Nightjet: 17 Lines of Night Train Awesomeness

By Edward | Night Trains

Dec 14
Nightjet; Night Train; EuroNight

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    Have you heard of the Nightjet? 

    The Nightjet is an overnight train service.

    Night trains differ all over the world. This post is about a particular brand of night trains in Europe, the Nightjet. What they are like, where they go and how to get tickets.

    I hesitated for a long time about putting you through my take on the Nightjet.

    Why? Because I’m too involved in night trains. I worked on them for six years. Night trains are my thang. I know so much that it is insanely hard to keep it short.

    And the temptation is huge to descend into endless tales of my adventures.

    Endless tales of my adventures

    • The time in Venice I drank two litres of Tocai on the hotel roof and the alarm clock fairy set my alarm for me.
    • My Milan-Munich couchette with 50 Albanians from the same village.
    • The time the Austrian police arrested a refugee family off my couchette. They wouldn't let the little boy keep his balloon.
    • The time at Stuttgart at 2 AM the police brought me a man and his 5 year old daughter. The man was so drunk he couldn't get onto the train. The girl had her little orange bucket and pink spade from that day's Bodensee outing.
    • Meeting my wife on platform 3 at Roma Termini.
    • Taking her to Milan with me in the guard’s van, just because I could.

    But I digress.

    Nightjet Euronight Night Train

    Nightjet Sleeping Car

    Nightjet Basics

    First, some absolute basics.

    Night trains are not just trains that run at night. Any train can run at night. Night trains are trains that cover vast distances over night, with beds and bunks in which you can sleep.  

    There is also an attendant who ensures your safety.

    Most continental European night trains have three types of carriage

    • seated cars, like on day trains. These are the cheapest, least comfortable option for a long journey over night. Fine if you have a compartment to yourself. Not fine if it is you and five other smelly people.
    • couchettes (say: cooSHET). From the French "to lie down". Carriages with four or six bunks per compartment in which you can take your trip lying down. Think hostel on wheels. Cheap, but you do get to sleep.
    • sleeping cars. Your hotel on wheels. One, two or three proper beds stacked over each other in one compartment. The compartment has a wash basin or even an en-suite bathroom.
    Nightjet; Night Train; EuroNight

    Nightjet Couchette Car

    Enter the Nightjets

    The Nightjets are trains like this. Here is a link to their website with 360° views of all types of carriage. The Nightjet is a network of overnight train services run by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB - Österreichische Bundesbahnen) in Central Europe.

    It has its hub in Austria. The Nightjets go to the most glamourous cities in Europe: Vienna, Berlin, and Hamburg as well as Rome, Venice and Milan. They also serve Zürich, Düsseldorf and Cologne.

    In 2019 Brussels was added, and in 2020 the Nightjet is expected to reach Amsterdam.

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    What is the difference between Nightjets and EuroNights?

    Very little. EuroNights are international night express trains that have a high service level. Great comfort, few stops, high(-ish) speed. EuroNight isn’t a brand, it is a service standard. “Make your train like this, then you can call it a EuroNight”. They used to run all over continental Europe, but there are fewer of them these days.

    The Nightjet is a better EuroNight. 

    In some countries it crosses, the departure boards display it as a EuroNight. The difference is that the Austrian Railways have branded “their” EuroNights. They have special livery, extensive marketing and a higher service level.  All coaches are air-conditioned and the attendants have Sound-of-Music uniforms.

    Nightjet Destinations

    Here is a map of all the Nightjet services. As you can see, its hub is in Austria.

    The Nightjet network as of 15th December 2019.

    Nightjet: How to get the best tickets

    These are the easiest ways to get Nightjet tickets:

    • You can buy Nightjet tickets online. I favour nightjet.com and oebb.at. They are the same booking engine, run by ÖBB directly. I’ve always got the best deal from them.
    • Or download the ÖBB app. You can buy your ticket within the app. Then you can show your attendant a QR code.
    • The 1890s way to get tickets. Buy them at a ticket office or a licensed agent. However, not all of them can get you special promo deals. Thus you may end up paying more than necessary. Of course, nothing beats a real paper ticket to treasure as a memento.
    • Here is the full breakdown of everywhere you can get tickets.

