Prague is a beguiling, magical city and it's very easy to reach by train from London.
The quickest way to reach Prague by rail is to travel from London to Brussels on Eurostar, then connect to Cologne on the excellent ICE service before finally taking the overnight sleeper train to Prague by City Night Line. You can leave London in the afternoon and be in Prague the following morning.
HOW TO BOOK
First go to the Deutsche Bahn website and enter "Cologne" (Koln hbf) & "Prague" in the destination boxes. Then enter the sleeper train times ( 22.28 outward and 18.29 inward). Book and print out your tickets (registering with DB helps access your journey details at a later time, should you need to).
Secondly, buy tickets from London to Cologne. Either do this by booking the London Speziale with DEUTSCHE BAHN (prices start from €59 each way - go to "OFFERS" on the homepage and click London Spezial) or book separate tickets for each stage (Eurostar from London to Brussels - Brussels to Cologne) using the EUROSTAR WEBSITE and then the DEUTSCHE BAHN site. You could also check the prices for Thalys for Brussels to Cologne on the Belgian railways site, as they may possibly be cheaper.
Leave London St Pancras after an early lunch at one of the station’s excellent restaurants. The Eurostar sets off from the beautifully refurbished St Pancras station, speeds through the countryside and takes just twenty minutes to dash through the Channel Tunnel and emerge in France. The journey is deceptively fast- the comfortable train rockets through Kent, beneath the channel and emerges in France in the time it takes to queue at an airport. Check-in is smooth and simple, up to 30 minutes before departure, and there is a lounge with wifi and plug sockets, shops including WH Smith and Costa Coffee and comfortable seating in the departure lounge, with an escalator which delivers passengers directly to the platform. There is a buffet card on board, or an executive upgrade means food service at your table, a quieter carriage, more spacious seats and a plug socket and free wifi. After just over two hours, arrive in time to catch your connection to Cologne.
To connect with the sleeper service to Prague leave no later than 15.04.
To connect with the sleeper service to Vienna leave no later than 12.58
Arrive in time to take the onward connection to Cologne on the excellent Thalys or ICE trains. You could buy some snacks from the Bio supermarket at Brussels station. These are modern, comfortable trains with wifi, buffet cars and plenty of room for your luggage. The journey takes just under two hours. The connection is easy at Brussels. Simply follow the directions on the screens. There's full disabled access and staff are on hand if you need further help.
For the Cologne - Prague sleeper train catch the 18.25 ICE service to Cologne (or the earlier 17.28 Thalys service on Saturdays).
For the Cologne - Vienna sleeper train take the 17.28 Thalys service.
Days 1 - 2
After arriving in Cologne from Brussels you may have time for a quick visit to the famous cathedral, which is very close to the station, or a quick dinner. At 22.28 the overnight City Night Line service leaves for Prague. Perhaps take a picnic and a good bottle of wine and enjoy the journey.
Arrive in Prague the following morning at 09.26, ready to enjoy your first day in this magical city.
NOTE - The local government is clamping down on taxis overcharging for journeys. Most hotels are no more than a 10 minutes away from the station, at most, and so take care that you are not overcharged. The best option is to contact the hotel before travelling and ask their advice. They may even have their own pick up service.
Days 2 - 3
A true fairytale carries the promise of darkness within its golden palaces and ancient streets- and Prague’s turbulent history is woven into every brick of its beautiful buildings, soaring towers and grand boulevards.
From its medieval signs showing animals to indicate who lived in the colourful houses, to the statues staring unseeing from the Charles Bridge and the cobbles of Wenceslas Square, everywhere has a story buried in its beauty.
Days 3 - 4
Take the early evening (18.29) overnight City Night Line from Prague to Cologne. Take a picnic and a good bottle of wine on board and enjoy the journey. You arrive in Cologne early the following morning (06.14) in plenty of time to catch your onward connection or spend some time in this lovely German city, famous for its cathedral.
Take a morning train to Brussels. You could take a picnic for the journey on either an ICE or Thalys train if you think you'll be too hungry to enjoy a late lunch in Brussels. The trains, which are fast and modern, have buffet cars too.
If arriving from Prague the first available train is at 07.43
If arriving from Vienna connect with the 11.43 ICE service.
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