I'm new to train travel and I plan to take a night train from Copenhagen to Amsterdam next month. Everything I've found lists multiple transfers, will I literally have to get off and transfer to a different train? Most transfers are in the middle of the night and Rick doesn't say anything about having to switch trains, but I can't find anything that goes straight through.
Christie, If you choose a train with changes then the answer is YES, you will have to get off and change trains in the middle of the night. Using a date of 12 September, I found a direct departure (no changes) departing Copenhagen at 18:46, arriving Amsterdam Central at 10:57 (time 16H:11M, reservations compulsory). I'd suggest using a direct departure if at all possible. Happy travels!
I'll have to keep looking I guess. I looked around the 20th of September but only found one train with 1 connection, there were about 10 other trains with 4-8 connections! It seems like for every direct there are a couple dozen that transfer every couple hours :/
Your best option would probably be just to fly from Copenhagen to Amsterdam. Night train or not, it's a very long ride.
Hi, You could do this route by day with only 2 transfers, easily done. The shorter time span is transfering in Osnabrück, the long one is at Duisburg, depending on how you tailor that leg. The whole ride would be on the ICE and IC, transfering in Hamburg and in Duisburg for the final leg to Amsterdam. But if's a night train, I would take the 18:46 dep CNL direct. This is the route going straight through, no need to bother with transfering.
I'd not take this stupidly routed night train that takes 16h of travel to connect both cities. If you look at a map of its stops, it actually goes down first to the Rhur area before heading north. You don't have to transfer, but they shuffle the train cars around, including sometimes annoying long stops if other train cars it will be attached to are late. My advice: avoid it. Take day trains (or consider flying, since Danish rail tracks are not up-to-date with the more modern German and Dutch ones).
Fly, night trains are not as fun as you think, you can often find cheaper flights, and that route is not one I would even consider taking a night train on.. only a direct one would do for me ( as trying to sleep will suck enough).
I agree that flying seems to be your best option. I searched on kayak.com and plugged in a random date of 9/16 and saw a Norweigian Air flight for only $90 one-way. Not bad at all, and it only takes 1.5 hours!
The trouble with flying, the thing most flying advocates don't mention is that, unless you just lke visiting airports, when everything is taken into consideration - time getting to the airport, pre-flight time (checking in, security, waiting, boarding), flight time, deplaning, finding ground transportation, getting into town - a 1½ flight usually takes about 5 - 6 hours. And, that time usually comes right out of the middle of the day, prime sightseeing time. On the other hand, a night train that leave from downtown at 7PM and gets to the next downtown at 11 AM, takes very little out of prime sightseeing time - most of the time used is time normally spent getting ready for bed, sleeping, getting up, getting ready to go out - you just do those things on the train while getting to your next destination.
^^ Agreed. For train trips under 5 hours, it is usually more reasonable to take the train. Over 5 hours and it often makes more sense to fly. Overnight trains have pros and cons. I've taken a lot and like much about them. But few people sleep well, myself included, and so most people are dragging the next day. The sleeping beds are not comfortable, especially for "oversized" persons (height or girth). I like meeting people, but many people do not like sharing cabins. And I am often at a loss for what to do in the evening when my train doesn't leave until 10:00 or 11:00 at night.
The biggest problem with night trains- most people don't sleep well or at all on them. You end up dragging or needing a nap the next day, thus negating a large portion of the sight-seeing time you supposedly were hoping to save. Here's an experiment for you at home to see what it's like. While trying to sleep, have someone shake your bed and flash a light through your window every few minutes. Also , have people walk by your room all night while talking and opening and closing doors. If you can sleep through this, then you probably won't have trouble on a night train. If you can't, fly.
^^ Also a part of Tom's experiment - you need to do all that while sleeping on the couch - not your own big bed... I find the day after a night train to be pretty similar to my first day in Europe - very groggy and exhausted all day.
Hi, If you do take this CNL night train, which is my suggestion too, I am going to assume that you will find it to be more or less packed, maybe a little less so as you're not doing this night train in the peak summer, say in July. Regardless, if you sleep or not, that certainly doesn't deter people from taking them. In the compartment or armchair seats, I hardly ever saw Americans. Then, obviously, they were Europeans and Asians. If they can do it, so can you.