Even though flying to your vacation destination is faster, there is something really special about traveling by train. It gives another dimension to your whole vacation — you get to enjoy the views of the gorgeous surroundings you’re traveling through. Also, it’s very efficient and sustainable, so besides the fact that you’re enjoying the ride, you’re doing something good for the planet. There are so many astonishing train routes in Europe, and we bring you the list of our favorites — the 5 most beautiful train rides in Europe.
Before we start, be sure to check out our Cultural Places platform and discover the amazing tours that will help you explore your destinations at your own pace.
Glacier Express, Switzerland
The famous Glacier Express is a train route through scenic Switzerland, that connects its two most famous mountain resorts, Zermatt and St. Moritz. During this day-long train ride (290km; seven and a half hours) that goes from Zermatt towards St. Moritz, you’ll pass through 91 tunnels and over 291 bridges, the gorgeous alpine meadows, mountain lakes, and picturesque hamlets. Some of the highlights of this train journey are Oberalp Pass — the highest point (2044 meters high), and the astonishing Landwasser Viaduct consisting of six arches, standing 60 meters high, and plunging into a mountainside tunnel.
Glacier Express — Scenic Train Route through Switzerland
West Highland Line, Scotland
West Highland Line is a railway that will take you through some of the most scenic landscapes of Scotland. It starts in Glasgow, goes along the West coast, and shows you all of the beauty of Scottish picture-perfect natural surroundings. This route goes starts in Glasgow, goes northward to wild Rannoch Moor, Ben Nevis, and Fort William, before it continues westward towards its final point — the bustling port of Mallaig (264km; five and a half hours). One of the highlights of this route is for sure the Glenfinnan Viaduct that is featured in the Harry Potter film series.
The Glenfinnan Viaduct, West Highland Line, Scotland
Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia
One of the world’s longest train routes is surely the almost ten thousand kilometers long Trans-Siberian railway, that makes a seven days long journey. It starts in Moscow, crosses the Ural mountains, goes through the magnificent Siberian forest, and ends in Vladivostok — the most eastern point. Along the way, you’ll get to see the astonishing 984-meters-long bridge over the River Ob at Novosibirsk — Russia’s third-largest city. Also, you’ll pass by the gorgeous blue waters of Lake Baikal, which is the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume.
Train on Trans-Siberian Railway
Bernina Express, Switzerland & Italy
Bernina Express is a 163-kilometers long trans-alpine railway. This five-hours ride starts at Swiss Landquart, loops through the Prättigau mountains and over Zügen Gorge’s ravines, and all the way to the gorgeous old Italian town of Tirano. This narrow-gauge railway includes a 360-degree spiral, 55 tunnels, and 196 bridges — reaching it’s highest point at 2253 meters high Bernina Pass, and then descending 1800 meters before coming to its final destination. Part of this route is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ride through Snowy Swiss Mountains, Bernina Express
Belgrade to Bar, Serbia & Montenegro
Belgrade-Bar is a 476 kilometers long Balkan train route, going from the Serbian capital to one coastal city in Montenegro — Bar. This scenic ride lasts for about ten hours, and takes you over the scenic Dinaric Alps, traverse the thick birch forests, the shores of Lake Skadar and the 200m-high Mala Rijeka viaduct, which was the tallest railway bridge in the world, until 2001. Impressive, right? Belgrade to Bar railway takes you from the capital that never sleeps to the calm seaside town, and you’ll see a lot of little Serbian and Montenegrin towns, that altogether make quite an awesome vacation.
Here we end the first part of our list of the most beautiful train rides in Europe, they’re really something special, aren’t they? Stay tuned for more!