TOP 10. The best overnight train rides around the world
Train trips have a romantic component that goes far beyond the journey itself. Its quiet pace and the possibility of admiring the scenery make the most enriching is the journey itself and not the destination. That is why night train trips are once again winning over travelers from all over the world, who are looking for a fun and different experience that allows them to meet people and enjoy incredible sunrises and sunsets.
But if there is one thing that has made overnight train travel come back into fashion, it is that it is a more environmentally friendly way to travel. In fact, the train is the transportation system that emits the least greenhouse gases and that makes it the least harmful alternative for the planet.
Do you want to know the best night train routes in the world? Take note because we have made a selection with which to travel around the world.
Reunification Express: the night train of Vietnam
This 1726 km journey takes about 35 hours and runs through the whole of Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, passing through historic cities, rice paddies, green hills and the incredible South China Sea.
The train has several types of seats at various prices, with the possibility of sharing with 6 or 4 other people, and even a VIP cabin with two beds. What are you waiting for to start investigating their online booking system?
The Canadian Railway
This night train is very special because it conveys Canada’s most deeply rooted history. You may wonder why, because it is very simple, this country was populated through the railroad, as immigrants from the east coast moved to their new Canadian destination through these tracks. This train crosses the country from Toronto to Vancouver during 5 days, constituting the most scenic route in Canada, passing through high peaks and visiting remote and fascinating towns.
California Zephyr: the United States also has a night train
This epic 3900 km journey lasts more than 50 hours without interruption and crosses the continental US watershed, linking the Atlantic and Pacific passing through gorges, deserts, snow-capped mountains, tunnels and zig-zagging climbs.
In its epic 3900 km journey, the California Zephyr tackles deep gorges, scorching deserts, snow-capped mountains and a host of tunnels and zigzag climbs. In 1869 these tracks were the first to cross the continental divide in North America, linking the Atlantic and Pacific.
This overnight train departs Chicago every day at 2 p.m. and also has different ticket prices. The downside? It’s in such high demand that you have to book almost a year in advance, so start planning as soon as possible.
The Blue Train: the luxury night train tour of South Africa
Between Pretoria and Cape Town, this night train plunges into the spectacular South African landscape. It is an incredible wooden train with all the luxuries but its price is not suitable for all budgets, although the experience is unforgettable. We recommend it! But if you prefer something more economical, there are cheaper alternatives that make the same journey from Johannesburg and also have an additional component, you can engage in interesting conversations with the locals. Total immersion!
Tazara Railway: a night train photo safari through Africa
Rivers, gorges and wildlife is what you will find on the route of this night train that runs through East Africa from Kapiri Mposhi to Dar es Salaam through Zambia and Tanzania, with a duration of 44 hours.
Undoubtedly, a unique experience that you have to plan ahead since online purchase is not possible and you will have to go to the stations of Dar es Salaam or Kapiri Mposhi to buy tickets.
Palace on Wheels: night train through India
This tour links New Delhi and Agra to end with a visit to the most wonderful wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal. It lasts 7 days with all kinds of luxuries. You will feel like an Indian raja, including a 24-hour butler. This is an exclusive experience in which you will discover the ancient Rajasthan, a mythical kingdom of marajas, majestic forts and splendid palaces.
The tour passes through the capital of the jewels Jaipur, the region of the tigers and the palace of the Lake of Udaipur. A real delight!
Spirit of the Outback: day trip with overnight train in Australia
Australia has several night train routes that cross the continent, such as the Gham, which passes through the Red Centre of Australia to Adelaide or the Indian Pacific, which connects Perth with Sydney. But today we’re going to talk about the Spirit of the Outback, which offers a day trip from Brisbane to Longreach. This Australian overnight train starts on the coast and heads inland on a 1325 km, 26-hour journey.
If I want to try a shorter route at first, this train departs on Tuesdays and Saturdays and can be booked online. Do you dare to explore Australia?
From Rome to Siracusa: the Italian night train
A 12-hour journey to the Calabrian coast, including a 30-minute boat ride. Undoubtedly, a unique and exciting journey that crosses both the sea and the Italian land.
Two trains with this route depart from Rome every day and can be booked online, so make up your mind to experience this Italian adventure!
Caledonian Sleeper: the night train linking England to Scotland
From the hustle and bustle of the city to the idyllic mountain scenery of the UK. The train that connects London with Edinburgh, once it arrives in the Scottish capital, is divided into three branches: Inverness, Aberdeen and Fort William. The last one is the most spectacular, as it runs along Lamond Lake, giving the sensation that the rails float through the lush vegetation of the area until it reaches Ben Nevisk, the highest peak in the United Kingdom. A spectacle for the eyes that will remain in your memory forever!
The Russian Trans-Siberian: Is there a more mythical night train?
The Trans-Siberian is a great locomotive that crosses one of the wildest terrains in the world, traveling through the most important Russian cities, the deepest lake in the world and the icy and impressive Siberian plain. The most interesting line is the Trans-Mongolian, linking Moscow and Beijing via Ulaanbaatar, which allows you to experience life on the train, buy sausages from station vendors, play cards with fellow passengers and chat with them over a bottle of vodka. All very local, don’t you think?
Overnight trains seemed to have been superseded by the speed and immediacy of the airplane, but more and more routes are being added to the overnight rail network and more travelers are opting for this option for its legendary component but also for its sustainability. One thing is for sure, sustainable travel will mark the future of tourism worldwide, and the train is one of its best allies.