help! -- night trains or fly isntead?

Hi all! anyone can help me find/book night train from VENICE TO SALZBURG on 06/25? im kinda confuse of which night train is best and cheapest. from Budapest or Venice to Rome we might just fly instead of taking the train. ever tried of WIZZ AIR AND AIRBERLIN? thanks

Posted by nannette
New York, NY, USA
45 posts

Sam, yah i saw that. arriving in Salzburg at 4am. i wonder if its safe to be at the train station at that hour? and its €122/2pp for couchette or was it sleeper. a day time train kinda long. you will be losing a day of your trip.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3349 posts

From BUD to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) you should definitely fly (Wizz Air or Alitalia both have non stop flights). From BUD you can also fly non stop to Rome Ciampino (CIA) with Ryanair. From Venice to Rome don't bother flying. Take the high speed Freccia train. There is one every hour. The train is much more comfortable, and once the airport transfers are factored in, the train is also much cheaper and much faster. For trains in Italy consult:
www.trenitalia.com

Posted by David
Seattle, WA, USA
1414 posts

a day time train kinda long. you will be losing a day of your trip. And a night time train kinda impossible to sleep on for many people. they will be losing the next 2 or 3 days of their trip as they shuffle along, zombie-like as they slowly recover from the experience of being up for 48 hours. Some people can sleep just fine on a train. Others (most, I suspect) only get a little rest despite their best efforts and good intentions. Some people get no sleep at all on trains, and are miserable for a few days. Everyone's built differently. If you are sure you can get a good nights sleep even with constant motion, regular loud noise with frequent incredibly loud, ear-piercing sounds, blinking bright lights, occasion bangs and jostles, then great. But if you're not sure of that, just keep in mind that you may be setting yourself up for a few days of extreme sleep deprivation, and that can take all the fun out of a great place. Personally I've done night trains a few times. Never got a single moment of sleep on any of them, despite what were optimal conditions (private sleeper compartment with only me and my spouse, ear plugs, eye-shades, pillows and blankets). Never again.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2276 posts

Go to www.oebb.at/en the Austrian railway operates the night train to Salzburg. Only problem is it dumps you in Salzburg at 4 in the morning.
Air Berlin is a reputable airline.

Posted by Jeff
Bend, OR, United States
1145 posts

Why not take the day train? It's a beautiful trip.

Posted by Marco
Oxford, United Kingdom
781 posts

The old pearl of wisdom was that the only way really to ensure you had a good night's sleep on an overnight train was to have tried to sleep on an overnight train the night before. I dare say there are people who can actually get a goodnight sleep the first time around but that isn't everyone.

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
3582 posts

Don't get me started on night trains...NEVER.AGAIN. They are a horror. I'd take the day train, dp 9:20 ar 15:48. (first part is a bus ride with A/C, toilet) for 29€. Your bus-to-train connection is fine (30m to walk 100 yards). You'll arrive just as your hotel will allow you to check in, you can freshen up (if necessary) and get a walk in while looking for that perfect restaurant for dinner. Book ASAP (for the best fares!) at oebb.at, the Austrian train website. Venezia > Roma is 3h40m, and could cost 29€ if you book ASAP. The prices on both of these trips will continue to rise until the day of travel, so purchase them online as soon as you firm up your plans IF you want maximum savings! Remember, with any flight you must factor in getting to the airport 1h - 1h30m early, then you'll probably have to check some baggage (stricter baggage allowances), and getting to and from the airports takes time, too. Depending on which airline you might choose, your airport may be well outside of the city :-( That means taxis fares, train fares, etc. to get to the city, whereas the train is very often located in the city center. Someone will come and say that they really like night trains; I would like them if I didn't wake up several times a night grabbing that net that keeps me (so far...) from being flung across the cabin. Literally. Repeatedly screeching to a halt. Conductors smoking outside your window during a break. Must.stop.now. Starting to get the shakes. That 6 hours on the bus/train can be used to chat, write in your journal, take photos through the window, sleep, or just stare out the window and enjoy the scenery while seated. Your feet will especially appreciate that one. 3h30m on the bus, then 2h30m on the train. Ahhhhh...

