Nowadays, travelling is often done by car or plane, making train rides extremely underrated. There’s nothing like sitting on a train and watching the world go by while eating and drinking. Taking an adventure by train is one of the best ways to see beautiful scenery, as well as meeting and chatting to new people.
Wondering what the most beautiful train rides in the world are? Depending on your desired location, in this collection you should be able to find a destination that will provide you with the most amazing views of landmarks and terrain.
Hop on board and find the top 7 most beautiful train rides in the world….
1. Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage to the West
Known for being the most scenic train ride in Canada, the Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage to the West takes its passengers on a tour of southern British Columbia. From leaving the cosmopolitan coastal city, Vancouver, you venture through the wild waters of Fraser Canyons Hells Gate and the Thompson River. After an overnight stay in the lakeside city of Kamloops, you arrive at the breathtakingly beautiful Banff.
Planning on visiting Canada and are interested in the Rocky Mountaineer train ride? Check out Rickshaw’s 2-day Rocky Mountaineer train tour and find more information here.
2. The Death Railway
Known now as the ‘Death Railway’ due to its history, this train ride is a beautiful yet sombre journey that passengers can embark on. Starting in Bangkok Thonburi Station, the ride ventures through jungled areas where you can watch branches brush against the cabin windows, making it a ride for thrill seekers. The train rumbles along the infamous bridge on the river Kwai, and passes uniquely coloured train stations and finally arrives at Nam Tok Train station. Upon arrival you are met with onboard vendors selling hot noodles, fishcakes and bottles of iced Nescafé. This ride is certainly an experience and one to not miss, as it allows you to see some of the most rural areas of Thailand.
Thinking about travelling to Thailand?
Take a look at what bite-sized trips Rickshaw has to offer in Central Thailand here.
3. Kandy to Ella Train
This famous train ride takes you through some of Sri Lanka’s most scenic areas, from remote villages, past amazing waterfalls to the tea plantations which is what the country is best known for. This ride is one of the best ways to explore the country and to see the variety of landscape that Sri Lanka has to offer. Kandy is located in central Sri Lanka, and is home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. This is also where you can see the famous and scenic Kandy lake. Ella is a beautiful country hill village that is worth exploring before you board or when you arrive. If embarking from Kandy, the best views can be seen from the right side.
Like the sound of this train ride? Take a look at Rickshaw’s trip bundle that includes the Ella train ride and a trekking tour of the hills of Ella, so you can explore the wonderful emerald valleys here.
4. The Mandovi Express
The Mandovi Express takes just around twelve hours to wind its way down the Konkan Coast. With the Arabian sea glistening on one side, and the Sahyadri hills rolling on the other- passengers are in for a treat for views. Upon leaving Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the train journeys from city to countryside, allowing you to see a variety of landscapes along the way. Before arriving at Goa, the train is met with picturesque views of coconut groves and palm trees, and rumbles across more than 2,000 bridges including the highest viaduct in India. Enjoy the beautiful scenery the Mandovi Express has to offer while taking advantage of the hawkers with delicious chicken biryani and raita, spring rolls, and cup after cup of treacle-sweet tea.
Does this sound like an ideal destination for you? Why not check out more activities you can do whilst in India with Rickshaw. Or, contact our India specialist, David who can help you piece together your next holiday!
5. The Reunification Express
Starting in Hanoi the Reunification Express runs the length of the country right down to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Journeying deep into the capital city, the train offers interesting views of local neighbourhoods and extraordinary views of the sunset and sunrise. This ride ventures through jungled areas where banana leaves flap against the windows and the train passes villagers homes and gardens. Towards the end of the journey, the trains take you to the cliff tops that overlook the South China Sea, where you can view the beautiful beach of Lang Co Bay, before finally arriving at Da Nang station.
Always wanted to travel to Vietnam?
Check out our 3-Day Mekong Delta Tour trip, where you can explore both the city of Ho Chi Minh and the rural delights of Mekong Delta.
6. Cusco to Machu Picchu Train
Not one for hiking the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? Don’t worry as this train journey has got you covered. The journey starts in Poroy and makes its way through mountain ranges, passes Adean Villages, the spectacular Urubamba river and the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. Arriving at Aguas Calientes, home to the hot springs and also where the ruins of Machu Picchu lingers above. Enjoy the fantastic ride on this scenic 3.5 hour trip.
Feel like combining this amazing train ride with a 2 day exploration of the Sacred Valley? View all you need to know about our Short Inca Trek here.
7. Shangri-La Express
Shang-ri La Express is a more luxurious choice, and is for passengers who like to be looked after extremely well while onboard. During an impressive 12 day journey you’ll enjoy dinners prepared by top chefs, sleep in a comfortable cabin and you can even take some language lessons on board. This journey allows you to visit the Forbidden City in Beijing, the beautiful Shaolin Temple, The Terracotta Army in Xi’An, the singing Sand Mountain in Dunhuang) and the impressive ruins of the old city Jiaohe. Have your camera at the ready and be blown away by the culture and hospitality the Shang-ri La Express has to offer.
Interested in travelling to China? Check out our tailored China travel experiences to help you plan your next getaway here.
Getting Away Is Coming Back
While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted travel plans, we’re still continuing to showcase the world’s natural wonders and all its fascinating cultures. We hope that we can inspire your future travels with our collection of the top 7 most beautiful train rides in the world.