Are you ready for one of the most breathtaking travel experiences in the world? Taking a train journey is the perfect way to explore beautiful sights while feeling completely relaxed. From the soaring mountains of South America to the stunning coastline of Croatia, let us be your guide to some of the most memorable train journeys in the world. We will look into the most scenic routes around the globe, so get ready for an unforgettable ride!
1. Benefits of Taking a Train Journey
Exploring by Train: Taking a train journey has many advantages. From the comfort of the travel to the beautiful and changing scenery, there are lots of reasons to choose train over other forms of travel. Here are five of the many benefits of taking a relaxing, scenic train ride.
- You can enjoy the sights: Unlike other forms of transportation, when you take a train journey you can really sit back and take in the scenery. You can watch the rolling hills, fields, and forests go by and you can make stops and visit all the sights along the way that interest you.
- It’s a great way to meet locals: Public transportation is often the best way to connect with locals, as they use it too. Riding a train allows you to meet locals and make friends with people who share similar interests. It’s a great way to learn more about a city or country you are visiting.
- It can be cheaper than flying: While flying is often cheaper and faster, if you have the time, trains can be a much cheaper, more enjoyable option. You can find train tickets for much less and many routes even have discounts and promotions.
- You can relax: On a train you don’t have to worry about traffic, getting lost, or finding parking. The ride is often much smoother than a car and the seats are often bigger, so it’s a great option for longer trips. Plus, you can even bring your own snacks and drinks.
- You can see multiple cities easily: On a train journey you can easily travel between cities without having to worry about connecting flights or long drives. This means you can see and experience more in the same amount of time.
If you’re looking for the perfect way to travel around the world, taking a scenic train journey is a great option. You’ll get to experience beautiful scenery, meet locals, save money, relax, and have the chance to see multiple cities in the same amount of time. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to explore the world on the rails.
2. Discovering Iconic Landmarks and UNESCO Wonders
Exploring the world’s iconic landmarks and UNESCO wonders is an experience you won’t soon forget! There’s nothing quite like taking a long train journey to a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Take the amazing and memorable journey on the Trans-Siberian Express, or hop on the world-famous Orient Express for an experience like no other. Or how about travelling on the awe inspiring Glacier Express in Switzerland, or winding your way across the stunning vistas of Scotland on the West Highland Line? Whether you’re looking to experience some of the world’s most awe-inspiring cities on the Northern Lights Express, or take a journey through stunning countryside on the Sungari Golden Railway, there are plenty of incredible train journeys to explore around the world.
Here are some of the best train journeys around the world:
- Tren Crucero, Ecuador: An amazing luxury journey through Ecuador’s stunning countryside.
- Bergen Railway, Norway: A scenic rail journey through one of the world’s most stunning landscapes.
- Czech Republic’s Cesky Krumlov Train: A beautiful journey through the historical and majestic city of Cesky Krumlov.
- Tea Train, Sri Lanka: Experience the lush green forests of Sri Lanka on the famous Tea Train.
- Prague-Vienna Express, Czech Republic and Austria: Take a romantic trip on the famous Prague-Vienna Express.
- Maharaja Express, India: Take a luxurious ride on the magnificent Maharaja Express and explore India’s stunning and vibrant culture.
These incredible train journeys will take you to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and UNESCO wonders. From majestic cities and stunning coastline to awe-inspiring countryside, these train journeys will offer an experience you won’t soon forget! So, grab your ticket and hop aboard any one of these amazing programs for a truly unforgettable journey.
3. Exploring Nature and the Outdoors
Train journeys offer travellers an unparalleled opportunity to fully immerse themselves into the culture and scenery of the places they traverse. From the iconic Rocky Mountaineer in Canada to India’s Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, some of the world’s most distinctive railway routes are making a huge comeback in popularity. Here is a guide to some of the most stunning and scenic train routes in the world:
- The Luxury Glacier Express: This alpine railway takes you through a vast range of postcard landscapes, taking in the Swiss Alps, Davos, Rothorn and Andermatt. The seven-hour journey can be experienced in comfort in one of the panoramic carriages of the deluxe Glacier Express.
- The Orient Express: This world-renowned luxury train service offers many routes from Paris to Istanbul, covering over 2,000 miles. Along the way, you’ll witness fascinating historic locations and beautiful natural scenery, including the Alps and the Mediterranean.
