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Zurich to Lausanne Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Lausanne sits on the shores of Lake Geneva in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It’s one of the biggest cities in Switzerland. The city of Lausanne affords a lively vibe despite its rich past. Besides, it’s got everything from shopping to sightseeing, art, and history. It also has an aquarium and access to the lake.

Lausanne, the second-most populous city in Switzerland’s French-speaking area, is also a popular tourist destination.  Many people from Zurich travel by train or private vehicle to Lausanne, and vice versa. 

Image of Lausanne by TouringSwitzerland.com

Logistical concerns will inevitably arise. Those who wish to travel by train in Switzerland need to know several specifics before doing so. In this article, we will explore the train journey between Zurich and Lausanne

How do you get from Zurich to Lausanne by train?  Or are you able to drive in your car? Let’s find out.

This article will answer all your questions about the train journey from Zurich to Lausanne. 

How To Get From Zurich to Lausanne

sbb.ch Website

As a first step, you should know about this website: www.sbb.ch. If you wish to install the app on your phone, they have one as well. Using the website, you can simply type in your arrival and departure destinations. After that, it will guide you to where you need to be and when. 

Coming from Zurich Airport

If you are coming from the Zurich Airport, you may be able to take a direct train going to Lausanne. There are one to two direct trains that leave per hour during weekdays.

If there is no direct train, you may take a connecting train to Zurich Train Station and attempt to catch the next train leaving for Lausanne from there.

However, I will highly recommend just waiting for the next direct train to Lausanne if it is running. This will spare you having to do a transfer in Zurich, getting lost there, and maybe missing the next train to Lausanne anyway.

Coming from Zurich Train Station

Zurich Train Station
Image of Zurich Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com


If you are at the Zurich Train Station (Zurich HB), check the big blue display boards in the middle.  You can find the train number and platform number on the station signs. Furthermore, the trains will be marked on the front and the sides with which route they are traveling. 

If you are coming from the Zurich Train Station, you can take one of these two direct trains:

  • The Intercity Train from Zurich going to Lausanne (IC 5)
  • The Intercity Train from Zurich going to Geneva Airport (IC 1)

Two direct trains leave per hour. Trains that go to Geneva Airport (or Genève-Aéroport) stop in Lausanne before heading to Geneva and Geneva Airport. 

Alternatively, you could take the Intercity train to Bern or Yverdon-les-Bains, then change to the connecting train to Lausanne.

How To Get From Lausanne to Zurich

If you are coming from Lausanne, you can take one of these two direct trains:

  • The Intercity Train from Lausanne going to Zurich (IC 5)
  • The Intercity Train from Lausanne going to St. Gallen (IC 1)

Two direct trains leave per hour. Trains that go to St. Gallen stop in Zurich before heading to Zurich Oerlikon, Zurich Airport, Winterthur, Wil SG, Uzwil, Flawil, Gossau SG, and St. Gallen.

To get to Zurich Airport from Lausanne, you just have to take the direct train from Lausanne to St. Gallen. The trains typically leave from Platform 1. You can check the signs at the Lausanne Train Station itself. Get off at the Zurich Airport (Zurich Flughafen) stop.

How Long Is the Train Journey From Zurich to Lausanne?

Here are the estimated travel times between Zurich and Lausanne (as of December 2023):

RouteEstimated Travel Time (Fastest)
Zurich Airport – Lausanne2 hours 26 minutes
Zurich – Lausanne2 hours 14 minutes
Lausanne – Zurich2 hours 9 minutes
Lausanne – Zurich Airport2 hours 25 minutes

Is There a Direct Train From Zurich To Lausanne?

Yes, usually, there are two direct trains every hour that run between Zurich and Lausanne (updated December 2023).

Is the Train From Zurich to Lausanne Scenic?

No, not really. The trains from Zurich to Lausanne are fast, commuter trains designed to bring passengers from one city to another as quickly as possible. But the sights when you approach Lake Geneva are stunning and totally worth seeing.

We have included other scenic trains below for reference, in case you are interested in taking one.

Other Scenic Trains in Switzerland

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 in detail are the following:

  • Golden Pass – 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. 
  • 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 Lausanne Cost?

As of the time of publishing the article (updated December 2023), a single journey ticket costs the following:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich Airport – Lausanne82.0041.00
Zurich – Lausanne77.0038.50

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.

Am I allowed to travel from Zürich to Lausanne?

Yes, there are currently no restrictions for traveling from Zurich to Lausanne.

Can you drive into Lausanne?

Yes, you may drive your car from Zurich to Lausanne. You also can rent a car from Zurich Airport if you wish to and drive this to Lausanne.

If you would like to find the best car rental deals in Switzerland, check out Rentalcars.com. Reviews and comments help you find the right car in the right place for the right price. Also, it’s the world’s leading car rental app. You can compare cars and get the best deal by going to Rentalcars.com.

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Is Lausanne Car-Free?

Image of Lausanne Cathedral by TouringSwitzerland.com

As opposed to ZermattWengen, and Mürren, Lausanne isn’t car-free. The city has a variety of transportation options: a subway (a Metro), buses, bicycles, cars, and trains. 

If you are interested in visiting car-free villages in Switzerland, you can check out our article: 12 Charming Car-Free Villages in Switzerland.

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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.