Since the country is so famous for its majestic views of the Alps, traveling by train in Switzerland is the pinnacle of your trip. Imagine you are sitting on a beautiful train full of modern amenities, overlooking the mountain landscape through large glass panes designed specifically for scenic trains. We’re going to compile a list of the trains that pass through the most beautiful places in Switzerland. So, let’s check out our suggested 9 most scenic train routes in Switzerland (most beautiful train rides in Switzerland, most beautiful train journeys in Switzerland, most scenic train ride in Switzerland), best train trips in Switzerland including the 5 best scenic train rides in Switzerland as follows to help you make the most of your trip to the one of the most beautiful country across Europe!
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Most scenic train routes in Switzerland: The Glacier Express
Traveling between Zermatt and St. Moritz, this train takes up to 7.5 hours to complete the distance of 290 kilometers (180 miles), which is why people jokingly call it the slowest express train in the world. The scenery along the railway is stunning with flowing rivers, ancient towns, mountain passes and lakes, even the impressive gorges and of course glaciers.
Glacier Express is known for its comfortable railcars with panoramic views. You should book a second class ticket instead of first class as there is little difference between these two classes, except for the slightly wider seat area. However, the Excellence Class lounge is a completely different experience, with luxuriously decorated seats, multi-course dining and unlimited complimentary wines including champagne. You can purchase one-way or return tickets along with packages for overnight stays at hotels along the route.
Most beautiful train rides in Switzerland: The Bernina Express
The Bernina Express, totally recognizable with its distinctive magenta color, is one of the most famous trains in Switzerland and around the world. This approximately four-hour express train connects the border town of Tirano, Italy, and the town of Chur in the state of Graubunden, Switzerland, superimposed on a change of scenery between two stunning regions. The palm trees and lakes near Tirano quickly gave way to high mountain forests, glittering glaciers in winter and the peaks of the Bernina Alps. Not only can you admire the viaducts and tunnels, Bernina’s route is also a technical marvel of the 20th century.
The Bernina Express operates all year round. Many visitors make trips to Tirano from the St. Moritz ski resort on the same day. Together with the Glacier Express, the Bernina is part of the historic Rhaetian Railway. When booking your tickets, you should be aware that the regular trains between Tirano and St. Moritz which follow the same route as the Bernina Express would cost less or not, so you can consider your options.
The 5 best scenic train rides in Switzerland: Train to the Jungfraujoch
The Jungfraujoch at 3,454m is well known to many as the roof of Europe, and Jungfraujoch Station is also the highest altitude train station in Europe. The passage from Lauterbrunnen to Jungfrau is a masterpiece of nature. Outside the window, the green valleys around the beautiful village of Wengen and the village of Grindelwald are totally amazing.
At the top of the glacier at Jungfraujoch Station is a complex of five Alpine amusement parks, observatories and an ice palace carved into the glacier. Here, you can try multiple snow sports, enjoy dining at restaurants and experience services at hotels and shopping areas. The price here is quite high so you should definitely consider your budget. Pay attention to the weather to be able to see the panorama of Jungfrau Peak under the blue sky.
The GoldenPass Line from Montreux to Zweisimmen
The GoldenPass Line is a 210km (130 miles) train route between Montreux and Lucerne. Connecting Montreux and Zweisimmen, the GoldenPass Classic is the most popular option of this stunning route. The GoldenPass MOB Belle Epoque runs on the Montreux and Zweisimmen route, offering a journey with a romantic atmosphere and nostalgic style. These railcars were inspired by the Golden Mountain Pullman Express from the 1930s, a luxurious Orient Express-style train loaded with royalty features.
To minimize the expense, you may also book the lower service of GoldenPass Classic and still admire the beautiful view. When arriving in Zweisimmen, you can choose to spend the night, or go back to Montreux, or transfer to Interlaken and Lucerne. The GoldenPass runs all year round.
As the train moves from Lake Geneva, the terrain quickly changes from the Mediterranean to the Alpine mountains, with sunny lakesides and vast vineyards giving way to ancient mountain villages and cascading streams. It’s a real paradise!
