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Six of the best
Swiss train rides


Switzerland and trains are a match made in heaven, so it’s hard to believe that the first Swiss railway line only ran a paltry 27km from Zurich to Baden. Today the country has 5100km of railways carrying over 10,000 trains and thousands more passengers every day. With such an extensive network, it’s perhaps no surprise that Switzerland is the world champion when it comes to travelling by train. So why not join them? We’ve picked our six favourite Swiss scenic train rides for you. If you fancy taking any – or even all! – of them, just get in touch with our Switzerland experts and we’ll get you on board.


How about riding along a piece of history? Staying overnight on Rigi was the thing to do for 19th-century tourists, not because the mountain is very high but because it has a 360° view of Lake Lucerne and the Alps. So it was perhaps only natural that this became the site for Europe’s first mountain railway: in 1871 passengers took a train up Rigi for the first time. It’s still running today, though with bigger engines and comfier carriages, and the views from the top are truly impressive.

The cogwheel train takes you from Vitznau directly to Rigi Kulm.
Diccon Bewes
View of Lake Lucerne and the Alps during the ride up the Rigi.

Golden Pass

Three different trains make up this quintessentially Swiss trip from Lake Geneva to Lake Lucerne. It’s a gentler scenic ride, more a cup of hot chocolate than a glass of schnapps. But who doesn’t love hot chocolate? Winding past cow-filled fields, rustic wooden chalets and imposing craggy peaks, the line crosses the French-German language border. But you don’t need words to appreciate the beauty of the landscape, or to enjoy the full-on nostalgia of the Belle Epoque carriage, which runs regularly from Montreux.

Experience an unforgettable journey in the historic Golden Pass Belle Époque cars.
Wide green vineyard terrace in Lavaux near Vevey and Montreux with Lake Geneva and Swiss Alps in the background


Its name literally means ‘a hundred valleys’ and on board this diminutive narrow-gauge train, you’ll soon see why. Those valleys branch off in every direction as the train meanders through rather wild countryside, where densely-wooded slopes slide by and crystal-clear streams gurgle under the railway’s viaducts. The route might be short, only 60km between Locarno in Ticino and Domodossola (in Italy), but it packs an awful lot into a small space

Picturesque summer drone view of alpine village Intragna surrounded by the Alps, Canton Ticino, Switzerland.
Centovalli train line stops at Camedo in Ticino, Switzerland

Gotthard Panorama

Some Swiss train rides are actually Train Rides, ones that you’ll capitalise and remember forever. The historic Gotthard panorama route is one such Ride, running through the Alps between the Lake Lucerne region and Italian-speaking Ticino, and using the original Gotthard rail tunnel. When it opened in 1882, this was the longest tunnel in the world, but it’s only one part of this marvel of (then) modern engineering; corkscrew tunnels and towering viaducts make the whole line memorable.

Enjoy a panoramic view on the Gotthard Panorama Express in Switzerland.
During the Gotthard panorama route, the church of Wassen can be seen three times.
Copyright Valentin Luthiger

Best Swiss train rides