best train routes in europe: Swiss alps and more

Most Scenic Train Rides in Europe: from Swiss Alps to Mediterranean!

Train travels are the new future of slow traveling. Scenic train routes reward you with genteel co-passengers as a first introduction to the land. Train travel also saves you from the shame of being complicit in environmental damage of the scale of air travel and carbon emission. Overnight trains help you travel the distance, sleep and save extra cost as well. We, a group of travel writers, bring you the most picturesque and historical train routes of Europe, that will complete your European Bucket List!

“I like trains. I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended between two places, all anxieties of purpose taken care of: for this moment I know where I am going.”

Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Schafbergbahn Railway, Austria and Salzburg

By Martina & Jürgen from Places of Juma

The Schafbergbahn is a red cog railway that runs from St. Wolfgang at Lake Wolfgangsee in Austria up to the Schafberg Mountain. There are only two stops, the first at Schafbergalpe at 1363 meters and the second one at the mountain station at 1732 meteres.

The railway line is only 5.85 km long, but the journey is just breath-taking beautiful and a one in your lifetime adventure when you visit Austria. With the nostalgic Red Cog Railway, you will challenge a difference in altitude of 1188 meters.

All in all, the journey takes about 35 minutes. In that time, you will always enjoy a marvelous panorama of Lake Wolfgang and the surrounding mountains. Once you reach the top, you will have the most amazing views down to the many glittering lakes of Salzburg and Upper Austria.

The Schafbergbahn has a long history. Construction works already began in April 1892 and was opened already in 1893. Today it is one of the famous tourist attractions in Austria and a must visit when you go to Salzburg or Upper Austria. Taking a ride with this nostalgic gear steam locomotive, which is among the oldest train routes in the world, is an unforgettable experience!

The journey with the Schafbergbahn is only possible from the beginning of May to the end of September. Best you go early in the morning, so you will avoid the crowds.

Also read: 50+ truly offbeat experiences in Goa!

Lauterbrunnen to Mürren, the Best-kept Secret of the Swiss Alps

Cristina calls herself the one woman show behind Honest Travel Stories. She is a Romanian IT geek that moved to Switzerland two years ago and started writing because apparently therapy is expensive in Switzerland, and buying a domain name was cheaper. She is passionate about her job, loves dogs (has said “I love you!” to about 1037 dogs until now) and has an unhealthy relationship with coffee.

What is there to say about Switzerland? That it’s expensive? Everyone knows that. That it has great chocolate? Everyone knows that as well (including the Belgians, even though they don’t admit it). But most people don’t know it’s home to the most scenic train journeys in Europe.

And even if someone knows about this, most people will tell you about the Glacier Express, which is stunning, I have to agree. But not many, except locals, will know about the journey from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren. And, since I am a local here for two years already , I can tell you everything you need to know about this awesome trip. 

First, you need to get to Lauterbrunnen. You can do this either by train, from wherever you are, or by car. Once here, you first have to look around and be amazed about the jaw-dropping landscape of the “land of many fountains“, the name they gave to this land of 72 waterfalls, one of them being inside a mountain (the Trümmelbach Falls, if you’re curious).

From Lauterbrunnen, take the cableway to Grütschalp, a small station where you can change to the narrow gauge train to Mürren BLM. Don’t worry, there’s no way you can get lost here, everyone goes in the same direction.

When getting on the train, find a seat on the left-hand side. Get out of the cablecar, get into the train, turn left, and then look for a seat on the left side of it. This is the best view you can have. What view, you ask? The view with the highest peaks in Switzerland: Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau. And this is while you’re riding a train on the side of the mountain, to be exact.

Getting to this car-free village will cost around 20-25 CHF or $ (the exchange rate is around 1), both ways, starting from Lauterbrunnen. You can buy your tickets here, or directly at the ticket office in Lauterbrunnen. I recommend doing this trip either in late Spring, as everything turns green and the landscape is gorgeous, or in wintertime, as Mürren gets plenty of snow and it looks like a fairytale village.  

