19 Best Rail Journeys in the World

Luxury trains evoke the image of bygone era when traveling on board was more of a leisure experience. After the success of Europe’s Venice-Simplon Orient Express – considered the best rail journey in the world – several heritage cars and salons were either restored to their original glory or manufactured aesthetically to recreate the decadence and romance of the age of elegant train traveling.

Offering great rail journeys across historic trade routes, scenic trails and private routes, luxury train traveling around the world are great ways to explore and discover the foreign terrain in most deserving way possible. Mentioned below some select trains that let you be a part of best luxury rail journeys in the world.

List of some of the best rail journeys in world

Luxury trains offer an enchanting way to explore and discover a country in unhurried luxury. There are several luxury train tour operators, both government’s and private, around the world with Orient Express certainly the most legendary luxury tour operators. Mentioned below are some of the best luxury journeys in the world on board luxury trains around the globe.

Venice Simplon Orient Express
Best Rail Journeys in World: Venice-Simplon Orient Express

Venice-Simplon Orient Express

Undoubtedly the best luxury train in the world, VSOE sets the benchmark of luxury rail journey for others to follow. Venice Simplon takes the guests on a mesmerizing ride across some of the most spectacular European cities. 

Elegant interiors, gourmet cuisines and state of the art amenities along with hospitable service characterize this charming and elegant train journey. This journey is definitely among one of the things to do before you die. The destinations include Venice, Rome, Istanbul, Bucharest, Prague, Budapest, Paris and London.

Website: https://www.orient-express.com/web/vsoe/venice_simplon_orient_express.jsp


Rocky Mountaineer Luxury Train
Best Rail Journeys in World: Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

Embark on a mesmerizing trip across verdant landscapes, narrow trails and breathtaking vistas across British Columbia. Discover the charm and awe of the Canadian Rockies on board one of the most refined luxury trains in the world.

Where every next sight surpasses the previous one, where the stuffs are made of dream, lose yourself in a reverie which will leave you spellbound. With world class amenities, mouth watering cuisines and unparalleled service adding to the laid back luxury of an exclusive voyage, Rocky Mountaineer is a ride of lifetime.

Palace on Wheels
Best Rail Journeys in World: Palace on Wheels, India

Palace on Wheels, India

The most revered luxury train in India, Palace on Wheels offers a majestic journey across the land of Maharajas, Rajasthan in India. The myriad colors  of India permeate through the exquisitely carved interiors of this luxury train.

Elegant tapestry and quaint décor add to the character of the Palace on Wheels. The interiors of the train will transport you to a bygone era of princely splendor. Impeccable artistry executed with panache and world class amenities together with traditional Indian hospitality make for an unforgettable ride on board this regal train.

Website: https://www.palacesonwheels.com/

British Pullman Luxury Train
Best Rail Journeys in World: British Pullman, Britain

British Pullman, United Kingdom

British Pullman, one of the gem of Orient Express collections, offers a journey of nostalgia with a dash of contemporary charm and elegance. Each of the coach of this vintage train is refurbished carriages of original Venice-Simplon Orient Express.

The journey across the lush English countryside inside the restored art deco style carriages and exemplary service is as exclusive as it can get. With all facilities of Orient Express trains on board, British Pullman is a must for every rail journey lovers. British Pullman embarks from London on day trips encircling the British countryside and to destinations including great cities, glittering social events and sporting occasions.

Website: https://www.orient-express.com/web/uktr/uk_day_trains.jsp

Maharajas Express
Best Rail Journeys in World: Maharajas Express, India

Maharajas Express, India

Considered to be the India’s answer to the Orient Express, Maharaja Express rail journeys is a joint venture between the Cox & Kings and the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism corporation. Maharajas Express is the most expensive luxury rail ride in India with around $6400 for 7 Nights/8 Days package on board.  

Maharajas Express offers 5 rail journeys to choose from, with each journey telling a unique tale of incredible India. This luxury train is a must ride train for its avant-garde amenities, exclusive experience, unmatchable service and stately interiors.

Website of the Maharaja Express

The Ghan Express

The Ghan, Australia

Named after the Afghan Cameleers who once traversed this ancient route, The Ghan takes you on a adventurous ride across the stunning landscapes of Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide. Behold the landscape spool by like the illuminating scrolls as you regale in the unhurried luxury inside the charming yet sophisticated carriages of the train. Exceptional service, modern facilities, gourmet cuisines and 3 unforgettable days uncovering the wild and the best of the continent definitely rates among one of the best on the planet.

Uncover the exotic landscapes across peninsular Asia, which includes Malaysia,  Singapore and Thailand on board the Eastern and Oriental Express, which belongs to the stable of the legendary Orient Express Trains.

This luxury ride take you through verdant rain-forests, undulating mountain ranges, historical landmarks and South Asian countryside. Enjoy gourmet dining, adventurous cocktails in the observation car in unhurried luxury and relish exclusive treatment from hospitable staff.

Rovos Rail Journey

Rovos Rail: Pride of Africa

Rovos Rail recreates the romance of the era of elegant train travelling. Traversing the course of spectacular sites across Africa, Rovos Rail rates as one of the best luxury train travels in the world. Traditional furnishings and decadent decor are used in the interiors to ensure an atmosphere of classical elegance and grandeur in the Dining, Lounge and Observation cars.

Website: https://www.rovos.com/

luxury trains

El Transcantabrico, Spain

Discover the pristine beauty of verdant Spain on board this luxury train. El Transcantábrico operates between Santiago de Compostela to León or vice versa. Equipped with modern amenities and complimented by service of international standard, El Transcantábrico offers a magnificent ride inside its luxurious interiors. 

