11 of the Best European Train Tours For Seniors

The anticipation, romance, and excitement of beginning and ending a train journey are truly wonderful, and this is true whether one is entering the grandiose Gare de Lyon in Paris, the quaint Crianlarich Railway Station on the West Highland Line, or the absolutely remote Ulaanbaatar Station in Mongolia.

Airports are rarely romantic, but they are usually useful. Why do so many individuals dream of a vacation aboard a train? Legends of either fantastic and exciting or terrible train rides have been passed down through the ages.

From “Train to Busan” to “Murder on the Orient Express,” to “The Polar Express,” to “The Lady Vanishes,” to “The Tourist,” to “The Darjeeling Limited,” to “I Wish,” to “That Kind of Woman” to “Lenin the Train,” and dozens more, there are innumerable movies about trains. These have influenced how we picture possible journeys and the exciting experiences we might have on them.

So, what are the best European train tours for Seniors? Let us find out together in this guide.

1. Europe Escape – 12 Days (Start and end in Rome)

Senior Man Reading E Book On Train Journey
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To start the best train tours for seniors in Europe, we have chosen the Europe Escape tour, which starts in Europe and terminates in Rome. This is where it all began for Expat Explore, and it’s their most popular tour to this day. Visit eight of Europe’s most visited nations. Discover Italian culture by spending time in the historic city of Rome and the picturesque city of Venice.

Visit the beautiful city of Paris and take a stroll across the French countryside. Travel across international borders to the Swiss Alps and to the Rhine Valley in Germany, where castles dot the riverbanks.

Go on an adventure through Amsterdam’s colorful streets and picturesque canals. So much good fortune is coming your way!

Begin and conclude in the Eternal City. The Explorer Tour Europe Escape – 12 Days includes transportation from Rome, Italy, and visits to fifteen additional European cities over the course of 12 days. The 12-Day Europe Escape provides lodging, meals, transportation, and more.

Indulgences To Look Forward To

  • Visit the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower
  • View the Swiss Alps from above from a bird’s eye perspective.
  • Taste the local Bavarian beer and the world-famous Burgundy wine
  • Visit Vatican City, the smallest country in the world
  • Try some delicious Belgian chocolate and Dutch cheese.

2. Europe Jewel – 14 Days (Start and end in Amsterdam)

Passenger getting of a train in Cannes.
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Europe Jewel Adventures lasts for 14 days as one of the best European train tours for seniors. This traditional two-week European vacation was created with serious tourists in mind. On this guided tour of Europe’s Jewel, you’ll visit some of the most fascinating countries in both Western and Eastern Europe. Visit Amsterdam and take a trip across the Rhine Valley in Germany to get a taste of the relaxed Dutch way of life.

Explore the centuries-old architecture of Bratislava, Prague, and Nuremberg. You can experience the delicious cuisine of classic Italy, the breathtaking scenery of the Swiss Alps, and the allure of Paris. This two-week European tour is the most memorable way to see the continent.

Begin and end in Amsterdam! Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and 17 other European cities are only some of the stops on the Explorer tour Europe Jewel – 14 Days. Europe’s 14-day “Jewel” package has everything you need, from lodging to meals to transportation to a knowledgeable local guide.

Things to Take Pleasure In

  • Experience the art of producing Dutch cheese the old-fashioned way.
  • Travel to the amazing cities of Eastern Europe.
  • Enjoy a gondola ride around the picturesque canals of Venice.
  • Find out why the Leaning Tower of Pisa is so famous.
  • Visit the Jungfraujoch train station, Europe’s tallest.

3. Athens to Dubrovnik: Seven countries in 14 days

KRYONERI, GREECE, MAY 21, 2021. Electric train from Athens to Salonica, HellasSprinter, type ES 64P, class 120, made by Siemens and operated by OSE - Hellenic Railways Organization - of the FS Group
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This seven-country trip will take you to the ancient Greek antiquities at Delphi, the picturesque Ohrid Lake, the incredible Stari Most bridge, and the charming alleyways of Berat.

