Posted by on 21 Sep 2023
Hopping on a train is one of the best ways to see the beauty that Switzerland has to offer. Travelling by rail allows you to check out the country’s most beautiful mountains, imposing viaducts, deep blue lakes and lush meadows from the window in the comfort of your cabin.
Today, we’ll be taking you through the best train rides in Switzerland if you want to see the country’s glorious landscapes and snowcapped mountain peaks. Grab your Switzerland train map and check out these must-see routes on your next European holiday.
The Glacier Express
One of the most popular and iconic scenic trains in Switzerland is the Glacier Express. Known for its recognizable red and white cars, this train connects the resort towns of Zermatt and St. Moritz—two of the most popular places to visit in Switzerland for their ski slopes, charming mountain lodges and spectacular snowy views.
The route takes this train through the Alps, traversing through almost 300 bridges and over 90 tunnels in eight hours. It’s known as the slowest express train in the world, allowing you to bask in the mesmerising mountain villages and deep valleys along the way.
Some sights to watch out for through the panoramic windows include the magnificent Landwasser Viaduct and the sublime Rhine Gorge. At the end of the ride, you alight at St. Moritz, where you can go skiing and sledding to your heart’s content.
The Bernina Express
Another of the most popular trains in Switzerland is the Bernina Express, which takes you from the old, Swiss city of Chur to Tirano in Italy. It’s a panoramic train Switzerland takes massive pride in, seeing as how the four-hour ride travels over 7,000 feet above sea level along the spectacular Bernina Pass. All in all, the rail brings you across 196 bridges and 55 tunnels.
The most beautiful sights to see while on this journey include the grand Morteratsch Glacier and the cerulean colours of Lago Bianco. Then, it goes on a downhill path towards the Poschiavo Valley. At the end of the trip, you’re free to explore the beautiful town of Tirano.
If you’re on the hunt for the most scenic train ride in Switzerland, the GoldenPass Line is a strong candidate. This rail allows you to see a huge chunk of Switzerland. The only catch is that it’s divided into three legs.
First, you go from Lucerne to Interlaken, one of the most picturesque regions to visit in Switzerland. There are tons of spectacular mountains and lakes here, including Lake Sarnen and the mountains near Brünig Pass.
Then, the second leg brings you to Zweisimmen, where you can enjoy the serene views of Lake Thun.
Finally, you head to Montreux, where you will see the breathtaking Fribourg Alps, tons of vineyards and Lake Geneva.
Another Switzerland scenic train is the one that traverses the Jungfrau Railway. Jungfrau is known as one of the more challenging mountains to climb in Switzerland. But if you’re not a thrill seeker, you will also enjoy marvelling at its spectacular snow-capped peaks from your cabin.
The train will bring you to the highest railway station in all of Europe atop this mountain. From there, you’ll see the most astonishing views of Switzerland. On a clear day, you might even see the forests of France and Germany.
There’s also a Lindt chocolate shop there to fulfil your sweet cravings. The train heads back down through Lauterbrunnen, where you will see stunning waterfalls.
Gotthard Panorama Express
Travel by land and sea at the Gotthard Panorama Express. This train ride is unique because you start by taking a motorboat cruise from Lucerne to Flüelen. Then, you’ll catch the rail to head to Bellinzona for the marvellous views of the Swiss mountains.
The train passes through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest and deepest train tunnel in the world. When you get out of the tunnel, you’ll be welcomed into Giornico, an idyllic, charming, old town village. Upon arriving at Bellinzona, make sure to check out the UNESCO Heritage castles in the area.
The Voralpen Express is used as an everyday commuter train, but its views are too beautiful to sleep on when you’re travelling in Switzerland on holiday. This ride takes just shy of three hours, so it’s terrific for those looking for a day trip to enjoy the views of Switzerland’s enchanting cities and mountains by train.
The rail follows the shore of the graceful Walensee, also known as Lake Walen. You’ll set off in the historic city of St. Gallen and then make your way to the monumental Sitter Viaduct—the highest viaduct in the country. A few other stunning viaducts, tunnels and mountain ranges later, and you’ll end up in Rapperswil and have magnificent views of Lake Zurich.
What’s awesome about the Voralpen Express is that it departs once every hour from St. Gallen for most of the day.
Mont Blanc Express
This rail route allows you to catch immaculate views of the famous Mont Blanc—the highest mountain in the Alps, sitting right at the French-Italian border. The Mont Blanc Express starts at Martigny, Switzerland and then goes up to Chamonix, France—the alpine mountain village just where the foot of the Mont Blanc sits. For most of the train ride there, you’ll see the most majestic views of this iconic, snowcapped mountain.
Bring a Switzerland Train Map and Explore the Alps by Rail
When it comes to luxury train rides in Switzerland, travellers are truly spoiled for choice. There are plenty of rail options to choose from—each with its own unique path and set of breathtaking towns and landscapes for you to set your sights on.
Whether you want to go for a classic route like the GoldenPass Line or travel by boat and train with the Gotthard Panorama Express, there’s always something for everyone on the Switzerland train map. You can’t go wrong with any of the options we’ve laid out above.
Want to make the most out of your stay in Switzerland? Check out our Switzerland holiday packages to plan the dreamiest European holiday in the Swiss Alps!