The Orient Express: A Luxury Train Journey Through Europe

The Orient Express is a famous luxury train that has been operating since 1883. It was heralded as “one of the most opulent and glamorous train journeys in history” by global media outlets. The original itinerary started in Paris and ended in Istanbul via various European towns like Vienna, Budapest, and Bucharest.

The Orient Express’ typical passengers were the wealthy, aristocrats, and Hollywood elite. It came to represent the heyday of train travel and became an icon of luxury. The train’s interior was luxurious, with elegant dining cars, cozy sleeping cars, and other first-class facilities.

The Orient Express has evolved and changed over the years due to wars and other geopolitical events. Many changes were made to the original route, and cities like Venice, Rome, and Athens were added to the list of stops. The train was often delayed or canceled during the war and political unrest.

Even though the last trip on the original Orient Express took place in 2009, the train and its history continue to pique the interest of travelers all over the world. Multiple modern-day train companies use the moniker “Orient Express,” each promising an elegant trip reminiscent of the original. These updated versions of the Orient Express are inspired by the original but updated to reflect modern tastes.

The Orient Express


Taking the Orient Express through Europe in style is an adventure you will never forget. While no direct route exists between Paris and Istanbul, many alternate and customised plans take in some of Europe’s most beautiful and well-known cities. 

Paris, France

Paris, France, is well-known for its stunning architecture, long history, and diverse cultural offerings. Tourists from all around the world visit this landmark. The Orient Express journeys through a city of breathtaking beauty. The following are some of the city’s most notable attractions:

The Eiffel Tower is the city’s most recognisable landmark and a popular tourist destination. The views from its lookout levels are among the best in the city.

The Louvre is one of the world’s most well-known museums, housing thousands of works of art, including the iconic Mona Lisa.

Cathedral of Notre Dame – Historic and culturally significant, Notre Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Look at its beautiful exterior and detailed design.

The Champs-Élysées is a major road in Paris that features stores, cafes, and theatres along its route to the Arc de Triomphe.

Visit Montmartre’s historical and artistic district, home to the beautiful Sacré-Coeur Basilica and quaint cobblestone streets.

Cruise the Seine and see famous sites like the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower up close and personal. It’s a great spot to see the city from a different angle.

The Palace of Versailles, located just outside of Paris, is a breathtaking representation of French wealth. See the stately palace and its beautiful grounds.

The historic Marais District is renowned for its chic boutiques, art galleries, and the stunning Place des Vosges.

Sainte-Chapelle – This magnificent medieval chapel is a prime example of Gothic architecture, home to fantastic stained glass windows.

Croissants, baguettes, pastries, and Michelin-starred French cuisine can all be found in Paris’s quaint cafes, nightclubs, and restaurants.

Venice, Italy

Outstanding canals, beautiful buildings, and a distinctly romantic air contribute to Venice, Italy’s spellbinding appeal. The presence of the Orient Express graces this magnificent city. Some of Venice’s best things to see and do are listed here.

The Grand Canal is the primary waterway that runs through the middle of Venice, and it is the perfect place to take a vaporetto (water bus) or a gondola for a romantic trip. Take in the magnificent backdrop created by the canal and its surrounding palaces, churches, and bridges.

See the iconic St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) in the heart of Venice. Take in the beauty of the Byzantine church of St. Mark’s Basilica, with its soaring domes and beautiful mosaics. View the city from above by ascending the Campanile (bell tower).

The Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) is a must-see in Venice and represents the city’s political and historical importance. Travel through the Bridge of Sighs that links the palace to the jail and explore the lavish interiors.

Rialto Bridge: Walk across Venice’s most famous and historic bridge. It’s a beautiful bridge stretching the Grand Canal and looking over the city. Visit the neighboring Rialto Market for some of the area’s best seafood, veggies, and regional delicacies.

Visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia to experience Venetian art. Works by such masters of the Renaissance as Titian, Tintoretto, and Bellini are on display at this museum.

Visit the islands of Murano and Burano by taking a boat ride. Glass enterprises on the island of Murano allow visitors to observe master glassblowers at work. Burano’s brightly painted homes and intricate lacework have made it world famous.

Enjoy the delectable dishes that have made Venice famous. Cicchetti (Venetian tapas) and Risotto al Nero di Seppia (black squid ink risotto) are just a few of the classic foods that go well with the local wines.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is a city full of life and culture, where history, art, music, and architectural splendor come together in a seamless whole. One can behold the allure of this exquisite city as the Orient Express passes through. While riding in style on the Orient Express, you should check out these top attractions in Vienna.

