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the best luxury train journeys in Europe

8 of the best luxury train journeys in Europe

Fancy a mode of travel that promises romance, glamour, and adventure? If so take one of the many upscale train journeys in Europe. From the classically beautiful to seriously stunning views, here are the best luxury train journeys to take in Europe…

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (UK, France, Italy) – the most famous luxury train journey in the world

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Luxury train journeys in Europe

If you feel like you deserve a train trip that offers the ultimate in luxury and comfort, regardless of where you are planning to go, this is the European train journey for you! One of the most luxurious trains in the world, it’s a beautifully restored train dating from the 1920s which stops off at places such as Geneva, Innsbruck, Paris, Rome, and Florence. It mostly offers one-night, one-way journeys but once a year it runs a very special five-night journey from Paris to Istanbul.

Each of the private cabin onboard is opulent and takes you back to a more refined and elegant time with its wood panelling and fine fabrics, sumptuous and comfy beds. If you opt for one of the grand suites they come with their own unique decor with ornate finishes, a marble en-suite, a never-ending amount of champagne, and even your very own steward who is available 24 hours a day. If you love getting spoiled and enjoy a finer and more exclusive travelling experience then the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is definitely the option for you! 

Renfe El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo (Spain)

Renfe train in Europe

Located in Spain’s rarely seen northern side, this luxury train offers eight-day tours that go from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela, and they stop to let you see incredible sites such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Picos de Europa National Park, as well as many others.

Along the way, you can enjoy spacious deluxe suites in a train that allows you to take cooking classes, enjoy live music, and enjoy some of the most amazing local foods that you are certain to love. Time spent both on and off this extraordinary train will be thoroughly enjoyed, making this one trip you are certain never to forget.

Glacier Express (Switzerland)

Luxury train journeys in Europe

Glacier Express train


When you’re traveling through Switzerland, you want your train to go slow so that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. The Glacier Express only goes 180 MPH so that you can enjoy the Swiss Alps like few people get to do. This includes enjoying the 15,000-foot Matterhorn, beautiful gorges, and lots of snow-capped mountains.

The train itself has not only large windows that allow you to make the most of these views, but even a beautiful glass roof so that you can get a better view of your unique surroundings.

Bernina Express (Switzerland and Italy)

Bernina Express Europe

This incredible train starts in Chur, Switzerland, and ends in Tirano, Italy, but not before it winds through the Southern Alps so that you can enjoy some of the most extraordinary views you’ve ever seen. While the train is super luxurious, so are the views you’ll see along the way, which include going through 55 tunnels, across nearly 200 bridges, and lots of craggy mountains. The views are so incredible that this train ride has even earned the UNESCO World Heritage status.

Belmond Grand Hibernian (Ireland)

Belmond Grand Hibernian

While this train has only been around since the fall of 2016, it has already earned a reputation as one of the most beautiful train rides in all of Europe. The rooms are much like being in a Georgian hotel on wheels, complete with furnishings decorated in tartan patterns and Celtic knots, staff who are dressed in Donegal tweed uniforms, and en-suite bathrooms filled with marble furnishings.

If you do decide to leave the train for a while, you can enjoy activities such as tours of the Titanic Museum in Belfast and afternoon tea at the Curraghmore estate, among others.

Golden Eagle Danube Express (Eastern Europe)

Golden Eagle Danube Express

This train is indeed luxurious, which is good because it offers a two-week trip that allows you to see places such as Germany, Poland, and Hungary, including famous cities that include Vienna, Krakow, and Prague.

One of the main advantages to taking a ride on this train, besides all of the great places you get to visit, is its super-deluxe cabins that each come with its own butler, meaning you’ll be as spoiled as you can stand it for the entire fortnight. If you love sightseeing during the day and getting pampered at night, this is the train ride for you.

Flam Railway (Norway)

If spending days or weeks on a train isn’t your thing but you still wish to see Norway in a way not everyone gets to, this train ride should definitely be considered. Only one hour long, it is considered one of the most beautiful train rides in the entire world. Along the way, you get to experience mountain passes, waterfalls, and fjords.

It is an extraordinary ride on a real steam train, and it starts at the mountain station at Myrdal and goes to the innermost section of the Aurlandsfjord. It ends at Flam Station and offers you an experience you will not soon forget.

Majestic Imperator Train de Luxe (Vienna)

Majestic Imperator Train de Luxe

This train has recently been restored and is super glamorous and luxurious. It is a steam engine that was christened in 1998 and offers an elegant experience for all travelers, not just because of the super comfortable and opulent dining cars, but also because it takes you from Vienna to a number of regional sites that will delight and amaze you.

It is one of the best steam engines in all of Europe and offers short trips for those people who want to experience quick getaways every now and then.

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Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fuelled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organisations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specialising in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find him on Instagram @garynansome and Twitter @garynansome

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