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Discover Switzerland by train: Experience the most beautiful panoramic routes

Grand Train Tour of Switzerland

The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland amalgamates the most beautiful panoramic routes in Switzerland into a single route. Travel on different trains along the most stunning routes and experience numerous highlights of the Alpine nation that is Switzerland. The only thing you will need for this is the Swiss Travel Pass.

Grand Train Tour: 8 must-see routes

The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland combines a total of eight different routes. It gives you the freedom to experience the highlights of Swiss public transportation along approx. 1,280 kilometres of track all year round. There is no set route as such: you are free to select your own start and end point. The direction in which you wish to travel as well as the precise distance is your decision entirely. You are also free to choose your en-route stops since the tour takes in ten Swiss cities and numerous mountain excursions that are well worth exploring. 

Plan your personal Grand Train Tour

Do you already have a precise idea of the route you'd like to travel, or a sightseeing highlight that you regard as absolutely unmissable? Or are you still at a complete loss of where you'd like to go and which attractions are worth seeing? Both scenarios present no problem whatsoever. Our webroute allows you to experience the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland interactively, so helping you to plan your trip. Scrolling through the provided map allows you travel virtually through each of the stages and gain an idea of what awaits you along the tour: 

Your invaluable souvenir containing lots of travel information

myTravel Stamp Booklet

When you purchase a Swiss Travel Pass, you will receive a Grand Train Tour of Switzerland myTravel Stamp Booklet included for free. Once you are under way exploring Switzerland by train, you will be able to collect an individual and unique stamp on each stage of your journey. However the myTravel Stamp Booklet is much more than merely a beautiful souvenir of a wonderful trip. The booklet also contains many fabulous vouchers, a competition and an abundance of valuable travel information.

The routes of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland

Here's a small insight into the eight different routes comprising the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland:

Grand Train Tour: Geneva - Zermatt

Your journey will start in Geneva, then continue to Martigny, the gateway to the Great St. Bernard and Forclaz Alpine passes. Martigny is a town whose history dates back 2,000 years. The journey then continues by train through the Rhone valley and on to Brig. This "Alpine City 2008" with its famous Stockalper Castle is situated at the foot of the Simplon Pass and forms the hub for numerous excursion possibilities. Having left the beautiful historic town centre of Brig behind, you will again board the train. The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn will now take you through the snow-covered Nikolai valley to Zermatt. To the village with the most photographed mountain in the world, namely the Matterhorn.

Grand Train Tour: Zermatt - St. Moritz (Glacier Express)

Zermatt is not only home to the world-famous Matterhorn, but is also the departure point and terminus of the just-as-famous Glacier Express. This panorama train fascinates thousands of passengers every year. Heading off from this tranquil village in the Matter valley, the train heads for the idyllic Goms region and the holiday resort of Andermatt at the foot of the Oberalp Pass. This pass links both the Uri and Grisons cantons. The passage across the pass is without doubt one of the highlights of the route taken by the Glacier Express. Having arrived on the other side, you will certainly be no less impressed: the Disentis Benedictine Monastery, the imposing Rhine Gorge, the castle-studded Domleschg valley and the Rhaetian Railway's UNESCO World Heritage-designated Albula line all await you.


Grand Train Tour: St. Moritz - Lugano (Bernina Express / Palm Express)

Is there anyone who hasn't heard of the Bernina Express? It's nearly as well known as the glamorous mountain village of St. Moritz from which this very train will take you on a journey from the north to the south. The highest railway in the Alps which also happens to be the UNESCO World Heritage-designated combined Albula and Bernina line – between Thusis and Tirano in Italy – offers you stunning vistas and reaches its highest point on the towering Bernina Pass at the Ospizio Bernina station (2,253 metres a.s.l.). 

In summer, your journey will continue from Tirano to Lugano on the Bernina Express bus. You will travel through the picturesque Valtellina valley, passing by beautiful bays and fishing villages on Lake Como. 

In winter you will be travelling from St. Moritz to Lugano on board the Palm Express. The PostBus will take you through the Engadin valley, across the Maloja Pass and through the Val Bregaglia, and then further along Lake Como into Italy and back into Switzerland at Gandria on Lake Lugano. 

Bernina Express im Oberengadin

Grand Train Tour: Lugano - Lucerne (Gotthard Panorama Express)

Combined train and boat enjoyment – that's precisely what the Gotthard Panorama Express offers you: discover the world-famous Gotthard line and its associated legends and tales, plus Uri canton's mighty Reuss valley in a first-class panoramic car. In Flüelen, your journey then continues on water across Lake Lucerne on a historic paddle steamer. You will be able to marvel at a host of historical places and sites including the Tell chapel, Rütli meadow and Schiller stone. Shortly before you arrive in Lucerne, you will be able to take in wonderful views of the Rigi, Bürgenstock, Titlis and Pilatus mountains.

Grand Train Tour: Luzern - Zurich

This leg of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland could also be termed the lakes route. You will be setting off from Lucerne, where you will be travelling alongside picturesque Lake Lucerne. Shortly after this, the next lake will already await you, namely the Rotsee near Ebikon. After travelling a short while in the absence of lakes, the first signs of Lake Zug will already be visible. Concluding this section is Lake Zurich with its beautiful vineyards, spruce villages and, of course, the city of Zurich. 

Grand Train Tour: Zurich - St. Gallen

You will be journeying through eastern Switzerland and past the famous Rhine Falls and the town of Schaffhausen, home to the Munot fortification. The train journey now continues in the direction of Lake Constance. Measured by surface area, it is the third largest lake in central Europe. You will travel along its shoreline until you reach St. Gallen. As the economic and cultural hub of eastern Switzerland, stopping off at this town which dates from the 7th century is most definitely worthwhile. A visit to the monastery complex, for example, with its Abbey Library in which over 170,000 books and manuscripts are stored, is recommended.

Grand Train Tour: St. Gallen - Luzern (Voralpen-Express)

After you depart from St. Gallen on the Voralpen-Express (Pre-Alpine Express), you will continue through what is probably the most traditional region in Switzerland, the Appenzell. As the name of the train already suggests, this train's route will already allow you to marvel at the Alpstein massif with the Säntis and the Churfirsten mountain range, both preparing you for the Alps which lie ahead. Your journey continues via Rapperswil, the town of roses, and the Rothenthurm upland moors in the direction of Lucerne.

Grand Train Tour: Lucerne - Montreux (GoldenPass Line)

You will be completing this leg of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland on the modern premium Luzern-Interlaken Express panorama train operated by the Zentralbahn. The route firstly takes you across the Brünig Pass to Meiringen and then on to Brienz and Interlaken. Having arrived, you will transfer to one to the comfortable BLS trains which will whisk you along Lake Thun and through the Simmental valley to Zweisimmen. You will then continue your journey on board the renowned GoldenPass Panoramic. This train will take you through the holiday paradise of Gstaad, through the Pays d'Enhaut with the tranquil Château-d'Oex, and then on through the vineyards alongside Lake Geneva to Montreux.

Swiss Travel System: Goldenpass Line