7 Scenic Train Routes In Europe That You’ll Love

If you’re a fan of scenic rail routes, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Europe. The continent will treat you to an array of spectacular scenery, from dramatic mountains to crystal clear lakes, through vast forests and along stunning rivers. There are dozens of scenic train routes in Europe that have the potential to captivate and excite you, but here are 7 of the best:

Scenic train routes in Europe

1. Golden Pass, Switzerland

Golden Pass scenic train from Zweisimmen to Montreux | Scenic Train Routes In Europe That You’ll Love

Switzerland serves up some of the most dramatic rail routes in the world, including the Golden Pass train that runs between Lucerne and Montreux. The Golden Pass offers the perfect view of a range of Swiss delights, including the Alps, pristine vineyards and lakes, small villages, and bigger cities.

Schedule: There are regular trains running along the Golden Pass line throughout the day. But for the best experience choose either the Golden Pass Classic or Golden Pass Panoramic trains which run less frequently.

Covered by the Eurail Pass: Yes – no reservation necessary.

Highlights: Boarding the Golden Pass Classic train in Zweisimmen is a magical experience that will transport you to the forgotten era of rail travel.

2. Vienna, Austria to Ljubljana, Slovenia

Semmering viaduct between Vienna and Ljubljana | Scenic Train Routes In Europe That You’ll Love

This stunning rail journey links up two of Europe’s most beautiful capitals, and while there’s only one direct service per day, it’s well worth planning ahead for. The six-hour journey transports you through breathtaking scenery dotted with castles and mansions and alongside small towns and glistening lakes and rivers.

Schedule: There is one direct train daily from Vienna Meidling station that follows this route, which leaves at 8:05 am.

Covered by the Eurail Pass: Yes – no reservation necessary.

Highlights: The pure natural beauty of this route is breathtaking, as are the two cities waiting for you on either side.

3. Rhine Valley, Germany

Train traveling through the Rhine Valley | Scenic Train Routes In Europe That You’ll Love

Germany has no shortage of scenic rail routes, but few are as celebrated as that which runs between Mainz and Koblenz along the Rhine Valley. The journey follows the famous Rhine River through vineyards, between mountains, and past dozens of castles and quaint picturesque towns.

Schedule: There are regular trains running in both directions every day.

Covered by the Eurail Pass: Yes – no reservation necessary.

Highlights: The small riverside stations and quaint towns make for inviting pit stops, especially when combined with a glass of famous Rhine Riesling wine.

4. Semmering Line, Austria

A red train traveling over a viaduct with high green hills and cliffs surrounding it | Scenic Train Routes In Europe That You’ll Love

Austria’s Semmering Line is a short but dramatic rail route that has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This train journey is as scenically spectacular as it is hair-raising. The route takes you across stone bridges, through lengthy tunnels, and over dramatic viaducts.

Schedule: The main section of the Semmering Line runs between Wiener Neustadt to Bruck an der Mur. There are several daily trains between the two destinations.

Covered by the Eurail Pass: Yes – no reservation necessary.

Highlights: While the natural beauty is astounding, the true appeal of this route lies in the bridges and structures that make it all possible.

5. Cinque Terre, Italy

Manarola train station by water and cliffs | Scenic Train Routes In Europe That You’ll Love

Scenic train routes abound in Italy, and those that follow the country’s dramatic coastlines are among the most enjoyable. The train journey between Levanto and La Spezia is brief but beautiful, and it gives you a stunning vantage point of this dramatic corner of Italy.

Schedule: There are several trains running in both directions each day.

Covered by the Eurail Pass: Yes – no reservation necessary.

Highlights: The small villages in the region are quaint and world famous, and perfect for a day’s rail-based exploring.

6. Belgrade, Serbia to Bar, Montenegro

Train tunnel on the route from Belgrade to Podgorica | Scenic Train Routes In Europe That You’ll Love

The rail journey from Belgrade to Bar, also known as the Montenegro Express, is perhaps one of Europe’s most spectacular. This dramatic scenic route is also a marvel of engineering – it takes you across 435 bridges and through 254 tunnels on the way to the Adriatic.

Schedule: There are daily trains between the two cities, but many people choose to break the journey in Podgorica.

Covered by the Eurail Pass: Yes – reservation required.

Highlights: Break the breathtaking journey with an overnight stop in Podgorica – another beautiful city in Montenegro.

7. Inlandsbanan (Inland Line), Sweden

Scandinavia serves up some of Europe’s most impressive scenery. There are few better ways to experience this than on the rail route between Kristinehamn and Gällivare. This famous 14-hour long journey exposes you to stunning countryside, offers regular sightings of wildlife, and skirts the Arctic Circle.

Schedule: Trains run June to August and December to April.

Covered by the Eurail Pass: Yes – reservation fee required.

Highlights: The real possibility of spotting moose and elk along the route is enough to help keep your eyes glued to the large windows.

Why not imagine yourself on an epic train trip in Europe?

The sheer number of memorable train routes in Europe is astounding. Even seemingly routine journeys can catch you off guard with stunning vistas and impressive architecture. It’s often the unexpected trips that will stand out, but with a Eurail Global Pass in hand, you’ll be ready to seek out the most celebrated routes on the continent.


For more scenic train routes in Europe:
Best scenic routes in Southeast Europe
8 winter train travel moments with Eurail
Switzerland’s most exhilarating scenic trains

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