Also read: Old Towns in Europe that tells about Intriguing History!

The Rdohope Narrow Gauge Railway, Bulgaria 

Bistra and Nace are on a quest to admire humanity around the world. They love to dance, make friends, and blog about their journey. So far, they’ve explored 77 countries.

The photo is from the highest train station in Bulgaria and on the Balkans – Avramovo. 

One of the most scenic train journeys and one of the most epic experiences you can have in Bulgaria is the Rhodope narrow gauge railway. While riding the narrow-gauge is just a method of transportation for those living in some forgotten by God mountain villages, it is an unforgettable experience that brings travelers not only back in time, but back in nature and back in life. 
The narrow-gauge railway connects smaller and bigger villages and towns, cutting the mountains and passing gorges, tunnels, cliffs. It gives an opportunity for people living in isolated areas to study and work.

When you ride the train, you get totally immersed in the culture and have the unique opportunity to admire different minorities and languages represented. Don’t miss the change to chat with the conductor who will also sell you a ticket in case you forgot to buy one at the station.

The track gauge is 760mm and it is the last operational narrow gauge in Bulgaria. It covers the line Septemvri – Dobrinishte but many of the passengers board the train on bigger stations like Bansko or Velingrad. Don’t forget to enjoy Avramovo – the highest train station on the Balkan peninsula. You can check out timetables and ticket prices on this website. Proving that the best things are often free, the return ticket for the whole route costs less than 4 euros!

Train route between Oslo and Bergen, Norway

By Joanna from The World in My Pocket

One of the most beautiful train journeys in the world is in Norway, between Oslo and Bergen. It takes 7 hours to complete the almost 500 km journey, passing through fantastic scenery. There is an average of four trains going on this route daily. The elevation in Oslo, where the train starts, is 2 meters above sea level. The highest point that the train crosses is 1220 meters above the sea level, when the train passes Finse.

If you’re doing this train ride as a scenic trip, you must stop at Myrdal and embark on the famous Flamsbana, a spectacular mountain railway which offers panoramic views over the valleys, mountains and powerful waterfalls nearby. Part of the experience is stopping at the Kjosfossen waterfall, where the passengers get to enjoy the dancing woman standing on the edge of the water.

The experience then continues with a 2 hours long cruise along the fjords and a bus ride back to the train station in Voss, to continue further the trip to Bergen.

As you approach Bergen, the scenery will change from high mountain peaks to fjords and lakes. The train tracks are so close that you can see its reflection in the water. Before Bergen you will notice the mighty mount Ulriken with its Vidden trail, and the more popular mount Floyen, reaching up from behind the city.

The train from Oslo to Bergen is a memorable experience that you won’t forget very easily. You can book this train online or in person, at the train station in Oslo.

Arosa Line Scenic Railway, Switzerland

By Maureen Spencer from “So Many Places! So Little Time!”- Online travel inspiration.

Switzerland has so very many picturesque and stunningly scenic train trips, but the Arosa Line trip is Switzerland’s best kept rail secret!  If you are planning on touring Switzerland by rail, it is one trip you just shouldn’t miss because it combines everything that makes the major  Swiss panoramic train rides famous in just one short, one-hour journey! It’s also great value if you have a very limited time in Switzerland and/or a very limited budget and want to experience a scenic Swiss Rail mountain trip.

It starts in Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland, where the Bernina Express also starts its journey to Northern Italy,  and where you can also connect with the Glacier Express across to Zermatt. If you’re traveling on a Swiss Rail Pass the fare will be included in your pass, otherwise, it will cost about CHF15 each way and you can buy tickets online through the SBB- Swiss Rail App or at the station.

The line took a feat of engineering to build. It is 26 km long and climbs 1000 meters, goes through 19 tunnels, and over 52 bridges.

The highlight though is the Langweiser Viaduct over the Plessur River. Sit on the right-hand side of the train in the direction of travel to get the best possible views and you will see the viaduct quite some distance before you reach it, as the train twists and climbs up the mountain. The scenery is awesome throughout the whole trip. There’s an excellent cafe-restaurant at the station when you reach Arosa. 

