Train: City Night Line Delux Single Sleeper – Copenhagen, Denmark to Basal , Switzerland

I barely made this train due to the joke that is Oresundstac. I had read online that these trains are regularly delayed, and had left myself more than an hour for the connection, but I had no idea how bad it was really going to be. I did make it though, with just a few minutes to spare!

I hurried through Copenhagen Central to track 7 were the CNL was to depart and saw that it wasn’t there yet. I quickly ducked into a 7-Eleven and grabbed some orange juice and water. Unfortunately, as is often the case in Europe (contrary to the constant assurance of US credit card companies), the clerk couldn’t figure out how to run a (non-chip-and-pin) US credit card. After a minute or two, I just walked away and headed for the train with teenage clerk telling me it was the machine’s fault. I had only been in Denmark a few minutes at that point, and had no time to get local currency (Why can’t all the EU countries just get along and use the Euro already?).

I had no trouble in Sweden, and generally have no trouble in Germany, France, England, or Switzerland, but if you go to Denmark from the US, plan to carry cash with you for when your credit card won’t work. Someday the US will catch up with the rest of the world…

Not much to look at on the outside, but pretty awesome on the inside!

By the time I was coming down the escalator to the track, the train was pulling in. I headed to my car and wandered down the hall looking for my berth. It was a bit confusing determining which number on the doors I was to match with the numbers on my ticket and had to ask the attendant. It turns out you ignore the room number and just look at the bed number below. They might be the same in each coach, so make sure you get that right first, then look for the berth. I had a Deluxe Single/Double Sleeper, which is standard with a 1st class rail pass with two bunks, a toilet, sink, and shower in the room. It was upstairs in this double-stacked sleeping car with both side and upward-facing windows, quite nice, and very spacious as sleeping accommodations go, similar to a very small cruise ship room. 

An office away from home!

Initially, I just dropped my bags and sat there looking out the window. I figured I would wait for the attendant to check my ticket before I unpacked anything, just in case I was in the wrong place. No worries, shortly after we left the station our attendant for the 15-hour trip showed up, checked me in, and asked if I wanted a drink to start off. Paperwork all finished, I went ahead and opened my bags and put things in order. After an hour or so we made an extended stop at another station in Denmark so I decided to hop off for a minute. Everything was closed, so I jut headed to the dining car to look for some food. 

Quite a bit of room compared to some older sleeper cars

Unfortunately, my favorite DB train meal was sold out, as was most of the menu. They only had about 5 items left out of the 50 or so on the menu, so I ended up with a horrible sandwich, chips, a Fanta, and some fairly good Goulash soup. Not too bad, at least it was food. I sat and read for a while in the dining car, then headed back to the room. It was getting pretty late by this time and I was exhausted as usual, so I was ready for bed.

At first I thought I would leave the window shades open so I could look out at the landscape going by. However, being so far North meant that the sun didn’t really set until around midnight, and the station and track lights kept going by jolting me awake like spotlights through the upper windows. After a short time I ended up closing them for the rest of the night. It was a good thing anyway, as the sun was back up at 4am, and another problem I realized was that in the stations, the upper level bridges across the tracks allow people in the station to look right down on you in the room…a good reason to close the bathroom door even if you are alone in the compartment!

Having a shower in a train is awesome! It does take a bit to get used to though. It works kind of like a small boat or camper shower. You press a button to get water for about 10 seconds or so, use some soap, press the button again to rinse, then repeat a number of times till your done. Beyond that, it was great, the water was hot and the flow was good. A great start to another day of train riding around Germany!

Breakfast showed up at the agreed upon on time. A very traditional German travel breakfast of cereal, bread, meat, juice, and tea or coffee. I had brought some bananas with me from the buffet at the Opera hotel as well. As expected, they provided a little box of about room temperature whole milk for the cereal. I ate it quickly and washed it down with juice, I’m gradually getting use to it, but I still prefer my cold fat-free milk in the US.


All too soon, we arrived at Freiburg, where I planned to grab an ICE back North and East toward Reutlingen for my next hotel for the week.

Ever been on a sleeper train? Tell me about it below…

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  • 飛達旅遊

    Dear SkiCar,

    Is it possible to buy your photos of City Night Line to use on our company website? My email is please contact me if it’s possible. Thank you!