The highlights of seven West Balkan countries are included in this small-group tour, allowing you to cross each one off your list as you go. The 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites you’ll be seeing each have their own unique allure and interesting history.

The journey from Athens to Dubrovnik! As part of the Comprehensive Cultural Experience Trip from Athens to Dubrovnik, during your 14-day trip to Europe, you will see Athens, Greece, and 16 other cities. This 14-day, seven-country tour from Athens to Dubrovnik features hotel accommodations, an expert guide, transportation, and more.

4. The Best of Eastern Europe (From Berlin to Budapest)

The platform and tracks at main train station in Mostar, on the Ploče-Sarajevo railway
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From the quaint villages of the Czech Republic to the Pearl of the Danube, Budapest, Eastern Europe has a lot to offer in terms of its history, cuisine, and culture. Traveling across six countries in Eastern Europe over the course of two weeks, you’ll experience a fascinating blend of city life, rural culture, and outdoor activities.

Enjoy the café culture of Berlin and the beer of Prague as you travel through time visiting castles, churches, and charming town squares.

Take the train from Berlin to Budapest! Experience Berlin, Germany, and five other European cities over the course of 14 days with the In-Depth Cultural Tour: The Best of Eastern Europe. In addition to hotel stays, meals, transportation, and more, The Best of Eastern Europe also features the services of a local guide.

Things to Take Pleasure In

  • Become immersed in the rich history and culture of Eastern Europe.
  • Enjoy some Czech beer and local cuisine on a trip to Prague.
  • Walk the cobblestone streets of Vienna and check out the city’s renowned museums.
  • Visit Europe’s largest medieval marketplace at Rynek Gówny.

5. Italy from North to South (Start and end in Rome)

Capture the view of the train parking at the train station - Naples, Italy
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This wonderful 11-day organized package to Rome, Florence, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast allows you to experience the best of Italy with minimal stress. It includes round-trip airport transfers, transportation in a deluxe motor coach, accommodations in conveniently located 3- and 4-star hotels, 18 meals, and the services of knowledgeable English-speaking guides.

Rome should be your first and last stop. The 11-day In-Depth Cultural Tour of Italy from North to South will take you to Rome and ten other Italian cities. This all-inclusive package to Italy covers your hotel, meals, transportation, and more from northern to southern regions.

Things to Take Pleasure In

  • Visit Italy’s historic cities and learn about the country’s rich past.
  • Try some gelato and some fine Tuscan wine.
  • Visit the famous ‘Floating City’ of Venice.
  • Check out the buried city of Pompeii, which was preserved by a blanket of ash from a volcanic eruption.

6. Britain and Ireland Delight (Summer – 10 Days) Start and end in London

Young asian woman traveler with backpack in the railway, Backpack and hat at the train station with a traveler, Travel concept. Woman traveler tourist walking at train station
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This eight-day journey between Britain and Ireland features the finest of both countries. You can visit medieval monuments to God and stony fortifications that housed royals, warriors, and important artifacts, as well as vistas that have inspired poetry.

You’ll start off in Dublin, Ireland, and end up in Waterford, where you can buy a crystal and listen to Celtic stories and visit a few castles straight out of a fairy tale.

You must begin and conclude in London. You may spend ten days exploring London and 13 other European cities on the In-Depth Cultural Tour of Britain and Ireland Delight (Summer, 10 Days). Britain and Ireland Delight (10 Days, Summer) provides lodging, meals, transportation, and more.

Indulgences To Look Forward To

  • Visit the beautiful countryside of Britain and Ireland.
  • Explore the town where William Shakespeare was born.
  • Be amazed by the Lake District’s water and mountains.
  • Travel through time and explore majestic castles from the Middle Ages.