Gornegrat Railway, Switzerland

By Bridget, London-based writer using her 30+ year experience of travelling to help and inspire others to travel smarter and safer in affordable luxury. She writes at theflashpacker.net.

Switzerland is home to some of the most scenic train journeys in Switzerland and the Gornegrat railway, or Gornergrat Bahn, is amongst the best of these.

This electric rack and pinion line ascends the vertical distance of 1,484 metres from Zermatt to Gornegrat, just under six miles away, in 33 minutes. Although a short journey, get set for an exceptionally scenic ride as the train makes it way over bridges and viaducts and through pine and larch forests before reaching the observation platform at Gornergrat, at an elevation of just over 3,000 metres. The mighty Matterhorn, the star of this show, is your constant companion on this journey.

At the Gornergrat terminus there is a small tourist centre with shops, a reasonably priced restaurant and viewing platforms from where there is a panoramic view of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and Gorner glaciers and the Dufourspitze, Switzerland’s highest mountain.

For the best view of the Matterhorn, on the return train ride to Zermatt, break your journey at Rotonboden. The sight of the pyramidal, near-symmetrical peak of the Matterhorn reflected in the mirror-like water of the nearby Riffelsee is unforgettable.

Tips for riding the Gornegrat Railway

  • The Gornegrat Railway is sensational at any time of year, but trains are more frequent in autumn and winter.
  • Ticket prices are seasonal. Reductions are available with a Swiss Travel Pass.
  • The Gornegrat Railway station is located opposite Zermatt’s main railway station.
  • Don’t leave the railway station before picking up the useful information sheet, which includes a map and photo stops.

Cluj-Napoca to Brasov, Romania

By RJ On Tour, usually travelling with dog in tow and a local beer in hand

The train journey from Cluj-Napoca to Brasov is a journey across the Transylvanian Plateau, which is surrounded by the Carpathian mountains. The journey starts at Cluj-Napoca a city in the north of Romania, which has an international airport for those arriving from abroad.

The train station, like many in Romania, has a steam engine on display at the entrance. Getting tickets for this route is pretty simple at the ticket office or booked in advance from the CFR Călători website. First-class tickets prices are relatively cheap and well worth it for this 7-8 hour journey through the mountains.

The mountain views are fantastic all along the way, traversing valleys and the slow speed of the train enables you to see lots of rural Romania. Sighisoara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the route, which is visible from the train. Sighisoara is a very well preserved historic wall town with lots of towers, gates and other buildings. Some travellers like to disembark here to explore the historic centre then continue the journey later.

The onward journey leads you further through the Transylvania countryside and mountains towards Brasov. As the journey levels out you see the backdrop of Brasov, the Postavaral Massif and the famous Mt. Tampa in the background.

Overall a fantastic journey and the best way to see Transylvania, which enjoyable in all seasons but particularly interesting when snow covered in winter.

The train vapeur (steam train) of the Cevennes, France

Izzy is one half of the Gap Decaders, who travel Europe full-time in their motorhome.

The train vapeur (steam train) of the Cevennes is a highlight of any road trip to Occitanie.  In the deep south of France and nestled within the wild and raw Cevennes, lies a train line what twists and bends itself through the magnificent Gardon valley, between St Jean du Gard and Anduze.

The train is old-fashioned, painted deep red and ochre and without windows in many carriages, all the better for leaning out to admire the stunning views. There is no air-conditioning here, just the wind as it rushes past the moving train. Watch out for tunnels though, lean out as you approach and you’ll get covered in smuts!  

As you chug high over the clear and shallow waters of the inviting Gardon, swimmers and kayakers in the impossibly turquoise river below wave up to the train as it passes. The driver will often stop on one of the viaducts, this is great opportunity to lean and out get a shot of the steaming engine with all its’ carriages behind like ducks in a row.

