Switzerland Scenic Train - Bernina or Glacier (or part of it)?

I have read what Rick says and have been searching the archives before posting this same question as Harry did a month ago- unfortunately, I don't see too many answers from people who have taken both trips. Anyone out there who would care to comment? Mostly interested in the scenery rather than going to specific places. We'll be going in August and will be based near Interlaken focusing on the Berner Oberland. Flying in and out of Geneva. Will have 6-10 days in Switzerland depending on if we include Annecy, France at the end of the trip and for how long. Thanks.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6695 posts

Janet, basing near Interlaken, it's a bit of travel time to get to either the Glacier Express departing at Brig or to Chur for the Bernina Express departing at Chur. Travel time from Interlaken Ost to Brig is 1hr15min. Travel time from Interlaken Ost to Chur is 3.5-4.0hrs. Travel time on the GE is about 4.5hrs from Brig to Chur. If you want to then take the Bernina Express, its another 3hrs and you end up in Tirano Italy. I've been on the GE. It's relaxing and very scenic. However, you really don't see all of the bridges and tunnels that you see on TV. Those movies are taken from a helicopter. You don't see many of the bridges as you are going over them. You don't see the outside of the tunnels as you are going through them. It's dark in there. Still, it was quite nice. From comments on the website, the Bernina Express may have the better views. One hint since you are flying into and out of Geneva is the Golden Pass scenic train. You catch it going west right at Interlaken Ost. You get the best views by going west from Interlaken Ost to Montreau. The best views are those on the descent down the mountain into Montreau. You can even buy tickets for the 8-seat special cabin that sits above the engine.

Posted by Janet
Corvallis, OR, USA
39 posts

Larry - Thanks for the helpful info. We are planning on taking the Golden Pass from Geneva (Montreux) to Interlaken. Hope its scenic going that way too. Not sure where we are coming back from to leave Geneva so don't know if we'll be going back that way.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6695 posts

Janet, it's not as scenic going up the hill away from Montreau but overall its a real treat. You'll change trains at Zwiessemen for the trip to Interlaken. We took the trip from Lauterbrunnen to Brig for the Glacier Express but we only went to Disentis on the other side of the Overlap Pass. We took the local train back to Brig (local trains run on the same tracks) and then back to Lauterbrunnen. Still, it was a 7.0hr round trip. If we had gone on to Chur and then returned to Lauterbrunnen, it would have added another 4-5 hrs to the trip.

Posted by Janet
Corvallis, OR, USA
39 posts

Larry - Thanks for the additional info on Lauterbrunnen to Brig & back. I'm still looking at possibilities. May have more questions later.