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The 10 most scenic train journeys in Europe for 2023

A red and white train crosses an arched railway bridge in Norway, Kylling Bridge, high above the valley tree line below with a snowy, grey mountain in the background

Clipping through the Alps or coasting along the French countryside, there’s no better way to move throughout Europe than via its incredible and comprehensive train system. But with more than 222,924km (138,518 miles) of track to explore, it’s hard to know where to step aboard and where to alight.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most scenic routes in Europe – best enjoyed from a window seat. So whether you’re are navigating the depths of a fjord or spotting romantic castles that dot the Rhine river, turn off your screen, relax and enjoy the most picturesque train journeys in Europe. All aboard!

Landscapes along the Rauma Line in Norway are nothing short of spectacular © Shutterstock / Arild Lilleboe

1. Rauma Line, Norway

Route: Dombås to Åndalsnes
Don’t miss: Admiring Trollveggen, Europe’s highest perpendicular rock face
Distance and duration: 70 miles (114km), 1½ hours
Best time to ride: June to August

Enjoy sensational views of high peaks, jagged rock faces and mountain slopes leading up to windswept plateaus as you trace the Rauma River aboard Norway‘s Rauma Line. Rattling across the lofty Kylling Bridge is one of the highlights of the trip with the driver allowing a short stop to take photos. The train then wends its way through the rugged Reinheimen National Park.

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A steam train drives over the viaduct at Glenfinnan, Scotland
Made famous by the Harry Potter films, the West Highland Line in Scotland really is magical © evenfh / Shutterstock

2. West Highland Line, Scotland

Route: Fort William to Mallaig
Don’t miss: Sampling seafood in Mallaig
Distance and duration: 41 miles (67km), 1½ hours
Best time to ride: June to August

The West Highland Line in Scotland is certainly one scenic journey, with rugged highlands, isolated lochs, flashes of coastline, Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest mountain) and spectacular views from the viaduct at Glenfinnan. The route and steam train are so easy on the eye that they crop up as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films. 

Train traveling on the Bergen Railway, alongside a river surrounded by dense forest
Journey to Norway’s highest station on the beautiful Bergen Railway © Marius Dobilas / Shutterstock

3. Bergen Railway, Norway

Route: Oslo to Bergen via Flåm
Don’t miss: Learning more about this feat of engineering at the Flåm Railway Museum
Distance and duration: 342 miles (550km), seven hours
Best time to ride: July or November to January

Norway’s awe-inspiring Bergen Railway links two…

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