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Grand Train Tour of Switzerland

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
11 days From $3,304 per person
4.6 stars(36 reviews)

Travel through Switzerland by rail and take in its spectacular countryside while staying in beautiful Swiss towns along the way.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary
Save up to $350

Get up to $350 off the listed price when you book a qualifying US, Canada or Europe independent rail vacation by September 27, 2023. Savings applied at checkout or by calling a rail specialist.

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2024 Tour code: WE-GTSS-24

About the tour

Discover the diverse regions of Switzerland on this 11-day vacation. This trip, which takes you on a variety of Swiss rail lines, is a train lover's dream. Filled with twists and turns along rivers and mountainsides, you can relax and enjoy stunning views only available via rail.

You'll view stunning landscapes such as the Bernese Oberland, Simmen Valley, Lake Geneva, the Rhine Gorge and, of course, the Matterhorn. As you travel from city to city, there is plenty of free time to explore each area and immerse yourself in Swiss culture.

Unforgettable Experiences

Glacier Express
Glacier Express
Take in some of Switzerland's most dramatic scenery on the Glacier Express.
Mount Jungfraujoch
Mount Jungfraujoch
Take in the breathtaking views of the largest glacier in the Alps, Aletsch Glacier, which is a UNECO World Heritage site.
Lake Lucerne
Lake Lucerne
Board a historic paddle steamer and enjoy a relaxing cruise across Lake Lucerne.

What’s included


Day 1 - Arrive in Zurich

Arrive in Zurich and settle into your hotel. Your day is free to discover the world-famous shopping mile Bahnhofstrasse or stroll along the banks of Lake Zurich. Overnight Zurich.

Day 2 - Train to Wengen/Grindelwald

Today board the train for a beautiful trip to Lucerne, which is filled with medieval architecture. The train takes you over the Brunig pass into the Bernese Oberland, where it winds along the lovely Lake Brienz. After a short journey, you arrive in Grindelwald or Wengen.

The Eiger village of Grindelwald is embedded in a welcoming and green hollow, surrounded by a commanding mountainscape with the majestic view of Eiger north face and the Wetterhorn. Wengen is a holiday resort area that lies on a wind-protected sun terrace at the foot of the Jungfrau, 400 meters above the Lauterbrunnen Valley at an altitude of 1274m. The tradition-imbued, car-free holiday resort offers family-friendly activities and plenty of hiking and biking opportunities. Overnight Grindelwald or Wengen*.

*April, May, & October departures will overnight in Grindelwald. June - September departures will overnight in Wengen.

  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Excursion to Jungfraujoch

Take the train to the mountain pass of Kleine Scheidegg at the foot of the famous Eiger. Here you will board the Jungfrau Railway and ride via Eiger Gletscher to the Jungfraujoch - the highest railway station in Europe at 3454m. Take in the breathtaking views of the largest glacier in the Alps, Aletsch Glacier, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight Grindelwald or Wengen*.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - GoldenPass Panoramic Train to Montreux

Your journey on the Golden Pass Panoramic continues today. Along the shores of Lake Thun you reach the Simmen Valley with the quaint village of Zweisimmen and the world-renowned holiday resort of Gstaad. You'll continue to travel through the wild romantic Pays d'Enhaut Highlands with the scenic villages of Chateau d'Oex and Montbovon. Pass through a tunnel before the panoramic view of Lake Geneva and Montreux opens in front of you. Overnight Montreux*.

*During the Montreux Jazz Festival, accommodations will be provided in nearby Lausanne.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Train to Zermatt

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then travel to Zermatt, which lies at the foot of the amazing Matterhorn. Zermatt is a car-free zone and has preserved its original character. You have free time here to take in the local shops and restaurants with a magnificent backdrop. Overnight Zermatt.

  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Optional Excursion to Gornergrat

Today you have the opportunity to take a non-guided excursion to the Gornergrat. You will ride Europe's highest open-air cogwheel train to the summit and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and the Matterhorn. Overnight Zermatt.

  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Glacier Express

In the morning, board the Glacier Express for a thrilling ride in the panoramic carriage, where you can take in some of Switzerland's most dramatic scenery. Along the deep Rhone Valley, the Glacier Express travels through an incredibly fascinating part of the Alps as it drives over the Oberalp Pass and through the impressive Rhine Gorge. After an exhilarating trip, you will arrive in Chur, Switzerland's oldest city, which will charm you with its fine mountain setting, twisting alleys and historic buildings. Numerous boutiques, restaurants, bars, museums and galleries in the largely traffic-free Old Town create a Mediterranean-style atmosphere. Overnight Chur.* 

*Passengers traveling in Excellence Class will overnight in St. Moritz.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 - Bernina Express

Board the narrow-gauge Bernina Express and enjoy one of the most impressive scenic rail journeys Switzerland offers. Travel over the impressive Brusio Circular Viaduct and pass through 55 winding tunnels before reaching Tirano, Italy. Change to the Bernina Express Bus, which takes you onwards to Ticino. The journey ends in Lugano, Southern Switzerland's largest town. Overnight Lugano.

