From time memorial there are different ways to move around in Europe which range from air, land, sea, and train. Today we are poised with the question what are the best train rides in Europe? The best train rides in Europe today as ranked by Lonely Planet is the ride from Paris To Berlin.
There are many different types of railways with a scenic ride throughout Europe. When compared to the uniformity of flying, the sense of timelessness conveyed by majestic stations with a rich history and intriguing destinations is striking.
Over the past few decades, high-speed services have emerged to supplement traditional routes, the demand for greener modes of transportation has increased, and new possibilities have emerged, such as an increase in the number of night trains.
Guide to Train Travel in Europe is the latest publication from Lonely Planet, which has spent the past half-century advocating for a localized, social approach to travel. In this section, the authors select several exciting trips from the book.
19 Best Train Rides In Europe [Scenic Ride + Luxury]
1. Ride Paris To Berlin On Both Fast Or Slow Transit
First on our listing of best scenic train rides in Europe currently is the train going from Paris to Berlin. Two of Europe’s greatest cities are linked by an efficient train system that includes both fast and slower options. Visiting Paris, Brussels, and Cologne in one trip is possible because to the cutting-edge infrastructure of the Liège-Guillemins station.
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It’s hard to avoid seeing Cologne’s cathedral on the way to the ICE German fast train that will take you to the capital in under five hours.
Booking separate tickets for each leg on trainline.com, or adding in a stop of a few hours or perhaps an overnight booking via Deutsche Bahn, will allow you to see more of each city than just the area around the station buildings (bahn.de). Alternatively, Paris can be reached by a rapid transit route that passes through Frankfurt.
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In any of the options you select, you will enjoy every scenic ride you have wanted to experience in course of your journey.
2. Traveling from Amsterdam to Vienna via Nightjet
Austrian Railways’ Nightjet service (oebb.at) departs from Amsterdam every night at 7 or 7.30 p.m., and it is one of the numerous newcomers to Europe’s sleeper train market. As you snooze, the train will chug along the Rhine, past Cologne and Koblenz, then farther south-east across Germany and into Austria at Passau.
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When you get to Vienna at 9:19 a.m., you can still sleep in and have breakfast. It’s simple to combine this train with the London-based Eurostar service, the ferries running between Newcastle and Amsterdam and between Harwich and Hoek van Holland, and the railway itself.
3. Circle North Wales in a loop
Narrow-gauge railways in Wales are among the most breathtaking in the world, and two of the best may be linked to form a loop that passes through the stunning Snowdonia National Park. To get to Blaenau Ffestiniog, take a train from Llandudno Junction, which connects to major lines, and ride it down the Conwy valley.
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You cannot make the list of best European train rides without talking about this luxury train traveling around North Wales train. To go to Porthmadog on the coast, a trip of 13 miles, hop on the famous Ffestiniog Railway, a steam-hauled service with its own unique character. Take the Welsh Highland Railway’s magnificent steam service back down from the base of Snowdon to Caernarfon, from where buses will take you to Bangor and the main line.
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4. Inland journey from Bastia to Ajaccio on the island of Corsica
Ponte Leccia is the hub of the Chemins de Fer de la Corse, a narrow-gauge railway system that connects the cities of Ajaccio, Bastia, and Calvi and offers breathtaking views of the island’s stunning landscape.
Taking three and a half hours, the route between Ajaccio and Bastia is the longest and most famous in Corsica; as such, it is recommended that travelers plan for an overnight stay. Corsica is easily accessible by ferry from mainland French cities including Toulon, Marseille, and Nice, making a combined rail and ferry journey from the United Kingdom a viable option.
5. Travel from Dublin to Madrid via train and ferry
Dublin is a good jumping-off point for trips to the rest of Europe. Wexford, the county seat, is located on the estuary of the River Slaney, and the train follows the coast of the Irish Sea as far south as Wicklow before turning inland.
From there, it’s a quick train ride to Rosslare, where you can catch one of the twice-weekly ships to Bilbao (which depart in around 30 hours). After that, a train ride to Madrid will take you another five hours. The historic cathedral in Burgos, the city of Valladolid (the historical capital of Spain), and the Roman aqueduct and Alcázar stronghold in Segovia are all highly recommended.
6. Traveling Across Italy’s water from Venice to Palermo
Another option of the best scenic European train you can take is traveling from Italy to Palermo via Venice. Starting at Italy’s northernmost point and ending at its southernmost, the potential stops along this stunning route require no introduction.
With the fast Frecciarossa trains, you can travel from Venice to Bologna, Italy’s culinary capital, in only 90 minutes, and then on to Florence in just 40 minutes. If you keep going for another hour and a half, you’ll reach Rome. The gateway to Italy’s sunny south. Take a train to Sicily for one of Europe’s most unique travel experiences.
