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The Best Way to See Switzerland

Updated on September 21, 2011
European Rail Station
European Rail Station

Switzerland is one of the most spectacular countries in the world and attracts tourists from all over the world to its magnificent mountains lakes and to its winter sports. Anyone who has visited this beautiful country can tell you that the best and most reliable way to see the panoramic views is to travel by train.

Train travel in Switzerland had its start in 1845 with the opening of the first railway station but the first Swiss train did not take to the rails until 1847. This train carried fresh baked bread from Baden, France to Zurich in just thirty minutes and remained the only line within Switzerland for the next 7 years.

France and Germany had completed several thousand miles of track before the Swiss had laid the first rail. Despite the slow start the Swiss managed to build one of the most comprehensive rail systems in the world.

Every Swiss town is connected to the train system which also coordinates with the bus network so that anyone can travel to the most out of the way locations. The famous scenic trains: the William Tell, the Golden Pass, and the Bernina or Glacier express covers the most popular Swiss routes. Train travelers can enjoy the snowy Swiss Alps, and cross mountain streams on magnificent bridges.

With extreme weather changes the locals know that traveling by train is more reliable than by auto. The Swiss pride themselves on punctuality and the trains are no exception, departing and arriving when the schedule says. If, by chance you miss your train there is always another one thirty minutes later.

The luggage service the train provides is very convenient for visiting tourists. For just $15 US you can check in your luggage at the airport, head for the train and pick up your luggage there. You don't have to carry all your bags to your destination. If you wish to rent a bike, available in 80 rail stations, and tour the countryside; you may send your luggage on to your destination.

Should you travel first or second class? I would advise traveling first class because of fewer crowds, nicer compartments and more privacy. There is about a 30 percent price increase for first class but you will be one of the first on board travelling in style. If traveling with the locals, listening to local languages, and enjoying the ambience of Switzerland is your thing; than by all means choose second class. No matter what you choose all Swiss trains are clean and comfortable.

Purchasing a rail pass is one of the most cost preventive ways to travel in Switzerland. Along with travel the passes will gain you free entry to many museums or castles and other exhibits. A pass will also entitle you to free travel on many buses, subways, and street trams. You can also get a 50% discount on many of the special scenic mountain trains.

If you decide that Switzerland is your travel destination you will not be disappointed with the local charm and exciting views. Travel by rail and travel in style!


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