Request a call

Grand Train Tour of Switzerland 12 Days

Our Signature Swiss Alps Rail Tour

Tour Overview

From $8,923 | Small Group Guided Rail Tour | Fixed Departure Dates

Our Grand Train Tour of Switzerland 12 Days is designed to give you the ultimate alpine experience. Enjoy the breathtaking natural spectacle from the comfort of your first-class seat on board of 11 of the world’s most famous trains. 

Enjoy the friendly atmosphere of a small travel group (max 16 participants). Travel lights with our dedicated luggage transfer service. Sleep in authentic 3 and 4-star mountain hotels and savor locally sourced Swiss food. Our itinerary includes two nights in each location, allowing for a relaxed, slow-paced mode of travel. Relax and soak up the alpine atmosphere during this showstopping ride.

Hightlights

Featured Swiss Railways

Book the Grand Rail Tour Today!

Our Itinerary

On this Grand Train Tour of Switzerland 12 Days you will  ride on legendary railways, boats, ferries, and buses to experience the grandeur of the Swiss Alps. From the iconic Matterhorn to the impending beauty of Jungfrau, experience the best what Switzerland has to offer. Enjoy peaceful boat cruises, gentle hikes and exciting gondola rides. 

travel with furka railway
landwasser viadukt
grand train tour packing list

Arrive early and acclimate!

For more peace of mind, add the Pre-Tour Airport Meet-and-Greet option when booking the 12-Day rail tour.

In this optional package your guide will pick you up at the Zurich airport and help you transfer to the hotel in Lucerne. You will get a change to meet other members of the group and get a snapshot of beautiful Lucerne on your won.

Grand Rail Tour Pre-Trip Information and pricing.

zurich airport meet and greet

IMPORTANT

The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland 12 Days starts on Day 1 at 8 am with a itinerary briefing and Q&A session. You are welcome to purchase our Pre-Tour package or arrive in Lucerne at your own convenience. There will be only one briefing during the tour. While it’s not compulsory to attend it, we recommend that you’re present to meet other participants and ask your questions about the itinerary.

—-

After the briefing, we’ll start the day with a trip to Mount Rigi where we’ll board 140-year-old cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm.  At the top we will have an opportunity to take in the spectacular 360 degrees view of the Alps, glaciers, green meadows dotted with cows and, of course, Lake Lucerne. After that we will take another cogwheel train to Vitznau. Here we will board a boat and take a cruise back to Lucerne in time for lunch. 

In the afternoon we’ll take a leisurely stroll around the old town learning more about the history of Lucerne and its most important sights. We will stop at the historic Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument, St. Leodegar’s Church, and other sites of interest.

Upon interest, we will visit  Glacier Garden to learn about Lucerne’s ecology & glacier past. Alternatively we will visit the nearby Transportation Museum where we can learn more about the fascinating history of one of the world’s best public transport systems.

That evening, we’ll dine at one of Lucerne’s fine restaurants in the city center.

Meals Included: Dinner.

Accommodation: Continental Park Hotel (or comparable lodging).
unique things to do in lucerne

Today we are going to visit another famous mountain, Pilatus, where we will board the world’s steepest cogwheel train (48% gradient). On the summit we will have about 1 hour to enjoy all the activities: admire a stunning panorama on the Alps, the Lake Lucerne, do a short hike, watch a documentary movie about Mt. Pilatus or simply enjoy a cup of coffee.

To descend the summit we will take a gondola down to Kriens where we will hop on the train and then bus to Seelisberg.

There we will visit “Aschwanden”, a local cheese farm run by the fourth generation of the Aschwanden family. Here you will hear first-hand how the farm cooperates with local farmers, learn about the process of cheesemaking and sample an original “Bergkase”, mountain cheese.

Depending on the schedule, we will get to see “Rütli” where, as the legend has it, Switzerland was founded in 1291. Here you will be able to enjoy the magnificent Swiss Alps scenery as seen across the Lake Lucerne. From there we will take a steamer for a 2-hour cruise back to Lucerne.

