Picturesque journeys: Scenic trains in Switzerland with a Swiss Travel Pass

Switzerland is famed for being a picturesque nation. It also has extensive rail connectivity, over which trains run like clockwork. So it is natural that post-card-worthy scenes unfold as you traverse the rails. Also, many people attest that Switzerland is best explored by train. This scenic travel experience becomes grander and more luxurious with premium panoramic trains like the Glacier Express, Golden Pass Line, Bernina Express, and Gotthard Panorama Express. The Grand Tour of Switzerland via trains is renowned for its optimum coverage of all the most scenic rail routes in the country. 

If you believe that the ‘journey is the reward’, do catch a ride on the scenic trains in Switzerland mentioned below with the Swiss Travel Pass and witness dramatic vistas unfurl from the train’s large glass windows. 

Scenic trains in Switzerland

Glacier Express
Bernina Express
Luzern-Interlaken Express

Luzern-Interlaken Express

  • Route: Lucerne - Interlaken
  • Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Reservation: Seat reservations are recommended but not mandatory 
  • Places of interest en route: Lucerne, Brünig Pass, Meiringen Lake Brienz, Bernese Alps, Interlaken
  • Good to know: Luzern-Interlaken Express is part of the GoldenPass Line and the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland
GoldenPass Line

GoldenPass Line

  • Route: Montreux - Zweisimmen - Interlaken - Lucerne
  • Duration: 5.5 hours
  • Reservation: Reservations vary with the train and class. However, it is entirely possible to cover this route without reservations.
  • Places of interest en route: Bernese Oberland, Simmen Valley, Pays d’Enhaut, Gstaad, Interlaken, Lucerne, Brünig Pass, Montreux
  • Good to know: The GoldenPass Line typically comprises three train rides - from Luzern to Interlaken, Interlaken to Zweisimmen & Zweisimmen to Montreux. In the GoldenPass Express, you can make this journey in two rides
Gotthard Panorama Express

Gotthard Panorama Express

  • Route: Lucerne - Flüelen (Steamboat); Flüelen - Lugano (Train)
  • Duration: 2 hours 43 minutes (Lucerne to Flüelen); 2 hours 28 minutes (Flüelen to Lugano)
  • Reservation: Seat reservations are mandatory even with a Swiss Travel Pass
  • Places of interest en route: Gotthard Tunnel, Lake Lucerne, Wassen Church, Bellinzona, Lugano
  • Good to know: Gotthard Panorama Express operates seasonally. It only has 1st class on the train, so if you have a 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass, you should upgrade it. 

Frequently asked questions

What are some of the scenic train routes in Switzerland?

You will encounter some of the best scenic train journeys in the world in Switzerland. Popular rides include the Glacier Express, Bernina Express, and the GoldenPass Line. Mountain railway rides are always special, so check out Jungfrau (the highest railway station in Europe dubbed “Top of Europe”), Gornergrat (Zermatt – Gornergrat), Pilatus (steepest cogwheel railway in the world), and Wengernalpbahn railways. You can also check out Voralpen Express and Mont Blanc Express.

Are premium trains free with the Swiss Travel Pass?

Mostly, yes, scenic premium trains in Switzerland are free with a Swiss Travel Pass. There are two components in the fare - a ticket price and a seat reservation charge. The pass covers the ticket price but not the seat reservation supplement, which needs to be made separately at the train’s website if it is mandatory. Read more about seat reservations with the Swiss Travel Pass.

Do I need reservations for premium trains even with a Swiss Travel Pass?

Not all scenic trains in Switzerland require mandatory seat reservations. However, if they are required you need to make them separately at the train’s website. Choose Swiss Travel Pass at checkout to see the total price going down to just the seat reservation charges. Read more about seat reservations with the Swiss Travel Pass.

Which is the most scenic train route in Switzerland?

The answer to the most scenic train route in Switzerland is highly debatable. Glacier Express and Bernina Express are the top contenders, both of which in their own right, deserve the tag of the most scenic train in Switzerland. 

How do I make reservations with the Swiss Travel Pass on premium trains?

To make reservations with the Swiss Travel Pass on premium trains, head out to the train’s website and follow the instructions. At checkout, choose Swiss Travel Pass to cut down the ticket price to just reservation charges. Read more about seat reservations with the Swiss Travel Pass.

How do I use my Swiss Travel Pass?

Using the Swiss Travel Pass is extremely easy. Read more about the usage and activation of Swiss Travel Pass.