15 Most Impressive Train Journeys in the World

Since their invention in the 19th century, trains continue to change the regions they reach and impress travelers who love to explore natural beauties and vast geographies. Train journeys are an excellent opportunity for those who want to experience a modern adventure in their own right and research the historical past of large geographies.

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1. Trans-Siberian Train: Russia’s Eastern Express

Each train journey is more beautiful than the other, but this train route has one more feature. The Trans-Siberian train, where you can see different geographies from mountains to steppes, passing through 6 different time zones, is the longest train route in the world. The last stop of this train, which starts from Moscow and continues without stopping, is Vladivostok.

One thing to consider when buying tickets is to pay attention to different trains running on the same train route. There are two different trains running on this route. One is the Rossiya train, which made the Trans-Siberian route famous, and the other is the #99/100 train.

So what’s the difference between these two trains? In fact, the main difference is that the Rossiya train is more comfortable and faster, while the other train travels slower but has cheaper ticket prices. In addition, the #99/100 train has 120 stops and travels 9300 km every day. The Rossiya train, which offers a more comfortable travel opportunity and also has a food compartment, operates 6 days a week.

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Mongolia Route

In addition to the Trans-Siberian train, you can experience other routes of the train. One of them is the Mongolia line, which runs from Ulan-Ude on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal to Beijing, the capital of China.

The best way to fully explore Central Asia is to experience Mongolia, which has hosted different civilizations throughout history. This line, which is 7867 kilometers long, also passes through the vast Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Especially the second half of this route is ideal to experience the train journey along the Great Wall of China.

Manchuria Route

Another option is the train route that reaches Beijing via the Manchuria route. Manchuria is one of the regions that shape the history of this geography. The Manchuria train, which passes through this region, which has been under the domination of different civilizations, including Russia, Japan, and finally China for centuries, also stops at the Shanhaiguan stop, also called the Shanghai gate of the Great Wall of China.

You can buy tickets on the Siberian Train official website. You can also get information about current campaigns through the site.

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2. West Highland Line, Scotland: Code Name Hogwarts Express

Passing through the most beautiful scenery in the world, the West Highland Line is an indispensable experience for many travelers who love train travel. The train journey starts from Glasgow and explores the magnificent nature of Scotland. To Harry Potter fans, this train image might sound familiar; because it’s the Hogwarts Express itself! Although this train will not get you to Hogwart, this journey will be just as fascinating.

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Different Routes of the Train

Words are not enough to describe this unique natural beauty of Scotland. The route of this train journey allows you to witness the sights of Scotland that can only be explored by train. Passing through Loch Lomong and Trossachs National Park, the train proceeds in two different routes after Crianlarich. From here, you can either proceed from Loch Awe to Oban, or you can reach Mallaig via Fort William by climbing from Rannoch Moor. Both routes are impressive, and the train is the best way to discover the natural beauties of Scotland.

The travel times of the train are as follows:

  • Glasgow-Oban: approximately 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Glasgow-Fort William: approximately 3 hours 50 minutes
  • Glasgow-Mallaig: approximately 5 hours 30 minutes

You can buy tickets on the West Highland Line official website. You can also get information about current campaigns through the site.

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3. TranzAlpine: Exploring the New Zealand Alps

Traveling between New Zealand’s cities of Christchurch and Greymouth, the TranzAlpine train allows you to witness the magnificent views of New Zealand. While in New Zealand, do not limit your visit to the capital city of Wellington and explore the unique natural beauties of New Zealand.

From Wellington, it will take about 10 hours to reach Christchurch, on the country’s south island, but you will first take the ferry to the country’s south island and then take a bus ride. We have to say that this ocean view bus trip will be as impressive as the views you will witness on the train.

Explore New Zealand’s impressive Canterbury Plains, the ice-covered Waimakariri River, the Southern Alps, and beech-fringed beaches during this 223-kilometer, under-5-hour journey. This magnificent train service, which you will not forget for the rest of your life, departs from Christchurch at 8.15 every morning and arrives in Christchurch at 6.31 in the evening, with a 1-hour break in Greymouth.

You can buy tickets on the official TranzAlpine website. You can also get information about current campaigns through the site.

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4. Rocky Mountaineer: Trans-Canada Journey

The most enjoyable way to discover the fascinating geography of the Canadian Rocky Mountains is to embark on a two-day adventure with the Rocky Mountaineer train. The most historic route of rail travel is the “First Passage to the West”, which connects Canada from east to west.

You will witness impressive views by passing through the legendary tunnels and the town of Craigellachie, one of the frequent destinations of tourists, during the train journey starting from Vancouver, Canada, to Banff, a mountain town in Canada. Known as the pearl of the Rocky Mountains on this route, Lake Louise is also quite impressive at any time of the year.