- The Rocky Mountaineer: This long-distance passenger train takes you from the urban bustle of Vancouver to the majestic Canadian Rockies, with views of moss-covered valleys, salmon-filled rivers, and mountain vistas all the way.
- The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway: This century-old narrow-gauge railway line runs through India’s stunning hill country, providing breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Along the route, passengers can take in lush tea plantations and various quaint villages.
- The Ghan: From Darwin to Adelaide, The Ghan passes through Australia’s harsh and varied landscapes. Highlights of this journey include the MacDonnell Ranges, the red dunes of the Simpson Desert, and the golden woodlands of Katherine in the Northern Territory.
- The Jacobite Steam Train: This historic train ride takes passengers through the Scottish highlands, passing by Fort William and the deepest Loch in Scotland - Loch Nevis. The route also takes you near the Harry Potter train bridge often featured in the films.
Whether you are looking for a truly special journey or simply for a comfortable and convenient way to explore and discover new places, these wonderful and iconic train rides will offer a life-changing experience. Hop aboard today and explore the beauty of the world’s most scenic train routes!
4. Connecting Locals to Tourists
Train journeys are a convenient way for travelers to take in amazing views of each country’s landscape. We’ve put together a guide to the world’s most scenic train routes for locals and tourists alike.
- Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer: One of the most scenic train journeys in the world, the Rocky Mountaineer offers spectacular views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. Highlights of the route include the icefields of Glacier National Park, Mount Robson’s peak, and the Spiral Tunnels of Kicking Horse Pass.
- The Adirondack, USA: The Adirondack takes passengers from New York City to Montreal through magnificent backcountry. Passengers can take in the beauty of the Hudson Valley as well as the Adirondack mountain range.
- Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia: The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway line in the world, stretching for over 6,000 miles. Passengers on this route can admire picturesque views of the Mongolian steppes, Lake Baikal, and montane forests.
- Talyllyn Railway, Wales: The Talyllyn Railway is one of Britain’s most scenic railway routes, weaving through gorgeous Welsh countryside. Picturesque views during the journey include the River Dysynni and Dolgoch Falls.
- Maharajas’ Express, India: The Maharashtra Express provides riders with an unforgettable journey through India. Highlights of the route include a visit to the Taj Mahal, a taste of cuisine from local restaurants, and a safari tour of Ranthambore National Park.
- Shimla Toy Train, India: The Shimla Toy Train is a narrow-gauge railway route in Northern India that takes travelers from Kalka to Shimla. Along the route, passengers can take in spectacular views of undulating Himalayan hills and lush green meadows.
- Gulf Stream, USA: The Gulf Stream is one of the most picturesque train journeys in North America. Stretching from Seattle to Los Angeles, the route offers passengers stunning views of the Pacific Northwest coastline, as well as the Santa Monica Mountains and its canyons.
- Glacier Express, Switzerland: The Glacier Express is one of the most renowned train routes in the world. Passengers can take in the beauty of the Swiss Alps as well as the breathtaking vistas of the Matterhorn’s peak.
- Grisons Traverse, Switzerland: The Grisons Traverse, or “Albula Line,” is a railway route that takes travelers through the Swiss Alps. Along the way, they can take in majestic views of U-shaped glacial valleys, snow-capped peaks, and waterfalls.
No matter your destination, there’s always something to appreciate and experience on a train journey. From the breathtaking natural beauty of Canada to the bustling cities and bright lights of India, train journeys provide passengers with memories for a lifetime.
5. Choosing a Journey: Important Considerations
1. Duration and Number of Stops
When choosing your train journey, the first thing to consider is the duration of your route and the number of stops it includes. Depending on your budget and available time, long-distance train trips may or may not be a good fit for you. Consider local and express trains, too – these usually make fewer stops, so if you’re not particular about encountering the interesting sights in smaller towns, they may get you to your destination faster.
2. Timetables and Booking
Check the timetables of the routes you are considering to ensure convenient departure and arrival times. Depending on the route, you may have to book in advance or you may be able to hop on the train on the same day. In some cases, it is possible to book tickets online but checking with the local service is the best option if you are in doubt. If there are multiple routes, look into the timings of each train and compare them before making your decision.
