After our stay in Grindelwald, we departed for Montreux via the Golden Pass Line route which was a truly unique experience. Having taken many train rides across Switzerland over the first few days of our trip, I did not really know what to expect from “yet another train ride”.
The route we took was from Grindelwald to Interlaken, Interlaken to Zweisimmen followed by Zweisimmen to Montreux. The second and third legs from Interlaken to Montreux were part of the Golden Pass Line.
The views on the Golden Pass Line were spectacular – particularly so for the Zweisimmen to Montreux leg where each train carriage provided an unobstructed view of the mountains and valleys we were passing through. The glass roof of the carriages allowed us to see our surroundings with a panoramic view. Seeing the alps from towns and actually going through them via train is definitely a very different feeling.
Considering that the views in Switzerland were already very stunning, I actually thought that I would be less than impressed because we had already seen such wonderful views in Grindelwald. However, the train ride passed through farms and small towns which allowed us to see how the locals lived – something that is often not seen in the touristy regions of Switzerland. It definitely is one of the ‘must-dos’ as recommended by fellow tourists alike!
Here are some tips before you go on this route –
- The Golden Pass Line passes through many stops and you do not necessarily have to sit through the entire route to truly enjoy the experience. My original route from Grindelwald to Montreux could have been slightly shorter but pencilling in the train on the Golden Pass Line only extended our trip for a short while but gave us much more spectacular views!
- If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, your pass covers the trip but it is recommended to consider the timing of trains you intend to take (via the SBB timetable). For certain legs of the Golden Pass Line (i.e. Zweisimmen to Montreux), it is highly recommended that you make reservations (extra cost involved) to ensure that you get seats if you are in a group. There were certainly enough seats across all carriages but they were all scattered and mostly facing backwards. You can reserve your seats here.
- Bring a pair of shades along! It gets really bright with the glass roof on the carriage!
- The ride can be long – it’ll be good to bring along some food for the ride! Alternatively, you can purchase food from the in-carriage meal service.
- Other than the panorama trains, there are other train types. Do your research on which train you’d like to experience before making your reservations (i.e. the Chocolate train).
Here’s a short clip from the ride!