A Rail Expedition Through Eastern Europe

A popular mode of transportation in Eastern Europe, train travel offers a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and scenery. Many countries in the region have well-developed train systems, and there are several international routes that connect different cities in Eastern Europe.

Starting in murmansk and zigzagging south through russia not-russia (finland, latvia, estonia, poland) & ukraine.

Traveling by train

When it comes to exploring Eastern Europe, train travel is one of the best ways to get around. The region has an extensive network of railway lines that connect major cities and rural areas, making it easy for travelers to explore the region’s culture and landscape. Whether you want to travel by local or international train, there is sure to be a route that will fit your needs.

In addition to traditional train services, some countries in Eastern Europe also have high-speed trains that offer a more comfortable ride. These fast-paced trains can cover longer distances in less time, which makes them a great choice for travelers who want to see more of the region in a shorter amount of time.

There are also several scenic train routes in Eastern Europe that offer breathtaking views of the region’s landscapes and mountains. These trains are typically operated by private companies and offer a more luxurious experience than regular trains.

The best time to travel by train in Eastern Europe is during the summer months, when temperatures are warm and there are fewer tourists. However, the winter months can be a challenging time to travel by train due to snow and cold weather.

For the ultimate European train adventure, consider booking a luxury sleeper train for your trip. These trains are equipped with private sleeper cabins that make for a comfortable and relaxing journey. They are also a great option for travelers who want to save on hotel costs during their trip.

While most train stations in Eastern Europe have English-speaking staff, this may not be the case for all train services. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic phrases in the local language or carry a phrasebook with you while traveling so that you can communicate with train staff if necessary.

If you’re looking for a convenient and affordable way to travel in Eastern Europe, then consider purchasing a Eurail or Interrail pass. These passes allow you to travel on all eligible trains within a certain country for a set period of time. Many major cities in Eastern Europe also have efficient subway systems that provide an easy and convenient way to travel between different destinations.

Trains in Eastern Europe

With their monumental opulence and buzzing artistic scenes, Eastern European cities are becoming some of the hottest urban getaways around. Whether you’re looking for an epic party or a day to explore, there are plenty of ways to take in the sights. But for ultimate convenience and peace of mind, train travel is your best bet.

This one-week Eastern Europe by train itinerary* will take you through five countries and their capitals, from Budapest to Bratislava. You’ll visit hilltop castles, soak in steaming thermal baths and climb up to historic church spires. And if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, you can even hike in the mountains of Romania and Ukraine!

Start your journey in Munich, a lively Bavarian city that’s easy to reach by air or train. Explore the famous Hofbrauhaus and tuck into hearty Bavarian dishes. If you’re visiting in the summer, be sure to check out Oktoberfest (if the time is right).

Then, make your way to Vienna, where Art Nouveau architecture and the legendary Ringstrasse promenade enchant visitors. Taking a stroll in this cultural hub will reveal its many layers, from the grand royal palace to the opulent opera house and even a Soviet-era nuclear bunker.

From here, you’ll board a coach to Vienna’s main station and then a second train to the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. From June to October this is a direct train, but at other times you’ll have to change trains in Ruse and Gorna Orjahovitsa. The ride is a scenic one, crossing from Romania into Bulgaria over Europe’s longest steel bridge and meandering through the valleys of the Carpathians.

Then it’s on to the picturesque lake of Bled in Slovenia, where you can enjoy its peaceful shores or hike along the beautiful walking trail that circles the entire lake. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also catch a boat to Bled Island, where there’s a quaint cafe restaurant and a church that are both worth checking out. The beauty of this lake is undeniable, no matter the season. It’s equally stunning during the summertime, when it’s covered in flowers, or during winter when it’s blanketed in snow.

Trains on the Trans-Carpathian Express

At the border between Ukraine, Hungary and Romania lies the stunning region of Transcarpathia. With its layers of cultural influences and flavours of historical movements, this is a destination that will delight your senses with its pristine mountain scenery, vineyards, thermal springs, and folklore traditions.

The resumption of trains on the Kosice – Chop – Mukachevo route is a huge boost to transport links in this unique area. The two pairs of passenger trains are a boon for the area and its tourism industry, as well as a vital link to Ukraine and Moldova.

The narrow-gauge steam train known as Mocanita (meaning the shepherdess) has been in operation since 1932 for timber transportation. Now it welcomes tourists from all over the world to experience a truly special ride – the kind that will leave you feeling like you’ve been transported into a fairy tale.

This unique railway runs through the beautiful Carpathian mountains of Hungary and Romania, linking Vyhoda in Slovakia with Sovata and Campu Cetatii in Ukraine. Its small passenger carriages are quaint and comfortable, with plenty of windows to admire the scenery as you pass by. It’s the perfect way to take in the natural beauty of this fascinating region.

It’s a brave idea to start an overnight train in this age of budget airlines and coaches, but Astra Trans Carpatic have done just that, with great success. The train has a very relaxed atmosphere, which is ideal for sleeping. Much of the track is screwed rather than welded together, so it makes a hypnotic rumbling noise that’s perfect for catching some shut-eye.

The Astra Trans Carpatic trains also offer a range of sleeper cabins, including private options for sole use. The best option is to book a sleeper with an en suite shower, which costs around 330 RON per person for the night. You can buy tickets online and show them to the conductor on board, or at major stations en route. Astra Trans Carpatic offers a special online booking service for international travelers, which means that you can book your ticket from home before setting out to explore this unique region.

Trains on the Trans-Siberian Railway

The Trans-Siberian Railway stretches over 5,771 miles across Russia from Moscow to Vladivostok (or 6,398 miles if you include the connection to the port of Nakhodka). It is the longest single rail line in the world and has had an immense influence on Siberia. Originally built for practical reasons, the Trans-Siberian now offers residents of small towns along its route a way to connect to the rest of Russia and a sense of common identity.

Depending on your preferences and budget, there are many different routes to take on the Trans-Siberian. Most travellers head for either Moscow or Beijing as these are the most popular destinations in China but there’s plenty to see on the way including Irkutsk for Lake Baikal and Ulan Bator for a side trip into Mongolia.

You’ll want to book your ticket well in advance to ensure you get the train and dates that work for you – check the Real Russia website to find available trains and schedules. If you’re travelling on a budget then booking the non-branded Rossiya train is a great option. It’s the quickest and most comfortable train on the Trans-Siberian with 1st class cabins.

For those seeking a more luxurious experience you can also book the ‘Rossiya’ premium trains. These have more modern carriages with first, second and third class options. The fares are higher but you’ll enjoy the extra space, more leg room and a more comfortable ride.

If you’re looking for a complete itinerary then look no further than one of our escorted tours which combine your train tickets with accommodation and transfers, ensuring you have the most stress-free journey possible. If you’re travelling independently then you can purchase your train tickets directly from the Russian railways website. Be sure to check the fares carefully as booking agents often add mark-ups. Use the Real Russia train planner to get a good idea of how much your ticket will cost including any stopovers you want to make along the route. If you need any further assistance feel free to contact us! We’re always happy to help.

Related Posts