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10 Great European Train Trips (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 10/21/10 02:58 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:05 PM ET

Train travel in the Old World maintains a certain mystique for many travelers - and it's little wonder: With scads of culture, 47 countries packed into a region slightly larger than the U.S., and exhaustive tracks that go everywhere from the plains of Spain to the eastern fringes of Russia, Europe is tailor-made for riding the rails. Check out's favorite train trips in Europe, which encompass the most quintessential experiences.

Text, captions and photos courtesy of, adapted from "Top 10 Train Trips in Europe" by Molly Fergus.

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Best Hotel-Like Train: Overnight to/from Spain on Elipsos Train-Hotel
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Substituting a hotel stay with overnight travel saves valuable time and funds on tight vacation schedules, but the sacrifice is often a rocky night’s sleep in cramped spaces and little energy to explore the next day’s destination. Spain’s Elipsos Train-Hotel lines, however, succeed in making an overnight trip on the tracks appealing, practical, and downright relaxing. The sleek trains’ premier compartments claim many of the accoutrements of modern hotels (en suite showers, free morning newspapers, complimentary breakfast), and all-level tickets offer cozy sleeping quarters, complimentary magazines, and access to the on-board restaurant and bar. Although the tracks cross four international borders (France, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland), ShermansTravel is partial to the simplicity of the nonstop, 14.5-hour Barcelona to Milan voyage (first-class, one-way rates from $125), which departs year-round from Barcelona’s Estacio de Franca in the evening and pulls into Milan’s Centrale station just in time for the morning’s first cappuccino.

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