Prague is a magical city, and easily reached by train. On the way see Paris and Berlin too.
Take the Eurostar to Paris, the overnight City Night Line service to Berlin before travelling along the banks of the ancient Elbe to the magical city of Prague. It's a simple journey and so much memorable than going by air. Firstly you'll travel by Eurostar to Paris, before making the simple change to Gare De L'Est and taking the overnight train to Berlin. Wake up in this vibrant city and spend the night before continuing onto Prague, with it's extraordinary architectural beauty. On the way back stop off in Paris.
HOW TO BOOK
Firstly book the return sleeper service, the City Night Line, via the DEUTSCHE BAHN site. You need the CNL service that leaves at 20.05 (20.25 at weekends). We suggest that you register with the bahn.de site so that you can access your journey details in the future should you need.
Secondly, still on the Deutsche Bahn site, book a return train journey to Prague. Select a time that's convenient or check for offers and "spezial" fares. There's a delightful restaurant car on the Eurocity train to Prague, so taking a train that travels across lunchtime is fine.
Thirdly go to the EUROSTAR website and book your return tickets for Paris. You can travel at whichever time suits you, or is cheapest, but allow enough time to connect with Gare De L'Est, which is about a 10 minute walk or 5 minutes in a taxi if you're not staying in Paris. The 15.31 from London is the latest service that we suggest you take to connect with the sleeper service.
There's left luggage at Gare Du Nord and Gare De L'Est should you want to leave your bags and spend a few hours in Paris.
Go from the champagne bar of St Pancras to the heart of Paris in under three hours.
Check-in at The Eurostar terminal is smooth and simple, with e-ticket machines and a brisk security scan. Queues are usually short, though there may be a slight delay at rush-hour and weekends.
Check-in is open until 30 minutes before departure, and once checked in, there is a large passenger lounge with wifi and plug sockets, shops and cafes including WH Smith and Costa Coffee and comfortable seating, with a travelator which delivers passengers directly to the platform, and makes it easy to manoeuvre luggage. There’s also a lift if you prefer.
There is a buffet car on board the train, and an optional executive upgrade means food service at your table, a quieter carriage, more spacious seats and a plug socket and free wifi.
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 trough Kent, beneath the channel and emerges in France in the time it takes to queue at an airport.
The train arrives at the Gare du Nord in Paris after two hours and fifteen minutes.
Leave in the afternoon and the Eurostar will pull into the Gare Du Nord two hours and fifteen minutes later, in time for cocktail hour.
Days 1 - 2
There is a toilet and shower at the end of each carriage. The full journey takes just over twelve hours, and the conductor will wake passengers within half an hour of arrival, with a light breakfast of rolls and tea or coffee, before the train pulls into Berlin by 8.30 in the morning.
Days 2 - 3
ake a morning train to Prague. The train has the old compartments with sliding doors and there's room in the racks overhead to store your luggage. It also has a charming restaurant car, and so you can watch Dresden, the River Elbe and the Czech countryside glide by whilst eating your chips and drinking your wine. Arrive in Prague, check into your hotel and begin to explore.
Although the local authority is clamping down on taxis overcharging tourists it's best to take care. Even the official taxi ranks have been know to overcharge, often by an operator approaching with an official looking clipboard with set prices.
It's best if you contact your hotel beforehand for advice on what to pay. They may even have a collection service.
Days 3 - 6
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.
Leave Prague on the 12.29 train from Hlavni station, arriving in Berlin at 17.15. Take lunch in the charming restaurant car and watch the Czech countryside slip by as the railway follows the curves and bends of the ancient River Elbe.
If you're taking the sleeper service from Berlin to Paris, it doesn't leave until 20.07 and so there's perhaps time for an early dinner in Berlin. Or why not take a picnic on the train, which you could buy from the many shops at Berlin HBF.
Days 6 - 7
Although seats are available overnight, it is infinitely preferable to book a couchette. The Deluxe couchettes include a small private bathroom, and cut out the need for midnight wanderings in the corridors.
Comfortable and clean, the City Night Line Berlin-Paris sleeper trains provide an adequate night’s sleep, and it can be enhanced further by earplugs and an eye mask to cut out any grinding of gears mid-journey. Take a picnic on board, which you can assemble from one of the many shops at Berlin HBF. The train leaves Berlin at 20.07 and arrives in Paris after a light breakfast of rolls or croissants and coffee served in your cabin, by 9.30am.
Days 7 - 8
The train arrives into Paris from Berlin at around 9.30am, so there’s time for coffee and croissants and a few hours’ sightseeing. Leave the bags at left luggage at Gare de L'Est, and take a petit - dejeuner at one of Paris’s charming pavement cafes.
You can then either head back to the Gare Du Nord by foot (it's only a ten minute walk), Metro or taxi and catch a mid-morning Eurostar back to London, arriving early afternoon for your onward journey home- or enjoy a relaxed Parisian lunch in the Marais and perhaps take a stroll along the Seine to leave you with memories of the city’s marvels, before taking a mid afternoon Eurostar and arriving back in London just as the sun sets over Big Ben.
Or you could stay an extra night in Paris and travel back to London the following day. CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR PARIS PAGE
If you're coming from Gare de Lyon (or Gare D'Austerlitz and Gare Montparnase) you'll need at least 90 minutes to allow for check-in time at Gare du Nord. Gare De L'Est is much closer, just a 10 minute walk.
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