    You can get your ticket up to six months in advance. The earlier you buy them, the cheaper they'll be.

    Nightjet Ticket Prices

    The Nightjet has a dynamic pricing system. Below you will find the cheapest rates for all categories. I can't book six months in advance because I don't plan my journeys that far ahead. But if you do, you can get your berth for one of these prices.

    The cheapest prices on the Nightjet

    The cheapest Nightjet prices

    I booked my last sleeper about two weeks in advance and paid €204 for a single deluxe sleeper. 

    As you can see, going by Nightjet is more expensive than going on a day train. But it is more work to run a night train. I gladly paid €204 so as not to use up a precious day of leave trapped in an overfilled, late ICE train with a toddler.

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    Nightjet with a Eurail or Interrail pass

    The Eurail and Interrail pass is accepted on the Nightjet.

    However:

    You need to reserve a berth on the Nightjet. It is now possible to do this online: check out my extra post aboutNightjets and Rail Passes.

    Or do it at a ticket office, or over the phone under +43 5 1717-3.

    Nightjet Eurail Interrail

    What you pay on the Nightjet if you have a Eurail or Interrail pass

    Newrest Wagons-Lits: Inventors of the Orient Express

    Now about the staff in the Sound-of-Music uniforms:

    The people working on the service are not Austrian Railways' staff. They work for the subcontractor the Austrians have retained to run these trains.

    I haven't got a single decent picture of the Sound-of-Music uniform. You'll have to see for yourself.

    So far, so sleazy, right?

    No!

    bottle of water

    The free water you get on the Nightjet couchette and sleeper

    In fact Newrest Wagons-Lits is the original night train company. In 1872 their founder, the Belgian Georges Nagelmackers, introduced the first sleeping car in Europe. He founded the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL) and went on to invent the Orient Express.

    Wash room Night Train

    A wash room at the end of the corridor on a Nightjet couchette

    In its heyday CIWL owned sleeping- and dining cars that travelled from Lisbon to Saint Petersburg and from London to Constantinople.

    This is how famous they are.

    After World War II the company declined and was bought and sold several times, losing its own carriages along the way.

    Power outlet

    Socket in Nightjet couchette

    Although Newrest Wagons-Lits may only be a white dwarf after the star that was CIWL, they still trace their lineage back to the very zenith of the Grand European Expresses. They are the real thing.

    I think it is fantastic that the Nightjets hark back to such a glorious past.

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      Sitting up or lying down?

      The Nightjet has three main types of carriage. There is only one type of seating car I know of, two types of couchette, and two models of sleeper carriage. Here come descriptions of the coaches used on most lines.

      A happy and cheap way to travel

      In Europe, compartments in seated carriages are disappearing. It's saloon everywhere. However, not so on the Nightjet. On the Nightjet the compartment rules.

      When I was little an air trip was something so rare you got dressed up for it. The norm was to go by train and boat.

      Seated Car on European Night Train

      Nightjet Seated Car Interior

      So when I was four my mother and I went to England by train to Oostende and jet-foil to Ramsgate.

      I remember the orange seats on the train and that we pulled them out a long way. This gave us a huge surface to lie on. That was how we spent the night.

      A huge communal mattress

      And this is a great thing. The Nightjet seated carriages still have these seats you can pull out. And this gets you a mattress that takes up the entire compartment.

      Seated Car on European Night train

      The communal mattress in action

      This is most comfortable if there are two or three of you. And less so if you are six, as you have to lie like sardines with your feet in each other's faces. Perhaps your Interrail-feet.

      ÖBB allow you to book an entire seated compartment for yourself, even if it is just two or three of you. This is a fantastic idea. Your compartment is marked with a big notice "private compartment" in German, English and Italian.

