Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train

The ultimate train experience, decadently created by Belmond. A fun and fascinating journey that’s completely different to your usual holidays. The Orient Express is high on many travel bucket lists and over the last 18 months we’ve found it exceeds our clients’ expectations.

Stay at Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Europe rolls by through the window of a vintage railway carriage. Champagne is served. Opulent gastronomy graces your table. Mountains, rivers, cities and forests pass by. Sit back. Relax. And indulge. On the scenery, the food, the drinks. But mostly on the railway experience. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express recaptures the romance and glamour of yesteryear travel, from black tie evening dining to cocktails and midnight brunch in bar car 3674. Then from breakfast in bed to an unapologetically long and indulgent lunch. Europe just keeps on rolling by and you see new landscapes without having to move. This Belmond train is deservedly a top bucket list experience and it’s pure pampering the whole way.


The train has fixed departure dates for a variety of routes, mostly crisscrossing western and southern Europe. Currently there are two trains per year departing from Prague, plus two travelling to Prague from Paris. The five annual Paris to Vienna departures are also good options. Beyond these cities there are many possible options, including trains through Italy (Venice of course), southern France and one departure all the way to Istanbul. In our experience, trains departing in the mornings are preferable, as this allows more time to enjoy the train, gastronomy and atmosphere.


The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is all about experiencing the train and journey. Even though the top category grand suites are beautifully designed, a train will never offer you the same space as a hotel. So don’t book this experience if you just want to sleep. Historic cabins are comfortable enough to sleep and enjoy breakfast. They feature bunk beds and a washbasin, but share a toilet that’s outside the cabin. Suites are significantly larger, with private en-suite facilities including a shower and toilet. Grand suites are magnificent and also offer a large lounge area, best if you want to privatise your experience.

Who is it for

This train isn’t just for train geeks, but it is only for adults. We found the Paris to Venice route to have an older crowd and the Paris to Vienna route to be a younger, more party-going crowd. Mostly, this is a very novel experience close to home, ideal for a special weekend with friends or your partner.

What to do

Eat breakfast in bed. With Champagne. Enjoy a fine three-course lunch with wine. Drink more Champagne. Dabble in some afternoon tea. Get dressed up for a black tie dinner. Spend the night in the bar drinking cocktails. That’s the rough plan for a day on the train, although exactly when you start depends on the routing. We highly recommend you extend your holiday beyond the train, with at least one night in your departure or arrival city.

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