End Google Tag Manager -->

5 Scenic European Train Trips

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”

― Pat Conroy

1.The Bernina Express



Ready for one of the most spectacular train rides in the world? The Bernina Express takes you from Chur in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy, traveling the highest railway in the Alps, showing off the beauty of the mountains in a spectacular and memorable way.

This 4 hour and 14 minute ride reaches an altitude of 2.253 m, going through 55 tunnels and 196 bridges, in order to give you a lifetime experience. Part of the route is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is pretty impressive if you know that there are only two other railways in the world that are listed.

Landscape varies greatly, from high Alpine scenery on the Bernina Pass, to Mediterranean scenery in the Poschiavo valley to Tirano, so there’s no way you will not keep your nose pressed against the window during the whole trip while viewing the majestic mountain peaks, magnificent pine forests, vineyards and unearthly stone fields.


2.Bergen Railway

Bergen Railway

The Bergen Railway runs between Bergen and Oslo, the highest rout in Norway (1.222m), and frequently hailed as one of the most beautiful and scenic train journeys in the entire world.

The Bergen railway is a comfortable and easy way to travel, there are two classes on-board the Bergen Line, Komfort and Standard. Komfort is only an additional NOK 90 (£9) on tour train ticket and comes with free coffee, tea, and power outlets, so it’s a pretty good deal as you will definitely need your camera fully charged!

Travelling by train is an excellent way of exploring Norway, the 7 hour journey will bring you across one of Europe’s highest mountain plateaus and takes you to through spectacular and varied nature, from deep fjords to snow-covered mountaintops and from frozen lakes to grassy plains. Those seven hours might seem like a long trip, but by the end you’ll be wishing it wouldn’t be over.

3.The Chocolate Train

chocolate train

The Chocolate Train is a discovery tour of Switzerland’s most famous specialties and a leap back in time. This charming train running in summer and fall climbs from Montreux overlooking Lake Geneva to the medieval town of Gruyères, home to the cheese of the same name and to the final stop of Broc, the chocolate factory.

Passengers may choose to travel in an early 1900s fashion wagon that remembers a carriage-Pullman Belle Époque style. But for those who prefer to keep pace with the times, there is also the ability to sit comfortably in the modern cars.

The Chocolate Train’s route curves up from Lake Geneva through beautiful hillsides and forests, everything extraordinarily green in mid-summer, and winds its way through the mountains toward the town of Gruyères, the first stop. Here there’s time for exploring Gruyères, which offers a glimpse of a living village with medieval roots, and a chance to try authentic foods of the region, and visit the cheese factory La Maison du Gruyère (yes, cheese!). After lunch, the train will take you to Broc, where a bus drives up to the Maison Cailler chocolate factory, the perfect place for dessert. And don’t forget about the samples before making the return trip!


4.The Epic Journey: Trans-Siberian Railway


The Trans-Siberian Railway, an icon of Russian culture, crosses eight time zones to connect the Russian capital with a port on the Pacific Ocean, and is undoubtedly the world’s greatest railway journey vacation (more than 9000km). On board, poor mingle with rich, young with old, foreigners with locals. Social barriers disappear as passengers share a unique rail experience.

The railway starts its path in Moscow and travels eastward while going through the Ural Mountains, the steppes, the huge taiga and then finally stops in Vladivostok, a city that lies near Japan. The Trans-Siberian also offers a route through Ulan Bator to Beijing, called the Trans-Mongolian.

The adventure takes about 6-7 days, but it is definitely worth it as you can get off at a few locations to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, or see new parts of Russia. Also, it’s difficult to get bored, Russian passengers are extremely friendly and genuinely interested in foreign travelers. You can have monosyllabic conversations with inquisitive locals who will insist you share their food and drink.

It’s an ultimate experience that will stay with you forever, as a Trans-Siberian passenger you will have seen more of Russia in a week than most Russians will ever see in a lifetime.


5. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Orient express

Step aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient Express (VSOE), and the calendar turns back to the 1920s and ’30s, the golden age of rail on the Continent. The beautifully-restored coaches provide a 5 star luxury train experience, linking its principal routes of London, Paris and Venice, Europe’s beguiling cities, in the most romantic way.

Passengers are expected to dress elegantly for dinner: at a minimum, suit and tie for men and the equivalent for women, but in the Orient-Express it feels right, while having dinner in the Bar Car with a piano being played softly in the background. The dinner is made unforgettable by the sumptuous surroundings of the wood-paneled dining cars as well as the quality of the food, a miracle of skill conjured up in the tiny galley kitchen.

Raising the blind to reveal the waters of Zürichsee or the majestic peaks lining the northern shore of Walensee in Switzerland is part of the pleasure of this overnight train travel, that sense of being somewhere so different from the landscapes and architecture of the previous evening.