Hop off at La Bambousaraie and be amazed by the jungle of bamboo and other exotic plants created here. With a maze for the children and lots of shady places to stop for a picnic, this is the ideal lunch spot on a hot summer’s day. The trip from St Jean du Gard to Anduze takes around 90 minutes, short but spectacular and definitely one of the most scenic train journeys in Europe! Start your journey in St Jean du Gard or Anduze and buy your ticket early at the station or book online as the train can get busy in peak season.

The Settle to Carlisle Railway, UK

By Sarah Carter, train enthusiast, reader, writer and gardener at LetsGrowCook

The Settle to Carlisle rail journey is a 73 mile (117 kilometres) line in Northern England.  It crosses the glorious and remote regions of the North Pennines and the Yorkshire, running between the station of Settle Junction and Carlisle, which is near the English border with Scotland.  You can buy a ticket at the station, or book a ticket online at Settle-Carlisle.co.uk.  

The route takes in 14 tunnels and 21 viaducts and crosses between two English counties, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.  There are 11 open stations and 9 closed ones, all are particularly picturesque, with many of the open stations containing waiting rooms with vintage photographs of the line in previous decades.

The views over the Pennines and Yorkshire Dales are particularly stunning, although you’ll need to pick a good weather day or all you’ll see is is mist and rain!  The most famous view of the Settle to Carlisle railway is the Batty Moss or Ribblehead Viaduct.  

The viaduct is a Grade II listed building and took 2300 men 7 years to build.  It is 400 metres long and 100 metres above the valley floor below.  The best views of it are from a distance, on the road, not the train!

The best time to travel on this train line is at any time of year but on a good weather day.  The dales are stunning at all times of the year, but on a rainy, snowy or misty day you just won’t see the views at all!

Belgrade (Serbia) to Bar (Montenegro)

By Kami from MyWanderlust.pl

Not many people know about the spectacular train journey from Belgrade (Serbia) to Bar (Montenegro) but this is actually one of the most beautiful railways lines in Europe. There and two daily trains in each direction, the day and night one. The train covers the distance of almost 500 km and the journey takes around 11 hours (but delays happen very often here).

The views along the way, especially in the Montenegrin part, are just breathtaking – you will travel through some spectacular mountains even as high as 2000 meters as well as through the Skadar Lake.

You will pass 254 tunnels (each of them is marked with the number so it’s easy to follow) and 435 bridges, including the famous Mala Rijeka viaduct near Podgorica.

Until recently this was the highest railway viaduct in the world, being around 200 meters high (now this title holds the construction in China). Unfortunately, currently it is impossible to book the tickets online but the train is never packed so you shouldn’t have problems with getting the ticket a few days in advance.

If you start your journey in Belgrade I recommend the night train so you will wake up just in time for the best views, in the direction from Montenegro to Serbia you should take the day train. It is a long journey but definitely worth all those hours spent on the train – you will never forget these amazing views!

Geneva to Montreux: one of Europe’s most scenic train routes from Switzerland

Mark Anderson is a tech geek, travel and nature lover, and also a contributor to vogatech.com

After landing at Geneva Airport you will find very easy a train station there. Geneva is well connected by rail with other parts of Switzerland. More than 70 trains travel between Geneva and Montreux every day, leaving approximately 15 to 25 minutes.

Ticket vending machines are all over the train station unless you have purchased them online, of course. ATMs are also an integral part of the whole concept. By buying a Geneva-Montreux ticket you have the convenience of a comfortable drive by Swiss Railways SBB. The journey takes about 90 minutes to reach this beautiful city. Book your direct line and enjoy the beautiful landscape.

The train travels along the shores of Lake Geneva. The breathtaking nature is awakening and is adorned by the Alps, which are reflected in this beautiful lake. You will pass through the fields of vineyards, the so-called wine terraces that are protected by UNESCO. There are also cities along the route Nyon, Lausanne, and Vevey.

Montreux is located on the shores of Lake Geneva surrounded by mountains. The best time to visit the city is in the spring. It’s famous for having many celebrities visit this fashionable place.

