In the post-modern era of immediate communication and faster travel than ever, it’s really sweet to rediscover the taste of travel when what matters is not the destination but the journey itself. And, is there a better way to discover the otherwise unseen beauties the world gives us than by traveling by train? Probably, not! So take a seat, relax, put some good music on, and let yourself be conquered by the views from the windows because we’re about to show you the 15 most beautiful train journeys in the world.
15. The Empire Builder (USA)
It’s a long journey to discover the north-west of the United States for one of the busiest routes. The Empire Builder train, after passing rural Wisconsin, will take you to some of the most beautiful and unspoiled landscapes in the world, through the Great Plains of Montana and the immense prairies, and then to the heart of one of the most beautiful parks of the USA, Glacier National Park, between mountains and lakes.
Departure point: Chicago, USA
Destination: Portland / Seattle, USA
Distance: 1435 km
14. Bergen Railway (Norway)
The train that connects the two main cities of Norway will allow you to discover the enchanting landscapes of this region, between 30 km long snowy landscapes and postcard sceneries. The train with a 7-hour journey will allow you to discover the wonders of Norway, traveling through the Hardangervidda plateau, a magnificent National Park that will make you discover the wonders of the Norwegian fjords and the largest nature reserve in Europe.
Departure point: Oslo, Norway
Destination: Bergen, Norway
Distance: 480 km
13. Grand Canyon Railway (Arizona)
One of the most beautiful places and views in the world, the majestic Grand Canyon, with its very deep gorges, represents a unique spectacle of nature. The best way to reach it is probably the Grand Canyon Railway, which organizes a journey through Arizona and its wild nature aboard its magnificent 1920s carriages.
Departure point: Williams, Arizona
Destination: Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, USA
Distance: about 200 km
12. Rovos Rail (South Africa)
A trip aboard the Rovos Rail Pride of Africa will allow you to live an extraordinary experience of true luxury, with carriages furnished in a classic style of the 1920s and 1930s. This journey will lead you to discover the heart of South Africa, from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Pretoria, with some routes also going to Victoria Falls. There are also other trains that will take you to Tanzania and Namibia (in July). Thanks to its wonderful views and very high travel standards, including starred cuisine, many people consider it the best train journey in the world.
Departure point: Cape Town
Distance: 1300 km
11. Royal Scotsman (Scotland)
It’s a wonderful journey into the heart of the Highlands, through breathtaking landscapes of unspoiled nature and between pine-covered mountains and lakes. The Royal Scotsman train offers a really luxurious journey in a small vintage train that can carry up to 36 passengers. It’s a journey of absolute intimacy, which will take you from Edinburgh through the most beautiful cities of Scotland following different itineraries for an unforgettable 3-day trip. There’s also a possibility of organizing themed trips (whiskey tasting, golf, Scottish residences).
Departure point: Edinburgh (Scotland)
Distance: depends on the places visited
10. Hiram Bingham Orient Express (Peru)
It’s an exclusive journey immersed in the elegance of the 1920s Pullman style carriages, furnished in polished wood and brass, that takes you to discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The 3.5-hour journey will take you from Cusco to Machu Picchu, climbing through the majestic Andean countryside, giving you enchanting landscapes you can admire from the bar with panoramic windows, accompanied by Peruvian music and excellent cocktails. A truly unforgettable journey!
Departure point: Cuzco, Peru
Destination: Machu Picchu, Peru
Distance: 130 km
9. Rocky Mountaineer (Canada)
Discover Western Canada on this wonderful train which offers the highest levels of comfort and elegance. The journey will take you from Banff to Vancouver, allowing you to admire some of the most beautiful and wild landscapes in the world. The train passes through the Canadian Rockies and, during the journey, you can admire canyons, glacial lakes, and unspoiled nature.
