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Panoramic Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz

Panoramic Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz

Aug 7th, 2009, 01:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 106
Panoramic Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz

Is the 7 hr panoramic trip on the glacier express really worth??? or should one just spend that extra time in Zermatt instead of spending 7 hrs on a train???
Piya is offline  
Aug 7th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Not sure what your itinerary is, I wasn't crazy about the Glacier Expres. How many days are spending in Zermatt?

See this threadbr />
retiredinflorida is offline  
Aug 7th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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well if you reason for taking the Glacier Express is only to take a scenic train ride then IMO no, it is not worth 7 hours - but if you want to relocate to St Moritz/Chur then of course yes . IMO The Glacier Express, the most hyped train in Europe it seems, is not nearly the most scenic Swiss rail line - i can think of several as or more scenic that are not nearly so long.

You are going to Zermatt and the Brig to Zermatt portion of the Glacier Express is awesomely scenic, esp when you approach Zermatt and the portion Reichenau/Chur to St Moritz is really neat too - but the Brig to Reichenau portion is more of the same nice, but not spectacular river valley - no glaciers in site. And even if you have a Swiss Pass, which almost everyone IMO will benefit from if going to Zermatt from airports or whatever, you still must pay a hefty supplement to ride the Glacier Express on top of it (there are hourly trains from Brig to Zermatt that go over the Glacier Express route that you can just board like any other train but for the official Glacier Express trains you must pay a steep supplement. For loads of info on Swiss trains and scenic trains, etc.: www.swisstravelsystem.ch - which has links to the Glacier Express and other scenic train sites as well as sbb.ch, the Swiss Federal Railways; www.ricksteve.com and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html - and if buying a Swiss Pass and residing in North America you can save quite a bit of money by buying the exact same pass you would in Switzerland before leaving the States - why i cannot fathom but currently is so - compare prices for in Switzerland at www.swiss-pass.ch and the steves and budget europe travel sites i give above.
There will be varying opinions on the question you pose about the Glacier Express so keep topping to get perhaps other views.
Palenque is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 10:51 AM
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Here's a thread i've been writing and others have been making great contributions to on Scenic Swiss trains:

Palenque is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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We enjoyed the Glacier Express.

We got into Zermatt around noon, checked into our hotel, walked to town for a bite to eat, walked around town for a few hours, then back to the hotel for a 30 min nap and dinner. That night we re-packed all of our stuff into one suitcase.

We headed out the next morning on the Glacier Express for St Moritz. We were going to be in Sils Maria and Soglio for a few days before returning to Zermatt, so we used the Glacier Express for our transport one way.

It suited us as we were still a little tired and it was very relaxing. Lots to look at or you could read a little in a book if you wanted. Very comfortable (We did 1st class, as Byron at BETS said it would be less crowded) For lunch we took water, sandwiches, and chocolate from Zermatt and I ordered some white wine.

So as Palenque says, if you are thinking about it for huge mountains and glaciers, forget it. We thought 75% of the scenery was very pretty and as said above, there is some spectacular scenery. It was a very nice way for us to unwind after several very busy months of work at home and get into "vacation" mode. And I think good way to get to St Moritz area. But I probably wouldn't take it to St Moritz and back just to do it.
wrenwood is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 08:50 AM
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Thank you all for your responses!
Piya is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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I didn't care for the Glacier Express, I travelled from Zermatt to Chur on the GE. I was glad I'd chose to go to Chur instead of St Moritz, the journey to Chur was about six hours, I was happy to get off the train. Not sure what your itinerary is, but I do recommend a ride on the Bernina Express, the scenery from the BE is just amazing. You can ride the same route on regular (ie, non Bernina Express) trains too.
startpacking is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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stoppacking expresses what i hear many folks express about the GE - and ironically some of the finest scenery is between Riechenau (cut off just before Chur) and St Moritz - the so-called Albula Pass stretch where the train does several drunken loops inside and outside a mountain - with viaducts and tunnels. this part has garnered UNESCO's prestigious World Heritage Status because of the prodigious railway engineering, for its time about 1900.

Albula, Rhätische Bahn, RhB
as the train rolls through a fairytale landscape of enchanted forests, picturesque villages and towering mountains. That's the Albula Line of the Rhaetian ...

Rhatische Bahn is the name of the train company running this stretch of the Glacier Express, as well as the Bernina Express and Heidi Express (Davos - St Moritz - Bernina)
Palenque is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Official Glacier Express web site - if you have a Swiss Pass you can, i believe, though my antique computer cannot access the "info and reservations" part of the site (above link) that you can make just the required reservation for seats (required with a pass too) and also the meal reservations, which to be guaranteed should be arranged as well in advance.

Though you can reserve the GE when you buy your pass - thru that agency (but not all agents make seat reservations at all) but you'll save a few bucks by doing it direct.

and IME it can be hard to get GE reservations once in Switzerland as tour groups often pack these trains (yup the GE monniker has become so romanticized that tour brochures like to include it) - so book in advance IMO.
Palenque is offline  
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