Traveling via train in one of the most beautiful continents of the world is like a dreamy affair and trains are without a doubt the most used and beloved way of transport for Europeans and the tourists here. Some of the must have train journeys in Europe are listed below:
This railway is a steam locomotive which makes the journey from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog and is operated by the oldest surviving train company in the world which has been running for almost 200 years. It passes through Snowdonia National Park. The journey of this railway is blessed with amazing views of rivers, waterfalls, mountains and ancient woodlands and some spiral sections.
This train in Switzerland goes through a nine kilometer track to Europe’s highest railway station taking people from Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch. The train is given its name after the highest peak of 13415 ft named Jungfrau. This epic journey takes you through the beautiful mountains where the tourists can disembark at one of the underground stations and witness the distinctive view of mountains from the inside.
The train runs through Derry/Londonderry to Coleraine and this journey is all about scenery where you can view beautiful beaches, razor edged cliffs and views of Translink service. This is one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world and also passes through the longest railway tunnels in Ireland.
This train is the best way to see Italy and its beautiful seaside towns surrounded by colorful homes and magnificent vineyards. The train covers the five charming and most scenic villages of Cinque Terre where the train makes a stop at each of these five villages and connects Levanto to La Spezia Station. The journey helps you explore this pretty area of the Italian coastline with breathtaking views filled with steep terraces, fishing boats and so much more. This train service is regular and cheap and is the best way to see the beautiful sights.
The train takes you through the beautiful wonderland journey from Gloggnitz and Murzzuschlag, where it crosses the Semmering Pass along with countless tunnels, viaducts and arched bridges on a forested mountain stretch. The railways has been called ‘ one of the greatest feats of civil engineering’ by UNESCO where one get to witness swoon-worthy views of the Austrain Alps.
The North York Moors Railways takes a journey from Whitby to Pickering where you take this steamy trip into the North York Moors National Park and goes through Whitby and Abbey. You also get to enjoy the beautiful dales, lush carpets of heather during their journey. This 100 years old steam train makes it way through stunning rolling moors. This journey offers a vintage charm and amazing scenery and is one of the world’s greatest heritage railways.
This is a must do train journey to admire and appreciate the wonderful beauty of the place. The train travels across southern Norway from Bergen to Oslo – northern Europe’s highest mainline railway. The train climbs over 2838 feet height to reach the mountain plateau of Myrdal in less than an hour. On the way, you can indulge in the beautiful sights of the fjord, along with mountains, the picturesque Lake Reinungavatnet and myriad waterfalls of Rjoandefossen waterfall with a free drop of 459 feet and Kjosfossen waterfall where the train also makes a photo stop during the summer time. This is the world’s steepest railway line dropping 867m in 20 kms.
This train takes you between historic Bavarian cities where you can see the landscape changing very quickly. This train makes the journey across and beyond Germany and connects cities like Berlin, Cologne and Munich. The modern ICE trains are one of the fastest ways to get around in Germany and its neighboring countries.
This train runs from the regional capital St. Pölten through the picturesque Pielach Valley and the ÖTSCHER:REICH region to the pilgrimage destination of Mariazell while passing 21 tunnels and crossing 19 viaducts. This is Austria’s longest narrow gauge railway which promises you a memorable experience. You may also enjoy the spectacular views of Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park and the sets of “Himmelstreppe” train, also the nostalgic “Ötscherbär” rail cars with electric or steam locomotive Mh.6 are still running on this route.
The train journey takes you from Diakopto to Kalavrita in a delightful journey. This is a heritage railway, built in 1895 and is one of southern Greece’s remaining narrow gauge lines. The journey starts in the seaside town of Diakopto to the mountain town of Kalavrita passing through hand carved tunnels and plane-tree forests. On the way, you will cross 49 bridges and the Vouraikos River. The Vouraikos gorge and Odontotos rack railways are also a unique attraction of Greece and this whole area is full of towns, villages, unique environment and has the authentic scent of Greek life.
This beautiful railway line in Southern France takes you through Miramas and Marseille Saint-Charles via Port-de-Bouc. The journey takes you through 23 tunnels and 18 viaducts On the journey, you and enjoy the appearance “Etang de Lavalduc” and the “Etang d’Engrenier” and “Canal de Caronte”. The train connects the Gulf of Fos in the Mediterranean Sea to the largest lake in France, the “Étang de Berre”. Another beautiful part of this train journey is between Martigues and L’Estaque where you get to enjoy an amazing view of Mediterranean Sea and the existing limestone hills “Chaîne de l’Estaque”. You will also be amazed to see the panoramic view of Marseille from the Niolon stop.
