Scenic Train Journeys of Switzerland

May 23, 2023

Scenic Train Journeys of Switzerland
Category: Train Journeys

Traveling in Switzerland is all full of scenic routes whether by public transport or private. But passing through Swiss Alps, Lakes, bridges and tunnels by scenic trains makes it far different experience. There are 4 different scenic or panoramic trains, runs at different routes of Switzerland. The foremost benefit of traveling in these trains is Swiss Travel pass, which covers train ticket cost, except seat reservation. Although seating capacity in these trains is enough due to several rounds with different timings, but Seat reservation is still mandatory in 3 of these trains, only except Golden Pass line. In Golden Pass it’s recommended to reserve your seat, but not mandatory. Checkout details through the selection of wonderful scenic rail journeys here. 



The Glacier Express – known as the ‘Slowest Express Train in the World’ (and arguably the most scenic) – connects the mountain resort towns of Matterhorn adjacent Zermatt, and St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps. Much of the train’s spectacular journey passes through the same World Heritage Site as the Bernina Express and boasts equally as impressive views, including the Matterhorn and the Matter Valley, the massive rock walls through the town of Visp, and the sparkling river Rhone, just after departure from Brig. Because the train routes feature similar, but different vistas, many visitors make it a point to ride both the Glacier and Bernina Express during their time in Switzerland. Did you know you can now travel in Excellence Class onboard the Glacier Express? These are the most sought after seats in Switzerland, and it’s truly a luxury journey like no other.

How much does it cost to travel on the Glacier Express?
Ticket Price for Glacier Express Classic:
Ticket Price is CHF 152 in Low season, and CHF 180 in high season, from St. Moritz to Zermatt or vice versa, in Glacier Express Classic Train in Switzerland.
The catch is the obligatory reservation fee – currently CHF 43 in high summer (mid-June to end October), CHF 33 in the low season (mid-October to end late March) and CHF 43 for the rest of the year.
The catch is the obligatory reservation fee – currently CHF 43 in high summer (mid-June to end October), CHF 33 in the low season (mid-October to end late March) and CHF 43 for the rest of the year.

Ticket Price for Glacier Express Excellence Class:
Seat Reservation in 1st Class is CHF 268 + CHF 420 (Supplement/Gastronomy Charges) = CHF 688 total cost.

Excellence Class Classic
A rail journey through the Swiss Alps has never been so luxurious. In the Excellence Class we guarantee you a window seat and a superb panoramic view while travelling across 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels between St. Moritz and Zermatt.
Complementary Services

Coach & Services:
• Lounge seating with guaranteed window seat
• exclusive access to the Glacier Bar*
• Tablet with Bordinfotainment
• Concierge as host in the Excellence Class
• Welcome-Desk & personal check-in on the platform
• Luggage transport in dedicated lockable sections aboard*

* Due to limitations on the offer in connection with the current safety concept, the price was reduced from CHF 420.- to CHF 395.- until further notice.

• Coffee, juice, champagne & brioche
• Apéritif & amuse-bouche
• Seasonal, regional 5-course menu incl. wine accompaniment
• Coffee & digestif with a coffret of chocolates
• Tea Time in the afternoon with goodies
• Soft drinks & fruit juices
• Snacks throughout the day available

From CHF 420.-

How long does the Glacier Express take?
Travel duration is 7½ Hrs – 8 Hrs
The Glacier Express is a regular scheduled train service between Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn and St Moritz in the Engadin skiing area. Billed as Europe’s slowest express, its a narrow-gauge train which takes 7½ hours to cover just over 290 km (180 miles), at an average of around 24 mph.

Is Glacier Express free with Swiss Pass?
A Swiss Pass does cover the Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Gotthard Panorama and GoldenPass scenic routes. Reservations would just be a supplementary cost to the rail pass.  The Glacier Express runs between Zermatt and St. Moritz and does require reservations in addition to the rail pass.

Why the Glacier Express is famous?
The Glacier Express is famous for its comfortable wagons with panoramic windows allowing travelers unhindered views of the spectacular Alpine scenery that the train travels through. These panorama cars are used for both first and second-class travel.

Connecting Chur to Poschiavo in Switzerland, and Tirano in Italy by crossing the Swiss Engadin Alps, the Bernina Express features breathtaking views from its panoramic, red carriages. The two main lines on the Bernina Express route – the Bernina line and the Albula line – were jointly declared a World Heritage Site in 2008. The Bernina line through this site is a spectacular four-hour journey across 196 bridges, through 55 tunnels and across the stunning Bernina Pass at 7,391 feet above sea level. The first section of the Bernina Express, from Chur to Pontresina, also crosses the famous Landwasser Viaduct, a dramatic, curving single-track viaduct made of limestone and featuring six massive arches. This iconic journey continues to be one of the most popular in the country.

