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Ideas & Inspiration The 16 Ultimate European Journeys by regular Express Trains
The 16 Ultimate European Journeys by regular Express Trains

The 16 Ultimate European Journeys by regular Express Trains

This list of Europe's most beautiful train journeys uniquely focuses on the most epic routes taken by regular express trains between cities.

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Introducing Europe's greatest express train routes:

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

Other guides to Europe’s most scenic journeys tend to include special trains, such as The Glacier or Bernina Expresses along with journeys slightly off the beaten track; because spectacular landscapes don’t tend to be compatible with fast express 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 with this list!

What also makes these guides different from the norm, is that the images aren't of the trains taking these routes, instead they were taken from the train, so give an insight into the journey experience.
Plus each of the journeys guides also have access to the practical info you'll need to take these trips yourself, such as the station, train and ticket details.

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

Europe's Most Epic Express Train Journeys

Where were the images captured?

From clockwise top left, they were taken at;

  • Heading through the Brennero Pass on a München/Munich - Venezia/Venice journey
  • Near Flam station on the Oslo - Bergen journey
  • Between Bad Gastein and Spittal on the Salzburg - Zagreb journey
  • East of St Raphael on the Marseille to Genova/Genoa route
  • Travelling by the River Sava on the Wien/Vienna to Ljubljana route
  • The bridges over the Tyne on the York - Aberdeen journey
  • Passing the Wallensee on the Zurich - Graz journey
  • Through the foothills of the Italian alps on the Paris - Torino/Turin route

1: Lancaster to Edinburgh or Glasgow

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes Lancaster to Eduinburgh

Three fast trains per hour spend close to two hours passing through a dramatic landscape.

2. London to Penzance:

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes London to Penzance
Britain's most spectacular westward rail journey features rolling countryside, sea views and some fabulous views from spectacular bridges and viaducts.

3. Köln / Cologne to Klagenfurt:

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes Koln to Klagenfurt

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

4. Malaga to Barcelona:

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes Malaga to Barcelona
Five hours of rushing across the landscapes of Spain on Europe's most thrilling high speed rail journey.

5. Milano to Geneve:

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes Milan to Geneva
Travel by both Lake Maggiore and Lake Geneva and through the mountain valleys in between.

6. Milano to Zurich:

All the journey details
The train between Milan and Zurich is included on our ultimate express train journeys list
Featuring spectacular views of no less than five Swiss lakes.

7. Munchen to Venezia:

All the journey details
By train from Munich to Venice is one of Europe's greatest train journeys

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

8. Oslo to Bergen:

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes Oslo to Bergen
Plateaus in the mountains above the tree line, crystal lakes, rivers and fjords; this journey has them all!

9. Paris to Torino:

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes Paris to Turin
The only journey by train which features both a high speed section and a stunning passage through the Alps.

10. Roma & Napoli to Sicily:

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes Naples to Catania
With more than four hours of sea views, this is Europe's ultimate coastal train journey.

11. Salzburg to Zagreb:

All the journey details
The Best Express Train Journeys in Europe includes Salzburg to Zagreb
End-to-end incredible scenery, featuring the Tauern route in Austria, beautiful Slovenia and the Sava River gorge.

12. Wien to Ljubljana:

All the journey details
The Vienna to Ljubljana route is one of Europe's ultimate express train journeys
The only route which includes both the The Semmering Railway and the River Sava gorge.

13. Wien to Venezia:

All the journey details
Vienna to Venice is one of Europe's greatest train journeys
More than three hours of glorious Austrian scenery plus Italian mountain peaks and the lovely arrival at journey's end.

14. York to Aberdeen:

All of the journey details
The York to Aberdeen route is one of Europe's ultimate express train journeys
Four of the world's best views from railway bridges and more than three hours of coastal landscapes.

15. Zagreb to Wien:

All the journey details
The Zagreb to Vienna route is one of Europe's ultimate express train journeys
Through the stunning valleys in Slovenia and then over the Semmering Pass in Austria.

16. Zurich to Graz:

All the journey details
The Zagreb to Vienna route is one of Europe's ultimate express train journeys
The 'Transalpin Express' is the only train that travels over the epic Arlberg route and then through the mountains east of Innsbruck.

Possible future inclusions:

The inclusions above aren't quite a comprehensive list, as ShowMeTheJourney wanted to illustrate each journey with recently captured images and videos.

So at a future date, we plan to add these fabulous express train routes to this guide:

  • Rimini <> Bari (though SMTJ has travelled the northern part of this route).
  • Athens <>Thessaloniki
  • Beograd <> Bar
  • Zagreb <> Split
  • Sanremo <> Roma (though SMTJ has travelled on the most spectacular part of this route).

Look for a journey guide

More than 1000 unique guides are available for the most popular rail journeys in 15 countries. They show you the train, station and ticket booking info.
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Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.