It is Europe’s most beautiful railway journey which offers its passengers a unique opportunity to experience the most spectacular and stunning scenery of Norway taking you from beautiful fjords, wild mountains, contrasting landscapes. The train runs especially slowly and makes a photo stop at Kylling Bridge and Trollveggen , which is Europe’s highest perpendicular mountain wall. You will also be followed by the emerald green spectacular River Rauma which is such an interesting watch because how it changes its character constantly throughout the journey from a gentle flowing to wild torrent. The train also passes through the remote wilderness area Reinheimen National Park. For this train journey, you can choose between the two rides from Åndalsnes to Bjorli (1 hour) and from Åndalsnes to Dombås (1 hour 40 minutes).
Remember the picturesque scenery you witness in Harry Potter movies on their train journeys, well the West Highland Line is the magical Hogwart’s Express which travels across the impressive Glenfinnan Viaduct and takes you through some magical scenery of Scotland’s Western highlands. This has been described as the greatest train journey of the world and takes you past the most impressive extremes. It starts at the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, and visits Arisaig, passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river of Britain, River Morar and after that Lock Nevis. This stunning one day train journey takes you through some of the most renowned scenic beauties which was also part of acclaimed movies like Skyfall, Highlander and Harry Potter.
This railway line connects the Gotthard and Simplon lines, which links Ticino with the Valle d’Ossola in Italy and with Valais via Simplon. This is an excursion train which takes the passengers through the stunning landscapes of Centovalli and Valle Vigezzo. From magnificent waterfalls, chestnut grove, lush landscapes and vineyards, you get to see the Alps in their best via this train journey. The highlights are the Sorno viaduct and the gorge connecting Re and Intragna.
This train travels through some of the prettiest villages in the Tirol regions and takes you from Innsbruck to Bludenz. This is Austria east-west railways and covers numerous viaducts and tunnels. During this journey, you get to enjoy the impressive sites of ‘Trisanna Bridge’, Wiesberg castle and the lush green meadow of the Paznaun valley. The train takes you in the high Alps and is one of the steepest passenger lines in Europe.
These railways are also known as Linke Rheinstrecke in German, which means Left bank of the Rhine. The rail route follows the west left side of the river Rhine which has the most picturesque views and goes from Cologne to Mainz. The section from Koblenz to Mainz especially provides stunning views of the Rhine Gorge and its surroundings. This is German wine country where the train stops along the way to visit the small towns and vineyards. Also the fast trains run from Cologne to Mainz too by making a regular train and gives you more time to enjoy the view.
If you wish to take this train ride, the timing is the key here. The journey takes from from Groningen to Amsterdam and covers large fields covered with colorful tulips in the spring season. To enjoy the vibrant journey, and catch the flowers in full bloom, the best time to travel is in mid April. You can be mesmerized by flowers and the windmills creating a classic Dutch scene.
This pretty century old metre-gauge yellow train built in 1909 and takes you through the French Pyrenees from Villefranche-de-Conflent to Latour-de-Carol. The railway takes you through the dramatic mountains of the Parc Naturel Regional des Pyrenees Catalanes while making a stop at France’s highest railway station Bolquere-Eyne which is at 1592m above the sea level. It then drops down to a high Pyrenean valley, to its terminus at Latour de Carol.and crosses Pont Gisclard and railway suspension bridge.
This is the most beautiful train route between Munich and Innsbruck which takes you through shimmering lakes and glorious mountainous landscapes along with Mitenwaldbahn between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Innsbruck. You also get to see Germany’s highest mountain- Zugspitze and the beautiful white castle of Schloss Ambras in Innsbruck.
This journey is an unforgettable experience in a vintage train which takes you from Jesenice to Trieste. On the train you are accompanied by the guides who make the journey informative and entertaining. The journey gives away the stunning views of Lake Bled while passing through numerous gorges, the longest tunnel of 6327m which is really impressive. The restaurant carriage in the train serves the selection of light snacks and drinks. Between May to November, you can enjoy a special trip of heritage steam trains between Jesenice and Nova Gorica where the staff wears the uniform of the old Austro- Hungarian Empire.