Seeing the majestic Schönbrunn Palace is a must for any visitor to Vienna. Its well-maintained grounds, and luxurious interiors match the baroque splendor of this former royal summer palace. Visit the palace’s elaborate halls, walk around the expansive gardens, and admire the scenery from the Gloriette.

The Belvedere Palace is another one of Vienna’s architectural highlights. The Upper and Lower Belvedere Palaces make up this spectacular complex, which also features beautiful landscaping. It has stunning city views and is home to an impressive art collection (including pieces by Gustav Klimt).

Vienna’s historic center is a treasury of architectural beauties and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through the Innere Stadt and take in the sights of famous attractions such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg Palace, and the Spanish Riding School.

A trip to the Museumsquartier is an absolute must for art enthusiasts. The museums, art galleries, and exhibition spaces found inside this cultural complex make it one of the largest museum districts anywhere in the world. Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK), the Leopold Museum, and the lively courtyard.

The Vienna State Opera is a world-famous opera building that regularly hosts opera, ballet, and classical music concerts of the highest caliber. Attend a show or tour to appreciate the beautiful buildings and learn about the complex history.

Budapest, Hungary

Hungarians and visitors alike are drawn to Budapest for its fascinating history, beautiful buildings, and relaxing thermal baths. The Orient Express graces the heart of this captivating destination. Are you traveling to Budapest on the Orient Express? Check out these top attractions!

Buda Castle is a symbol of Budapest and a UNESCO World Heritage site, perched on a hilltop above the city. Budapest tourist attractions include the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, and the Budapest History Museum.

The Hungarian Parliament Building, an architectural marvel and one of the city’s most recognisable attractions, is situated on the banks of the Danube. Take in the neo-Gothic architecture, drop your jaw at the stunning inside, and get some great shots from the riverbank.

Crossing the Danube between the cities of Buda and Pest lies the famous suspension Bridge of Chains. Take your time strolling across the bridge and take in the beautiful river, cityscape, and the regal lion statues that stand sentry at either end.

The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is the largest and most well-known of Budapest’s many famous thermal baths. Enjoy spa treatments and the unique Hungarian bathing culture in the thermal healing pools.

Visit one of the most prominent European opera houses, the Hungarian State Opera House, and marvel at its stunning architecture. Experience world-class opera and ballet in its grand interiors by taking a guided tour or by attending a performance.

Prague, Czech Republic

The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague, is a fascinating city with a rich cultural scene, beautiful architecture, and a history that dates back centuries. The route of the Orient Express leads travelers to this enchanting city. Some of the best things to do in Prague are:

Prague Castle, one of the world’s largest ancient castles, dominates the city’s skyline. Discover the expansive complex, visit St. Vitus Cathedral, and take in the cityscape from the cathedral’s lofty perch.

The Old Town and the Lesser Town are connected by the famous Charles Bridge, ornamented with statues and lined with street sellers. Take your time strolling across the bridge and soak in the stunning views of the Vltava River.

The Old Town Square in the center of Prague is a historical and cultural center of the city. Visit the Church of Our Lady before Tn and the Old Town Hall, a Gothic masterpiece home to the world-famous Astronomical Clock.

The Prague Astronomical Clock is an intriguing monument in Old Town Square since the 15th century. See the Twelve Apostles walk around the clock every hour and marvel at the complex astronomical mechanism.

The Architectural Styles of Prague Prague is home to various architectural styles. Take in the Old Town’s medieval charm, the Art Nouveau facades, and the Cubist buildings that give this city its distinct skyline.


The Orient Express remains an iconic symbol of luxury travel, captivating the imagination of adventurers and history enthusiasts alike. As the Orient Express rolls through, travelers are treated to the splendor of these remarkable urban gems. With its rich history and unparalleled elegance, this legendary train journey captivates travelers, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of luxury and glamour. From the magnificent cities of Europe to the exotic landscapes of the East, the Orient Express has left an indelible mark on travel. Embarking on this extraordinary journey is a chance to step back in time, immerse oneself in the allure of vintage travel, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re a fan of train travel, a history buff, or simply seeking a unique and unforgettable experience, the Orient Express is a remarkable voyage that transports you to a world of luxury, sophistication, and timeless charm.

Happy Travels!

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