Imagine passing through the fine alpine jungles a second and ice-covered mountains the next second. This French countryside is well coalesced to the office, this dramatic view to the travelers through their scene train routes. If you ask me what is the best way to explore Europe then without any hesitation I would recommend you to choose the train journey. Of course, who doesn’t want to get the magical view of God’s creativity from the window of a train! In my opinion, nothing can define Europe well other than its scenic Europe train journeys that take you through diverse sides of the country.
Europe has more than 2 lakh kilometers of rail network, most of which passes through dense forests or scattered snow-capped mountains. If you have prepared yourself to acquire knowledge about Europe”s scenic train routes then stick here till the end. We will tell you the top train routes in Europe with scenic views. And believe me, there is no better way to explore the beauty of Europe than these train journeys.
1. Rauma Line (Raumabanen)
Rauma Line is a 114.2-kilometers scenic train route in Europe connecting Åndalsnes in Rauma Municipality to Dombås village in Oppland county. This train route was started in 1921 when very few countries had rail networks. Over 70 miles of Rauma Line takes you through various beautiful locations including Trollveggen, Kylling Bridge, Rauma River, and rugged areas of Reinheimen National Park. It is considered as one of the best scenic rail journeys in Europe not by the natives but by the tourists coming here across the world.
Connecting: Åndalsnes to Dombås
Best attraction: Trollveggen(Europe’s highest perpendicular rock face)
Distance: 70 miles (114km)
Journey time: One and half hours
Best time to ride: June to August
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2. Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa (Venice to Florence)
The journey from Venice to Florence takes around 2 hours and covers some of Italy’s most beautiful scenery, including the Alps and the Apennine Mountains. This route is perfect for those looking to explore the Italian countryside and enjoy the views. You will get comfortable seating options with free Wi-Fi, on these trains to stay connected with your dearest while enjoying the scenic view. It is a fantastic way to see the glorious side of the Italian countryside.
Connecting: Venice to Florence
Best attraction: Sprawling natural landscapes
Distance: 166 miles
Journey time: Approx 2 Hours
Best time to visit: June to August
3. West Highland Line, Scotland
How about passing through an overwhelming sense of mountains, steep-sided lochs, and meadows? Well! The West Highland train route is a famous train journey in Europe for all these things. Along with the dramatic view of nature, this place also has an abundance of red deer. While taking a journey on West Highland Line you will pass through multiple small and remotest stations. At these places, you would hardly be able to see well-paved roads to make your journey comfortable.
Connecting: Fort William to Mallaig and Glasgow to Oban
Distance: 41 miles (67km)
Journey time: One and a half hours
Best time to ride: June to August
4. Centovalli Railway, Switzerland and Italy
The Centovalli Railway route that connects Switzerland to Paris is a journey with a spectacle of waterfalls and tracks passing through lush meadows. Through the journey, your eyes will flash through unlimited lavish scenes, grape fields, and breathtaking views of canyons while passing over the bridge.
If you are planning to soak yourself in the beauty of Switzerland then you should definitely take the Centovalli Railway for a picturesque train journey in Europe. This scenic train journey in Europe will pass across 31 tunnels, 83 bridges, Maggiore Lake, and numerous stunning waterfalls and offer the most hypnotizing vistas. We recommend visitors to ride this train, especially in the spring season as you will get to see attractive waterfalls during this season along the route.
Connecting: Locarno (Switzerland) to Domodossola (Italy)
Best attraction: Waterfalls, bridges, and tunnels.
Distance: 32 miles (52km)
Journey time: 2 hours
Best time to ride: Springtime (late March to mid-June)
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5. Mittenwald Railway (Karwendelbahn)
The Mittenwald Railway is a delightful boundary-crossing rail route in Europe that connects Austria to Germany. It connects Innsbruck in Austria to Mittenwald in Germany. The track passed through various other scenic towns in both countries including Seefeld, Tyrol, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
The track runs through sparkling lakes and mountainous landscapes on its way between Austria and Germany. You can further change trains at Garmisch-Partenkirchen and board the beautiful Bavarian Zugspitze Railway that takes you to the Zugspitze summit. It is the highest mountain in Germany with an elevation of 9717ft (2961m).
Connecting: Innsbruck to Zugspitze via Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Best attraction: Schloss Ambras, a commanding white castle in Innsbruck
Distance: 51.5 miles (83km)
Journey time: 3 Hours
Best time to ride: Anytime in the year
6. Copenhagen to Oslo
The train journey from Copenhagen to Oslo is far better and more comfortable than a journey by car or any other private mode of transportation. The complete journey takes around 9 hours and takes you through the most stunning locations in Scandinavia boundaries including Danish Islands, Lolland, Sjælland, Zealand, and Bornholm. The journey from Copenhagen to Oslo is Europe’s amazing train journey with scenic views of mountains and Fjords
Connecting: Copenhagen (Denmark) to Oslo (Norway)
Best attraction: Breathtaking view of Norwegian fjords and Sweeping mountains.
Distance: 483 km (300 miles)
Journey time: 8 and half Hours
Best time to ride: March to May, June, and August
7. Glacier Express, Switzerland
The Glacier Express connects two beautiful mountain towns of Switzerland that are 180 miles apart from each other. Many trains connect runs between these two towns but the route Glacier express follows is different from regular trains. Glacier Express route through the spectacular Swiss mountain and other panoramic sightseeing locations of Switzerland. On your journey, you would be able to enjoy a delicious lunch accompanied by crisp Johannisberg (Swiss white wine).
