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18 Most Amazing Train Trips You Can Take

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When you think of train trips, what usually comes to your mind? Crowded cabins? Slow speeds?

Though this is the reputation that train rides can’t seem to shake, I love traveling by train. It’s relaxed, you can enjoy the view, and you get off right where you need to be. There are some amazing train trips out there.

We’ve listed some of the best railway trips you can take for the most unforgettable rides of your life. Prepare to be carried away by the different landscapes you’ll pass. See the following options and decide which trainride you want to experience most. 

1. The California Zephyr (US)

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Image Credit: Drew Jacksich – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Traveling by train via California Zephyr lets you appreciate the beauty of North America. The train trip starts in Chicago, ends in San Francisco, and covers 2,438 miles (3,924 km).

It’s a three-day ride that travels across meadows, deserts, and the Rocky Mountains. On your way to the West Coast, you’ll also pass the breathtaking Sierra Nevada in California. Note that this trip will be 52 hours and 40 minutes long, so bring some books to read for entertainment.

2. The Bergensbanen (Norway)

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Image Credit: Kabelleger / David Gubler – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Another fantastic train trip you can take is the Bergensbanen in Norway. It’s one of Europe’s incredible railway rides, which takes you to lesser-known and well-known places in Norway. The trip starts in Oslo and ends in Bergen.

Bergensbanen’s 308-mile (496 km) railway ride is around 6 hours and 30 minutes. It takes you through the beautiful Nordic country’s natural spectacles. You’ll be amazed by the lush mountains, lovely meadows, barren icescapes, and rivers on this trip.

3. The Beijing-to-Lhasa Express (China)

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China is well-known for its unreal natural landscapes, particularly in rural areas. If you take the Beijing-to-Lhasa Express, you’ll likely have the trip of a lifetime. The train will take you from the upscale city of Beijing to the Tibetan Plateau.

Throughout this 40-hour train trip, you will pass snow-capped mountains, grazing yaks, and prayer flags. In total, you will travel 2,330 miles (3,750 km). Once you arrive at the picturesque Lhasa district, you’ll be amazed at the grandness of the Potala Palace. 

4. The Reunification Express (Vietnam)

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If you’re in Asia and want to experience a unique trip, travel by train with The Unification Express in Vietnam. The ride begins from Ho Chi Minh City and ends in Hanoi, and covers 1,072 miles (1,726 km). 

During the two-day trip, you’ll pass through coastal stretches and bridges, which offer dramatic views of jagged cliffs, breathtaking beaches, and the greenest green you’ve ever seen. The Hai Van Pass, also known as the “Pass of the Ocean Clouds,” gives you lovely mountain views.

5. The Lake Titicaca Train (Peru)

MSN Train from Lake Titicaca to Cuzco, station in La Raya
Image Credit: Unukorno – CC BY 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Operating three times a week, the Lake Titicaca Train in Peru takes 10 hours and covers 241 miles (388 km). Your journey begins at Puno and ends in Cuzco. 

You’ll cross the Altiplano, which allows you to witness breathtaking views of the Andes mountain range and the Peruvian plains. From the window of your seat, you’ll get inspired by the beauty of Peru’s landscape and cute alpacas along the way. 

6. The Sunset Limited (US) 

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Image Credit: Bill Bradford – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

For anyone who seeks an unforgettable cross-country journey, the Sunset Limited is the train to be on. Running 1,995 miles (3,211 km) from the vibrant city of New Orleans to the sunny shores of Los Angeles, the train ride lasts two days. With three weekly departures, you have plenty of time to observe American lands and their diversity.

It crosses the heartland of the U.S. and offers views of Louisiana’s charming bayous, Houston’s skyscrapers, and the vast deserts of Texas and Arizona. Your journey ends in Los Angeles, where the glamorous beaches of California await you. 

7. Tangier to Marrakesh (Morocco)

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If you are up for a unique adventure, you can go on a railway trip from Tangier to Marrakesh in 5 hours and 15 minutes, covering 360 miles (580 km). From Tangier‘s busy streets to the colorful markets of Marrakesh, this railway trip takes you to the heart of Morocco.

While at it, enjoy the culture and history of the past while the train passes historic towns and breathtaking landscapes.

8. The Serra Verde Express (Brazil)

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On the search for a unique train trip? The Serra Verde Express covers 42 miles (68 km) from Curitiba to Morretes in Brazil, which takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. During the journey, you’ll witness a stunning combination of rainforests, canyons, and lush lowlands. 

In addition, you’ll cross 30 bridges and 14 tunnels, capturing the scenic beauty along the way. The several historic stations you pass through date back to the late 1800s and offer a glimpse into Brazil’s past. 

9. The Rocky Mountaineer (Canada)

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Go on a trip of a lifetime on the Rocky Mountaineer Train from Vancouver to Banff in Canada. The two-times-a-week leave will transport you on a stunning 594 miles (957 km), 37-hour journey through the lovely valleys of the Rocky Mountains. 

