Quick scenic train trip Budapest-Switzerland-UK

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3 posts
new member
Dec 18, 2017 - 2:58 PM

My husband and I are planning to be in Budapest in May of 2019. We are going from there to London. We are interested in taking a scenic route through Switzerland on our way with, perhaps, one night in a Swiss city along the way. Any suggestions as to route and/or city? Thank you.

944 posts
top member
Dec 18, 2017 - 6:28 PM in reply to villagenan

Hi villagenan, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

To give you some good advice I would like to know a bit more details about your trip:

  • place and time of arrival in Switzerland
  • place and time of departure and what your next stop is
  • would you prefer to stay in the mountains or in a city

Maybe you don't have the details yet and you're just exploring? We have a lot of information about scenic train trips in Switzerland on our website. Please click here to read more.

Some nice places to consider and that are along the route of the different scenic train trips are:

I hope this helps.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 19, 2017 - 4:17 AM in reply to villagenan

The following map of scenic routes in Switzerland might help with your planning:

www.sbb.ch/content/dam /sbb/de/pdf/bahnhof-services/am-bahnhof/infra_services -uebersicht-karten-uebersicht-sts-panorama-de.pdf

The Wilhelm Tell Express is now called the Gotthard Panorama Express.

The standard route from Budapest to Switzerland passes through Vienna, Innsbruck, Buchs SG, Sargans and Ziegelbrücke to Zürich, and takes 11-12 hours. Usually, you would only change trains in Vienna.

Unfortunately, this route bypasses the classic scenic routes of Switzerland, but does have its own attractions.

  • Between Innsbruck and the Swiss border, the trip is particularly scenic - mountains, valleys and villages.
  • Not too long after leaving Landeck-Zams station, there's a castle close by on the right-hand side, which is worth keeping an eye out for (Wiesberg Castle).
  • Just after St Anton am Arlberg (where the train will stop), the train goes through a 10km tunnel under the Arlberg mountain range. When you emerge on the other side, if you look back in the direction you have come from there is a good view of the Arlberg massif.
  • Shortly after Feldkirch, the train leaves Austria and travels through Liechtenstein for about 10 minutes before crossing the River Rhine (quite narrow at this point) and entering Switzerland at Buchs SG. At Buchs SG the train reverses direction, so you get the impression that you are heading back to Vienna! I've seen a few nervous passengers at this point!
  • Between Sargans and Zürich, the train travels alongside the Walensee (Lake Walen, a narrow, very deep lake with the Churfirsten mountains rising steeply from the other side of the lake) and the Zürichsee (Lake Zürich).

If you could spare the time to spend a minimum of 2 nights in Switzerland (preferably more), you could consider the following route.

  • From Budapest, travel to Chur (around 11 hours) and spend the night there.
  • The following day travel from Chur to Luzern or Zürich, partway on the Glacier Express, and spend the night in Luzern or Zürich.

If you could spend a couple of extra nights, I would spend them in Luzern.

These routes would be:

Overnight in Chur and Zürich:

Chur > Andermatt > Göschenen > Erstfeld > Arth-Goldau > Zürich (about 5.5 hours, utilising the Glacier Express between Chur and Andermatt)

Overnight in Chur and Luzern:

Chur > Andermatt > Göschenen > Erstfeld > Luzern (about 5.25 hours, also utilising the Glacier Express scenic route between Chur and Andermatt)

Although it would be a wonderful scenic trip, you would be changing trains quite a lot. With the exception of Andermatt and Göschenen, you would have a ramp at the very least for transferring between platforms, and at the major stations lifts and escalators as well - so no stairs to contend with. Luzern is particularly easy, as you can just walk from one platform to the other on the same level - no ramps or steps.

Andermatt and Göschenen are described as not having step-free access to platforms, but from what I remember, you just cross the tracks from one platform to another at both those stations, which are both very small.

If I were doing this trip, I would also break it with 2 nights in Innsbruck, and spend a day sightseeing there. But of course, that might not suit your plans.

This map, which shows where a Eurail Pass is valid in Switzerland, is useful for getting a good idea of where the routes I have described are:

www.sbb.ch/content/dam /infrastruktur/trafima ge/karten/karte-geltungsbereich-InterRail-EuRail.pdf


Last modified on Dec 20, 2017 - 8:35 AM by Chantal
3 posts
new member
Dec 19, 2017 - 11:25 PM in reply to Chantal

Thank you for your response.

1. We plan to depart either Budapest or Vienna on May 27, 2019 and arrive in London on May 30, 2019.

We are open to the which route or entry point and time into Switzerland.

2. We have a total of 3 nights to spend on the trip from Vienna/Budapest and our destination is London. How all that gets divided up, is flexible.

3. We would like to be comfortable and safe and have the accommodations and transportation be in convenient proximity. (We are in our 70's) Other than that, either option would be okay.

Thank you for your help.

3 posts
new member
Dec 19, 2017 - 11:30 PM in reply to Removed user

Thank you for your very detailed response. That is some great information.

944 posts
top member
Dec 20, 2017 - 8:33 AM in reply to villagenan

Hi villagenan,

I think Alpenrose has given you some food for thought. Regarding comfort and safety, you will have it all in Switzerland. Switzerland is safe and public transport is excellent.

Please come back to us if you need help with finalizing your trip.

12142 posts
expert &
Dec 20, 2017 - 10:01 AM

Hi Villagenan,

This page might be useful as well while planning: www.myswissalps.com/ho tels/railstations

44 posts
active member
Dec 20, 2017 - 6:16 PM

Everyone is different, but I would rather spend 3 days in Switzerland than 3 days travelling from Vienna to London. I know everyone has different tastes, but since you are asking a general forum, I'll tell you what "I" would do:

On May 27, I would take the 7:30 AM flight from Vienna to Zurich for $135, arriving at 8:55 AM. I would take the short train to Luzerndrop my luggage at a hotel as close to the train station as possible, and spend the day there exploring and maybe taking a boat ride or even go up to Mt. Rigi, and spend the night in Luzern.

On the 28th I would take the train to the Interlaken area and spend the 28th and the 29th exploring that area, the public transportation is great to get you all around. I would stay in Wengen if possible, but staying in Interlaken works well as a hub to explore various things in the area, especially if the weather is still cold (always unpredictable anyway).

On the 30th, I would take the morning Goldenpass train route through Montreux to the Geneva airport to catch a 4 or 5 pm flight to London (around $50-60). I warn you, if you do this, you will be hooked on Switzerland, and will feel the need to return for a longer trip.

Last modified on Dec 20, 2017 - 8:10 PM by Chantal

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