Amsterdam To Vienna Night Train – Sleeper Train To Austria

After our successful weekend to Basel, Switzerland by night train, I wanted to try the night train to Vienna, Austria this year. In this post, I’ll share my experiences with the Amsterdam to Vienna night train. And dish out some practical tips for the sleeper train to Vienna Austria.

In the past, I had traveled to Vienna by day train which included one change in Münich and quite some hours on the train. As I was on my way to Istanbul by train, that wasn’t a problem, but now I wanted to travel quicker. We hopped on the train Thursday evening, woke up in Austria the next morning, and were ready for 3 whole days of exploring ahead of us. Doesn’t this sound great?

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What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
Arriving bright and early in Vienna after a night on the train

What is the Amsterdam to Vienna night train?

ÖBB Nightjet (an Austrian company) operated this overnight train route. It connects Amsterdam, in the Netherlands with top destinations in Austria, (Innsbrück and Vienna) but also Germany and Switzerland (Basel and Zürich).

This post focuses on my experiences on the night train from Amsterdam to Vienna, but you can apply most of the practical information and experiences to the other routes too.

The main feature of this night train is that it is a direct train from Amsterdam to Vienna. You don’t have to switch trains but can stay comfortable in your bed.

On the day train, you have to switch trains once and the train is only a little bit quicker. 11 Hours on a train is a long ride during the day, but if you can sleep or rest most of that time, it’s time well spent.

Woman waiting at train station for the train to Vienna
Of course, we were way too early at the station and had to wait for the train to Vienna

My experiences with the night train from Den Bosch to Vienna

Oddly enough, the day trip leaves Amsterdam and stops in Utrecht and Arnhem (the Netherlands). It takes between 11 and 12 hours and you’ll have to switch trains in Frankfurt (either the airport or central station) before arriving in Vienna, Austria.

The night sleeper train to Vienna departs Amsterdam and stops in Utrecht and ‘s Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) (The Netherlands). You cross Germany and pass the border at Passau. There are also a few stops in Austria, before reaching Vienna.

We boarded the train in Den Bosch around 8 pm and settled into our sleeper compartment. I had booked a 6-bed sleeper compartment for the two of us, which allowed us to have more space and privacy. We made the bed and fooled around a bit before the rocking back and forth made us settle in for the night.

I’m going to be honest with you: we didn’t have a great night’s sleep. Our compartment was right next door to the steward’s office and people were constantly walking back and forth, talking loudly in the corridor. For some reason, people with regular seats kept boarding our carriage and had to be directed to another carriage. Or they just took a bed and were ”caught’ and moved elsewhere which of course, didn’t go quietly.

We woke up around 8-ish in the morning to a snow-covered world as we slowly made our way across the Austrian countryside to the capital Vienna. We had our breakfast in the carriage and had some time to rub the sleep from our eyes before we arrived in Vienna around 9 am.

All in all, it wasn’t the best of nights, but we traveled nearly 1,100 km, comfortable in our beds, relaxing. And we arrived in the early morning, so Vienna was waiting for us!

What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
The reason for visiting Vienna was to visit the Christmas market! Lovin’ it.

Why you should take the sleeper train from Amsterdam to Vienna

For me, any kind of train is new and exciting. But I also find the sleeper trains in Europe a bit nostalgic and romantic. There is something really soothing about sleeping on a train and waking up in a whole new world.

If we leave all these romantic feelings behind, we can focus on the practical side of things.

Day train vs night train

When you want to travel from Amsterdam to Austria you have a wide range of departure times during the day. On most days, 11.5 hours is the fastest it will take, with 1 change. But it can also take 13 to 16 hours with multiple changes.

You’ll lose a full day of travel and the trains are usually quite busy and might be delayed.

With the night train from Amsterdam to Vienna, you only have 1 departure, but it runs daily and it is also a direct train. During the night it takes over 14 hours, but you can sleep.

You’ll depart the Netherlands in the evening, and arrive bright and early in Switzerland!

Evening departure from Den Bosch central station ('s Hertogenboch Centraal) for the train to Vienna
Evening departure from Den Bosch central station (‘s Hertogenboch Centraal) for the train to Vienna

Costs for the night train to Austria from the Netherlands

As with all tickets for trains or planes, you’ll need to book in advance to score cheaper tickets.

When you just book a seat on the train, you can find 2nd class tickets for €50 from Amsterdam to Vienna on the day train. If you wish to upgrade to 1st class, you’ll pay €90. Weirdly, that’s more expensive than the night train.

