Switzerland is renowned for its breathtaking alpine landscapes and efficient rail network. In this blog we would like to recommend you our selection of 5 best scenic trains in Switzerland.
Read on and learn more about Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Golden Pass Line, Furka Pass Line, and Pilatus Cogwheel Train.
The Glacier Express: A Journey Through Glacial Wonderlands
Embark on a mesmerizing journey from Zermatt to St. Moritz aboard the Glacier Express. As you traverse the Swiss Alps, the panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and charming villages will assure you that you’re on one of the most scenic trains in Switzerland.
Starting off with a winding Albula pass, and the impressive Landwasser viaduct, the route dives deep into the Rhein Gorge (dubbed Swiss Grand Canyon) before starting its climb to Oberalp Pass. Marvel at Disentis and Sedrun massifs (where 4 sources of the Rhein start their course), and relax observing the rolling green pasture dotted with ever-present cows.
Finally, enjoy the climb into the narrow valley where Zermatt lies, and look out for the first peek of Matterhorn, one of the most well-known Swiss landmarks.
The onboard experience is equally enchanting, with luxurious amenities and delightful dining options, making this eight-hour journey a truly unforgettable experience.
Bernina Express: Crossing the Swiss and Italian Alps
If you had to experience only one of scenic trains in Switzerland, we recommend this.
The Bernina Express takes you on a thrilling adventure from St. Moritz to Tirano, navigating through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges.
The UNESCO-listed Albula and Bernina rail lines showcase remarkable engineering feats. The journey offers a diverse range of landscapes, from lush meadows and mirror-like alpine lakes to dramatic glaciers, such as Morteratsch Glacier.
After an impressive climb from St. Moritz to Alp Grüm, the train starts its slow descent into the Pontresina valley and ends its course across the Italian border in the small, picturesque town of Tirano. Enjoy a taste of Italy here before heading back to St. Moritz.
Golden PassLine: Between Two Lakes
The GoldenPass Line is hands-down one of the most scenic trains in Switzerland. Connecting Montreux and Lucerne, it provides a visual feast of Central Switzerland’s varied landscapes.
This is truly a luxurious experience: the train starts in Montreux, the capital of the Swiss Riviera. It slowly snakes up the hills above Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman), offering stunning views of its blue waters and the peaks of the French Alps on the other side. Then, it traverses vineyards, gently rolling hills, and dense forests of the famous Gruyere region, stopping at places like Zweisimmen and Gstaad, known for its charming Swiss chalets. Soon, the train arrives at Interlaken, a gate to the famous Jungfrau Region.
One fascinating fact about this scenic train is the technology used in new carriages. Around Zweisimmen, the gauge of train tracks changes. And the train’s chassis with it: a special transmission system adjusts to the width of the train tracks.
Apart from ultra-modern carriages, the GoldenPass Line operates unique Belle Époque-style carriages that add a touch of nostalgia to the experience.
Furka Pass Line: A Ride With Steam Locomotive
Experience the Furka Pass Line, linking Realp and Oberwald, and be treated to views of the awe-inspiring Rhone Glacier.
Furka Pass line is operated by an original steam locomotive restored to its original glory by a group of train aficionados. The line is operated mainly by volunteers who make it possible for tourists to embark on a journey back in time.
The journey on the Furka Steam Train is not just about reaching a destination but embracing the historical significance of the route, the challenging terrain, and the majestic vistas that unfold along the way.
Pilatus Cogwheel Train: The Steepest Cogwheel Train in The World
One of the most scenic trains in Switzerland is the Pilatus Cogwheel Train, ascending to the summit of Mount Pilatus from Alpnachstad near Lucerne.
Named the steepest cogwheel train in the world, this 19th-century engineering marvel climbs the famous Pilatus mountain at a staggering 48-degree gradient, offering a one-of-a-kind experience.
Feel the thrill of this steep ascent as the views of the lakes and peaks unfold beneath you while you seat comfortably ready to admire what’s in front.
Experience The Best Scenic Trains in Switzerland
These best scenic trains in Switzerland stand as testaments to the engineering mastery and the natural beauty of the country.
Discover them with our 12-Day Grand Rail Tour Of Switzerland. Join an unforgettable rail adventure in a small group of like-minded people. Follow an experienced local guide who will help you immerse yourself in the Swiss culture. Visit Swiss landmarks with 11 scenic trains and discover the comforts of traveling 1st class with a front-row seat in the spectacle provided by unparallelled beauty of Swiss Alps.
So, hop aboard one of the best scenic trains in Switzerland and capture the essence of the Swiss Alps, all within the comfort of a train carriage.
Whether you’re an avid train rider or a nature fan, riding with Swiss trains will provide you with an unforgettable experience that’s a perfect blend of both. Grab your ticket and relax – your journey of a lifetime starts today.