The Glacier Express

From Chur to Lucerne by rail

Holiday Highlights

Glacier highs | Travel on the Glacier Express, passing over the 2,033-metre Oberalp Pass.
Winter wonderland | Enjoy a range of winter activities in the idyllic village of Kandersteg.
Memorable overnights | Stay in Switzerland’s finest cities and at one of our most popular mountain hotels.
Chur | Medieval streets form the oldest city in Switzerland north of the Alps.
Historic Lucerne | Wander through this Renaissance city with its famous bridge, the Kapellbrücke.
The Glacier Express. 7 nights
The Glacier Express. 7 nights

Holiday information


A journey on the Glacier Express

through majestic scenery
Experience a section of one of the world’s most spectacular train journeys, take a trip into the mountains around Lake Lucerne and try a range of winter activities, on this memorable, self-guided holiday combining two of Switzerland’s finest cities with a stay at a much-loved mountain hotel.

One of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, the Glacier Express is at its most magical in the winter months. The rolling meadows, silent forests, deep lakes and traditional villages are all the more enchanting under a blanket of snow, framed by majestic mountains whose snowy peaks glisten in the sunlight.

Over the course of a week, you stay in two of Switzerland’s finest historic cities and one of our most popular mountain hotels, and journey along our favourite part of the Glacier Express from Chur to Brig, a section whose many highlights include the thrilling ascent of the Oberalp Pass, the highest point on the line.

All in all, this varied holiday features a wonderful blend of history, culture and unforgettable views, plus the chance to try your hand at a range of winter activities in the picture-book village of Kandersteg.

Our expert says

“This is a truly iconic rail journey. The highlight is the Oberalp Pass. That the trains make it over the pass is a miracle of engineering, and the scenery is truly inspirational.”
Rebecca Bruce, Inntravel snow holiday expert



The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on almost any day of the week, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Chur
    Night 1: at Hotel Stern (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Chur
    Your first day is spent in Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland north of the Alps. The medieval streets of the Old Town boast some fine examples of Italianate architecture, as well as buildings in the distinctive local style. The focal point of the Old Town is the Arcas-Platz, and it is also worth seeking out the Fine Arts Museum, the 15th-century town hall and the magnificent 12th-century cathedral, a blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
    Arcas Platz, Chur © Chur Tourismus
    Try delicious local specialities
  • Chur to Kandersteg
    Today sit back in your reserved seat on the world-famous Glacier Express and marvel at the drama of the unfolding landscapes, as it makes its journey across Switzerland. The full route starts in glitzy St Moritz, but you join the train in Chur for an exhilarating four-and-a-half-hour section of this iconic journey as, against a backdrop of snow-clad mountains, the train climbs steadily through the cavernous gorge of the infant Rhine, just a few metres from the rushing water, to the Oberalp Pass (2,033 metres), the highest point on the route. From here, the train follows the River Rhône, slowly descending to Brig. The Glacier Express continues to Zermatt, but you alight here and change trains to pass through the Lötschberg Tunnel to the picture-book village of Kandersteg (30mins) and the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria. (Lunch on the Glacier Express is pre-bookable; pay locally.)
    The iconic Glacier Express
  • Free time in Kandersteg
    As well as indulging in the comforts of the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, a stay in Kandersteg is all about embracing the joys of winter, with a number of activities available from the village.

    The winter walking in particular is superb, with options ranging from leisurely, low-level strolls to wonderfully scenic hikes around nearby Lake Oeschinen and up the Gemmi Pass. Kandersteg also makes a great base for anyone looking to try out cross-country skiing, as trails pass directly by the hotel and there are a number of easy routes along the surrounding valley floor. Further winter walking and cross-country trails can be found by taking the train (pay locally) to the Lötschental, a beautiful and unspoiled valley situated between the Bernese Oberland and Valais regions.

