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.