The promenade by the lake is very nicely decorated and stretches for several kilometers, making it very attractive to locals and tourists alike. Near the end of the promenade is a bust of Freddie Mercury, frontman of the famous Queen group, who lived and worked in Montreux for a while. The venue hosts the Montreux Jazz Festival in August every year. For this reason, the city is said to be the Swiss capital of jazz music.

The Mont Blanc Express, France & Switzerland

Josh and Sarah and proud parents of Veggie Vagabonds, an ethical adventures outdoors blog

The Mont Blanc Express takes you on a journey, meandering through the scenic and breath-taking Trient Valley. Witness rugged peaks dusted in snow dominating the skyline, with proud evergreens protruding in the foreground, as the train climbs further into the mountains. As you travel into the Alps, passing alpine villages and flowing gorges, the snow starts to get thicker and the air cooler. 

The train travels between Saint-Gervais-les-bains, France and Martigny, Switzerland with the best time to travel during the winter months of November – February. This is when you’ll experience the true beauty of the Alps covered in snow, but be forewarned that this can disrupt the train times if the snow is particularly deep.

You can book your trip on the Mont Blanc Express website or through The Trainline website. 

This magical journey, through magnificent landscapes of snow-draped valleys and traditional settlements, feels like a journey into another world. Once in the region, the mountains are ripe for exploring with plenty of skiing, snowshoeing and hiking routes to discover. Be sure to consider these winter hiking tips when heading out into the wild, as the mountains can be a dangerous place. 

This train journey is not only the passageway to snowy adventures but an experience in itself, with captivating wintery scenes to behold around every twist and turn. 

St Ives Branch lLine, United Kingdom

By Sylvie from Travels with Eden

The view of Porthminster beach, St Ives from nearby St Ives train Station

One of the most scenic train journeys in the UK is the St Ives branch line, located in the picturesque county of Cornwall in the far South of England. The St Ives branch line is an extremely scenic piece of line of just over 4 miles travelling from the holiday town of St Ives through its neighbour, Carbis Bay and the village of Lelant before arriving at the mainland station of St Erth.

On the way, the train passes a huge array of awe-inspiring sights, including the Hayle Estuary, Hayle Towans and Carbis Bay Beach. The line ends overlooking Porthminster beach. With white sands, calm seas and backdrop of palm trees, it’s a perfect place to start and end the trip. If you’re not staying in St Ives, you can easily arrive by train to St Erth or drive and park in the new St Erth Park and ride (TR27 6JW).

This journey is used as both a practical route bringing visitors into St Ives and a tourist attraction. The best way to experience the ride is to buy an off peak day-return from St Ives. Tickets can be bought from the machine at St Ives station and will set you back just £4. Alternatively, you can buy tickets in advance from Trainline.

You can experience this journey all year round. Note that less services run in the winter. The best time for the trip is during the mid-tourist seasons in May/June and September/October so you can get the best seats (on the right hand side of the train) while still enjoying the weather.

It’s also possible to walk the majority of the route next to the St Ives branch line via the South West coast path, a scenic walk covering 630 miles right around Cornwall, Devon and some of Somerset. I recommend walking the small 1.5 mile stretch between St Ives and Carbis Bay before boarding the train again.

The Golden Pass Train Line, Switzerland

Kieren is a 20-something year old from Wales with a passion for adventure and backpacking. He shares tips and travel guides over at Got My Backpack.

The Golden Pass train line is one of Switzerland’s famous scenic train journeys. It begins in Montreux on the edge of Lake Geneva and heads up through the Swiss alps, finishing in the city of Lucerne (or vice versa).

The line includes three mountain passes and travels alongside 8 different lakes. The coaches have dedicated panoramic window coaches that allow you to get a wide angled view of the breath-taking Swiss alps. There are classic carriages that also run along the route, these are styled on the original orient express with wooden carriages and brass fittings that will transport you back in time.

The journey isn’t served by one single service but is made up of three legs with changes in Zweisimmen and Interlaken. The route could be completed in one day, however it is best to complete it over 2 or more days to appreciate some of the stops along the way.