How much does Bernina Express cost?
Reservations for the Bernina Express trains in winter are only CHF10 per seat. However, more interesting for savers, is that from mid-December to end March, the panoramic cars of the Bernina Express are attached to the regular regional trains running from St Moritz to Tirano and St Moritz to Chur

How long is the Bernina Express train ride?
A ride on the Bernina Express is a 4-hour, 144 km (90 mile) journey between icy Switzerland and sunny Italy, though 55 tunnels and 196 bridges, with Alpine gradients as steep as 1 in 7, on a railway built in 1896-1904 and now declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Where does Bernina Express start and end?
The Bernina Express ends its journey in Tirano, Italy. It passes through the town before reaching the station. The Bernina Express route begins in Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland. Trains run along the Albula Railway, one of the most spectacular narrow gauge railways in the world.

The full journey on the GoldenPass Line and Luzern-Interlaken Express is just over 5 hours. From Lucerne to Interlaken, the Luzern-Interlaken Express train takes around 1 hour 50 minutes. After your transfer, the GoldenPass Line train from Interlaken to Montreux takes a little over 3 hours.
In fact, magnificent scenery is guaranteed when you travel the Golden Pass Line. This memorable journey consists of three different connecting trains, and each passage boasts panoramic views that will take your breath away.
This trip is all about sitting back and soaking up the Swiss atmosphere as you travel in comfort.

How much does the Golden Pass train cost?
The Golden Pass journey consists of 3 seperate trains: Luzern to Interlaken – reservation cost €10.50 (12 CHF) Interlaken to Zweisimmen – reservation cost €4.50 (5 CHF) Zweisimmen to Montreux – reservation cost €7 (8 CHF)
Does Swiss Travel Pass cover golden pass?
Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass provides free travel on the Golden Pass route.

How long is the Golden Pass train ride?
Total journey time is approx. 5.5 Hrs

A journey on the Golden Pass
Unlike the Bernina Express and Glacier Express, the Golden Pass is not a direct train. It’s a scenic route, serviced by several very special trains. You need to switch trains in Interlaken and Zweisimmen. The entire route takes almost 5.5 hours.

Which premium panoramic train along the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland a reservation is not mandatory but recommended?
Reservation: A seat reservation is mandatory for Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Gotthard Panorama Express. A reservation on trains of the GoldenPass Line is not mandatory, but recommended. Nine individual and unique stamps are waiting to be collected along the most delightful train tour of Switzerland.

A great experience of history come alive: The journey leads from Ticino along the historic Gotthard panoramic route to Lucerne.
The Gotthard Panorama Express is a combined boat and train journey from Lucerne to Lugano, or vice versa. The scenic route connects the north and the south of Switzerland, which are very different in climate.
The trip continues through the awesome Reuss Valley with its deep ravines and precipitous cliffs. The world-famous Gotthard line swiftly climbs from 470 to about 1100 metres above sea level to finally enter the 15-kilometer long Gotthard tunnel in Göschenen, Europe’s most important north/south gateway.

The price for the Gotthard Panorama Express is comprised of the ticket for the boat and rail route and the mandatory “Gotthard Panorama Express” supplement. 

Tickets for individual passengers.

Passengers must be in possession of a valid ticket in the appropriate class for the journey travelled. On the boat, passengers can choose between 1st and 2nd class. The seats on the panorama train are exclusively 1st class. All national and international transport tickets are accepted in accordance with their scope of application. The family discount applies.

The tickets must be valid “via boat” from Lucerne to Flüelen.

Passengers who travel in 1st class but have a 2nd class ticket or travelcard will be required to pay a class upgrade for the respective route.

In accordance with the scope of application, Interrail and Eurail are accepted for free travel on the railway journey and entitle passengers to a 50% discount for the boat journey.

Remarks: The “Gotthard Panorama Express” supplement is only necessary for the rail leg of the journey (between Arth-Goldau/Flüelen and Lugano). It is paid in the same step as the mandatory seat reservation. The supplement must be paid by every passenger with their own seat; there is no discount for groups or children. The supplement does not apply to children under the age of 6 who do not require their own seat. Prices.

The “Gotthard Panorama Express” supplement is CHF 16.

Included in the supplement:

Reserved seat in 1st-class panorama coach.

Experiences and presentations about the history and legend of the Gotthard.

Accompaniment by multilingual tour guides.

App and travel guide with information about the sights.

Photography coach with windows that open available to all passengers

Passengers without a seat reservation may also travel if free seats are available. In this case, the supplement must be paid to the train crew.

No supplement or seat reservation is necessary for the boat journey. Passengers are free to sit where they wish.

Which premium panoramic train is a combination of boat and train?
Answer is Gotthard Panorama Express

Exploring Switzerland: this not only consists of a combination of boat and train but also two of the most attractive regions in the country, thereby creating a first-class experience.

How do I book Gotthard Panorama Express?
Booking at the ticket counter in a Swiss (SBB) station is the easiest method of obtaining tickets for the Gotthard Panorama Express.

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