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I spent $200 for a private cabin on an 11-hour overnight train in Europe. It was worth every cent.

The outside of a blue train sleeping car with a red stripe with a window.
Business Insider's reporter spent TK hours on a Nightjet sleeper train in a private cabin.Joey Hadden/Business Insider
  • I booked one night in a private cabin on a Nightjet sleeper train between European countries.

  • For $200, I slept in an enclosed space with three beds, a vanity, and a wash basin.

  • I thought having a private cabin was worth the price tag for the 11-hour ride.

On overnight trains, a private cabin is always worth the upgrade.

Take it from me — someone who has spent 120 hours on sleeper trains across the US and Europe in a range of accommodations, including shared cabins.

My most recent sleeper train journey was an 11-hour ride on a Nightjet train from Venice to Vienna. I spent about $200 for a private cabin and thought it was well worth the price.

Here's what the cost will get you.

I recently spent a night on a sleeper train traveling between European countries.

A blue train with a red stripe stopped at a platform at night
A Nightjet train travels from Venice, Italy, to Vienna, Austria in TK hours.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

Operated by OBB Nightjet, the 11-hour journey took me from Venice, Italy, to Vienna, Austria, and I slept well in a private cabin.

I booked a private cabin for about $200.

The author sits on a white bunk inside an overnight train cabin with a dark window behind her.
The author travels from Italy to Austria in a private cabin on an overnight train.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

I booked the train's top-tier accommodation — a private cabin that sleeps up to three travelers. It's a step above shared rooms with bunks, and two steps above a seating carriage accommodation.

I've booked both lower tiers in the past for more than $100 less, but found I struggled to sleep in a tight space among strangers.

A narrow corridor led to my private, enclosed cabin.

Left: a plain corridor on a train. Right: a plain train cabin with white walls and a white bed.
A peak inside the author's cabinJoey Hadden/Business Insider

Inside my cabin, there were three beds — one top bunk, one in the middle, and one bottom bunk — as well as a wash basin, and a vanity.

I've found that trains feel less shaky closer to the ground, so I went with the bottom bunk.

The room locked from the inside for safety, and I used a key card to get in and out of the cabin.

The bottom bunk took up the right side of the room.

A white bed with a water bottle and a pamphlet on it in front of a navy blue wall
The author's bunk on the overnight train.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

The bed felt more comfortable than a typical train bed thanks to a thick comforter. On the wall next to the bed, I spotted conveniently placed cupholders and a small storage net.

On the bed, there was a welcome bag with complimentary slippers, earplugs, and more.

A selection of goodies including water bottles, slippers, ear plugs, and snacks on a white sheet.
Free perks of a private Nighthjet cabin.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

In private cabins, Nightjet travelers get a goodie bag. Mine had slippers, a sleep mask, earplugs, a washcloth, a pen, and wafer treats.

I thought it was a nice touch that made my trip feel a tad luxurious.

On the left side of the room, two doors opened to reveal a sink and vanity.

Toiletries are stored in a wooden vanity with a mirror and a wash basin
Inside the vanity, there was a storage space for toiletries.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

Private cabins are the only Nightjet accommodations that include a sink and vanity.

The vanity had a wash basin inside, as well as racks to store toiletries. Beneath the vanity, there was a built-in trash can.

There was no toilet in the room, but passengers had access to a shared bathroom with a shower at the end of the train car.

To the right of the vanity, there were hangers I used to keep my clothes looking tidy.

The author's black and white clothing on hagers.
The author's hung-up clothing in the cabin.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

Hanging up my outfit for the next day in my cabin made it easier to get ready quickly in the morning.

There was storage space for luggage next to the highest bunk.

Two top bunks in a train cabin with navy blue safety straps and white walls.
The top bunks in the Nightjet cabin.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

I didn't use the space since I was traveling with just a backpack and there was plenty of floor space, but I think the storage would be a great amenity for passengers who don't pack as light.

The room had amenities from outlets to reading lights.

Left: reading lights on a plain wall in the cabin. Right: An orange cord charges a phone sitting on tthe bed.
Energy amenities in the cabin.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

In my cabin, I could also control the temperature of the room and the volume of the announcement speaker.

In the morning, I received a complimentary breakfast to end my trip.

An aerial view of the author's breakfast on a tray including yogurt, bread rolls, coffee, and condiments
Complimentary breakfast on the Nightjet train.Joey Hadden/Business Insider

Thanks to the private space and cozy comforter, I slept well in my cabin.

In the morning, a train attendant brought a tray of coffee, yogurt, hard rolls, and condiments like butter, Nutella, and fruit preserves.

It was a nice way to end the journey, and I felt far more rested and refreshed than I would had I slept in a shared cabin.

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