Interlaken is a popular place to stay overnight, here you can explore the town that sits nestled between two lakes, and head up in to the mountains.

The journey can be taken at any time of year, during the summer you’ll find lots of hiking trails and view points to visit, whilst in the winter you’ll witness the snow covered landscapes and can try your hand at winter sports including skiing and sledging.

The trip can be completed with the popular Swiss Travel Pass, using Interrail passes or you can purchase end-to-end tickets for specific trains.

Train Route to Rhine Valley , Germany

By Bhushavali from My Travelogue by Bhushavali  

While several picturesque train journeys in Europe are with views of spectacular mountains, this one in Germany is about a gorgeous river valley! So much so this place, Upper Middle Rhine Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! This begins at Rudeshiem/Bingen to Koblenz, a distance of 67km from 526th km to 593rd km of Rhine River. However the train runs along the river for a distance of more than 150km from Mainz to Bonn. This journey takes about 1:45mins.

This river valley is so beautiful – so so beautiful that it has inspired painters like Willaim Turner who stood at various points here to paint these landscapes and poets like Heinrich Heine who wrote fictional poems set here!!! There are, a whopping 40+ castles and 40+ historic churches in this stretch!

While the train journey gives a great view of many of these castles and the natural sceneries like Lorelei rock, it is also possible to break the journey to stop-over at some of the towns to enjoy the view, experience the slow village life as well as trek a bit to atop the hills to see the gorgeous river in all its glory.

This is a regular IC train of the Deutsch Bahn and it runs once every hour. Tickets can be bought online as well as at the station. Ofcourse as usual, Europe’s public transport has telescopic pricing, so earlier you book, the cheaper it is!

While it is possible to take this train journey all year round, to stop-over at the towns and experience the region, if would better to skip the cold winters!

Porto to Douro Valley Train, Portugal

By Soumya from Stories by Soumya

Soumya is a passionate cultural traveler who loves to explore the harmonious confluence of nature and human life. 

Porto is a beautiful city in northern Portugal and home to some of the most beautiful azulejo-clad churches, historical monuments, and a stunning Ribeira. Porto is full of life with many attractive places to visit. And one of the best things to do in Porto is to take a scenic train ride to the Douro Valley.

Yes, the very Douro Valley that produces the famous Portuguese Port Wine. But wine is not the only reason why you should visit. A picturesque train ride from Porto’s Sao Bento station to the charming little village of Pocinho is another.

Douro Valley is a magical wilderness and one of the oldest wine regions in the entire world. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2001 for unparalleled beauty and a unique viticulture tradition. The best part is you can easily visit the Douro Valley on a day trip from Porto. And a train ride is the best way to do it.

As you get on to a creaky train bound for Pocinho from the Sao Bento train station, make sure you get a seat on the right of the carriage to get a good view of the valley. Terraced vineyards, verdant rolling hills, a curvy river that cuts through the hills, and solitary Rabelo boats swaying quietly on those sparkling waters – the Douro Valley will surely take your breath away.

You can take a direct train to Pinhao (a popular tourist stop) on the Linha do Douro Railway and do a river cruise in Pinhao to appreciate the stunning landscape. Or take the same train to Pocinho, a tiny village on the Spanish border at the end of the line, to experience a more offbeat and rugged Douro Valley. I highly recommend doing the second. 

A train ticket from Porto to Pocinho costs less than 14 euros. And you can easily get your reservation done at the Sao Bento ticket counter.

Lisbon to Faro, Portugal

By Paulina from Paulina on the Road

One of the most scenic train trips to take in Europe is the railway from Lisbon to Faro. Lasting for a little more than 3h30 hours, you’ll spot gorgeous views and enjoy how the landscape changes from the capital city of Portugal versus the Algarve region.

Some of the best stops along the road are Grandola, Padrona, and of course the breathtaking landscapes of the remote Alentejo region. 

The train journey start in Lisbon, you can opt between Santa Apolonia or Estacao do Oriente train station. The journey ends in Faro train station. From here you can pick another train or bus which will take you immediately to the scenic cliff beaches of the Algarve.