      Seat Car on European Night Train

      More communal mattress. Notice the sockets above the rubbish bin

      In Italy, the Nightjets to Rome and Milan are part of Trenitalia's Intercity network - that means that commuters and other internal passengers get into the seated cars. 

      If you haven't booked a private compartment, expect to find your seat occupied. Be ready to insist on the occupant moving. This is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Just say: Scusi, è il mio posto. (SCOOzy, eh il MEEo POsto).
      European Night Train Seated Car

      The seated car from the outside

      There is no breakfast included in the seated car, so bring something with you or buy something from the staff.

      Good couchettes and bad couchettes

      Couchettes are a good thing. A couchette is the minimum level of comfort you should go for. They are cheap, and you get to sleep.

      NIghtjet EuroNight Night Train Europe

      Lower bunk in Nightjet couchette

      But.

      It is possible that the younger you are, the better you will sleep in them. 

      NIghtjet EuroNight Night Train Europe

      Upper berth on a Nightjet couchette

      On my recent couchette trips on the Nightjet, I found the bunk very hard. I also hated the way it sloped towards the wall.

      Fortunately, they are going to be phased out, starting 2021. ÖBB are working on new couchettes. They  allow more privacy and comfort. Here is what these are going to look like.

      Nightjet couchette

      Nightjet six-couchette setup

      The Nightjet also has some old German couchettes with blue bunks. ÖBB snaffled these after DB took down its night network. These are softer and flatter. They usually run on the Vienna-Zurich and Zurich-Berlin lines. I've always slept well on those.

      What I can say is this: on every one of my trips, the couchettes were pristine. Everything clean and fragrant and working.​​​​

      Nightjet Euronight Night Train Europe

      Freshly wiped floors in a Nightjet couchette

      And believe me, it is hard work keeping trains clean and working.

      Again, ÖBB allow you to book yourself a whole compartment for a flat fee. Even in Italy this will definitely be yours all the way. I have done this before and it is a great idea.

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      The feeling is wonderful to look forward to your trip and know that you won't have a stinker or a snorer in your compartment.

      On Nightjet couchettes breakfast is included. Coffee or tea, two rolls, butter (NOT margarine!) and jam. Most definitely the best couchette breakfast there is.

      Sleeper

      I know the Nightjet sleepers because I worked on this equipment for six years.

      Nightjet Euronight Night Train Europe

      Freshly made bed in Nightjet sleeper

      Before they ran for the Nightjet, the carriages belonged to Deutsche Bahn. As a Deutsche Bahn night train manager, I got to know them well. In 2016, Deutsche Bahn closed down its night trains and sold the cars to ÖBB.

      Nightjet Euronight Night Train Europe

      Freshly made bed on Nightjet sleeper

      Every time I worked as an attendant in a sleeping car, I drew a little line in a secret place - so that I would know how often I had had this car. Now these carriages roam Europe without me, but my marks are still there.

      Nightjet Euronight Night Train Europe

      Yet another freshly made Nightjet sleeper bed

      The Nightjet sleeping cars are only about 15 years old - new by rail standards.

      Each carriage has twelve compartments with three beds. Nine compartments are standard, with a wash basin. Three compartments are "deluxe" with an en-suite loo and shower.

      As I wrote in my viral tweet:

      When booking the Nightjet sleeper, always book Deluxe (berths 32-36, 42-46, 52-56) if possible. If not, ask for 31-35, 41-45 or 51-55. These compartments have more space. Avoid 11-15 (next to loo) and 62-66 (next to kitchen - keys jangling, attendants cursing).

      Click to Tweet

      It only costs a tiny bit more for the deluxe option: between €10 and €20 per berth, but it is SO worth it. Because: 

      • You have more space. 
      • If you wake up at 3:37 AM and sort of feel you might need a pee, you just go to your en-suite loo. 
      • No obsessing about whether to get dressed and go to the loo at the end of the corridor or trying to sleep against your bladder.
      • Showers are also a good thing
      Bed on Nightjet sleeping car

      Another Nightjet sleeper bed

      The carriages have pneumatic suspension (the car body lies on air cushions, rather than springs), and this makes for a smooth and silent ride. 

