As a self-proclaimed Switzerland train travel expert, I am here to tell you about the best train rides in Switzerland – buckle up and find out about the most scenic Swiss train rides. These train rides are so scenic and so amazing that you will be surprised how fun it can be to use public transportation in Switzerland.

The Swiss rail network is known for being one of the most extensive railway networks in Europe and Switzerland is home to some of the most beautiful train routes in the world. Traveling by train in Switzerland offers an array of views passing by pristine lakes, valleys, and mountains.

Not only are the views breathtaking, but train travel is also a great way to experience Swiss culture and history. In fact, today, Swiss residents are some of the most avid train travelers in the world, clocking up over 2,000 km per year on average!

I would not say it is the only or the best way of getting around Switzerland (I mean, road tripping in Switzerland is also AMAZING) but it is a pretty stunning way of exploring Switzerland. 

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Before picking the most scenic train rides in Switzerland for yourself, here is some important information on costs, etc.


If you are in Switzerland for a day or two only, then you can buy single tickets on the website of the rail company. However, if you stay 3 days +, then I suggest getting a train pass. Not just a train pass.  A special one. A super special one. Let me introduce you to the amazing Swiss Travel Pass.

As a regular Switzerland visitor (who has also spent a countless amount of time on trains), I highly, highly recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass.


Of course, it depends on what exactly your itinerary looks like, but overall said: Yes, if you stay in Switzerland for more than 3 days and plan to get around by public transportation, especially if you travel between cities, or plan to visit museums, do boat cruises or mountain excursions a Swiss Travel Pass is worth it.,

The Swiss Travel Pass is for non-Swiss and non-Liechtenstein people only. So, people living in Switzerland cannot use a Swiss Travel Pass. But international visitors should really consider getting a Swiss Travel Pass.

It allows you to use all kinds of public transportation once you buy the pass without any extra costs. This means you can use trains and buses without having to worry about more costs.  There are just very few exceptions where you need to buy an extra ticket/pay a seat reservation fee.

ℹ️ A Swiss Travel Pass allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs.

ℹ️ You can also do boat cruises without additional costs with a Swiss Travel Pass.

ℹ️ It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides (you can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price, and if you follow my tips, you will need it twice).

The initial prices for a Swiss Travel Pass are quite high. It pays for itself if you get around via public transportation and are active in Switzerland for more than three or four days. So, check out prices for boats and trains and then calculate if it is a good option for you. 

For me, it usually makes sense as I am very active and use public transportation/mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland). I also love boat rides – which means many, many boat cruises for me whenever I have a Swiss Travel Pass. Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.

For this post, I will always mention whether the particular train ride is included in the Swiss Travel Pass or not.



Well, that really depends on the actual train ride. Very generally speaking, I love the summer months, early fall (until late October), and January and February the most for scenic train rides. Then the scenery is normally either stunningly green, covered in fall foilage, or in snow. However, again, this depends on each unique ride.


Without further ado, here are the best train rides in Switzerland. While most of these train rides are part of the Grand Train tour of Switzerland, not all of them are. But in my eyes, these are the top rides and I vouch for them :).

So, whether you get your tickets for the first class or second class – it almost does not matter as you have incredible views regardless.

The Glacier Express

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Zermatt, Switzerland to St. Moritz, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 8 hours

The Glacier Express is one of the most scenic train rides in Switzerland. Known as the world’s slowest express train, it starts in Zermatt and ends in St. Moritz, covering a distance of 291 kilometers in just around eight hours.

Glacier Express in Switzerland 1 class

During that time, expect to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the Swiss Alps, including lakes and snow-capped mountains. And because it is a panoramic train, you´ll have plenty of opportunities to take it all in. 

The Rhine Gorge in Graubünden - one of the most scenic routes

Glacier Express in October

Some of the most anticipated views of the Glacier Express include the Rhine Gorge, which is one of the deepest gorges in Europe, and the section between Thusis and Preda, which passes through gorges and viaducts – all nestled amongst stunning scenery.

The Glacier Express is definitely one of the best ways to see Switzerland’s natural beauty and it is not surprising that it is one of the most famous train rides in Switzerland and even the world. Check out my more detailed post on the Glacier Express here.

KEEP IN MIND: The Glacier Express hibernates at the end of October for about six weeks.

Best time: I love every season, maybe April and May a bit less since it neither is not really green nor do you have foil foliage or snow.

