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See Switzerland’s most beautiful side on the Grand Train Tour

The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland

Are you tired of waiting around in busy airports in between transits? Sure, travelling by air may be quick, but have you tried kicking back and watching the view from a luxury train ride? Perhaps you might want to consider that option the next time you’re visiting Switzerland because the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is going to convince you that train travelling through Europe is the way to go.

Forget zipping through one point of travel to the other. There’s a beauty in taking it slow, and it’s especially relevant for the modern city dweller who’s constantly staring down at their smartphones instead of looking up and taking in the sights. With train travelling, everything is done for you. The seats are comfortable, you’re grounded, and the sights are amazing, especially in the premium panoramic trains where the glass windows stretch high above. Plus, nobody is going to stop you from walking around if there’s turbulence, of which there will be none.

More than just snowy landscapes, Switzerland also offers fresh green views of the meadow, for example, on the GoldenPass MOB Panoramic. (Picture: © Swiss Travel System AG, 2019, Fotograf: Tobias Ryser)

The railway journey

Aboard the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, you’ll be going through eight stages with just one ticket. These eight stages are accessible all year round and focus on different routes showcasing the country’s diverse landscape — think thrilling railway adventures, magnificent sceneries, and numerous opportunities for discovery. The best part is that you are free to hop on and off as you like, exploring mountains, sights, and Swiss cities in between at your own pace. Whenever you’re ready, simply hop back on to the train and carry on your journey.

The eight stages bring you from Zürich via Lucerne to Interlaken, from there towards Montreux, and then journeying on the narrow-gauge railway network of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway to Zermatt. Here, you’ll be able to see the iconic Matterhorn — the mountain of mountains — emerge after 900 metres of altitude on the train.

Grand Train Tour of Switzerland
St. Moritz, one of the stops on the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. (© Engadin St. Moritz Tourismus, 2018, Fotograf: Gian Andri Giovanoli)

The fifth stage heads towards St. Moritz from Zermatt, where you’ll see the mountainscape and the highest point from the ride — the Oberalp Pass, sitting at 2,033 metres above sea level. The next stage rallies on to Lugano, where the landscape changes immediately from glaciers to palm trees, and then later towards Lucerne. Here you’ll be able to disembark the train and get on a different mode of transport: boats! Pick either a steam boat or motor vessel to check out Lake Lucerne while you’re there.

Stage seven brings you from Lucerne to St. Gallen, where you will be able to cross the Sitter Viaduct with 99 metres of Switzerland’s highest railway bridge. The final stage of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland comes to a close back at Zürich, the financial metropolis of Switzerland. To visualise your journey, get a virtual preview of the route here.

One ticket to rule them all: the Swiss Travel Pass

Going through all eight stages of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland sounds like a stretch, especially on your wallet. That needn’t be the case, because, with just one ticket, the Swiss Travel Pass, you’ll get to explore the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland including travel on premium panoramic trains in the span of either three, four, eight, or 15 days.

That’s not all — this pass includes use on public transportation in more than 90 towns and cities in Switzerland, and you’ll also get free admission to over 500 museums throughout the country, and 50% discount on most mountain railways.

You won’t even have to worry about losing your pass because it’s all accessible via e-ticket. To make sure visitors can soak in all highlights, there’s a free Swiss Travel Guide app (download in the Apple Store or Google Play Store) which gives you information about the city or sight you’ll be visiting as well as your train timetable, so you don’t have an excuse to miss it.

No extra baggage

Hate waiting around for your luggage after leaving your flight, only to carry it around with you to the trains? You’ll be glad that you’re visiting Switzerland, then. Thanks to the country’s efficient public transport system, international visitors can have their luggage transported by train directly to their holiday destination immediately after landing at Zurich Airport.

Just get off the plane and head towards the train for the start of your Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. Even if you’re travelling within cities, your luggage bags can be picked up from your hotel on the evening before your checkout and dropped off at your next hotel destination the following day. You won’t notice what a huge convenience it is to be free of baggage until you experience it for yourself.

Ready to embark on your grand train journey in Switzerland? Contact your Rail Specialist for bookings and enquiries at Apple Vacations & Convention Sdn Bhd (+603 2143 8877), Boustead Travel Services Sdn Bhd (+603 2912 9788), Pacific World Travel Sdn Bhd (+603 2141 3040), or visit this website

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.