12 Best Luxury Trains In Europe - Updated 2024

luxury sleeper trains in europe
Contributing Writer
| 5 min read

The Orient Express’s maiden journey from Gare de l'Est is an important moment in European history. A 10-course meal and sips of the best champagne from Baccarat crystal glasses. Passengers of the famed Orient Express enjoyed some of the best train journeys ever. The most luxurious train of the 20th century is not operational anymore, but European railway companies have kept the tradition alive. Elite contenders are dedicated to providing passengers with high-class carriages fitted with modern conveniences similar to a luxury resort as they journey through the continent’s most idyllic, historical, and romantic settings. After your stay in a boutique hotel in Paris, consider hopping on board a posh journey on the rails. Check out this list to know more about the best luxury trains in Europe.

1. Orient Express La Dolce Vita

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The Orient Express lives on as a luxury brand, spawning several high-end offerings ranging from sailboats to hotels. Trains are also included in the line-up, which may come as a surprise considering the original run stopped nearly 50 years ago. A recent addition, its fancy cross-European rail service offers two trains, one of which is La Dolce Vita.

Boasting 11 carriages, spacious suite accommodations, and exciting on-board amenities, La Dolce Vita rewards passengers with the sweet life as they travel through Italy’s most picturesque destinations. Several itineraries are prepared for a much-awaited Italian escape, including two-night tours of Venice, Portofino, and Palermo from Rome. As the first trips kick off in late 2024, you can pre-book your slots now for a better chance of getting in.

Orient Express La Dolce Vita

Website: Orient Express La Dolce Vita

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2. Belmond British Pullman

British Rail Class 67 67024
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user train_photos used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Since 1982, Belmond British Pullman has always made use of authentically vintage train carriages, turning each of them into places of pure luxury. The European train service offers several trips that take guests to the UK’s most scenic locations, including Chatsworth House, where several royal figures would usually live during their retreats, and Stratford-upon-Avon, the place of origin for middle-age playwright William Shakespeare.

Apart from its regular journeys, British Pullman also offers seasonal tours. Holiday-themed train rides are available throughout the festive season each year, from Christmas to New Year’s Day. The spooky Halloween season calls for interactive mysteries, and British Pullman has just the right journey to satiate your thinking skills!

Belmond British Pullman

Website: Belmond British Pullman

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3. Venice Simplon Orient Express

A fine way to travel, the 'Venice Simplon Orient Express,' 2012 - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Roger Carvell used under CC BY 3.0

Paris, Venice, and Istanbul Grand Suites of the Venice Simplon Orient Express define modern luxury train travel. Crafted to impress and furnished for absolute comfort, the elegant decor and rich Art Deco trimmings are the embodiment of refinement. The restored 1920s cabins bring passengers back to a time when no expense was spared. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is known for impeccable service all the way from London to Venice. Gourmet meals are made from fresh ingredients, which are sourced along the way. You can take the legendary route if you’re on your way to Paris (France) or Innsbruck (Austria). The train service stops in Verona (Italy). Make your overnight journey from the UK to Venice (Italy) even more memorable with Venice Simplon Orient Express.

Venice Simplon Orient Express

Website: Venice Simplon Orient Express

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4. Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express

Moscow, Kazansky Rail Terminal and Leningradskaya Hotel (27475772844)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ninara used under CC BY 2.0

For more than 100 years, Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express has given passengers a two-week luxury cruise experience on the vast expanse of the former Soviet Union. This Soviet-Era steam-powered locomotive offers one of the most extravagant train rides in the world. The Eastbound journey starts in Moscow where passengers are met at the airport and brought to a five-star hotel for an exclusive Welcome Dinner. A tour of the Kremlin, Red Square, and key museums precedes transfer to the Imperial Waiting Room of the Moscow Kazansky Station. As Golden Eagle departs from Vladivostok, passengers are served with cocktails. They can also attend private concerts or Russian language lessons. A 15-day journey would definitely be a worthwhile vacation, especially if it’s a train ride on the greatest railway in the world today.

Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express

Website: Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express

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Paris Tour Guide

Patricia Aveline

Patricia Aveline

My name is Patricia Bollinger and my family is French. I have always had a passion for art and history and I chose to study them when I went to university. I have been a licensed tour guide for the last 30 years and I work in French, English and Italian. My passion and also as part of my work I travel a lot. For this reason, I have a good idea of visitors expectations. Naturally I want to share... Read more

Tours by Patricia

5. Al Ándalus

Granada station 1989 Al Andalus express close
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Smiley.toerist used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A palace on wheels with Tren Al Ándalus staff at your disposal is the promised experience when you take on the Andalusian Route, a journey of seven days and six nights. The train’s spaciousness, elegance, and comfort will surely remind you of La Belle Époque. Passengers can expect fabulous suite cars and ballroom cars that are designed for a safe, comfortable, and sophisticated journey. The spacious and elegant Suite Deluxe has a large window, a minibar, a wardrobe, and a bathtub. A booking in the Gran Clase room includes drinks and gourmet meals, live performances, a dinner gala, and excursions to various stops led by multilingual guides. The journey starts in Seville and then takes the passengers to Jerez, Ronda, Granada, and Cordoba.

