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May 24, 2024

A Grand Train Tour of Switzerland on your next travel

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Without a doubt the most convenient, cost effective and easy way to travel around Switzerland is by train. 

Switzerland is an ideal destination for family travel especially during Spring and Summer, and the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is the ultimate train journey to discover Switzerland.

It combines all the famous panoramic lines into one breath-taking route over eight stages.  Available all year round, this route – spanning 1,280 kilometres – leads from some of the most charming Swiss cities to Alpine villages. The itinerary encompasses some of Switzerland’s most well-known sights and landmarks. Trains are also extremely timely and rarely run off schedule. Switzerland has logistics figured out to a tee, so even if there are only a few minutes between train connections, no worries at all.

Recently, the Switzerland Tourism held its online Spring media briefing for Southeast Asia and highlighted the top family-friendly activities to combine along the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland:

Zurich

Zurich is a great place for families with children to spend a fun and varied vacation. Surrounded by lush greenery, the deep-blue Lake Zurich and secluded forests, it offers plenty of opportunity to get out and enjoy nature. Families can enjoy the magnificent cherry blossoms while picnicking in the park or on the shores of Lake Zurich, by the River Limmat. To find the most local ingredients for your picnic, such as fresh bread, local cheese and vegetables, it is a great idea to visit one of the local markets. If you like the idea but not having the hustle to prepare, there are many bakeries, hotels and even museums that offer picnic baskets.

You can also take a beautiful boat ride to Island Ufenau, where it will take you to its medieval churches and nice restaurants offering local culinary delicacies. 

Another attraction by the lake is the Lindt Home of Chocolate, the largest chocolate museum in Switzerland, where you can also learn to create chocolate easter bunnies.

Jungfrau Region

Ride the train to the Top of Europe via the Jungfrau Railway to get to Jungfraujoch, a snowy ridge, where you can have the boggling views of huge glaciers at the observatory, or experience the ice sculptures at the museum. You can also opt to ride the cable car in Grindelwald First to find an idyllic playground with swings, climbing structures, sand, and water play area.

Kids of all ages can do the hike to Lake Bachalp, a wide flat trail that runs through the alpine meadows to the lake with views of the Eiger and snow covered peaks. Visit also the Top of the mountain for the amazing First Cliff Walk by Tissot or enjoy the ride on the flyer, glider, mountain carts and scooter bikes. For a regal experience, you may visit the Harder Kulm Panorama Restaurant, a reminiscent of a castle, by riding a cable to car and ascend to Interlaken mountain.vAnd while slowing down pace after the thrilling activities, every few steps of hiking at Schynige Platte will provide a stop to admire the panorama and the beauty of flowers that bloom on the meadows.

Schilthorn

Schilthorn was the main film location of James Bond’s film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” in 1969.  The revolving summit restaurant that served as Bond’s headquarters has kept  to the present day. Here you can visit Spy World at Piz Gloria, and become a “special agent” to its interactive exhibition dedicated to the movie, or test your exhilarating Bond moments beckon on helicopter simulation flight. 

There’s also the Birg Thrill Walk to challenge your courage that leads down into the perpendicular walls of the rock massif with steel structures that clings to the rock. This features a crawl-through tunnel, glass-bottomed floor, rope and cattle grid that adds to the spine-tingling adventure.

Meanwhile, the Flower Park adventure playground with expansive play meadow beckons with a wealth of interesting facts about the flora and fauna. Children can explore a marmot burrow, fly with butterflies, milk cows and try their hand at cheesemaking. 

Matterhorn Region

Spend some time with some of Switzerland’s mascot Saint Bernard dogs at Barryland in Martigny. A family fun to watch  as the dogs are fed and groomed, as they play, and as they are prepared for walk. 

Venture into Switzerland’s largest underground lake in St. Leonard. With a length of 300 meters this is the largest natural underground lake in Europe which can be explored by boat. The 30-minute boat trip on crystal clear water, will enjoy the serenity while listening to the fascinating details about the origins and the history of the lake.

In Matterhorn also you will find the Leukerbad Therme, the largest thermal bath in the entire Alpine region. The area is equipped with ten relaxing baths, slides for families and a modern sauna area with a wide range of wellness and natural healing options.

Zermatt – Matterhorn

In 2023, the Gornergrat Railway will be celebrating its 125th anniversary with numerous anniversary activities and offers—explore the long history of the railway, join the marathon, participate in the music festival, or meet the sheep.  On top you will enjoy the best view of the famous Matterhorn and many attractions. Springtime is a special season while flowers are already blooming, a moment to experience the change of seasons and perfect moment to take photos . 

