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Night trains in Poland

I am going to be in Poland next April, and I'm considering taking a night train from Wroclaw to Gdansk.

However, I have heard from someone I consider a reliable source that night trains in Poland are usually in very bad condition and take much longer than daytime trains.

I don't mind the longer time (since I'll -- hopefully -- be sleeping), but if it's going to be a miserable experience and is likely to be delayed or canceled, I don't want to rely on that.

Does anyone have experience taking a night train in Poland, and if so, can you offer any insight?

Thanks!

Posted by
3867 posts

Lane, I can't help you with night trains specifically in Poland, but...have you done a night train before? If not, are you a "light sleeper" or one of those folks who can sleep under difficult conditions? Just be aware some of us have tried night trains before (even under optimal night train conditions) and have never gotten more than a moment or two of actual sleep, due to the constant motion and ear-piercing shrill noise. Personally, I've tried night trains in Italy and Germany, private cabin just for me and my spouse, eye shades, ear plugs, blankets and pillows, etc. - everything one could hope for - and I found it to be a miserable experience...no sleep at all, and feeling miserable the next three days in a sleep-deprived state.

The idea of a night train sounded romantic and efficient - before I took a few of them. I learned my lesson, never again for me.

OTOH, if you sleep easily even if there's constant motion and noise, then ignore the above. Good luck and have fun in Poland!

Posted by
1028 posts

Are you trying to avoid paying for a hotel or just want more time in GDANSK. We took an early morning train from Worclaw to GDANSK this past July. It was 6 hours and a very nice ride. We booked first class since it wasn't much more to upgrade. We left at 6:25 am, on time and arrived on time.

Posted by
12053 posts

What David said.

Also, here's the list of stops for that train:

Wroclaw Glowny dep 23:43
Olesnica Rataje dep 00:16
Ostrow Wlkp. dep 01:10
Jarocin dep 01:44
Poznan Gl. dep 03:05
Gniezno dep 03:40
Mogilno dep 03:59
Inowroclaw dep 04:18
Bydgoszcz Glowna dep 04:54
Laskowice Pomorskie dep 05:31
Tczew dep 06:24
Gdansk Glowny arr 06:50

Ten stops between midnight and 6:30 AM, each accompanied by braking, station noise and acceleration. Don't do it. It will make the following day a misery, and maybe even the second day.

And what would you do in Gdansk at 6:50 AM? It will probably be pretty doggone cold.

Posted by
1209 posts

Thanks for the tips.

My current plan has me arriving in Wroclaw on Easter Sunday and departing on Tuesday. Since most things will be closed on Easter Sunday and Monday, I thought by staying on Tuesday I would have a chance to see some of the sites that I will miss, and maybe have a nice restaurant meal.

Perhaps a better plan would be a late afternoon departure on Tuesday, so I would still have time on Tuesday before I leave to visit any sites in Wroclaw that were closed during the holidays.

I appreciate the feedback. Thank you so much!

Posted by
10604 posts

If this helps you in deciding, I have no experience taking night train in Poland...not yet, but taking them and between Germany and Auatria currently, and in Germany, say Hamburg to Munich, or in the past between Paris and Frankfurt or Munich, I have had nothing but satisfactory and pleasant experiences, except maybe once going to Paris, a bit less than ideal. That was a fluke. .

Since Wroclaw to Gdansk is direct, I would take this option without hesitation, no problem with sleeping on a night train. True about the sounds, jerking motion at times, the lights at stations, so what, they don't bother me.

You're going in April. By 0600 hr it'll be day light. . The locals take night trains, I've haven't as yet had a compartment all to myself. Usually in a six seat compartment, there have always been 3-5 others, and they're locals, likewise in the general seating area.

Posted by
10604 posts

No problem arriving at Gdansk Glowny at close to 0700 hrs...still better than at 5 am. The food eateries will already be open to get coffee, breakfast, etc. You can also always go to the waiting room.

Posted by
1267 posts

"Don't do it. It will make the following day a misery, and maybe even the second day."
That would be my advice too. It's a false economy - arriving at your destination after a sleepless night will wipe you out for a couple of days. Take the day train.

Posted by
12053 posts

What Fred forgets to mention is that he can sleep on a train sitting up. He doesn't even need to pay for a couchette or sleeper berth. Fred is a very lucky man, and an unusual one.

There are people who climb mountains; that doesn't mean I can do it or would be smart to try it.

