The nine most beautiful train routes in the world: For most of us, train travel is synonymous with the daily commute—a variety of noisy subway stations, cramped carriages, and ever-increasing prices. But some train rides are more about the journey than the destination.
After much research, we have compiled a list of the most beautiful train journeys in the world for you.
- Glacier Express
For starters, we have the Glacier Express, a winding route through the Swiss Alps between the mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz.
Known as the world’s slowest express, this express train is not designed for travelers who want to get to their destination quickly.
In total, the trip takes just over eight hours. The route is 291 kilometers long through stunning alpine terrain, under the shadow of the Matterhorn.
The route has been running continuously since 1930, with tickets starting at €135 for a one-way trip.
- White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad
Second, on our list is the beautiful White Pass & Yukon Route railway in Canada.
The Yukon, next to Alaska, is home to Canada’s highest mountain, Logan, and the planet’s largest non-polar ice fields in Kluane National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The area the size of Spain is home to over 160,000 caribou, 70,000 elk, and 17,000 bears, so be sure to pack your binoculars on this breathtaking journey through mountain ranges, glaciers, and tundra.
It took 35,000 people to build this 177-kilometer narrow-gauge route.
- Bergen Line
In third place is the famous Bergen Line, the 496 km railway between Bergen and Oslo in Norway.
The highest railway line in Northern Europe passes through many charming villages, large fjords, and blue lakes.
If you are lucky, you may even see the largest herd of wild reindeer in Europe, consisting of 9,000 animals.
- West Coast Wildlife Railroad
The fourth is the West Coast Wildlife Railway, a breathtaking train journey that immerses you in Tasmania’s wildlife history.
Like many of the rail lines on our list, this 34.5-kilometer road was built on a former road running from a mining mine.
The train stops at various stations along the route, offering rainforest walks, gold panning, and wild honey tastings for travelers looking to experience the Tasmanian spirit.
- Route Kandy – Ella
In fifth place is a train journey in Sri Lanka between the mountain towns of Kandy and Ella.
The journey takes seven and a half hours and is often considered the most scenic train journey in the world – and for good reason. The route passes through emerald green hills, tea plantations, and dense tropical forests. Don’t forget to reserve a seat in the Panoramic Car to make the most of your ride.
Unlike many of these amazing routes, tickets for this train are surprisingly affordable: a one-way trip costs just 1.75 euros.
The 223 km Tranz Alpine New Zealand route is one of the most exciting train journeys in the world.
This coast-to-coast route operates on New Zealand’s South Island between Christchurch and Greymouth. It will take passengers through a series of national parks to the former mining capital of the country.
- Belmond Hiram Bingham
In seventh place is Belmond Hiram Bingham – a journey to the heart of the Inca Empire.
This luxurious vintage train carries passengers between the Peruvian city of Cusco and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, entering the Peruvian Andes on the way.
Sit in a chair in a 1920s-style carriage, or head into an observation car to watch the sunrise over the longest mountain range in the world. This is a train ride that will take your breath away.
- Doru line
In eighth place is the famous Portuguese Douro line – a 203-kilometer route that goes around the third largest river of the Iberian Peninsula.
From early spring to late summer, flowering almond trees accompany the train through 30 bridges and 26 tunnels. This journey is over a century old and stops at countless historic stations along the way from the coastal city of Porto to the beautiful village of Pocinho.
For passengers who want to experience the real taste of Portuguese life, locally produced port wine is available throughout the trip.
- Belmond Royal Scotsman
All great journeys must come to an end sometime, and our last stop is definitely worth it.
Finally, we will take a ride on the Belmond Royal Scotsman, a luxurious night train that promises an unforgettable journey through the rugged highlands of Scotland.
Visiting castles, distilleries and historical sites along this route is the pinnacle of enjoyment. It even has its own spa!
If you want to feel like a Scot to the end, then during the trip you will be made to order a kilt according to your size.