PRICES: The Glacier Express is free with a Swiss Travel Pass. But you have to make a compulsory reservation in advance (approx. 40€ in low season, 50€ in high season). Without a Swiss Travel Pass, tickets start at approx. 135€, plus the compulsory reservation fee.

Children under 6 travel for free, and children from 6 to 16 pay half price plus the full reservation fee. 

Alternatively, you can take local trains. You have to change trains a couple of times but you can also get out at any stop without losing your reservation. 

Read more: 

The Bernina Express

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Chur, Switzerland to Tirano, Italy

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 4 hours

The Bernina Express goes from Chur, Switzerland to Tirano in Italy, covering around 122 kilometers over four hours. Together with the Glacier Express, it might be some of the most famous scenic train rides in Switzerland, offering some spectacular views along the way.

Glacier Express, Landwasserviadukt bei Filius, Graubünden / Picture Credit: Swiss Travel Pass AG
Swiss Travel Pass AG

The journey is exceptionally beautiful from Thusis to Preda. I would say that this part is one of my top 3 – this is part of the Albula Line which is also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

But there is more to come – from Pontresina to Alp Grütsch, the train passes through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Switzerland, passing the stunning Lago Blanco which is a beauty at any time of the year.

Alp Grüm Bernina Express with Arzo Travels
Alp Grüm
Bernina Express with Arzo Travels, Mortaratsch Glacier
Mortaratsch Glacier

Local Bernina Train

The landscape is a mix of snow-capped mountains, impressive glaciers (including Mortaratsch Glacier) green valleys, and sparkling lakes with some major landmarks worth noting:

The Landwasser Viaduct is a massive stone bridge that spans the Landwasser River. It’s one of the most iconic features of the Bernina Express, and it’s definitely worth a photo op.

The Brusio Spiral Viaduct: a series of spiraling tracks that help the train navigate a sharp turn in the landscape. It’s an engineering marvel, and it’s one of the most unique features of the Bernina Express.

Several tunnels and bridges add to the excitement of the journey making the Bernina Express a train ride a must for any Switzerland visitor.

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass BUT you need to pay the reservation fee which is up to about 26 CHF during the high season. Alternatively, you can take local trains which run the exact route – but have a couple of more stops -and where you can get out at any stop.


Filisur to Davos

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Filisur, Switzerland to Davos, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 25 minutes

Filisur to Davos is a 25-minute picturesque train ride that takes you through some of Switzerland’s most beautiful landscapes. The journey begins in Filisur and travels through the rugged, yet beautiful Zügen Gorge and then over the famous Wiesen Viaduct.

Davos to Filisur train ride

This 200-meter-long bridge spans a deep valley and is one of the most photographed landmarks in Switzerland. From there, the train winds its way through tunnels, and past glaciers before arriving in Davos.

Davos to Filiur train ride in winter

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to Switzerland, do not miss the train ride from Filisur to Davos. TIP: If you have time, continue your journey all the way to Tiefencastel, so you pass the famous Landwasser Viadukt as well and see more of the gorgeous scenery along the way.

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass

Luzern – Interlaken Express

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Luzern, Switzerland to Interlaken, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration  ≈ 2 hours

The Luzern – Interlaken Express runs between the cities of Luzern (Lucerne) and Interlaken Ost train station and you get to see some of the most beautiful places in Central Switzerland. The journey takes approximately two hours, and you can expect it to be one of the best scenic train rides in Switzerland.

Luzern Interlaken Express window view

The train passes lakes, mountains, and forests, and there are several stops along the way where you can get off and explore. The best part about the Luzern Interlaken Express is that it allows you to see some of the prettiest lakes like Lake Lungern, Lake Lucerne, or Lake Brienz.

Best things to do at Lake Brienz, Interlaken

Whether you’re a Swiss resident or a tourist, the Luzern-Interlaken Express is an amazing way to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the country – this scenic train ride is a must on any Switzerland itinerary in my eyes.

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass.


 Grütschalp to Mürren

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Grütschalp to Mürren

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 14 minutes

The train ride from Grütschalp to Mürren is absolutely stunning – at any time of the year. The journey takes about 20 minutes, during which time you’ll be treated to amazing views of the snow-capped Alps.

Hiking from Grütschalp to Murren

The best part is that you can open the windows and have even better views of the surroundings – so you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Along the way, you’ll pass great views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains (as a whole also known as the Swiss Skyline).

