Overnight Eurail train travel holiday from Krakow to Lake Bled

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While travelling from Krakow in north eastern Europe to Bled in Slovenia by train you can relax and watch the world go by instead of driving or spending too much time at airports - without seeing the real Europe as it's been for centuries.

European trains are so fast and well-connected in the 21st century that a flexible Eurail pass can give travellers a wonderful, good value European holiday.

How exciting...flying into the pretty cobbled Polish town of Krakow to take the overnight sleeper train through Austria and the Czech Republic to one of the world's most beautiful destinations at Lake Bled in Slovenia.

This the perfect overnight train trip for both scenery and scheduling.  Eastern Europe is opening up to tourism and the countryside and little towns are still pristine, compared with the now-crowded western European tourist destinations.

Photo of Krakow, Poland  main square
Photo of Krakow, Poland - main square

Krakow has a historic square that still features horse drawn carriages and top hats.  For something more modern, try the electric city tour carts, the only vehicles allowed in the pedestrian-friendly square. Everything is inexpensive here...city tours are only $40 an hour for an electric cart that takes up to 4, with 1 Polish zlotny equalling 3 dollars US.  

You can also visit the Krakow Jewish ghetto and the infamous Auschwitz prison camp nearby. A great place to stay in Krakow at the start of your train trip is the stylish Hotel Stary on the edge of the cobbled main square, run by the friendly Danuta Barcik.

Eastern European
Eastern European scenery from your Eurail train

Your overnight sleeper train departs at the perfect time of 9.57pm from the main train station just outside the square. These are Polish trains that aren't part of the Eurail network, and tickets for the sleeper on to Budapest, Prague or Vienna aren't expensive.

Your sleeping room will have 2 or 3 bunks and it's memorable to pull out into the Polish countryside with the wind in your hair as you look out the window at night.  Be careful you don't use a spare pillow or blanket if the other bed is spare because you may be charged, although it's not much.
Eurail train holiday scenery near Vienna
Eurail train holiday scenery near Vienna

There's something romantic and nurturing about being rocked gently to sleep as you efficiently move through the night to your next destination by train.  When you wake in the morning, your InterCity train is pulling into Vienna train station around 6am.  

This is one of Europe's grand old train stations, and it's a quick connection to your train heading east to the Austrian border. Your new train is exactly that - sleek and spacious with big leather seats that recline, full height panoramic windows to take in the spectacular scenery, power sockets for lap top computers, and even hair dryers in  the toilets which are much bigger than the cramped comparisons on planes.

As you head to the Austrian border, you'll pass through beautiful green fields and picture postcard little villages which continue as you cross into Slovenia. Photo of Lake Bled Slovenia
Photo of Lake Bled in Slovenia

Your Eurail train travel finishes a the wondrous Lake Bled as you pull into Lesce-Bled station at 11.48am.  Just 4 kilometres away is the beautiful lake with aquamarine water similar to Lake Louise in Canada.

Lake Bled has a beautiful little island in the middle featuring a historic chapel,  Make sure you take the traditional local pletna, similar to a gondola, out to the island.

The other landmark here is the historic castle at the top of the cliff, where you can enjoy what's possibly the most beautiful view in the world overlooking the lake below.
The grand castle overlooking Lake Bled in Slovenia
The grand castle overlooking Lake Bled in Slovenia

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