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How to Get From Interlaken to Glacier Express

Last Updated on December 12, 2023 by Darla

The Swiss train system stretches over thousands of kilometers. And one of the most spectacular ways to discover the Swiss Alps by train is along with the Glacier Express.

Image of Glacier Express by NoName_13 from Pixabay

The Glacier Express travels 291 kilometers, crosses 291 bridges and overpasses, and passes through 91 tunnels. But it’s not a fast train. On this scenic route between Zermatt and St. Moritz, the train averages 36 kph (22 mph). It’s the slowest express train in the world. 

Massive panoramic windows let you enjoy the views that begin shortly after departing Zermatt.  It passes through the Rhone Valley on its way to Oberalp. The train then descends into the Rhine Gorge. It passes through the Albula line, a World Heritage Site, on its way to St. Moritz in the Upper Engadine Alps. 

Some visitors who will want to experience Glacier Express will come from Interlaken. In this article, we will discuss the train commute from Interlaken to get to Glacier Express. How long is the travel time from Interlaken to reach the train? How much are the tickets? Read on for more information. 

On this page, you can find all the information you need regarding the train journey from Interlaken to get to Glacier Express.

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 convenient while 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

Booking Glacier Express Online

Glacier Express tickets can be booked online, through various websites. You can also book via Swiss Railways, Rail Europe, or any travel agent that sells tickets for Swiss trains or travel services.

My suggestion would be to book it online on one of the two sites below:


How to Get From Interlaken to Glacier Express

Interlaken to Glacier Express

There are several options if you want to take the Glacier Express. You can start the journey from Zermatt or St. Moritz. Or you can also pick another stop in the middle if you do not wish to partake in the whole journey.

In this article, we will cover how to get from Interlaken to either Zermatt or St. Moritz.

If you wish to do the Glacier Express, it is best to arrive at the starting point one day before. That way, you can easily take the train in the morning. There are either one or two Glacier Express trains per day depending on the season.

I highly recommend taking the Glacier Express from Zermatt if you are coming from Interlaken because it is faster to get to (2.5 hours vs 5 hours).

Image of the Glacier Express Train in Zermatt Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com
  1. Take the Intercity train or bus from Interlaken Ost to Spiez.
  2. In Spiez, take the connecting train to Visp.
  3. In Visp, take the connecting regional train to Zermatt.
  4. In Zermatt, take the Glacier Express train that leaves at 8:52 AM from Platform 4.
Image of Glacier Express to Zermatt in Chur by TouringSwitzerland.com
  1. Take the train from Interlaken Ost to Zurich.
  2. In Zurich, take the Intercity train to Landquart.
  3. In Landquart, take the connecting regional train to St. Moritz.
  4. In St. Moritz, take the Glacier Express train that leaves at 8:51 AM from Platform 3.

How Long Is the Train Ride From Interlaken to Glacier Express

The following table shows the train ride duration from Interlaken to the Glacier Express train (updated December 2023):

RouteDuration (fastest)
Interlaken Ost – Spiez – Visp – Zermatt (Glacier Express)2 hours 6 minutes
Interlaken Ost – Zurich – Landquart – St. Moritz (Glacier Express)5 hours 9 minutes

Are There Direct Trains From Interlaken to Glacier Express?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), there are no direct trains from Interlaken to Glacier Express.


How Long Is the Glacier Express Train Ride?

  • Glacier Express takes 7 hours and 45 minutes from Zermatt to St. Moritz. It starts at 8:52 AM in Zermatt and arrives at 4:37 PM in St. Moritz.
  • Glacier Express takes 8 hours and 19 minutes from St. Moritz to Zermatt. It starts at 8:51 AM in St. Moritz and arrives at 5:10 PM in Zermatt.

Is the Glacier Express Route Scenic?

Yes, the Glacier Express route is one of the most scenic routes in the entire country. Among the highlights of Glacier Express are the following:

Image of Landwasser Viaduct by TouringSwitzerland.com
  • Views of the Matterhorn from the alpine village of Zermatt
  • Rhine Gorge, also known as the Grand Canyon of Switzerland
  • Crossing 291 bridges and 91 tunnels
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site Albula Railway Route with its viaducts and spiral tunnels
  • Oberalp Pass which connects Graubünden with Uri
  • St. Moritz and the Bernina Region

How Much Will the Glacier Express Train Ticket Cost?

The price of your Glacier Express ticket will depend on the legs of the journey you take. Furthermore, there are other things to note such as discounts for Half-price travel and GA travel, 50% discount for children 6 to 16 years of age, etc.

The following are the published prices on the Glacier Express website as of December 2023.

RouteFull Fare (CHF), 2. ClassFull Fare (CHF), 1. Class
St. Moritz to Zermatt159.00272.00
St. Moritz to Brig119.00204.00
St. Moritz to Andermatt88.00150.40
Andermatt to Zermatt77.00131.00

If you avail of the Half Fare Travel Card, you can avail of half-price travel for Glacier Express. The Half Fare Travel Card allows you to 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.

Furthermore, seat reservation is necessary when traveling by Glacier Express. This must be paid in full by all passengers, even those holding discount travel passes. Seat reservation costs CHF 44 for short journeys and CHF 49 for long journeys.

Since March 2019, Excellence Class, the new premium coach class on the Glacier Express, has been transforming an impressive panoramic journey through the Swiss Alps into a unique and luxurious adventure.

The current price for Excellence Class is CHF 470.


Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

Yes, you will need to reserve a seat in case you want to ride the Glacier Express Train. This fee must be paid in full.

There is an extra fee to be paid for the reservation.


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Darla 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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