Slow Travel

European Destinations You Can Visit By Train

European Destinations You Can Visit By Train

If your overriding memory of travelling by train involves jam-packed stations and chaotic journeys during rush hour, allow us to alter these associations and paint a more peaceful image in your mind. Train travel removes the familiar stress of airport security and is a wonderfully unhurried way to get from A to B. It allows you to experience much more of a country in a down-to-earth manner, and watching the world go by out of the window imbues the journey with a sense of timelessness and romance. There are an ever-increasing number of European train journeys from London, which allow you to slow down and travel in a more relaxed fashion. Our philosophy of ‘Travel Less, Travel Better’ also champions this idea, and swapping planes for trains is an excellent way to start travelling more sustainably. So settle into your train carriage, content in the knowledge that you’re doing your part to help the planet, while also enjoying the journey just as much as the destination.


  1. London to France
  2. London to Spain
  3. London to Italy
  4. London to Scandinavia


London to France

Perhaps the most well-known European train journey from London is the Eurostar from London St Pancras to the Gare du Nord in Paris, and you can happily choose to spend your holiday here, exploring the iconic landmarks of the seductive French capital. Or if you’re wanting to travel further afield, opt for one of the many connecting train routes throughout France. Board the high-speed TGV (Train a Grand Vitesse) at Paris Montparnasse station which takes you direct to the UNESCO-listed city of Bordeaux, home to the second highest number of preserved historical buildings in the country, as well as an abundance of sunny vineyards. Another alternative is taking the train from London to Lille in northern France, with its historic centre and charming cobbled streets. From here you can also head to Lyon, the country’s culinary capital. Dine at one of the city’s 20 Michelin-starred restaurants, before heading an hour north to Beaujolais to sample some of the region’s finest namesake wine.



London to Spain

The Eurostar from London to Paris provides a gateway to a number of other European countries. Travel from Gare du Lyon to Barcelona aboard the high-speed TGV, which takes you through the stunning Rhone Valley and past the dramatic Pyrenees mountains. Upon arrival in Barcelona, explore the architectural masterpieces of this artistic city. Alternatively, head from Paris Montparnasse to San Sebastián, the gastronomic hub of the country, and indulge in traditional pintxos (Basque tapas) on a tour of the city’s most famous spots. Seville is another Spanish train travel destination, which can be reached from Madrid and is renowned as the birthplace of two of the country’s most famous exports: flamenco and tapas.



London to Italy

When it comes to European train journeys from London, we’d argue that Italy is one of the most romantic and there are a number of regions that the tracks can take you to. Travel to the Holy Trinity of Italian cities – Venice, Florence and Rome – for an education in art, history and architecture. In between each city stop, you’ll be blessed with breath-taking views of the Italian countryside - enough to tempt anyone towards travelling by train. For the ultimate slow travel excursion, venture from London to Puglia, stopping off in Milan and Lecce, on a trip which blends culture, cuisine and comfort. The most opulent train travel option is undoubtedly the Venice Simplon-Orient Express, an obvious choice for those wishing to travel in the height of luxury, with its well-maintained Belle Epoque era interiors and a destination to match the lavish journey.



London to Scandinavia

European train journeys from London can take you further afield than the classic Eurostar destinations. Depart from London St Pancras and arrive in Bruxelles Midi Station in Belgium, before continuing on to Frankfurt and then Hamburg in Germany. From here, hop on a train to Copenhagen, the trendy Danish capital, and spend some time discovering its eclectic cultural offerings and enjoying its culinary creativity. Your next stop can then be Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city, which has become a pioneer for sustainable living. Finally, board a train to Oslo, the last stop in this trifecta of Scandinavian cities. Tour the pocket-sized metropolis by bike, before embarking on what is widely-regarded as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world from Oslo to Flam, famed for its stunning fjords.

Written by Luisa Watts