How To See the World By Train

Photo: eva_blanco/Shutterstock

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” might be among the biggest clichés when it comes to travel, but when it comes to venturing out by train, it’s the truth and nothing but. Some rides are long and luxurious, others are quick, comfortable, and cheap. In all cases, trains are a way to reduce your carbon footprint while exploring this big, beautiful world. Whether you’re new to traveling by rail or you’re an experienced train traveler, these tips, guides, and routes will make your next journey even better — regardless of where you decide to go next.




North America

Photo: Nick Fox/Shutterstock

Traveling around North America often means covering huge distances, and in this day and age, flying is the preferred mode of transport for many. But train travel is certainly not a thing of the past. If you’re looking for high-speed rails along the coast of Florida, a train across the entirety of Canada, or a short trip among some of California’s most prestigious vineyards, well, there’s a train for that.

The Best Airbnbs Along Amtrak’s Scenic Palmetto Route

Chugging through 11 states and 55 stations on the East Coast, Amtrak’s Silver Service/Palmetto route unites the Silver Meteor, the Silver Star, and the Palmetto trains. These First-Class Airbnbs along the route are located at key destinations in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, and more for a relaxing way to see the East Coast by train.

Learn More

Extend Your Trip at These Airbnbs Along Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner

Connecting San Diego with San Luis Obispo, Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner weaves along 351 miles of golden California coastline. Although possible to get from A to B over the course of a day, breaking the route down lets you mix and match Southern and Central California’s finest cities, hiking trails, beaches, wineries, and amusement parks.

Learn More

The Definitive Sleeper Train Packing List

The only way to elevate a scenic train journey is to clamber aboard for the night. Sleeper trains chug their way through North America’s wildest national parks, traverse entire countries in Asia, and recapture the golden age of European travel. Comfort, entertainment, and practicality are paramount when prepping your pack list for an overnighter on a train. Whether you’re holing up in a luxury suite or roughing it in the communal berths, these are the essentials for any sleeper train packing list.

Learn More

See Canada’s Atlantic Coast at These Beautiful Airbnbs Along VIA Rail’s ‘The Ocean’ Route

The Ocean strings together 13 cities and towns in Atlantic Canada. Originally “The Ocean Limited” this 800-mile journey has provided a scenic, comfortable, and sustainable method of getting from Montréal to the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, since 1904.

Learn More




Photo: Look Studio/Shutterstock

A half-dozen European low-cost airlines might be vying for your attention by offering what seems like the cheapest tickets you’ve ever seen, but know that no matter how hard they try, they can’t beat the convenience, comfort, and low price of Europe’s railways. The rail network in England, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and farther afield is massive, snaking all over the map to get you anywhere you need to go. The best part? You won’t need to trek to the airport, go through security, or pay big luggage fees. In some cases, you’ll get to your destination just as fast — if not faster.

Sustainability Breakdown: The True Carbon Footprint of Trains Versus Planes on Popular Routes

Train travel offers scenic views and a more pleasant overall experience than flying. For starters, there’s no need to stand in a long security line only to have your toothpaste taken simply because the tube won’t fit inside the eye of a needle. Notably, train travel is also significantly better for the environment than air travel. Many popular flight routes around the world have corresponding train routes for a more sustainable approach to travel.

Learn More

The Most Scenic and Luxurious Train Rides in the World, According To the Man in Seat 61

The Man in Seat 61 has turned train travel into his way of life. A former station manager for London’s Charing Cross, London Bridge, and Cannon Street stations, and various other jobs in the rail industry, he now travels the world by train and runs a popular blog detailing his journeys. His blog, “The Man in Seat 61,” aims to inspire people to forego the cold, uninspiring airport experience for a more scenic and sustainable trip. We spoke to the Man himself to get his insights on the best train rides in the world, and what the future of train travel looks like from his expert point of view.

Learn More

7 Historical Trains and Routes To Experience the Golden Age of Travel

Back in the day, train travel was glamorous. You’d have a plush private car, access to fabulous catered meals, and attentive staff willing to cater to your every whim. And needless to say, the interiors of vintage train cars were downright gorgeous. The slow travel movement has helped revitalize some of these trains and routes around the world.

Learn More



Get out there

Photo: Creative Family/Shutterstock

The joys of train travel aren’t limited to North America and Europe. South Africa and Australia are home to multi-day, luxurious trains that are so opulent they’re basically five-star hotels on wheels, while Japan and China can take you from point A to point B at speeds you never imagined were achievable on land. As for India, well, the railway network is so extensive that you’ll need to consult our thorough guide to make heads or tails of it.


Editorial lead

Morgane Croissant


Alex Bresler, Tim Wenger, Suzie Dundas, Eben Diskin, Hannah D. Cooper, Daniel James Clark, Mariellen Ward, Lauren Breedlove, and Matthew Dursum

Special Thanks

Ryan Dury
Debbie Gonzalez Canada