      They are awesome.

      An extensive breakfast is included, which I shall elaborate below.

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      Want to use the Nightjet in your wheelchair?

      Nearly all Nightjets have a compartment for people in wheelchairs, with walking frames or who have other special needs, such as sleep apnoea.

      Wheelchair Nightjet PRM

      The Nightjet wheelchair compartment

      This is a lovely, spacious compartment with two beds in it - one for you and one for whoever is accompanying you. The wheelchair-accessible loo is next door. 

      Wheelchair accessible compartment

      The two beds in the wheelchair-accessible compartment

      There is only one of these per trainset, so it is best to book it as far in advance as possible, but at least 48 hrs beforehand. By the following means:

      Nightjet: A trip worth every cent of €204

      I go to great lengths for you, my reader. One of these lengths is to book myself a single deluxe sleeper and travel in it. For added difficulty, I took my baby daughter with me. With a buggy.

      Toddler sitting on bed

      Oh this again 


      All so I could report back to you what it is like to go on the Nightjet, and what the service is like. After all, I have worked on trains like this, so I should know, right? Well, maybe.

      Getting on

      We managed to get on. Somehow. In spite of all my experience, I managed to fluff getting onto the train with a buggy. Buggies and prams cause absolute mayhem on trains. I hate them. This isn't ÖBB's fault.

      Sidetrack: since going to Bulgaria and back by train with a pram, I've come to love low-entry, wide-door trains. From Bucharest to Ruse I had one of those and it was such a relief not having to dismantle the pram. 

      Prams shouldn't be anywhere near trains. As a train manager, one of my worst Flixtrain nightmares is the Eurocopter/SUV-style pram stuck in the corridor, with a throng of people trapped behind it.

      Going to bed

      The attendant had everything ready, including a small bottle of Prosecco.

      I found a goodie bag which I liked so much I took it home untouched (apart from the prosecco. I guzzled that immediately). I took it home untouched and decided to do an unboxing video for you. Here it is. Don't laugh, and please don't cry, either.

      Nightjet Goodie Bag Unboxing Video


      There are all sorts of lovely little things in the goodie bag that make you feel pampered.

      • Slippers
      • a nice Nightjet towel
      • ear plugs
      • a refreshing wipe
      • little pretzels to go with your drink
      • a squeezy fruit thing

      The breakfast interrogation

      When I worked on sleepers, asking 30 people what they wanted for breakfast was tedious and took ages. 

      After getting on to the sleeper, I found the following questionnaire, which I duly filled out. A very clever idea.

      Nightjet Breakfast Menu

      This leaflet is in German, English and Italian. Tick whatever you want. Brilliant.

      I ticked all the stuff I liked and that I thought a toddler can eat and handed the form to the attendant. Then we were left to ourselves.

      By now we were whooshing through the Rhine valley. By day, the Rhine valley railway is a wonderful trip. At night it is even more beautiful. The moon and the lights from the opposite embankment reflecting on the waves, the dark hills drifting under the stars.
      Toddler on Nightjet bed

      She loved the night light. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On.

      I needed all of the space of the deluxe compartment. It isn't huge. Furthermore, baby stuff spreads out so quickly. I jammed the collapsed buggy and luggage into the nook behind the en-suite bathroom.

      In the sleepers, luggage can go underneath the bottom bed, or in the baggage racks. These are high up. Try and have as little luggage with you as possible. In the smaller of the standard compartments (11-15, 12-16, 21-25, 22-26, 61-65 and 62-66) a big suitcase won't fit anywhere. It ends up blocking the floor.

      Toddler asleep on Nightjet

      She slept all night in this bed

      Getting up and out

      As always when I am on a night train, we were bang on time. I was woken up with a knock 45 minutes before we arrived.

      The Nightjets have lots of extra time in their timetables. Firstly, so that you don't arrive at 4 AM, and secondly so that if the train is delayed it can catch up again. For this reason, the Nightjet stands about in sidings in the middle of the night quite a bit. If you notice you're not moving, don't worry. Everything is probably fine.