7. Balkan Kaleidoscope ( Start and end in Sofia)

Senior couple on train station pulling trolley luggage.
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The Balkans were formerly considered the “powder keg of Europe” because of the numerous conflicts that have occurred there. Indeed, the great passions of the Balkans have often erupted suddenly throughout history. Wars, however, are things of the past.

Only the sunny side of the Balkans remains for us to appreciate its unique and charming character, with its pristine wilderness, ancient monasteries, and quaint villages.

This is a unique opportunity to see a number of neighboring nations all at once, including Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia, which are all similar yet quite distinct from one another.

This is the crossroads of two very different cultures—Europe and Asia. Here, Christians and Muslims have coexisted together for centuries, and centuries-old customs have flourished alongside the modern beat.

Points of interest:

  • Mehmed Pasha Bridge in Visegrad, built in the XVI century, is under the supervision of UNESCO. The “Studenica” monastery, was founded in the XIII century.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city of Sarajevo
  • The historic district of Mostar is a designated World Heritage Site.
  • The UNESCO-protected city of Dubrovnik is often regarded as the Adriatic’s architectural crown jewel and a direct competitor to Venice in both the maritime and commercial spheres.
  • Under the aegis of UNESCO, the gorgeous Kotor Bay and the town of Kotor create a beautiful combination of natural, historic, and cultural assets.
  • The Visoki Decani Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site housing the largest medieval church in the Balkans.
  • Albania’s capital city, Tirana
  • Ohrid was the last capital of the First Bulgarian Kingdom and a major cultural hub in the Middle Ages. The city and nearby Ohrid Lake are both designated World Heritage Sites.

8. The Italian Dream (Start and end in Rome)

city of rome
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This magnificent 8-day arranged package to Italy includes airport transfers, transportation in a luxurious motor coach, hotels rated 3 and 4 stars, 11 meals, intriguing visits with English-speaking guides, “Skip the queue” tickets, and more as you go to Rome, Florence, Venice, and more!

Rome should serve as both your starting and finishing point. For eight days, you may see Rome and seven other Italian cities with the In-Depth Cultural Tour, The Italian Dream. Hotel stays, food, transportation, and a knowledgeable guide are all part of the Italian Dream.

Indulgences To Look Forward To

  • Enjoy a meal and some wine in a traditional Tuscan setting, just like the great artists Michelangelo and Giotto did.
  • Explore the beautiful old town of Bologna.
  • Take a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, and don’t miss the equally impressive Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua.

9. Land of the Northern Lights – 5 days (Start and end in Reykjavik)

Mature vital elderly couple at the train station
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In the span of five days, you’ll travel from the bustling downtown streets to the wild mountains of Southern Iceland. The soothing Blue Lagoon and the steaming, spouting geysers. From thundering falls to the elusive Northern Lights. Get a taste of Iceland’s finest in just five short days.

Reykjavik is the starting and finishing point. Travel to seven different locations around Iceland over the course of five days with the In-Depth Cultural Tour Land of the Northern Lights – 5 days. Five days in the Land of the Northern Lights with hotel, meals, transportation, and more!

Is There Anything to Take Pleasure in

  • In Iceland’s vibrant capital, you’ll find that every street is awash in stylish Nordic minimalism.
  • Bathe in the mineral-rich waters of the world-famous Blue Lagoon to relax and revitalize.
  • Relax and watch the Northern Lights in the beautiful countryside.

10. Magic Carpet Tour (Start and end in Istanbul)

The legendary 'Orient Express'
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This trip lasts for ten days, and it all begins and concludes in Istanbul. Beginning in modern Istanbul, this 10-day itinerary takes travelers to the ancient sites of Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamum, and Ephesus before venturing north to explore the lunar-like scenery of Cappadocia and the natural marvels of Pamukkale.

To reiterate:

  1. There should be a minimum of two people and a maximum of twenty in a group.

2. Minimum age is eight years old. Although there is no strict age limit, participants should be in reasonably good health to take part in the tour or activity. There may be a need to request medical records.

