Best rail pass for scenic Swiss trains

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2 posts
new member
Sep 29, 2017 - 8:31 PM

Hi all

We have limited time to travel by train in Switzerland, in particular the scenic route via the Alps.

The key question is what would be the most cost effective way to purchase tickets in order to travel the attached itinerary. Do we need eurorail passes?or do we just purchase as we go on the scenic trains and connecting trains? All train trips will be taken as early as possible on the day of travel

We arrive on 26 December from South Africa with an overnight flight in Zurich at 10h00 and have to be back in Zurich by 30 December 2017 to start our travel via rental car to Germany

1) Take a train from Zurich to Zermatt on 26 December 2017

2) 28 December from Zermat via the Glacier Express to Chur or Moritz (would it be best to stay over in Chur or Moritz)

3) 29 December on Bernina express Chur to Torino, or do we go back to Chur on the same day to travel to Zurich on the 30th. Would it be better to stay in Torino and travel via milan to Zurich on the 30th?

4) 30 december from Torino or Chur/moritz back to Zurich

To summarize the best is to know about which would be the cost effective rail pass or direct purchase from Glacier and Bernina express. Could we purchase a eurorail/rb pass andjust reserve seats on the express trains?

regards kobie

10385 posts
expert &
Sep 30, 2017 - 7:48 AM in reply to Kobie

Hi Kobie and welcome to MySwissAlps!

In order to know what the most economical rail pass is versus point to point tickets you need to do the math. We have a page here on how to choose the best rail pass that will help you do this.

I would focus on Swiss rail passes like the Swiss Travel Pass (4 days) and not a Eurail Pass as you mention you are hiring a car for Germany (unless you are traveling by train in another country later?)

The Swiss Travel Pass will cover all your planned trips in Switzerland except the mandatory reservations you must make on both the Glacier Express and Bernina Express.

Use the Swiss railways timetable here to plan out all your routes and see the train durations. I'm not sure you want to go all the way to Tirano on the Bernina Express to just turn around the next day and head off to Zurich? Personal call but it is a lot of days of long train travel!

2 posts
new member
Oct 1, 2017 - 8:40 PM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas

Thank you very much for your valuable input

The Swiss Travel Travel pass is definitely the way to go for us. Given the Travelling group(2 adults + 2 Youths 22 Years old respectively) , price and benefits we will travel 2nd class

Given our Itinerary regards travelling from Zermat on 28 December 2017 with the Glacier express, would it be best to travel to Chur or St Moritz ? That given that we might want to go down to Torino or maybe rather stay in either Chur or St Moritz before going back to Zurich on 30 December 2017

Do we still need to do the Bernina express given that we have just travelled the full route on the Glacier express to to either Chur or StMoritz.

thank you


10385 posts
expert &
Oct 2, 2017 - 12:10 PM in reply to Kobie

Hi Kobie,

No I don't think it is too necessary to do the Bernina Express as well as the Glacier Express

If you don't go to Tirano then either St. Moritz or Chur are good towns to stay in.

You don't have to take the actual Bernina Express - you can take regional trains on the exact same route and there is no need to make reservations (so you can decide at any time to do part or all of the Bernina Express route).

Last modified on Oct 2, 2017 - 12:11 PM by Lucas

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