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Zurich to Appenzell Train: All You Need To Know

(Last Updated On: December 11, 2023)

Appenzell Village located in the Appenzell Region (Appenzellerland in German) is an incredibly cute little town with pretty and colorful buildings, interesting boutiques, and sweet shops. The Appenzell region is very protective of its traditions, music, art, and culture. Appenzell Village showcases this well with the well-kept and beautiful building facades, the goods that they sell, and the museum on the main street.

Image of Appenzell Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

Despite not being the most popular tourist destination in Switzerland, Appenzell is still worth a visit. Not only is the village gorgeous, but the Appenzell region itself offers a lot, from Säntis to Ebenalp and beyond.  

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 Zurich to Appenzell

Image of Appenzell Village by TouringSwitzerland.com

How To Get From Zurich to Appenzell via St. Gallen

The easiest and fastest way to get from Zurich to Appenzell is to go via St. Gallen. You will have to take the following trains:

  1. First, take the Intercity train from Zurich to St. Gallen.
  2. In St. Gallen, take the regional train to Appenzell.

How To Get From Zurich to Appenzell via Gossau

If you miss the train connection to St. Gallen, you may also go via Gossau. You will have to take the following trains:

  1. First, take the Interregio train from Zurich to Gossau.
  2. In Gossau, take the regional train to Appenzell.

How To Get From Zurich Airport to Appenzell

There are no direct trains from Zurich Airport to Appenzell.  You will have to take the following trains:

  1. You can take one of the following Intercity Trains from Zurich Airport:
    • IC 1 to St. Gallen
    • IC 5 to Rorschach
    • IC 13 to St. Gallen
  2. If the train heads to Rorschach, you will have to change trains in Gossau. Otherwise, you can change trains in St. Gallen.
  3. In St. Gallen or Gossau, take the regional train to Appenzell.

Is There a Direct Train From Zurich to Appenzell?

Image of Appenzell Village by TouringSwitzerland.com

As of the time of writing (December 2023), there are no direct trains from Zurich to Appenzell. You will have to change to a connecting train in Gossau or St. Gallen.


How Long Is the Train Ride From Zurich to Appenzell?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Zurich to Appenzell (updated December 2023):

RouteDuration (fastest)
Zurich – Gossau – Appenzell1 hour 51 minutes
Zurich – St. Gallen – Appenzell1 hour 44 minutes
Appenzell – Gossau – Zurich1 hour 51 minutes
Appenzell – St. Gallen – Zurich1 hour 49 minutes

Is the Train Route from Zurich to Appenzell Scenic?

Although not as scenic as the Bernina Express route, the views once you reach the Appenzell region are also beautiful. If you are interested in pursuing a scenic train route, then you can check out some options listed below.

Image of Landwasser Viaduct by TouringSwitzerland.com

Your other panoramic train options are the following:

  • Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. You would take a train from Zurich 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 is 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 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 Zurich to Appenzell Cost?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), here are the train ticket prices are as follows:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich – Gossau – Appenzell38.0019.00
Zurich – St. Gallen – Appenzell41.0020.50

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.

* Disclosure: By clicking on our affiliate links, you may support TouringSwitzerland.com while incurring no additional costs. We appreciate your support!


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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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