenery!

  • Step 1, take the afternoon EuroCity train leaving Venice Santa Lucia every day at 13:50 and arriving Innsbruck at 18:36.  This is a wonderful journey, over the causeway across the lagoon from central Venice to the mainland, over to Verona and up the wonderfully scenic Brenner Pass with lunch in the elegant Austrian restaurant car. A real treat, see the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

    Buy the Venice to Innsbruck ticket from €39 in 2nd class or €69 in 1st class at German Railways www.bahn.de and print your own ticket or you can show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.  In Innsbruck there's time for dinner.  You can also book it at www.trainline.eu.

  • Step 2, now travel by Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaving Innsbruck at 20:44 and arriving Hamburg Hbf at 08:44 next morning, with comfortable sleeping-car and couchettes.  This saves a hotel bill, too!  Fares from Innsbruck to Hamburg start at €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.  See the Nightjet information page.

    Book this sleeper train at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  You can also book at www.trainline.eu, this connects to the Austrian rather than German ticketing system to is sometimes cheaper.  It's worth checking both sites!

  • Step 3. Take the 09:28 Danish EuroCity train from Hamburg Hbf to Copenhagen arriving 14:26 right in the centre of Copenhagen. Book this at www.bahn.de/en too, from €29.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.

    This journey is another treat - the train is a comfortable Danish IC3 train which onto a train ferry for the 50 minute crossing from Puttgarden to Rψdby, one of the few places in Europe (or the world) where trains go onto boats, a unique experience.  You leave the train whilst it's on the ferry and can go into the ferry's passenger accommodation or stroll in the sea air on deck.  You can leave your luggage on the train during the crossing.  See photos, tips & information for the Hamburg to Copenhagen journey.

  • Step 4, take an X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.  If going to Stockholm, you should use www.bahn.de/en to book Hamburg to Stockholm all in one go from €39.90 - book Hamburg to Stockholm departing 09:28 using this link - or indeed you can book Munich to Stockholm looking for an option with an evening departure marked EN, ICE or EC, X2 and checking that this is the EN (for EuroNight) sleeper to Hamburg, ICE or EC to Copenhagen and X2000 (X2 on bahn.de) to Stockholm.  I find creative use of the Add intermediate stops feature entering Copenhagen and a duration often helps find the best options.

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 Innsbruck to Hamburg.  More information about Nightjets.

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen...

 

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes...

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

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station.  IC3s now work all the Hamburg-Copenhagen trains.

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 information about X2000 trains

Option 2, Venice to Copenhagen in 24h by using the Venice-Munich sleeper - also a time-effective option...

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Munich on the excellent Austrian Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:04, arriving Munich Hbf at 06:10.

    Fares from €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper, deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet are also available.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

    Book this at the German Railways site www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  You can also book it at www.trainline.eu, which connects to the Austrian rather than German ticketing system so can sometimes be cheaper.  It's worth checking both sites!

  • Step 2, travel from Munich to Copenhagen by ICE & EuroCity train, leaving Munich Hbf at 08:17, making one easy change at Hamburg Hbf and arriving in Copenhagen at 20:26.

    Treat this as a chill-out day with a good book and a glass or two of wine - there's a bistro-restaurant car for lunch.  The Hamburg to Copenhagen EuroCity train goes onto a ferry between Puttgarden & Rψdby, one of the few places in Europe where trains still get shunted onto ships.  It's an interesting experience in its own right - you must leave the train and go upstairs into the ship's passenger accommodation during the 50-minute crossing but you can leave your luggage on the train.  See photos, tips & information for the Hamburg to Copenhagen journey.

    If you're just going to Copenhagen, book Munich to Copenhagen from €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class at the German Railways site www.bahn.de and print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.

  • Step 3 if you're going to Malmo, simply take a regular Φresund train from Copenhagen to Malmφ in 52 minutes with passport check off-train at Kastrup, these leave twice an hour.  You can book through from Munich to Malmφ from €39 at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.

