The Telegraph ranks Czechia as Europe's third-best country for train travel

The Czech Republic's scenic prowess and the size of its railway network rank it only behind Austria and France, writes the Telegraph Travel team.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 30.03.2024 14:00:00 (updated on 31.03.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic's railway network has been getting a lot of good press recently, with the recent debut of a sleeper train to Brussels and new hiking and biking routes deployed throughout the country. This week, The Telegraph rated Czechia as Europe's third-best country for rail travel in an extensive comparison.

The Telegraph comparison took a look at Europe's 15 largest countries currently open to travelers and rated their regional train networks (excluding a luxury trains) by a variety of criteria. These included the size of a country's rail network, the punctuality of their trains, the number of sleeper journeys available, the quality of stations, cost, and the scenic quality of train travel.

For cost, the comparison used data from Eurostat and also factored in regional differences; the high cost of Norway's rail travel was offset by the country's high wages, and Spain scored for its high-speed trains from Madrid to Barcelona. Each country was rated out of a possible sixty points, ten for each category.

Austria came out first in the Telegraph ranking with a total of 43 points, scoring highest for punctuality as well as the scenic quality of travel and the size of its rail network. France was ranked second, with writers singling out the country's high number of beautiful railway stations.

But the Czech Republic was ranked third right behind Austria and France, with a total of 40 points out of a possible 60. The country scored the maximum number of points for the size of its railway network, and also rated highly for scenic journeys and punctuality.

"With 5,863 miles of track and a surface area of around 30,450 square miles, the Czech Republic has the second-highest density of railway in the world (after Switzerland). More than a third is electrified, but there are no high-speed lines," writes The Telegraph.

"Punctuality is much better than in Germany and the fact that Czechs are heavy users of their network suggests they trust and rely on it. The easy-to-use website,, shows the excellent services for getting around the country, with Prague in particular offering very frequent services to Dresden and Berlin, Vienna and Bratislava."

Czechia scored lowest for cost, likely a result of factoring in the country's low average wages compared to its neighbors in western Europe. But its train stations and dining cars were specifically praised by Telegraph writers.

"[Prague's Main Train Station] looks like a cathedral inside, and the stations at Brno and Pilsen are equally impressive. The Czech Republic has lots of lovely scenic routes, and has started to introduce panoramic windows on some lines. The dining cars on state-operated EuroCity trains have been praised by some travellers as Europe’s best restaurants on wheels, with regional food prepared fresh to order and bespoke-brewed craft beer."

While not mentioned in the Telegraph comparison, another great plus for Czechia's railway network is its location in the heart of Europe, providing easy access to a wide range of destinations across the continent. Read more about top 2024 train journeys from Czechia, including sleeper trains to Brussels, Amsterdam, and Zürich, in our roundup here.

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