It was almost two years ago when I travelled all the way to Russia to travel aboard the Trans-Siberian – a legendary train crossing almost 1/3 of the planet: 3 countries and the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal.
After being in my travel bucket list for a while, I finally made it: I travelled for 4 days non-stop, only to hop off and ride the Trans-Mongolian next.
After experiencing such an adventurous trip- my first outside Europe by train – I decided to share with you some of the best train routes in the world.
Travelling by train isn’tmade for everyone; it requires a lot of patience, time and a passion for a trip where destinations don’t really matter – it’s just about the trip. Trains are a nostalgic means of transport: they take their time, moving slowly across countries and continents, following a certain pace of their own. If you are always in the rush, skip reading and send this post to your friend who loves trains. If, on the contrary, you’re into travelling by train but you haven’t think it through yet, keep reading to find out some of the best train routes in the world!
Not a big fan of the fancy, luxurious trips to be honest but a ride on the super-luxurious Orient Express is on my bucket list. Because, well yes I’d love to be spoiled the right way: aboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express, the glamorous train travelling from Venice to Paris and once a year, to Istanbul.
That’s the train that crosses Peru from its capital, Cuzco to the coasts of the famed Titicaca Lake. It is a 10-hour trip and the ticket fee includes lunch and afternoon tea.
If you’re planning a trip to Machu Picchu, add this train route to your list. I know I have.
A fitting name for one of the scariest and most dangerous train rides in the world. You will find it in Ecuador crossing the edgy slopes of the Andes!
“El Nariz den Diablo” in Spanish, the “Devil’s Nose” is actually a narrow passage in the Andes which became accessible through a complex track system.
The train departs from the town of Alausi to Simbambe and vice versa. At Simbambe the train passes through a steep slope going up to 2607 meters. It is a 5-hour trip, although many travellers would swear that they thought it lasted a lot longer! A must!
Finally a train within Europe! If you don’t want to travel far, then the Glacier Express is the best choice and the best introduction to the beautiful world of trains.
A breathtaking scenery, 91 tunnels, 291 bridges – a mesmerizing panorama of the snowy slopes of Switzerland. The train ride is 7.5 hours and the train crosses 290 kilometers.
Next time I’ll be back in the US, I won’t be visiting a city or roadtrippin’ across the country – I will be travelling with this train in 7 different states.
The train crosses the country from one side to the other, starting from Chicago and passing through the following states: Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada with its final destination being California. It is a 3.924 kilometers trip and I will definitely be aboard this train it some time soon!
The Trans-Siberian Railway
The famed Trans-Siberian is the train that crosses 1/3 of the planet, more than 8.000 km in 6 its 6-day trip across Russia.
The original train route departs from Moscow, crosses Siberia with Vladivostok being its final destination after a 6-day trip. That’s the Trans-Siberian route. The route I chose, departs from Moscow going all across Russia, through Mongolia and ends up in Beijing, China. This is the Trans-Mongolian route and it is considered the most interesting out of the two given that in 6 days, the train crosses 3 countries. There is an extra route; the Trans-Manchurian from Moscow to Beijing without a stop in Mongolia.
This trip I took almost two years ago – and I did it all alone! To learn more about the trip and the train, look under the hashtag #MyTransSiberianDream.
In case you’re still wondering why you should even bother travelling with train, take a look in my ’10 reasons why you should travel by train’ post.