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These 5 Sleeper Train Routes Are Your Best Bet For Exploring Europe This Summer

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With flight cancellations, delays and virtual chaos at airports becoming an all-too-familiar story at the moment – these 5 sleeper train routes could be your best bet for exploring Europe this summer.

And, there is no denying that traveling by sleeper train – which is also referred to as a ‘night train’ – offers a number of great benefits to travelers, including:

Beautiful view out of the window of a train in Switzerland, Europe
  • the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and Europe certainly serves up some of the most majestic ‘train window’ views 
  • comfortable accommodation optionswith many sleeper trains even offering private luxury suites and compartments, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep in your very-own bed
  • plenty of luggage spacewhich you will be able to keep your eye on at all times, ensuring that your bags won’t get lose en route to your holiday destination
Luggage on platform at train station
  • drinking and dining options – most sleeper trains feature a restaurant carriage, which will ensure you don’t go hungry along your journey. Some trains even offer an on-board bar, where you will be able enjoy your favorite beverage, whilst soaking up the sleeper train ‘vibes’.

So, with all that being said, let’s now take a look at some of the best sleeper trains – and particular routes – on offer in Europe that are undoubtedly going to give you the ‘wow’ factor when it comes to traveling in style. 

Trenhotel (Various routes, from Spain to Portugal)

The city of Barcelona in Spain

Operated by Renfe – Spain’s national railway company – the Trenhotel sleeper train allows you to travel between Spain and Portugal in style, connecting you to cities such as Madrid, Barcelona (Spain) and Lisbon (Portugal).

The Trenhotel sleeper train offers the following six routes:

  • Trenhotel Galicia from Barcelona Sants to Vigo Guixar
  • Trenhotel Rosalía de Castro from Barcelona Sants to A Coruña San Cristovo 
Barcelona Sants railway station in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Trenhotel Rías Gallegas – from Madrid Chamartín to Pontevedra
  • Trenhotel Atlántico – from Madrid Chamartin to Ferrol 
  • Trenhotel Lusitania from Madrid Chamartín to Lisbon Santa Apolónia
  • Trenhotel Surexpreso – from Irún – Lisbon Santa Apolónia

Trenhotel trains offer great comfort and convenience for those looking to travel on their long-distance night train services.

Lisbon, Portugal at sunset

It is possible to book a super reclining seat or experience a bit more luxury in one of the train’s double Grand Class berths – which include two beds with latex mattresses, a private bathroom, as well as a 15-inch tv screen featuring a variety of audio and video channels.

The Trenhotel sleeper train also features an onboard buffet car – where you can relax and enjoy sampling the a la carte and breakfast menus on offer.

Renfe train at station

You can book your reclining seat or private cabin onboard the Trenhotel sleeper train – which has a top speed of 220km per hour (137mph) – with ticket prices varying, depending on your chosen route.

To check out the latest prices for your desired route – click here.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Paris to Venice)

If you are wanting to travel from the French capital, Paris, to the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, Venice, then look no further than the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express sleeper train – which is operated by Belmond trains.

Although cabin prices for this fascinating and wonderful train route start from a whopping US$4112, this journey is sure to be one you will not forget in a hurry.

Once on board you’ll be able to enjoy all that this once-in-a-lifetime sleeper train has to offer, which includes:

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train on a journey
Image courtesy of Belmond
  • luxury accommodation – with it possible to choose from either a twin cabin or grand suite
  • a four-course dinner – which includes cheese and biscuits 
  • brunch and lunch – both served in one of the train’s luxurious restaurant cars

You will also be able to take advantage of your dedicated steward service – should you require anything throughout your journey.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
Image courtesy of Belmond

You can find out more details about Belmond Train’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express route by clicking here.

ÖBB Nightjet (Various Routes)

Operated by ÖBB (Austrian Railways) the ‘Nightjet’ is a fantastic sleeper train that offers a great way to travel through the night to more than 25 of the most wonderful and beautiful cities in popular European nations, such as:

Nightjet sleeper train
Image courtesy of ÖBB
  • Austria 
  • Switzerland 
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Sweden

For a full list of which cities – in the above countries – this sleeper train passes through – click here.

