How to Travel to India from Europe by Train
Although you cannot buy a direct train ticket from any country in Europe to India, there
are a few way to cover the distance from one continent to another via train. The trip
would take around 2-3 weeks getting from one train to another riding across countries
and you could make a vacation out of it. Some even try to spend a few days at each
country and make a long vacation.
Read More: Most Epic Train Journeys in the World
Sample itinerary of train travel from Europe to India:
1. Start from London and find direct train to Istanbul. It would take three or four nights in the train, depending on the type of train and route. Usually, the train reaches Istanbul via Paris, Munich, Vienna, Budapest and Bucharest. Some trains take a different route from London via Paris, Munich, Zagreb, Belgrade and Sofia before reaching Istanbul.
The cost of the ticket starts from 350 Euro.
Remember that you can cover the entire route in train. On the other hand, some prefer
to take other transportation at certain destinations to make it easier. This itinerary will
showcase the route from Europe to India completely on train. Once you reach Istanbul,
you need to take a ferry or suburban train to reach Marmaray rail tunnel.
2. From Marmaray train station, you can find high speed train to Ankara. You would be spending only one night in the train.
3. From Ankara, you can find direct train to Tehran or, board train to Tatvan and from Tatvan to Tabriz and then to Tehran. This whole route would take at least three nights
and four days if you are able to get back-to-back train tickets or direct train to Tehran.
4. Since 2012, you can find direct train from Tehran to Zahedan, every day. You can ride in ex-Germany Railway coaches for a comfortable ride. Cost of such train would start
from 188,000 Iranian Rial. You can also find other trains in the similar route. The train traffic from Tehran to Zahedan is high and thus, you need not worry about missing a
5. Once you reach Zehadan, you need to find train to Quetta of Pakistan. Unfortunately,
this is where it gets tricky. There is only one train and it runs only on 3rd and 17th of every month. You need to schedule your travel so that you would be ready in Zehadan for the train. It is a very basic train with minimum amenities. You will be travelling in it for just one day. Since it is a minimum amenity train, it is better to bring a lot of water and food with you. If you happen to miss the train or you couldn’t schedule your vacation to catch the train, there is an overnight bus to Quetta, every night. Alternatively, you can also hire taxis to reach Pakistan. However, the train route is mesmerizing desert route with a scenic element.
6. You can find express train from Quetta to Lahore, which runs every day. It is easy to
find air-conditioned comfortable trains.
7. From Lahore, there is a train to Amritsar of India. This train runs twice a week.
Read More: What to See in North India
If you are planning to stay back in India and enjoy epic destinations for a week, you can
do the same with trains. From Amritsar, you can find trains to Delhi. From Delhi, board
the luxury train Palace on Wheels, which will starts from Delhi and take you to several incredible destinations in and around Rajasthan.
Palace on Wheels Complete Guide:
- Palace on Wheels cost
- Palace on Wheels route map
- Palace on Wheels information
- Palace on Wheels facilities
- Palace on Wheels history
View More: Palace on Wheels pictures
Tips to have a comfortable train trip from Europe to India
- Every time you arrive at a different country, visa is very essential. Not all
countries allow stamping visa after arrival. Check all the countries official site
and get visa ready.
- Some cross-country trains especially the ones running between two hostile
countries could be stopped without any notice. Thus, learn about any political
instability in any neighboring countries before taking the trip.
- Some trains run at specific dates only. Arrange those trains first and then mix-
and-match other trains to make the right itinerary.
- Some countries do not allow travelers from certain country to cross their unless they are a part of a tour group. For instance, if you are American, English or Canadian, it is not possible to get visa to travel through Iran or Turkey unless you are a part of a small travel group. Fortunately, many travel agencies provide group tours for you to choose one.
- Try to have local currencies with you for ease of purchase. If possible pre-book
as many trains as possible. However, many destinations do not provide online
booking from other countries. Do your research carefully.
No matter which route you take or which countries you try to cover, it is easier to reach
Turkey from any country in Europe and from Turkey to Asia. Citizens from New
Zealand, Latin America, Central Asia and certain European countries can get free visa
Common routes would include Bulgaria to Istanbul, Greece to Istanbul, Netherland to
Istanbul, London to Istanbul and others. If you are looking for some luxury experience,
you can take the Modern Orient Express that starts from Paris and reaches Istanbul via
From Turkey, the shortest route is to travel to Iran. From Iran, you can reach Pakistan and from Pakistan to India.
Also Read: What is the Route of the Palace on Wheels?