Ever since I started living in the world of railway enthusiasts I’ve been asked way too many times if I ever took the train between Belgrade, Serbia and Bar, Montenegro. Almost everyone claims it’s one of the most scenic rail routes in Europe, or maybe even the world! It sprawls for 476 kms connecting Serbian capital city of Belgrade with Bar, one of the most important seaports on the Adriatic coast and definitely the major one in Montenegro. During 11 hours journey the train passes through 254 tunnels (each of them is marked with its number and lenght at the entrance) and 435 bridges. It also goes through a very small part of Bosnia and Hercegovina teritory.
Ever single person I talked to about this journey told me the best spots on the way and of course everyone had their own view to that. There are two daily trains on that route and I knew I had to take the day one. For whatever reason I don’t remember now I’ve decided on the Belgrade to Bar direction and well, it turns out it wasn’t the smartest idea. I had my expectations really high and well, the landscape was really nice and so on but it didn’t really got me. The mountains were lovely, looking at rural Serbia was interesting but it definitely wasn’t what I expected. And long tunnels got boring at some point.
The (only) downside of travelling in autumn is that the days are shorter. It got dark shortly after we arrived to Montenegro (hello new stamp in my passport) and apparently that’s when amazing views has started. Too bad I couldn’t see much of them. I think I could hear when we passed Mala Rijeka viaduct which, with its almost 500m height, is the tallest railway viaduct in the world. So yes, I’m still really disapointed I missed the best views when still being there. At least the weather was on my side, it was a really sunny day so autumn colours looked really lowly in this bright light.
As for the journey itself: the train was of course delayed so it took 12 hours instead of 11… But it was a comfortable journey. For no reason I got upgraded to the first class with wide and soft sits so there was no problem with sitting so many hours. The bad thing about the train was that since it was air-conditioned one I couldn’t open any window to take pictures of the landscape and the windows were so damn dirty that it was almost impossible to take a decent picture through them (as you can see below). At some point I figured out there’re normal windows in the restaurant car so I spent some time there, just standing and looking outside, without being bothered by anyone. But then again, restaurant car was the place for everyone to come for a smoke so I couldn’t take more than half an hour there…
To sum up I’m glad I went. Even if some may think otherwise it wasn’t a wasted day for me. I love travelling by train, especially in new countries so I can see how the countryside looks like and it was the same here. I have a feeling I really saw Serbia, not only the Belgrade but also a pretty big part of the country. But I don’t think this route will make to my top 5 most scenic train journeys even if it’s close to that list. Maybe if I hadn’t had all that expectations I’d have liked it more… But to make the final judgment I think I have to take it again, but this time starting from Bar. So it means I have to come back to the Balkans, sooner the better!
If you think of visiting Montenegro or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
If you think of visiting Serbia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
If you enjoyed that post why don't you share it with your friends? That would mean so much to me! Also be sure to join 27.000+ fellow travelers and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or Instagram for travel updates and even more pictures! If you don't want to miss new posts sign up to my newsletter or follow on Bloglovin!