Get us in your inbox

Night train, Europe
Photograph: Shutterstock

The new European sleeper trains we can’t wait to ride in 2023

From spectacular coastal journeys to new links between cultural capitals, these are the most exciting new night train routes to try this year

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
Advertising

Sleeper trains are back in the travel game and we are seriously here for it. The concept is deliciously uncomplicated: hop on a train and snore away, whizz across vast distances while you’re catching up on your beauty sleep, then wake up some place entirely new – and hopefully full of energy to explore it. (And it’s eco-friendly too – here’s why you should swap flights for sleeper trains on your next trip.)

The past few years have seen a full-blown sleeper-train renaissance, with new routes being announced and launched all the time. And although night trains are making a comeback all over the world (check out Mexico’s incredible-looking Tren Maya for proof), Europe is where the action is. From the Italian coast to city-break hotspots like Vienna and Budapest, this year it’s all on the train. Here are all the new European night trains we can’t wait to sleep on in 2023.

RECOMMENDED:

🚞 The best train journeys in the world
🚂 The most scenic railway journeys in Europe
🎩 The world’s most luxurious train rides
🚉 The most beautiful European train journeys from London

The best European sleeper trains for 2023

Advertising

Another new NightJet route takes passengers from central Europe down to Italy’s spectacular Ligurian coast. Trains leave from Vienna and Munich and arrive at Genoa in the morning – just in time for the spectacular run down to La Spezia. The coastal line goes right through the middle of the incredibly beautiful and famous Cinque Terre. Make sure you’re on the right-hand side of the train for sea views.

Advertising
Paris to Vienna, Budapest and Romania
Photograph: Zahnoi Alex / Shutterstock.com

Paris to Vienna, Budapest and Romania

A NightJet route primed for one thing and one thing only: romance. Whisking travellers between Euro capitals Paris and Vienna, it’s difficult to find a train that links two more loved-up destinations. You can also catch a second night’s sleeper from Vienna which’ll take you to Budapest and Cluj-Napoca – two cities that are perfect for captivating city breaks.

Amsterdam to Cologne and Zurich
Photograph: Shutterstock

Amsterdam to Cologne and Zurich

The best thing about this route – a literal A-to-Z of European cultural hotspots – is its combination of luxury and affordability. It runs from Amsterdam to Arnhem, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Basel and Zurich, and the cost of an entire single compartment is just €90 (£79).

Advertising

Getting the train is already an eco-friendly alternative, but this night train route is even better. Run entirely on renewable energy, Swedish operator SJ’s EuroNight service is a remarkably green way of getting between Hamburg, Copenhagen and Stockholm. And it’s pretty swish, too, featuring brand-new trains with private compartments and six-bed couchettes alongside regular seats. From March, this service will also be extended all the way down to Berlin, thereby linking up several of northern Europe’s coolest cities.

Zurich to Milan and Rome
Photograph: Shutterstock

Zurich to Milan and Rome

Last year also saw the launch of a new route from Zurich to unmissable Italian spots Rome and Milan. Run by (surprise, surprise) NightJet again, it takes just eight-and-a-half hours to get from the Swiss financial capital to the Eternal City. That’s mountain air to espresso and carbonara with ease.

Advertising

Right, so this one was technically supposed to have a 2023 launch date but has now been pushed back to 2024 – but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about it. The Orient Express La Dolce Vita will offer eye-widening luxury on rails, all while trundling between Italian destinations like Venice, Rome, Siena and the Italian Riviera. We don’t love the term ‘bucket list’, but add this to yours immediately.

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!