Connecting: Zermatt to St Moritz
Main attraction: Matterhorn Museum
Distance: 180 miles (291km)
Journey time: 7 and a half hours
Best time to visit: November to January
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8. Brocken Railway, Germany
The culmination of Brocken is a doodle for steam trains. This beautiful rail route connects Drei Annen Hohne to Brocken (the highest peak in the Harz mountain range). After leaving the station, the train passes through various scenic locations including Harz National Park, Schierke station, Knaupsholz granite quarry, the valley of the Cold Bode, Wurmberg peak, Eckerloch Bridge, Goetheweg station, and finally terminates at Brocken station after 18.9 km long journey. As per the Expert’s recommendation, tourists can buy a one-way ticket to Brocken and hike back down while walking through the famed trail to Torfhaus.
Connecting: Drei Annen Hohne to Brocken
Best attraction: Breathtaking view of Harz mountains
Journey time: Approx 1 hour
Best time to Visit: March to June
9. Odontotos Rack Railway (Greece)
Odontotos Rack Railway is the best train journey in Europe to explore the remote beauty of Greece. This will be a one-hour journey that connects Diakopto in Kalavrita in east-central Greece. In total, the train passes through 49 bridges as the Vouraikos River flows down the route. We would recommend you to take this train ride in Greece if you love to explore Peaks and valleys. You will get to see numerous valleys on your way that are more fascinating than any other location in the country.
Connecting: Diakofto to Kalavrita
Best attraction: Aerial view of Vouraikos River.
Distance: 22.5 km
Journey time: One Hour
Best time to ride: It’s recommended to take the Odontotos Rack Railway ride in spring as you will witness beautiful landscape during this season.
10. Rhine Valley Line, Germany
The Rhine Valley railway route is one of the best rail routes in Europe with scenic views on both sides of the track. At places, the train passes through a bridge from where you can have a breathtaking view of the Rhine river while other times it passes through dense grape fields. Visitors will get to see multiple heartfelt scenes that might make you feel like you have reached a fairyland but in the end, you are experiencing this all in real life. The view of the whirling waters on both sides of the windows is fascinating to see.
Connecting: Cologne to Mainz
Best attraction: Swirling Rhine river,
Distance: 152km (94 miles)
Journey time: 2 and half hours
Best time to ride: May through Mid-October
11. Venice Simplon Orient Express
The Venice Simplon Orient Express from the ancient era is no less than pride for the country. This train was actually started in 1920 and since then only maintenance has been done to keep the train working between routes. It connects London to Venice and passes through a few other European countries.
The train runs roughly once a week from March to November and the overall journey to Venice from London is played out on two different heritage trains. The first one will run through London to Folkestone and the second one will run through Calais to Venice. It will take around a day to reach the destination. During your journey in Venice, Simplon Orient Express spend your day in the luxury carriages enjoying food, drinks, and pleasurable views.
Connecting: London to Venice via Folkestone and Calais
Distance: 1,636km (1016 miles)
Journey time: Around 24 hours
Best time to ride: March to November
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12. Semmering Railway (Semmeringbahn)
The Semmering Railway in Austria connects Gloggnitz to Mürzzuschlag which are 41 km apart by rail route. It is one of the most scenic train journeys in Europe with breathtaking views all around. The route was constructed between 1848 and 1854 and passes through 15 tunnels, 16 bridges, and various Zigzag paths before reaching its destination.
Apart from this, there are forested mountains pierced with arched bridges and a Dizzy view of the Austrian Alps. We would recommend that you don’t miss the Semmering Railway ride on your Austria trip. The boarding station Gloggnitz is just an hour from the capital city Vienna.
Connecting: Gloggnitz to Mürzzuschlag
Best attraction: Mountain scenery surrounds the track
Distance: 41 km (25.5 miles)
Journey time: 40 minutes
Best time to ride: Anytime in the year
13. Amsterdam to Brussels-Thalys high-speed train
This classic route takes travelers along the Rhine River Valley and through Belgium’s Ardennes Forest. Passengers will enjoy views of castles, vineyards, and quaint villages. This 2-hour-long journey covers Europe’s most iconic cities, including Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Luxembourg City, and Marseille. The rail route from Amsterdam to Brussels is undoubtedly Europe’s most scenic rail route and everyone should visit it once.
Connecting: Amsterdam to Brussels
Best attraction: Castles, Vineyards, and quaint villages
Distance: 209 km (130 miles)
Journey time: 2 hour
Best time to travel: April to September
I have listed most of Europe’s scenic train journeys that you can visit to make your trip memorable. Hope you will love these European train routes with complete information about the best time to go for the train journey.
Europe is a beautiful place with a perfect ratio of fjords, mountains, castles, pasturelands, monuments, and several heritage sites. It never disappoints tourists no matter what their choices are. However, there is always a portion more for nature lovers. If you have ever dreamt of scenic train journeys then you should definitely visit Europe. All Scenic train routes in Europe take you to fjords, mountains, grape fields, and tunnels.