  • Step 3 if you're going to Stockholm or Gothenburg, stay overnight in Copenhagen then travel to Stockholm in just 5h15 by X2000 high-speed train or to Gothenburg in 4h05 by Φresund train.

    You can book tickets from Copenhagen to anywhere in Sweden at the Swedish Railways site www.sj.se, but there's a cleverer way to book if you are coming from Munich.  Use this special link to bahn.de to book from Munich to Stockholm from €39.90 with an overnight stop in Copenhagen programmed in using the Add intermediate stops feature - just enter your date of travel from Munich.  Adjust the intermediate stopover time as necessary to get the trains you want, or if no fares show up initially, it may take a bit of trial & error to get the trains you want.  This method works to book from Munich to Gothenburg, too - you'll find bahn.de lists Gothenburg as Gφteborg Central.

  • Step 3 for Oslo, stay overnight in Copenhagen and travel from Copenhagen to Oslo by train next day as shown here.  Or spend the day in Copenhagen and take the overnight DFDS cruise ferry to Oslo as also shown here.

Option 3, Venice to Copenhagen by daytime trains with an overnight stop in Munich...

  • How much does it cost?  Fares work like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices...

    Venice to Munich starts at €39.90 in 2nd class, €69.90 in 1st class.

    Munich to Copenhagen starts at €39.90 in 2nd class, €69.90 in 1st class.

  • How to buy tickets...  Booking usually opens 92 days ahead.  Step 1, book from Venice to Munich at www.bahn.de looking for the direct EC train with 0 changes leaving at or around 13:35.  Step 2, book from Munich to Copenhagen at www.bahn.de looking for a convenient option with just 1 change.  You print out your own tickets or can show them on your smartphone or laptop.

Option 4, Venice to Hamburg day 1, overnight in Hamburg, Hamburg to Copenhagen, Stockholm or Oslo day 2...

  • For Stockholm, now take a 125mph X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.  If you left Hamburg at 09:28 you'd make the 16:20 X2000 train from Copenhagen arrive Stockholm Central at 21:40.

  • For Malmo or Gothenburg, Φresund Link trains run hourly from Copenhagen to Gothenburg in 3h33 and every half hour or better from Copenhagen to Malmo in 34 minutes.

  • For Oslo & Norway, travel as far as Copenhagen, then take the overnight cruise ferry with bars, restaurants and en suite cabins to Oslo, she sails from Copenhagen daily around 16:30, arriving in Oslo around 09:45, see www.dfds.co.uk for times, prices & online tickets.

  • How much does it cost?  Fares work like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices...

    Venice to Hamburg starts at €39 in 2nd class, €69 in 1st class.

    Hamburg to Copenhagen starts at €29 in 2nd class, €59 in 1st class.

    Hamburg to Stockholm or Gothenburg starts at €29 in 2nd class, €59 in 1st class.

  • How to buy tickets...  Booking usually opens 92 days ahead. 

    Step 1, book from Venice to Hamburg at www.bahn.de as one journey, looking for the 08:50 departure with 2 changes with a cheap sparpreis fare shown in the Saver fare column.  If you don't see such a fare, split the booking, booking Verona Porta Nuova to Hamburg Hbf at www.bahn.de then adding the Venice Santa Lucia to Verona Porta Nuova connection separately at www.trenitalia.com

    Step 2, book from Hamburg to Copenhagen, Malmφ, Gothenburg or Stockholm as one journey at www.bahn.de.  If you want the 09:28 Hamburg-Stockholm, book Hamburg to Stockholm departing 09:28 using this special  link.

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Venice to Prague from €68...  Venice to Cesky Krumlov...

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

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Vienna overnight on the comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:04 and arriving Vienna Hbf at 07:55 next morning.

    Fares start at €59 in 6-berth couchettes, €69 in 4-berth couchettes, €99 per person in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet also available.  There's a shower & toilets at the end of the sleeper corridor for standard sleeper passengers.  In sleepers & couchettes a light breakfast is included in the fare, served in your compartment. 

