13 Most Incredible Express Train Journeys in Europe

Our guide to Europe’s most wonderful express train routes, taken by regular trains between cities, inevitably features easy to access journeys - likely to be on many exploring Europe by train itineraries.

Hopefully they’ll settle train or plane and train or car debates in favour of taking the train.

Other to Europe’s most scenic journeys inevitably tend to include special trains, such as The Glacier or Bernina  Expresses and other journeys slightly off the beaten track - because spectacular landscapes don’t tend to be compatible with fast train travel.

But in Europe some regular express trains can’t avoid mountains or coasts, or have to follow routes through deep river valleys - so it's those we have focused on!

Fans of awe-inspiring engineering will also appreciate that how the railway line has been constructed, can also give a journey a wow factor.

Europe's Most Epic Express Train Journeys

Images clockwise from top left:
(i) München/Munich - Venezia/Venice
(ii) Oslo - Bergen
(iii) Salzburg - Zagreb
(iv) Marseille To Genova/Genoa
(v) Salzburg - Zagreb
(vi) York - Aberdeen
(vii) Zurich - Graz
(viii) Paris - Torino/Turin

These routes have been selected partially because to enjoy each of them you can take a direct train and yes you’ll be on that train for more than three hours – these journeys wouldn’t be so epic if they were shorter.

Though the main reason for their inclusion is that they offer sustained scenic wonders or have multiple highlights scattered along the journey – all of which we have been fortunate to take, snapping pictures from the windows along the way.

Each of the journeys guides also have access to the practical information, such as the station, train and ticket details.

Oh and the context for left/right is facing the direction of travel.
All these journeys can of course be enjoyed in either direction, so flip the left/right advice if you will travelling in the opposite direction.

presented in alphabetical order because you'll have your own favourite - and we couldn't agree on what ours was:

London to Penzance:
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe

Britain's most spectacular westward rail journey - rolling countryside, sea views and some fabulous views from bridges.

Köln/Cologne To Klagenfurt:

The only rail journey that travels through both the Rhine Gorge in Germany and on the incredible Tauern route in Austria.

Malaga to Barcelona: 

Five hours of rushing across the landscapes of Spain on Europe's most thrilling high speed rail journey.

Marseille to Genova/Genoa:

The only train journey that travels along both the French and Italian Riviera coastlines.

Milano To Geneve:

Travel by both Lake Maggiore and Lake Geneva and through mountain valleys in between.

Milano To Zurich:

Spectacular views of no less than five Swiss lakes.

München/Munich - Venezia/Venice:

More than three hours of spellbinding views including the passage through the Brennero Pass.

Paris - Torino/Turin:

The only train journey which features both a high speed section and a stunning passage through the Alps.


Plateaus in the mountains above the tree line, crystal lakes, rivers and fjords - this journey has them all!

Salzburg - Zagreb:

End-to-end incredible scenery - the Tauern route in Austria, beautiful Slovenia and the Sava River gorge.

York To Aberdeen:

Four of the world's best views from railway bridges and more than three hours of coastal landscapes.

Zagreb to Wien/Vienna:

Through the stunning valleys in Slovenia and then over the Semmering Railway in Austria.

Zurich To Graz:

The only train that travels over the epic Arlberg route and then through the mountains east of Innsbruck.

The inclusions above aren't a comprehensive list, as we wanted to illustrate each journey with images we have captured (and to add videos at a future date).

We had taken some alternative fabulous journeys before digital cameras were available and other journeys had to be taken in bad weather.

So at a future date we plan to add these express train routes and more.

RIIMINI - BARI (though we have travelled the northern part of this route)



SAN REMO TO ROMA (we have travelled on the most spectcular part of this route)