Orient Express Route

Orient Express Route

What is the route of the Orient Express?

The original Orient Express route travels from Paris across Europe through Strasbourg, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest before arriving in Istanbul. The Orient Express sister train, the Simplon Orient Express (later known as the Direct Orient Express), also travelled a route from Paris to Istanbul, but headed south through Lausanne, Simplon, Milan, Venice, Belgrade and Sofia before arriving in Istanbul.

Coming into service in 1883, all original Orient Express routes finally retired in 2009 after almost 100 years of the most famous train journeys in the world. However in 1982, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express started following the historic and original Orient Express route once again and continues to run to this day.

Where did the Orient Express travel?

Now one of the most famous and most desirable trains in the world, the VSOE is the only train that follows the Orient Express route. Smaller journeys are available across Europe in order to give passengers a feel of what a journey during the Golden Age of Travel would have been like, but at selected times during the year, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express makes the legendary journey departing from Paris, France and travelling five nights across Europe before arriving in Istanbul, Turkey. Although this is a one-way journey, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express does make the journey in reverse.

For prices, take a look at how much does it cost to go on the Orient Express?

Orient Express Route Map (1883 – 1962)

Orient Express Route Map

Orient Express Route:


The original Orient Express route was modified over its years of service, but the general departure from Paris and destination of Istanbul remained the same. Starting service in 1883, the original Orient Express train ran this route from 1883 – 1914, 1919 – 1939 and 1945 – 1962. From 1883 until 1889, the original Orient Express route also included a connection over the Black Sea, but this was later revised.

Taking passengers through the highlights of Europe, the original Orient Express route was a long voyage across numerous countries. The journeys became more and more luxurious and exclusive and a talking point among the wealthy. Anyone who was anyone took a journey on board the Orient Express for the experience, to meet the people on board and to return home with stories to tell.

Simplon Orient Express Route

Simplon Orient Express Route Map

Route of the Simplon Orient Express:


The Simplon Orient Express came into service in 1919 and was given its name as it would travel south towards the Simplon Pass in Switzerland. Offering the same levels of luxury just on a different route, the Simplon Orient Express would head south to Lausanne on the first leg of its journey rather than east to Strasbourg like the original.

The Simplon Orient Express ran this route from 1919 – 1939 and again from 1945 – 1962. It was then renamed the ‘Direct Orient Express’ and continued to run this route until retiring in 1977. It wouldn’t be until 1982 that sister train the Venice Simplon Orient Express would take the original Orient Express route once more.

Sister train, the Venice Simplon Orient Express originally ran from Paris to Venice via the Simplon Pass in Switzerland, hence its given name. It is the only train in existence that continues to follow the original route.

Alberg Orient Express Route

Alberg Orient Express Route

Route of the Alberg Orient Express:

Bucharest Or…

You may not have heard of the Alberg Orient Express, but it follows a route in between the Orient Express and Simplon Orient Express and heads as far as Athens, Greece. Running from 1930 – 1939 and again 1945 – 1962, the Alberg Orient Express offers passengers the same lavish, glamorous journey through Europe but with an entirely different view from the other two trains.

Not as famous as the original Orient Express, this Alberg Orient Express route ended at either Bucharest or headed south through Belgrade all the way to Athens. An extensive journey that would have shown passengers the very best Europe had to offer across a multitude of countries and climates. The Alberg Orient Express was the shortest running of the original trains with just 32 years in service running this route.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Route

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Route

Route of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (Paris to Istanbul):


The modern day Venice Simplon-Orient-Express follows routes close to the original train, including an original five-day journey beginning in Paris and ending in Istanbul. This particular journey travels through Budapest, Bucharest and Bulgaria over five nights before finally arriving in Istanbul. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express also follows this journey in reverse departing from Istanbul and arriving in Paris, following the exact same route.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a beautifully restored set of 18 carriages, each unique with their interior design boasting exceptional levels of detail with authentic woods and fine fabrics. As well as a very carriage offering a unique design, every carriage has its own stories to tell and it is a joy to explore each carriage during your journey.

Accommodation aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is equally as impressive, with a choice of cabins including the Grand Suite that offers exceptional levels of comfort equal to that of a five star hotel. As expected, all meals are of the highest quality and prepared fresh on board by talented chefs.

As well as a journey that resembles the original route, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express offers many other routes across Europe. These journeys are normally one-way and usually take one night, however they offer passengers a taste of what the original, full-length Orient Express route would have been like.

Alternative Venice Simplon-Orient-Express routes:

Verona to Paris
Verona to London
Venice to Vienna
Venice to Prague
Venice to Paris
Venice to London
Paris to Verona
Paris to Venice
London to Verona
London to Venice
Prague to London
Budapest to London
Berlin to London

View all Venice Simplon Orient Express routes

Watch this Venice Simplon-Orient-Express video:

Experience the luxury train

LuxuryTrainTickets.com are pleased to offer a wide range of luxury train journeys across almost every luxury train in the world, including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Choose from a generous range of journeys throughout the year on board one of the most famous trains ever to exist and experience what life was like during the Golden Age of Travel.

As well as the original Orient Express route, we offer every Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journey across Europe. These journeys offer exceptional value and guarantee to create memories you will cherish for a lifetime. Booking through LuxuryTrainTickets.com also entitles you to our complimentary concierge service as well as regular discounts and promotions off your journey as standard.

Should Europe be out of reach, we are also pleased to offer luxury train journeys across England, Scotland, Ireland, Asia and South America. Each offer a unique taste of luxury on the rails, but follow the same high levels of standard set by the original Orient Express. Each of these luxury sleeper trains includes a choice of exceptional cabins and all meals and any exclusive visits mentioned in your itinerary are all included in the ticket price.

As well as sleeper trains, LuxuryTrainTickets.com also offer a wealth of luxury day trip journeys across England on board the British Pullman. Sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the British Pullman offers all the exceptional qualities of her European sister, simply in a day-trip format without the sleeper carriages.

Should you require any additional information, have any questions about the Orient Express or any routes, or wish to book your luxury train journey, please do not hesitate to get in touch either by phone or by using the form below. We endeavour to get back to you within one working day, often sooner.

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