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Switzerland by Train

Switzerland by Train: Lucerne to Zurich

12 days |  14 days with Lugano extension
12 days |  14 days with Lugano extension
Group size1528 travelers

4.5 star rating

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Experience rich culture against a backdrop of soaring Alpine peaks.

Whether it’s the mountainous landscapes or lakeside vineyards, impressive views are around every corner in Switzerland. You’ll soak in the scenery aboard trains that will take you from the city to the countryside and back again. See the iconic Matterhorn from Zermatt, pass snow-capped peaks while riding the famed Bernina Express, and cap off your tour in Zurich where you’ll wind your way through the city’s charming streets.

Your tour package includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 1 wine tasting
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Included highlights

  • GoldenPass Railway ride
  • Lavaux Vineyards wine tasting
  • Chillon Castle
  • The Matterhorn
  • Glacier Express train ride
Read more
Start planning today

An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Zurich today.

Lucerne Region2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Zurich & transfer to Lucerne Region
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Switzerland! Transfer to your hotel in the Lucerne region. Then, gather with your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne
Included meal: Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to the charming lakeside city of Lucerne.

  • Explore Lucerne’s Old Town
  • View the sandstone lion statue commemorating the Swiss Guards
  • Stroll over Chapel Bridge, a 17th-century covered footbridge, for views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps

Enjoy a free afternoon in Lucerne or add an excursion.

Mount Pilatus

From $129 per person

Interlaken2 nights
Day 4: Train to Interlaken
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take your seat aboard the GoldenPass Railway and pass spectacular Alpine scenery. Peer out the panoramic window to spot Mount Pilatus, Lake Lucerne, Lake Sarnen, Lake Lungern, and more en route to Interlaken in the Bernese Oberland region.

Upon arrival in Interlaken, set out on a short walk with your Tour Director through the quaint streets worn by time while taking in views of the surrounding alpine vistas.

Later, sit down to an included dinner this evening.

Day 5: Free day in Interlaken
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Interlaken or add an excursion.

Jungfraujoch: The Top of Europe

From $215 per person

Lake Geneva Region1 night
Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Bern & Lavaux Vineyards
Included meals: Breakfast, Wine tasting

Set out for the Lake Geneva Region today, stopping to visit the Swiss capital of Bern and Lavaux Vineyards on the way.

  • Cross the Aare River and head to the iconic Bern Bear Park, home to a community of brown bears
  • Stroll through the UNESCO-recognized Old Town, making your way past the Cathedral of Bern
  • Head to the Lavaux wine region, located on the terraced shores of Lake Geneva
  • Walk through the UNESCO-protected Lavaux Vineyards
  • Step inside the wine cellar to enjoy a wine tasting paired with cheese and sausage

Continue on to the shores of Lake Geneva that’s known for its cultural events and festivals.

Zermatt2 nights
Day 7: Chillon Castle & train to Zermatt
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Visit Chillon Castle on the shores of Lake Geneva this morning. Then, pass through the scenic foothills of the Alps to Visp, where you’ll board a train to the car-free mountain town of Zermatt. Upon arrival, follow your Tour Director on a short orientation tour and take in views of the iconic Matterhorn.

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 8: Free day in Zermatt
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Zermatt or add an excursion.

Gornergrat Railway & Matterhorn Museum

From $139 per person

St. Moritz2 nights
Day 9: Glacier Express train ride
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Board the Glacier Express, a famed train with cars specially designed for scenic viewing. You'll make your way through a picturesque portion of the Alps including the Albula Line, Rhine Gorge, and Oberalp Pass.

Enjoy an included lunch during the ride before arriving in St. Moritz, a prestigious Swiss resort town and hub of wintertime sports.

Day 10: Bernina Express train ride
Included meal: Breakfast

Board the Bernina Express and enjoy a scenic ride on the highest railway across the Alps. You'll wind through bridges and tunnels along the stunning, UNESCO-recognized landscapes en route to Tirano, Italy. Enjoy free time in Tirano before traveling back to St. Moritz.

Please note: You will need to present your passport on board the train when crossing from Italy to Switzerland.

Zurich1 night
Day 11: Transfer to Zurich & sightseeing tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Travel to Zurich and set off on a sightseeing tour to get to know Switzerland’s largest city with your Tour Director.

  • Walk through the medieval Altstadt, the Old Town, and soak in views of Lindenhof park
  • Pass by St. Peter Church and the old town hall which dates back to the 1690s
  • Walk over the historic Münsterbrücke footbridge which crosses the Limmat river

Celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner this evening.

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to Zurich Airport for your flight home or continue on to Lugano.

Extension to Lugano
Spend a few more days alongside your Tour Director as you explore Lugano, a prominent Swiss city.
Lugano2 nights
Day 12: Train to Lugano & sightseeing tour
Included meal: Breakfast

Board the EuroCity train and pass through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world, en route to Southern Switzerland's Italian-speaking region of Ticino.

Then, arrive in lakeside Lugano. Explore the city near the Italian border on a scenic walking tour.

  • View the botanical gardens of Ciani Park
  • See the church of Santa Maria degli Angioli, home to the largest Renaissance fresco in Switzerland
  • Stroll past the Church of San Rocco, Piazza della Riforma, and the Via Nassa shopping center
Day 13: Free day in Lugano
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Lugano or add an excursion.