      My breakfast pictures didn't turn out. However, my good friend from Twitter, @_DiningCar, helped me out and sent me this lovely picture:

      Breakfast on the Nightjet

      Breakfast on the Nightjet, photographed by my friend @_DiningCar. Check out his wonderful channel on Twitter

      What I think of breakfast in sleepers

      I've already written this in my post on Astra Trans Carpatic: I think breakfast is a waste of time, money and food. I've seen so much thrown away. I favour the Slovak model of weapons-grade instant coffee and Tatranký waffle bar.

      However: The Nightjet breakfast is nice. The selection is staggering, and all the food is above-average quality. Even fussy people can find something on the breakfast menu. I think Newrest Wagons-Lits (the people working on the Nightjets, in case you skipped the Newrest chapter) have made a huge effort. It has paid off and they deserve credit for it.

      The breakfast I served on the CityNightLine (Deutsche Bahn's moribund night train network) was not nearly as nice. Lucky passengers.

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      What I think of the Nightjets

      For two decades since the 1990s, the night trains in Europe have taken one beating after another. Railway company after railway company abandoned them. The Swiss, everybody's darling when it comes to rail travel, were among the first. Then in 2016 Deutsche Bahn finally axed its own CityNightLine network, after sabotaging it for years.

      The Austrian Railways picked up the pieces of the CityNightLine and put it together with their own EuroNight network.

      But not just that: they did much more. They devised a vibrant new brand, a fuck-off marketing strategy and lots of new ideas to accommodate 21st century tastes (e.g. the private compartments). In its very first year, the Nightjet network made money for ÖBB. 

      Nightjet Advert on Tram

      Fuck-off marketing strategy: Nightjet advert on entire tram car in Bratislava - well within Vienna Hbf's catchment area. Courtesy of my friend Martin Pavlík

      The Austrians have proven that it is possible to run exciting, modern night trains as a sustainable, profitable business. 

      Excitement and Indulgence

      The Nightjet gives you that feeling of excitement and indulgence so lacking on most modern trains. From the moment you buy your ticket to the end of your journey you feel the tingle of European overnight adventure, even if it is from one boring German city to another.

      This is why it is worth going on the Nightjet at every possible opportunity.

      Have another look at Nightjet.com and see when it next fits your plans.

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        About the Author

        After crisscrossing Europe for 6 years as a train conductor, I guide intrepid travellers roaming Europe by rail.

      • R says:

        Hi Edward,
        That brought back so many nice memories; I’d forgotten about the orange Belgian seats from yesteryear!
        Couchettes I’ve always found difficult especially when getting older so I was heartened to read about seated compartments now being bookable. I spent many a time sleeping in them overnight in the 80s and once or twice with five other strangers… It’s great that there is now a good overnight service; I’m out of the loop as far as trains are concerned so hearing about the cutbacks isn’t good. Anyway, your video was fine and you remind me of an old friend of mine who I travelled with by Interrail many years ago. Great memories!

        • Edward says:

          Thank you for your lovely comment! Yes, couchettes are a lottery. The best I’ve slept in are the Polish and Hungarian ones. It is funny how nights spent in seats on overnight trains sear themselves into your memory – I’ll never forget Budapest-Belgrade when I didn’t have the money for a sleeper. I think ÖBB is the safest pair of hands for the night trains at the moment. Thanks again for reading.

      • Mediarail.be says:

        Good description. I have take 5 times the Nightjet. I will take with my son the Berlin-Wien next july…. video : https://youtu.be/G0i9JXcjSDo

      • Arshid Jan says:

        I used nightjet when i was traveling from Veinna to Florance Italy. I booked the cheapest, non refundable ticket. Luckily the cabin I got was all empty. I was the only passenger of which i took full opportunity. I drag my seats and it became like a bed. I slept well and enjoyed alot.