Accommodation onboard Nightjet train
Image courtesy of ÖBB

It is possible to travel on the ÖBB Nightjet in either a sleeper cabin, couchette or to book a seat in one of the train’s seating carriages – see below for a little more detail, including an idea of what the starting price for each ticket category is.

Sleeper Cabin this type of sleeping compartment can be booked for single, double or triple occupancy, with ticket prices starting from €139.90 (US$148).

Private cabin onboard Nightjet sleeper train
Image courtesy of ÖBB

Couchette a great private option for families – with couchettes able to accommodate up to 6 people. Prices start from €199.00 (US$210).

Seated Carriage this is the most affordable way to travel on the ÖBB Nightjet, with it also possible to book an entire compartment (consisting of 6 seats) if you are traveling in a group and want to have your own privacy. Tickets for a single seat start from €29.90 (US$31.5).

Caledonian Sleeper (London to Scotland, United Kingdom)

Caledonian Sleeper logo on carriage in Inverness, Scotland

The Caledonian Sleeper – which runs six nights a week – is a great way to travel overnight from London up to Scotland, or to travel the opposite way.

This sleeper train offers both a ‘Highlander’ and ‘Lowlander’ route – with brief details of each listed below:

  • Highlander route – this route leaves from London Euston and travels to the Scottish destinations of Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen.
The Caledonian Sleeper train crosses Rannoch Viaduct on the scenic West Highland Line railway in the Scottish Highlands.
  • Lowlander route – this route leaves from London Euston and travels to the Scottish destinations of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

There are a number of different accommodation types that can be booked on the Caledonian Sleeper – which include the following:

  • Caledonian Doublethis type of accommodation offers the ultimate comfort – with a double bed, en-suite shower room, as well as Station Lounge and Priority Club Car access. Free breakfast is also included in this accommodation type.
One of the rooms available on the Caledonian sleeper train
Image courtesy of Caledonian
  • Club Roomthis room consists of twin bunk beds, en-suite shower room, as well as Station Lounge and Priority Club Car access. Free breakfast is also included in this accommodation type.
  • Classic Room – this room consists of twin bunk beds, an in-room wash basin, as well as complimentary toiletries. 
  • Comfort Seatsthis is the most affordable way to travel on the Caledonian Sleeper and offers you a comfortable seat, footrest and tray table.
Restauran car onboard the Caledonian sleeper train
Image courtesy of Caledonian

Ticket prices of the Caledonian Sleeper start from £70 (US$86) for a comfort seat, £175 (US$215) for a classic room, £235 (US$288) for a club room, and £345 (US$423) for a Caldedonian double.

SJ Euronight (Stockholm, Sweden to Hamburg, Germany)

Although you will have to wait a few more months to jump on board this night train – with the first SJ Euronight sleeper train set to depart from Stockholm, Sweden to the German city of Hamburg in September – it is sure to prove popular among those looking to travel between these two fascinating cities.

Hamburg, Germany

Once in operation though, you will be able to choose from four accommodation types – which includes:

  • Sleeping compartment (1st class) this a private compartment for up to three people, which features air conditioning, a private shower room and complimentary breakfast box. Prices start from €205 (US$216).
  • Sleeping compartment (2nd class) this compartment accommodates 1-2 people,  includes a private sink and air conditioning. A complimentary breakfast box is also included in this ticket type, which has a starting price of €165 (US$174) for an entire private compartment or €80 (US$83) for one bed in the two-bed compartment.
Photo courtesy of
  • Couchette (2nd class) this type of compartment can accommodate 1-4 or 1-6 people, with prices ranging from €250 (US$264) for a private couchette and €45 (US$47.5)  for one bed in a compartment.
  • Seating carriage (2nd class) – this is the most affordable ticket type for this sleeper train, with it possible to book an entire compartment for up to 5 people. The cost of a private compartment starts from €85 (US$90) and a single seat will cost from around €25 (US$26.5).
Stockholm, Sweden

Those that travel between the cities of Stockholm (Sweden) and Hamburg (Germany) on the SJ Euronight sleeper train will also be doing their part for their planet – as the train will operate using 100% renewable energy.

Read more:

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