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Rail Journey in 2022

Looking to plan a rail journey in 2022. Any good suggestions?

Thanks.

Bill

Posted by
318 posts

Depends:

  1. How much time do you have?
  2. What time of year?
  3. Any special interest?
  4. Any limits on costs?
  5. Are you looking for one trip from A to B or multiple trips?

I'm sure we could come up with many trips but with more information we could give you better answers.

Posted by
4276 posts

Sorry, we need more information to be able to offer any advice, as has already been mentioned.

The website seat61.com offers lots of information on all European rail travel and is a good starting point. Also look at websites such as greatrail.com who organise escorted rail holidays for ideas of itineraries. If organising something yourself, you probably won’t be able to travel at the same pace, but it will give you some itinerary ideas.

Posted by
24563 posts

You posted in the Switzerland Forum - is all of the rail journey to be within Switzerland or is it on the way to or from another country where you will also be using the trains?

Posted by
27 posts

thanks. Plan on the trip being entirely within Switzerland. Saw a trip video by Steves and it was so exciting.

Posted by
5453 posts

What're your primary interests? Scenery, food, history, culture, mountain hiking, yodeling? Best thing you can do is read the RS Switzerland guidebook, cover to cover. I think you can get from anywhere to anywhere in Switzerland in less than a day, mostly in a few hours. So you can try a circular route or linear, based on the two main airports - Zurich and Geneva. Are you familiar with European train travel? If not, it will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the signage and reading the arrival/departure schedules. If you're interested in the brand name scenic train rides (Glacier Express, Bernina Express, etc.) note that non premium trains run the same routes.

Posted by
10 posts

Get a Swiss Travel Pass. It really uncomplicates EVERYTHING. You can change plans, mess up, and it doesn't make any difference. No stopping to buy any tickets either.

Posted by
596 posts

Rick Steve's Switzerland guide book has an entire 2 week rail itinerary. Easily modified to fit your time constraints and/or interests. Just updated May 2020. Available here in hardcopy or Kindle on Amazon.

Posted by
850 posts

Probably the main named scenic rail journeys in Switzerland are the Golden Pass, the Bernina Express, and the Glacier Express. Any of these are extremely scenic - as is much of Switzerland by rail. What you choose might be determined by what else you want to see, where else you want to visit, and how much time you have. And all three are well covered in the Switzerland guidebook. No wrong choice!

Posted by
1471 posts

Man in seat 61 will take good care of you. Study his site constantly, use his advice and suggestions, and follow his links.

Also check out a chap named Paul Lucas on Youtube, he does planes and trains.

Youtube is chockful of semi-pro videos about the various "named" trains in Switzerland, watch and learn. You may decide you want to do just one, or several, or all, or portions of some. Many many choices.

There are also companies that put together train trip vacations for you, some here and some in the UK.

Posted by
1801 posts

We are starting to look at the same thing, for April 2022, when I would hope the coast will be clear to travel freely.

Fly into Zurich, then immediately take the Swiss InterCity train 2.5 hrs to Chur. For those who have stayed there, is Chur a viable stopping point for 2-3 nights, to get our bearings & handle jet lag? In past trips to France & Italy, we've pretty much stayed put at our initial destination for at least a couple days.

FYI my way to handle jet lag--everyone's is different--is to arrive mid-to-late morning, leave our bags at the hotel if it's too early to check in, go for a nice walk and a hearty lunch. Then return to the hotel for a 2-3 hour nap, get up & go to dinner, take another walk, then go to bed. And the next morning I feel surprisingly clear-headed!

From Chur, it would be the Bernina Express into Italy & Tirano. Then switch to a train to Milan, then Verona. Admittedly, that's a long-a** day of travel, but that would be only one day like that out of 17 for our trip, because from there we only have 90-minute jaunts Verona/Florence & then Florence/Rome. But what does the Man in Seat 61 call the Bernina? 'The most scenic Alpine train ride of them all'. Five years ago we took the train from Lucerne to Milan, just a normal route over the Alps, and it was flat-out spectacular.

So to me, the Bernina Express would be worth it. Experiences, advice?

Posted by
24563 posts

The capitol of the Grissons is a nice small town. Good for exploring the three main branches of local trains, but there is not a huge amount to do or a fabulous townscape. A few restaurants, a few hotels (the upsidedown Ibis pyramid is different) but I don't think I'd make it a multi night destination. Plenty of beautiful villages along the train lines.