Sleeper trains are an efficient way to cover long distances. Thanks to our many years’ experience of organising rail travel for our customers, we know which services offer the most enjoyable and comfortable experiences. Below are some of our favourites.
Lusitania and Sud Expresso (Spain & Portugal)
The Sud Expresso sleeper connects with the TGV from Paris at Hendaye on the French/Spanish border, enabling you to continue your journey overnight to Lisbon. The Lusitania sleeper links Madrid with Lisbon, sharing a section of the route coupled together with the Sud Expresso.
Thanks to the wider gauge of the Spanish and Portuguese rail network, which can carry wider trains, these stylish trains are the most spacious of Europe’s sleeper services. The free baggage allowance is equally generous – up to 30kg, in fact – and you can keep all of your luggage with you in the cabin.
We recommend the Gran Class cabins. These are air-conditioned, compact, private cabins with two comfortable bunk beds, a luggage rack above the door, plus an ensuite shower and toilet.
Meals are not included in the fare as the trains no longer feature a restaurant car but there is a small café bar on board where simple Portuguese dishes are freshly cooked to order. If you wish to dine on board, head to the café bar early as seating is limited! Otherwise you could choose to dine before boarding or take a picnic with you.
The following morning, you again make your way to the café bar where you can choose from pastries, fruit and yogurts on offer.
Modern and air-conditioned, the NightJet offers a reliable service, travelling the popular route between Cologne and Vienna or Innsbruck. There is also a sleeper between Munich and Ljubljana for comfortable and convenient connections to Slovenia.
The economy cabins are compact, with space for your luggage, two bunk beds (which are already made up when you board but which can be converted into a seating area the next morning if you wish) and a wash basin. A shared toilet and shower are located at the end of the carriage.
For greater space and comfort, as well as your own shower and toilet, you can upgrade to a deluxe cabin. These are popular, so you need to book in good time. Whether you upgrade or not, you are provided with a towel, duvet, pillow and a complimentary bottle of water.
There is no restaurant on board the NightJet, so you should dine before boarding the train, or bring a picnic tea with you. Arrangements for breakfast depend on the type of cabin you have booked – in economy, you are given a light ‘breakfast box’; in deluxe, you are served a croissant, bread roll and butter.