Slow Travel: Inspiring Train Journeys
Collected by Bryan Kitch , AFAR Contributor
In the modern world, speed is often prized above quality. Sometimes the best way to get the most out of an experience is to slow it down a little—sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Blvd. 9 de Octubre 101, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
Comprising four coaches—with interior designs ranging from pre-Hispanic to neoclassical—the Tren Crucero takes four days to mosey from the Pacific coast to Ecuador’s capital in the Andes. An open terrace car provides unbroken views of the Devil’s...
Rua Senhora Saúde 6B, 1100-390 Lisboa, Portugal
The city’s iconic wood-paneled Tram 28 rambles along a 4.3-mile route from Campo de Ourique to Praça Martim Moniz, navigating tight turns and steep inclines as it passes some of Lisbon’s most endearing attractions. Originally...
Adelaide Parkland Terminal, Richmond Rd, Keswick SA 5035, Australia
The two-night journey traverses 1,851 miles from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory. As the train traces the route taken by 19th-century Afghan camel drivers, Platinum Service travelers have the opportunity to...
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, USA
The Grand Central Oyster Bar celebrates its 100th anniversary this year as a New York institution. Located in the lower concourse of Grand Central, it serves over 25 varieties of oysters daily. There is a huge menu of American...
Koningin Astridplein 27, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
Traveling by train can be a wonderful way to explore Belgium. A few of the country's train stations are destinations in and of themselves. Antwerp's Centraal (or Central) Station is one of the prettiest. Renovations and expansion have restored the...
Bahnhofstrasse 25, 7001 Chur, Switzerland
I didn’t even realize that the Bernina Express scenic train journey was on the UNESCO World Heritage list until I arrived at the small northern Italian town of Tirano to start the trip. There are several different routes from which travelers may...
Old Marine Dr, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Rolling through five countries in 14 days, the opulent Pride of Africa whisks passengers from the tip of South Africa to Tanzania’s largest city. The trip includes two nights at a five-star game lodge, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, and...
8 Ratchadamri Rd, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
29-31 Abercromby Pl, Edinburgh EH3 6QE, UK
Whisky connoisseurs can sample more than 40 single-malt scotches as their vintage carriages slice through the Scottish Highlands. The veranda of the Edwardian-style observation car offers a relaxing retreat after such activities as private...
Cap your trip to Machu Picchu with a pisco sour on the Orient-Express train ride back to Cuzco. After boarding this luxury train for dinner and the return journey, everyone meets in the bar car for a drink. Live music, the rocking of the train,...
1433 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
There are three old streetcar lines that run in New Orleans. We enjoyed a ride down St. Charles, the oldest of the lines. The trains were beautifully worn originals and gave us a glance at the front of many beautiful old homes. There were also a...
Praça Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal
Might be one of the most beautiful train stations in the World, Sao Bento Railway Station was opened to the public in 1916 and is well known for its walls covered with 20,000 splendid azulejo ceramic tiles which describe the History of Portugal....
Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9AL, UK
King's Cross Station, a major train and tube hub in London's Camden neighborhood, is adjacent to St. Pancras (which connects to the rest of Europe via the Eurostar). As vast, busy, and sprawling as the great arch-roof station is today, it's hard...
I didn't expect after spending the day hiking around Machu Picchu to experience another moment of breathtaking beauty. The town of Aquas Calientes exists among a raging river that demands your attention. While waiting for the train I looked over a...
Ferrocarril, La Bienestar, Los Mochis, Sin., Mexico
Ride the last great passenger train in Mexico through one of the deepest and most ecologically diverse canyons in the world. Take the Ferrocarril Chihuahua-Pacifico from Los Mochis to Creel, explore the canyon a bit, then hop back on the train and...
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, USA
Stepping into the enormous main concourse of this landmarked architectural jewel—with its sweeping granite staircases, hulking columns and 38-meter (125-foot) ceilings painted with night-sky constellations—can be a jaw-dropping experience. What’s...
Pingbian, Honghe, Yunnan, China
At the turn of the 20th century, French imperialists in Indochina took advantage of the weakness of China's Qing government and built a 855-km narrow gauge railroad from Haiphong to Kunming. Thus, the remote southwestern province of Yunnan was...
427 Siming S Rd, Siming Qu, Xiamen Shi, Fujian Sheng, China, 361005
Running for nearly five kilometers along an old right-of-way west of the railway station, the Railroad Culture Park is one of Xiamen's hidden secrets. This linear park is a fantastic example of urban planning and creative reuse, taking a remnant...
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