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best luxury trains europe

7 Best Luxury Trains in Europe that are Beyond Breathtaking

There is nothing quite as glamorous as luxury train travel in Europe. From the unparalleled scenery with sweeping mountain vistas rolling past your window to the romance and nostalgia of art deco decor immersing you in the enchantment of a bygone era, luxury trains offer travelers a unique way to experience all that Europe has to offer in comfort and style.

From the moment you board your luxury train, you will be transported to a different era where life moves at a slower pace. The luxurious accommodations, exquisite dining, and breathtaking scenery will inspire the world-class traveler within. White-glove service and live music will help you savor these luxury rail journeys before you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and restored.

To help you navigate the world of luxury trains in Europe, we’ve curated the best luxury train journeys for you to add to your Europe itinerary.

7 Best Luxury Trains in Europe

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

belmond venice simplon orient express best luxury trains europe

Featuring renovated cabins built in the 1920s, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is possibly the most iconic luxury train in Europe. Filled with Art Deco furnishings and décor, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has masterfully maintained its old-world glamour and charm.

What Sets It Apart

With a history of hosting famed parties and world-renowned guests, this legendary train is an extravagant experience like no other. The private cabins and luxurious suites offer ultimate comfort on your journey while the world-class dining from chef Jean Imbert uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients to give you a true taste of Europe. Settle into your sumptuous private cabin and watch the world slip by as you sip champagne before an elegant evening in the dining car. You’ll savor seasonal fare with a 4-course dinner prepared with culinary perfection amidst the plush decor and storied grandeur of the roaring 20s. After dinner, mix and mingle in Bar Car ‘3674’ where starry nights and stunning views of this continent’s famous cities play backdrop to the live pianist. Stay long enough and you can enjoy the famous midnight brunch, complete with lobster rolls, truffled club sandwiches, and signature cocktails. 

Iconic Route

For an amazing tour of the gorgeous landscapes across Europe, take the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Paris, France through Switzerland into Venice, Italy.

The Presidential Train

The presidential train dining cure most luxurious trains europe

The Presidential Train is a luxury train with an unparalleled experience. With a legendary past, this historic train used to carry Presidents, Kings, and even Popes. Since then, it has been carefully renovated to maintain its original charm and now has journeys throughout Portugal, offering the same regal experience for travelers.

What Sets It Apart

This luxury train is truly an epicurean journey. Each excursion offers a unique food experience, always with a Michelin-starred chef guiding a four-course menu inspired by local fare and paired with the country’s finest wines – Niepoort. The magnificent views of Portugal’s landscapes will leave you speechless. From the colorful city of Porto to the incredible Douro Valley, you won’t be able to keep your eyes off these picturesque views. Watch the sun shine down on the grand river in Douro Valley as it follows along with this train, accompanying you on your journey.

Iconic Route

This iconic route takes you through scenic Portugal, starting in the vibrant city of Porto and traveling to the enchanting Douro Valley.

British Pullman

Belmond British Pullman Cygnus Carriage

The British Pullman features cars that have been lovingly restored to the elegant era of the 1920s. Travel back in time to the golden age of luxurious voyages on grand steam trains. This train features stunning Art Deco décor, expertly crafted meals, and amazing sights to see.

What Sets It Apart

Journey through the English countryside and take in the incredible sights, including charming architecture, rolling hills, and even the White Cliffs of Dover. Spend an afternoon on this vintage train enjoying traditional High-Tea or their Murder Mystery Lunch, complete with thrilling entertainment and a five-course meal. As if this luxurious train couldn’t get any more cinematic, Belmond has partnered with iconic film director Wes Anderson who reimagined the Cygnus carriage to pay tribute to both the golden age of cinema and travel.

Iconic Route

Take the round trip from London Victoria and visit breathtaking destinations such as Faversham, Canterbury, and Dover.

