The Thello night train from Paris to Milan and Venice is one of the famous night trains left in Central Europe. Connecting France and Italy overnight, you can enjoy a very comfortable ride in the Thello Premium Sleeper compartment. Read my travel report about my journey from Paris to Venice in the Thello sleeper. Personal experiences and general information about this night train: schedules, ticket prices and the types of accommodation (couchette or sleeper).
Where did I bought my train ticket for the Thello night train
This spring I wanted to take the night train from Paris to Venice. If you are flexible, it is worth comparing prices on different days. They vary depending on the request of travellers. A sleeping compartment should be the one for me. Luckily the new Thello Premium sleeping compartment was available until the end of March for Euro 115 promo. A fair price for a ride of about 14 hours in a single compartment with private shower and toilet. As much as I would pay for a hotel room in Paris or Venice. Finally, I booked through the Trainline website, because the process there is very easy and clear - also the payment. If you use our partner link to Trainline, you directly support all free information on rail.cc - at no extra cost for you. Thank you! :) Of course you can also buy your ticket on the Thello website.
It is important to compare the ticket prices, as the price range is quite high - as everywhere. In the following a short overview.
The ticket prices
Paris to Venice and return (prices in Euro)
Couchette 6 berths: 35 - 115
Couchette 4 berths: 55 - 140
Sleeper 3 berths: 75 - 150
Sleeper 2 berths: 95 - 190
Sleeper 1 berth: 115 - 290
Sleeper Premium (private shower+toilet) 2 berths: 95 - 190
Sleeper Premium (private shower+toilet) 1 berth: 115 - 290
Children under 4 years travel free in the parents bed. Children between 4 and 14 years old need their own bed at the "Child" rate, which is about 30% cheaper than an adult ticket.
If you only travel to/from Milan, the standard prices are slightly cheaper.
Thello TH 221 from Paris to Venice
Departure in Paris at 19:10 h
Arrival in Milan at 06:00 h
Arrival in Venice at 09:35 h
More information: Thello TH 221
Thello TH 220 from Venice to Paris
Departure in Venice at 20:17 h
Departure in Milan at 23:13 h
Arrival in Paris at 09:55 h
More information: Thello TH 220
The compartment types in the Thello night train
As already seen in the price overview, there are no (!) seat cars in the Thello night train between Paris, Milan and Venice. There are only couchette compartments, either with six or four beds. And sleeping compartments with one, two or three beds. The premium sleeping compartment can only be booked with one or two people.
Unfortunately, I have not found a free couchette compartment on my trip, in the cars through which I walked. Thus, I have only photos of the premium sleeping compartment with shower and toilet. The normal sleeping car compartments have toilets on the corridor, but look like the premium ones. The couchette compartments I looked into have looked very nice. If you have a photo of a couchette compartment, please let me know - then we can publish it here. Thank you. :)
The departure in Paris
First I took the metro to the train station Gare de Lyon. Here the trains leave for southern France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. There is everything you need: from a simple sandwich to the gourmet restaurant Le Train Bleu - which unfortunately I could not afford, although I'm a fan of restaurants in train stations. One may still have dreams. :)
Until the train was ready I sat in the big station hall. A good half hour before departure, the Thello night train was ready and people went to the track. It was nice to see: such a long night train with really many travellers boarding the train. Once again a good example of how night trains are used by travellers - and unfortunately how often this is ignored by rail companies!
At the door to the sleeping car, my ticket was checked with a quick glance from the conductor. And I was able to get into my compartment. Shortly after departure, the friendly conductor came again, explained everything in the compartment, when he would make the bed, etc. Unfortunately, then came a disappointment. Already in passing at the restaurant car, I wondered that it was completely dark. The confirmation came promptly from the conductor: "The restaurant is out of order." There would only be a trolley car that comes later and sells the usual sandwiches. Too bad, the train restaurant would have been great to show in my blog post here. Because the offer is good and the prices really okay.
The train restaurant in the Thello night train
As I said, unfortunately the restaurant car on my trip was out of order and closed. Without light and everything - at least once I went through.
Usually there is the "bar", where you can buy snacks all night long. A selection with prices in parenthesis: peanuts (2) / croissant (1.50) / club or vegan sandwich (5) / ham and mozzarella or cheese platter (12) / lasagne, canelloni or risotto (9) / water 0.5 (2.50) / beer 0.33 (4.50). You can find more here.
In the bar you also get your breakfast (Italian, French or international) in the morning: prices between Euro 4 and 6. An overview is here.
The train restaurant is open between 20:00 and midnight. A complete menu is available for under Euro 20. The menu is here.
For me it was finally a sandwich from the trolley. Not really tasty, but hunger drove it in. Combined with a few extras to eat that I always carry in my backpack - from experience. Good to had them with me. ;)
Thello Premium Sleeper compartment
As the restaurant was closed, there was plenty of time to "examine" my premium sleeping compartment. Overall, everything was clean, there were reading lights, sockets. Unfortunately, the door shook from the sink, which I provisionally repaired and the toilet paper flew from left to right due to lack of a holder. But that just makes the charm of a night train ride. The shower I took before breakfast provided only ice cold water - like that I got awake at least... ;)
The details of the sleeping compartment ...
The journey from France to Italy
The trip from France to Italy was therefore calm and relaxed - I slept through from the stop in Dijon. But somehow the feeling came to me that the train often stopped at night - probably because of track work. It was getting light and the train had not arrived in Milan yet.
A stop in the morning in Milan
In Milan then the confirmation ... already 90 minutes delay. A pity, but okay as my compartment was comfortable. In Milan, many travellers left. The station Milano Centrale is really a great building. In the evening I should then stop there again for my onward journey with the next night train to Sicily, to visit volcano Etna.
Arrival in Venice
After several stops along the way, i.a. in Verona, the train came to its destination. Via the railway station Venice Mestre we went to the terminus Venice Santa Lucia. When you leave the station, you dive straight into the world of Venice. With all the channels and the water.
Note for Interrail and Eurail
Interrail and Eurail are not (!) valid in this Thello train. You only get a discounted ticket. Most of the normal saver fare tickets are cheaper! Thus, first check if there is a saver fare ticket available before you buy the discounted ticket with your Interrail or Eurail pass. For more information, read here on rail.cc
Refund for train delay
On my trip, the Thello night train was about 90 minutes late on arrival in Venice. According to the Thello website, you get 25% of the ticket price refunded. Via the contact form I wrote to Thello with my travel details and ticket number. After two weeks I got the answer that I get the refund of 25% (Euro 28.75) on my original ticket price (Euro 115) . Perfect. :)
Conclusion for my Thello night train ride from Paris to Venice
With the "smart" tariff my sleeping compartment was really cheap. Otherwise, a couchette compartment would probably have been my first choice. Book early and be a bit flexible to find discounted tickets. The journey time of the train with about 14 hours is optimal. Not too short and with enough time to sleep. It would have been wonderful to test their train restaurant - but unfortunately it was out of order. The route from Paris to Milan and Venice is a long and boring trip when you travel over the day. Therefore my absolute recommendation for this night train - I will use it again! Especially since I have finally paid with the discount fare and minus the 25% delay compensation in total only Euro 86.25 for the ride in a premium sleeping compartment. :)
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