If you are wondering where to stay in the Algarve for quiet beach holidays after your train journey, I recommend the scenic Olhao and Tavira islands near Faro.

Mallorca, Spain

Clare Dewey is the founder of Epic Road Rides, the travel website for road cyclists

The old wooden train that runs from Mallorca’s capital, Palma, to the beautiful town of Sóller, is one of Mallorca’s most popular attractions. 

It is a narrow gauge railway that was built to transport citrus fruit from Sóller to Palma in the early 1900s. Though Sóller is still a hub of citrus fruit production, it no longer carries fruit. Instead it’s solely for tourists. 

The journey offers fantastic scenery, including viaducts, bridges and 13 tunnels. It also goes through the Sierra de Alfabia mountain range which is nearly 3km wide and 500m high. 

Sóller itself is also a great destination. It’s a pretty old lovely town, with an impressive main square dominated by a huge stone cathedral.  On the Plaça de sa Constitució, you can grab a freshly squeezed orange juice and enjoy watching life go by. 

From Soller there is then an old tram, dating from 1913, that runs down to the seaside at Port de Soller. It’s wonderful to pass through the citrus groves and end up in the pretty port by the sea.

In terms of practicalities, the Palma to Sóller train has its own station in Palma. You can find it by the city’s main train and bus station. It takes around an hour to reach Sóller and stops at Bunyola on the way. The tram down to Port de Sóller takes about half an hour.

In 2018, tickets from Palma to Sóller cost 18 euros each way, and 25 euros return. If you buy a combined ticket from Palma to Port de Sóller, to include the tram, then it’s 32 euros.

MOST SCENIC TRAIN JOURNEY IN EUROPE – BARCELONA TO VALENCIA, SPAIN

By Yukti from Travelwithme24x7

Barcelona one of the most visited attractions in the world and therefore if you are going to Barcelona then don’t miss the cultural and foodie capital of Spain – Valencia.

It takes about 4 hours 30 minutes to travel to Valencia from Barcelona by normal train. But if you travel by Renfe’s fastest Euromed (Spain’s national railway network) train then it takes around 3 hours. The 300 km distance is the most beautiful rail journey in Spain as it passes through coastline and orange fields.

Not only the journey is scenic but the amazing thing is the speed of the train and it runs at about 250 km per hour. There are about 14 train services from Barcelona to Spain. You can catch this fastest train from Barcelona Sants the city’s principal railway station and drops directly to Valencia’s historic city center in the old historic town. So if you love to see orange orchards and coastline views, then do not miss this train journey from Barcelona to Valencia.

Renfe trains are very maintained, neat, and safe. Tourists can choose or purchase passes options that come in 4,6, 8, or 10 journeys. To travel to Spain by train, you need to reserve your seat which means you need a proper reservation.

Train Route from Vienna to Venice

Marie Gizelle is a jane of all blogging niches – none she specializes in. ^_^ One of her travel blogs include Our City Travels.

I’ve seen people get confused about Venice and Vienna – probably because of the first letters – but these two cities are completely different yet equally charming. I’ve had the chance to visit Venice from Vienna by train often and it has always been a fascinating trip. The Austrian countryside, where the train tracks pass through is full of greens, mountains and hills, lakes, windmills, and mustard fields (assuming you travel in spring and summer).

If it’s autumn, then expect a myriad of nature’s earth colors, that’s wonderful too. There will be small towns and settlements worth taking pictures of, a kind of drive by photography if you may.


There are three stations in Vienna you can depart from – Meidling, Hutteldorf, and Westbahnhof. The earliest train leaves at 6:30 in the morning, and at 9:30 in the evening, the night train. It takes 9 hours, give and take. The end station would either be Venezia s lucia or Venezia mestre.

To best view the scenic route between Vienna and Venice, it is best to travel early in the morning. Travelling at night, means you have to book the sleeper services, so you’d be asleep – at 10pm and wake up at 8 the next day in Venice. ^_^ There will still be beautiful views of the sunrise within the borders of Austria and Italy if you take the night train – it’s still gonna be worth it.


