Berlin to Paris by night train On board the Transeuropean Express

The Transeuropean Express operated by RZD: Connecting Moscow with Minsk, Warsaw, Berlin and Paris.

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As you might know, DB (German Railways) have withdrawn their CNL night train from Berlin to Paris in December 2014 – so there is no more overnight train available between the two cites, right? But what if I told you that you can still travel overnight on this route – on a direct train, in comfortable beds? It’s true, the Transeuropean Express operated by RZD (Russian Railways) connects Moscow with Paris, running via Minsk, Warsaw and Berlin and offers a comfortable and fast overnight connection from the Spree to the Seine. If you want to know more about the full trip between Paris and Moscow check out my blog post. Here, I will focus on the overnight trip from Berlin to Paris on the same train.

The night train to Paris at Berlin Lichtenberg. I just had to get the photo with the "no photos allowed" sign.
The night train to Paris at Berlin Lichtenberg. I just had to get the photo with the “no photos allowed” sign.


Berlin to Paris overnight

In 2017, the Transeuropean Express runs once a week from Moscow to Paris, leaving Berlin for Paris on Wednesdays. The return journey from Paris to Berlin and Moscow starts on Thursdays. In Berlin, the train makes stops at Lichtenberg and Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), makes intermediate stops in Erfurt, Frankfurt/Main, Karlsruhe, Strasbourg, Epernay and arrives at the Gare de l’Est (East Station) in Paris the following morning. The train consists of modern and very comfortable sleeping cars – I have been using all kinds of night trains throughout Europe and this train is certainly one of the most comfortable ones currently operating in Europe. Three kinds of accommodation are available:

  • Lux sleeper: Two bed compartment (one lower, one upper berth) with en-suite shower and WC, entertainment system and a private bar at the end of the carriage.
  • 1st class sleeper: Two bed compartment (two lower berths) with washbasin. Shower and WC at the end of the carriage.
  • 2nd class sleeper: Four bed compartment (two lower, two upper berths) with washbasin. Shower and WC at the end of the carriage.

In addition to the sleeping cars you will also find a restaurant car, operated by the staff of WARS (Polish dining cars operator), offering a wide range of dinner and breakfast, dessert, hot and cold drinks. If you just want a small snack, you can also purchase something from the sleeping car attendants (Euro are of course accepted but it is recommend to pay with coins or small bills).

I was travelling on the train back in April 2016, when I was making a trip to Moscow with Peter (see link posted in introduction). We had a 1st class compartment and I have to say that it was amongst the best trips I had on board a night train. The cabins are spacious, beds are comfortable, the sleeping car attendants are friendly and you can have dinner and breakfast in the dining car – there is not much more you could ask for. The only thing that currently is missing would be WiFi, but for an overnight trip it is no problem for me to not have internet access. Instead, I recommend to enjoy the excellent dishes in the dining car and enjoy the journey into the night.

Tea time.
Tea time.


Tickets and Timetable

EN 23J/452 runs on Wednesdays EN 453/24J runs on Thursdays
arr dep arr dep
Berlin Lichtenberg 20:21 20:45 Paris Est 18:58
Berlin Hauptbahnhof 21:03 21:08 Strasbourg Ville 23:11 23:26
Frankfurt/Main Süd 02:16 02:18 Karlsruhe Hauptbahnhof 00:28 00:44
Karlsruhe Hauptbahnhof 03:39 03:55 Frankfurt/Main Süd 01:54 01:56
Strasbourg Ville 04:50 05:15 Berlin Hauptbahnhof 07:20 07:27
Paris Est 09:33 Berlin Lichtenberg 07:41 07:57

Tickets are available online from RZD and SNCF as well as from ticket desks in Germany, France and other countries. When buying online you are only offered the standard fares, however at ticket desks a number of special fares (for small groups, youths, seniors etc) are available. If you have an Interrail ticket, you are offered a 15% discount on the regular fare; it is not necessary to use a travel day to use this train.

Group travel Russia: if you want to travel with a whole group by train to or in Russia, we recommend you our friend Marine. Please contact her to get a quote: info -at-
She is the specialist for group travel with Russian railways.

At Paris Est station. The Transeuopean Express is ready to return to Berlin and Moscow.
At Paris Est station. The Transeuopean Express is ready to return to Berlin and Moscow.

Update: April 2018

Flo Weber
I like to travel by train.
Flo Weber
- 13 hours ago
Flo Weber
Flo Weber
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  1. Hola!!! M’agradaria viatjar des de Barcelona a Polònia amb tren, però les combinacions que trobo fan que sigui un viatge extremadament llarg i costós. Em pots fer algun suggeriment???? Gràcies!!

    • Hi Berta.
      You cross half of Europe – yes, it is a long journey. 🙂
      The night train Paris to Moscow (stops in Warsaw) runs only once per week.

      A daily option could be:
      Barcelona-Paris which is usually the most expenivst part.
      Then Paris-Basel. Leaving Barcelona in the morning around 09:00 h, arriving in Basel at arround 19:00 h.
      Book this ticket in on step on

      Next step is from Basel to Berlin by night train nightjet, available from 39 Euro in a seat, but I recommend at least a couchette. The train looks like this one:

      And then from Berlin on to Poland: or – available from 39 Euro.