And prices go up quickly depending on the dates and connections.

If you book the Nightjet train from Amsterdam to Vienna and choose a seat, it will set you back €35. Not bad for a 1.100 km journey!

If you want to take full advantage of the night train and arrive well-rested in Austria, you want to book one of the sleeper or couchette compartments.

Obviously, the beds in sleeper compartments are more comfortable and shared with fewer people. But they are also the most expensive ones.

If you choose the 6-person couchette compartments, you pay more than a regular seat (€85), but less than the sleeper compartments. Upgrade for €35 extra to a 4-person couchette and you’ll get a bit more comfort. If you want the 6-bed couchette for yourself, expect to pay and additional €340.

Then you might be better off in a Sleepcouchette as they go from €385 per bed.

What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
The train is easy to recognize!

What is it like sleeping on the night train to Vienna?

But what is it actually like sleeping on the night train? Can you sleep at all?

Now, I’m overweight and quite tall, so the sleeping bunk bed was a bit narrow for me and I just barely fit lengthwise. If you’re over 1.80m/ 5.9 ft, then it might be a bit tight.

We stayed in a 6-person sleeping couchette, but all for ourselves. This means the middle bunk beds are folded away. And the top bunks are not used, giving more room and fewer people to share the compartment with.

We both slept on bottom bunks, which is much more comfortable than the top bunk beds (in my opinion).

The train was rocking us to sleep, the curtains blocked out the lights from the stations but unfortunately, it was not quiet at all on board the train to Vienna.

Of course, this depends on the people boarding, the location of your compartment in the carriage, and several other factors. If it would have been quieter during the night, I might have slept like a baby.

In the morning, we had a small breakfast (coffee or tea, 2 bread rolls, and jam) and rolled into Vienna’s main central station!

What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
We had the 6-bed compartment for the 2 of us which offered more space and privacy.

Normal seats for the night

On the night train to Vienna, there are seating carriages. They have a toilet in each carriage and compartments with 6 seats. The tickets are the cheapest (from €35 onwards) but it might mean a night in a very uncomfortable position.

3 Seats are facing the direction of the train, and the other 3 seats are opposite and face the other way. If you have long legs, it might be a struggle to stash them. In case your seat is a window seat, and you have to go to the toilet, it does involve some crawling over other people’s legs.

These are the cheapest tickets for the train to Austria and you’ll share them with other people. If you want more privacy, you can pay a little bit extra for a private compartment for 1-3 people. If you’re on a strict budget, it is a very good way to travel across Europe by train!

Sleeping compartments

The sleeping compartments are the most comfortable and offer you a good night’s sleep before you arrive in Austria. But they are also the most expensive as they offer more privacy and luxury.

The sleeping compartments are for 1,2 or 3 persons. If you book 1 bed, you’ll share with others, unless you pay a premium fee for a private compartment.

Inside the compartment, there is a small wash basin, but no toilet. They can be found in the carriage. The breakfast options are more elaborate and you get an aperitif when you board the train. Cheers!

I had booked for us 2 beds in the sleeper compartments for our journey back from Vienna to the Netherlands, but unfortunately, our train got canceled and I never got to experience it myself.

Book your ticket to Vienna by night train here.

2, 4 or 6-bunkbed sleeping compartments

This is the most booked option as it is both comfortable and affordable if you book ahead of time. This compartment doesn’t have a wash basin, just 2×3 bunk beds, and more than enough storage space for all your gear. You can use the toilet and wash basin at the end of the carriage.

I had a look inside the compartments with 6 beds in use and this looked very crowded. Especially the middle bed is very confined and you’ll have little room to do anything but lie down.

If you upgrade to the 4-bed compartment, things are a bit more spacious and with fewer people on a small surface area.

In the couchette compartment, you’ll get a small breakfast and a bottle of water.

Book your ticket to Vienna by night train here.

What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
Ready for the night, let’s turn off the lights and the next thing we know, we wake up in Austria

Women’s-only-compartments

If you travel solo as a woman on a sleeper train in Europe, your safety is a huge concern. It is good to know you can book a specific ladies-only-compartment.

You still share the couchette, but you will not be sleeping as a solo female traveler with 5 other strange men in a compartment.

On the sleeper train to Vienna, you’ll also find a spacious compartment for wheelchair users and their companions.

Both the ladies-only as well as the wheelchair-user compartment can not be booked online but must be requested via the service center.

How to book your ticket for the night train from Amsterdam to Vienna

Calling an international train service center is quite the hassle. I was never successful in comparing the times, dates, prices and options over the phone.

