Top Train Travel Trips from Around the World to Get You on the Right Track
Traveling by train is a great way to see a destination and add variety to your mode of transport – from luxury journeys to speedy bullet trains and large regional rail networks, there’s a plethora of options to choose from. So, why not take the train for your next adventure?
Why is rail a great way to travel around the world?
There are a variety of reasons why you should explore travel via train – to change up the scenery, but more importantly, skip the traffic – sit back and relax with the panoramic views and not worry about a thing.
Often train travel allows you to see parts of a country you may have missed otherwise had you taken the motorway or a different route. Great railway journeys are just that, it’s about the journey and what lies in between points A to B.
In countries like India and Japan, it just makes sense to use their rail networks for convenience and speed; while in Norway, Canada and Switzerland, it’s the best way to slow your pace down and enjoy the sights.
Here’s a collection of some of the world’s best train trips and answers your questions like the length of the journey? Where does it start and end?
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
The Rocky Mountaineer is the iconic and scenic train ride through the Canadian Rockies and across Western Canada. While you can choose from three different journeys, the most popular route is a 2-day, 1-night journey from Vancouver to Banff or Lake Louise.
You won’t be sleeping on the train, but in lodges along the way in Whistler, Kamloops or Quesnel depending on your route.
The Rocky Mountaineer is renowned for its onboard experience in silver and gold leaf classes. Chances are you’ll only take this Canadian rail trip once as a bucket list item, so why not treat yourself to Gold Class? Travel in a cabin with a bi-level glass dome, oversized glass windows and a large viewing platform to take in what nature has to offer, plus enjoy gourmet meals and beverages.
Golden Eagle Luxury Trains
This luxury ride operates incredible journeys through Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Mongolia, China, Central Asia and India – offering first-class customer service, elegant interior and an ever-changing room view.
With a wide selection or journeys, I’m sure you’re wondering where to start!
Looking to explore Italy and Switzerland in a unique way, by land, cruise AND rail? Consider an exclusive 4-day charter journey from Venice to Zurich that can be added at the end of a river cruise onboard a brand-new boutique ship. We’re talking about a one-of-a-kind adventure onboard Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ S.S. La Venezia with extension on the Golden Eagle Danube Express, to extend your luxury journey.
Shinkansen Network, Japan
Known more commonly as “Bullet Trains”, Japan’s Shinkansen rail network is a series of sophisticated and high-speed trains, initially created to connect Tokyo to outer regions. There are now over nine train lines spread across the islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido that can reach a maximum speed of 320km/h (199mp/h).
One of the best ways to experience the bullet trains for a speedy exploration of Japan is a JR rail pass, which will cover all the Shinkansen trains and local trains, except two. The bullet train experience is truly an exciting one as you stare out the window and watch the country whizz past is incredible. Plus, less time travelling means more time on the ground taking in all that Japan has to offer.
The Ghan, Australia
For over 90-years, The Ghan has been operating outback train crossings and is now considered the quintessential scenic train ride in Australia. The 3-day journey takes approximately 54-hours to complete just under 3,000 kilometers (1,865 miles) between Adelaide and Darwin.
Settle into your cabin and head off on the unforgettable Australian rail journey on this legendary ride. It’s all inclusive from the meals inspired by the local areas you’ll pass through, to the fine wine.
Hop off and stretch your legs to enjoy a range of off-train experiences along the way in Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs and Manguri.
While it’s easy to enjoy the onboard amenities, don’t forget to look out the window at the vast, red outback!
Rovos Rail, Africa
Perhaps the most glamourous way to travel in Africa and voted one of the most luxurious rail experiences on the planet! This luxury train takes you back to an era of elegance with wood paneled overnight cabins, South Africa’s finest food and world-class service.
Certainly, a once-in-a-lifetime experience with an extensive rail network all over Africa, there are plenty of journeys to choose from ranging in length from 48-hours all the way up to 15-days.
Perhaps start your journey in Cape Town and travel up through the Cape Winelands to Pretoria, and from there, you can continue up to Victoria Falls. That’s just one of the many combinations available onboard Rovos Rail.
The Flåm Railway, Norway
Often cited as the “World’s Best Rail Journey”, The Flåm Railway is certainly an iconic and beautiful rail journey, so much so that it ranks as one of Norway’s top tourist attractions.
The 20-kilometer (12.4 mile) long journey travels through mountains and by waterfalls, starting in Flåm at the Sognefjord (at sea level) and arriving into Myrdal station (867 metres above sea level).
The one-way journey only takes one hour and upon arriving in Myrdal, travelers often take a walk or bike ride through the beautiful valley (weather permitting). From Myrdal, you can connect by rail to Bergen or Oslo for an onward journey.