The Highlights of the Glacier Express

There’s only one real way to experience the stunning sights of the Swiss countryside, and that’s with the Glacier Express. The self-proclaimed “slowest express train in the world” takes you on an unforgettable journey, showing off some of the country’s most iconic sights.


Ticking this rail holiday off your bucket list is a real pleasure. Extraordinary sights. Premium travel. Local culinary delights. Fabulous resorts to stay in at both ends of the journey. A Glacier Express holiday is one you'll remember forever. 


What is the Glacier Express?

Famous red carriages of the Glacier Express

Famous red carriages of the Glacier Express

The Glacier Express is one of the most famous and well-revered scenic rail journeys in the world, running across a wide sweep of Switzerland's alpine landscape and taking in some very different but always beautiful views. It departs from either St. Moritz or Zermatt and offers breathtaking views of the country. The full route takes up to eight hours, giving you plenty of time to soak in all the natural beauty of Switzerland.


Your holiday includes stays at both the start and end of the journey, so you can experience both wonderful towns. You'll enjoy the luxury alpine resort of St. Moritz. The idyllic natural surroundings of this ever-popular resort make it somewhere you simply can't miss on your holiday to Switzerland. Whether you're a lifelong skier or simply a lover of the Swiss summertime lakes and mountains, St. Moritz will amaze. The legendary town of Zermatt sits at the foot of the Matterhorn, giving you a one-of-a-kind view of the iconic mountain. It's one of the only car-free resorts in the world; quintessentially Swiss with its chalet-style buildings. There's also plenty of exhilarating hiking trails at this famed resort. Start or finish, both ends of the journey are truly special. 

What to expect onboard the Glacier Express

Dining on the Glacier Express

Dining on the Glacier Express

Stunning sights aren’t the only amazing thing about the Glacier Express. Climb aboard the train and you’re greeted by the attentive staff who are more than happy to help or answer any questions. 


Find your seat then it’s time to relax. Even if you’re travelling the full eight hours, you’ll always feel comfortable thanks to the supportive seats and ample legroom. Huge panoramic windows give you a perfect view of the scenery, with angled ceiling windows showing snow-capped mountains along the way.


Audio guides are available in multiple languages, offering information along the way for those interested in the history and stunning geological features of Switzerland. 


And to make sure you feel right at home, the Glacier Express offers food and drink with table service from Le Restaurant. Sit back and bask in the glory of the natural Swiss scenery whilst your food is freshly prepared in the galley and brought straight to your table! A mouth-watering three-course meal is included with your holiday price, offering guests a chance to try delicious local cuisine.


Sip on local wines from the Graubünden and Valais regions that are perfectly matched to your meal. Finish off with a digestif, poured at your table from a height of 60cm whilst the train moves!

Travel in Excellence Class

Excellence Class on the Glacier Express

Excellence Class on the Glacier Express

Excellence Class adds even more luxury, making your journey through the Alps even more memorable. With a single row of seats along each side, every ticket guarantees a window seat. They’re extra comfy too with added armrests, head cushions and side head support.


There's a concierge host that takes care of all your needs. Ask them any questions about this scenic rail journey or listen to exciting stories about Swiss culture, history and nature.


Food and drink are included too, with complimentary hot drinks, Champagne and snacks throughout the day. But the main event is a seasonal five-course meal accompanied by wine. It’s the perfect way to enjoy regional cuisine. If you get thirsty, the exclusive Glacier Bar offers plenty of delicious drinks. This really is the ultimate way to experience the Glacier Express.

Sights of the Glacier Express

Glacier Express in the stunning Rhine Gorge

Glacier Express in the stunning Rhine Gorge

What makes the Glacier Express route so unique is the jaw-dropping views of the Swiss countryside. This rail route runs for 181 miles, offering varied scenes of rolling hills and towering mountains to thick forests and open meadowland. You’re bound to hear a few “oohs” and “ahhs” along the way. Every moment on board is filled with awe and wonder, but here are a few standouts moments of the route.

Landwasser Viaduct

Seeing the Landwasser Viaduct is a special moment. It’s one of the most iconic parts of the Glacier Express, curving around into the Landwasser tunnel. It’s a moment you’ll remember forever. The viaduct itself is a landmark to behold, but once on top of it, the panoramic view is unlike any other.

Preda & Bergün

Regarded as one of the most spectacular sections of the Glacier Express, the route between Preda and Bergün includes six towering viaducts, giving you an amazing view as you chug along. This route also has three spiral tunnels and two helical tunnels, offering a unique experience that you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Appreciate the impeccable view of the country as you cut through the beautiful landscape. This part of the journey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering a view unlike anywhere else in the world.

Rhine Gorge

Known as the 'Swiss Grand Canyon', the Rhine Gorge landscape captures the best of Switzerland: white mountains, green spruce trees and clear lakes. As you pass through the Gorge, bask in the pure beauty of the mountains and the Rhine River. This is a truly awe-inspiring part of this scenic rail journey. Whether it’s winter or summer, you’ll be treated to some of the country’s best views.

Oberalp Pass

The Oberalp Pass is the highest point of the Glacier Express. At a height of 2,033m above sea level, you get possibly the most breathtaking view of the journey. If you’re travelling in the winter months, expect the landscape to be topped with stunning snow. It's glorious in any season!

Glacier Express Top Tips

Glacier Express on the Landwasser Viaduct

Glacier Express on the Landwasser Viaduct

Want some expert advice? We’ve got some top tips so you can make the most of this truly memorable journey.


  1. Request a window seat. This close to the glass, you’ll experience every single unforgettable moment of this world-famous route in the most details with plenty of astounding photo opportunities.
  2. Don’t worry about the season, the route is always beautiful. In the summer, swathes of lush greenery fill the landscape. The snow-topped scenery of winter months is just as amazing. Or visit in autumn for a landscape full of gorgeous colours. Every season offers something unique.
  3. Don’t worry about the direction. Whether you’re starting in picturesque Zermatt, or in the original alpine resort of St. Moritz, you'll see all the same glorious sights along the route. You can explore both resorts during your stay in Switzerland as we'll arrange hotels for you at either end of your journey. With so many beautiful spots to visit from each location, it all adds to the joy of a Glacier Express holiday. 
  4. You can still experience the Glacier Express on a tight schedule with the four and a half hour trip between Brig and Chur. This is ideal for those on a short break in Switzerland as you still get to see some of the country’s wondrous sights and plenty of amazing photos to show off back home.

With so much unique scenery along the way, the Glacier Express gives a real taste of Switzerland. Want to learn more? Find out about our latest Scenic Rail Holidays. Request a brochure or get in touch for a holiday quote now!

Read more about Glacier Express holidays

We can incorporate a journey on the Glacier Express into a number of holidays in Switzerland, whether it is a simple two centre stay, or part of a longer Grand Tour around the country. Here are some examples of popular holidays, but please speak to our expert team on 0800 619 1200 if you would like to create your own tailor made itinerary. 

Aerial view of the Glacier Express

From £1212pp

8 day Glacier Express holiday

The classic combination of Zermatt and St. Moritz

View this holiday
Glacier Express in the Mattertal Valley

From £829pp

5 day Glacier Express holiday

A shorter holiday with stays in Brig and Chur

View this holiday
Oberalp

From £2145pp

17 day Grand Tour

An amazing tour including 5 scenic rail journeys

View this holiday

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Our full colour brochures Switzerland Lakes and Mountains 2021 and Scenic Holidays Switzerland 2021 are available to be mailed to UK addresses.


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