What travelers can expect on the longest train route in the world

18,755 kilometers, 13 countries and two continents: the longest train route in the world takes travelers to spectacular places. We’ll tell you what to expect and what you definitely shouldn’t miss.

Very few travelers are probably familiar with the longest train route in the world: it runs 18,755 kilometers from Singapore to Lagos in Portugal. It goes through a total of 13 countries – including Malaysia, Thailand, China, Russia and France.

This mammoth journey is neither an official train route nor a direct connection. Passengers therefore have to change trains several times. But the effort is always worth it, because the train journey is a kind of gigantic sightseeing tour on rails.

The hypothetical route was created by train nerds on Reddit with the help of train expert Mark Smith of travel website The Man in Seat 61.

New train connection between Laos and China

In fact, the train journey has only become possible since December 2021 with the opening of the Kunming-Vientiane connection, reports the British “Daily Mail”. The section of the “New Silk Road” connects the capital of Laos with China. The small landlocked country in Southeast Asia previously had no railway network.

With the opening, travelers can now travel end-to-end by rail from Singapore to Portugal. At least theoretically, because there are still a few restrictions on train operations due to the corona virus. But real train fans can already put the route on their bucket list.

Without stops, it would take about 21 days to travel the recommended route by train, the train nerds have calculated. But it is precisely the intermediate stops that make the journey so special. That’s why it’s worth planning a big holiday around the longest train route in the world.

By train from Singapore to Portugal

Travelers drive through the jungles of Malaysia, pass the Great Wall of China, cross the Mongolian desert and reach the most beautiful castles and wine regions of Europe via Moscow. The last stage offers a spectacular view of the coast of western Portugal. It would go beyond the scope to list all 13 countries and all their sights – that’s why we have selected five of the most beautiful places for you.

  1. Perhentian Islands in Malaysia

After spending as much time as possible in Singapore, the starting point of the train route, a stopover near Narathiwat in central Malaysia is a good idea. From there you can take a boat to the breathtakingly beautiful Perhentian Islands.

Vacationers can choose between luxury resorts and backpacker hotels. You can also snorkel with turtles or explore the islands by bike. If you are on holiday here, you should definitely try the typical rice dish Nasi Lemak. It tastes best at one of the food trucks on the side of the road.

  1. The Great Wall of China in China

On a train journey through Asia, there is hardly a way around China. And that is not only due to the gigantic area of ​​the country, but above all to the pulsating metropolises, the historical sites and the unique nature. There is so much to discover in the Middle Kingdom.

The best place to start is in the capital, Beijing. From there you can get to the Great Wall of China, which runs from east to west in the north of the country. travel reporter Jasmin has created a survival guide for everyone who wants to explore THE landmark of China.

  1. Lake Baikal in Russia

The list of attractions that holidaymakers can discover in the largest country in the world in terms of area is almost endless. In addition to exciting cities like Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia has to offer above all impressive landscapes – from tundra and forests to beaches.

One of these natural spectacles is Lake Baikal, which at more than 1600 meters is the deepest lake in the world. In summer, visitors can hike and watch wild animals here, in winter they can skate on the frozen lake or jet through the snow-covered mountains on a dog sled.

  1. Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
    Travelers also travel through Germany on the longest train route in the world. There is no question that a stopover with us is worthwhile – for example in Frankfurt am Main. There is a lot to discover around the Hessian financial metropolis, and there are several day trips to choose from. Medieval architecture awaits you in tranquil Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and in the Black Forest you can recharge your batteries while hiking through green nature.

If you have time, you should overlook the four-hour drive that it takes to get to Neuschwanstein Castle. The castle in Schwangau in Bavaria is world famous and is said to have served as a template for the fairytale castles in Walt Disney’s theme parks.

  1. Lagos in Portugal

There is probably no better place to end your journey on the world’s longest train journey. The capital Lisbon, the picturesque port city of Porto and Lagos in the Algarve – if you don’t love Portugal yet, you will at the latest after visiting these cities.

Lagos in particular is a good place to review the exciting journey. The small town is situated on some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. One postcard motif chases the next. There are hidden coves and cool surfing paradises. Not surprisingly, then, that the Algarve once again won the coveted Travel Award for the best beach holiday destination in Europe last year.

The Ponta da Piedade and the Praia di Camilo are known for their picturesque sandy beaches, deep blue water and meter-high, almost golden rocks. travel reporter Leonie tells you which sights in the Algarve you should explore besides the beaches.


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