Posted by
10604 posts

I am no different from any of the other locals, these Germans, who are on the same night train coach as I am and are sleeping..no big deal at all. If they can do it, presumably, why can't I? As I said, no problem in doing the night train option, getting in at 0700 hrs is ideal.

Posted by
3867 posts

I am no different from any of the other locals, these Germans, who are on the same night train coach as I am and are sleeping..no big deal at all. If they can do it, presumably, why can't I?

It's got nothing to do with being German or whatever. It's got everything to do with how you're built, your tolerance for noise, motion, and other factors.

My spouse can sleep standing up, with noise, movement, other things. Sleeping on a train for her is a non-issue. Me, I can't sleep at all if I'm not in a quiet, dark, perfectly still place. I can't even sleep on a ship - a big, ocean going one - because of the motion and the vibrations I can feel coming through the ship's structure (I once was awake for 36 hours coming back from Alaska on a ship). A train? Fuggedaboudit. People are built different. Some of us can sleep under challenging conditions (lucky you) some of us can't, period. Whether or not night trains work for you depends on which bucket you fall into.

A corollary: some people are prone to motion sickness, some are not. My spouse gets sick easily in cars, buses, ships, airplanes, etc. She has gotten sick a few times when I drive her to the corner grocery store, just blocks away. OTOH, while she turns green and blows chunks on small aircraft, I love turbulence. I've been on small boats where everyone around me was doing the technicolor yawn continuously for hours, while I sat there happy as a clam, wishing I could eat some squid tacos. Everyone's different. Just because you can sleep on a train (or tolerate aerobatic flight maneuvers) doesn't mean they next guy/gal can.

Posted by
1615 posts

I have taken nights trains in Europe with good results. However, the last time was 13 years ago when I slept better than I do now. I don't know about in Poland, was in Poland earlier this year though and the Gdansk-Krakow train was surprisingly nice. I don't agree that it's always a bad idea to take a night train. It depends upon how well you sleep. If anything I probably sleep better when traveling that I do at home, I would not rule out a night train in the future. For me quality of sleep has declined with age, but it's an individual thing.

Posted by
10604 posts

The people I see standing on the platform waiting to board the night train and/or in my coach are all locals, ie all Germans. I don't hear any other language, aside from German, spoken as people are trying to find their compartment or a unreserved seat in a compartment. One thing I have seen on taking night trains in Germany and Austria is that if you don't get a seat reservation for a compartment seat, chances are you won't find a seat. If these locals can sleep, presumably, taking this night train, why shouldn't I unless they're different from me.

Posted by
165 posts

In early October, I took the overnight "Chopin" train from Krakow to Prague (yes, I know Prague is not in Poland!) and loved everything about it. I booked a single sleeper compartment with shower and WC - more for the security of the private WC (solo female traveler) than for the shower, which I did not use. I thought it was fun. I slept just fine and arrived ready for a day of sightseeing in Prague.

Now, so that you may better judge the point of view of my comments, I grew up traveling the US (often overnight) in a motor home with my parents, 2 brothers and our German Shepherd - I thought that was fun, too. So I'm used to sleeping on the road with the noise of other passengers and overnight stops.

Also, the route from Krakow to Prague on the Chopin train had only 1 or perhaps 2 stops early in the journey….so there wasn't the regular station arrival and departure noise. The train departed and arrived on time.

So, if your itinerary and transit paths are still under construction, perhaps your consideration of an overnight train in Poland is also a question of whether some trains and train routes will offer a more restful experience than others.

Posted by
10604 posts

I believe that every night train I've taken since 2009 arrived in the morning on time, except one in 2017 that was ca 75 mins late.

Not surprising as the train departed from its start Hamburg-Altona 75 mins late. I got on at Hamburg Hbf for the entire ride to Wien Hbf.

Posted by
24 posts

Since there is no Ukraine forum, anyone been on the Kiev to Lviv overnight train? What was your experience?

Posted by
12053 posts

Oops. Never mind. I was looking at the schedule going in the wrong direction. I traveled from L'viv to Kyiv (and in the daytime).

Traveling from Kyiv to L'viv I see a 2:07 PM departure, arriving at 7:50 PM, or a 6:52 AM departure, arriving at 1:42 PM. If you don't mind arriving a bit late at night, there's also a 5:34 PM departure, arriving at 10:40 PM.

I have not been able to figure out the logic behind Ukrainian trains schedules.