It took me almost four years to finally take a night train in Europe but I decided I couldn’t properly call myself European without at least doing one overnight train trip.
Anyhow, the problem with trains in Europe is that depending on where you are going, they can cost as much or more than a flight. Our round-trip from Zurich to Bled on the night train, "The Balkan Express", cost CHF 728 total for 2 people. In second class. With GAs. Yeah. Not so cheap. Even when paying with REKA checks. I might not have bought the tickets at all, except that I had gone through the whole transaction while speaking German and was not about to have done it for nothing. Even when told the price.
The advantage of the night train is that you potentially “save” money on a hotel night and have more time at your destination.
So what’s the verdict?
The time part was good. We could leave late on Thursday night from Zurich and arrive Friday morning at 7.30am in Bled, Slovenia, only a 10 minute bus ride from our actual destination. Only problem? We arrived jet lagged and wasted our extra “saved” time by taking a nap.
Then we could leave Monday night and still get back to Zurich by Tuesday morning in time for work.
Sleeping on a night train is kind of hard. Even if you have a private room with beds and a sink like we did. The train stops and starts constantly all night. It squeaks. It squawks. And people are boarding and blabbing pretty much all night long.
My advice? Nyquil. Benadryl. Or a big bottle of wine (yes, Americans, you can).
Or just take a flight.
How about you? What do you think about night trains in Europe?