Dinner at the city center.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Continental Park Hotel (or comparable lodging).

day trip to pilatus

Today we’re leaving Lucerne for our next destination: St. Moritz. We will depart on the Voralpen Express, traveling through the rolling landscapes of Eastern Switzerland to St. Gallen where we’ll visit the Abbey Library–one of the oldest libraries in the world. Built in the 9th Century A. D., the library stores priceless manuscript collections from the Carolingian and Ottonian periods.

In the afternoon, we’ll continue on to Chur, where we will change trains and board one headed to St. Moritz. This is the Glacier Express route, where you can admire several engineering marvels such as Landwasser viaduct, Albula line and a few spiral tunnels. 

Once in St. Moritz, we will take the legendary funicular which will take us to the summit of Muottas Muragl. Here we will dine at the panoramic restaurant overlooking the peaks and lakes forming the the upper Engadine valley. 

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Hauser (or comparable lodging).

switzerland rail tour 3 days

Today our group will board the famous Bernina Express to travel across the highest railway in the Alps, a route that offers spectacular views of mountain peaks, glaciers and waterfalls. These are the Alps at their most impressive. 

We will board the train early in the morning and enjoy a spectacular 2-hour ride through the Pontresina valley up to Ospizio Bernina located at a staggering 2,253 metres (7392 ft) above sea level. On the way we will be able to admire the magnificent Morteratsch Glacier before slowly starting our descend to Poschiavo and finally, crossing the border to Italy with a final stop in Tirano. 

Here we will enjoy an authentic north-Italian lunch and stroll around the picturesque old town, making sure to pass by the local must-sees such as Santuario Madonna di Tirano and Palazzo Salis.

We will take the train back early in the afternoon. After a 2-hour journey, we will be back in St. Moritz. Here, depending on the group’s preference we can go for a short guided hike, take a trip to Piz Corvatsch, where you can admire amazing views on the Engadine Valley, or relax at the hotel. 

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hauser Hotel (or comparable lodging).

is bernina express worth it

Today we are going to travel on the famous Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Andermatt. During this breathtaking journey you will be able to admire countless natural and man-made wonders. From circle tunnels and impossibly high viaducts to the Rhein Gorge (dubbed Swiss “Grand Canyon”) and sky-high peaks around Oberalp Pass at (2033 meters/6000 feet), Glacier Express provides unforgettable experience through many Swiss UNESCO National Heritage Sites.

During this panoramic journey you will enjoy the comfort of a first-class car, access to a restaurant coach and all amenities before arriving at Andermatt in the early afternoon.

In the afternoon you will have options of things to do. You can go to the hotel and relax, walk around the village of Andermatt, explore the Chedi hotel, and/or walk or take the train to the famous Devil’s Bridge. The Devil’s bridge, which was built from wood back in the 13th century and replaced by a stone bridge in about 1585, provides access to the Schöllenen Gorge today and carries traffic across the Gotthard pass from north to south and vice versa. The stone bridge has been replaced and extended several times over the years. The newest bridge dates back to 1956.

Dinner will be at a local restaurant in Andermatt.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Crown (or comparable lodging).

 

travel with glacier express

In the morning, we’ll take a yellow Postal Bus up to the Gotthard Pass summit. After a 25-minute ride we will take a short walk from the station to the recently declassified military bunker built during WWII to protect Switzerland’s southern flank from invading forces. We will enjoy an exciting 1-hour guided tour led by a Swiss military historian.

After a short lunch break, the group will take a 45-minute ride to Realp, where the day’s main attraction will await: a 2-hour trip on on a historic steam Furka railway. This original cogwheel train will take you on an exciting tour from Realp to Oberwald, through the second highest rail crossing in Europe, after the Bernina. The Furka steam train offers unparalleled views of the Rhone and Mutt glaciers.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Crown (or comparable lodging).

travel with furka railway

Today we say adieu to Andermatt, and travel through the Furka Tunnel linking the German-speaking region of Switzerland to the Canton of Valais where both Swiss German and French is spoken. Notably, the Swiss German dialect in Valais is renowned for its complexity, often proving a challenge to understand.

The Furka Base Tunnel, an integral part of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn’s Furka–Oberalp railway line, facilitates the east-west railway connection between the cantons of Valais and Uri.

