Interlaken is one of Switzerland’s major transportation hubs, with train connections to cities such as Basel, Zurich, Bern, and Lucerne. For the most dramatic views, choose a scenic railway route that runs through the dramatic landscapes of the Swiss Alps. Here are our picks of the best.
The Bernina Pass is home to postcard-perfect Swiss Alps scenery, with glacial valleys, wild gorges, and alpine peaks reaching heights of 7,392 feet (2,253 meters). The Bernina Express railway route, which runs from Chur in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy and crosses over 196 bridges and through 55 tunnels, is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Perhaps the country’s most popular railway route, the Jungfrau Express (Jungfraujoch) starts out at Interlaken, taking one of two mountain routes—Wengen or Grindelwald—before ascending via a high-altitude rack railway to Europe’s highest train station at the 11,332-foot (3,454-meter) summit of Jungfrau—known as the Top of Europe. Featuring forested alcoves, tunnels cut through the mountainside, and a final climb on a narrow gauge railway line, it’s an unforgettable journey.
A one-stop route through central Switzerland’s principle sights, the renowned Golden Pass railway runs from historic Lucerne, across the Brünig pass, and into Interlaken. Carrying on west from Interlaken, the Panoramic-Express affords views of Lake Thun, Gstaad, and the Simmen Valley before descending through the terraced vineyards to Montreux and Lake Geneva.
Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg
The Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg train is a traditional cogwheel railway that climbs up to the Kleine Scheidegg mountain pass at 6,762 feet (2,061 meters). Located between the Eiger and Lauberhorn mountains, the train journey affords sweeping views of the iconic Eiger North Face.