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Lucerne to Zermatt Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Lucerne and Zermatt are two of the most popular tourist spots in Switzerland. You might consider staying in both of these places if you spend a week in Switzerland. Traveling by train in Switzerland is an easy, comfortable, and impressive journey. So I would recommend traveling by train between Lucerne and Zermatt.

Image of Zermatt by TouringSwitzerland.com

With the famous old wooden bridge on the lake and the Alps as a backdrop, Lucerne is picture-perfect. Lucerne’s old town is perfect for shopping or sightseeing with its many shops and boutiques, as well as cafes and restaurants. Due to its picturesque setting, accessibility, and wide range of activities, Lucerne is one of the first stops of tourists from all over the world when they come to Switzerland.

On the other hand, Zermatt is also one of the ultimate destinations in Switzerland. One of its symbols is the Matterhorn, which you’ll see on Toblerone chocolates, too. This car-free mountain village is in Valais, one of the southernmost regions of Switzerland.

Lucerne and Zermatt are both awesome places to stay and visit. Lots of people are probably going to try and see the two while they’re here. If you are thinking of taking the train from Lucerne 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 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

How To Get From Lucerne To Zermatt by Train

Image of Zermatt by TouringSwitzerland.com

There is no direct train from Lucerne to Zermatt.

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

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

The travel time from Lucerne to Zermatt is 3 hours and 14 minutes. You cannot bring your car directly to Zermatt. Zermatt is car-free.


How to Travel From Zermatt to Lucerne by Train

Image of Zermatt by TouringSwitzerland.com

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

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

The travel time from Zermatt to Lucerne is 3 hours and 24 minutes.


Is There a Direct Train From Lucerne to Zermatt?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), there are no direct trains from Lucerne to Zermatt. You will always need to change to connecting trains from Bern and Visp.


How Long Is the Train Ride From Lucerne to Zermatt?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Lucerne to Zermatt via Visp (updated December 2023):

RouteDuration
Zermatt – Lucerne3 hours 24 minutes
Lucerne – Zermatt3 hours 14 minutes

Is the Train Route From Lucerne to Zermatt Scenic?

The Intercity trains are generally not scenic. These are fast trains that travel from one big city to another, whose main purpose is to transport passengers as quickly as possible. These trains can reach high speeds.  You can still see the scenery during the ride, but it won’t be slow and steady like other scenic trains.

Starting Visp, the route starts becoming more beautiful. The trains also drive slower. However, if you want to go for scenic trains with huge panoramic windows, I would suggest taking the Glacier Express from Zermatt. The Glacier Express runs between Zermatt in Valais and St. Moritz in Graubünden over 291 bridges and 91 tunnels. This train route takes you from the home of the Matterhorn to St. Moritz, a fancy mountain resort in Engadine.

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 Express by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Bernina Express by TouringSwitzerland.com

Your other options are the following:

  • Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. However, instead of heading to Zermatt, it will go to Interlaken. This is sometimes referred to as the east end of this route. The Golden Pass has panorama coaches and is scenic. Starting in December 2022, the GoldenPass Express will connect Interlaken to Montreux.
  • 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 Lucerne to Zermatt Cost?

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

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Lucerne – Zermatt126.0063.00

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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Related Posts: Lucerne

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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