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Bernini/Glacier Expepress Trains

We will be visiting Switzerland in mid-April and plan to ride these two scenic trains. While we recognize that early reservations are always advisable, we wonder how much time we have before we need to make reservations to assure ourselves a seat. Our trip is still early in the planning stages, and we have lots of lots of logistical arrangements, but we don't want to make those arrangements and then find the train seats are full. Realistically, how much time to we have before we should nail down the train reservations?
Cecilia Hackman
nevada USA

Posted by
8889 posts

On both these routes, the "Bernina Express" and "Glacier Express" are extra through trains, with panoramic windows specially for tourists. There are still the normal trains, one every hour, which follow the same route, but you don't have to book. On the normal trains, you will have to change once or twice to follow the route.

So I would go ahead and plan, if the named trains are full, you have a fall-back plan to go on the regular train.

For train times for both routes, see

Posted by
16894 posts

It's hard to know how quickly the observation coaches fill up on named departures. Since the scenery is the same from the regular, regional trains, I'd be willing to take the small risk of letting other plans fall into place first. One advantage of regular cars over "panarama cars" is that you can often open the windows and/or move around to different seats if it's not crowded. I took the Bernina route on regular trains and was quite happy with that view.