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What is Switzerland's luxury GoldenPass Express train and is it worth it?

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
What is Switzerland's luxury GoldenPass Express train and is it worth it?
The GoldenPass Express was named Switzerland's most luxurious train by the National Geographic. Photo by David Bochud.

The GoldenPass Express has been named one of the world’s most luxurious trains by National Geographic magazine. Is it worth it? Let us know in the comments section below if you have experienced it.


Switzerland’s iconic GoldenPass Express was crowned one of the world’s best luxury trains alongside other esteemed railways such as Japan’s SPACIA X and the Royal Scotsman by the celebrated magazine.

The three-hour train ride takes passengers from Montreux in the canton of Vaud through the picturesque Gruyère region and Gstaad before arriving in the scenic resort town of Interlaken in the mountainous Bernese Oberland.

You can of course also begin your journey in Interlaken and work your way through Switzerland’s stunning landscape on your way to Montreux.

Overall, the train ride features four departures a day in both directions. You can find the timetable for the train here.

In its article, the National Geographic recommends that passengers opt for the Prestige class where heated leather seats recline and rotate 180 degrees.

“They’re also raised 15 inches higher than those in other carriages, boosting the views over vineyards, plunging valleys and blue-ice glaciers. With a menu featuring caviar from nearby Frutigen and bottles of crisp Duval-Leroy Brut Champagne, this promises to be a short but very sweet service,” the articles states.

The GoldenPass Express - which began operation on December 11th 2022 - also recently attracted worldwide attention thanks to an entertaining advertisement featuring tennis superstar Roger Federer and comedian Trevor Noah.


The train’s new travel class “Prestige” sits at the very core of the GoldenPass Express experience.

Prestige offers travellers an unforgettable train journey that includes maximum comfort with elevated, heated seats that enable passengers to face in the direction of travel. You will simply have to ask the train manager for your seat to be rotated.


If you choose to travel Prestige at 128 Swiss francs a ticket (one-way), you will also benefit from the outstanding cuisine available on the train. Local and international dishes – as well as a welcome glass of champagne - may be ordered in advance for a smoother experience and an extra touch of luxury.

But fear not if you travel in 2nd class, you will still be able to order a selection of dishes (featuring many regional delicacies) from the small but exceptional menu across all travel classes.

Three regions

The trip across the different Swiss regions – covering German and French-speaking Switzerland – offers exciting sightseeing opportunities (yes, you can disembark) from Interlaken to Gstaad and Montreux.

Interlaken is a great location for many sporty activities – from paragliding to canyoning - and offers incredible views of the Bernese Alps (Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau).


Meanwhile, lavish Gstaad is internationally renowned for its very Swiss chalets and if you’re lucky (and travelling in the winter months), you may even spot the odd celeb or two.

While on the train you will also have the option to peek at tourist favourite Lucerne, which offers views of Lake Lucerne and the Pilatus mountain base. If you decide to disembark here, take a stroll on the Chapel Bridge, and check out the Lion Monument. The latter commemorates the Swiss Guards who died in 1792 during the French Revolution.

Whether you are embarking on your journey in Montreux or calling it a day in the postcard-worthy town, we recommend dropping by Chaplin’s World and Chillon Castle – unless you’ve timed your visit to coincide with the annual Montreux Jazz Festival of course.


The SBB’s general abonnement, the demi-tarif abonnement, the Junior abonnement and the Swiss transport card are all valid on the GoldenPass Express trains.


Tourists who have already paid for the Swiss Travel Pass should also note that the GoldenPass Express is already covered. However, you will still need to pay to reserve a seat.

1st class passengers travelling from Montreux to Interlaken will pay 186 Swiss francs for a return ticket (93 Swiss francs one-way).

Those travelling in 2nd class will pay 106 Swiss francs for a return ticket (53 Swiss francs one-way) covering Montreux – Interlaken and vice versa.

You can also pay lesser fares if you choose not to travel the whole length of the journey.

While seat reservations are optional (and will set you back 17 to 35 Swiss francs), they are strongly recommended to avoid disappointment on the day.

Further to this, a 1st-class ticket, and a supplement of 35 Swiss francs are required to travel in Prestige class.

But is it worth it?

Though the train has been operating less than a year, in true Swiss fashion, it has already gathered its fair share of positive feedback. Nevertheless, some of its more recent reviews are somewhat mixed.

Most travellers highlighted the luxury trains attentive staff and scenic views, but the train’s reliability was also commended.

A Singaporean passenger praised the train- and left a 5-star TripAdvisor rating - for its friendly and helpful staff who assigned two carriages for his entire tour group, affording them privacy and peace.

“The train is clean and nice, with comfortable seats and we enjoyed the ride where we saw many natural and beautiful scenery, greenery, mountains, lakes, seas, cottages, plantations and animals etc. The views were amazing and awesome, as if the postcard photos came alive in front of us,” he said.

Another visitor, from California, could not “find fault in anything” during their journey and said that “the conductor even removed the barrier to the rear window seats and said sit anywhere”. They too rated the ride with 5 stars on TripAdvisor.

But while many people enjoyed their journey on the GoldenPass Express, some were not as impressed.

One domestic traveller complimented the train’s new technology but found flaws in its onboard service, ultimately leaving a 3-star rating on TripAdvisor.

“The onboard service from both the conductor and catering service is very poor and does not reflect their marketing and advertising. Hint: bring your own beer, wine, and cheese,” she said.

Other reviewers pointed out that their train never arrived – nor were they refunded money, while yet others claimed they were pickpocketed resulting in 1-star TripAdvisor reviews.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
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