Apart from that, there are 3 different route options that are as impressive as the first train route:

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 Journey to the Clouds

This route again starts from the city of Vancouver and follows Canada’s salmon-rich river, the Fraser River, to reach Pyramid Falls. One of the most important points of this journey is that it ends with Mount Robson, the summit of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

As the train climbs the mountain, you’ll discover Canadian wildlife in its purest form. Let us remind you that it is very difficult to see the natural beauties on this route, except for the train, and it requires a professional level of mountaineering.

From the Rainforest to the Gold Rush

It is such a diverse natural landscape that we cannot see anywhere else in the world. Fascinating lakes, Fraser Canyon with its desert-like climate, the vast Cariboo Plateau, the Gold Pan City in Quesnel, and Mount Robson, the largest natural park on the Rocky Mountains…

Coastline

The coastline route connects the coastal cities of Seattle and Vancouver. You can then connect to other routes from these cities and explore the Rocky Mountains. If you want, you can also turn the train journey into a true journey of discovery. After all, this train provides one of the best trips to experience the nature of Canada. You can find peace in Canadian nature by taking a train journey for 14 days or even more by evaluating various package options.

You can buy tickets on the Rocky Mountaineer official website. You can also get information about current campaigns through the site.

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5. The Flam Railway – Journey to the Norwegian Fjords

Norway’s most famous train route runs throughout the year; In this way, you can choose any period you want to witness the wonderful landscapes of Norway. The train route between Myrdal and Flam follows the winding rivers, stream mouths, waterfalls, and snow-covered hills to reach the Flam Valley. Moreover, thanks to this train journey, you will also discover the Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the world’s longest fjord, Sognefjord.

This engineering marvel created by the Norwegian railway line is also one of the steepest railway lines in the world.

You can buy tickets on the train’s The Fam Railway official website.

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6. Kars East Express: The Lifeblood of Kars Tourism

As a train route, Kars Eastern Express will fascinate you with the beauties you will see while preparing for the journey from Ankara to Kars and during the journey. With the Kars Eastern Express, you will pass through 7 different cities in 24 hours, and you will witness different geographies of Turkey from the west to the east.

There are compartments, Pullmans, covered bunks, sleeper and dining wagons on the train. The train, which departs from Ankara at 18:00 every day, reaches Kars at the same time the next day. Likewise, the train, which departs from Kars at 8 am every day, reaches Ankara at the same time the next day.

You can buy tickets from the official website of TCDD. However, it is useful to hurry at any time of the year; because train tickets are sold out almost as soon as they start selling. But train tickets make a difference as they are suitable for every budget.

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7. Belmond Hiram Bingham – Peru’s Wonder of the World

On this journey, you will depart from Cusco and reach Machu Picchu, the heart of the Inca Empire. You will travel on one of the most important journeys of your life, accompanied by dance and food, and in wagons from the 1920s. With the bus service of the train from the city center of Cusco, you will first reach the Sacred Valley and then the ancient city of Machu Pichu by train.

You can choose to buy a round-trip ticket for the train, which is named after Belmond Hiram Bingham, who discovered the Inca capital. In this way, after discovering the beauty of Machu Pichu, you can return to Cusco and reach the capital, Lima, on an equally impressive different train journey. The Machu Picchu train operates every day except the last Sunday of the month.

You can buy tickets from the Belmond Hiram Bingham official website. You can also get information about current campaigns through the site.

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8. Glacier Express: Fascinating Peaks of the Swiss Alps

Glacier Express is one of the most impressive routes where you can discover the nature of Switzerland. The 8-hour train journey takes you to St. Petersburg, one of the most luxurious ski resorts in Switzerland. Moritz, passes through the Rhine Gorge, which is called the “Grand Canyon” of Switzerland.

Zermatt, a mountain town in the Alps with a view of the Matterhorn Mountain, Solis, and Landwassser viaducts are among the beauties that can be seen on the route.

You can buy tickets on the Glacier Express official website.

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9. The California Zephyr: The Gold Rush Route

Imagine a journey that takes 51 hours and 20 minutes. And on the historical ‘’California Gold Rush” route! The California Zephyr is one of the North American continent’s most beautiful train journeys and the country’s second-longest train route. Starting from Chicago, the train reaches San Francisco every day.

During this train journey, you will see the Sierra Nevada, which is covered with snow and has historical gold mines, by climbing the Rocky Mountains; Passing through the valleys between Nebraska and Denver, through the important cities of the central part of the country, Salt Lake City, Reno, and Sacramento, you will finally reach the city of San Francisco on the Pacific coast.

Another important route that must be experienced in North America is the Texas Eagle, the longest train journey in North America, starting from Chicago and continuing to Los Angeles.