The Douro Valley is the most scenic valley of Portugal formed by terraced vineyards and steep valleys and colorful villages in Northern Portugal. The railways connect Porto with Pocinho which is high up in the Alto Douro. The route taken by this train is considered one of the most picturesque railways with regular scheduled tops where you can hop off and on to see the villages on the way. The train journey takes you further into the heartlands, past green walls of rock and rambling quintas, also known as wine estates. The Pinhao station is one of Europe’s prettiest terminals which features intricate azulejo tilework. Also the towering gorge around Regua and the ancient rock art of the Coa Valley at Pocinho is amazing.
This little green rain only comes out in summers and takes you through the heart of this island at a very slow pace. There are four different lines to choose from but the one from Manda to Arbatax on the east coast offers the most stunning scenery. It also takes you through prehistoric dolmens, also known as giant graves while soaring through mountains, called taccu (heels). This journey will overwhelm the tourists with deep emotions as one crosses villages and territories characterized by extraordinary landscapes and natural environment. It is a historic “gateway” that has connected the interior of Sardinia to the coast for 130 years.
This is four meter gauge railway lines built hundred years ago in southern France and is the only survivor at the route from Nice, which is on the Mediterranean coast to Digne-les-Bains, the spa town and the capital of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department. The train travels through the medieval towns and beautiful compact villages while making its way through the picturesque River Var with dozens of small halts along the way. This one is an old vintage, charming train with large windows where the passengers can take full advantage of landscapes with endless parades of rivers, mountains and gorges.
The Black Forest Train line connects the small town of Offenburg and Singen. The train travels through the grassy fields to Hornberg and green pines to Donaueschingen. The train then goes through Singen where it joins the Upper Rhine Railway to the shores of Lake Constance. The journey takes you through the most spectacular scenery in Europe which includes thick pine forests, rock faces and pretty villages.
A UNESCO site, The Bernina Express is another beauty which takes you through the mesmerizing alps. This mountainous railroad is connecting Switzerland to Italy and takes you through a stunning landscape of deep alpine valleys and soaring snow-capped mountains. The train takes you through the beautiful scenery of Chur, Davos Platz or St. Moritz in Switzerland right across the border to Tirano in Italy.
A lot of bloggers have shared their personal experience about this journey where they mention how beautiful and fulfilling it is. Blogger Steve Burkett (www.ItalyOurItaly.com) in his blog “Another Way Into Italy” mentions that “This train is modern and clean with no wooden seats and the panorama windows to give the great view.He also mentions that the trip is best enjoyed with the scenic views in July through September when the lakes are clear, wildflowers are out etc.”
Another blogger Anapatricia on her blog “The Bernina Express Train In Italy: A Magical Tour!” mentions that “The train is panoramic, with large windows and comfortable corridors, as during the trip many get up to take pictures of the opposite side of where they are sitting. Inside the train there is a bathroom and also a small cart where some snacks, wines, juices, etc. are sold – but it is a slow and expensive service; however, you can bring a small bag with snacks and some wine (remember to take plastic cups with you). For the duration of the trip, I advise you to have a good breakfast before leaving and have lunch at some stop, eating only one fruit during the trip and drinking water. Also, buy the ticket in advance. The Bernina ticket can be used up to two years after purchase, so we have plenty of time to organize the trip calmly. It is a unique experience and you have the chance to visit two countries in one trip. The panorama is incredible, the route is peaceful and Switzerland is a country full of charm. Even if it is just to buy a chocolate: Switzerland always delights, as does Italy. So it’s really worth it.”
“Book in advance! And obviously book window seats 🙂 In winter is probably more special with all the snow, but it’s beautiful also in summer.” as mentioned by Andrea Barsotti on “Bernina Express Train“
Christina Guan in her blog THE BERNINA EXPRESS TRAIN IN SWITZERLAND: EVERYTHING YOU MUST KNOW mentions that “Switzerland is a country renowned for stunning rail journeys, but among the many options available to visitors, the Bernina Express may well be the most famous. End to end, this panoramic express train brings you past a sample of Switzerland and Italy’s most awe-inspiring landscapes, from snow-dusted mountains and rugged hilltop castles to glittering lakes and rustic stone villages. And while a four hour train ride might sound a bit monotonous, the Bernina Express is anything but – traversing 55 tunnels and 196 bridges/viaducts along the way. One of the best perks of this journey? Train carriages equipped with comfy seats and giant glass windows that let you see all the action as it passes. There’s even a free special app you can download that gives you fun facts about different points as you pass them! This was one of my favourite train journeys I did while travelling around Switzerland with my Eurail pass (a huge money saver), and I’d highly recommend it for anybody looking to experience one of the most wow-worthy train rides in the world.”