  • Breakfast
Day 9 - Excursion to Monte Bre or Boat Ride to Gandria

Today you have a chance to journey up to Monte Bre, the sunniest mountain in Switzerland, or take a boat ride to the picturesque town of Gandria. On the excursion to Monte Bre, ride a cable car to the summit at 933 meters and admire the magnificent Alpine foothills from a sunlit terrace overlooking Lake Lugano. Gandria is a fishermen village perched at the bottom of Monte Bre, famous for its romantic atmosphere. The tranquil town's center is closed to traffic and features tiny streets and stairways with views of gorgeous landscapes. Should you not wish to purchase either of these optional excursions, you will have a day at leisure in Lugano to explore this southern city at your own pace. Overnight Lugano****. 

  • Breakfast
Day 10 - Gotthard Panorama Express

Travel by first class panorama carriage from Lugano to Fluelen via Bellinzona, the lowest point in the route the train reaches via amazing spiral loops. The train journey takes you from the Mediterranean south right into the heart of Switzerland via the Gotthard tunnel which was built in 1882. In Fluelen, board a historic paddle steamer and enjoy a relaxing cruise across Lake Lucerne. Overnight Lucerne.

  • Breakfast
Day 11 - Departure

Enjoy a final breakfast at your hotel before traveling back to Zurich city center or airport for your onward journey. 

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Hotels commonly used are the Hotel Adler, Zurich, Hotel Alpenrose Wengen, Tralala Hotel, Montreux, Hotel Adonis, Zermatt, Hotel Post, Chur, Hotel Colorado, Lugano, and Hotel Alpina, Lucerne. Rail reservations are in standard class. Upgrades to first class are available upon request. 

Hotels commonly used are the Glockenhof Zurich, Sunstar Alpine Hotel Wengen, Hotel Eden Palace au Lac, Montreux, Schlosshotel Life & Style, Zermatt, Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur, Hotel De la Paix, Lugano and Hotel Des Balances, Lucerne. Rail reservations are in standard class. Upgrades to first class are available upon request.

Excellence Class travelers will enjoy the same hotel accommodations as Superior Class, with first-class rail reservations. In addition, travelers will experience Excellence Class on the Glacier Express for the journey from Zermatt to St. Moritz. This is the newest class of service on the famous Glacier Express and the luxurious experience is available on the train's full route between the resort towns of Zermatt and St. Moritz. Guests in Excellence Class enjoy comfortable lounge seating beside large panoramic windows, exclusive access to the Glacier Bar, and a first-class dining experience during the entirety of the journey, including an elegant five-course meal featuring seasonal cuisine paired with wine. 

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Bernina Express
The Glacier Express
The GoldenPass Line
Gotthard Panorama Express

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4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 36 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Joyce Hammond

5 stars

Submitted 19 Sep 2023

I had a marvelous trip. Especially enjoyed staying in Wengen with the most wonderful views.

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5 stars

Submitted 03 Sep 2023

My daughter and I went and we had a wonderful time! The hotels were outstanding and so beautiful..we did not go first class on them!

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4 stars

Submitted 03 Sep 2023

Trains afforded beautiful scenery and comfort. Impeccably stuck to schedule. Some of the hotels left much to be desired.

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5 stars

Submitted 31 Aug 2023

Hotels were wonderful! Train tickets worked out great! We thought Vacations by Trail did a fantastic job! Just a couple recommendations... Include directions to hotels and a brief description of excursions ahead of time.

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5 stars

Submitted 11 Aug 2023

Swiss Rail arranged for an exceptional rail and hotel experienc!

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Roger W

5 stars

Submitted 09 Aug 2023

We did the self-guided version of this tour. The locations we stayed were knock-your-socks-off beautiful, the mix of 3 and 4 star hotels at the "moderate" level were all very nice, ranging from completely adequate to downright opulent. Locations near town centers and the train were perfect-- everything was walkable. The breakfasts offered got better and better as the trip went on. The Swiss trains need to be experienced to be believed, we're not talking Amtrak here, the trains are an utter delight. Clean, frequent quick, and on time. The scenic trains are everything they are cracked up to be. The trip plans, tickets and vouchers were both clear and flawless. No errors or issues of any kind. The Swiss train iphone app made navigating the rail system incredibly easy. Things that might have been better/improved: -- negotiating small modifications to the itinerary (we wanted to add some extra days in various cities) took forever, as if the communication between the US office and the actual arrangers in Switzerland we being handled by snail mail. It was almost two months of near daily back-and-forth between first contact and a final itinerary with multiple price changes as time went on-- beware the scenic trains sell out quickly in high season, complicating the process. The trip was well worth the hassle at the end though. -- Though there were stream train excursions on several of the routes scheduled very close to our dates, none of them could be scheduled-- a disappointment if your interest is historic trains. Be sure to get a steamship across Lake Lucerne; the engine was worth the trip! -- Switzerland is an expensive place to travel-- but we know that, and it may well be one of those "you get what you pay for" things. We had a fabulously wonderful time and would do it again in a heartbeat. Just a note-- pack light! We did fine with just a carry-on bag. Hauling more would have been a challenge. You need to be able to negotiate stairs and steep hills to really enjoy this trip-- we're in our 70's and did fine.

from Vacations By Rail
Thank you for taking the time to provide your detailed feedback. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in Switzerland; What a great tip to download the Swiss Rail app! We regret to hear that you experienced communication issues. This is not in line with our standards and we've made the product team aware for future trips. We hope you travel with us again! :)
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