Deutsche Bahn Nachtzug, German Night Train Sleeper Cabin Review.

Posted on 30 June 2010, Last updated on 09 February 2019 by

I took the train down to Munich today to meet up, or rather, Tweet-up, with Intel. It was a great evening and there’s more to that part of the story but it’s the City Night Line night-train back that I want to tell you about now. I’m on it as I write and I have 6 hours until I arrive at Bonn so let me tell you a little bit about a single cabin on the night train from Munich. Ultra mobile fans will be just as excited as me!

Update Feb 2019. The Deutsche Bahn has removed the City Night Line from service due to profitability issues. Three are still some Europe-wide night trains that pass through Germany but these classic and wonderful night trains are no more. A planned Luna-Liner network across Europe is still not in service.

The Boy Scout in me did it. Rather than book a hotel I wanted to test the night train so I booked a single sleeping cabin for about 120 Euros (normally about 150 Euros but I have a 25% discount card) on the 22:43 from Munich to Amsterdam. I didn’t know what to expect although I had high hopes. German high-speed and long distance trains by Deutsche Bahn are normally excellent and I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them so although I knew I wouldn’t get the Orient Express, I was expecting some good German engineering and possibly, some sleep.

I feel like a kid. Really. I’ve been telling everyone about my ‘nachtzug’ and looking forward to checking it out but the wind got taken out of my sails at the meeting this evening where I heard nothing but nightmares. ‘Murder on the DB Express’ said one. ‘You’ll feel like you’ve been beaten up’ said another. Oh boy.

Mobile Office (DB NachtZug)

Tada! Viola! Uberaschung! What a pleasant surprise. he City Night Line sleep cabin in single-person configuration.

This is turning out to be quite the fun experience. Here I am sitting on the side of my bed with a Mifi hotpost serving internet, a friendly conductor, a wake-up call and take-away breakfast planned for 0500 (20 minutes before we arrive,) power, a relatively smooth ride (I’m a baby, I love sleeping in moving vehicles) and a cold German beer. I’ve been shown around my room, given a demo of the multi-option lighting, checked out the built-in wash basin and even have a card-key to lock my door when I go to the toilet or shower. Yes, on-board (although shared) shower! I’m so excited that I’m not sure that I need to sleep tonight.

[Pause as we stop at Guenzburg station and I take a picture of my ever-changing window scene.]


So let me show you round the cabin.


Mobile Office (DB NachtZug) StitchFrom above. This isn’t exactly a huge room but I feel sure I’ve had smaller ones in hotels in Holland. I can nearly touch both walls, lengthways, at the same time and we’re only talking about a width of about 200cm. There’s no en-suite toilet and the walls are thin. Ear plugs recommended! This is an extremely small room.

The room is engineered with three fold-down beds on top of each other. (Pic, left.) With three people, this isn’t going to be the most roomy of experiences and bear in mind that if you book one bed in a three-bed room, you won’t know who you’re sleeping with. Scary! I’ve got the single option here and having walked along the wagon, I think I’m the only one (although apparently there’s a first-class option somewhere!)

The room has controllable air-conditioning and has a range of lighting options from blue night-light to reading light, spot-lights and a full-flood light. There’s a stow-able table that extends right out to the bed where I’m sitting and working right now. The corner area houses a basin with soap, warm water, fresh towels, a shaver power socket and a lighted mirror.

Everything is clean, everything works, nothing is broken (as far as I know) and everything is solidly built. There’s hardly a squeak or rattle to be heard. German engineering folks!

300620102757 300620102751

Air-conditioning, volume (for announcements) and the emergency brake. Blue night-light too!

300620102756 300620102755

In one corner of the room, you’ve got the wash area. Set-up for three people it looks good although I recon there’s some room for more engineering here. How about a little shelf?


Double-lock doors and a card-key give at least a feeling of security. Bear in mind that anyone can walk through this section of the train.