        Arshid Pakistan

      • Pete Brogdale says:

        Superb article, I’m a train driver in England but I spend a lot of my holidays trying to do as many overnight trips through Europe as I can. It’s great to see OBB really making a go of it as I really feared the worst at one stage. One thing that is a pity is the lack of dining/bar carts these days on the overnighters. Only 3 years ago when going from Budapest to Bucharest I had a wonderful night in the dining car eating and drinking into the early hours with a number of the Romanian crew who were on board. Great times.

        • Edward says:

          Thank you very much for reading, Pete! Yes, a dining car would make it all perfect. The EN “Dacia” from Vienna via Budapest to Bucharest still has a dining car, and so do the Russian Euronights from Nice and Paris to Moscow. They’ve got a fantastic Polish dining car serving real food.

      • […] 2019 – Rail guide Europe – Nightjet: 17 Lines of Night Train Awesomeness […]

      • Steve Stark says:

        From the Nightjet map, Cologne onward to Paris seems like a bit of a joke. Here’s to hoping for a reinstated OeBB Orient Express… at least the truncated service to Strasbourg from Vienna would be nice.

        • Edward says:

          Yes, it would, wouldn’t it? SNCF hate night trains. In fact, they have done more than any other railway company to destroy them. TGV, TGV, TGV, that’s all they want to do. Gaaaar, don’t get me started on the SNCF. If you ask me, until SNCF are broken up, there will be no decent night trains to Paris. The Moscow-Paris train probably costs Russian Railways a fortune.

      • John Brown says:

        Edward

        Retired Navy here in U.S. who has traveled with wife on just about every overnight train route here in the states.

        Doing some pre planning for a (3) week Europe adventure in the spring of 2020. Have been to most of the countries that border the northern part of the Mediterranean Sea as well as England, Scotland, Germany and France when deployed on ships in the Navy. Wanted to show my wife the incredible places I visited in Europe.

        Was all set to go from Madrid-Barcelona-Paris-London-Edinburgh-London-Brussel-Prague-Krakow-Vienna-Munich-Venice-Florence-Rome by DAY trains.

        That was until I found your main site and your blog. Planned to stay overnight in Barcelona, London, Edinburgh, Brussels, Prague, Vienna, Florence and Rome in HOTELS.

        Was planning on 6AM-11AM morning train ride to each “stopover city), 3/4 day sightseeing, HOTEL, 6AM-11AM morning train ride to “next” city, 3/4 day sightseeing, HOTEL, repeat, repeat, repeat FIVE more times.

        That was BEFORE I found your incredible info on the overnight trains.

        NOW, I can take 2 WHOLE days to see Rome, overnight train to Venice, whole day sightseeing, then overnight to Munich and then same to Vienna. Day train to Krakow. Overnight to Prague. Overnight trains while visiting Germany and spending a whole day in each “stop over” city before boarding an overnight train.

        I’ll work in as many overnights the rest of the way from Germany to London/Edenburgh, then to Paris, Lyon, Barcelona and on to Madrid using your info, amateurtraveler.com and seat61.com.

        Your sites just made my planning and enjoyment of Europe so much easier.

        Thank you again.

        • Edward says:

          Wow, John, what a lovely comment. You really made me glow.

          Thank you very much for reading and commenting. I’m so glad my work is helping you have a better trip around Europe.

          Do get in touch if you have any questions.

      • James says:

        Hi Edward,
        Thank you for writing such a thorough and entertaining article. I love train travel in Europe, sleeper trains in particular, and I’m glad to see that ÖBB are making a big contribution to their future. I’ve traveled by sleeper to Vienna twice, from Cologne in August 2014 and Hamburg in August 2015. Am I right in thinking both of these services would have been Nightjet-branded? I certainly remember getting the Wagons-Lits slippers and a decent breakfast on at least one occasion. As an added bonus, I recall that the service from Hamburg was also pulling an AutoReise carriage!
        Best wishes,
        James

        • Edward says:

          Hi James,

          Thank you for reading and for your comment! You are correct, both of these services were rebranded as Nightjets at the end of 2016. Otherwise they are just the same – the train numbers are the same, and they are staffed by Newrest Wagons-Lits as before. Only I think the on-board service has improved since the Nightjet marque was created.