    If you’d prefer to stay close to Kandersteg, there are several more activities to choose from: you can hire snowshoes and explore the idyllic glacial valley of Gastern; enjoy a thrilling descent by toboggan from Oeschinensee; pass an enjoyable few hours ice-skating or curling on the village rink; or even take to the local pistes on downhill skis. The choice is yours!
    Beautiful Oeschinensee © David Wandfluh, Oeschinensee Tourismus
  • Kandersteg to Lucerne
    Leaving Kandersteg, you take an exhilarating train ride along steep valleys, beside deep lakes, over high passes and beneath towering mountains. The first leg descends to the lakeside town of Interlaken before following the northern shore of the Brienzersee towards the small town of Brienz. From here, the train continues in a north-easterly direction over the spectacular Brünig Pass en route for historic Lucerne, where you spend two nights at the delightful Hotel Wilden Mann.
  • Explore Lucerne
    Spend your last day exploring historic Lucerne, wandering through the atmospheric streets, admiring the Renaissance architecture and visiting the city's famous bridge, the Kapellbrücke. Alternatively, spend a day discovering the lake and its environs – included in your travel pass is the chance to make a wonderful round-trip by boat, cog railway and cable car into the surrounding mountains for outstanding views.
    Atmospheric Lucerne © Lucerne Tourism/Beat Brechbühl
    Enjoy a paddle boat trip © Lucerne Tourism/Perretfoto


In the two cities as well as in the mountains, you stay in well-located hotels.

Extend your stay

Prices & travel options
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  • 7 nights: 13 January 2025 - 11 March 2025

    Start any day except Sunday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    11 - 21 Jan 2024 £1480 £140
    22 Jan - 24 Feb 2024 £1575 £140
    25 Feb - 5 Mar 2024 £1495 £140
    13 - 31 Jan 2025 £1605 £125
    1 - 23 Feb 2025 £1710 £125
    24 Feb - 4 Mar 2025 £1570 £125
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: return rail from any Swiss airport; rail Chur–Kandersteg (of which the section Chur–Brig is on the Glacier Express) and Kandersteg–Lucerne; plus an 8-day pass giving unlimited travel on the Swiss travel network and up to 50% discount on private railways

    Upgrade option: add £165pp to upgrade to first-class rail travel within Switzerland

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights: 13 January 2025 - 11 March 2025

    Start any day except Sunday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    11 - 21 Jan 2024 £2085 £140
    22 Jan - 24 Feb 2024 £2195 £140
    25 Feb - 5 Mar 2024 £2095 £140
    13 - 31 Jan 2025 £1870 £125
    1 - 23 Feb 2025 £1980 £125
    24 Feb - 4 Mar 2025 £1840 £125
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes all elements in the 'journey price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris or Lille (as specified below), with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel from the UK: out UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Chur (TGV/regional rail), approx. duration 9h50. Home Lucerne–Paris (regional rail/TGV), Paris–UK (Eurostar) approx. duration 10h
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    Other included travel: rail Chur–Kandersteg (of which the section Chur–Brig is on the Glacier Express) and Kandersteg–Lucerne, plus an 8-day pass giving unlimited travel on the Swiss travel network and up to 50% discount on private railways

    Upgrade option: add £192pp to upgrade to first-class rail travel within Switzerland

    If you book your holiday less than 10 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, Kandersteg
    Mini-suite: 11 Jan - 12 Mar 2024 £42
    Mini-suite: 13 Jan - 11 Mar 2025 £42
    Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne
    Superior: 11 Jan - 12 Mar 2024 £22
    Superior: 13 Jan - 11 Mar 2025 £22

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne (B&B) Double room Single room
    11 Jan - 12 Mar 2024 £146 £176
    13 Jan - 11 Mar 2025 £146 £176

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Zürich. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Zurich Swiss 
    Birmingham - Zurich (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Zurich Swiss 
    Bristol - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Zurich easyJet,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Zurich easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Zurich Lufthansa,  Swiss 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Zürich. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Zürich

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Zürich airport to Chur (1h40), walk Chur station to hotel (0h10) included 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    walk hotel to Lucerne station (0h10), rail Lucerne to Zürich airport (1h) included 1130
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 3 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • detailed cultural information
  • self-guided walking tours of Chur & Lucerne
  • rail travel Chur - Kandersteg - Lucerne

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Switzerland, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The official languages are German, spoken in the majority of the country; French, spoken in the south-west; Italian, spoken in the south-east; and Romansch, mostly limited to the Engadine valley. The currency is the Franc. Swiss time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
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