Most scenic train routes in Switzerland: The Wilderswil – Schynige Platte-Bahn Railway
As part of the Jungfrau mountain railways, the classic Schynige Platte railway was completed in 1893. Once on board, you’ll quickly take in the views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, then they give way to the panoramic view of the peaks of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. The train is mainly active in the summer from May to October, and the travel time is only about an hour.
Once at the historic Schynige Platte-Bahn Station, you can hike through hills and pastures, dine in the station’s restaurant or enjoy the magnificent scenery from the Schynige Platte hotel. If you want to go anywhere else, you can drive from Interlaken, or take the Bernese Oberland train from Interlaken to Wilderswil.
Most scenic train ride in Switzerland: The Chocolate Train
Cheese and chocolate are two of Switzerland’s culinary specialties, and a train ride from Montreux will take you to both of these national treasures. The Chocolate Train (or Train du Chocolat) takes passengers to the House of Gruyere where the famous cheese is made before moving on to the chocolate factory called Maison Cailler Nestle in Broc, which of course includes direct enjoyment of the two foods. The train is provided by Montreux Oberland Bernois Railway Company (MOB) and is part of the GoldenPass network, which runs from May to November.
Best train trips in Switzerland: The Gotthard Panorama Express from Lucerne to Lugano
A 5.5-hour journey by train and boat, Gotthard Panorama Express is renowned for its diverse landscapes, climates and cultures. The journey starts from Lucerne where you sail from Lake Lucerne to Fluelen. From here, you catch the train that climbs up to Goschenen, and then switch to another train that goes to Lugano.
At the end of this journey, you’ll travel through different areas of language and culture, from France to Germany to Italy, and end up near Lake Lugano in the southern state of Ticino. Gotthard Panorama Express runs from May to October. You can choose a number of separate routes during your journey and note that the train only serves first-class cabins.
Most beautiful train journeys in Switzerland: Brienz Rothorn Railway
A famous Bernese Oberland train, Brienz Rothorn Railway takes passengers on a 7.6km journey to Brienz Rothorn. This mode of transport is unique with exposed railcars propelled to the mountains by ancient steam locomotives. At the top of the mountain – 2,266 meters above sea level – there is a restaurant, a hotel along with hiking trails and panoramic views of Lake Brienz and the Bernese Alps. The steam train operates from June to October.
Most scenic train routes in Switzerland: Cogwheel railway from Alpnach to Mount Pilatus
Maybe, you’ve seen little mountain carriages with serrated wheels, surrounded by magnificent mountain views. The same goes for the Alpnachstad to Mount Pilatus route, which might be considered the steepest cogwheel train in the world with a gradient of up to 48%.
The majestic little red train takes 30 minutes to climb 4,816 meters from Alpnachstad on the shores of Lake Lucerne to Pilatus Kulm, a recreation area on top of the Pilatus Mountain. The original cogwheel system was built in 1889 and has not changed much since then. Crossing the meadows and cutting through large rocks, this is one of Switzerland’s most memorable short train journeys. At the summit there are hotels, restaurants, winter snow parks as well as recreation activities such as mountain climbing and summer games.
You can choose packages including round-trip river cruises from Lucerne, overnight stays and meals. The train runs from May to November, and if you travel at other times of the year, you can get to the top by cable car.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in Switzerland you can refer to
- 4G WiFi (SG Pick Up) for Europe
- 4G Portable WiFi for Europe from Uroaming
- 3G/4G SIM Card for Multiple European Countries (HK Airport Pick Up)
- Half Day Trip to Mount Titlis with Cable Car from Lucerne
- Jungfraujoch Day Tour from Lucerne
- Day Trip to Mount Titlis with Cable Car (Zurich Departure)
- Swiss Travel Pass
Are you looking for more Switzerland travel guide and top things to do in Switzerland: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Switzerland itinerary 8 days — What to do & How to spend 8 days in Switzerland by train perfectly? And here.