    Book this train online at www.trainline.eu (easiest to use, overseas cards no problem) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly) and print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Prague by smart modern Czech railjet train, leaving Vienna Hbf at 09:10 & arriving Prague Hlavni at 13:07.

    Fares start at just €19 in 2nd class, €29 in 1st class or €44 in business class (= premium 1st class).

    These swish railjet trains have a bistro-restaurant car with draught beer on tap, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, see the railjet train information page.  Tip:  With a 1st or business class ticket you can use the ΦBB lounge in Vienna Hbf between trains, with complimentary refreshments & free WiFi.

    Why not book book a later railjet & spend some time exploring Vienna?  Railjets to Prague leave every two hours, see the timetable here Left luggage lockers are available in Vienna.  In Prague, you arrive in the city centre walking distance from the old city square.

    Book this train at either www.trainline.eu or www.cd.cz - check prices on both sites as one is often cheaper than the other for the same train.  You print your own ticket.  Easy!  It can also be booked at www.oebb.at, at the same prices as Trainline.

  • Step 2 if you're going to Cesky Krumlov:  Travel from Vienna Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof to Cesky Krumlov in 4h26 as explained here.

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...

 

Step 1, take the comfortable Austrian Nightjet train from Venice to ViennaMore information about Nightjet trains...

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

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...

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, Venice to Prague in a single day from €48, comfy, scenic, and possible once more from 10 December 2017...

Option 3, Venice to Prague by day trains with overnight stop in Vienna - same as option 3 but an overnight stop breaks up the journey nicely...

Option 4, Venice to Prague by day trains with overnight stop in Munich - another scenic daytime option...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity to Munich, seen at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these 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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Venice to Bratislava from €69.50...

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Venice to Budapest from €68...

Option 1, Venice to Budapest using the Venice-Vienna Nightjet sleeper train - a safe, comfortable & time-effective option...

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Vienna by comfortable Austrian Nightjet sleeper train leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 21:04 & arriving Vienna Hbf at 07:55.

    Fares start at €59 with a couchette in a 6-berth compartment, €69 with a couchette in a 4-berth compartment, €99 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with shower and toilet are also available.  There's a shower & toilets at the end of the corridor for passengers in the standard sleepers.  A light breakfast is included in the fare in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment, see the Nightjet information page.

    Book the Venice to Vienna sleeper online at www.trainline.eu (easiest to use, overseas cards no problem) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly).  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Budapest by smart modern Austrian railjet train, leaving Vienna Hbf at 09:42 & arriving Budapest Keleti 12:19.

    Fares start at just €19 in 2nd class, €29 in 1st class or €44 in business class (= premium 1st class).

    These swish railjet trains have a bistro-restaurant car with draught beer on tap, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi, see the railjet train information page.  Tip:  With a 1st or business class ticket you can use the ΦBB lounge in Vienna Hbf between trains, with complimentary refreshments & free WiFi.

    Book from Vienna to Budapest online at www.trainline.eu (easiest to use, overseas cards no problem) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly).  You print your own ticket.

    Why not book book a later train & spend some time in Vienna?  Trains to Budapest leave every hour or two, left luggage lockers are available.

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...

 

Step 1, take the comfortable Austrian Nightjet train from Venice to Vienna.  More information about Nightjet trains...

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

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...

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

Step 2, Vienna to Budapest by railjet train....  A Railjet arrived at Budapest Keleti.  More information about Railjet trains.

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on railjet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats around tables, some unidirectional.

Option 2, Venice to Budapest in a single day from €48, comfy, scenic, and possible once more from 10 December 2017...

Option 3, Venice to Budapest by day trains with overnight stop in Vienna - same as option 2 but an overnight stop breaks up the journey nicely...

  • Stay overnight in Vienna.  Hotels near the station with good reviews include the Motel One Vienna Hbf GraetzlHotel, Hotel Schani Wien.

  • Day 2, travel from Vienna to Budapest in 2h37 from just €19 in 2nd class, €29 in 1st class or €44 in business class by smart Austrian railjet train, leaving Vienna Hbf at 07:42 and arriving at Budapest Keleti at 10:19.  Or have a leisurely breakfast and take the 08:42, or 09:42, and so on, trains to Budapest leave every hour or two.

