How to plan a railway journey across Europe

The EU has designated 2021 as the European Year of Rail and it’s great timing as more people look to train travel as a way of diversifying their journeys across the continent. Here, we offer advice on planning an intrepid railway adventure across Europe, from booking sleeper trains to nabbing the best deals. 

52 of the best flight-free weekend escapes

This year, interest in flight-free trips is rising as many travellers recalibrate their approach to travel after an imposed hiatus. But turning to rails, roads and waterways for transport doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a short getaway. From wild island escapes in Wales to eco adventures in Copehagen, we bring you 52 of the best weekend escapes — all without getting on an airplane.

What to expect on one of Europe's most breathtaking train journeys

Rhaetian Railway’s Bernina Express, which snakes through extraordinary landscapes in the Swiss Alps, is often hailed as one of the world’s most unforgettable train journeys.

From tip to toe: how to explore Tohoku's dazzling landscapes by rail in 10 days

Take a railway odyssey from the tip of Honshu – Japan’s main island – through the wild landscapes of Tohoku, disembarking to see buzzing cities, ancient temples, and a coastline recovering one decade on from the 2011 tsunami.

From Lucerne to Lugano, take the slow train in Switzerland

No one has perfected slow travel like the Swiss, and a journey from Lucerne to Lugano sees the country transform from dense Alpine forests and wooden chalets to rustic-stone houses and vineyards snoozing in the sun.

Ride the rails through the Rocky Mountains, from Vancouver to Banff

All aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, its dapper carriages climbing leisurely from multicultural Vancouver to the peak-ringed resort of Banff. The two-day route, following historic and hard-won train tracks, reveals supersized summits, pioneering settlements and forested valleys stalked by grizzly bears.

Slow travel in Switzerland: your 10-day rail itinerary

The eco-minded Swiss have perfected rail travel like no other nation, with trains gliding between cities, slopes and snow-capped peaks with maximum efficiency. Read on for your ultimate 10-day guide.

Photo story: the essential experiences of Tohoku, East Japan

From relaxing hot springs and engaging kabuki theatre to exhilarating ski runs, Tohoku offers some of Japan's most indelible experiences.

It’s now or Netherlands: how the Dutch country will soon get even easier to visit on a no-fly trip

The Netherlands is surging ahead as an easy-to-reach destination for the increasing number of travellers looking to avoid flying. We investigate four of the best no-fly trips across the country.

On track for the slopes: 10 ski resorts you can reach by train

You don't need a carbon-guzzling flight or a long drive to reach the snow — ski resorts in France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy are accessible by train.

No-stress express: Family travel on train

'Let the train take the strain' may be a tired advertising slogan, but for parents travelling with young children it's a promise that holds true.

The return of sleeper trains

Forget flights, it's time to get on board and bed down on the UK's revamped sleeper trains

7 ways to ride the rails into Europe

With the arrival of Eurostar's direct Amsterdam service, Europe is within increasingly easier reach by rail

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