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Night train from Venice to Budapest?

Wondering if anyone has recent experiences with night train?

In particular
- is it scenic or interesting experience? (once sun up, or even town/city lights)
- do they wake you up for passports/tickets periodically?

I don't have large amounts of time, but like
the idea of avoiding airport boarding rigmarole. Thanks in advance

ps - For train details, I have been looking online and Seat 61, not sure where best place for most current info. (Is rome2rio.com a good site?).

Posted by
15565 posts

There is no through night train from Venice to Budapest. There is a night train to Vienna, departing Venice S. Lucia at 9:06 pm and arriving in Vienna at 7:55 am next morning. You will then connect to a day train to Budapest.

I've done night trains out of Venice for the experience, but it is not really the best night's sleep. The train makes stops along the way. For this particular train, it stays put in Villach station between 00:42 and 1:50, then the next stop is in Salzburg at 4:04 and it sits there another half hour before continuing to Vienna, making a few more stops before arriving.

If you have a sleeping compartment or a couchette, you hand your ticket and passport to the attendant when you board. They will have this info for any Austrian border security and will not have to wake you up. They will wake you about a half hour before your destination and hand you back your documents.

The train is operated by the Austrian National Railway, OEBB under the Nightjet brand. Check there for detailed info. https://www.nightjet.com/en/

Posted by
38 posts

Thank you for very helpful info @Sam, who wrote: " ... you hand your ticket and passport to the attendant when you board. They will have this info for any Austrian border security and will not have to wake you up."

Would attendant let you give them photocopy of your passport, after you showed original document?
I'd much prefer to hang onto original passport.

Posted by
15565 posts

That I would have no idea. But if a border officer wants to see your actual passport, then they will have to roust you out of bed.

Posted by
12084 posts

You take the night train run by OeBB Venice to Wien Hbf. then you can continue on to Budapest. You can choose which dep time to continue to Budapest. Taking the day train to BP I would get the ticket then in Wien Hbf. unless you can count on some savings

My most recent experiences with night trains are from the 2017 and 2018 trips but admittedly have not done the Venice to Wien Hbf. route, only Wien Hbf to Hamburg and other routes. No problems with me.

"...avoiding airport boarding rigmarole." How true. My feelings exactly.

From Wien Hbf to Hamburg, the conductor did not even ask to see my passport, only the seat reservation first, then the ticket or rail pass. I had a rail pass for such rides. I sat in a 6 seat compartment. He wanted to be sure everyone had a seat reservation. I was not asked to produce the passport. on other night rides crossing the Austro-German in the past either.

Posted by
15565 posts

But Fred also generally eschews sleeping compartments, preferring sleeping in a seat. In which case, it would be like any other cross-Schengen-border day train where you don't have to show a passport. If you have some sort of sleeping compartment, you generally do give your passport to the attendant. I have occasionally seen border police making a visual sweep of the train, once going from Austria to Switzerland and once going from Netherlands to Germany. They don't don't ask everyone for their passport, they just "profile".

Posted by
38 posts

Thank you very much, Fred, Sam, and James

I wonder if many people would be apprehensive about handing over passport. Perhaps sleeping in regular compartment would be way to go

Posted by
12084 posts

Re: giving the passport to the attendant if you have a sleeping compartment: That admittedly I have no experience in since I don't choose the couchette or sleeper option.

In the general seating area when the night train was the CNL or in compartments on the Night Jet, the conductor has never asked me or any of my fellow compartment mates, ie nobody got their passport out, to show the passport at the time of checking tickets. This is based on all the night train rides taken since 2009 if the entire ride includes a border crossing, eg, the Austro-German or the Franco-German.

@ James...eloquent.

Posted by
12084 posts

@ blackcat....If you put it that way, I too would be at least a little apprehensive, but it depends on between which two borders I am crossing at night. True, very subjective , I know.

There are lots of people, families too, piling on the night trains and filling up the compartments. I would say 90% of the rides I've done by night train, where the general seating was in a six seat compartment (there are, like in anything else, pertaining to traveling pros and cons, and I am not even concerned about sleeping here), the compartment including myself had at least 4 people for most of the ride. That means, part of the entire ride, your compartment was a full house.

Still, no one had to surrender his/her passport, much less show it. My passport while on the night train stays in my right inside zipped up jacket pocket....quite secure.

In your case, I would still take the NJ night train to Vienna but would pick the general seating option (the passport stays secure on me), since I have no problems sleeping sitting upright anyway.

If you do decide on doing just that, you can bet that your seating compartment will have at least 3 others, if not a full house.