You can buy tickets from The California Zephyr official website. You can also get information about current campaigns through the site.

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10. Golden Eagle: A Balkan Adventure

If you want to travel from Europe to Istanbul by train, the Golden Eagle Balkan Express can relatively fill the gap created by the Historical Eastern Express. This train, which offers a luxury train journey at least as much as Venice Simplon, departs from Venice and reaches Istanbul. One of the most beautiful ways to discover the Balkans, the Golden Eagle train offers a 10-day journey.

After Venice, the train passes through Ljubljana and Zagreb to the Balkan geography. The train, which proceeds to Dubrovnik via Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, then passes through Belgrade to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, and then to Thessaloniki. The train, which proceeds from Sofia and Plovdiv during the 9th day, reaches Istanbul on the 10th day.

You can buy tickets from the Golden Eagle official website.

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11. Lake Van Express

If you can’t find a Kars Eastern Express train ticket, you don’t have to worry. Because you have another train route option that is at least as impressive but not yet explored. That’s the Van Lake Express! The Van Lake Express, which lasts for approximately 25 hours, departs from Ankara and ends in the Tatvan district of Bitlis on the shore of Lake Van. From here, you can switch to Van by ferry or bus.

The tickets of this train route, where you can witness the impressive beauties of Eastern Anatolia in every season, regardless of summer or winter, are also quite affordable like the Eastern Express train. The train has a compartment, a Pullman, a covered bunk, a dining and sleeping car.

The train, which departs from Ankara at 11 am on Tuesdays and Sundays, reaches Tatvan at the same time the next day. Tatvan train, on the other hand, departs at 7.55 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and reaches Ankara at the same time the next day.

You can buy tickets from the official website of TCDD.

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12. Blue Train: Pearl of Africa

The biggest dream of the countries that colonized the continent in the 19th century was to lay a train track that went from the southernmost point of the continent, Cape Town, to Cairo, the northernmost point, passing through the deserts and steppes of the entire continent. Although this dream did not reach Cairo, today the Blue Train travels all over South Africa.

This luxury wheeled hotel takes 31 hours starting from Cape Town and travels 1600 km to reach the country’s capital, Pretoria. During the 3-day train journey Departing from Cape Town, this luxury train explores the geography of South America via Matjiesfontein, where the first European immigrants settled in the region.

Kruger Natural Park Route

Another route of the train is the option to the Kruger Natural Park in Limpopo. You can reach one of the best safari parks in the world after a 19-hour train ride. Since this special route is made only in certain months of the year, it is useful to buy the ticket dates according to the travel dates.

You can buy tickets from the official website of Blue Train. You can also get information about current campaigns through the site.

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13. GHAN: Journey to the Australian Desert

This incredible train journey follows in the footsteps of explorers and pioneers who have explored Australia for centuries. There are 2 different routes you can choose on the Ghan train of Australia:

Adelaide-Darwin Route

Your first option is the train route to Darwin, departing from Adelaide, which operates all year round. Thanks to this train, you will be able to explore Australia from south to north for 3 days and 2 nights.

Darwin-Adelaide Route

It is useful to keep in mind that there are only intermittent flights from April to February to the city of Adelaide via Darwin, that is, from south to north. During this route, which lasts for 4 days and 3 nights, you can travel 2,979 km in total, passing through Katherine and Alice Springs.

You can buy tickets from the GHAN official website.

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14. Venice Simplon Orient Express: Heir to the Orient Express

This luxury train of Europe connects the major capitals of the main continent. When the Eastern Express is mentioned, if the Historical Eastern Express train, which starts from Paris and stops in almost all European capitals, comes to Istanbul, and Venice Simplon Orient is one of the train services that carry this heritage, unfortunately, it no longer follows the same route without interruption.

This train can be reached from Venice to Paris, from Verona to London, or from Venice to Budapest. You can stay in the most comfortable compartments during this train journey, which is almost as luxurious as a 5-star hotel; You can taste the most important flavors of European cuisine. Of course, the prices are high to match this luxury train; But let us remind you that tickets are sold out just as quickly.

You can buy tickets on the Venice Simplon Orient Express official website.

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15. Eastern & Oriental Express: Southeast Asia in 6 Days

Would you like to explore the biggest cities of Southeast Asia for 6 days? This luxury train departs from Kuala Lumpur and travels through Bangkok to its final stop, Singapore. Thus, this train route, where you can explore countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, which you must see in Asia, has been in service for 25 years.

If you want to explore the rural areas of the Far East countries as well as the big cities and tourist areas, you can walk around the rice paddy fields in Malaysia and climb the hills of the region. The most striking natural beauties on the route are the Kanchanaburi region, which is at the confluence of the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers in Thailand.

You can buy tickets on the Eastern & Oriental train’s official website.

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