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Revealed: The three best places to visit in Europe by sleeper train this winter

A flight-free travel enthusiast has revealed the three ‘best sleeper trains to take in winter’ for Brits hoping to have a low-emission getaway in the next few months. 

Sarah B.M., who goes by @sarahbmarks on TikTok, said the routes offered the opportunity to visit destinations completely missed on a direct flight.

However, fares on two of her journeys were more expensive than flying once a night’s accommodation with each sleeper train ticket was factored in.

All three of Sarah’s suggestions begin with taking the Eurostar to Amsterdam – with a return tending to cost roughly £80 to £120 if you book a couple of months in advance – before transferring to a sleeper.

The first of the three destinations at the time of posting, although prices change constantly, was Innsbruck, Austria.

Sarah B.M. revealed her top three sleeper trains to take this winter, all of which left from Amsterdam – which you can get to from London on the Eurostar

The first suggested destination was Innsbruck, Austria, which you approach with views of snow-topped mountains

‘You can cosy up in your cabin, and enjoy traditional Viennese rolls for breakfast as you pass alongside snow covered mountains,’ Sarah said. 

Once you are there, you are blessed with a range of options.

You might choose to stroll around and take in the beautiful 12th century town, or you can capitalise on the seasonal pleasures of skiing or tobogganing on the surrounding mountains.

A bunk on the 14-hour train sets you back around £70 each way, although if you are on a budget and trust yourself to get some kip while sat upright, a seat in a six-person cabin can cost as little as £25.

By contrast, a return flight from London to Innsbruck comes in between £50 and £70, with two extra nights to make up for those otherwise spent on the train costing roughly £40 each at a budget hotel – meaning that the total journey with the sleeper train will be roughly £70 more expensive.

Sarah’s second offering involved taking two standard trains from Amsterdam after an overnight stay to get yourself to Hamburg – for a price of just under £30 each way – before getting a sleeper from there to Stockholm, Sweden.

Depending on when you book, the sleeper can cost as little as £50 for a bunk, or you can splash out on a cabin featuring two luxurious double beds and en-suite bathroom.

Choosing the cheapest of those options, plus the connecting trains makes a return flight from London to Stockholm – plus booking in the extra nights you save – nearly £100 cheaper, although you might think the extra expense is worth it for some extra sightseeing and emissions savings along the way. 

This train also has the attraction of an onboard bistro from which you can watch the snowy landscape blur past as you get into Sweden.

Stockholm boasts a classic Christmas market in November and December, but if you are too late for that you can still enjoy the old town or try ice-skating. 

Stockholm boasts a classic Christmas market (above) in November and December, but if you are too late for that you can still enjoy the old town or try ice-skating

The sleeper train from Amsterdam to Zurich can be as cheap as £45 and you can take it the same day that you leave London for the Netherlands on the Eurostar

The final, and cheapest, suggestion was once again taking you towards Austria, but stopping at Zurich, Switzerland.

The sleeper train from Amsterdam to Zurich can be as cheap as £45 and timings can line up in a way which means you can leave the Netherlands the same day you arrive from London.

And on the flipside, flights to Zurich are the most expensive of any of these destinations, with a return trip this winter likely coming in at over £100, and ‘budget’ nights there fetch around £70.

This means that if you fancy a trip to Zurich, taking the sleeper train could save you up to £70.

Sarah suggested that once there, ‘you can take an icy swim in the lake, or board one of their incredible local trains up into the Swiss mountains.’

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