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Expert Advice, News, Tour Resources & More - Destination Spotlight - Europe

Vacations By Rail's Expert Advice, News, Tour Resources & More keeps you up to date with all the latest exciting train vacation and train tour options available throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Beyond.

Switzerland’s Iconic Railways

Switzerland is known for many things but one of the most treasured parts of this magical country are its famous railways.


Switzerland is known for some of the best chocolate in the world as well as the most beautiful scenery, but one of the most treasured parts of Switzerland are its famous scenic railways.

The Glacier Express embarked on its first trip in 1930, connecting the mountain resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt. The seven-hour journey takes you deep into Switzerland’s beauty. Marvel at the scenery from comfortable onboard seating, each of which offers oversized windows for panoramic views. The tunnels, bridges, and mountainous landscapes will take your breath away.


The Bernina Express also offers breathtaking landscapes between Chur, Switzerland and Tirano, Italy but what is most impressive about this train is its altitude. It reaches 2,253 meters achieved through 225 tunnels, 196 bridges and spiral loops. In addition to those feats of railway engineering, changing sights from snow-covered mountains to palm trees are common on this renowned Swiss rail route.


Of course if you're traveling through Switzerland by train and you love chocolate, then you must take the Chocolate Train. Coffee and croissants start the journey in Montreux followed by a stop at Maison du Gruyere to learn about Swiss cheese production, the town of Gruyere to see its medieval castle and Broc for a visit to Maison Cailler to sample Swiss chocolate. Cheese, chocolate and a magnificent rail excursion - does it get any better?


The lesser-known but spectacularly scenic Wilhelm Tell Express is one of Switzerland’s most memorable rail routes. A unique aspect of this 5-hour journey between Lugano/Locarno and Lucerne is that you get to experience a part of your trip by boat across Lake Lucerne. During the winter months, cruise the lake in a motor vessel and during the spring and summer months travelers make the crossing by nostalgic paddle steamer.


For travelers interested in full immersion with nature between Montreux and Zweisimmen, then the GoldenPass Panoramic train journey will be one of the many highlights of your Swiss rail vacation. The modern panoramic windows are what make this train experience so special and engaging. Charming villages and magnificent mountains are the backdrop of this legendary Swiss rail experience.


The Gornergrat Railway is Europe’s highest rack railway and has been offering glimpses of Switzerland’s most beautiful sites for over a century: the mirrored reflection of the Matterhorn off of the Rifflesee Lake. Plan on doing some hiking during your visit to this part of Switzerland.


Explore the country, drink in the beauty of snow-capped mountains and crystal clear lakes and discover all Switzerland has to offer by train. There is no better way to experience Switzerland than aboard one of these magnificent railways. 

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