Here are the 7 most beautiful train journeys through Europe
Zigzag across Europe by train over photogenic viaducts, past cascading waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. The train is not only a way to travel more sustainably, it is also the ideal means of transport to admire the changed landscape from the comfort of your armchair. What are the most beautiful train journeys in Europe? We’ve listed our favorites for you.
Cinque Terre Express, Italy
You can also visit the five villages of the Cinque Terre with a rental car. The problem? You can reach the back of the traffic jam and fight for a parking spot. It is much more fun and relaxed to travel by train along these colorful Italian coastal towns from La Spezia. Consider in advance which side of the train you will be seated on, in order to have the best view of the sea.
Glacier Express, Switzerland
Travel through the Swiss Alps on board the Glacier Express, without a doubt one of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe. The route starts at the foot of the Matterhorn and then takes you in eight hours along rock walls several thousand meters high, through dozens of tunnels and over narrow bridges. Taking a bad photo with this view is almost impossible…
Bernina Express, Switzerland
We will stay in Switzerland for a while, because the Bernina Express is also one of the most beautiful train journeys on the European continent. From Chur, Switzerland’s oldest city, the red train with panoramic windows heads into the mountains towards the 65-metre-high Landwasser Viaduct. 55 tunnels and 196 bridges later, you enter the final station, Tirano in northern Italy.
Balkan Express, ex-Yugoslavia
You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time as you board the Balkan Express in Belgrade. In former Eastern Bloc wagons, you travel through three countries that were part of the former Yugoslavia: Serbia, a small part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Towards the end, the ride in Montenegro takes you over the Mala Rijeka Viaduct, which with a height of almost five hundred meters was the highest railway bridge in the world until 2001. The adventurous train journey ends in the port city of Bar in Montenegro, where you can immediately cool off in the Adriatic Sea.
West Highland Line, Scotland
Harry Potter fans will instantly recognize Scotland’s West Highland Line, one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. This route takes you through the photogenic landscape of the Scottish West Highlands. When you take the longer route, from Glasgow to Mallaig, you cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct by train. Here, the Hogwarts Express from the famous film series nearly collided with Harry and Ron’s flying car.
The Bergensbanen connects the Norwegian capital Oslo to the country’s second city: Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. The seven-hour train journey passes through Norway’s mountainous landscape and passes the country’s highest station at 1,222 meters. So you don’t have to be surprised if you run through a white world.
Black Forest Line, Germany
The Black Forest Line starts in Karlsruhe, near the French border, then winds through pine trees, castles, cliffs and vineyards to the Black Forest. Halfway down, you can descend for a short walk to Triberg Falls, which plummets a total of 163 meters.
Willeke van Doorn studied journalism, traveled the world for a while and ended up working for Quest, National Geographic and Runner’s World editors via the US, Australia and New Zealand. She is curious about the world, prefers to travel every month and always takes her running shoes with her.
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