There are several ways to book a trip from Vienna to Venice, one can do so from the ticketing office or online at oebb.at. Ticket prices could vary so check which one suits you best. It’s ideal to reserve a seat as the trains could get crowded at times.

Flam Railway, Norway

Kathryn Bird quit her job to travel Europe in a motorhome. She shares stories about their travels at wandering-bird.com and loves to inspire others to live life a little differently.

By the train across Scandinavian mountains

If you’re looking for the most scenic train journey in Europe, you have to visit the Flam Railway- Flamsbana.

Flam is a small town close to the fjord of Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the vast Sognefjord. And in Flam, you’ll find a train station. 

The railway winds up into the mountains surrounding the fjord and the views are breathtaking. There is a stop about halfway up at the huge waterfall Kjosfossen. Definitely get out and watch the dance of the Huldra- a woman in a red dress sent to lure unsuspecting men (or women!) to their deaths. It’s so wonderfully random- I guarantee it’s something you’ll always remember.

The train goes all the way up to Myrdal, where you can get off, hire bikes or walk all the way back down to Flam. You can also choose to stay on the train and ride it back down again. The entire trip takes about 1.5 hours.

On the train, I recommend sitting on the side closest to the platform in Flam for the best views. The railway is one of the steepest ‘on track’ railways in the world- the average gradient is 1 in 18, so there’s plenty to see and the scenery changes rapidly.

The entire line is 20-km and has a height difference of 866 metres. It also has one of the most impressive tunnels in the world- carved into the mountain. It’s truly an incredible feat of engineering. 

There is plenty of parking, but I recommend getting there early. If you’re visiting in summer, try and buy your tickets online in advance, as they get booked up quickly! 

Tickets are expensive- but so are most tourist attractions in Norway. If you want to see mountains and waterfalls in Norway, Flamsbana is definitely the place to go. 

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclosure post. If you have liked the article, you may support it by buying using these links without any extra cost to you.

Let’s stay connected on FacebookInstagramTwitter! You may also consider joining my mailing list. I send email once in a month.

Subscribe

* indicates required

19 thoughts on “Most Scenic Train Rides in Europe: from Swiss Alps to Mediterranean!”

  1. These all look so beautiful! Switzerland and Germany are high on my bucket list, so I will have to add these train routes to my list! The route between Oslo and Bergen looks especially fun as well! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. All of these train rides look amazing! My favorites were definitely in Switzerland and Austria 🙂 The train in Mallorca looks so cute and definitely makes me want to go there and sit at that outdoor restaurant.

    Reply
  3. I love train travel. What a great post with so many beautiful suggestions. We’ve done the Schafberg cog railway in Austria many times. I’d also add another UK south coast train journey – Dawlish – as the track sticks right to the edge of the coast for ages. It feels like you’re going to go into the sea!

    Reply
  4. I love train rides so much and there are so many scenic rides in Europe! I can’t wait for the borders to open up again and go see some of them with my own eyes.

    Reply
  5. This is such a creative post and I love the stunning photos. Would love to take a train from Serbia to Montenegro someday!

    Reply
  6. I’ve always loved the idea of a scenic train ride, but assumed we never had the time to really do it well on our trips to Europe. I appreciate the variety here in trip length. Saving this for later!

    Reply
  7. Wow World is such a beautiful place. I have visited scenic train of Switzerland. And Himalayan Queen is my favourite too from Kalka to Shimla . I hope you add more Indian routes too. I have such great RECOMMENDATION from your blog . Can’t wait to explore.

    Reply
  8. So much great info!! Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to take more trains when going in between destinations. Because my vacations aren’t super long, I end up feeling like I saw/experienced waaay more when I travel by train because I get to see all the little villages and countryside scenery! I’ll definitely refer back when next timeI head to Europe – thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  9. Wow! So many amazing options. I’m not sure how I’d choose, but I’d love to travel by train in Europe. I will pin this for future reference. Thanks for all the wonderful adventures.

    Reply

Leave a Comment