How to travel by train from London to Switzerland

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new member
Apr 5, 2018 - 2:15 PM


I wish to know if someone has had this experience and will like to share major experiences of traveling by train from london to switzerland with a british passport. I wish to make a clean and less stressful journey.

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new member
Apr 5, 2018 - 8:56 PM in reply to jadeasong

Hi jadeasong, and welcome to MySwissAlps!

>> I wish to know if someone has had this experience and will like to share major experiences of traveling by train from london to switzerland with a british passport. I wish to make a clean and less stressful journey.

I have travelled by train from London to Zürich, but on an Australian passport, not a British one.

The fastest way is via Paris. If you go via Paris, the Eurostar arrives in Paris Nord station, and you have to transfer to a different station in Paris to continue your journey.

That's a bit too much mucking about for me, so I prefer to go via Brussels (station: Brüssel Süd/Midi) instead. Once you arrive in Brussels on the Eurostar, it's a simple matter of changing platforms within the same station to continue the journey to Switzerland. The last time I took the Eurostar from London to Brussels was in early 2012.

You can get connections from Brussels to Switzerland (Basel or Zürich) with only one easy transfer (in Frankfurt am Main, Germany), so it's not an arduous trip, though it is a long one (about 9 hours London-Basel, an extra hour to Zürich).

Passport control is done at London St. Pancras International station, so leave plenty of time for that. Once you arrive in Brussels there are no further formalities to go through.

On the way back, passport control is done by British border staff at Brussels, so you need allow sufficient time to go through those formalities. I think they recommend 30 minutes, but personally I would allow one hour at least. However, with a British passport you will probably get through faster. On an Australian or other passport, it can take longer, as you get a lot of questions about your reason for travel, travel funds etc.

Within Brüssel Süd/Midi station is an area that only Eurostar passengers can enter. Passport control is done within this area, and once you arrive in London, there are no further formalities to undergo.

Depending on the time of year, there may be other routing options.


Last modified on Apr 5, 2018 - 9:03 PM by Removed user
8 posts
new member
Apr 6, 2018 - 12:02 PM in reply to Removed user


We have booked, but not yet travelled to go from the North of England to Lugano at the end of May. We will travel to London and stop overnight, then catch the early Eurostar to Paris Nord, we then transfer to Paris Lyon for the TGV to Zurich, arrive Zurich 16.26, we then travel onto Lugano to arrive I think around 19.30 approx. We haven't bought that ticket as we will get one of the Swiss or Interail Travel Passes.

It will be one day of travel to get to Lugano, as the following day we have booked on the BEX Bus to go to Ticano and meet the BEX train.

Have you used the website If not try it it is very good for looking at various options, and you can book through the site as well, we use it a lot. As mentioned in the above post the Brussels option may meet your needs, but again you can check the scenarios with Loco2. Good luck


5008 posts
expert &
Apr 7, 2018 - 3:13 PM

Hi jadeasong! The route via Paris as mentioned by Alpenrose and meesonia makes most sense indeed. More information on the train journey to Switzerland can be found here. Reliable retailers for your rail tickets are listed here. Please note that you'd better decide whether or not you'll be using a rail pass before you buy these tickets, as part of your inbound/outbound journey may already be covered by your rail pass.

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