Interrail: night train - sleeping on the seat - no couchette

xander @ 03-06-2008 19:09

Im going interrailing with my gf and my route is mainly central Europe. To save time im planning on doing a few overnight trains such as the Riviera one, Munich to Paris etc. I have a tight budget and was wondering whether:
a) can you reserve just a seat for the overnight train and sleep on the seat? do these seats pull out for more comfort
b) is it unsafe to sleep on a 2nd class seat?
c) are there really strict rules on single sex carriages?


Pete @ 03-06-2008 19:22


First ... bad news... the Rivera train won't run any more this summer. Have a look on this topic:

When travelling in Central Europe, you will often travel with an CNL (City Night Line train) where you can book special sleeping-seats which are comfortable ... but they are not available for every connection. They start from EUR 4 per night:

The CNL night trains are save as the ticket is checked when you enter the train. Other night trains which have only normal seated wagons aren't so save (especially in Southern Europe). The best way is to fix you bag pack under your seat with a bicycle locker.

In most of the trains you will find special women only-compartments. Others are mixed, so no problem to sleep together with your girlfriend in one compartment. 🙂

For more night-trains have a look at the country topics here in our forum . There you will find nearly all details and supplement information.

Train schedulesk:
If a night train has normal seats it is mentioned in the description !!

Normal seats aren't very comfortable. I prefer a cheap couchette. But this is my personal opinion. 🙂

I hope this will help you.

pedroalexandrade @ 01-11-2010 12:01

Hi, sorry to bump this thread, but I'd really like to hear some more opinions on this,

I'm still planning my Interrail trip, and I'm now wondering of using some cities, namely Berlin, as a starting point to go across Europe using the CityNightLine. However, the price of the couchette makes it unappealing, as I could just as well be in a cheap hostel.

However, there's the option of sleeping in the seats for just 4 euros. Does anyone else have any opinion on this: my questions are the same that Peter answered: confort, safety... It's probably not confortable enough, but can you take 2 or 3 days of sleeping in a train seat or is it too much?

Flo @ 01-11-2010 18:57


Remember that you travel while sleeping when you take an overnight train. You will have the whole day for visiting the city. I wouldnt consider the 20€ for a reservation in a 6-bed couchette of a CNL train unappealing.
Also note that not all CNL have the 4€ regular seats - on some routes there are reclining seats for 10€ which are quite comfortable. I would recommend to use the reclining seats where available, on other routes either a cheap seat or the couchette. For me personally the 6 seat compartments of the CNL are among the least comfortable in Europe... I mean, for one night if you want to save money they may be OK but that's it. Of course, if you have earplugs and an eyemask you can also sleep in the luggage/bycicle storage room - as long if the conductor says it's OK and you have a matress (it's quite loud there and the light is switched on throughout the night but you can stretch out).

Flo 😎

pedroalexandrade @ 01-11-2010 21:27

Thanks for the tips Flo! In the trains that include the 10 euro reclining seats, is it still possible to choose the 4 euro seats?

Flo @ 01-11-2010 21:29

No problem. 😉

No, either regular seats (4€) or sleeperettes (10€).

Sunday @ 02-11-2010 13:13

Hi there 🙂 I'm reading what are you writing down here and I'd like to ask something. I'm planning to take some night trains whose information I found in this forum (Istanbul-Bucharest, Bucharest-Budapest, Budapest-Krakow...) and I'm now wondering if these trains are the same that these CNL ones ❓

Pete @ 02-11-2010 13:23

No. CNL is a Swiss company which belongs to the German national railway company - as much as I know.
They only run trains starting, ending or crossing Germany.
In Eastern European night trains you usually have normal seats and no sleeperettes.

Sunday @ 02-11-2010 14:21

Thanks for the info Peter.

pedroalexandrade @ 03-11-2010 20:32

No problem. 😉

No, either regular seats (4€) or sleeperettes (10€).

Oh, that's not nice... is there any way to know which trains have which option? I didn't find any information online.

Flo @ 04-11-2010 10:23

If you search the trains with the route finder you will either get Sleeperette or 2nd class only seated accommodation - meaning 10€ or 4€ respectively. 😉

Flo 😎

pedroalexandrade @ 06-11-2010 00:38

Thanks! =)

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