A Tale of Two Cities, by Train

With new rail routes opening up across Europe, it’s never been better to travel by train. 

As well as being a more sustainable mode of transport than flying, trains depart and arrive directly to the city centre, they offer more space than planes and there are no baggage restrictions. So why not explore two cities on one trip by train?


Brussels to Berlin, by European Sleeper

From May 2023, the European Sleeper whisks passengers from Brussels to Berlin in 11 and a half hours. Booking the 7.22pm train from Belgium, passengers can catch up on their sleep on the train, waking up as they arrive in the German capital at 6.48am. That’s just in time for breakfast in bed at Hotel de Rome – the ideal way to start a weekend away.  

Even better, the route opens up travel between London and Berlin, a rail journey that takes 16 hours, with just one change in Brussels. The Friday evening service is perfectly timed for a fun weekend in Berlin.


Rome and Florence in Italy

With its marble pillars, domes and elegant arches, it’s tempting to while away several days in the Italian capital of Rome while staying at Hotel de la Ville.


When you’re ready to explore further afield, board a train to Florence. Just an hour and 30 minutes north of the capital – less than the time it takes to check in for a flight – it makes for an easy day trip. Or split a five-night stay between the two cities.


Travel in style between Rome and Florence with A First Class Italian experience and direct, high-speed Frecciarossa 9524 trains will whisk you from the city’s largest train station, Rome Termini, all the way to Florence Santa Maria Novella.


Got time to spare before you depart? Then explore Rome’s ancient thermal Baths of Diocletian, or the mosaics and gold jewellery in the archaeological museum Palazzo Massimo alle Terme opposite Rome Termini.

Have your camera ready as the train crosses the River Tiber and the hills around Capena. Get up-close to the craggy limestone ridge of Monte Soratte and pass the olive, cypress and poplar trees that border Lake Trasimeno, which shimmers in the spring sunshine.

London and Edinburgh in the UK

With its historical attractions, royal parks and lively theatre scene, there’s plenty to see and do in the UK capital, especially when you’re based at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair.

It’s hard to believe that Scotland’s capital, with its unique accent, cuisine and culture, is just four hours and 20 minutes away by train. But if you go on A Great British Journey you can board a train at King’s Cross in London in the morning and arrive at Edinburgh Waverley in the Scottish capital by lunch, ready for your reservation at The Balmoral’s Number One.

Go early to explore King’s Cross and admire the transformation of an area dating back to 1852. Discover fountains set around an old granary store, former gas holders that have been transformed into modern residences and brick warehouses which are now lined with vibrant restaurants and boutiques.

Once you leave King’s Cross behind, the slate tiled roofs of London’s townhouses soon morph into farmland dotted with grazing cows and sheep.

Your first stop is Newcastle where sights include the Tyne Bridge – which Sydney Harbour Bridge was modelled on – and a former mill which has been converted into the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

Your next stop will be Morpeth in Northumberland. With cobbled streets crowned by an old clock tower, it’s a quaint market town, and even glimpsing it from your seat will give you a flavour of the north.


If you’re planning to travel by train across Europe, ask our expert teams at Rocco Forte Hotels and they’ll be happy to assist with recommended train routes, tickets and transfers.