Hugo, our Eurail/Interrail Product Specialist, seasoned traveler and self-labeled train nerd, had the opportunity to ride the European Sleeper on their inaugural trip in June. We sat down with him to get all the details about the train and the route.
What was the first thing that left an impression on you?
It is a classic train. The sleeper cars were built in the 50’s, and most of them have a window you can open. Train lovers will definitely love this feature. The views were excellent. These old trains are rare so this is a unique train to travel on.
How were the staff onboard?
Super friendly and professional! They welcomed passengers on board and explained how everything worked. They were more like hosts than train staff, which was great for newbies.
Did they serve food and drinks?
Yes, offerings included soft drinks, a weizen, and croissants for breakfast. There was no dining car, so passengers had to either load up on snacks before departure or eat before boarding.
Tell us the car layout; how was the bathroom?
The train has a corridor and multiple separate rooms. Which is cool because you rarely see these carriages on routes in The Netherlands or Belgium. There are separate rooms for brushing teeth, and the toilets are separate as well.
What is the biggest perk to taking a sleeper train?
You save time for sure! The train takes a unique route not typically serviced by sleeper trains. The day train ride from Amsterdam to Berlin usually takes about 7 hours. The night train takes about about 11h 30m from Brussels all the way to Berlin. Passengers can sleep on the train and wake up in Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp or Berlin. Berlin is an excellent jumping-off point for Prague and Warsaw. For UK-based passengers, leaving in the afternoon from London and waking up in Berlin means they effectively use less of their travel days. Additionally, passengers who get on the train before midnight don’t have to use an extra travel day.
The sleeping experience on the train could be better, but it is more comfortable than air travel. Passengers in the sleeper cabins can listen to music, lie down, and feel rested even if they didn’t sleep well.
Did you mingle with other travellers?
Passengers on the European Sleeper train have more social experiences than those on day routes because they have a lot of time and a different mindset. People are more settled and relaxed, and there is this mentality that we’re all in it together. The social aspect is the best part. I met great people to share a beer with and had super interesting conversations with people.
How was it to book your reservations?
It was super easy. I went to their website and booked my reservation. I always book in advance for summer travel.
We hope you enjoyed reading the details about Hugos’ trip. Where will the European Sleeper train take you?