          Thanks again for reading and I hope you have a fantastic next trip.

          Edward

          • Lance says:

            Thanks for your great blog about train travel.

            We are taking our first Nightjet journey this week… Vienna to Rome.
            Thanks for the tips… yes we booked a deluxe (we like the bathroom close) I read the Wikipedia post about Newrest Wagons-Lits… very interesting. Next year… Flixtrain in Germany.

            Your little girl is adorable… Lance

            • Edward says:

              Lance, thank you very much for your lovely comment. I’m glad my work has helped you plan your trips.

              Enjoy your trip to Rome… I’d love to go there again. At Roma Termini, if you go out the right hand exit (coming from the train) into Via Marsala you’ll find Caffè Trombetta opposite the exit – a great place to pause and get your bearings. Also good for souvenir-coffee. They sell it by weight and grind it freshly for you.

      • Tammy says:

        Thank you SO much for your excellent post! It was such a fun and informative read! I had recently booked us a couchette but after reading your post, I’m regretting not having booked the deluxe sleeper! I’m hoping I can give them a call to upgrade. Thanks again for all the tips! Your daughter is such a sweetie – mine is 7 now, and I sure do miss that stage!

        • Edward says:

          Thank you, Tammy, for your lovely comment!

          Depending on how long it is until your trip, and under what terms you booked, it may be possible for you to upgrade and merely pay the difference. As a last resort, it is always possible to upgrade on the train, but then you have to hope that there is a deluxe berth available.

          Yes, that stage between one and two years is adorable.

      • Steve Stark says:

        You can also use the German Rail Pass with segments in Germany (and border stations, which here is only Basel Bad Bf). This year they clarified that the “7 p.m. Rule” works for the pass, so taking a sleeper train doesn’t use up 2 travel days. Same supplements as other passes apply. You need to show up in person to a ticket counter or travel agency to book.

        These technically are classified as EC train, but I haven’t gotten an answer from the OeBB if the pass will take you to Innsbruck.

        • Edward says:

          Thank you for your comment. You are correct that the Nightjets are classified as Intercity or Eurocity trains. When / if ÖBB answer your query, the odds are they’ll tell you that the German rail pass will only get you to Kufstein or Salzburg, and from there into Austria you’d need an ÖBB ticket.

      • Susie says:

        Thanks for this great review. Would the top bunks in the sleepers be suitable for children? Is there a bed guard to stop them from rolling out?

        • Edward says:

          Hi Susie, you are most welcome. I’m glad you liked my review.

          Most children love the top bunks. I remember insisting on the top bunk when I was little. I’ve seen children squabbling over who gets to be up top.

          On the Nightjet “Comfortline” sleepers the topmost bunk is (or at least feels) shorter than the mid- and lower bunks, so it makes sense for small people to sleep there.

          Yes, there are strong straps to prevent children from falling out. They are always in place by default.

          I just wouldn’t put a toddler up there. If a child can climb up on its own, then it can sleep on the top bunk.

          Hope this answers your question.

      • Wolter Bos says:

        A very good thing about Nightjet is that you can travel on it with an interrail-pass (Europ 218 for a 3-day pass). We travelled on day one with DB from Amsterdam to Munich and with Interrail from Munich to Firenze in Italy. Two weeks later, we took the Nightjet from Firenze to Munich on day 2. On day 3 we traveled from Munich to Amsterdam. So you can trave during the day and, when you board the nightjet before 24.00 hrs, on 1 day of your 3-day ticket. A problem with the Nightjet back home from Italy is, that it appears to be delayes between Rome and Firenze fairly often. You will then miss your reservations in connecting trains inMunich or Vienna.
        Wolter Bops

      • Rogier de Wit says:

        Great post! And good news: it has just been announced that nightjet will also run to Brussels and Amsterdam, from next year! Virtually all political parties in the Netherlands are very committed to get night-trains back in The Netherlands, with this as a first success.

