Ditch the road and get onto the train this time. Discover Europe on the go! Read on for some of the most beautiful rail routes in Europe that should definitely be on your bucket list.
1. The Bernina Express, Chur to Tirano
Arguably the most scenic journey in the world, the Bernina Express runs from Chur in St. Moritz, Switzerland to Tirano in northern Italy. This 90-mile journey through 55 tunnels and 196 bridges at high altitudes offers a panoramic view of the Swiss Alps on a route recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
You will cross waterfalls, lofty glaciers, and a chic lakeside in St. Moritz along the way. At the end of the four-hour long trip, you can enjoy an espresso under the Italian sun at a café in Tirano.
Best time to go: Early spring, April-May
How much: A train ticket normally costs S$80
Duration: 4 hours
Distance: 145 kilometers
2. The Trans-Siberian Railway, Moscow to Vladivostok
Famous in Russian folktales, the world’s longest railway line crosses eight time zones and takes you through an epic nineteen-day journey across Eurasia – from Moscow in Europe to Vladivostok in eastern Russia.
You can book a private cabin for extra comfort and privacy, and can also organize a wide variety of excursions ranging from trekking to scuba diving.
The tour also includes visits to popular tourist spots. Taking this trip will give you a shot at discovering some of the wonders spread across the country.
Best time to go: Although the railway operates all year long, the best time to take this trip is from May to July, due to longer hours of daylight and warmer weather.
How much: For the public train, prices start at approximately S$900. However, if you wish to travel like a Tsar, prices for the luxury train with its magnificent suites and fine onboard dining start at S$17,640.
Duration: 19 days
Distance: 9,300 kilometers
3. The Jacobite Steam Train, Scotland
This train which runs from Fort William to Mallaig is more popularly known as Hogwarts Express. Though the one-and-a-half-hour trip on this steam locomotive will not take you to Hogwarts, it does offer a breathtaking view of the rugged Highland scenery, dotted with tiny green lochs.
It will also cross Glenfinnan Viaduct, a filming site where the Harry Potter series was shot. The good news is that muggles are allowed and you don’t have to hunt for platform nine and three quarters to board the train. A must for all the diehard Harry Potter fans out there!
Best time to go: June to August, when it’s less rainy
How much: A standard return ticket for an adult usually costs S$63, while a first class ticket will cost around S$107.
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Distance: 69 kilometers
4. Central Rhine Railway, Bingen to Koblenz, Germany
A passenger travelling on this railway will get an idea of what it is to be lost in wonderland. This picturesque journey through the Rhine Valley offers a 50-minute romantic train ride set in a fairytale with sprawling castles along the way. One can see the Lorelei, a 132m high rock on the banks of the Rhine and also stop over at various stations to enjoy the view.
Best time to go: April to June
How much: A return ticket normally costs S$38
Duration: 50 minutes
Distance: 78 kilometers
While you’re going there to take the train, you probably will need to fly there. Book your flights and accommodation with a DBS Altitude Card to earn 3 miles/dollar on your spends.
5. The Bergen Railway, Oslo to Bergen
This breathtaking Scandinavian train ride is a worthy competitor to the Bernina Express for being the most scenic train journey on earth. Crossing majestic forests, lofty glaciers, quiet villages and gorgeous fjords; this train trip from Oslo to Bergen will take you through one of Europe’s highest mountain plateaus. You see all of Norway’s natural attractions in one ride – greenery, snow, fjords, and wildlife!
Best time to go: Although the train runs all year round, it is better to travel during the summer months, between mid-June and early September, for better weather and more daylight hours.
How much: A return ticket usually costs S$355.
Duration: 7 hours
Distance: 463 kilometres
Your flights and accommodation for your Europe trip is likely to set you back by a few thousand dollars. So make sure you maximise your credit card rewards when making your bookings.
We suggest using the DBS Woman’s World MasterCard for 10x points on your online transactions (up to S$2,000 per month), or the HSBC Advance Credit Card for up to 3.5% cashback on all purchases (capped at S$125 a month for Advance banking customers).