You’re no doubt itching to travel in 2022, with almost two years of Covid restrictions putting paid to many plans.
The wanderlust is real, but if your bank balance hasn’t caught up to the lavish round-the-world trips you’ve been dreaming of, it’s likely you’ll need to compromise.
A new train service around Europe offers just that, with low-price tickets and a super romantic feel so you can travel in style whatever your budget.
Nightjet began taking passengers earlier this month, and the overnight journey is being touted as a more climate-friendly way to get from A to B than flying.
Connecting Paris to Vienna, the route also stops at Strasbourg, Munich, Salzburg, Linz and St Pölten. It runs three times a week (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday), departing at about 8pm and getting to its destination by 10am the next morning.
There are three different ticket options to choose from – seating carriages, couchettes, and private sleeper cabins – and in each you can either travel with other passengers or alone if you’d prefer.
The seating compartments have enough room for six, reminiscent of the Hogwarts Express carriage where Harry Potter tried his first chocolate frog (and cleaned out the snack cart so no one else could have anything, but that’s besides the point).
As for the couchettes, they berth four or six people. You’ll stay on bunks reminiscent of those on the Caledonian Sleeper, and get a free ‘Viennese breakfast’ (coffee/tea, roll, butter, jam) in your room to wake up with.
Private compartments are charged at a flat rate and have all the same amenities – just with a guarantee you’ll stay alone.
The accommodation is similar to what you’d expect on any sleeper, with the main pull being the super low price point. Seats start from €29.90 (£25.09) per person, while €49.90 (£41.99) will get you a bed and €89.90 (£75.46) a private room.
For a budget travel option it’s pretty swanky with air conditioning, room service, and plush bedding. Some deluxe cabins have their own showers with luxury toiletries too.
As well as this, you can easily connect to go to other destinations using the EuroNight network that’s partnered with Nightjet. That way you can continue your trip and see countries like Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Railway company SCNF is campaigning for this to be part of the reintroduction of the ‘Trans Europe Express’, so it could become even easier to see the continent by train in years to come.
For now, we’ll definitely cope with falling asleep beside the Eiffel Tower and waking up in the beautiful Austrian Alps – especially at that price.
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