Europe’s rail revival has been driven in no small part by the timeless romance of train travel.
As new routes open up and high-speed trains rival the journey times – and prices – of flights, more and more travellers are turning to no-fly itineraries for their next trip.
If you’re planning a romantic getaway this February, why not ditch the low-cost airlines for a slow and sensual, low-emissions adventure?
Here are some of the best romantic rail journeys to take in Europe this Valentine’s Day and beyond.
Fall in love on a sleeper train from London to Venice
There’s something magical about hopping on the train in one country and waking up somewhere entirely new.
Flight-free travel specialist Byway offers a range of European sleeper train holidays that can help you do just that.
Leave the busy streets of London behind and you could be gliding down the canals of Venice in just 24 hours. Taking the new Stuttgart to Venice sleeper, this 10-day rail adventure is a whistlestop tour of Italy’s most romantic destinations.
After a few days in the floating city, followed by a cultural jaunt in Florence, you’ll head home by way of Lake Como followed by breathtaking views of the Swiss countryside.
This trip is priced at £1,595 (€1,800) per person.
Step things up with the Orient Express from London to Venice
Say you’re in love? Put your money where your mouth is on the glamorous Orient Express.
If you thought sleeper trains were romantic, you’ll be blown away by the Art Deco opulence of this vintage ride.
Start your journey with a Bellini brunch as you leave London Victoria and cross the English Channel. Once in Paris, you’ll then transfer to the elegant Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, where champagne and a live pianist will accompany you on your way to Venice.
A four course wine-pairing dinner will leave you drowsy enough to bed down in your private cabin, where you’ll be served continental breakfast come morning.
The two-day trip departs on 23 March 2023 and costs £4,499 (€5,090) per person based on two sharing with travel company Tropical Sky.
Go slow and steady from London to Istanbul
Spend quality time with your significant other on a 10-day adventure across Europe.
Combining trains and buses, this epic journey by Tailor Made Rail passes through London, Brussels, Munich, Budapest and Bucharest en route to Istanbul.
With your itinerary planned out for you, you’ll have plenty of time to gaze hand-in-hand at the landscapes rolling by.
This trip starts at £999 (€1,130) per person, including travel, sleeper trains and hotels.
Witness the Northern Lights on a train journey from Oslo to Bodø
Norway is Europe’s Holy Grail for catching the Northern Lights – best seen from early September to mid-March when the nights are longer and darker.
Starting in the Norwegian capital Oslo, it is possible to travel via sleeper train to Trondheim and then onto Bodø a day later.
Watch charming villages, beautiful rock formations, glaciers, valleys and fjords roll by along the coastal route, the first leg of which is nicknamed the ‘trail of trolls’.
In total, the train journeys cost from around €70.
Snuggle up on the Ski Express from Amsterdam to Austria
Catch the end of the snow sport season on TUI’s Ski Express, which operates between December and March.
The overnight train takes you from Amsterdam directly to the Austrian Alps, where you can hit the slopes and the apres ski.
It departs on Fridays at 5:30pm, stopping at Utrecht along the way before heading to popular ski resorts like Zell Am See and Westendorf.
Tickets cost around €88 per person.