Our destination is the renowned charming Zermatt, where we’ll arrive early enough to leisurely explore the town, where views of the iconic Matterhorn await at every turn. You’ll even have time for some shopping and the opportunity to indulge in the wellness offerings at our hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel La Ginabelle (or comparable accommodation).

brief history of gornergrat railways

Experience breathtaking views of Mt. Matterhorn and the Alps in an excursion that combines a cogwheel train ride with an optional easy to moderate day hike.

Gornergrat Cogwheel Railway is a 125-years-old narrow gauge line that’s Europe’s second-highest railway and the highest open-air railway on the continent. It climbs up to 10,134 feet (3089 meters) and offers incredible views of the Matterhorn along the way.

At the top of Gornergrat we will have a selection of activities to do. Our group will walk up to the 360-degree platform area, providing a panoramic view of 29 alpine peaks higher than 13,123 feet (4000 meters), including the world-famous Matterhorn. Those who wish to do so, can embark on an immersive experience at Zooom the Matterhorn. Here, thanks to VR, you can experience what it’s like to glide above the Matterhorn.

From there, those who wish to do so, will for for 1,5h hike from Rotenboden to Riffelberg. The path leads along sign-posted trail of an alpine nature reserve, featuring awe-inspiring views of the Matterhorn mirrored in pristine alpine lakes.

From here the itinerary is flexible and depends on the weather. The guides can suggest the best places for lunch up in the mountains or in Zermatt. After lunch, you can explore Zermatt on your own, go shopping or relax.

Our guides will be happy to take you on a 1-hour-long guided tour of Zermatt: learn more about how people lived here more than 200 years ago and visit Zermatt’s “Old Village”.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel La Ginabelle (or comparable accommodation).

gornergrat cogwheel train

Today we will travel through the lush green cantons of Fribourg and Bern with one of the world’s most picturesque Swiss railways, the GoldenPass Line.

After leaving Zermatt we will travel through the canton of Valais famed as one of the most important vine-growing regions in Switzerland. After arriving in Montreux, the capital of the Swiss Riviera, we will change trains to the Goldenpass Line connecting Montreux with Interlaken.

We continue on the GoldenPass Line through the Préalps of the canton of Fribourg and through the beautiful Simmental Valley known for the sturdy brown and white cows and the world famous resort town of Gstaad, home to many Hollywood stars.

In Interlaken we will stop for an immersive chocolate workshop with a professional chocolatier. Here you will learn all about the Swiss impact on the chocolate industry, the art of chocolate making and how to attest the quality of chocolate. At the end you will create your own unique chocolate bar you can bring home.

From there we will continue our journey with one last connection to Grindelwald in the Jungfrau region, where we will arrive in the early evening.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Derby (or comparable accommodation).

swiss train culinary exprience

Today our journey begins with an ascent from Grindelwald Terminal to Eiger Glacier with an ultra-modern panoramic Eiger Express gondola. Here we will be able to admire Eiger Glacier covering the hills of the famous “Ork” mountain.

Here we will board the famous Jungfraubahn, an electric cogwheel railway opened in 1912 connecting Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe.

Jungfraujoch, a mountain pass nestled between the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, offers unparalleled views of Europe’s largest glacier, the Aletsch Glacier. The Jungfraujoch station offers endless list of activities: from visiting ice palace, to climbing up the Sphinx tower, and learning about the origin of the Jungfrau Railway. 

In the afternoon, we descend from Jungfrau to Kleine Scheidegg where we will board a train to Lauterbrunnen. Here we will transfer to a postal bus en route to the mesmerizing Trümmelbach Falls. This natural wonder consists of ten glacier-fed waterfalls concealed within the mountain, accessible via a tunnel-funicular complex built in 1913. These falls cascade with the force of up to 20,000 liters (5283 gallons) of glacier meltwater per second, crashing over 20,000 tons ( over 40 mln pounds) of boulders, creating a continuous spectacle that resonates with the sheer magnificence of nature.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Derby (or comparable accommodation).

jungfraujoch experience

Today we are going to leave Grindelwald and head to Zurich. In the morning we will board the Postal Bus in Grindelwald for a scenic ride over the Grosse Scheidegg. We will ride past alpine meadows and chalets to reach the Schwarzwaldalp. Here we will change buses with time to visit the old Schwarzwaldalp sawmill. 