Her tip is to consider riding the regional trains along with the Bernina Express between Tirano and Chur which will give the traveler a wide range of special perks like a special photography carriage on many trains from Samedan to Chur, along with large windows which one can actually open for fresh air and reflectionless photography.
Another blogger, freelance writer and a photographer, Bindu Gopal Rao mentions her personal experience of this train journey by mentioning that the “The train is great as it has large windows that bring the great Swiss outdoors feel so close to you. The beauty of the Swiss Alps and highlands is impeccable and the luxurious Bernina Express is the perfect way to experience this. Make your bookings early and you can encash some great discounts.This is a trip that will bring you a slice of some of the best destinations that are also not very well known close to you.”
The Golden Pass Classic train journey offers you every taste of Switzerland which is truly a charming journey offering 360 degree views of the scenic locations with a top-notch experience. This train experience is like a slice of heaven which makes you see the flower covered chalets, the Brunig Pass, lakes, vineyards and other historic cities of the country with the sweet sights of the countryside.
The train takes you through Clermont-Ferrand to Nimes and is an engineering marvel. It crosses over 106 tunnels and over a thousand bridges and 46 m high Chamborigaud viaduct which is a scene stealer. The track then reaches its pinnacle on the summit at La Bastide and you get to enjoy the rolling vineyards of the Auvergne, the chestnut forests of Cévennes National Park and beautiful River Allier. If you take this train journey in springtime, you get to see the area’s wildflowers in full bloom which is gorgeous.
This is Switzerland’s most scenic train journey. The route of this train is between Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn and St. Moritz in the Engadin skiing area.The spectacular Swiss mountain by this Europe’s slowest express, narrow gauge train is what makes this journey memorable. The route of this train takes you through the three cantons of Valais, Uri and Graubünden, while offering breathtaking and varied panoramic views.This journey is a sheer pleasure for eyes and palate.
The highlight of being on one of those three scenic trains (Glacier, Bernina Express & Golden Pass) are definitely the stunning landscapes they take you through. You’ll see everything from mountains to lakes, bridges and tunnels, lush, green fields with grazing cows, cute little villages and towns, vineyards and so on.as quoted by Seraina on “5 Best Scenic Train Rides in Switzerland” who recommend this journey a 100%.
However, the scenic trains are a lot slower than the intercity trains that mainly serve the purpose of getting you from point A to point B in the shortest time possible. Instead, they meander up and down the hills and let you appreciate how pretty Switzerland is. It is often said that the journey is the reward. And in the case of our scenic train rides, this is definitely true. So don’t hop on one if you’re in a hurry.
My second advice would be to buy a travel pass as single tickets can be quite pricey. Either grab an Inter-rail/EUrail Pass or a Swiss Travel Pass. Those include the rides on the scenic trains (minus the reservations fees) and are quite good value for money.
Third advice, don’t worry about the side you’re sitting on when you get on the train. You’ll get spectacular views on both sides and you can always get up and move around for some awesome photos.
The train runs between Montreux and the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory at Broc and is a must do travel thing for chocolate and railway enthusiasts. The train runs in summers and climbs from Montreux overlooking Lake Geneva to the medieval town of Gruyeres. Switzerland is all about chocolates and railroads and when you put them together, you get this Chocolate Train. It offers scenic views of vineyards and bucolic countryside on its way to the medieval cheesemaking town of Gruyères.
This is one of the most famous European night trains which is stylish and comfortable. The overnight services run within Spain and between Spain and Portugal. You can also enjoy the sumptuous meal and enjoy the beautiful rural scenery.
This train journey offers a sea voyage which passes through the Tyrrhenian Sea coastline. The route includes the scenic views of Mount Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples and the countryside of Calabria, Italy’s toe. And after a short passage across the waves, the train offers views of the north coast of Sicily as it heads westward to Palermo. You can board directly from Rome to the Sicilian capital where you will also find the train to be shunted onto a ferry which will carry across the Strait of Messina.
