Geneva to Lucerne Train: All You Need To Know 

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Lucerne is one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland. The majority of first-time visitors choose Lucerne as their destination. The choice is excellent. A beautiful, easily accessible town with good tourist infrastructure and great information, Lucerne is sure to impress. 

Image of the Chapel Bridge by Sarah Lötscher from Pixabay

Logistical concerns come up inevitably. Particularly for those who want to travel by rail in Switzerland, there are several specifics concerning train travel. What is the best way to get from point A to point B? Does it offer scenic views? So on and so forth.

As one of the most populous and visited cities in Switzerland, people who are in Geneva might consider visiting Lucerne by train. Traveling by train in Switzerland is an easy, comfortable, and impressive journey. So I would definitely recommend traveling by train between Geneva and Lucerne.

This article will answer all your questions about the train journey from Geneva to Lucerne. 

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 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.

Getting tickets from RailEurope is definitely a convenient option if you’re traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. A global leader in train tickets and passes, RailEurope is headquartered in Paris, France. A Swiss Pass and a Half Fare Discount Card can also be obtained from RailEurope.

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Using the Swiss Pass, you can travel on Swiss trains, buses, boats, and more. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.

How To Get From Geneva to Lucerne

Image of Lucerne taken by TouringSwitzerland.com

You’re best off taking the direct train from Geneva to Lucerne. You can take the train directly from Geneva or Geneva Airport. The same train leaves Geneva Airport and stops in Geneva. Then it leaves for Sursee, Zofingen, Bern, Fribourg, and other towns before stopping in Lucerne.

There are direct trains from Geneva and Geneva Airport to Lucerne. I highly recommend taking the direct train that leaves once per hour from either place.

You can also travel via Olten if you miss this direct train. Also, there are regional trains that go to Lucerne via Bern, but I don’t recommend this route because it’s 20 to 30 minutes slower than direct trains and trains that go via Olten. 

How Long is the Train Journey from Geneva to Lucerne?

It typically takes give or take 3 hours to travel by train from Geneva to Lucerne. 

RouteEstimated Travel Time (Direct Train)
Geneva Train Station (Genève) – Lucerne3 hours 2 minutes
Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport) – Lucerne3 hours 12 minutes
Lucerne – Geneva (Genève)3 hours 1 minute
Lucerne – Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport) 3 hours 11 minutes

Is the Train From Geneva to Lucerne Scenic?

Unfortunately, the Interregio train from Geneva to Lucerne is not the most scenic train route. It is a fast, commuter train connecting the cities of Lucerne, Bern, Fribourg, Lausanne, and Geneva.

There are parts of the train ride where you get a good view of Lake Geneva. In the grand scheme of things, however, it is still not the most scenic train route. 

Other Scenic Trains

In case you would like to check out other scenic trains, then there are more scenic trains recommended below. These are the Golden Pass Line, the Glacier Express, and the Bernina Express. Another interesting train is the Historical Train that goes from Davos to Filisur.

Image of Bernina Pass and Bernina Express by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

Your other options in detail are the following:

  • Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. You would take a train from Geneva to Lucerne, then change to Interlaken. This is sometimes referred to as the east end of this route. The Golden Pass has panorama coaches and is scenic.
  • Glacier Express – Glacier Express is a long journey that starts from Zermatt, home of Matterhorn. It then traverses 291 bridges and 91 tunnels before stopping in St. Moritz. Both Zermatt and St. Moritz are beautiful mountain resorts worthy of a longer stay. The Glacier Express passes by several idyllic mountain villages.
  • Bernina Express – Bernina Express is another train route that begins in Chur. Chur is the oldest alpine city in Switzerland and definitely worth visiting. This train route spans 196 bridges. It goes through 55 tunnels and passes 20 beautiful villages in Switzerland. For you to go on this scenic train, you will have to go from Zurich or Lucerne to Chur first.
  • Historical Train Davos to Filisur – May through October, vintage carriages are pulled by the century-old crocodile locomotive from Davos Platz to Filisur. The train line covers a total length of 4,200 meters through 14 tunnels and 28 bridges. Its scenic highlights include the Wiesen Viaduct and the Zügen Gorge.

How Much Will the Train Ticket From Geneva to Lucerne Cost?

As of the time of publishing the article, a single journey ticket from Geneva to Lucerne starts at CHF 40 if you have the Half-Fare card.

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Geneva Train Station (Genève) – Lucerne8040
Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport) – Lucerne8442

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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