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
3582 posts

(couldn't edit my post to say...) For Italian trains: Go to trenitalia.com; click on the English flag at the top; use Italian spellings for city names.

Posted by Heather
Seattle, WA, USA
30 posts

Don't forget to factor in Train Strikes! That train you planned to take could turn into a long waiting game or 48+ hour stop and go journey. Why spend 2 or 3 days of your trip in an overcrowded train station hoping your train will eventually run? Every train trip I took in Italy turned out to be disastrous, and from what I've heard since, that's the common experience. Fly if you can!

Posted by nannette
New York, NY, USA
45 posts

thank you all for your suggestions. im still undecided to whether fly or train.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2276 posts

The night train to Salzburg IS operated by Austrian National Railway. As was pointed out, the prime issue is boredom sitting in Salzburg Hbf from 4 am to 6 am waiting for everyone else to wake up.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11276 posts

"from Budapest or Venice to Rome" Do you mean that or do you mean Budapest to Venice or Rome? Venice to Rome is a no-brainer - go by train. By the time you take surface trans to the airport, check in, go through security, preboard time, flight time, get off and find trans to Rome, and get there, you'll use more time than the 3:40 min by train. As for night trains, not everyone has had a bad experience. I've spent 10 nights on trains (one in Europe) and never had a problem sleeping.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3349 posts

I concur on the discomfort of night trains, at least the couchettes (never traveled in a wagon-lits). My experience of night trains is a couple of times from Florence to Paris and back (decades ago when flying was expensive). I wouldn't do that today. I can't sleep on a train. That constant clanging noise, plus the jerking around through the Alps, is not for me. During the day I have no problems with trains, it's relaxing. Although any train journey over 6 hours is a long one, no matter what (however it is still more comfortable than a 6 hour flight in Economy class).

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2700 posts

Hi, Taking the night train in Germany and Austria or between France and Germany certainly is no horror. That has not been my experience. True, you have all these mechanical noises, the jerking movements, and the bright lights at stations when the train pulls in. Still, there are people who sleep on them. If you are one of them, don't rule out that option. Lots of Europeans take them, maybe that's why they fill up in the compartment and armchair seats in the summer. If you want to take a night train and don't want to put out the money for the sleeper or couchette, (I don't), the next best option is the armchair seat, which is not always offered. On some of the CNL lines in Germany the armchair seat is available.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8758 posts

I'm another person who has taken his last night train. Enough already for me. And I've taken a few. Had enough.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8758 posts

Every train trip I took in Italy turned out to be disastrous, and from what I've heard since, that's the common experience. I'm sorry but my experiences with Italian trains has been completely different than that. I've ridden dozens of trains in the past several years, including a month ago, and have never been disappointed. The trains have been uniformly clean, warm in winter and not hot in summer. Even the un-airconditioned Regionale trains have the windows open, curtains flapping and are comfortable. Sometimes there are threats of strikes, but they are well advertised and easy to find. Most potential strikes that I have seen coming actually don't happen. When the strikes do hit commuter services keep going at peak hours and many inter city trains do run. Both the French and Italian unions and companies agree to run certain trains regardless of strike. I was caught up in one strike that kept my train stopped in Bologna station for several hours. That was my train from Munich to Nice. In 1972. I was fine. Warm, fed, comfy, interested. I got to Nice, just a bit later than I had counted on. It was a neat experience.

Posted by Bill
Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA
2 posts

Nannette,
Took the night train from Paris to Munich 3 years ago and it was great. Had a private double cabin and everything went well. I usually have problems falling asleep except on cruises so the movement of the train helped. Awakened by the steward about an hour before arriving and was given a boxed breakfast. We were able to hit the ground running as rail stations are in the center of the cities rather than on the outskirts. Planning on an extensive Euro-trip in the future and looking forward to the 15.5 hour night train from Copenhagen to Amsterdam. Bill