Royal Scotsman

Belmond Royal Scotsman

The Belmond Royal Scotsman is well-known for its deep burgundy-colored cars. Rich with history and tradition, the Royal Scotsman is designed in a beautiful Edwardian style. Originally touring in 1985, the carriages were later replaced with restored Pullman cars.

What Sets It Apart

Discover firsthand the breathtaking views of Scotland on this journey. Spend time in the Observation Car to enjoy these sights, from the gorgeous countryside to storybook castles. This Belmond train stops for grand excursions such as touring castles and distilleries and even to let passengers explore the great outdoors of Scotland. After a day of adventures, visit this luxury train’s lavish spa and enjoy a massage as you wind down from the busy day.

Iconic Route

The iconic route of the Royal Scotsman begins in Edinburgh and runs across the West Highland Line, going through the Scottish Highlands and ending back where it began.  

Transcantabrico Gran Lujo

transcantabrico gran lujo luxury trains europe

The Transcantabrico Gran Lujo explores Northern Spain in renovated Pullman cars from the 1920s. Relax in the cozy suites as you enjoy the breathtaking sights of Spain passing outside. Visit culturally rich cities filled with museums, art galleries, and historic buildings.  

What Sets It Apart

The Transcantabrico Gran Lujo luxury train transports you to another time. Enjoy authentic Spanish cuisine, using fresh regional ingredients, and take in the stunning landscapes and architecture of Spain. This luxurious train has four spectacular salon cars built more than a century ago including The Tea Room, the Panorama car, and the entertainment room perfect for unwinding with a cocktail, book, or live entertainment. Soak in spectacular views from the Panorama car seeing everything from the countryside of Basque Country to the giant cliffs overlooking endless seas in the Bay of Biscay.

Iconic Route

Travel the legendary route from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela, touring through stunning regions such as the Cantabrian Mountain Range and stopping in charming cities like Bilbao, the location of the famous Guggenheim Museum.

The Golden Eagle Danube Express

the golden eagle danube express

The Golden Eagle Danube Express takes you through Central and Eastern Europe to visit the hidden gems of this region. Offering gourmet cuisine, exquisite wines, and luxurious suites, the Danube Express provides the ultimate train travel experience.

What Sets It Apart

This luxury train offers a unique experience, taking you to cities often less visited. The train also creates exceptional dining, reminiscent of the European cities it visits. You can relax in the bar car, soaking in the breathtaking sights of Europe during the day and enjoying the melodies of the resident pianist in the evening.

Iconic Route

The Danube Express takes you through the gorgeous European countryside, stopping in cities like Budapest, Prague, Venice, and Berlin.

Northern Belle

northern belle best luxury trains europe

The Northern Belle brings you on an adventure through England, Scotland, and Wales. This luxury train evokes the lavish style of the 1930s, taking you back to the golden age of railway travel. The cars have been expertly restored and beautifully designed to create an extravagant and unforgettable experience.

What Sets It Apart

This train takes you through the idyllic countryside where you can discover Gothic castles, charming villages, and breathtaking landscapes. While aboard, soak in the elegant setting of this train and indulge in world-class dining made with the seasonal ingredients of the British Isles.

Iconic Route

Take the Northern Belle in winter to stay warm while you enjoy the beautiful, snowy sights of the UK. Experience the extraordinary journey from Oxford to Gloucester to Cheltenham.

Final Thoughts: Luxury Trains Europe

These luxury trains are the perfect way to indulge in slow travel and spend a day or a week exploring the breathtaking European landscapes. Luxury train travel is an unmatched experience with exquisite cuisine and stunning views while you relax inside grand suites or meticulously designed carriages.  Whether you choose rail travel on the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, soak in the rolling hills of the Highlands on the Royal Scotsman, or indulge in the regal splendor of The Presidential Train throughout Portugal, these trains take you on a luxury rail journey that you won’t soon forget. You’ll relish in the art of slow living, the moment you board.