Continuing our journey, we pass by the renowned Reichenbach Falls, famously featured in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Final Problem” as the dramatic setting for the climactic showdown between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty.

Once in Meiringen, we transfer to the Zentral Railway and travel over the Brünig Pass to  Lucerne where we connect to the train to Zurich.

In Zürich we will have lunch at a local restaurant in the heart of town. Afterwards there is time for your Guide to provide a walk-through in the old parts of Zürich. Towards evening we head to the Zürich main station and take the train to our Zürich airport hotel and check you in.

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

Accommodation: Hotel Hyatt-Place (or comparable lodging).

best Swiss cities to visit

Today is departure day. 

We wish you a safe onward journey to your next destination.

Meals included: Breakfast. 

must-see things in zurich

Not ready to go home? The Post-Tour option extends your rail tour with 3 days of Italian flair, both in the Swiss canton of Ticino and the Lake Como-Bellagio-Lugano region of Italy. Grand Rail Tour Post-Trip Information and Pricing.

lugano post-tour

Book the Grand Rail Tour Today!

Details and pricing

Adult Standard: US $8,923 per person, based on 2 people in a double/twin room

Single Supplement: 100$/night

10% Deposit secures the booking – balance due 90 days before the departure date

  • Services of a local Swiss Resident English-speaking guide
  • 1st Class Rail Pass throughout
  • 2 nights Lucerne
  • 2 nights St. Moritz
  • 2 nights Andermatt
  • 2 nights Zermatt
  • 2 nights Grindelwald
  • 1 night Zurich
  • 3-course dinners and an extensive breakfast buffet daily
  • All ground transportation including mountain railways and cable cars
  • All admission costs
  • Daily transfer of your luggage directly from hotel to hotel – carry only your day-pack
  • Lunches
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Items for personal use

Tipping in Switzerland is not mandatory but appreciated.

Restaurants: Leave a tip if you’re happy with the service. Usually, it’s around 10% of the bill.

Guides: Typically a tip varies from 10$ to 20$ per person, per day.

See our Cancellation Policy for more details.

Visa, Maestro and Mastercard are commonly accepted in Switzerland. American Express is less popular and many businesses don’t accept it. The country is becoming more and more cashless with contactless and mobile payments (Google and Apple Pay). Still, it’s useful to have some cash on you while travelling. All banks provide currency exchange services at a favorable rate.

Reasonable Fitness Required

This is a tour based solely on public transportation. Bear in mind, that apart from optional walks and hikes, you will have to commute on foot from the train station to the hotel, between the hotel and restaurants, and from one activity to the next. Such commute routes take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.

The amount and intensity of walking everyday varies throughout the trip. It’s safe to say that you will walk anywhere between 5,000 to 12,000 steps a day (40 minutes to 2,5 hours). 

We make several train connections, or move from train to bus or boat, each day. This means you will be walking up and down train platform stairs or ramps to make the  connection platform changes. These connection times can range from 7 to 15 minutes and are usually close to another, so a regular walk pace is all that’s needed.

Sometimes our reserved seats are on the end of a long train and sometimes we only know where our reserved seats are when the train arrives so then we need to walk briskly to enter the respective car.

Although this is a Rail Tour, a reasonable walking fitness is required to fully enjoy the splendour of Switzerland. 

Here you can find all the information about the Packing List for the Grand Rail Tour of Switzerland. 

  1. Click on any of the “Book now” buttons on the page.
  2. You will be redirected to our dedicated booking platform.
  3. Choose a desired date for your trip add number of participants. Click continue.
  4. Fill out the form with all travellers’ details and click “Confirm booking”.
  5. Once we receive your booking request you will be sent an email with payment instructions from our partner Flywire.
  6. Follow the instructions in the email.
  7. Once the payment is processed, your booking is confirmed.

Check our review page

Book the Grand Rail Tour Today!

Plan Your Grand Train Tour of Switzerland

2024 Dates
2025 Dates

NOTE: Our Grand Rail Tours are limited to 16 people. Book your rail tour now to guarantee your seats.

Book the Grand Rail Tour Today!

Testimonials

Need more rail travel inspiration?

Subscribe to our newsletter for a monthly dose of insider tips and be the first to know about our special offers for exclusive rail tours in Switzerland.