You can take a ferry from Villa San Giovanni in Calabria to Messina in Sicily, and from there it’s another 4.5 hours of sluggish coasting to the frantic pleasure of Palermo. From the mainland, through the ferry, several intercity and night services, including sleepers direct from Milan, Genoa, and Pisa, travel to the capital of Sicily.
- Traveling Through Zermatt to St. Moritz, Switzerland
The name “The Glacier Express” implies a certain level of quality, and you can rest assured that your expectations will be met and surpassed by the actual experience. This mountainous wonder links the popular vacation destinations of Zermatt and St. Moritz, and its breathtaking vistas make it a prime spot from which to take in the area’s natural beauty. The seven-and-a-half-hour trip costs roughly €135, and it includes crossing 291 bridges, 91 tunnels, and a lot of stunning scenery.
8. Train Ride Through The Brocken, Germany
The Brocken Railway picks up curious sightseers in the town of Drei Annen-Hohne, located on the outskirts of Harz National Park, and takes them on another breathtaking excursion from the valley to the peak.
When the ride is over, the passengers will be on top of the Brocken, the tallest mountain in Northern Germany. With a top speed of only 40 kilometers per hour, this drive is full of hairpin twists, stunning valleys, snowy landscapes, and images of getting lost in the wilderness. The price of an adult round-trip ticket is €49.
9. Traveling Through Fort William to Mallaig, Scotland
The Jacobite Steam Train runs from Fort William to Mallaig, and its 84 miles of breathtaking scenery have made it a mainstay on lists of the world’s most beautiful train excursions. The trip, which requires advanced planning and is well worth it thanks to the harsh environment travelers will see, redefines the word “rugged” in a very Scottish sense. After its appearance in the Harry Potter movies, the Hogwarts Express gained popularity.
10. Train Ride From Mostar to Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
Even if there aren’t many railway options in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country is nonetheless highly recommended for rail enthusiasts. Why? In any case, the section of rails between Mostar and Jablanica makes the choice obvious. It features a dizzying variety of curves that follow the icy Neretva river’s turquoise waters and is surrounded by craggy cliffs.
The early morning wake-up call will be well worth it to make the train. The journey to Sarajevo proceeds via the picturesque Konjic and a number of outlying settlements.
11. Ride From Myrdal to Flåm, Norway
The route in Norway connecting Myrdal and Flm spans the gap between the adorable and the massive, earning a regular spot on lists of the best train experiences in the world. To put it succinctly, it pretty much sums up Norway, right? While the little things are all sweet and charming, the big ones roar past breathtaking cliffs, rugged mountains, and breathtaking landscapes.
The Flm Railway travels 867 meters into the sky and back, with a brief stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall for souvenir shopping. To top it all off, a ride on one of Europe’s greatest technical accomplishments only costs €60.
12. Train Ride From Chur to Poschiavo, Switzerland
Another train ride on the ranking of the best train rides in Europe is the train ride from Chur to Poschiavo. As breathtaking as its reputation suggests, Switzerland is indeed breathtaking. The train ride from Chur to Poschiavo is proof that the media undersells this destination; it is a breathtaking journey into the heart of the Swiss Alps.
As the train winds through the famed mountains, it’s common for passengers to put down their cameras and simply look. Those who wish to continue their scenic journey on the Bernina Express can do so all the way to Tirano in Italy.
13. Traveling Through Barcelona to Montserrat, Spain
While there are several options for getting from Barcelona to the foot of Montserrat, we’re going to place all of our hopes on taking the train. You get the concept; in Catalan, that would be tren.
In spite of the fact that you can’t go wrong with any of the many different ticket options available for the trip, we think the ToT Montserrat (€52.90) is the best value. The train ride from Barcelona, your choice of transportation up the mountain (cable car or rack railway), and admission to the Montserrat Museum are all included in this package. Not to mention, it’s very stunning.
14. Train Travel From Palma to Sóller, Majorca
The electric train line between Palma, the capital, and Sóller, a town in the island’s north, was initially constructed to facilitate the transport of oranges. Its creaking, old-school wooden carriages roll out of Palma’s downtown, out into the city’s suburbs, and across the island’s barren southern plains.
Once you leave Bunyola, you’ll begin a gradual ascent towards the foothills, interrupted only by the unexpected blackness of the Sóller tunnel. After then, the fun part begins a twisting path through the verdant peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana, with breathtaking views of the church in far-off Sóller.
The round trip takes less than an hour, so there’s plenty of time to take the historic tram to Port de Sóller and swim before heading back.
15. La Rhune, France
A cog railway built in the early 1900s carries passengers from the valley floor to the summit of the Pyrenees. The breathtaking views and majesty that await at the peak make the initial shock worthwhile.
