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Switzerland is a stunning country, with its towering peaks, verdant meadows, glacial rivers and clear blue lakes. Even the cows are beautiful! And it’s amazingly easy to get around by public transport with all but the smallest places served by a train station and services running frequently and on time. The country boasts some of the best mountain railways in the world (more on this later) and the steepest cog railway (Pilatus). The food is hearty and delicious with not to be missed dishes including traditional rosti, raclette and of course, fondue, all washed down with fantastic local wines which you can only taste in Switzerland, as they don’t share with the rest of us.
Discover cultural centres like Basel and Zurich as well as less-known but stunning destinations like Bern and Chur. Stunning lakeside resorts like Locarno and Montreux can be combined with the majestic castles of Bellinzona, Reichenbach Falls (where Sherlock Holmes met his end) and exciting cableways into the mountains like Titlis and Schilthorn, where On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was filmed. If you like a scenic train journey, you couldn’t really do much better than the famous Glacier Express or the Bernina Express down across the Italian border. But there are plenty of others to consider, including the Golden Pass route from Montreux up to Interlaken and the Jungfrau Railway, which conveys passengers up to the highest train station in Europe.
Accessing Switzerland from the UK by rail is very easy. There are two main routes we recommend. Paris provides easy access to the French-speaking west of Switzerland, serving cities such as Lausanne and Geneva. If you are heading to Zurich, Chur or Basel, there is the option to travel via Brussels and Frankfurt – connections that do not require a change of station as is necessary in Paris. InterCity trains in Switzerland link major cities such as Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Zurich and Lugano. Trains are air-conditioned, and most have dining cars and a trolley service of drinks and light refreshments. Reliability is excellent and most staff speak many languages, including English.