If you are a fan of scenic routes and outstanding beauty of nature, you should probably take a train journey across the Balkan countries, according to Jhonny, a dual Canadian-American citizen who has dedicated his time to travel the world and reveal stunning experiences.
According to the report, the train journey from Belgrade, Serbia to Bar, Montenegro (or vice versa), is perhaps a mind blowing experience, with 254 tunnels and 435 bridges on a trip of 296 miles.
Jhonny’s original idea of this train happened to come from the first Daniel Craig James Bond movie, Casino Royale. The trains are Soviet era trains that may or may not be properly cleaned or have some poor conditions; it is not a luxury train, but for 20 euros to witness spectacular scenery, there isn’t much to complain about!
According to the report, the 11 hour train ride more than makes up for its shortcomings with incredible views and vintage Soviet charm. The only way to book tickets is by visiting the main train station in Belgrade. There are two trains that depart daily; one in the morning at 09:10am and another at 21:10 which is the sleeper train.
Belgrade to Bar or vice versa costs around 2,600 Serbian Dinars (~€20). The train makes many stops but the main points of interest are Belgrade, Podgorica, and Bar.
As the train picks up speeds it passes by farms and rolling hills of the Central Serbian countryside. Farmlands and lush green rolling hills dot the landscape. The scenery really starts turning a few hours into the train ride.
The majority of the train ride is in Serbia but the most stunning scenery is in Montenegro.
It’s after the brief stop when you cross into the border in Montenegro that the magic starts. The train continues to climb and every tunnel you exit will reveal a new and stunning view. Small towns dot the valleys below and massive granite cliffs tower above.
Construction of the line started in the 1950s but only completed in 1976 and was opened by the former Yugoslavian President Tito himself. In the 1990s, the train was vastly underfunded resulting in the deterioration of the tracks. In 1999, UN bombing destroyed a portion of the tracks that ran through Bosnia, and was rebuilt by 2006.