6. The Venice-Simplon Orient Express
London, U.K. – Istanbul, Turkey
With a history dating back to 1883, the Orient Express is Europe's most famous and celebrated rail route. The line originally stretched from Paris to Constantinople, and has taken various forms and routes through Europe in the nearly century and a half since.
Today's incarnation is the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, a luxurious rail experience featuring historic Orient Express cars from the 1920s and '30s. Though there are itineraries that go as far as Istanbul, the most popular runs from London to Venice. Along with the ornate interiors of the beautifully preserved rail cars, the route features impressive Alps scenery on the second day, with snow-capped peaks and charming towns in the Arlberg Pass, Brenner Pass, and Lake Zurich.