Europe has a pretty good train system, so traveling by train is one of the best ways to see the old continent. Another big advantage of this mean of transport is you can choose how long to travel. A railway trip can last several months or several days – it’s up to you. During your trip you can explore one country or several ones. To give you some inspiration, here are five train routes you can take to see the main countries in Europe. Each of them can be completed in one week, but you can also take your time and extend your trip.
Spain and Portugal: Porto – Lisbon – Madrid – Valencia – Barcelona
Start your adventure in Porto, where you can taste the local wine, then take the train to Lisbon. In the Portuguese capital you can enjoy the architecture and take the old tram to Lisbon cathedral. After soaking up enough of Lisbon, take the train to Madrid, where you can enjoy the art galleries and the parks. Next stop it’s Valencia, the birthplace of paella. From there, go to Barcelona, where you can enjoy the beach and Gaudi’s masterpieces.
From Paris to Milan: Amsterdam – Bruges – Paris – Chur – Milan
Start your trip in Amsterdam, where you can enjoy the canals by boats or pedal along the streets. Take the train to Bruges, where you can indulge in Belgian chocolate and enjoy the view over the city from the top of the Belfort tower. Hop on the train again and travel to Paris. The city offers loads of attractions for all types of tourists, so take your time to explore it. When you are done, take the train again towards Chur, the oldest Swiss city. Next stop is the Italian fashion capital Milan, but enjoy the ride, because it offers the most amazing sights over the Alps.
Italy: (Milan – ) Venice – Florence – Rome – Naples – Sicily
You can continue your trip started in Amsterdam by taking the train to Venice or start a new adventure in Venice. Either way, visit the Doges Palace and cruise the canals before taking the train to Florence. In this city you can enjoy the Renaissance art at its best, before traveling to Rome. The Colosseum and Fontana di Trevi will keep you busy until you take the train again, to Naples. Here you can enjoy the original pizza and the beaches. If you have some time, visit Herculaneum or Pompeii. Finish your Italian tour in Sicily, where you can take the ferry to visit the island.
Eastern Europe: Budapest – Bratislava – Vienna – Ljubljana – Zagreb
Start this trip in Budapest, where you can enjoy the thermal baths, then take the train to Bratislava. In this city you can admire the mix of 18th century and socialist architecture before you head off to Vienna. Get your cultural fix by attending a concert, a theater play or take horseback riding lessons before you go to Ljubljana. This charming town is a relaxing destination, before you finish your trip in Zagreb. Here you can visit the museums or simply enjoy the beautiful nature and the medieval look of the city.
Scandinavia: Copenhagen – Stockholm – Oslo – Flam – Bergen
Start the trip in Copenhagen, enjoying the cobblestone streets and the delicious food available in one of the Michelin-starred restaurants. Take the train to Stockholm, where you can explore the medieval city or the multiple islands in the archipelago. The next train stop is in Oslo, where you will find lots of museums to visit and soak in the Scandinavian culture. Flam is the next town on this train route; you can enjoy the fjords before finishing the trip in one of the fish markets in Bergen.