      All in all depends on where you want to go in Poland and of course there are other routes as well available. 🙂

      If you have further questions, please ask in our forum:

      Pete 🙂

  2. Hey!

    I´m looking at taking the night train from Berlin to Paris, the one that runs from Moscow to Paris(Paris Est), but I find the schedules very confusing. Can you help me out?


  3. We’re trying to find a night (sleeper) train. Traveling in the spring of 2019. I’ve been looking at December 2018 schedules to get ideas of times and accommodations, since schedules aren’t ready yet. We are coming from Bayeux France and hoping to end up in Salzburg Austria, somehow. I expect to actually begin the journey in Paris, but hope to be able to rest until we get into Germany (maybe Munich) and then connect on to Salzburg.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    • Hi!

      Unfortunately there are no night trains really suiting your itinerary.
      The weekly Paris – Moscow night train runs via Berlin but this is quite a way off your route to Salzburg (about six hours).
      The weekly Nice – Moscow night train doesnt stop in Salzburg but you could get off the train at Vienna (around 6am) and travel back to Salzburg (about two and a half hours).
      The daily Zurich – Vienna/Budapest night train might be an option too; Paris to Zurich is possible in about four hours.
      Have a look at too 🙂

  4. Hi I’m from México. I’d like to travel by train from Berlín to Moscow.
    But, I don’t have a Bielorrusian TRANSIT VISA, what do you recomended me?. Regards!!

    • Hi Eduardo!
      If you dont have a transit visa for Belarus you can travel either via Ukraine (for instance Warsaw – Kyiv; Kyiv – Moscow) or via the Baltics (for instance Warsaw – Vilnius – Riga; Riga – Moscow) or via Finland (ferry to Helsinki, then night train to Moscow).

  5. We’d like to take de Paris Berlin Route by a direct train.. does it only run by Fridays?? Do you know other affordable option? We’re looking for a night option in order to optimize our time… as we are exprecting that.. do you suggest taking a plane? We’re expecting to travel during the night to arrive to Berlin early in the morning…

  6. Trying to find an affordable day train for my teenage son and myself to travel this one way this coming summer from Berlin to Paris. What do you recommend? I don’t want a night train, we’d like to see the countryside. We would be ok with an overnight somewhere but it is looking too difficult to find so probably just go to Paris. Worried about the changing of trains as well. This is our first time overseas and finding travel other than by airplanes to be confusing. Please help!

    • Hi Gina,

      you can find basic information about how to travel from Berlin to Paris here:

      Basically there are two different main routes to follow:
      a) From Berlin to Cologne by ICE (German high speed train), then from Cologne to Paris by Thalys (international high speed train, travelling via Brussels/Belgium)
      b) From Berlin to Frankfurt/Main by ICE, then from Frankfurt to Paris by ICE or TGV (French high speed train).
      There are many connections available, some of them might include changing trains at other stations than mentioned above.

      Fastest connections on both routes take about eight hours. If you follow the above link you will see two booking links, for and
      Tickets for the route via Cologne and Thalys are only available from Trainline; tickets for the route via Frankfurt are available from DB Bahn (German Railways) and Trainline.
      For you it is important to book your trip (Berlin to Paris) in one go. That way you have comprehensive passenger rights; including the possibility to take another train in case you miss a connection due to a delay. Important: this applies only to missed connections due to delayed trains etc, you are not entitled to travel with another train if you arrive late to a station. 😉

      There are no direct daytime trains from Berlin to Paris; you will always have to change trains at least once. However, you dont have to be worried about that. You can always ask train staff about your next connection; where and when to get off the train and from what platform the connecting train departs.
      Simply be at the station in Berlin in time (I recommend at least 15 minutes before departure so that you can look for the departing platform without hassle). When you have to change trains the on board information systems tell you about the platform your train arrives as well as the platform where the connecting train departs. Platforms are usually numbered from 1 onwards. On the platforms, information screens also tell you about the next departing trains.

      The route itself is not particularly scenic overall; in general I would recommend to travel the route via Frankfurt which is a bit more interesting in my opinion.

      Tickets are available as either full fare (fully flexible: exchange/refund/rebooking possible) or as advance fare (“Sparpreis” or “Sparangebot”) which are usually a lot cheaper but less flexible (limited refund/exchange and you have to travel with the booked train).
      On this route, seat reservations are included for the international services to France; within Germany seat reservations are included only in 1st class tickets.
      Booked one month in advance tickets are available from about 80€ per person in 2nd class; 100€ in 1st class.

      Hope that helps,

  7. We were considering taking this train but as there is no information on pricing and no timetable available for January 2017, we will have to book flights instead. At least the airlines in Europe sho some consideration for their customers!

    • Hi Bill,

      the railway timetable in Europe is quite a complicated structure: each country has its own timetable which itself is quite complicated already (regional, intercity and freight trains with different speeds share the same tracks, connections have to be assured, etc), then international trains have to be fitted in the national schedule patterns. There is a new, adapted timetable every year in Decemeber, and the final versions of all country timetables usually are announced in October. That’s why you can’t book the night train yet. Personally, I would wait until the schedule for the timetable is available and then compare train and plane options. For current pricing, please go the links I provided in the blog, as pricing can vary from day to day.
      I can’t comment on airlines as I avoid short-haul flights but if you are going to take one of the low-cost carriers the level of comfort certainly won’t be as high as on the night train.

      Have a nice trip ,

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