3. Amenities and Facilities Provided
Train travel comes with amenities and facilities that vary from one route to the next. Read up on each option carefully and consider the extra benefits that you may or may not deem essential. Are food and drinks available? Will there be an on-board entertainment system? Do some routes offer free Wi-Fi? Do the train carriages have wheelchair access? Do they feature outlets for charging your devices?
4. Scenery and Locations Along the Way
Train trips are all about the scenery - the incredible views, the interesting sites, the chance to visit untouched locations. Make sure to assess what these routes have to offer, during the day and the night. Check out aerial photographs of the landscape to get an idea of the opportunities for photography and sightseeing along the way. If the route includes important sites, look into the stops you will make and the approximate amount of time you can spend exploring each of them.
5. Quality of the Journey and Its Cost
Finally, consider the basic quality of your trip. Once you have chosen your route, you can look up reviews, ratings and experiences of previous passengers for a better understanding of the journey ahead. Will the interior of the carriage make for a comfortable journey? If you’re travelling with children, are there facilities for them too? As for the cost, take the time to compare prices in order to get the best deal.
6. Experiencing Different Cultures
Step aboard a train, and you open your world to adventure! Train journeys offer unforgettable experiences, as they take you through awe-inspiring, unmissable scenic routes. Here are 6 of the world’s most remarkable train trips:
- Glacier Express, Switzerland
- This seven-and-a-half-hour journey offers passengers the unique opportunity to traverse the breath-taking Swiss Alps. From the broad valleys of the Alps to the rugged glacial peaks of the Matterhorn, revel in the beauty of the snow-dusted mountains and deep blue lakes.
- Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia
- Traveling across Russia is a journey in itself – traveling 8600km from Moscow to Vladivostok by the Trans-Siberian Railway will give you the real experience! Streams, steppes, towns and cities, with a stopover at Lake Baikal – this is the ultimate journey of discovery.
- Hiram Bingham, Peru
- Embark on an unforgettable journey to the heart of Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Hiram Bingham train takes passengers from Cuzco, to the stunning Urubamba Valley, over gorges and around sharp curves – a truly unique experience.
- Tangerines Train, Sri Lanka
- Climb aboard this 57km route for an incredible view into Sri Lanka’s outdoors! From market towns to riverside marshes, you’ll take in sights of picturesque rural villages, lush verdant hills, and iconic lines of coconut palms.
- Orient Express, Europe
- Step back in time to discover grandiose landscapes, cities and cultures of Europe on the iconic Orient Express. Take in the opulence of the grand carriages, taste classic cuisine, and explore unique destinations like Monte Carlo, Venice and Istanbul on a journey of a lifetime.
- Ghan, Sydney to Darwin
- This epic journey takes passengers from Sydney to Darwin, in the heart of Australia’s red centre. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views as you pass through the deserts, in the air-conditioned comfort of the vintage railcars.
Whether you’re looking for a sweeping mountain adventure or the tranquillity of rural life, these iconic train routes are perfect for your off-the-beaten-track vacation – the memories of which will stay with you forever!
7. Recommended Train Journeys
- The Glacier Express – Switzerland – Offering majestic views of Switzerland’s snow-capped mountains, valleys, thick forests, and countless waterfalls, the Glacier Express is one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. The train runs from Zermatt to St. Moritz and takes approximately 8 hours.
- The Danube Express – Europe – Board the Danube Express and take a journey through stunning European landscapes. Across Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia, the 9-day route will take you through breathtaking scenery of vibrant cities, rolling vineyards, sweeping plains, and imposing mountain ranges.
- The Royal Scotsman – Scotland – It doesn’t get more luxurious than travelling through Scotland’s oldest railway in opulence. Along this two-day journey, travellers will be treated to exquisite delicacies, stunning 19th century carriages, and tasteful interiors. As the Royal Scotsman passes through the Highland Landscape, you’ll have some of the most stunning and unforgettable views you’ll ever witness.
- The Trans-Siberian Railway – Russia – Traverse 6,500 miles through Russia’s ever-changing landscapes, see spectacular lakes, forests, and fields of wildflowers, as you meander through this almost week long journey. The railway offers unmatched views of Siberia, and also cuts through Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest lake.
