15 of the Most Luxurious Train Rides Around the World
Take a step back in time and enjoy train travel the way it was meant to be on these once-in-a-lifetime journeys.
Belmond Grand Hibernian
Ireland is beaming with fairy tale lands, and a trip on the Belmond Grand Hibernian will make them seem even more fantastical. The luxury train travel service is an Irish dream all on its own, featuring Georgian architecture in its sleeper carriages and a classic saloon with live musicians and animated storytelling in the Observation Car. Trips range from two to six days and explore the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with stops at Jameson’s whiskey distillery and Belfast’s Titanic museum. If this train ride sounds luxurious, don’t miss the most extravagant Airbnb listing in your very own state.
Eastern & Oriental Express
You can choose from 19 journeys on the Eastern & Oriental Express, all of which whisk you off your feet and take you on an enchanting trip between Singapore and Bangkok. The two-night and three-night itineraries include a cruise on the River Kwai, while the six-day Fables of the Peninsula trip explores Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Three-course lunches, four-course dinners, afternoon tea, and glamour galore make the train a showstopper. Looking for a budget train ride that’s just as stunning? This breathtaking cross-country train ride is just $213.
This luxurious adventure on the Blue Train is a 27-hour journey that crosses South Africa diagonally, taking you from Pretoria to Cape Town. Take in the ever-changing vistas of the countryside as you relish in your De Luxe Suite, that shifts from a swanky lounge in the day to a cozy bedroom at night. Your own AC system, goose-down bedding, under-floor heating, and a marble and gold-fitted bathroom make for the most opulent of digs during luxury train travel. With past passengers including Nelson Mandela, Quincy Jones, Paul Simon, Mia Farrow, Margaret Thatcher, and Kylie Minogue, you know it’s worth every penny.
The Presidential Train
Portugal’s Presidential Train dates back to 1890, when it operated as the Royal Train for King Dom Luis I. Now, it serves as his love letter to Portugal, with full-day journeys through the Douro Valley. The excursion is a gastronomical event for enthusiasts of luxury train travel, with Portuguese food indulgences to the brim, and the wine constantly flowing. Each weekend, a different Michelin-caliber chef is brought on to please your palate, while a stop at a winery ensures there’s plenty of vino to wash it all down.
Belmond British Pullman
Glamour takes on a new meaning on the Belmond British Pullman, which has been delightfully restored to mimic the golden age of train travel in the 1920s. Starting from and returning to London, the various journeys take you to some of the best of Great Britain, while you enjoy a classic afternoon tea or a relaxing glass of bubbly. Try the Golden Age of Travel itinerary, which includes a fine dining experience in beautiful vintage carriages. But the luxury doesn’t need to end there, you could also check into one of these luxurious hotels and resorts.