Third, a Single Supplement fee must be paid in order for a hotel room to be reserved exclusively for a lone traveler.

There is the possibility to take a morning flight from Kayseri (Cappadocia) to Istanbul for an additional fee instead of taking a bus between the two cities.

Things to Take Pleasure In

  • See the breathtaking Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
  • Learn about the history of Hierapolis by visiting the site today.
  • Visit Konya and the rest of the Silk Road region
  • Marvel at the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia

11. Baltic Adventure (From Vilnius to Helsinki)

BELGRAVE - MAY 22: Historic Puffing Billy narrow guage steam train locomotive pulls carriages across trestle bridge in Sherbrooke Forest
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Most tourists still don’t know much about Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, even though the communist regimes there collapsed decades ago. But we’re not complaining because increased obscurity means fewer tourists and a better chance to really get to know these amazing nations.

This two-week excursion begins in picturesque, cobblestone-lined Vilnius and concludes in stunning Helsinki. Explore the historic buildings and castles of Tallinn, Estonia, and Riga, Latvia, before catching a ferry to Finland.

Exactly Why Should We Take A Train Across Europe?

White Rock, British Columbia, Canada - September 9, 2019: Train passing by the Pier during a cloudy summer sunset.
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Europe is dense enough that train travel is efficient, taking travelers from city center to city center much quicker than when flying. Driving in Europe can be intimidating for tourists, and there are a lot of freeways, motorways, and fly-overs, so the driver rarely gets to see the wonderful scenery.

The weather can be unpredictable, making train travel the preferred mode of transportation. In comparison to other modes of transportation, such as driving or flying, taking a train is a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience, offering wonderful views, great comfort, and even some luxury.

European cities like Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, and London are all easily accessible because of Europe’s massive high-speed train network.

Main international services include the Eurostar (which links London to the rest of Europe) and the Thalys (which links Paris to Belgium, the Netherlands, and northwestern Germany through Brussels). While inside the Schengen Area (a group of countries in Europe that has no internal border controls).

This means that tourists to Spain do not need to present their passports at official border controls while traveling to the rest of Europe, including France, Italy, Iceland, Denmark, Greece, and the rest of the Schengen Area. Despite the fact that the United Kingdom is not a part of the Schengen Area, border check on Eurostar lines to and from London is handled by both countries prior to departure.

What Are The Best Train Journeys In Europe?

Orient Express train at railway station
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Many people will have strong feelings about this because it’s unclear what they mean by “best” — the most beautiful, the most famous, the most visited, the most expensive. Although this is mostly a subjective list, most of the names included are household staples.

Best Trains for Scenery

I’ll begin with a personal favorite, Scotland’s West Highland Line. Many tourists believe this route to be the world’s most beautiful train ride.

From Glasgow, the West Highland Line travels west to Crianlarich, where it forks in two directions: either to Oban or north, then west to Mallaig. This latter option is preferable since it allows tourists to see a side of Scotland that is inaccessible by car or plane.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct, which was also utilized for the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movie, is traversed by trains. Amazingly beautiful train ride up the west coast to Fort William and Mallaig, passing through the lonely wilderness of Rannoch Moor and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Mountains, steep-sided lochs, and heathered moors create a breathtakingly magnificent scene. Red deer are often only spotted in the distance, either as a silhouette against the sky or blending into the heather. The train travels via some of the system’s tiniest and most out-of-the-way stops, where there may be only a handful of buildings and nothing else for kilometers.

It takes roughly 5 hours and 27 minutes and costs around $50 AUD to make the journey.

There isn’t a train ride in Spain that wouldn’t be enjoyable. The trains travel at high speeds (up to 300 km/h) while yet providing a luxurious ride. Traveling from Barcelona to Madrid is an amazing adventure.