Departure point: Banff, Canada
Destination: Vancouver, Canada
Distance: about 800 km
8. Douro Line (Portugal)
It’s a journey that will allow you to discover the wonders of Douro valley by taking a dip in the past. The Douro Line will reveal the charm of the enchanting Douro region giving you unique and wonderful scenery, aboard a real locomotive of the early 20th century that follows the path along the river, thus allowing you to enjoy the trip in total relaxation. During the journey, you will pass through 26 tunnels and 30 bridges, and historic and beautiful stations, for an itinerary full of charm.
Departure point: Porto, Portugal
Destination: Pocinho, Portugal
Distance: about 200 km
7. Glacier Express (Switzerland)
Glacier Express is probably one of the most beautiful travel itineraries in the world. It’s also the slowest train in the world. Actually, this train travels the 270 km of mountain that separate the two exclusive locations of Zermatt and St. Moritz for almost 8 hours, with an average speed of 33 km/h. In that way, it allows for a journey of pure relaxation that will lead you through 91 tunnels and 291 bridges to discover a breathtaking alpine landscape between enchanted valleys and snow-capped mountains.
Departure point: Zermatt, Switzerland
Destination: St. Moritz, Switzerland
Distance: 270 km
6. Maharaja Express (India)
The Maharaja Express is considered the most luxurious train in the world, able to give the traveler a unique experience of charm and elegance. With 88 passengers on board and equipped with a Presidential cabin, this train will take you to discover India on a 3 to 7-day journey through the cities of Rajasthan, Agra, Jaipur, and Udaipur, allowing you to experience an unforgettable adventure.
Departure point: Delhi, India
Destination: Mumbai, India
Distance: 1400 km
5. Eastern and Orient Express (Singapore-Thailand)
It’s a fantastic journey aboard a high-class train that will take you to the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia, allowing you to discover its most enchanting landscapes. This journey will take you from Singapore to Bangkok, passing through Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth (Malaysia), and Kanchanaburi (Thailand), with an unmissable stop at the railway bridge over the River Kwai, a Second World War icon.
Departure point: Singapore,
Destination: Bangkok, Thailand
Distance: about 2020 km
4. Blue Train (South Africa)
One of the most beautiful luxury trains in Africa, the Blue Train, takes you on a 27-hour long journey between Cape Town and Pretoria, allowing you to discover the most beautiful corners and the most evocative and breathtaking views of South Africa. Although you will pay quite more than one would expect, about $2000 per person, you will get a journey of unique elegance and discovery in the name of relaxation and luxury.
Departure point: Cape Town, South Africa
Destination: Pretoria, South Africa
Distance: 1590 km
3. Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express (Russia-Asia)
The Golden Eagle follows the route of the famous Trans-Siberian railway, the longest railway in the world that connects western Russia to the far eastern tip. It passes through two continents and leads through the steppes of Mongolia and the Gobi Desert until it reaches Beijing. There are also stops in some places of the Silk Road. If you get aboard, you will experience a train journey a unique itinerary in the world.
Departure point: Moscow, Russia
Destination: Vladivostok, Russia
Distance: 9288 km
2. The Ghan (Australia)
It’s a long journey that will lead you to discover the heart of Australia thanks to the luxury train The Ghan. This train takes you on a 2-day journey from the north to the south of Australia that allows you to discover different and unique landscapes in the world, giving you the idea of the immense vastness of the Outback and taking you to the most remote countries. You get all that in a high-class environment and with impeccable services.
Departure point: Darwin, Australia
Destination: Adelaide, Australia
Distance: 3000 km
1. Venice-Simplon Orient Express (Europe)
The Orient Express is the most famous train in the world, which still runs along the original route that goes from Paris to Istanbul, now offering several routes. It is one of the most authentic vintage trains due to its carriages dating back to the 1920s, which have been completely restored to show off their original splendor, thus giving you a unique and legendary travel experience. The classic itinerary today travels between London and Venice, visiting some of the most beautiful places in Europe. Also, different itinerary variations visiting the cities such as Dresden, Prague, and Vienna are possible. In short, it’s a journey to the heart of Europe.
Departure point: Venice, Italy
Destination: London, England
Distance: about 1500 km