Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I can't find any overnight trains from London to Berlin. Only ones that have a bunch of connections, which would mean I would have to travel during the day. Is this actually the case?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Unless I'm proven wrong by another answer, then yes, for the most part. There are some options though.

If you look at the UK version of the Eurostar website, you can book tickets to a variety of places in Europe, but in Germany - only Cologne and Aachen. Even these only take 5ish hours, and are during the day, as far as I can tell.

The ever-knowing Seat61 has a page on London to Germany travel, and they concur - connections for you would seem to be the only viable option by train.

They offer the following suggestions

There are several good options for travel between the UK and Berlin or Hanover.

  • Option 1, by Eurostar & City Night Line sleeper train: Hop on a mid-afternoon Eurostar to Paris and take the excellent City Night Line sleeper train from Paris to Berlin arriving next morning. This is the most time-effective option.

  • Option 2, by Eurostar & high-speed daytime trains: Travel by high-speed train from London to Brussels, Cologne, then Berlin from as little as €59 each way.

  • Option 3, by Harwich-Hoek overnight ferry with private cabin with shower, toilet, satellite TV & free WiFi, then daytime trains.

So at least there with option 1, you'll get to travel much of it at night.

share|improve this answer
    
There is an option to cross Germany at night, but the train arrives in Berlin at 4:30am. You have to catch that train between Amsterdam (19:01) and Cologne (22:28). Paris gets you there later in the morning without departing from London much later, and the price is likely to be more expensive. –  Gilles Sep 16 '13 at 7:49
    
@MarkMayo Is any of this trip (option 1) covered by a Eurail pass? –  MarkE Sep 17 '13 at 0:09
    
@MarkE I would assume the mainland part must be partially, but am not sure, that would be a separate question to ask. –  Mark Mayo Sep 17 '13 at 0:19

Loco2 - loco2.com, which is my company, has worked hard to make booking this route as easy as possible. We combine Eurostar trains with the City Night Line sleeper train from Paris so that you can easily book all in one go. We also offer other options via Brussels if you want to look at day trains as well.

All the prices are the same as booking directly with Eurostar, SNCF or Deutsche Bahn. The combinations offered on Loco2 can't be found anywhere else because of the way that we've built our software (you can book each portion separately elsewhere but you'd need to manually combine the different searches as suggested by Seat 61).

Sorry to sound like a bit of an advert! Hope that's helpful, and I'm happy to answer any more questions about Loco2 or any other aspect of how best to book London to Berlin trains.

share|improve this answer

There are currently no sleeper services operating through the Channel Tunnel, so no sleeper services between the UK and Europe. They originally planned to run some, and had the Nightstar trains built, but for various reasons detailed on the wikipedia article they never ran. I believe you can try the rolling stock if you go to Canada!

So, short answer - there's no sleeper rail service between Berlin and London

The every brilliant Seat 61 page on the journey lists your main options. If the sleeping bit is important, opt for a train to the Netherlands then change for Hook of Holland, then take the overnight ferry to Harwich. Those have nice comfy beds, small but decent showers, wifi, restaurants etc. You'll sleep much better on that than you would've done on most sleeper trains!

Otherwise, if you want to spend most of your time sleeping on a train, then you'd probably need to take the Berlin <-> Paris sleeper, and change to a Eurostar. Seat 61 has the details on that option. Oh, and if you're googling for other options, you may see references to a sleeper Berlin <-> Brussels with a Eurostar connection. That used to offer excellent timings, and was good to take, but most annoyingly it hasn't run for a number of years now and is apparently unlikely to restart (disputes between DB and SNCB over track charges I believe).

share|improve this answer
    
It's worthy of note that increased security precautions (since 9/11) around the Channel Tunnel make sleeper services very unlikely - stations running fewer than about ten trains a day to London are not cost-effective without a security stop at Lille (which is impractical for a sleeper, as you'd have to wake all the passengers up). –  Richard Gadsden Oct 13 at 14:19
    
The killer probably isn't the security restrictions, it's the UK juxtaposed border controls. Also, a sleeper from London to the continent could work despite those, since you'd clear immigration+security at St Pancras, returning would be the hard bit –  Gagravarr Oct 13 at 14:56
1  
There was some work done by the London Direct Sleepers Group and they had an agreement with UKBA to do immigration on board train before crossing the border (they would do an unscheduled stop at Calais to disembark any passenger without border clearance) but could not get an agreement to do security controls other than through a secure platform, which was not an option for distant departure stations that would only have a single daily sleeper to London. –  Richard Gadsden 2 days ago

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.