We have already written about travelling to and from Sonderborg, either within Denmark or abroad previously in this blog. However, one way of travelling that we hadn’t mentioned was travelling with sleeper trains.
We ‘discovered’ the night trains by accident while looking for saver tickets on the Deutsche Bahn website. The service, known as City Night Line, connects a number of European cities during the night: you go to sleep in one country, and arrive refreshed the next morning ready to discover your destination.
From Padborg or Flensburg you can get on a train straight to Prague, Basel or Amsterdam (with stops in other places including Berlin, Frankfurt, or Cologne). Having discovered this possibility we couldn’t pass it by, so we hopped on the train to Prague for an Easter break, leaving Padborg at around 22:00, and arriving in Prague the next day at around 9:30.
On the train there are a couple of sleeping options, from 4-6 person couchette compartments, to deluxe 2-person cabins. On this trip we tried the 4-person couchette compartment going there and an economy double cabin coming back. As would be expected, the double cabin was more comfortable than the shared couchette. However, since the other two people in the couchette compartment got off in Berlin, we had the cabin to ourselves for most of the trip.
So how was the experience?
This was my first time in a sleeper train. I wasn’t sure how much sleep I would actually get. However, although there is quite a lot of bumping around at certain stations as the trains are reconfigured (the train leaves Copenhagen with cars meant for Prague, Amsterdam and Basel), having around 11 hours on the train means that you can get ample sleep. Both of us are pretty heavy sleepers and both got decent sleep but people who sleep lighter might have trouble falling asleep. We would consider these trains another time if we are heading in one of the directions of City Night Line. Waking up to the views of the train running along the river Elbe was worth it just on its own!