Traveling through Europe by train is the classic Eurotrip experience. The Eurail pass makes it even easier to hop on and off trains without the hassle of buying tickets. You take a train from city center to city center and avoid the inconvenience of taking a taxi or bus from an airport to the city center. But even though train travel is convenient and the Eurail pass can sometimes help you ultimately save money, every budget traveler knows that with being cheap comes a whirlwind of backbreaking (literally) pain and annoyances. Sleeping on a train is one of those ‘budget traveler’ experiences.

First, remember there are different types of overnight train experiences. One way is with real bunk beds. If only, if only…

overnight train europe sleeper cars

Photo via Rail Europe

 The other way to travel on an overnight train is on a six person couchette, in which upright seats like this recline into half-beds. Keep in mind that across from these three seats is another three seats, basically creating a six person master bed.

overnight train europe couchette

Photo via Eurail

The struggles of budget traveling are ultimately well worth the extra days you get to add to your trip, but here’s the steps of what sleeping on a couchette on an overnight train is like.

Waiting on the platform after midnight will have you like…


GIF via Giphy

You’ll be relieved to find a group of empty seats

happy dance

GIF via Giphy

Then someone will come sit right next to you


GIF via Giphy

Nobody knows how to lay down next to a stranger


GIF via Giphy

You will try to lay down and get comfortable…it won’t work

uncomfortable sleep

GIF via Giphy

You manage to curl up in a strange, somewhat comfortable position

curled up

GIF via Giphy

You’ll peak out the window at sunrise in a new country

peaking out wake up

GIF via Giphy

The ticket inspector will barge in and wake you right after dosing off

abrupt wake up

GIF via Giphy

You arrive at your destination with a burst energy and eagerness

burst of energy

GIF via Giphy

Where will you take an overnight train to?

Feature Image via Tripomatic


Sydney Pereira is a student at New York University trying to change the world while simultaneously making enough money to travel when she's not studying or writing. She's also an athlete, music-lover, and avid news reader. When she's not exploring NYC, fresh flowers from the farmer's market and a cup of hot tea on a lazy Saturday are equally fulfilling.


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