If you’re wondering the best possible way to see the most of Switzerland, then look no further. The Swiss train systems provide the ultimate immersion into the spectacular landscape, culture, and history of this beautiful country.
There are several train routes in Switzerland but picking just one is a difficult choice and can make you panic that you might not be getting ‘the full experience’.
To make sure you not only get on the ‘right track’, but ALL of them, why not opt instead for the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, covering eight impressive routes?
The Swiss Travel Pass offers anything from three to 15 days of unlimited train travel. It also gets you free boat rides and public transport, as well as into 500 museums and on four mountain excursions. What’s not to love?
If you’re curious to learn more about these impressive routes, we’ve got you covered.
Check out our intel on routes through Lucerne, Montreux, Zermatt, St Moritz, and on to Italy….
The Golden Pass is a connect-the-dots journey for the German- and French-speaking regions to help you understand Swiss culture like a champ. The full pass is a 3-train trip that commences in Lucerne or Montreux and passes through the ski Mecca, Gstaad. It’s 5-hours of eye-boggling vistas including lush snow-capped mountains, sparkling alpine lakes, and fairytale villages straight off a postcard.
If you only have limited time, don’t miss the MOB Panorama section of this route, from Zweisimmin to Montreux. The custom-designed carriage offers the sensation of being at one with the environment, especially if you upgrade to VIP seating.
THE GLACIER EXPRESS
The most well known of the Swiss Travel Pass routes, the Glacier Express is the world’s slowest ‘express’ train. Over eight hours, you’ll traverse close to 300 bridges, nearly 100 bridges, plus spy remarkable glaciers, lakes, and villages. While not quite Switzerland’s highest point, glimpsing the iconic Matterhorn crest is a highpoint on this route.
Don’t miss out on the new Glacier Express Excellence Class. Recently launched, the upgrade gets you guaranteed window seats, guides, champers, and a 5-course feast.
Hop aboard the Bernina Express for an adventure over the Alps to Italy. The varied scenery traverses you from the glaciers of St Moritz to the palm trees of Tirano. It’s like the best 4-hour geography lesson you’ve ever had.
In summer, seats in the bonus open-air Cabrio coach infuse Alpine aromas to accompany the Bernina Express’s astonishing sights. Most fascinating on this route is the engineering feat (and UNESCO World Heritage site) of the Rhaetian Railway.
GOTTHARD PANORAMA EXPRESS
Although off the circuit of the three other routes listed, it’s worth considering time on Switzerland’s most historic rail journey. The Gotthard Panorama Express even includes a segment by steamboat for a total throwback. From Lucerne to Lugano, the route passes the manmade marvel of the 1882 Gotthard Tunnel. You’ll also spy the historic buildings of the baroque Wassen Church, William Tell’s Chapel, and Chapel Bridge, built in 1333.
Train tip: if you’re travelling in Switzerland from May to September, reservations, though not required, are recommended, particularly for window seats.
To learn more about travelling by train in Switzerland, visit myswitzerland.com.