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Basel to Zermatt Train: All You Need To Know

(Last Updated On: December 11, 2023)

With its proximity to an international airport and the Rhine River, where river cruises run, Basel is a preferred starting point for many people from abroad. From Basel, Zermatt is a popular destination.

Image of Zermatt by TouringSwitzerland.com

Zermatt is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland. You’ve probably heard of it. It’s near a famous mountain, the Matterhorn. This car-free mountain village is beautiful. You’ll find it in Valais, one of the southernmost regions of Switzerland. 

If you are thinking of taking the train from Basel to Zermatt or the other way around, read on below.

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

You can start by visiting the SBB website: www.sbb.ch. Using the website, you can type in your departure and arrival destinations. It will then guide you to where and when you need to be. An app is also available for iOS and Android devices.

If you wish to pay half the fare for all your train rides in Switzerland, a Half Fare Discount Card (1-month validity) is available on www.sbb.ch. This allows you to travel for half the price on all SBB routes and most other railways during the duration of your discount card.

Using the Swiss Pass, you get unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat in Switzerland. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.

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Getting tickets from RailEurope is a convenient option if you’re traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. Having been in operation since the 1930s, RailEurope‘s extensive history, user-friendly website and mobile apps, flexible currency payment options, commitment to customer satisfaction, and strategic partnerships with leading rail operators, collectively establish it as a reliable and trustworthy platform for booking European train travel.

You can obtain from RailEurope the following travel passes:

  • Swiss Travel Pass – choose between continuous or flexible Swiss train passes for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days. The perks? unlimited use in over 90 Swiss cities, free admission to more than 500 museums, and discounts on mountain railways and cable cars. You also get discounts on high-speed Lyria trains between France and Switzerland as well as Nightjet trains that go through Switzerland. See RailEurope for more information.
  • Eurail Global Pass – unlimited train travel to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for non-EU residents
  • Interrail Global Pass – access to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for citizens and permanent residents of the EU

How To Get From Basel To Zermatt by Train

Image of Basel’s Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

There is no direct train from Basel to Zermatt. It’s easiest to go to Visp and change then to the connecting train to Zermatt, but it’s not the fastest.

You cannot bring your car directly to Zermatt. Zermatt is car-free.

Option 1: Basel Train Station to Zermatt (Easiest)

The easiest way to get from Basel to Zermatt by train is to take the following trains:

  1. Take the Eurocity/Intercity train from Basel to Visp.
  2. In Visp, take the train to Zermatt.

Option 2: Basel Train Station to Zermatt

When you can’t board the train that runs directly from Basel to Visp, you can travel via Bern. The following trains will get you there:

  1. Take the Intercity train from Basel to Bern.
  2. In Bern, take the Intercity train to Visp.
  3. In Visp, take the train to Zermatt.

How To Get From Basel EuroAirport To Zermatt by Train

  1. From Basel Airport, you can take the bus that will take you from Basel EuroAirport to Basel Train Station (Basel, Bahnhof SBB).
  2. In Basel, take the Intercity train to Bern.
  3. In Bern, take the Intercity train to Visp.
  4. In Visp, take the train to Zermatt.

Taking the Eurocity/Intercity from Basel to Visp is also an option.


How to Travel From Zermatt to Basel by Train

Image of Zermatt by TouringSwitzerland.com

There is no direct train from Zermatt to Basel. The easiest and fastest way is to go to Visp, then change to a connecting train. However, this route doesn’t run every hour. That means you’ll probably have to change trains in Bern.

To travel by train from Zermatt to Basel, you will have to take the following trains:

  1. Take the train from Zermatt to Visp.
  2. In Visp, take the Intercity train to Bern.
  3. In Bern, take the Intercity train to Basel.

If the train to Basel is available in Visp, take it.


Is There a Direct Train From Basel to Zermatt?

As of the time of writing (December 2023), there are no direct trains from Basel to Zermatt.

In Visp, you’ll need to change to a connecting train for Zermatt and vice versa.


How Long Is the Train Ride From Basel to Zermatt?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Basel to Zermatt or the other way around (updated December 2023):

RouteDuration
Basel – Visp – Zermatt3 hours 18 minutes
Basel EuroAirport – Basel – Visp – Zermatt3 hours 42 minutes
Zermatt – Visp – Basel3 hours 19 minutes
Zermatt – Visp – Basel – Basel EuroAirport3 hours 50 minutes

Is the Train Route From Basel to Zermatt Scenic?

Intercity trains from Basel to Visp are not scenic trains. There are fast trains that travel from one big city to another, whose main purpose is to transport passengers as quickly as possible.

Besides that, the route from Visp to Zermatt is pretty scenic.


How Much Will the Train Ticket From Basel to Zermatt Cost?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), here are the train ticket prices from Basel to Zermatt:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Basel – Zermatt126.0063.00
Basel EuroAirport – Zermatt132.6066.50

As you can see, if you avail of the Half Fare Travel Card, you can save on your fare for long train journeys. So this is something to consider during your travel to Switzerland. You can do simple calculations and decide from there if it will be worth it for you.


Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

No, there is no need to reserve a spot on the train. But you can always add this option if that is your wish.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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