All hail the night train! Europe’s sleeper-train network continues to expand at breakneck pace, with yet another new route opening between high-culture hotspot Vienna and the Transylvanian metropolis of Cluj-Napoca.
The brand-new line follows the recent opening of a route between Paris and Vienna, meaning that, excitingly, it’s now ridiculously easy to travel the breadth of the continent – and in style and comfort, too.
Here’s the idea. You nod off in Paris (perhaps after a day chock-full of art and food) and whizz through the Alps overnight before spending a day gorging on Viennese schnitzel and strudel. Then you head back to the hauptbahnhof and nod off again, waking up in Cluj-Napoca, a city in Romania renowned for its medieval architecture, insanely high air quality and, of course, for inspiring Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. Sounds bloody brill, right?
You’ll be able to trek from the city of lurve to central vampire country in under three days, all without getting on a cramped, environmentally filthy plane. If that ain’t travelling in style, we don’t know what is.
The Vienna-Cluj leg is around 560km and can take between 11 and 12 hours, depending on the route (some trains stop in Budapest, so take a little longer). One-way tickets start at the outrageously reasonable price of €34.90, rising to €59 for a bed in a cabin and €139 for your own compartment. Cabin and private compartment prices include breakfast.
Now take a first look at the Orient Express trains that will return to Italy in 2023.