Greatest Train Trips Around the World

Last updated on 02/27/2024

Best Train Trips in the World

From the rhythmic chug of locomotives traversing rugged mountain passes to the elegant glide through lush countryside, train travel offers a unique perspective and an unmatched sense of adventure. Whether you're a seasoned rail enthusiast or a curious traveler seeking new horizons, these train journeys offer stunning landscapes and comfortable carriages.

Researchers at InsureMyTrip wanted to find out which train journeys can be considered the best. From the frequency of the train and the number of national parks it traverses to the quality of the journey, we’ve collated a list of only the best journeys.

Bernina Express, Switzerland

Best Train Trips - Bernina Express in Switzerland

At the top of our list is the Bernina Express in Switzerland, with an overall score of 7.26. This train travels 76 miles through the Alps, traversing 196 bridges and reaching an elevation of 7,391 feet – making it the highest railway in the Alps. The Bernina Express has a score of 4.5 on TripAdvisor and more than 96k posts on Instagram, making it one of the prettiest journeys on our list.

Glacier Express, Switzerland

Best Train Trips - Glacier Express in Switzerland

The second-best train is the Glacier Express, with an overall score of 7.13. The Glacier Express is similar to the Bernina Express, it even follows some of the same route, however, it’s twice the distance. The route spans 180 miles and takes around 8 hours. Starting in St. Moritz this train travels over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels. Similar to the Bernina Express this train also features panoramic windows and free Wi-Fi, with the added bonus of a six-course meal for anyone who’s purchased an Excellence Class ticket.

Inca Rail, Peru

Best Train Trips - Inca Rail in Peru

The third best train on our list is the Inca Rail in Peru with an overall score of 6.76. This train takes passengers from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, the historic Incan citadel built in the 15th century. This train has full amenities with an open-air observation car at the back of the train for passengers to take photos of the incredible Peruvian mountains.

Napa Valley Wine Train, California

Best Train Trips - Napa Valley Wine Train in California

The fourth best train on our list is the Napa Valley Wine Train, California with an overall score of 6.09. While the U.S. isn’t necessarily known for passenger train travel, the trains they do have are some of the best. The Napa Valley is known for its vineyards, and the best way to experience great wines is when you don’t have to drive. Boasting a four-course meal in the speciality dome carriage, this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Pacific Surfliner, California

Best Train Trips - Pacific Surfliner in California

Our fifth-best train journey is another which traverses the Californian countryside, this time along the coast. The Pacific Surfliner, which scored 6.02 overall, is the longest journey in our top five at just over 9 hours. This 350-mile journey takes you from San Luis Obispo, a city just south of the Big Sur, all the way to San Diego. This train has free Wi-Fi and a free meal, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the Californian coastline.

Other Notable Train Journeys

Best Train Trips in the World Table by Rank

Other notable journeys include the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada, this train journeys through the Canadian Rockies, between Banff and Vancouver. This train is well-known as one of the prettiest in the world.

The Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland has also made it into our top 10. This journey has many famous landmarks it travels through. From the deepest loch in Scotland to Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station. However, it’s most famous for traveling over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, seen in Harry Potter.


Our exploration of the greatest train trips around the world has explored journeys from across the globe, showing that train travel is a great way to explore different countries. From the majestic Swiss Alps to the historic wonders of Peru and the scenic vineyards of California, there is a train journey for everyone. Whether you're a connoisseur of fine dining or an avid nature enthusiast, these train journeys promise a glorious landscape and a comfortable adventure.


Each data point consists of the latest research available from reputable sources. The data was standardized using minmax normalization. Certain data points were left out of the normalization as they are down to travelers preference, e.g. the length of the journey in miles and distance are down to whether the traveler wants to go a greater distance or not. The minmax normalization value is multiplied by 10 to create a score (between 0-10). A score of 10 is always the best result, while a score of 0 is the worst. The sources used are prominently the official websites of each of the trains.

General Sources

Number of Instagram Posts
Number of Instagram posts under the hashtag of the train journey name

Rating of train journey
Average rating of train journey according to TripAdvisor

Train Company Sources

Bernina Express
Glacier Express
Inca Rail
Napa Valley Wine Train
Pacific Surfliner