If you love road-tripping, but do not want the burden of driving a car, then getting on a train and spending days riding the railway is for you! Especially if you are visiting Europe. With a system very well-developed, your travels will be quick, entertaining, and affordable! Then, all that is left is to make the best itinerary of which routes to take. So, here are the top 10 most scenic train rides across Europe!
Praha Hlavni Nadrazi – Vienna Praterstern Railway
This scenic route is a part of the Prague to Vienna train journey, and travelers adore this one because it is quick, comfortable, and reliable. Moreover, since the trip from the Czech Republic to Austria is very popular while visiting Central Europe, the railway is well-developed into a scenic road. As a result, you will spot some of the most picturesque landscapes, villages, and great cities, like Kutna Hora and Styria.
Hauptbahnhof – Keleti Railway
A top choice for travelers who enjoy rapid tours, Hauptbahnhof – Keleti Railway is one of the cheapest train lines in Europe! Not to mention, the sights from behind the window are lovely. See the authentic European countryside and hamlets on your train from Vienna to Budapest and travel comfortably by choosing either high-speed trains or regular ones, which will give you more time to enjoy the outside!
The Bernina Railway
Starting in the oldest city of Switzerland, Chur, the Bernina Railway is undoubtedly one of the top scenic train rides in Europe. With magnificent meadows, lakes, and villages, every glimpse through the window will feel like looking at a postcard. And do not forget the snowy mountain tops and viaducts during the trip! The trip ends in Tirano, Italy.
The Salzkammergut Railway
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Austria? Icy mountain tops? Valleys? Cliffs? Or maybe, villages? Whatever you are thinking, you are right. Traveling through the Austrian Lake District, you will see some scenic landscapes that belong in a painting. So do not miss out on this journey and buy the ticket now!
Rhodope Narrow Gauge
If you have ever dreamed of exploring Bulgaria, you must jump on the Rhodope Narrow Gauge, taking you from Septemvri to Dobrinishte. This is the only still-operating railway that is this narrow, so that kind of makes the trip even more special, right? Soak up the Balkan Countryside, as the route will take you through valleys and gorges of Rila, Pirin, and Rhodopes.
The Little Yellow Train
The most French name for the train you have probably ever heard! And the route is just as lovely! Departing from Latour-de-Carol and arriving at Villefranche-Vernet-les-bains, Little Yellow Train is 63 kilometers of breathtaking sights of the French Pyrenees, 19 tunnels, two bridges, even a suspension one. In the summer, the train has an open carriage to enjoy the breeze and nature. The train stops only when requested by the passengers!
Let’s travel south to sunny and stunning Italy. Though its most famous scenic route is a short one, it is still very worth it! Leave La Spezia and make your way through the authentic Italian villages, vibrant colors of flora and fauna, stunning baby-blue water on the side, and magical-looking little towns. It is one of the best ways to explore Cinque Terre, the coastal area within Liguria. You will arrive at the last stop, Levanto, in no time.
The West Highland Line
If Scottish Highlands is something you have always admired but never found a way to explore the most of it, you must jump on the West Highland Line and get a closer look! Taking you from Fort William to Mallaig, this particular railway is also famous for crossing the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, the one appearing in the Harry Potter franchise. With sights as magical as such and you riding on the viaduct, how can you even doubt going somewhere magical?
The Douro Line
Riding alongside the river of Douro gives you a strange serenity, what with the icy calm exterior of still waters, merging perfectly with dark forests and small villages. This extremely popular route set in Portugal will give you a chance of entertaining travels between one of the biggest cities, Porto, to a town in the northern part of the country, Pocinho. So enjoy the silence of this ride, and take in as much as you can.
The Belgrade-Bar Railway
Last but not least, the famous Serbia to Montenegro railway! However, this one is not for the fainted heart! Not only does it take you to one of the highest viaducts in Europe, but it also crosses some of the steepest and rockiest roads you have ever seen. Not to mention that this adrenaline-triggering trip takes 12 hours to complete. So, if you are up for the challenge, be ready for a long but absolutely exhilarating half a day of your life!
Now that you have plenty of choices for your Eurotrip by train, all that is left is to choose the most suitable routes and off on a journey! Keep in mind to book the tickets before departure. Actually, as soon as possible. As these routes are very popular among tourists, you want to ensure you are guaranteed a seat. You will also save some money if you purchase the tickets early on. Good luck!
Some Bonus Spots
The Black Forest Railway
This picturesque train ride in Germany is perfect for nature lovers and people who find calm in being surrounded by greenery. The Black Forest Railway starts at Offenburg and finishes at Konstanz, with 150 kilometers in between. Along the way, you will see old-school Germanic villages and fairytale-like forests, so the journey will be quite relaxing.
The Bergen Railway
Set in Norway, the Bergen Railway takes you from Oslo to Bergen, and what you will see during the journey is everything you expect Norway to be. You will spend most of the 7 hours at the edge of your seat, trying to glimpse at the glaciers, fjords, valleys, lakes, and forests you will pass. So keep your eyes wide open and your camera ready!
Mocanita Steam Train Ride in Maramures, Romania
If you’re planning to visit Romania and looking for a scenic train ride, then the slow steam-powered train called Mocanita in the region of Maramures must be on your list. The route was used for wood exploitation and goes through beautiful mountains and picturesque valleys you couldn’t see any other way.
Public transport trains don’t go through here! The train ride takes 4h and makes several stops so you can admire Romanian nature and scenery. The Mocanita train ride is a hit for families with kids visiting Romania – so don’t miss it!