Looking for an escape and an experience like no other? Then it’s time to come abroad for luxury train experiences around Europe. From all glass windows to 5-star meals, decked bars and more. Train journeys in Europe are all about the joy of watching hills, meadows, castles and artsy cities. Blending comfort, luxury and a whole lot of sightseeing, here are the best luxury train experience around Europe.
British Pullman, A Belmond Train, England
A vintage train inspired by a distinct style and an eye for detail. Delight your sense with antique-style marquetry, vintage lighting and heritage upholstery as you get abroad the British Pullman, A Belmond Train. A luxury set of train cars that are just as glamorous as they were during the golden age of travel. Whether you journey through Bath, Bristol, or simply board to experience the signature Murder Mystery Lunch, a journey on the British Pullman will be just as elegant as it is memorable. Guests can ride in the Cygnus carriage built in the 1950s while discovering the historic gems of England and feeling like royalty. With themed rides, including a murder mystery luncheon, or star guest-chef dinners, this ticket is sure to transport passengers back into the glamorous past.
Flåm Railway, Norway
If journeying through nature’s countless beauty appeals to you, Flam Railway in Norway should be on your radar. The Flåm Railway has been described as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. Going through lush mountain passes, and thundering waterfalls, Norway’s 20 km long Flåm Railway between Flam (situated at sea level) to the mountain station Myrdal (867 meters above sea level) offers spectacular nature, historical cultural landscapes and extreme engineering skills. This luxe steam engine takes guests on the end of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord, up to the high mountains at Myrdal station making it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Golden Eagle Danube Express
A train that is over 100 years old, the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains promises the epitome of opulence—and the Danube Express is no exception. The train runs from Moscow all the way to Vladivostok on the eastern coast. Along the way, passengers can take Russian language lessons, dance to a live pianist, or just spend as much time as possible in the bar which closes only once the last person leaves.
With routes running through the Balkans, past the castles of Transylvania, and even a New Year in Vienna itinerary, this elegant train unveils Europe’s flourishing landscapes. Not only does it offer the beauty of cerulean coastlines, medieval antiquities, and myriad cultures but also has an impressive repertoire of luxury services. In addition to the luxury sleeping cabins, they offer a first-class Bar Lounge Car and Restaurant Cars. Choose between the superior deluxe cabin or the deluxe cabin for accommodation. In the former, each cabin offers comfortable daytime seating with a full-length sofa and two additional chairs. The large cabin also benefits from two full-size picture windows, one of which is openable to add to the bright and airy feel of the interior. Each deluxe sleeper carriage has just five spacious en-suite cabins. These cabins have individually controlled air-conditioning, lighting with dimmer switches, individual reading lights, power sockets and a safe. The lengthy 15-day journey starts at $19,825 per person.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is mythical for a reason and it redefined train travel with its opulence, lavish sleeping cars, elaborate meals, and fine wines. The train’s classic route runs from London to Venice, stopping in Paris and Verona on the way. The interiors take inspiration from Art Deco styles creating an atmosphere of old-school glamour. Food is sourced along the route, which means you get to savour the exotic cuisine of each place. After dinner, stop by the champagne bar for a celebration that will transport you back to the golden age of luxury travel.
With the grand dame of elegance and white-glove service, guests can enjoy the tunes of the resident pianist who performs in the bar car to the exquisite cuisine in the dining car. Expect no shortage of luxuries. London to Venice, Paris to Istanbul, Paris to Berlin, Paris to Verona, and London to Verona are a few of the itineraries available on this legendary train. We highly recommend a reservation at the Grand Paris Suite for a luxurious experience. These lavish suites take design cues from the stunning nature our train passes through forests, mountains, countryside and lakes. However, the historic cabins allow guests to admire the continent’s ever-changing landscape from the window. Sip coffee and cocktails in private, as a double banquette by day transforms into sleeping berths by night.
The Transcantábrico Gran Lujo, Spain
If you like your luxury with a dose of history, book a trip on the Transcantabrico Gran Lujo. Travel in the North of Spain across beautiful cities of the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia, enjoying unique landscapes and the most select of Spanish gastronomy. But what intrigues guests are the four cars which are original 1923 Pullman cars. The Transcantábrico Train takes 8 days and 7 nights between San Sebastián and Santiago de Compostela (or vice versa), and the trains are decorated to evoke the feeling of stepping back almost 100 years ago.
The Deluxe Suites of the Transcantábrico Train are spacious, first-class rooms that combine the elegance of the past century with all the modern comforts. They have a private bathroom with a hydromassage, WIFI and 24-hour room service. What’s more? This is a journey through the exquisite gastronomy of regions of Spain and the best specialities will not be missed on the table, accompanied by local wines.
The Presidential Train, Portugal
Considered the crown jewel of Portugal’s railway system, this is one of the must-do luxury train experiences in Europe. The Presidental train epitomizes grace and sophistication. Elegant décor, mahogany furniture, and beautiful mint-green walls accent the historic steam engine, which was lovingly restored in 2010. Passengers can choose between one, two, and three-day itineraries across Portugal’s striking coastline landscape. Now the once-royal rolling stock takes paying passengers on a lavish day trip through 200 kilometres (125 miles) of stunning scenery from Porto to the grand Quinta do Vesuvio estate on the far eastern edge of Douro wine country.
For most of the journey through Portugal, the train hugs the riverbank of the blue Douro. But it doesn’t come cheap. Tickets for riding this railroad are €500. The Presidential price includes some extras, though, starting with the fancy catering. A succession of Michelin-starred chefs from Portugal and beyond are serving gourmet lunches with prize-winning Douro wines. Passengers can relax in private cabins and watch the golden valley through their windows as they wait for meal service.
Belmond Royal Scotsman, Scotland
The Scottish Highlands are a majestic sight to behold regardless of the mode of transportation. But taking in the vibrant green landscape, storybook castles, and striking lochs makes the Belmond Royal Scotsman’s 10 train cars an experience. The luxury sleeper train promises thoughtful details onboard, like Highland wool blankets and tartans, mahogany furniture, local Scottish cuisine, and traditional whiskey tastings.
Riding Royal Scotsman means an experience of cars that marry Edwardian elegance with the comforts of a country house. Ten intricately designed carriages, including the sublime Bamford Spa, form a palace on wheels. But what makes the Royal Scotsman unique among luxury trains is the onboard spa. Book a facial, massage, or manicure in the spa car for relaxation with a side of picturesque scenery.