When it comes to rail travel, few countries can match Swiss: its punctual rail network includes not only extraordinary high-altitude journeys such as the Bernina Express which crosses the Alps to Italy or the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Saint-Moritz but also a series of exciting routes connecting beautiful cities and sparkling lakes.
So let’s discover five epic vacations aboard the Swiss panoramic trains.
The Swiss Riviera
Of GenevaA hub of gastronomy and the capital of watchmaking, the trains run along the north shore of Lake Geneva to Lausanne, a medieval jewel renowned for its lively nightlife.
Shortly after here Vevey“Pearl of the Swiss Riviera”, with a magnificent view of the Alps and the mild microclimate, where the villa of Charlie ChaplinManoir de Ban, which is now the center of Chaplin’s World, a museum dedicated to his life and legacy.
Finally, the magic of the Riviera is revealed in Montreuxfamous for the summer jazz festival: the neighbor Chillon Castleperfectly preserved, it has attracted visitors since Lord Byron engraved his name on the walls of the dungeon and composed the poem “Le Prisonnier de Chillon”.
Another must stop in Montreux, traveling on the colorful Swiss trains, is the pretty walled town of Gruyeres: here the museum dedicated to HR Gigerthe avant-garde artist who designed the unique universe of Extraterrestrialwith exoskeletal furniture, fantastic paintings and extraterrestrial erotic images.
mountains and mystery
A route that starts from the Swiss capital, Bern, with its characteristic medieval center, embraced on three sides by the river Aare, where the Paul Klee Centerdesigned by Renzo Piano, is the great cultural attraction.
A 45-minute train ride south is a must Interlakenbetween Lake Thun, wide, calm and cobalt blue, and Lake Brienz, long, narrow and aquamarine, where you can practice paragliding, skydiving, jet boating, and take the local train to the the highest station in Europe to Jungfraujoch for the breathtaking view of the Aletsch Glacier.
Then continue east until Meiringen, known for being the home of meringue. It is also a gateway to Reichenbach Falls, site of the confrontation between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty. A stop at Sherlock Holmes Museum is a must for fans.
Finally, take the train to Lampwith beautiful medieval architecture, making sure to sit on the left for a unique view of Lake Sarnen and Lake Lungern.
Two countries in one
Baselnestled along the Rhine, offers myriad opportunities but don’t miss the quirky Jean Tinguely Museumwith the amazing kinetic art sculptures.
From there, head south to Solothurn (the train takes an hour) to admire its baroque architecture and the exceptional Museum of Fine Artsbefore going to Biel, a border town on the Röstigraben, an invisible “dividing line” between German-speaking Switzerland and French-speaking Switzerland. It is officially bilingual, with streets and squares marked in both languages.
Finally move on to Neuchâtel, with a rich past with its Gothic castle and its Renaissance palaces. End your trip in style Yverdon les Bainson the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, with a bath at the Thermal Center whose waters spring from underground thermal springs.
Zurich and Lake Constance
Zürichwith its lively nightlife, is a stop in Switzerland not to be missed and discovered by strolling along the winding lanes of Niederdorf, strolling along the river and lake and shopping in the exclusive Bahnhofstrasse.
Take the train to St. Gallen where stands one of the most beautiful baroque abbeys in Switzerland, then continue towards Rorschachpicturesque town on Lake Constance that attracts visitors with the extraordinary Hundertwasser Hallwhose golden bulbs are truly magnificent.
Cyclists can cycle along the southern shore of the lake to Constance, where the Rhine begins.
Finally, treat yourself to a boat trip to Schaffhausenfrom the suggestive medieval houses decorated with frescoes and starting point for an excursion in the thunder Rhine Falls.
Switzerland for railway enthusiasts
From Zurich, take the train to Churan ancient city with Roman remains and a fascinating medieval centre, skirting the western shores of lakes Zurich and Obersee, with spectacular views.
Then leave Chur on the line via Landquart for St. Moritza VIP destination overlooking the lake which in winter turns into an ice rink.
From here, aboard the Ice Cream Expressone of the most iconic train journeys in the world, after eight hours you will be at Zermatta ski village with stunning views of the Matterhorn.
Finally, discover If wethe welcoming capital of Valais, where you can taste the typical wine of the region.