Funventure in Zermatt’s mountain offers a huge amount of fun and adventure for families. Glide down the mountain with FunVenture carts or kick bikes and savor the unique Matterhorn views.   For the best photo spots take a family photo with Matterhorn on Gornergrat as background. 

Graubünden

Train for winter at the Freestyle Academy in Laax where skaters, scooters, riders and the like, both young and old, can enjoy a playground of half pipes, bowls, ramps and downhill runs awaiting their every twist and turn. Those who need a refresher or wish to learn the art for the first time can take advantage of the in-house school. Also home to table tennis, sandpits, stilts, a playground and slack-lines, the Freestyle Academy is the ultimate destination for the young and the young at heart. You can also try the Madrisa Land toboggans in Davos Klosters

RhB – Bernina Express

From 13 May to 29 October you have the unique daily opportunity to travel from Davos to Filisur. The train will take you to a 40-minute trip through ruggedly romantic Zügen Gorge, over the famous Wiesen Viaduct. The viaduct marks the heart of the famous RhB Albula Line and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Try the historical train and cross the famous Landwasser bridge or admire the bridge from below, taking the Landwasser Express “Choo Choo Train” that takes passengers to a stop at the foot of the viaduct where you can hop off and take photographs of trains crossing the Rhaetian Railway and marvel on the stonework made of natural dolomite lime rises over the valley.

Lake Lucerne Region

Enjoy a cruise aboard the panoramic yacht Saphir on Lake Lucerne. The stylish design and dashing appearance features a convertible roof, the aqua terrace, and a custom-built furniture provides excitement and luxury for the family. Equipped with an informative audio guide while enjoying the stunning views over a drink or snack onboard. 

If you fancy some action, an option to climb Mount Pilatus to play in the Fräkmüntegg rope or hurtle down the toboggan run. This Central Switzerland has the largest rope park, two cable cars, two hotels, five restaurants, and the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. It promises an exciting experience here and very popular adventure seekers including spending the night in a floating “Tree Tent”. These tree tents are stretched between the trees just above the ground and offer space for two to three people. The package includes the ascent and descent, a barbecue and salad buffet, access to the Pilatus Rope Park and a breakfast buffet.

Titlis

In the high valley of Engelberg is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. This certified family destination offers a free vacation program for children; there are countless activities, family-friendly hikes, spectacular playgrounds, and plenty of action on the mountain. An action-packed world of adventure awaits at Trübsee in summer, and at the same time the middle station of the same name is the starting point for numerous hikes. Activities such as the BagJump Tower, Trampoline2Bag, Bike Pump Track or the Slackline ensure a lot of fun and are all free-of-charge.

Tickets and seat reservation

The entire Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass, the GA travelcard or any other Swiss train ticket (day pass, point-to-point tickets, etc.). 

A seat reservation, subject to a surcharge, is required in order to travel on certain panoramic trains, such as the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Gotthard Panorama Express. The surcharges are already included in the package prices. 

Swiss Travel System tickets can be purchased at: MySwitzerland.com/tickets. 

Swiss Travel Pass

For guests not resident in Switzerland, the Swiss Travel Pass is the all-in-one ticket for travel by rail, bus and boat, available for 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 days. Public transport in more than 90 towns and cities is also included. What’s more, you also get free admission to over 500 museums throughout the country, as well as a discount of up to 50% on most mountain railways.

myGrandTrainTour Booklet

With the myGrandTrainTour Booklet, nine individual and unique stamps can be collected along the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. But this is much more than just an attractive public transport souvenir – it also impresses with plenty of valuable travel information. The booklet is handed out at various railway stations throughout Switzerland and at the stamp collection facilities. It can also be ordered for free at: MySwitzerland.com/brochuresGTToS. 

Grand Train Tour of Switzerland App
The Grand Train Tour even has its own app. Guests choose their dream route and discover all the must-sees along Switzerland’s most beautiful railway lines. In addition to receiving push notifications about upcoming sights and landmarks, travellers also get the chance to collect stamps and awards. Those who have collected enough can become “Master of Grand Train Tour of Switzerland”. What’s more, there are gifts and discounts available in the form of integrated digital coupons. For more information and downloads, see: MySwitzerland.com/traintourapp. 


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