    Why not book book a later railjet & spend some time exploring Vienna?

    Book from Vienna to Budapest online at www.trainline.eu (easiest to use, overseas cards no problem) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices but a bit more fiddly).  You print your own ticket.

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Venice to Bucharest, Brasov & Romania...

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Venice to Ljubljana & Slovenia, Zagreb...

Option 1, by the direct route through Trieste...

  • Direct trains from Italy to Slovenia are restored from 9 September 2018!  Two modern air-conditioned trains now run from Trieste to Ljubljana every day, with connections from Venice.  Just €22 or so gets you from Venice to Ljubljana, any day, any date, no prior reservation necessary, it cannot sell out, just buy at the station on the day.  Click here to see full details of times & fares, and photos on the Venice to Ljubljana & Zagreb page.  And if you've ever wondered where prosecco comes from, you'll find out on this route!

Regional train from Venice to Trieste, arrived at Trieste Centrale   2nd class seats on the regional train from Venice to Trieste

The hourly regional train from Venice to Trieste.  No reservation necessary, turn up & go!  You sit where you like.

Scenery between Trieste and Ljubljana

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

Option 2, with overnight stop in Villach, Austria - a useful alternative...

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Villach in Austria near the Slovenian border by comfortable Austrian railjet train train, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 15:55 and arriving Villach at 19:11.  Book this from €19 at either www.trainline.eu (easiest) or Austrian Railways' own website www.oebb.at.

  • Stay in Villach overnight - try the Hotel Goldenes Lamm or Hotel City, both near the station with great reviews.

  • Step 2, travel from Villach to Ljubljana & Zagreb by direct train, leaving Villach at 06:25 and arriving Ljubljana at 08:11 and Zagreb at 10:43.  Buy this ticket at the station, likely to be around €20 to Ljubljana, €40 to Zagreb.

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Venice to Dubrovnik & Split...
  • You can travel overland all the way from Venice to Zagreb as shown above, then take a train from Zagreb to Split (daytime or sleeper) then a bus Split to Dubrovnik (4 hours, many buses).  But it can be time-effective to go by comfortable overnight ferry from Italy to Croatia as follows.  Incidentally, there are no longer any direct ferries from Venice to Split or Dubrovnik.

  • Step 1, book an overnight ferry with comfortable en suite cabin either from Ancona to Split or from Bari to Dubrovnik.  www.jadrolinija.hr sails on both routes several times a week, leaving 19:45-22:00 and arriving 07:00-08:00.  Also try www.blueline-ferries.com who sail Ancona-Split several times a week.  You can choose a private cabin or cheaper berth in a shared cabin.  There are also reclining seats, but I always recommend a bed in a cabin for a safe and secure night's sleep.  Make sure you're on deck with your camera ready as the ship approaches the beautiful Croatian coast!

  • Step 2, now add a train ticket from Venice Santa Lucia to either Ancona Centrale or Bari Centrale using www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, £, $ or Au$) or www.trenitalia.com (in €).  Italiarail will refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your booking reference.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board. 

    You should choose a train which arrives in Bari or Ancona at least 3 hours before the ferry sails, to allow for transfer to the port and check-in.  In Bari it's a 25 minute walk via Bari's pleasant old town to the ferry terminal, or a 10 minute taxi ride.  In Ancona, take a taxi from station to ferry terminal.

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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Venice to Belgrade & Sofia...

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

  • Step 1, travel from Venice to Villach in Austria near the Slovenian border by comfortable Austrian railjet train, leaving Venice Santa Lucia at 15:55 and arriving Villach at 19:11.  Book this from €19 at either www.trainline.eu (easiest) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at.  You print your own ticket.

  • Stay in Villach overnight - try the Hotel Goldenes Lamm or Hotel City, both near the station with great reviews.