Power! The most important consideration for a travelling blogger. 150W is enough for most laptops but the conductor claims that my laptop (a netbook) is the first one that’s worked on the supply. Apparently most people use the shaving socket!


And finally, the bed. Solid, about 200cm long and with clean sheets, it’s something I’m going to enjoy very much after I’ve posted this.

Blogging while mobile just took on a new meaning. Goodnight everyone.

P.S. Obviously my hotspot is working too!

22 Comments For This Post

  1. UMPCPortal says:

    New article: Deutsche Bahn Night Train (Nachtzug) Sleeper Cabin Review.

  2. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    RT @umpcportal: New article: Deutsche Bahn Night Train (Nachtzug) Sleeper Cabin Review. < Blog, sleep, be mobile!

  3. Gretchen Glasscock says:

    Deutsche Bahn Night Train (Nachtzug) Sleeper Cabin Review.: I took the train down to Munich today to meet up, or r…

  4. Mike Cane says:

    RT: @chippy: RT @umpcportal: New article: Deutsche Bahn Night Train (Nachtzug) Sleeper Cabin Review.

  5. Guy Adams says:

    RT @umpcportal: New article: Deutsche Bahn Night Train (Nachtzug) Sleeper Cabin Review.

  6. Mike Cane says:

    Ah, that looks nice. Is it as clean as pictured? The railway station blew me away. No litter or graffiti? Just yesterday I was reading again about tiny houses and this was even smaller than those!

    Let us know how you slept! And breakfast picture too maybe?

  7. Claudia says:

    Thanks for sharing – I quite like travelling by train and enjoy hearing about other people’s experiences! It sound much nicer than staying in a boring hotel, IMO :-)

  8. chippy says:

    Good morning! I slept well. Had to take earplugs out for fear of sleeping through alarm.

    Woke up to this. Breakfast bag served and i just steped off the train.

  9. The Other Man says:

    Dude where you really a Boy Scout? My troop just crapped out this year.

  10. Chippy says:

    Yes. I was a cub scout too! Learnt a lot from it. Shame that troops are dropping like flies.

  11. Benny says:

    I love Scouting and I have been with my troop since I was 6. To late for me to make Eagle but at least I have skills.

  12. FireDragon says:

    Wow, would love to travel like that too.

  13. BloNo says:

    sounds like its right out of a Bond movie, now all you need is some close quarters hand-to-hand combat or gun battle.

    but im an American, i dont like small spaces even traveling. i like big homes, big SUV’s, & lots of space between my neighbors.

  14. kiz says:

    great write up chippy
    i was also in the DB last moonth from Salzburg to Munich, did you use your own mifi or the one on the train

  15. chippy says:

    I had my own mifi and it worked better than it did on the high speed ICE on the way down.

  16. kiz says:

    and you are not limited to T Mobile as on the ICE

  17. Johannes says:

    Hey, not bad at all! Next time I will try that :)

  18. animatio says:

    i love these trains. i used them to travel from zurich to berlin oder dresden. you enter in the evining at home and you are there in the morning. fresh, clean, ready for take off. doing your business during the whole day. snapping some impressions from the cities themselfes. then you re-enter and the other morning your back at home. fresh, relaxed, ready for take off. always experienced friendly and competent service.

  19. anon says:

    Night trains are the best. You have to sleep sometime anyway and what could be better than already arriving when you wake up, instead of just departing on a trip taking hours and hours?

  20. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    Checking my stats for the week, it seems a lot of you are interested in trains! [sleeper-cabin review: ]

  21. gammer says:

    I had the same good experience, years ago, Berlin-Munich. Additionally there was a (tiny!) shower in my room, for me alone. I also recommend the Nachtzug!

  22. Sheldon says:

    My wife and I took the night train from Como to Koblenz last October, had a great time. The room was a bit tight, but not unduly so. The porter was friendly (all of them were), the ride was smooth and quiet, despite adjacent rooms with far too many occupants, the wine and breakfast were good, and we slept quite well. The shower was a surprise! It was bigger than the showers we had in any of the pensionen we stayed in!

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