The train departs from Sare, a town about 10 kilometers or so from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and only operates between April and September. One-way tickets cost €20 (a steal).
16. Train Travel From coast to coast, via a mountain high – Oslo to Bergen
The Bergen Line (Bergensbanen) between Oslo and Bergen is a candidate for Europe’s best train ride, as it speeds past southern Norway’s mountains and lakes, reaching an altitude of 1,222 meters at Finse station, where a snowball fight is usually on offer.
Almost seven hours pass swiftly as you take in the breathtaking views from the window of your air-conditioned intercity train. Norway in a Nutshell tour allows for an extended version of this route, taking in the Flm Railway (perhaps the world’s most magnificent branch line) and a boat ride through Naeryfjord and Aurlandsfjord.
17. Slow train from Paris to Barcelona
A rapid railway connects these urban centers, but for those with more time on their hands, there is also a scenic route south through France to the Pyrenees that passes through Limoges, Toulouse, and the beautiful countryside mountains on the way to Latour-de-Carol.
You can take a straight night train from Paris to Latour-de-Carol, but then you won’t get to see the beautiful scenery that gently reveals itself along the route during the day. In under three hours, you may be in Barcelona aboard a commuter train that leaves from Latour-de-Carol. The walled town of Ribes de Freser and the old monastery town of Ripoll, both located along the route, are two possible destinations.
18. Budapest to Split on a sleeper
This is one of the best night trains to travel within Europe. An alluring night service connects the Hungarian capital with the Adriatic Sea during the summer. Recently, the train departed Budapest at midnight and arrived in Split at lunchtime.
It travels by Lake Balaton in Hungary and the Croatian capital of Zagreb. When arriving at the shore of the Adriatic Sea, you can take a bus south to Dubrovnik or a ferry or catamaran to any of the neighboring islands.
19. Train Travel From Locarno to Domodossola through the Swiss Alps
Stunning mountain ranges, winding rivers, and placid lakes are seen from nearly every Swiss train, and certain routes deliberately operate at a leisurely pace.
The 52 kilometers of the Centovalli (Hundred Valleys) Railway between Locarno, Switzerland, and Domodossola, Piedmont, Italy, are dotted with waterfalls, chestnut woods, and church-topped villages, deep ravines, and vineyards, making for a short but spectacular journey. The Isorno Bridge and Intragna Gorge are two of the most interesting features in the area.
What Is The Most Famous Train In Europe?
The famous train in Europe is the Hogwarts Express Train. You may ride the Jacobite steam train over the 21-arch Glenfinnan viaduct, made famous in the Harry Potter films, on the West Highland Line in Scotland, and feel like you’re retracing the steps of the world’s most famous wizard.
Is It Cheaper To Fly Or Take A Train In Europe?
In most cases, flying is the most cost-effective option. Some destinations, however, are on par with flights if you factor in the time it takes to get to the airport (say, allow 30 minutes at least) and check in (even inside Schengen countries, must allow 2 hours), for a total of 3 hours added to the flight time.
Is There A Train That Goes All Through Europe?
With a single Eurail Pass, you can travel to over 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries. Simply said, it’s the easiest and most adaptable option for tourists to travel around the continent.
What Is The Longest Train Ride In Europe?
CrossCountry, Britain’s longest train, travels 1,263 kilometers (785 miles) between Aberdeen, Scotland, and Penzance, Cornwall. The IC 2216 runs exactly 1,300 kilometers from Offenburg in the Black Forest to Greifswald on the Baltic coast, making it Germany’s longest train.
Is There A Luxury Train In Europe?
Yes, there is luxury train rides in Europe. Perhaps the most well-known luxury train in Europe is the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Guests travel between Venice, Italy, and other intriguing locations like Vienna, Prague, Berlin, and Paris, all while stepping into the pages of history.
Do They Check Passports On Trains In Europe?
No! Even while most European countries do not conduct passport checks at their borders, certain trains will not let you board without one (or some other ID proving that you are in Europe legally).
Can You Sleep On Trains In Europe?
Yes! Taking a night train is a relaxing way to get from one place to another. There is a range of travel options available, from reclining seats to private sleeping suites. You can get from one place to another while you sleep, saving you a lot of time.
What Is The Most Scenic Train Ride In Europe?
The most scenic train ride in Europe right now it is the Ride from Paris To Berlin On Both Fast Or Slow Transit.
Which country in Europe has the best trains?
The best country in Europe with the best trains to travel with is Switzerland. One of the world’s most advanced and picturesque rail networks can be found nestled within the tiny but breathtakingly gorgeous country of Switzerland.
Traveling with the best trains in Europe is one of the best things you can check out on your next travel, not only that train transit in Europe is fast, they are comfortable, and scenic and give you the ability to explore every city you journey through. Is there any train you have a journey with on this list? You can share your experience via the comment section.