The good news is: that you can easily book a ticket for the night train to Vienna online! Either on your smartphone via the app or on their desktop website, tickets can be booked 180 days in advance.

The earlier you book, the lower the price, and more options are available for the sleeping compartments.

But how does it work?

  • Head over to the official website to book your train tickets to Vienna.
  • Select your departure train station and destination Vienna
  • Select a date, anywhere between now and 180 days
  • You need to look for the direct connection train (no transfers) and the Nightjet logo
What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
Make sure you select the direct Nightjet night train

The price shown is for a seat. On the right, you’ll find more options for seat and sleeper beds.

From here, you’ll select the sleeping options

  • Select which type of bed you want. Prices are mentioned. If a couchette or sleeper compartment is not mentioned, it means they are not (yet or anymore) available for booking online.
  • Select the type of ticket you want. If you choose the regular ticket, you’ll have a non-refundable and non-exchangeable ticket. Flex tickets are more expensive, but they do offer more flexibility if your travel plans change.
  • Optional, you can select the return journey for the train from Vienna to Amsterdam.
  • Pay for your purchase and get the tickets and confirmation via e-mail. Have a safe journey!
Make sure you select the direct Nightjet night train
You can choose the different levels of flexibility for your ticket

Practical tips for a weekend by night train to Vienna

Did you know the night train runs every day? After exploring Amsterdam you can set out to explore more of Europe.

You can easily depart Amsterdam at 7 pm and arrive on Saturday morning in Vienna at 9.20 am.

The return train from Vienna departs at 8.10 pm and it arrives back in Amsterdam at 10 am on Monday morning.

This makes for a perfect weekend break without taking any time off work. Depart on Thursday evening for a long weekend in Austria, with only 1 day off!

What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
On the way back from Vienna to the Netherlands, you can still have dinner, of course Schnitzel!

What to pack on the sleeper train to Vienna or back to the Netherlands

When the train departs from the Netherlands, it is already quite late. Depending on the type of sleeping arrangements, it is most comfortable to head straight for bed.

Comfortable sleeping clothes are key, but make sure you can also be dressed appropriately in case you have to run to the bathroom.

Wear, or bring a pair, of easy slip-on shoes or house slippers for midnight or early morning trips to the bathroom.

Each bed comes with a pillow, sheets, and blankets. The compartments also have heating but depending on your preferences, it easily gets too hot or too cold. And an extra sweater or cool shirt might be valuable to bring.

Consider bringing a sleeping mask to block out any lights, and earplugs or headphones to block out noises.

What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
Waking up in Austria in winter wonderland!

Can I bring luggage on the night train to Vienna?

If you’re traveling across Europe by train, or plan to stay in Austria for a longer period of time, you might want to bring some extra luggage.

Please note that luggage space is limited onboard the sleeper trains in Europe. But I found there is always room to stash something if you’re creative.

It’s best to bring a backpack or flexible sporting goods bag, as they are more flexible. Bulky suitcases with wheels sticking out are heavy and not convenient on the trains.

What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
As it was December and snowing, it was a bit grey but we have arrived in Vienna

A final note about this night train to Vienna

I loved our journey on the night train to Vienna and it was very practical for a time-optimized weekend trip to Vienna. However, there are some notes to keep in mind.

  • You’ll arrive early morning in Vienna. Hotels, B&Bs,s and other accommodations are usually not open for check-in this early.
  • You can store your luggage at Vienna train station, in self-service luggage boxes for an affordable fee. They only accept cash so make sure to bring some euros!
  • There are plenty of breakfast cafés at Vienna station or downtown Vienna to settle in a bit before hitting town. First kaiserbrötchen of the trip!
  • Please plan more than enough time for onward travel and other plans. Delays are very common and 1 to 2 hours are not unusual. If the train is more than 1 hour late, you can claim for compensation of your ticket. The process is very easy and quick.

Useful links for this train journey to Vienna

Although it was not my first time on a sleeper train in Europe, it was still pretty cool to go to bed in the Netherlands and wake up in snow-covered Austria. If you’d like to experience the same, here are some practical links to get you started:

What do you think? Would you book the night train to Vienna for a weekend trip to Austria’s capital? Do you feel you have all the information you need to book your Amsterdam to Vienna night train?

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. You can drop them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you! If you’ve liked my tips and stories, please share them with friends and family and come back for more travel stories next time.

What's it like to travel the Amsterdam to Vienna night train? I'll share how to book the Vienna sleeper train to Austria from the Netherlands
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