Behold the beautify northern Spain facing the Cantabrian sea. High craggy mountains and lush green meadows, next to attractive beaches and rugged coastal cliffs unfolding beyond the train offers a breathtaking site as one traverses the enchanting landscapes during this voyage.

Hiram Bingham Orient Express: Best rail journeys in world

Hiram Bingham, Peru

The Hiram Bingham takes you on a truly spectacular luxury ride across the high Andes to Machhu Pichhu. Hiram Bingham is an exclusive Orient Express service operated by Peru Rail. Hiram Bingham runs from Poroy Station to Machu Picchu in 3 and a half hour.  Guests disembark at Aguas Calientes and are taken by bus to Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, overlooking the ancient citadel, for lunch and a private guided tour of the lodge. There is also time to explore the ruins before the return transfer to the station in the early evening. The train, comprising of two dining cars, an observation bar car and a pantry car, can carry up to 84 passengers. A sumptuous 4 course dinner is served on the 3 hour journey back to Cuzco.

Glacier Express, Switzerland

The Glacier Express travels from Zermatt to St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps. This spectacular journey takes around seven hours.  Behold the breathtaking sight of deep ravines, exotic forests and snow clad slopes as the Glacier Express chugs along its scenic route.

Besides feasting your eyes, gourmet meals available on board to tantalize your taste buds is the other highlight of this tour.

Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express, list of top rail journeys

Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Embark on an exotic trans-Siberian journey from Moscow over the Urals. Uncover the stunning sight of the Russian Steppes and alongside Lake Baikal as you journey over 10000 kilometers to arrive in Vladivostok. The train has 2 classes of accommodation, the Gold and the Silver. 

Succulent cuisines prepared by Master Chefs are served for the guests in two gracious restaurant cars. A lounge bar with a piano and a pianist is the ideal place to sit back and relax in unhurried luxury.

Danube Express: best rail journeys

Discover the charm of Europe on board this deluxe train. Take a trip down the history lane as you travel through heritage sites and diverse landscapes. The destinations of the Danube Express include Transylvania, Bulgaria, Istanbul, Poland and Baltic region. 

Wake up to discover a new destination each day of your journey. This fascinating journey is also inclusive of local sightseeing on select locations. With restaurant, bar and observation lounge cars available during the journey, a flawless luxury journey is in store for you on board the Danube Express.

Royal Scotsman, luxury train travel  

Royal Scotsman, Scotland

Awe inspiring landscapes, towering peaks and mirror-calm lochs, charming countryside and exotic coastline make for a once in a lifetime journey on board the Royal Scotsman. With just 36 guests on board traveling through Scotland’s finest countryside in private cabins, with an open-deck observation carriage behind, arriving is as charming as the destinations themselves.

Indulge in unhurried luxury, savor the succulent cuisines and cherish forever an ethereal experience. There are several itineraries offered by the Royal Scotsman among which Highland tour is one of the most popular itineraries.

Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express luxury train

The Silk Road: Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express

Retrace this ancient route which has witnessed the journey of legends such as Alexander, the Great and Marco Polo on board a luxury train as legendary as the route itself. 

Traverse the magnificent road and witness the spectacular beauty and varied landscape as you travel almost 6800 miles across 5 countries. The train has Gold and Silver Class accommodations, both with en-suite bathroom, as well as two dining cars and a lounge car to take care of the gourmet cravings of the guests.


Blue Train, Africa

Blue Train, South Africa

Voted twice as the “Africa’s Leading Luxury Train”, Blue train offers a mystical ride across the varied landscapes of Africa. Blue train is regarded as one of the best luxury train in world with facilities which include 2 lounge cars, an observation car, fully carpeted soundproofed cabins and butler services.

Behold the sight of spectacular African countryside unravel before your eyes like the illuminating scrolls during a journey of a lifetime.

Website: https://www.bluetrain.co.za/

Tangula Rail Journeys

Tangula Rail Journey, China

Discover the epic landscape of pastoral China on board this 5 Star journey on wheels from Beijing to Lijiang. This luxury train service is managed by Kempinski group. There are 2 Tangula Trains, each with 48 plush suites, en-suite bathroom, state of the art amenities and butlers. 

Retrace the path of the ancient trade routes better known as the Silk Road, behold the scenic steppes and rustic charm of Chinese countryside and be treated like a Royalty on board this remarkable luxury train.


Southern Spirit near Queensland, Australia

Southern Spirit, Australia

Discover the stunning sights of the Australian continent in an unmatchable unhurried luxury. Traverse the mystical course of varied landscapes and take in the ever changing panorama through the window of the Southern Spirit. This über-luxe train offers two classes of service which are known as the Platinum service and the Gold service. Follow a pristine route on board this elegant and adventurous voyage which begins from Adelaide in Southern Australia. This 5 Nights/6 Days journey comes to its conclusion in Brisbane. Regale in a sumptuous Australian outback; with avant-garde amenities, immaculate hospitality and plush interiors ensuring an unparalleled élan of a pampering odyssey on wheels.   

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, India

Embark on a trip down the memory lane and relive the life of princes of erstwhile Rajputana on board this majestic palatial train. Discover the splendor and opulence of erstwhile Maharajas as you travel across Rajasthan, literally meaning land of the Kings.
Be it the pink city Jaipur, city of lakes Udaipur or the blue city Jodhpur, each destination offers a fascinating insight into the soul of Rajasthan.

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels also covers Khajuraho and Varanasi during this journey. Whereas Khajuraho is known for its temple and also listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Varanasi is the spiritual nerve center of India. A remarkable journey is ensured by exemplary hospitality and state of the art amenities on board.

Website: https://www.palacesonwheels.com/

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