To the mountains by train. Everything you need to know about Switzerland's railway routes

Journeys | 30.01.2019
Switzerland is a country of breathtaking mountain landscapes, chocolate and outdoor activities. A perfect opportunity to go skiing or hiking. But there is an interesting way to see the country and find yourself in places you cannot reach by car or on foot - take a trip around Switzerland by train. We'll tell you all about the picturesque panoramic routes.
Glacier Express
Zermatt - St. Moritz
Switzerland's most popular railway route, which makes it no less interesting. The Glacier Express is also known as the slowest in the world. In this case, this is only a plus, you will have time to enjoy the mountain landscape from the panoramic windows. The route connects the ski resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz. So, if you go in the winter, do not forget to take your skis. There are many well-known locations: Landwasser Viaduct, (similar to the one from the Harry Potter films), the Matterhorn Mountain, which is depicted on the logo of Swiss chocolate Toblerone.
The GoldenPass Line
Montreux - Zweisimmen - Interlaken - Lucerne
A day trip with incredible mountain views. The Golden Pass is known for having the steepest train climb - a slope of 48 degrees up Mount Pilatus. There will be several transfers on the route: in Interlaken and Zweisimmen. A good option to stroll through the communes, breathe some fresh air and take a couple of photos of the beautiful mountains. You can get off at each of the stops and continue on the next train. Just do not forget to check the schedule. There are many beautiful places on the way. For example, Chillon Castle near the town of Montreux or Lake Lucerne.
Bernina Express
Chur/Davos - Tirano
Why not pop into Italy as well? The train passes through 55 tunnels and 196 bridges. You will also travel along the famous Landwassen viaduct, and the route itself runs through UNESCO world heritage sites. The train climbs up the mountains to a height of 2.253m to the glacier and the lake at Ospizio Bernina, and then descends. The route ends in Tirano, a cozy Italian commune. This is definitely not your usual train journey.
Lavaux Line
Geneva - Brig
On this route you can see the Lavaux vineyards, the largest in Switzerland. They are located between the small old town of Montreux and the French-speaking city of Lausanne. In Montreux, by the way, you can spend the night in a real yurt and see the beautiful castle, and in Lausanne you can visit the jazz festival. It's worth checking out the festival dates in advance.
St. Gallen - Lucerne
If you understand Switzerland to be more than just mountains, but also green hills and sweet houses, you should definitely take this route. It is quite short, lasting only 2 hours. It passes through the Appenzell canton with the beautiful Alps in the background. At your point of departure, the city of St. Gallen, go to the library inside the Abbey of St. Gall. The first hand-written German book is kept there, and the library itself was founded in the 9th century. And of course it is very beautiful inside.
The William Tell Express
Lucerne - Flüelen - Lugano/Locarno
The route consists of two parts: train travel and a cruise ship. A good option if you want to see the mountains and at the same time capture the stunning beauty of Lake Lucerne. You can climb up the Gotthard Pass by train, and then go on a three-hour cruise.
Jungfrau Railway
Interlaken - Lauterbrunnen - Kleine Scheidegg - Jungfraujoch
The highest railway in Europe. In Switzerland, many attractions can be attributed to the "highest". For example, on this route on 1st August 1912, the highest railway station was opened at an altitude of 3454 metres. This is also a short two-hour route, but there will be plenty of unrealistic mountain views.
The road at the foot of the Jura mountains
Basel - Geneva
As you probably know, Switzerland is a multilingual country. This route, for example, connects the German and French parts. The path passes through the cozy towns of Morges and Neuchâtel. You definitely should stroll through Geneva and Basel, along with Zurich they are among the three largest cities in Switzerland.
● In Switzerland, there is a single tourist system, the Swiss Travel Pass. This is a single ticket for all types of transport in the country. Most of the panoramic routes are also included. So you can travel about as you please. If you are younger than 26 years old, we advise you to get the Swiss Travel Pass Youth, which will give you a 15% discount on every ticket. You can buy a ticket at any railway station in Switzerland.

● Even if the route itself is free, you may still be asked to pay extra for booking a seat on panoramic routes. So bear that in mind.

● Tickets for ordinary trains in Switzerland are sold without seat reservations, but you should book seats 3 months in advance on panoramic routes.

● Download the SBB app. You'll be able to see all the public transport schedules, prices and buy tickets.
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