View from train to Mürren

When you reach Mürren, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramas – it’s truly an unforgettable experience. 

TIP: You can then continue your trip via gondola to Schilthorn Mountain – the famous “James Bond Mountain“. This is not part of the train ride, but it makes an amazing day trip from Lauterbrunnen you will surely love.

Check out my Mürren post – here is what to do and see in this adorable mountain village.

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass


Geneva to Montreux (Golden Pass)

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Geneva, Switzerland to Montreux, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration  ≈ 1.5 hours

The train ride from Geneva to Montreux is part of the scenic Lauvaux railway line. The journey takes around an hour and a half, and it is especially beautiful in the summer and fall when the vineyards are in full bloom.

Vineyards of Montreux

The train winds its way through stunning countryside, passes pretty villages, and classic Swiss chalets. There are several stops along the way, including Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreux. From Geneva, the train follows the shores of Lake Geneva before heading into the heart of the Alps.

Vineyards along Lake Geneva a top thing to do in Lausanne

The views are simply breathtaking, and it’s easy to see why this part of Switzerland is such a popular tourist destination.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, the train ride from Geneva to Montreux is sure to be a highlight of your trip. 

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass


Brienzer Rothorn

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Brienz, Switzerland to Rothorn Kulm Summit, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration  ≈ 1 hour

The Brienzer Rothorn is a summit at 2,350 meters above sea level. You can get up with the Brinezer Rothorn steam locomotive which is one of the most gorgeous and unique train rides in the world.

View from Brienzer Rothorn

The duration of the Brienzer Rothorn ride is around one hour, and it takes you from Brienz village at the shores of Lake Brienz up to the summit of the Brienzer Rothorn mountain. Along the way, you are treated to amazing views of the lake, as well as the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Brienzer Rothorn with view on Lake Brienz

The best aspect about the Brienzer Rothorn is its spectacular scenery. Up at Brienzer Rothorn, you can just soak in the views or start some incredible hikesCheck out my guide for the trip to Brienzer Rothorn.

PRICES: 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass


Mount Rigi Near Lucerne

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Vitznau, Switzerland to Mount Rigi Summit (Kulm), Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 1 hour

The Mount Rigi train ride is a must-do when in Switzerland. The journey takes around an hour and passes some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.

The train leaves from Vitznau station, on the shores of Lake Lucerne, and heads up to the summit of Mount Rigi Kulm, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and forests.

Getting up Mount Rigi - a must-do activity in Lucerne

There are a few stops along the way, so you can hop off and explore before making your way back down. The Mount Rigi train ride is especially great for the sunset ride down, as the setting sun casts a warm glow over the landscape.

What to do in the winter at Mount Rigi_

But it’s also great at any time of the year, so be sure to add it to your list of things to do when in Switzerland.

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass


Lauterbrunnen to Wengen and then to Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Lauterbrunnen and then to Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg, and then to Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration  ≈ About 2 hours 

The train ride from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen (where you have stunning views of gorgeous Lauterbrunnen valley) to Kleine Scheidegg and then to Jungfraujoch is one of the most scenic and impressive railway journeys in the world.

View from train to Wengen from Lauterbrunnen valley

The journey takes approximately two hours and you have to change trains in Kleine Scheidegg, and again at Eigergletscher but you are treated to breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps throughout.

The route passes by several notable landmarks, such as the Eiger North Wall before reaching the Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station. The last part of the journey, through a tunnel, is less spectacular to me – just because I am all about views, but this is also a highlight for many.

Fallbodensee lake at Kleine Scheidegg Train Station
Fallbodensee Lake at Kleine Scheidegg Train Station

What a beautiful scenic train ride (operated by the Jungfrau Railway)- and you can enjoy this ride at any time of the year.

PRICES: From Lauterbrunnen to Wengen free with a Swiss Travel Pass, then you get a 25% discount.

 Centovalli in Ticino

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Domodossola, Italy to Locarno, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 2 hours

The Centovalli railway is a totally different experience to any other train journey in Switzerland – and the only train ride I have included for you is in the Italian-speaking part of Ticino.

Window views in Centovalli Railway

The trip takes you across rocky gorges, charming small villages, and beautiful waterfalls. The line winds its way through the picturesque Centovalli region, past forests, vineyards, and half-timbered houses.

And because it’s mostly single track, you really get a sense of traveling through the Swiss countryside.

