Europe offers a wealth of breathtaking landscapes, from majestic mountains to idyllic coastlines and picturesque valleys. What better way to experience this stunning natural beauty than by train? Train travel in Europe combines comfort, efficiency and stunning views. Here are 10 of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe for your bucket list.
The 10 most beautiful train journeys in Europe
1. Bernina Express, Switzerland
The Bernina Express takes you through the breathtaking Swiss Alps, offering views of snow-capped peaks, glistening glaciers and turquoise lakes. The journey starts in Switzerland’s oldest city Chur and ends in Italy’s Tirano. You will also pass through the “Rhaetian Railway”: an architectural masterpiece and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. The “Hogwarts Express”, Scotland
Take the Jacobite Steam Train for a journey through the Scottish Highlands, famous for its dramatic landscapes and historic charm. The train journey will take you past some famous Harry Potter film locations. Like the particularly iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct.
3. Flam Railway, Norway
The Flam Railway, also known as the Flåmsbana, winds its way through Norway’s pristine nature. The journey takes you by deep fjords, craggy waterfalls and forested mountains. It is one of the steepest railways in the world.
4. Orient Express, Europe
The Orient Express is a legendary train journey that takes you across Europe in pure luxury. Although the original route is no longer offered, you can still enjoy custom itineraries that take you to cities like Venice, Paris and Istanbul.
5. The Mittenwaldbahn, Germany and Austria
The Mittenwaldbahn, also known as Karwendelbahn, is a railway line through the Austrian and German Alps. The route starts in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and then winds through Mittenwald to Innsbruck. During the last part of the journey, the train makes an impressive descent into the steep Inn valley.
6. Transcantabrico from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela, Spain
A train journey on the “Transcantábrico Gran Lujo” is like a trip back in time. Namely to the early 20th century when luxury train saloons first rolled along the Spanish railways. The exceptionally comfortable train journey from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela takes more than a week. But afterwards, you’ll definitely want to make it again.
7. Cinque Terre Express, Italy
The train journey along the five particularly picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera is a scenic treat. The colourful villages are built against or on top of steep cliffs. For that reason, you can’t get there by car. But so you can by train! Between the many tunnels, you get loads of beautiful views of the Mediterranean.
8. Glacier Express, Switzerland
The Glacier Express is the world’s slowest express train. The world-famous train traverses the Swiss Alps from St Moritz to Zermatt. You can enjoy stunning mountain landscapes, deep ravines and picturesque valleys. The train travels through no fewer than 91 tunnels and over 291 impressive bridges.
9. The Bergensbanen, Norway
The train journey from Bergen to Oslo and back is one of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe. From sea level, the train climbs over 1,200 metres. In the process, you pass charming villages, immense fjords, large forest areas, blue lakes, raging rivers and impressive waterfalls. You can take this train journey all year round.
10. Caledonian Sleeper, Scotland
The Caledonian Sleeper in Scotland offers a unique experience. You can embark in London to wake up in the morning in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s the perfect way to experience the best of both worlds: city life and natural splendour.
Whether you prefer imposing mountain landscapes, enchanting coastlines or historic charm, there is a train journey in Europe to meet your expectations. These ten train journeys are just the tip of the iceberg, and there is much more to discover in Europe’s magnificent train network. Hop on board and be enchanted by the beauty of the continent.
Fantastic train journeys outside Europe
Have you taken wonderful train journeys across Europe before? If these sounded fun you can also take the most beautiful train journeys outside Europe. For example, with the Rocky Mountaineer through the beautiful, vast nature of Canada. Or how about the TranzAlpine in New Zealand? This train journey takes you through the spectacular Southern Alps, offering panoramic views of lakes, glaciers and mountain ranges. Another fantastic option is the Maharajas’ Express in India. This palace on wheels offers passengers the highest level of luxury and comfort. With elegant suites, gourmet dining, and personal butler service, every traveller feels like royalty.
The aforementioned train journeys are just some of the many unprecedented examples where you explore the world from a comfortable cabin.