- The Devil’s Nose Train – Ecuador – Ride the Devil’s Nose Train in Ecuador and get ready to experience its most cutting-edge feat of railway engineering. The Devil’s Nose train is a set of switchbacks that climbs from the mountains down to the jungle at the coast. As you travel the curved paths and deep ravines, the views of the two ecosystems will astound you.
Experience beautiful landscapes such as the Serra de Estrela mountain range while riding a slow cog railway in Portugal. Stop in charming villages, explore the enchanting castles and forts, and stroll through old towns as the Douro valley slowly passes by.
The Grand Canyon Railway is your ticket to viewing one of the world’s most iconic landscapes. See the towering buttes, deserts, rivers, and plateaus, all while riding on an exquisite train. Step back in time and experience a bygone era that still captures the hearts of many.
Discover the beautiful ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia as you take the Bamboo Train. Travel through lush jungle landscapes, pass by tiny hamlets and rice paddies. Passengers can hop on and off the train at any of the many stops during the 90-minute ride.
An amazing way to get from Tokyo to Kyoto is by shinkansen, or high-speed bullet train. Offering breathtaking views of Fujiyama and vast countryside, the shinkansen allows tourists to get from one destination to another in maximum comfort and speed.
8. Sustainable Travel for a Better Planet
1. The Glacier Express: Switzerland
Experience some of Switzerland’s most breathtaking views on the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz: a journey that blankets 291 kilometers of tracks, alpine forests, rolling hills, and snow-capped mountains. Luxuriate in the signature bright red trains, equipped with comfortable panoramic windows, and recline closer to the Swiss countryside as you traverse the UNESCO-listed Albula and Bernina lines.
2. The Glaskogen Railway: Sweden
Spanning the northern reaches of Sweden, the Glaskogen Railway offers a spectacular mix of nature and modern Scandinavian architecture. Connected by a total of 36 bridges, the 75-kilometer route goes over the picturesque Rosa Pipe River through Glaskogen Nature Reserve – a paradise of walking trails, huts, gorges, and lakes.
3. The Copper Canyon: Mexico
Take the 186-mile train ride from Los Mochis to Chihuahua, Mexico, and explore one of the most spectacular canyons in the world. As you wind through the rugged terrain, feast your eyes on the lush pine forests, small villages, and an endless spread of copper and pink-tinged canyons that surround you.
4. The White Pass & Yukon Route: Canada
If you’re in search of old-school, grand-scale railway journeys, the White Pass & Yukon Route is not to be missed. Step inside the restored trams from 1898 and ride across the immense Canadian Coast Mountains, leaping from the highest mountain summit, and facing a 178-foot cascade off the bridge of Tormented Valley.
5. The Maeklong Railway Market: Thailand
Take the Maeklong Railway in southern Thailand and be dazzled at the curtain of colorful umbrellas, vendors, and market stalls that appear and retract at the approach of the train. Eight times a day, the railway snakes its way for a few seconds into the vibrant local produce market, where you can observe and admire the unique blend of commerce and engineering.
6. The Northern Explorer: New Zealand
Immerse yourself in some of New Zealand’s most exquisite scenery on the Northern Explorer train from Auckland to Wellington. Snaking along the glittering coast, encapsulating the rolling fields like a ribbon, and connecting volcanoes and rolling hills, the 1250-kilometer journey is worth the lifetime of memories.
7. The Trans-Siberian Railway: Russia
Embark on the epic Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok and be awe-struck by its grandeur, magnificence, and scale. Tracing a total of 9000 kilometers with 16 stops along the route, this is no ordinary railway. Instead, it’s a border-straddling epic, blurring the lines between Russia and other former Soviet states, and exposing you to ancient cities, exotic cultures, and incredible landscapes.
8. The Rovos Rail: South Africa
Experience a combination of old-world romance, natural splendor, and opulent luxury on the romantic train route from Pretoria to Cape Town. Travel alongside the elephants, rhinos, and antelopes of South Africa for almost two days while you recline in first-class comfort, recline, enjoy upscale cuisine, and drink spectacular wines. So, if you’re looking for an exciting train journey that you won’t soon forget, you have plenty of options, from the Sapsan Line in Russia to the Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in the US. Start planning your trip today and get ready to experience an adventure of a lifetime.