The route follows the coast south to Tarragona, then turns west through beautiful countryside to Zaragoza, and then turns southwest to reach Madrid. It takes roughly three hours and costs about $66 Australian Dollars to make the journey. This is included in the Odyssey Traveller Spain and Portugal Tour and is a fantastic substitute for the freeways.

Zermatt and St. Moritz are two of the most popular ski destinations in Switzerland, and the Glacier Express (GEX) train runs between them and the central Swiss municipality of Andermatt, which sits at an elevation of 1,437 meters.

The train is not an “express” in the traditional sense of the word; rather, it is a direct route that eliminates intermediate stops along the 291-kilometer journey that takes 8 hours and costs the same as a single ticket.

Even though it’s the slowest express train in the world, the route it takes through Valais, Uri, and Graubünden offers some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in all of Switzerland.

It’s also rumored to be delicious, so there’s that. Costs for the Glacier Express are high. Depending on whatever class you ride in, the total cost of your ticket is $234 AUD for second class or $413 AUD for first class. Here is when the use of a European train pass comes in handy.

The Oslo-Bergen Railway is a 500-kilometer route that connects the Norwegian capital with Norway’s largest port city. It passes through Hardangervidda, the greatest mountain plateau in Northern Europe, which was formed about 400 million years ago as a result of a collision between tectonic plates and rises to an elevation of 1,237 meters above sea level.

The landscape the railroad passes through is almost entirely devoid of trees and shows very few signs of human habitation. Finse, at 1,222 meters, is the highest station. Isolation played a role in George Lucas’ decision to utilize it as the location for the icy planet of Hoth in the Star Wars film series. Since it was supposed to be similar to Antarctica, this was also where the (doomed) South Pole mission trained.

As part of a massive building project that kicked out in 1876, Norwegian engineers drilled through metamorphic rock (called gneiss) to create this magnificent landscape. Prior to 1909, the service did not exist.

Leaving from Oslo S (Oslo Central), passengers on this train will be able to take in sights such as the Hallingdalselva River, Hallingdal Valley, and the frequently frozen Lake Ustevatn.

To see Sognefjord, Norway’s deepest and longest fjord at 160 kilometers in length, visitors can detour for an hour at Myrdal and ride the Flm Railway, which descends from the mountains at Myrdal station and proceeds along a steep valley (with an altitude difference of 865.5 meters).

Seven hours later, in Bergen, whose historic Bryggen harbor district was designated a World Heritage Site in 1979, the main line comes to a halt. If you’d want to take a nighttime train ride, the railway provides sleeping berths. The average price of a ticket for the train between Oslo and Bergen is around $106 AUD, with the Flm costing an additional $63 AUD for the round journey.

A trip through La Rhune, France, on the train is also very picturesque. The distance is a short 4.2 km, and the price for an adult is around $35 AUD. To reach the westernmost top of the Pyrenees, this charmingly retro cog train departs from a low mountain pass inland from St. Jean-de-Luz.

Near the top, there are breathtaking vistas of the Basque coast and farmland. Even though customers board in France, they are offered a selection of Spanish watering holes once they reach the peak. There is a railway that takes you back to your starting point, but some visitors prefer to go down the slopes where wild ponies graze for two hours to reach their destination.

What Is The Most Scenic Train Ride In Europe?

Young woman exploring around in Palermo, beautiful girl standing next to a white fountain in Italy, traveling in Sicily and discovering historical monuments
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The most scenic train ride in Europe right now is the Rome to Palermo, Italy.

European Train Tours For Seniors

Senior man traveling with train, sitting and using tablet
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European train tours offer an ideal way for seniors to explore the beauty and culture of Europe at a comfortable and leisurely pace. From the stunning landscapes of the Scottish Highlands to the romantic canals of Venice, these train journeys provide an enchanting experience filled with breathtaking scenery and captivating destinations. With well-designed itineraries, senior-friendly amenities, and the convenience of hassle-free transportation, European train tours cater to the specific needs and preferences of older travelers.