The trip provides remarkable views of the Rocky Mountains, which include towering peaks and untouched forests. You’ll also go through multiple bridges and tunnels in Canada. If you’re lucky, you may see some of Canada’s iconic wildlife, such as Bald eagles and Grizzly bears.

10. The Caledonian Sleeper (UK)

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Another fascinating railway trip is the Caledonian Sleeper of the United Kingdom. The 13-hour and 30-minute trip will take you through the suburbs and Scottish Highlands. 

This overnight journey will take you to Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Stirling, Perth, Inverness, and Fort William. It’s a special experience to chat with fellow riders in the evening and wake up in the towering granite peaks the next day. 

11.  Alexandria to Aswan (Egypt)

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Image Credit: Mona Hassan Abo-Abda – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Go on a phenomenal train ride from Alexandria to Aswan, Egypt. This ride lasts 16 hours and covers over 670 miles (1,100 km). 

You’ll travel through the length of the railway network of Egypt, which allows you to glide past the beautiful Nile River. You’ll also get a chance to explore and see the relics of empires found on its river banks. 

12. The Hokkaidō Shinkansen (Japan)

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Image Credit: MIKI Yoshihito – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Japan is a land of extremes, especially in terms of its train transportation. The Shinkansen Bullet Train is a technological mystery that gets its citizens and travelers to their destinations faster and safer than traditional trains.

The train has an incredible top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h). It passes rural Japan through mountains and along rivers and lakes. Overall, it’s a cultural experience as Japanese as it gets—with food trolleys and staff that bow as you enter and leave the train.

13. The Glacier Express (Switzerland)

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Image Credit: Man Ho Lam (lemon_ho) – CC BY 2.5/Wiki Commons.

The Glacier Express is the perfect rail adventure for travelers looking for Swiss railway experiences. Driven daily, it travels 105 miles (170 km) from luxurious St. Moritz to lovely Zermatt.

With a total journey time of 8 hours, the Glacier Express passes through meadows, forests, waterfalls, and mountains at an intentionally slow pace. This lets you take in those crazy-good views.

14. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (London-Venice)

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Image Credit: Man Ho Lam (lemon_ho) – CC BY 2.5/Wiki Commons.

The Orient Express usually starts in London, where it leaves Victoria Station. It stops in Paris, where it can continue to Verona or Venice. Throughout the trip, you’ll be spoiled with beautiful varying landscapes like the flowery green meadows in Switzerland, France, and Italy.

The train ranks among the world’s most luxurious trains and has 17 restored 1920s carriages. It’s beloved as a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and rightfully so, with its luxurious seatings and services.

15. The Ghan (Australia)

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The Ghan is a legendary rail adventure across the heart of Australia that runs from Adelaide to Darwin twice weekly. It covers 1,851 miles (2,979 km) in 54 hours. As you travel the deserts of the Red Center, the Ghan allows you to experience the wild chemistry of the Outback in reality. 

You will travel from the tidy, wealthy neighborhood of Adelaide to the monsoon-dotted, crocodile-filled brooks of Darwin. The Ghan crosses entire Australia overland and promises to be a unique experience.

16. Cannes to Menton (France)

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Image Credit: Mikhail (Vokabre) Shcherbakov – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

A daily trip from Cannes to Menton is the most pleasant train journey on the French Mediterranean coast. The train only takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to travel the 34-mile (55 km) distance. You’ll pass the glistening sea and dramatic cliffs along the way.

The journey from glamorous Cannes to the fascinating Menton shows its unique atmosphere and historical value. You can explore the road market, sip coffee at an outdoor resort, get to know the region’s origins, and enjoy the luxury of the French Riviera at its finest.

17. The Bernina Express (Switzerland and Italy)

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Image Credit: Kabelleger / David Gubler – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Want to experience the best sleeping car experience? Go on an adventure with Bernina Express. This train ride offers daily sightseeing from Chur to Tirano, which crosses Switzerland and Italy. In just 4 hours and 30 minutes, this journey covers 96 miles (156 kilometers) and presents incredible views of glacier-capped mountains, wild waterfalls, beautiful lakes, and dense forests. 

Watch the landscape from your window, as you travel from Graubünden in Switzerland to northern Italy. As one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, the Bernina Express is listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

18. Colombo to Badulla (Sri Lanka)

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Image Credit: Andy Nobes – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Let an unforgettable rail journey from Colombo to Badulla be one of the activities that you will never forget. The train offers a daily ride to get one from an overall distance of 181 miles (292 km) for 9-10 hours. Throughout the trip, you’ll be greeted by the different green shades of Sri Lanka that surround the country.

The train runs from the sea level of local gardens in Colombo to the tea plantations of the Hill Country. You’ll be mesmerized by the views of jungles, forests, paddy fields, palm trees, mountains, and valleys. Take your time and cherish this delightful train journey like no other.

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