Travelling on a Nightjet train
At a glance
- Night train
Nightjet is the name given to Austrian Railways’ (ÖBB) sleeper trains, linking Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Belgium. As of June 2020, there will also be a night train service to Zagreb, Croatia from Zurich and Munich, as well as night service between Munich and Rijeka in Croatia.
Large distances are travelled through the night while passengers have sweet dreams in cosy sleepers or economical flat-bed couchettes. Have supper in Berlin and breakfast in Zurich, or treat yourself to a hot chocolate in Brussels before waking the next morning in Vienna, rested and ready for a slice of sachertorte. Not only does Nighjet allow you to fall asleep in one city and wake up in another, it also saves on having to pay for a hotel for a night.
Before you board
There is no check-in process for Nightjet, just head to the train and find your sleeping compartment. There is usually an attendant who greets you at the sleeper train door and checks your reservation. The attendant will then direct you to your compartment. He or she will visit shortly after to take your rail passes or tickets to ensure you are not disturbed by ticket inspections later on. Your tickets will be returned to you at the end of the journey. Passport are not usually taken, as travelling within the Schengen area means border checks aren’t normally carried out.
It’s important to note that although there is no restaurant car on Nightjet trains, the carriage attendants do sell a good selection of hot and cold drinks (including beer and wine) and snacks. You may want to have dinner before boarding the Nightjet or there’s always the option to take a picnic on board and enjoy it in the sleeper or couchette.
Booking and printing options
Nightjet tickets are open for bookings 180 days in advance.
Seat, couchette and sleeper reservations are compulsory on Nightjet trains.
Get the lowest prices on Nightjet by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.
Classes of service
Nightjet has three main types of accommodation: seated cars, couchettes and sleeper cars.
The most comfortable and luxurious way to travel on Nightjet is to book a sleeper with beds in carpeted 1, 2 or 3-bed compartments, with breakfast included. Sleepers easily convert from private sitting rooms to bedrooms for both daytime and evening use. Berths in sleepers are sold individually so, if travelling alone, you can book an inexpensive bed in a 2 or 3-berth compartment and share with fellow same-sex passengers. Of course, there is also the option to book a single-bed compartment if you prefer that extra bit of privacy. For a small premium, you can book a sleeper with en suite facilities.
Sleeper compartments are available in either Standard or Deluxe class. Standard class compartments feature a single sink, while Deluxe compartments offer a private bathroom with sink, toilet and shower. Other features included in the price of a sleeper car are a welcome drink and toiletry bag, newspaper service, fresh blankets sheets and pillow, towels, wake-up service and an á la carte breakfast.
For a more economical journey, choose a couchette. This is a simple padded bunk in either a 6 or 4-berth compartment. Couchettes are a great option for families, groups of friends or solo travellers on a budget. Couchettes also convert to normal seats for daytime travelling, with mineral water and a Viennese breakfast (tea or coffee and a roll with butter and jam) included in the price. Booking a couchette or sleeper is preferable for a good night's sleep and an enjoyable overnight train experience.
Nightjet couchettes come with fresh blankets sheets and a pillow, mineral water and Viennese breakfast and a wake-up call service. Toilets and bathrooms are located nearby in each coach.
Standard, ordinary seats are also usually offered on Nightjet trains, but travelling through the night in a normal seat is not recommended for a comfortable journey. There are bathrooms and toilets in each coach and a snack menu is available by contacting the on-board attendants.