5 Reasons to Travel By Train in Switzerland

If travelling by train through Switzerland isn’t on your bucket list you need to put it firmly there in bold! Even now closing my eyes and thinking back to our glorious rides filled with postcard worthy views I get goosebumps.

1. The views are magical

I feel like I spent most of our train journeys with my face plastered against the window “ohhing” and “ahhing” at everything I saw. This can mostly be put down to the fact that everything is beautiful in Switzerland. The towns we went through were magical and the mountains, lakes and rivers something straight out of a fairytale.

I remember leaving Zurich main station, relaxing in my seat and incredibly tired, almost falling asleep but then seeing my first snowy peak and not being able to look away. I don’t think I could ever grow tired of staring out the window of a train!

2. The trains are efficient

In the week we spent in Switzerland we did not once experience a train being delayed or anything else going wrong. Actually the only time we took a wrong train is when we didn’t wait for the exact time and got on a train 10 min earlier that actually went to the same end destination along a different route.

Michael downloaded an app on his phone that we could check the trains and even create a whole journey on but even without that the train stations have signs up and if you really don’t know there are lots of friendly train staff always willing to help.

I also loved the fact that we could keep our ticket on our phone as a QR code and all the ticket people could scan it. We always kept our passports at hand as well as we were sometimes asked for it.

3. There are lots of special trains

When I say special trains I really mean it! There are a few different routes that you can go on that are called scenic routes and the trains have huge windows ( some even open ) to give you the best view. You have all probably heard of the famous Glacier Express and although we didn’t have time to check it out we went on the equally beautiful Golden Pass Panoramic trains.

One of the panoramic trains reminded me of the Orient Express and was absolutely beautiful inside. I almost thought we were on the wrong train when I got on. I can just imagine being all dressed up and stepping onto this beautiful train then sitting down with a glass of champagne while watching the mountains and villages go by.

Michael and I also sat on the special VIP seats on another one of the Golden Pass trains where you actually get to sit right at the front, you can book these beforehand for a small fee and let me tell you its totally worth it!

If you want to check out all the special train routes you can do so on the Swiss Travel System website.

4. You get a chance to relax, especially in first class

It was an absolute dream traveling first class all the way. Don’t get me wrong though, second class is just as clean with big windows and comfy seats! As a traveller, especially with baggage though I found it so easy to just hop on an immediately get a big comfy seat and ample space for all our stuff. A lot of people use trains as their daily means of transport so it does get fuller in peak hours but first class always seemed to have a seat for us.

It’s also easier and more relaxing as a traveller to be able to sit back and not worry about the road like you would in a car. You  unwind between places you are traveling to and also catch up on some work like we sometimes did.

5. There are stations everywhere

We never had to walk very far which was a plus when we had all our luggage with us. There will either be a train or bus station nearby and everything works so well together we hardly ever had to wait more than 15 min or so for a connection although most of the time it was more like five minutes. That doesn’t mean you have to run for a train though, it all seemed to be really close together and in peak times there is always another train really close by!

As foreigners we really had absolutely no problem navigating the trains and busses and we only wish that we had more time so we could have taken a boat as well!

8 Day Swiss Travel Pass

  • We had an eight day 1st class travel pass that cost about $597 per person.
  • Almost trains, busses and boats are free on this pass. I say almost as there are trains like the one going up to Jungfraujoch were you will have to pay extra but you do get a discount with your pass. Almost all other ones are free and thats the only extra we paid for.
  • You have free admission to over 500 museums.
  • You get up to 50% discount on a lot of mountain excursions.

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18 Comments

  1. April 6, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    These photos are INCREDIBLE!!! We took the train from Colmar, France to Geneva, Switzerland and the views were unreal. Couldn’t agree more- train is definitely the best way to travel in Switzerland {and most of Europe}

  2. April 6, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    Train travel is a great way to see a country. It also helps if the country is well-connected by rail. I’ve enjoyed traveling by train in Japan, the UK, and India. In all my journeys, I was able to see the landscape from the safety of a train window. I also caught up on my travel journaling during those long train rides.

  3. April 6, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Travelling Switzerland by train was already high up on my bucket list but now it’s advanced a good few spaces! I LOVE the efficiency of public transport in that part of Europe. I once travelled through Germany and Austria and aside from the incredible views, the efficiency was definitely my favourite aspect of the trip! I think I’d like to go during winter so as to be 100% sure I get those incredible snow-topped mountain views.

  4. April 6, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    Travelling by train in Switzerland is certainly on my bucket list. Even more so after reading your article. These trains look gorgeous and the views are stunning.

  5. Ivy
    April 6, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    Yikes, I had no idea train passes are so expensive! But rightfully so I suppose, the views and interior are unbeatable. Taking a train to Switzerland is definitely high up on our bucketlist- we’ll just have to save up before we go 🙂

    • Carlinn
      April 6, 2017 / 9:11 pm

      Second class is much less and really just as good! You can also get flexi passes etc if you won’t be traveling everyday! 🙂

  6. April 7, 2017 / 5:53 am

    I would so love to do this. I’ve always wanted to take the train in Canada and stare at the scenery. $600 and access to museums is not a bad price if you really think about it and you get an amazing view (and aren’t confined to your seats) too. I always look for train options when I want to travel but I am so new to traveling that I haven’t been able to actually do it. Yup, thanks to you this is definitely going on my bucket list.

  7. April 7, 2017 / 6:49 am

    This is such a wonderful experience. And I would like to try the special tour as well. Thank you for the idea about the Travel Pass, it might sound costly but it will give you a lot of discounts and make the best of your trip there. Thanks for sharing!

  8. April 8, 2017 / 9:19 am

    Switzerland is so beautiful and they have so many fantastic train journeys – it’s such a great way to see all the incredible landscapes, and that you can just hop and off throughout the country. And $600 is about right for Switzerland, it is quite an expensive country to travel in!

  9. April 8, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    This is incredible! I’m visiting Switzerland in August and I definitely just added this to my must-do list. Thank you!

  10. April 8, 2017 / 4:14 pm

    Amazing pictures! Planning a trip to Switzerland soon and this will definitely be on my list. I love old-fashioned trains 🙂

  11. April 8, 2017 / 4:31 pm

    Very nice! I have only been to Geneva but I LOVE trains and my husband still has to see it! So I think we will try to see it by train! Thanks for this little guide!

  12. April 8, 2017 / 4:39 pm

    Beautiful! I drove thru Switzerland once, but would love to travel via train. It’s such an incredible country (and the chocolate is to die for!) Fantastic photography, btw!

  13. April 8, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    Nice post! I am Swiss and I use the train on a daily basis. And whenever I do I can’t stop staring out of the window either!

  14. April 8, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    I miss living in Switzerland! The views are incredible, the country is gorgeous. I’ve only been on one train that was delayed.

  15. April 8, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    Wow that whole trip looked so beautiful! I’ll be taking the train next time I go to Switzerland!

  16. April 8, 2017 / 11:30 pm

    I LOVE Switzerland and your photos are absolutely magical!! I really want to go back and experience more of the country. We visited Lauterbrunnen (by train of course) and I just remember it being the most incredible place on earth. Your post is so inspiring me to go back ASAP!

  17. April 8, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    Those open window trains sound amazing! Switzerland would be the perfect place for something like this I feel! It has such beautiful nature it would be a shame to get stuck in a city!

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