This train makes you travel from the Adriatic coast, all the way to the Serbian capital and the route takes you through some incredibly stunning tunnels and bridges including the Mala Rijeka viaduct. It is a long ride, which takes you through impressive lakes, rivers and mountains. The train journey provides amazing culture and geographic experience and takes you through unsullied, mountainous landscapes while disappearing into Dinaric Alps, canyons, bridges, river gorges and ancient tectonic lake.
The Inlandsbanan traverse is the continent’s last wilderness of untouched forests and lakes where the train journey takes you through the scenic train route in Sweden that takes you all the way to the Arctic Circle while you travel through the magnificent forests and bogs, spotting the reindeers from your train window. The train takes you from Mora to Gallivare and links isolated Lapland settlements with distinctive attractions. Along the way, the train also crosses many large rivers, running from Scandinavian mountain range to the Baltic Sea.
This train connects the Swedish capital, Sweden to Narvik and is a sleeper train which takes you through the beautiful scenery while witnessing the stunning forests and lakes from the comfort of your snuggling berth. The best time to travel in his train is in summers when it barely gets dark and in winters, you get to enjoy the night sky illuminated with the majestic and mesmerizing northern lights. The train covers the journey up to eastern Sweden, crossing the Arctic Circle into Lapland, while making its way from mountains and Lake Torneträsk before finally heading into Norway.
This is one of Europe’s most famous trains which is all about the glamour and sophistication as it offers a luxurious journey. The original route of this train was from London to Istanbul but today, passengers can take several other routes like from London to Venice or London to Paris. The train was built in 1920 and the vintage cabins have been beautifully restored and are built with highest design standards.
Also known as “Castle of Transylvania”, this train journey takes you around Europe’s two most interesting cities in the luxurious journey. The train takes you through the heart of Transylvania which is a beautiful blend of vibrant culture and ancient architecture, along with forested mountains and beautiful landscapes of this region. This historic luxury train starts from Istanbul and makes its way towards the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo passing through Shipka Pass. Then comes Romania where it goes through the town of Sighisoara and Bran Castle, which is home of the infamous vampire-count. During your journey, you get to witness opulent perks from luxurious double cabins, starched linens and piano recitals.
This Ireland railways travels from Dublin to Westport. The journey offers five star service with deluxe sleepers along with single malt whiskey at the heart of Emerald Isle. The sleepers are made inspired with Dublin’s Georgian architecture. This coast to coast journey passes through some amazing places and makes its stops at Cork, Galway, and Killarney National Park. They also have a luxurious fine dining option with live music every evening.
This is northern Spain’s luxurious five star train journey from León to Santiago de Compostela making its way to the historic towns with beautiful scenery. The train has lavish compartments with 1923 Pullman coaches with all the luxuries and modern comforts. The spacious suites in this vintage train makes an easy and enlightening ride. The journey has stops like Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the beaches of Ribadeo while the longer trip , hiking in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Picos de Europa National Park. The route from Galicia to the Bay of Biscay covers lots of regional gastronomy, art, monuments and landscapes from the comfort of a five star train hotel.
You get to experience the beautiful cities of Europe – Venice and Budapest from entirely different perspectives in this train journey which promises privacy and luxury. This is a spectacular journey you will cherish forever. The places which are covered during the journey are, Budapest, Lajosmizse, Kecskemet, sighișoara, Brasov, Veliko tarnovo, Plovdiv, Sofia, Belgrade, Mostar, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Venice. Here you can settle in your private compartment and witness fascinating historic places meandering through stunningly beautiful countryside and awe-inspiring mountain ranges on an exploration of the mythical Transylvania region.
This train journey is an icon of Russian culture and crosses eight time zones while connecting to Russian capital. This unique rail experience takes you to Siberia from Moscow. This is the longest railway line in the world. The long train journey changes landscapes as you move from west to east or vice-versa, from urban landscapes of Moscow to the rolling fields of the Siberian countryside. The scenic views are stunning around Lake Baikal where the train takes you alongside the beautiful expanse of water. From taiga to pine forests and meadows brimming with wild flowers, this is a bucket list experience for many.