The 5 most scenic train journeys in Switzerland

We have listed for you the 5 most beautiful train trips in Switzerland. By train you will get to places in Switzerland where you cannot get to by car or bus. Across the Alps or over a mountain pass. Train journeys on the most beautiful routes and with the most spectacular views!

Bernina Express

With the Berina Express, you will take one of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe, if not the world. In Canton Graubünden, this famous red express train manages to overcome great differences in altitude. From Chur and St. Moritz, the Bernina Express travels to the Italian town of Tirano, a town known for its beautiful historic center.

Bernina Express in the snow
The Bernina Express starts in Switzerland's oldest city: Chur. The route then heads toward Thusis, where the breathtaking part of the journey begins. The train then travels along the Albula railroad line, which has been designated a World Heritage Site since 2008. This mountainous 61-kilometer (37 miles) railroad line passes through 55 viaducts and 39 tunnels. The Bernina Express also passes over the Landwasser viaduct on this part of the route. This impressive viaduct is 65 meters (213 ft) high and already 110 years old. It is one of the highlights of the trip.

Bernina Express view
At the town of Samedan, the Bernina Express leaves the Albula railroad line and enters the Bernina railroad line. This part of the journey is also very impressive and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here the train passes the Bernina Pass at 2328 meters (7637 ft), the highest point of the journey. Those who enjoy hiking can take a walk over the famous mountain pass. For example, from Ospizo station to Alp Grüm, this is a distance of less than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). On the Berina Pass there is a beautiful view of Lake Lago Bianco.

Glacier Express

It is one of the most famous trains in the world, the Glacier Express, which guarantees hours of highlights. In a panoramic carriage, you travel comfortably and pleasantly from Zermatt to Davos or St. Moritz, or vice versa.

Glacier Express

There is catering on board, serving drinks and meals right at your seat. The Glacier Express, known as the slowest express train, travels through pristine mountain landscapes, famous spas, over mountain passes, alongside lakes, steep cliffs, wild forests, and deep gorges with remarkable rock formations formed by water over time. 

The train climbs up to the 2033 meter (6999 ft) high Oberalp Pass and winds down into the Rhine Gorge, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. Throughout its route, it passes through 91 tunnels, crosses over 291 impressive bridges, and traverses 7 valleys. One of the highlights of this journey is the Landwasser Viaduct at Filisur, which is 65 meters high and 136 meters (446 ft) long. The first Glacier Express departed from Zermatt in 1930; today, it is among the top five world-famous tourist attractions in Switzerland. It could certainly be faster, but nothing compares to this fantastic journey through the Swiss Alps. Indeed, the journey is the goal!

GoldenPass Line

The GoldenPass Express lets you enjoy the magnificent views of the Interlaken - Montreux - Zweisimmen railroad line. It is a panorama train equipped with additional windows, allowing tourists to enjoy the scenery even better. In addition to the GoldenPass Express, the Golden Pass Classic also runs between Montreux and Zweisimmen.

GoldenPass Line
After leaving behind the forested surroundings and mild climate of Lake Geneva, the train slowly but surely climbs up and you enter the Bernese Oberland. Meanwhile, the Golden Pass railroad takes you through a landscape of green pastures and cattle fields. Grazing cows, characteristic chalets, picturesque towns and historic cities define the view.

Jungfrau Railway

The journey to the Jungfraujoch is another epic train journey in Switzerland. On August 1, 1912, after sixteen years of hard labor by as many as 3,000 men, the Jungfrau Bahn was opened. It is an impressive feat of engineering.

The railway spans an elevation difference of no less than 1,400 meters (4593 ft) in 35 minutes over a distance of only nine kilometers (5.5 miles). The train ride on the Jungfrau Bahn is a journey through a wondrous glacier world of ice, snow and rock.

After passing Kleine Scheidegg station, a steep uphill journey follows, including through a seven-kilometer (4.3 miles) tunnel, right through the Eiger and the Mönch. Along the way, through openings in the almost perpendicular rock walls, you are occasionally granted a view of the impressive Eiger north face and the beautiful ice lake.

Once you reach the top, the view is breathtaking. Imposing mountains like the Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau and Schilthorn peak high up, while on the other side the Aletsch Glacier glides slowly towards Valais. In good weather, the view here from the Sphinx terrace reaches as far as the German Black Forest and the French Vosges Mountains.

Gotthard Panorama Express

The Gotthard Panorama Express offers a combination of boat and train travel from Lucerne to Lugano. From the heart of Switzerland, the train travels along the historic Gotthard panorama route to Mediterranean northern Italy.

In Lucerne, board a historic steamship at the famous Chapel Bridge for a trip across Lake Lucerne. You land in a true painting: the fjord-shaped and therefore small-feeling Lake Lucerne stretches out to the horizon colored by the imposing Rigi and Pilatus mountains. The heart of the Swiss Alps unfolds before your eyes here.

In Flüelen, you then transfer to the world-famous panorama train Gotthard Panorama Express, which takes you across the Swiss Alps and through the fifteen-kilometer (9.3 miles) Gotthard Tunnel built in 1882 to Bellinzona and Lugano in the sunny Mediterranean south.

First, the Gotthard Panorama Express makes its way through the ever narrowing valley of the Reuss River, then rises from 470 to 1,100 meters (1541 - 3608 ft) above sea level without a cogwheel, and that over a distance of only thirty kilometers (18.6 miles). Along the way, the white church of the village of Wassen can be seen three times from a different angle thanks to the spectacular railroad line with its many turning tunnels through which the Gotthard Panorama Express circles upward.

This article was last updated on March 08, 2024.