In Europe, railroads serve several purposes. They inspire a timeless quality missing from the standard flying experience because of their large stations, rich histories, and changing destinations. High-speed services have complimented traditional lines in recent decades as demand for more environmentally friendly travel increased and new choices, such as a recent influx of night trains, emerged. Ahead are some of the best places to visit in Europe by train
Top 10 Places to Visit in Europe by Train
1. Paris to Berlin – Fast or Slow
Two of the largest places in Europe are connected by a well-established network of high-speed trains and a vast array of slower options. You could go from Paris to Brussels and then to Cologne via the futuristic Liège-Guillemins station with a grand three-country excursion. The cathedral in Cologne is so close to the train station that you can scarcely resist stopping by before boarding the ICE German fast service, traveling to Berlin in less than five hours. If you want to visit more than just the area around the station buildings in each city, purchase separate tickets for each leg, or add a brief stop or overnight reservation. Another option is a quick link through Frankfurt from Paris. It is the best place to visit in Europe by train
2. Amsterdam to Vienna on the Nightjet
The Austrian Railways-operated Nightjet service, one of many recent additions to Europe’s sleeper train scene, departs from Amsterdam every evening at 7 or 7.30 pm. The train will rumble along the Rhine as you fall asleep, passing Cologne and Koblenz before continuing southeast through Germany and crossing into Austria at Passau. Arriving in Vienna at 9.19 am allows us time for a lie-in and breakfast. You can group the Eurostar train from London, the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, or the railway from Harwich to Hoek van Holland with this one.
3. Loop the loop in North Wales
Wales is home to some of the world’s most stunning narrow-gauge railways, and one can connect two of the best into a loop that passes through Snowdonia’s mountainous and coastal landscapes. Take a train to Blaenau Ffestiniog from Llandudno Junction, which offers links to the main line. A unique steam-hauled service that winds 13 miles down to the coast at Porthmadog is the renowned Ffestiniog Railway. Return to Caernarfon on the Welsh Highland Railway’s magnificent steam service passing beneath Snowdon’s summit, where you may board a bus for Bangor or other main-line services. Most exciting and Best places to visit in Europe by train.
4. Bastia to Ajaccio
Three main lines lead to Ajaccio, Bastia, and Calvi on the Corsican Railways, a narrow-gauge railroad centered on Ponte Leccia. These lines offer breathtaking views of the region’s stunning landscape. With a three-and-a-half-hour travel time, the most famous and longest route between Ajaccio and Bastia is complete with an overnight break rather than trying to complete it in one day. Corsica is well connected to mainland France via ferries from Toulon, Marseille, and Nice, making a train-and-ferry trip from the UK appealing.
5. Dublin to Madrid by Train and Ferry
From Dublin, one can go directly to mainland Europe. Before turning inland and terminating in the charming county town of Wexford on the estuary of the River Slaney, a track line borders the Irish Sea heading south as far as Wicklow. From there, it’s only a short distance along the lines to Rosslare Port, where there are twice-weekly boats to Bilbao that take about 30 hours. After there, Madrid is reached via a five-hour train ride. The priceless cathedral in Burgos, Valladolid, the former capital of Spain, the Roman aqueduct in Segovia, and the Alcázar stronghold are all recommended stops. Madrid is one of the best places to visit in Europe by train.
6. Venice to Palermo
The potential halting places along this epic journey traversing Italy from top to bottom are well known. With Florence being 40 minutes away, quick Frecciarossa trains take 90 minutes from Venice to Bologna’s culinary hub. Rome is reached after another hour and a half. From here, the Italian south is accessible. You and your carriage take a special ferry from Villa San Giovanni in Calabria to Messina in Sicily, from which it takes a leisurely four and a half hours to go along the coast to the busy fun of Palermo. From the mainland, through the ferry, several daily intercity and night services travel to the capital of Sicily. These services include sleepers direct from Milan, Pisa, and Genoa.
7. Oslo to Bergen
The Bergen Line (Bergensbanen), which travels between Oslo and Bergen and reaches a height of 1,222 meters at Finse station, is a candidate for the title of finest rail journey in Europe. Snowball fights frequently take place there. The trip takes roughly seven hours, which passes fast in a whirl of the spectacular countryside on a pleasant intercity service. There’s scope to take a lengthy version of this itinerary via Norway in a Nutshell tour. It includes the Flåm Railway, perhaps the world’s most magnificent branch line, and a boat journey through Naerøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord.
8. Paris to Barcelona on the Slow Train
Fast trains connect these towns, but there is also a slower route via southern France to the Pyrenees that passes through Limoges, Toulouse, and stunning rural and mountain landscapes before arriving in Latour-de-Carol. While it is feasible to go directly by night train from Paris to Latour-de-Carol, you would experience a different view than you would while traveling during the day. A commuter line departs from Latour-de-Carol and travels slightly over three hours to Barcelona. Fortified Ribes de Freser and Ripoll, which is home to an old monastery and a suitable starting place for hiking paths, are examples of possible stops along the trip. One of the best places to visit in Europe by train.
9. Budapest to Split on a Sleeper
There is a seductive night service between the capital of Hungary and the Adriatic throughout the summer. The train departed Budapest at midnight and arrived in Split at about noon. On the way, it passes Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and Lake Balaton, a popular vacation destination in Hungary. Once on the Adriatic coast, buses travel south to Dubrovnik and out to the adjacent islands on ferries and catamarans.
10. Locarno to Domodossola through the Swiss Alps
Any ride in Switzerland is guaranteed to include breathtaking beauty, and on some routes, trains purposely operate slowly to highlight the mountains, rivers, and lakes seen from the window. The Centovalli (Hundred Valleys) Railway is a short but picturesque service that connects Locarno in Switzerland with Domodossola in the Piedmont area of Italy. It travels 52 kilometers via waterfalls, chestnut woods, church-topped villages, deep ravines, and vineyards. Highlights include the gorge at Intragna and the Isorno Bridge close to the settlement. This is one of the best places to visit in Europe by train.
Railways inspire a timeless quality missing from the standard flying experience due to their rich histories, large stations, and changing destinations. The article highlights the best places to visit in Europe by train.
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