  • Step 2, travel from Villach to Belgrade by direct train, leaving Villach at 06:25 and arriving Belgrade Centar station at 17:28.  There's lovely scenery along the River Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.  You can buy the ticket at Villach station, fare around €97 if bought on the day, there are always places available.  To reduce the cost you could pre-book a Villach to Zagreb advance-purchase sparschiene ticket from €29 at either www.trainline.eu or www.oebb.at, but you'll then need to ask the Croatian conductor to sell you an onward ticket from Zagreb to Belgrade, likely to be about €35, or break your journey in Zagreb for a day to buy a new ticket.  Zagreb is a city well worth a stopover!

  • Step 3, if you're going to Sofia, spend the night in Belgrade - I recommend the historic Hotel Moskva.  From 15 June to 17 September 2018 there's a direct train called the Balkan which leaves Belgrade Topcider station at 09:06 and arrives Sofia Central Station at 20:12.  2nd class only, bring your own picnic and bottle of wine as there's no catering.  At other times of year you leave Belgrade Centar station at 04:00, change at Nis & Plovdiv arriving Sofia at 18:50.  Buy this ticket at the station for €20.60, there are always places available, even on the day.  It cannot be booked online, and there's no need.  2nd class seats only.

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Venice to Bar, Budva, Kotor & Montenegro...
  • This is an excellent way to reach beautiful Montenegro from Venice.  Make sure you're on deck with your camera ready as the ship approaches the lovely Montenegrin coast!

  • Step 1, book an overnight ferry with comfortable en suite cabin from Bari in Italy to Bar in Montenegro.  Montenegro Lines (www.montenegrolines.net) sail several times a week, leaving around 22:00 and arriving 08:00.  You can choose a private cabin or cheaper berth in a shared cabin.  There are also reclining seats, but I always recommend a bed in a cabin for a safe and secure night's sleep. 

  • Step 2, now add a train ticket from Venice Santa Lucia to Bari Centrale using www.italiarail.com (easy to use, in €, £, $ or Au$) or www.trenitalia.com (in €).  Italiarail will refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com with your booking reference.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board. 

    You should choose a train which arrives in Bari at least 3 hours before the ferry sails, to allow for transfer to the port and check-in.  In Bari it's a 25 minute walk via Bari's pleasant old town to the ferry terminal, or a 10 minute taxi ride.

  • Trains link Bar with Podgorica and indeed with Belgrade on the spectacular Bar-Belgrade Railway.  Regular buses link Bar bus station with Budva and Kotor.

Montenegro Lines ferry from Bar to Bari

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

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Venice to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland...

Option 1, by Nightjet sleeper then day train...

Option 2, by day train then sleeper.  Starts running from 10 December 2017Given the scenery, the best option!


Venice 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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Venice to Athens & Greece...
  • There are direct ferries from Bari to Patras in Greece every day, check times, dates and buy tickets online at www.superfast.com.  Superfast operate good modern ships, they sail overnight leaving every day, usually in the evening.  You can book a basic deck place and sleep on deck, or you can book a reclining seat, or preferably a cabin berth, either in a shared cabin or your own private cabin with en suite shower & toilet.  You'll also find direct ferries to Greece from Ancona, see www.superfast.com & www.anek.gr.  There are restaurants and bars on board, it's a lovely crossing, see the photos below.

  • Now book a train from Venice to Bari Centrale at either www.italiarail.com or www.trenitalia.com from €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class.  It's ticketless, you simply quote the reference number on board the train.

  • In Bari, it's a 25 minute walk or 5 minute taxi ride to the ferry terminal near the old town.  Allow at least 3 hours to connect between train and ship as there's a 2-hour ferry check-in.

  • Buses link Patras and Athens in just a few hours, see the London to Greece page for more details.

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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Venice to Istanbul & Turkey...

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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, 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 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.


Hotels in Venice & other cities

    

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...

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

  • www.booking.com is my own preferred hotel booking system (Hotels Combined being a search/comparison system).  It has a simple interface, a good selection in most countries worldwide, useful online customer reviews of each hotel, and decent prices, usually shown inclusive of unavoidable extras such as taxes (a pet hate of mine is systems that show one price, then charge you another!).

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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