Vienna to Cologne
Departing the Austrian capital just after 8pm, this excellent-quality NightJet train is operated by OBB (Austrian Railways). Crossing the border near the city of Passau before midnight, the train continues as you sleep across the expanse of Germany and along the spectacular Rhine Gorge early in the morning – well worth pulling up the blinds for!
Palermo to Milan
This Italian InterCityNotte train leaves Palermo at lunchtime, travelling at a leisurely pace along the coastline of northern Sicily, passing through the beautiful seaside town of Cefalu. Later in the afternoon, the train trundles onto a ship to cross the Strait of Messina, a rare experience indeed! During the night, the train covers many miles of Italian territory and you can catch glimpses of the beautiful Cinque Terre coastline south of Genoa, before heading north to Milan, one of Europe’s most important rail hubs.
San Sebastian to Lisbon
After experiencing the gastronomy and culture of San Sebastian in the heart of the Spanish Basque Country, the night train to Lisbon pulls into the station just after 7pm. The SudExpress has an informal cafe-bar where you can get some dinner, and the well-appointed Gran Clase compartments with ensuite WC and shower come recommended. You’ll arrive into Lisbon Santa Apolonia station at 7:30am, refreshed and ready to explore.
Thello: Venice to Paris
Linking two of the world’s most visited cities, the overnight train between Paris and Venice has undergone impressive refurbishment in the last few years. Leaving Venice behind over the causeway from Santa Lucia station, the train travels across the north of Italy calling at Verona and Milan, then up through Switzerland into France, arriving at Dijon early in the morning. The train moves at a sedate speed through the French countryside, including a picturesque stretch alongside the Seine, arriving into Paris just before 10am.
Paris Moskva Express
This is one of Europe’s epic night journeys, passing through 5 countries – and linking 5 capital cities: Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk and Moscow. Departing every Thursday evening from Paris, the train reaches Berlin the next morning and then Warsaw in the afternoon, arriving into Moscow on the Saturday morning. When passing between Poland and Belarus on the Friday evening, the train is jacked up to have its wheelsets changed from European to Russian gauge, which is an unusual experience to say the least!