Tren Al Ándalus

Website: Tren Al Ándalus

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6. Costa Verde Express

Stained Glass in Train Station - Bilbao - Biscay - Spain (14610619631)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Adam Jones used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Book a trip with Costa Verde Express if you’re looking for an elevated gastronomic experience on a train. It’s about time you experience some of the best cultural and culinary offers of Asturias, Galicia, Cantabria while journeying from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela and vice versa. For six days and five nights, the crew of Costa Verde Express is at your beck and call. You also don’t have to worry about getting hungry while onboard as meals are usually prepared by their chef. If you feel like socializing and dressing up, why not join the evening gatherings or get off the train and try your luck at the Casino de Santander?

Costa Verde Express

Website: Costa Verde Express

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7. Gran Lujo

Station Santiago de Compostella 2015 (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Smiley.toerist used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Being on a panoramic-viewing train car that presents itself as a 100-year old luxury coach should be on everyone’s bucket list. A journey from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela on El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo is an experience to cherish. When you book a ticket, you’re signing up for a five-star train ride, which is eight days and seven nights long. A tour of Basque Country includes an excursion to Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao), a visit to the Sanctuary of Santo Toribio de Liébana (Cantabria), and a stopover at the Lakes and Sanctuary of Covadonga (Asturias).

El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo

Website: El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo

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8. Bernina Express

Poschiavo lake from Bernina Express
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Etsius used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Bernina Express, a train that connects Chur (Switzerland) to Tirano (Italy), takes passengers to some of the most majestic sections of the Alps. The railway can climb up to the glaciers on high altitude tracks, making it the highest train route ever constructed in the world. Sit back and relax as the train passes through 55 tunnels. You may photograph the mountain scenery or just immerse in the beautiful landscapes with a glass of good wine.

Bernina Express

Website: Bernina Express

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9. Golden Eagle Danube Express

Prague main train station
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Petar Milošević used under CC BY-SA 4.0

How about a rail cruise on the magnificent Golden Eagle Danube Express? It’s an all-inclusive, long-distance train journey across the European continent. It features high-quality wine with gourmet dinners and quarters that look and feel like a five-star hotel. The Grand Rail tour takes you to the cultural bastions of Budapest, Istanbul, Prague, and Venice. You can book an exclusive rail tour characterized by comfort and style. You’ll only find satisfaction in the well-appointed sleeping cabins, Restaurant Cars, and Bar Lounge Car. Indeed, the Golden Eagle Danube Express is a first-class hotel on wheels.

Golden Eagle Danube Express

Website: Golden Eagle Danube Express

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10. Northern Belle

57312 Northern Belle Old Milverton 16-06-16 (27362689063)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rob Hodgkins used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Winchester, Torquay, York, Edinburgh–are these places included in your bucket list? If you can afford to travel in leisure and luxury, then take the Northern Belle railway. It will take you back to the 1930s with an intimate approach to high-end rail travel. They also offer themed trips such as Afternoon Tea, Castles and Gardens, and Murder Mystery, just to name a few. Whatever you choose, you will have a grand and lovely time on your plush seat in stately carriages. You will get to try some culinary delights as the Northern Belle brings you to the scenic corners of Britain.

Northern Belle

Website: Northern Belle

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11. Majestic Imperator

51 81 08-70 000-7 SRmz ITB2014(1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Travelarz used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Watching a video tour of the Majestic Imperator Train de Luxe is nothing compared to being able to travel in these grand trains. The train company offers a variety of package tours, in case you’re looking for an experience that will take you back to the turn of the century. The compartments are furnished to the hilt and the salons offer sumptuous meals prepared by chefs. The Wagon Franz Josef dining carriage, which is dedicated to Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in 2016, resembles some of the famous trains during the Emperor’s era. You will experience how it’s like dining in a palace on wheels, so don’t forget to dress up properly for the occasion.

Majestic Imperator

Website: Majestic Imperator

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12. Belmond Grand Hibernian

Belmond Grand Hibernian
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Milepost98 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A grand tour of Ireland, otherwise known as The Emerald Isle, is just a train ticket away. The Belmond Grand Hibernian is committed to enhancing your experience of Dublin as soon as you climb aboard. The observation car is designed to look like a local high-end saloon. Expect fine-dining, luxurious accommodations, and be prepared to sample exotic malts. A two-day journey called “A Taste of Ireland” starts from the capital and passes through Belfast, then arrives at the Ancient East. The southbound “Grand Tour” takes six nights, then heads out to some of the country’s most majestic castles. “Legend and Loughs” is a four-night ride to Heuston through some of the country’s most lush landscapes.

Belmond Grand Hibernian

Website: Belmond Grand Hibernian

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Journey in style and comfort

The grand trains in Europe are indeed a homage to the past. As you spoil yourself with top-quality wine and gourmet meals, don’t forget to appreciate some of the oldest and most alluring cities in this continent.

Frequently asked questions about the best luxury trains in Europe

  • Which luxury sleeper trains in Europe are suitable for families?

    A few of Europe’s best luxury sleeper trains are ideal for vacationing families. The Al Ándalus and Gran Lujo trains in Spain, both of which host stunning suites and striking amenities, accept guests of all ages. Families touring the UK will be glad to know about the many memorable day trips offered by Northern Belle and Belmond British Pullman.

  • Which luxury sleeper trains in Europe serve the best food?

    A majority of Golden Eagle’s fleet of trains, including the Danube Express and Trans-Siberian Express, have been well-renowned for their curated selection of foods and drinks on board. Venice Simplon Orient Express offers a similar experience, leaving guests with more to be in awe of other than their signature Art Deco embellishments.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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