The natural beauty of Switzerland really sells itself.
The Glacier Express Switzerland runs from Zermatt in the south west to St. Moritz in the south east and takes in wine growing valleys and incredible 360 degree mountain views.
The full day scenic train trip crosses 291 bridges and viaducts, crossing the 2,033 metre altitude Oberalp Pass and finally rolling up to st. Moritz along the UNESCO protected Albula/Bernina railway line.
But why ride the “DIY” version of the Glacier Express? Rather than the tourist train Glacier Express Switzerland?
The main reason is, on the local trains, you can open the window! Hang out and take amazing photos rather than shooting through the tinted glass of the glacier express tourist train.
And, once you’ve started taking photos, you’ll find it hard to stop! The scenery is simply breathtaking. Especially in May when all the flowers are blooming, the mountains are still capped with snow and the grass has returned to an intense green that seems only possible in Switzerland after the snows have melted, feeding the valleys below.
If you are using a Eurail or interrail pass, then most of the route is free, and the section in the middle that isn’t, is discounted. All in all it works out as a lower price than the official glacier express and you’ll likely have much of the train to yourself. The only downside is you have to change trains at a few locations, though the changes are easy as all the stations are small.
More photos that will inspire you to ride the Glacier Express Switzerland:
You can ride the Glacier Express Switzerland From Zermatt to St. Moritz, or in reverse. Either way, you can’t sleep on the train! So you’ll probably want to grab some accommodation at either end as this is a full day trip.
Unique Hotel Post
Europe Hotel & Spa
Accommodation St. Moritz
Kempinski Grand Hotel
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel
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Disclaimer: Our Eurail & Interrail passes were complementary. This article contains affiliate links which we will make a small commission from if you use them. Thank you for supporting our website by using these links. All opinions remain our own.