The EuroNight sleeper ranks among our favourite European sleeper trains, and travelling via Zürich adds Swiss clockwork efficiency to the journey, making it simple to reach our Slovenian holidays.
Leave London mid-morning, changing in Paris. Crossing Paris to the Gare de Lyon
is simple when you know how; we include directions with your metro tickets and allow ample time between the arrival of your Eurostar and the departure of your TGV
The Franco-Swiss TGV Lyria
links Paris Gare de Lyon with Zürich in just four hours. It travels at 186mph most of the way, slowing down for a short section of the journey around Dijon before gathering speed and crossing the River Rhine on the approach to Basel, a city which sits at the meeting point of three countries. In fact, its station forms part of the border between France and Switzerland.
Across the Swiss border, it’s just 50 minutes to Zürich. On the shores of its eponymous lake, this graceful city is affectionately known to its inhabitants (or Zürcher
) as the City of a Thousand Fountains, with top-quality drinking water flowing from over 1200 unique public fountains in the city. There are only a few ornamental fountains so unless there is a sign stating “kein trinkwasser
”, feel free to top up your water bottle. There are several fountains around the main station, including a popular small one on the main concourse near the meeting point, featuring a sculpture of a child holding a fish, plus a large elaborate fountain outside the main entrance topped with a statue of Alfred Escher, a Swiss railway pioneer. The underground concourse of Zürich’s main station has a wide array of places to dine before boarding and to gather picnic supplies for your onward journey.
From Zürich HB, just before 9pm, you board the EuroNight sleeper which winds through the moonlit mountains towards Ljubljana and Zagreb. We recommend the private sleeper cabins which are compact, with space for your luggage, and up to 3 bunk beds, accessed by step ladder, and a wash basin. You are provided with a towel, duvet, pillow and a wake-up call with a hot drink brought to your cabin. These are popular cabins, so you need to book in good time, especially as these trains become available to book 6 months in advance. The Euronight trains don’t feature cabins with ensuite bathrooms but there are shared washing facilities and toilets at the end of each carriage. There is no restaurant on board, so you should dine before boarding the train, or bring a picnic tea with you.
Shortly after 7am you alight at Jesenice amid mountain panoramas, for a 25-minute transfer to the The Lakes & Julian Alps
walking holiday. You could alight at Villach a little earlier but our suggested arrival in Jesenice affords you a few more minutes' sleep! For the In the Shadow of the Julian Alps
cycling holiday and our winter holiday at the Sunrose 7, Bohinjska Bistrica
, you continue on the train for another hour to Lake Bled, where you have a short taxi ride to your hotel.