REVIEW: We slept our way from Amsterdam to Berlin on the new European Sleeper train

Let us tell you all about it. ☕️ ✨

Aside from low-rise jeans, bubble tea, and the return of the mullet, there’s one thing that’s really popping off in the Netherlands in 2024 — international train travel. Especially when it’s so easy you can even do it… in your sleep. 😉

As the climate crisis steps closer and closer into the foreground of our everyday worries, it’s no wonder that the idea of travelling in a more sustainable way is becoming increasingly popular. 

In fact, the only thing that holds many of us back when considering international train travel is the thought of sitting in a cramped compartment for hours on end.

So when European Sleeper offered us a chance to board in Amsterdam, sleep our way through the journey and wake up in Berlin, we jumped at the idea. 

What is the European Sleeper train?

European Sleeper is a night train service with the goal of connecting multiple cities throughout Europe. The concept is simple: launch train routes that will depart at night and roll into a stunning new city by morning.

Founders Elmer van Buuren and Chris Engelsman want to revive the night train scene. Image: European Sleeper

On European Sleeper’s Good Night Trains, passengers can choose from a variety of sleeping arrangements and comfortably snooze their way through the journey. 

European Sleeper’s routes

And where will this journey take them? Today, European Sleeper offers the route we took: Brussels to Berlin. 

Passengers looking to take this route can choose to board at Brussels, Antwerp, Roosendaal, Rotterdam, Den Haag HS, Amsterdam Centraal, Amersfoort, Deventer or Bad Bentheim. 

Fall asleep in Amsterdam, wake up in Berlin! Image: Freepik

Once everyone’s onboard, the train falls silent for the night, and passengers can sleep soundly until arrival in Berlin. 

European Sleeper doesn’t plan to stop at just Berlin, however. With each year in business, the company hopes to add an extra route to their services.

In fact, this year, European Sleeper added Dresden and Prague to its route — someone pinch us because we must be dreaming. 😍

Expectations versus reality

I’m not going to lie, when I heard we were being offered a night on the night train, I pictured a somewhat horizontal seat and a bad night’s sleep — but hey, it would be worth it, I’d wake up in a new city!

This was not the case at all with European Sleeper. 

Once the big day finally came and we boarded the train at Amsterdam Centraal, I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only did I have a comfortable cabin and bed waiting for me, I had sheets, blankets, a pillow, water, and even a complimentary breakfast! 

@dutchreview Snoozing from Amsterdam to Berlin and back. 😴 #nighttrain #traintravel #interrailing #europeantravel #europeantravelguide #amsterdam #berlin #europeansleeper #europeansleepertrain #dutchreview #fyp ♬ Riptide – Vance Joy

The vibes were immediately cosy, I felt like Harry Potter on his way to Hogwarts (without the Death Eaters), and I had just one important thing to test. 

In a very childlike manner, I dibsed the top bunk in our cabin, climbed my way up, and immediately nestled in. Any weird bumps? Nope. Any weird smells? Nothing. Was I at an angle? Definitely not. Was I comfortable? Yes

And would I remain so? Inderdaad.  

Once I used the toilet facilities in the carriage, popped on my pyjamas, and stared romantically out the window for a moment, I drew the curtains, slid closed the cabin door, and hopped into my surprisingly cosy bed.

In fact, I can’t tell you too much more about my experience of a night on the Good Night Train — because I was fast asleep.

We stayed in a couchette cabin — it was cosy and comfortable. Image: European Sleeper

The next thing I knew, a gentle announcement was telling me we would be arriving in Berlin in 20 minutes. The gentle rocking of the train had lulled me into a sleep that I hadn’t experienced since I was six years old after a day at the beach.

And can I just say, waking up in a sunny Berlin was just like waking up on Christmas Day. ☀️

What are the sleeping arrangements like on the Good Night Train?

This was the question that first sprung to mind when we were invited to embark on this journey. What exactly counts as a sleeper train? Would a conductor simply throw a pillow at our faces, and voila, we’re on a sleeper train? 

I can now safely say this was not the case. 

You can also opt for a sleeper cabin. Image: European Sleeper

European Sleeper offers a number of different options. Travelling with the family? You can opt for a six-person couchette cabin, which functions as a classic train cabin but can also be transformed into six separate beds when the need to sleep hits. 

Are you travelling with a smaller crowd? Or alone? Then you can opt for a sleeper cabin. These can be booked as a single, double, or triple cabin. 

Tip: Are you a woman travelling alone? You can always opt for a women’s only cabin! 

Happy to just hitch a ride and look out at the night sky? You are also free to ride the night train the classic and affordable way — simply book a seat!

Ok, I’m in! How can I get tickets? 

Ready to try out European Sleeper’s services for yourself? We couldn’t recommend it more. 😍 Check out the website, choose your favourite travel options, and simply book tickets online.  

Look at you go, you sustainable, worldly being. Fijne reis! 👋

Have you travelled on a night train before? Tell us about your experience below!

Feature Image:European Sleeper
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.

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