Raise a glass and toast to your trip with a farewell drink this evening.

Lake Maggiore & Grotto Lunch

From $119 per person

Flight Home
Day 14: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer across the border into Italy to Milan-Malpensa Airport for your flight home.

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4.5 star rating

Overall rating 4.5 out of 5

Based on 78 authentic traveler reviews
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    5.0 star rating

    Absolutely beautiful!
    7/22/23 by 6th-time traveler Barbara

    Incredible scenery. If I had to do it over again, I would not do the extension. Everybody was fairly tired and would have preferred to end the tour in Zurich. Vesna was an amazing tour director.

    5.0 star rating

    Switzerland by Train
    8/23/23 by 5th-time traveler Dennis

    I've not been to Switzerland in the past and I had originally scheduled another tour but had to cancel for a medical family reason and rescheduled to come on this tour. It was a great tour. I liked all the hotels I stayed in, especially The Hotel in Montreux. I thought the tour was well scheduled a...

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    5.0 star rating

    Switzerland did not disappoint!
    8/9/23 by 2nd-time traveler Margo

    Switzerland was incredible. We saw and experienced so much in ten days. Our tour guide, Lala, was fantastic. Dealing with 24 different personalities is never an easy task but she kept us on track. Lala, even added a few surprises along the way-a trip to Trummelbach Falls and a short detour to Lie...

    Read more +
    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 9/19/23

    Thank you for leaving such a detailed review about...

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    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Crowne Plaza Zurich
    Crowne Plaza Zurich

    This sophisticated hotel is located minutes away from the city center of Zurich, Switzerland. Guests enjoy the indoor pool, garden lounge, and extensi...

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    Grand Hotel Europe
    Grand Hotel Europe

    This Belle Époque hotel is located near the lake promenade. Guests enjoy a restaurant, bar, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll find Lake Lucerne, Chapel B...

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    Carlton Europe Hotel
    Carlton Europe Hotel

    This Art Nouveau-style hotel is located in Interlaken. Guests enjoy a spa, Wi-Fi, and a hotel bar. Nearby, you'll find the Jungfrau region, as well as...

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    Hôtel du Grand Lac Excelsior
    Hôtel du Grand Lac Excelsior

    This Belle-Epoque style hotel is located in the heart of Montreux, Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva. Guests enjoy the semi-Olympic size pool, ...

    Read more +
    Butterfly Hotel
    Butterfly Hotel

    This Alpine-inspired hotel is located in Zermatt Village Center. Guests enjoy a Finnish sauna, free Wi-Fi, and a hotel bar. Nearby, you'll find the Go...

    Read more +
    Hotel Laudinella
    Hotel Laudinella

    This rustic hotel is located in the Upper Engadin Valley of St. Moritz. Guests enjoy a restaurant, pool, and spa. Nearby, you’ll find Lake St. Moritz,...

    Read more +
    Hotel De La Paix Lugano
    Hotel De La Paix Lugano

    This stylish hotel is located in Lugano, Switzerland overlooking Lake Lugano. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, library, and art gallery. Nearby you’ll f...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights


    Print FAQ
    Passport, visa & entry requirements
    • In order to enter Switzerland and Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
    • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
    • Beginning in 2024, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must register for an ETIAS travel authorization in order to enter many European countries.
    • Passport holders from over 60 visa-exempt countries (including the U.S. and Canada) will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization in order to visit 30 European countries. That means that even if you’ve previously traveled to any of these European countries without a visa, starting in 2024, you’ll need to get ETIAS authorization to visit them again. If you’re traveling to multiple countries with this requirement, you only need to complete the form once. All Go Ahead travelers are responsible for obtaining their own ETIAS travel authorization before departure. For more details, please visit our Help Center.
    • You will need to present your passport on board the train when crossing from Italy to Switzerland.
    • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code SBT.
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    Tour pacing & mobility
    • You will walk for at least 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, and will reach high elevations on select portions of this tour.
    • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
    • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains.
    • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
    • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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    Transportation & arrival information
    • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Zurich and depart from Zurich (or Milan on the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
    • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
    • Train rides from Lucerne to Interlaken, Visp to Zermatt, Zermatt to St. Moritz, and St. Moritz to Tirano are included in the price of your tour. The tour extension also includes a train ride from Zurich to Lugano.
    • You will need to present your passport on board the train when crossing from Italy to Switzerland.
    • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
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    Baggage allowance
    • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
    • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
    • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
    • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
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    Clothing & packing tips
    • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
    • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
    • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
    • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
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    • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at
    • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
    • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code SBT.
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    • Swiss food is varied and sophisticated, and some popular dishes include sausages, breaded veal fillets, freshwater fish, and cheese dishes such as fondue and raclette. Be sure to try Swiss chocolate, which is among the world’s finest.
    • Northern Italy is known for flavorful meats and pastries.
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    Electricity & air conditioning
    • Switzerland operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C or J plugs with two round pins or three round pins, respectively.
    • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
    • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
    • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
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    • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
    • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
    • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
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    Time zones
    • All destinations on this tour are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
    • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
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    • You will use the Swiss franc in Switzerland and the euro in Italy.
    • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
    • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
    • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
    • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
    • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
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    • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
    • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $8USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
    • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
    • Tips can only be paid in cash.
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    Purchasing excursions on tour
    • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
    • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
    • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
    • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
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