The best time to ride the Centovalli railway is in the fall when the leaves are turning and there’s a chance of seeing some snow-capped peaks in the distance. But whatever time of year you visit, this is definitely a journey worth taking.

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass (there is a surcharge of 1,50 €/1,50 CHF to be paid on the train if you get all the way to Domodossola)


 Gornergrat in Zermatt

  • Start and End Points: Zermatt to Gornergrat
  • Duration:  ≈ 30 minutes

The Gornergrat Railway is a mountain railway that operates from Zermatt to Gornergrat – one of the highest mountain peaks in Switzerland easily accessible by rail.

Getting up Gornergrat Mountain in Zermatt-2

Grand Tour Gornergrat in Zermatt

The journey takes about half an hour! Expect to see some of the most spectacular scenery in the Swiss Alps. The Gornergrat Railway passes through forests, meadows, and glaciers, and provides stunning views of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and the ice fields of the Gorner Glacier.

The best aspects of the Gornergrat Railway are its convenient location and its panoramic views. Landmarks such as the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa are visible from the train, making this one of the most scenic train rides in Switzerland.

PRICES:50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass


Montreux to Roche de Naye

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Montreux, Switzerland to Rochers-de-Naye, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 1 hour

With its stunning mountain scenery and picturesque towns, the Montreux to Roche de Naye railway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Switzerland.

Roche de Naye train ride

The train journey takes about an hour, and you can enjoy panoramic views of Lake Geneva and the Alps as they wind their way up to the summit of Roche de Naye. 

Scenic train rides in Switzerland, Roche de Nayers

The best time to take the train is in spring or summer when the flowers are in bloom and the weather is warm. But fall is also an amazing time to enjoy this train ride because of the stunning fall foliage. However, even in winter, the journey is worth taking for the spectacular snow-capped views.

Either way, it’s an unforgettable experience that should not be missed on a trip to Switzerland.

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass from Montreux to Haut-de-Caux, then a 50% discount from Haut-de-Caux to Rochers-de-Naye.



Alpnachstedt to Mount Pilatus

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Alpnachstedt to Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 30 minutes

Take a trip on one of the steepest railway rides in existence! Hop aboard for an unforgettable journey up to Pilatus Kulm, high above Alpnachstad. Experience 48% gradients and 4’618 meters of twists and turns – all adding up to one epic adventure at 2132 meters altitude. 

Mount Pilatus with the Swiss Travel Pass

Mount Pilatus is a very popular mountain excursion – that you can either hike up or summit via cable car (all year long) or this funicular.

Nowadays, the train ride is possible from May to November, so make sure to arrive quite early in the morning – because during these few months, lines are long and it seems everyone comes to Mount Pilatus and wants to enjoy this famous train ride.

PRICES: 50% discount with a Swiss Travel Pass

Open-Air Train Rhine Gorge (Erlebniszug Rheinschlucht)

ℹ️ Start and End Points: Landquart to Ilanz, Switzerland

ℹ️ Duration ≈ 90 minutes

Ready to explore Switzerland’s breathtaking Rhine Gorge? Instead of the Glacier Express, you can hop aboard the “Erlebniszug Rheinschlucht”. This fantastic train journey takes you on a scenic adventure along one of Europe’s most beautiful river valleys. It’ll be an unforgettable experience!

Erlebniszug Rheinschlucht in the summer

This open-air train takes you through an amazing journey along the Rhine Gorge, all from the comfort of your seat! Don’t worry about missing any scenery – it doesn’t have windows.

Plus, this route runs only in warmer months for double doses of adventure and fun. Get ready to explore nature like never before!

Rhine Gorge train ride in Switzerland

It operates from 22nd April to 22nd October 2023 on Saturdays and Sundays (2-3 times a day, check the schedule beforehand). Make sure to arrive early (10-30 minutes before departure) – there is no option to make seat reservations and if the open-air compartments are full, you “have to” sit in one of the regular compartments.

PRICES: Free with a Swiss Travel Pass


Switzerland is full of incredible train rides that offer stunning landscapes and unforgettable experiences. From the Glacier Express to the Bernina Express, there are countless routes for travelers to explore.

Each journey showcases some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe and provides an opportunity to see the diverse landscape of Switzerland from a different perspective. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing ride or an exciting adventure, there are plenty of scenic Swiss train rides waiting to be experienced.

Don’t miss out on this incredible experience of the best train rides in Switzerland.



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