Gorgeous winter train rides

Switzerland's Glacier Express in the winter
Switzerland's Glacier Express in the winter

Gorgeous winter train rides

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Towering mountains covered in blankets of snow, pine trees stretching toward the sky with icy branches and quaint villages are just a few of the reasons you should book a ticket on a European train during the winter. Stay warm and cozy while you experience breathtaking landscapes and nature at its finest. Check “take an epic train ride” off your bucket list with any one of these options! 

Glacier Express (St. Moritz to Zermatt, Switzerland)

Chug across beautiful stone arch bridges while you stare in awe out panoramic windows starting in either St. Moritz, an elegant holiday resort, or in Zermatt, an alpine village. Enjoy stunning views of the Matterhorn and experience the Landwasser viaduct and the Rhine Gorge. Go through Oberalp Pass on a route that offers eight hours of sheer pleasure. Pass rivers, lakes, valleys and tunnels on the slowest express train in the world! Visit one of Switzerland’s oldest settlements of Chur, home to twisting alleys and historic buildings. 

Bergen Railway with change at Flåm Railway (Oslo to Bergen, Norway)

Bergen Railway is northern Europe’s highest railway, with 180 tunnels and 22 stops. This route takes seven hours and stops at Myrdal, where you can get on the Flåm Railway. The ride to Flåm takes you along the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, whose wild scenery was developed by melting glaciers. This unparalleled experience allows you to view frozen waterfalls, rivers and farms located on mountain slopes. The Flåm Railway is one of the steepest railways in the world with a 2,841-foot height difference in just 12 miles. 

West Highland Line (Fort William to Mallaig, Scotland)

Head to platform 9 ¾ to catch the Hogwarts Express and be transported to a magical land where nature is so remarkable, you’ll think you’ve entered another world. In reality, you’re just on the West Highland Line crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct. With a staggering 21 arches, it is the longest railway bridge in Scotland at 1,246 feet long. Other highlights include the Erskine Bridge, Dumbarton Castle and Arrochar Alps. Travel through Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Experience remote wilderness, mountains, deep forests and steep locks during this visual delight!  

Munich to Innsbruck via Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany to Austria)

This three-hour train ride takes you into the Bavarian Alps and through picture-perfect Garmisch-Partenkirchen. See Germany’s tallest mountain, the Zugspitze, which dominates the landscape at 9,717 feet. You’re also likely to see masses of skiers and countless wooden huts, idly resting in the valleys below mountains. This lovely town is dripping with traditional Bavarian ambiance with its cobblestoned streets and half-timbered buildings. Start or end your journey with a fantastic ascent or descent along the Inn Valley in Innsbruck. 

Golden Eagle Danube Express - Balkan Explorer (Venice, Italy to Plovdiv, Bulgaria)

This train is a luxury hotel on wheels. Watch the world go by as you get to know fellow passengers. For 11 days experience a blend of culture in the following places: Venice, Italy; Trieste, Italy; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Zagreb, Croatia; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Mostar Herzegovina; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Belgrade, Serbia; Skopje, Macedonia; Thessaloniki, Greece; and Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria. From canals to mosques to the glittering sea, there is so much to experience on this voyage of a lifetime! 

Pick a country and hop one of these amazing train rides in the winter. The cold weather shouldn’t stop you from having a fantastic time fawning over the majesty of the surrounding landscapes. Whether the ride lasts eight hours or eight days, there is no limit to your enjoyment!

Subscribe to our Stripes Europe newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, helpful PCS tips, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Europe
Pinterest: Stars and Stripes Europe
Instagram: @StarsandStripeseurope

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web