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Take in unbeatable Alpine views on the world’s slowest train

The Glacier Express lets travellers soak up the stunning scenery between Zermatt and St. Moritz in Switzerland

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

There’s a reason ‘slow travel’ is so big right now. All of us were trapped in our homes for so long, unable to explore the world. And now we’re able to once more – albeit with the caveat that testing and border restrictions may still prove an issue – we want to luxuriate in it. We want to take our time.

This incredibly scenic rail journey may be the ultimate way to experience the trend. The Glacier Express is the world’s slowest train, taking more than eight hours to travel between Zermatt and St. Moritz in Switzerland at an average of 18mph. Along the way, it passes over nearly 300 bridges, travels through 91 tunnels and takes in endless stunning Alpine views.

Glacier Express train
Photograph: Rhaetian Railway

The train has huge windows and transparent ceilings, making it far easier to soak up all that scenery. From the carriage, you can peek out at the quaint, car-free town of Chur, which is often described as the oldest Swiss settlement. Travelling through Zermatt, you’ll be able to see the actual Matterhorn, so make sure to have your camera at the ready. The most beautiful points, though, are the Rhine Gorge and the nerve-racking Oberalppass: prepare to peer down as the mountainside dramatically disappears below the railway track. 

Tickets range from 73 Swiss francs (£59) to 268 francs (£217), and there are seat reservation fees of between 39 francs (£31) and 410 francs (£340). First-class carriages include a seven-course menu with wine pairings, so if you like to get fancy, this is the train for you. Our top tip? Try to nab a window seat for optimal views. Find out more here

Now discover five brand-new train routes that could revolutionise European rail travel.

And here are the 11 most incredible railway journeys in the world according to us.

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