We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

Southern california
Level Contributor
32 posts
89 reviews
Save Topic
Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

Hello,

My family is travelling from Zurich to Zermatt then Zermatt to Geneva between Christmas and New Years. I believe we will use the Swiss Transfer pass for the the three who are over 16 and the two kids will then travel free on the family pass. My question is whether I need to purchase this in advance in the states and also book reservations on the specific trains or if we can purchase it when we arrive in Switzerland. Will the trains be very crowded during this season or can we just wing it?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
52,089 posts
176 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

Hi there,

Rail reservations in Switzerland are solely for international trains and for a few specific scenic trains. Hence not for the normal trains you plan; Visp to Zermatt then use the local train, not the reservation-only Glacier Express.

You might have the odd packed train but for most it should be easy to get a seat.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
34,710 posts
172 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

I would not apply this generalism to the trains to Zermatt IF you are travelling in ski season to Zermatt on a Fri or Sat OR from zermatt on a Sat or Sun. A seat reservation on both the Matterhorn Gotthard bahn and the main line train will save a LOT of bother and hassle. These trains are packed in the directions and on the days I mention. And everyone has luggage, skiis etc. General chaos! having your seats reserved might mean you have to ask someone to move, but at least you will get a seat...

you are travelling over Christmas which means even more people...

Wichita, Kansas
Destination Expert
for Wichita, Kansas
Level Contributor
4,081 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

>> Rail reservations needed Zürich to Zermatt ? <<

Seat reservations would not be required but as 'Hambagahle' states the trains will most certainly be full and just having a ticket does not guarantee a seat.

I would recommend making seat reservations which can be done at the SBB Ticket counter at the Zürich airport if you are going straight to Zermatt or at the Zürich Hauptbahnhof if you are stopping over in Zürich.

A Swiss Transfer ticket can not be purchased in Switzerland and would need to be purchased prior to departure for the US.

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage, Zermatt
Level Contributor
17,257 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

You can order your transfer tickets from two companies used by many of us here

www.gemut.com (a Swiss travel specialist in Oregon) or

www.ricksteves.com (the PBS travel guru's company).

I would not wait one minute more to get them ordered!!!!!

If you are traveling on Saturday particularly, it may be a very good idea to try to get seat reservations as soon as you arrive in Switzerland. Trains can be packed even from Zurich Airport to Visp and almost definitely from Visp to Zermatt! I've done the trip a couple of times sitting on my luggage in the hallway and, once many years ago, in one of the old engines from Zermatt on a horribly crowded train early on Saturday morning - now that was seriously FUN!

Worst case scenario - you sit on your luggage from Visp to Zermatt. Almost certainly you wil find seats on the Zurich Airport train when it stops in Zurich or Bern as those are also popular stops - just be ready to grab them before those getting on do so!

Also remember that there are trains every hour to Visp and to Zermatt so you could go as far as the main station in Zurich, have something to eat or drink, and wait for the next train!

Have a great time in Zermatt - I'm down to counting the days (well, if I'm honest, the hours) until my return in January and I was there in September!

Southern california
Level Contributor
32 posts
89 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

Thanks for all the very helpful replies! Does anyone know if it is possible to reserve a seat in from the states? We will have two kids who are travelling with us on the "Family Pass" and I'm also not sure how reserving a seat works with that.

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage, Zermatt
Level Contributor
17,257 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

I don't know but I can tell you that Swiss Rail are very good about answering emails in English. You can find their email address on the English pages of their website

www.sbb.ch/en

The folks at gemut or Rick Steves should know so you could ask them when you order your transfer tickets.

Hope this helps!

7. Re: Rail reservations needed Zurich to Zermatt?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 3:15 am, December 18, 2013