        • Edward says:

          Thank you for reading! I’m glad you liked it. Yes, the signals coming from the Netherlands are most encouraging. I do believe the night trains are leaving the doldrums behind.

      • Kenneth Fant says:

        Hi Edward
        Just want to hear your view regarding Nightjet and bringing a bicycle. We like to reserve beds in the sleeping-car and reserve space for bicycles. But as I understand it the bicycles are in the seat car and we are in the sleeping-car so, is it safe for the bicycles? We will use locks but it might be difficult to lock them sturdy into something in the bicycle area. Terrible if someone would walk away with them during a stop at a station before our arrival station.
        We are planning to use the Hamburg-Innsbruck line.
        Thanks for your advice!
        Kenneth

        • Edward says:

          Hi Kenneth,

          it is easy to lock bicycles to the racks in the carriages – at least in the ones I’ve seen. I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve never had a bicycle stolen on any of the trains I’ve ever been on.

          Hope this sets your mind at rest.

          Thank you for reading and for your comment!

          Edward

        • monxton says:

          Hi Kenneth,
          The great provision for bicycles is one of the many good things about the Nightjet. Yes, you’re right it is a long way from the bicycle accommodation to the sleeping car, but if you are asleep it isn’t going to make a difference whether you are in the next carriage or three carriages away.

          I have used the Nightjet several times, and my bicycle has always made it to my destination.

          The bicycles are quite densely packed in the racks, and since you say “we”, I guess you are a party of at least two. If you lock them together as well as to the rack, then it would be pretty much impossible to get them out and through the door of the train.

          Sleep well!

      • Steve Stark says:

        The New York Times ran an article of about NightJets…
        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/business/overnight-train-austria.html

        I wasn’t going post it here, but then top pictures shows a couple in a seating compartment with the seats pulled out.

        There is also an article on how DB handles lost items.

      • Joanne O'Brien says:

        Hi Edward,
        Thanks very much for your informative and enjoyable post. We’re planning to do the Munich-Zagreb trip in April and have booked 2 sleepers. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a compartment with loo and shower. I remember the Talgo Hoteltrain from Paris to Madrid with fondness. The shower was brilliant with its curved wall that held you as the train rocked.
        I love your site, thanks again. All the best, J

        • Edward says:

          Hi Joanne, thank you so much for your lovely comment. The Munich-Zagreb sleeper is run with Croatian sleeping cars. These don’t have any compartments with en-suite bathrooms. However, the compartments are more spacious. You will have a bit more wriggle room than in some of the Nightjet compartments. I envy you. You’ve got a fab journey lined up. Thanks again for reading and commenting. I’m glad you love my site.

      • KJ says:

        Hi Edward,

        Really appreciate the very useful information you have provided about Nightjets. I will be travelling with my family (wife and 2 kids, 9 and 4) on the Vienna-Zurich nightjet. Haven’t yet booked the tickets.
        Does a Swiss travel pass get any discount on this train?
        Also can we book a 3 bed deluxe sleeper for the 4 of us?

        I see there is also a Euronight 40462 (Budapest-Zurich) which departs from Vienna 2 hours later than the nightjet but arrives Zurich at the same time. Is there any difference in the service and sleeper compartments on this train?

        • Edward says:

          Thank you for your comment and your questions!

          1. You can certainly book a 3-bed deluxe for the four of you. Children under 5 go free if they don’t need a berth of their own.
          2. Unfortunately, a Swiss travel pass doesn’t entitle you to any discount on the Nightjet.
          3. The Euronight 40462 from Budapest to Zürich via Vienna belongs to MÁV, the Hungarian State Railways. It is with MÁV sleeping cars, built in Spain in the 1990s. They are nice. I like them a lot, but they don’t have deluxe-compartments. I’d say book the Nightjet, as the service level is a bit higher, and the en-suite is a huge asset.

          Thank you again for reading. I hope this helps.

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