Zurich to Appenzell Train: All You Need To Know

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Appenzell village located in 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.

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 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.


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 Zurich to Appenzell

Appenzell village. Image by TouringSwitzerland.com

How To Get From Zurich to Appenzell via Gossau

The easiest and fastest way to get from Zurich to Appenzell is to 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 to Appenzell via St. Gallen

If you miss the train connection to Gossau, you may also 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 slow regional train to Herisau.
  3. In Herisau, take the 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 the Intercity train to St. Gallen and get off at the Gossau SG stop.
  2. In Gossau, take the regional train to Appenzell.

Is There a Direct Train From Zurich to Appenzell?

As of the time of writing (December 2022), there are no direct trains from Zurich to Appenzell. You will have to change to a connecting train in Gossau or St. Gallen/Herisau.

How Long Is the Train Ride From Zurich to Appenzell?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Zurich to Appenzell (updated December 2022):

RouteDuration (fastest)
Zurich – Gossau – Appenzell1 hour 51 minutes
Zurich – St. Gallen – Herisau – Appenzell1 hour 57 minutes
Appenzell – Gossau – Zurich1 hour 51 minutes
Appenzell – Herisau – St. Gallen – Zurich 1 hour 57 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 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 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 (December 2022), here are the train ticket prices are as follows:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich – Gossau – Appenzell37.0018.50
Zurich – St. Gallen – Herisau – Appenzell41.6020.80

As you can see, if you avail of the Half Fare Travel Card, you can definitely save on your fare for long train journeys. So this is definitely 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.