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Paris to the Glacier Express

Spokane, Washington
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44 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
Paris to the Glacier Express
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Hi! We are in the early planning stages of a trip to Europe next summer. We will be staying in Paris for five nights and then headed to the Switzerland to do the Glacier Express. We have about four nights total for Switzerland. I was wondering if someone could provide a generic itinerary given that we will be taking the train from Paris. Is there anywhere on the route of the glacier Xpress worth stopping and staying for a night, just doing the entire route as a day excursion, or any outside villages or towns easy to get to that are worth a night stay? Thank you

11 replies to this topic
rhode island
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2,519 posts
167 reviews
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1. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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I suggest you consider two nights in Zermatt and 2 in St. Moritz and stay on the train for the entire journey.

rhode island
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2. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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Train meaning Glacier Express between those two towns.

Canton of Valais...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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54,685 posts
230 reviews
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3. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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What you plan makes no sense to me. With a short time in Europe - under 2 weeks - two countries is silly. Either stay in France or fly to Switzerland and stay here for your vacation.

Look at it this way - you fly from the US to Paris. Arrive probably early in the morning but are exhausted from the flight so you sleep most of that day. That leaves you 4 days for Paris (not nearly enough, but better than one!). So on the 5th day you take a train to Switzerland which will take you half a day. No time to do much of anything once you get here (and have stuck a toe into our country...because you then have to change trains and get to where the Glacier Express leaves from which is either Zermatt OR St Moritz. ) Yes you can take it for shorter segments but then you have to reserve seats for each of those...

Soxfan's idea of going to Zermatt OR St Moritz and then taking the GE between those two is great. But you need at least 2 nights in each and preferably three or more to see the mountains around them (and in the case of St Moritz maybe take the Bernina Express too...)

Please re-think this. A week in France is wonderful. A week or more in Switzerland is too. (more than the week in France IMO!). But don't try to do everything at once. It won't work.

Spokane, Washington
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44 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
4. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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Thank you, yes we have just 14 days, plus an additional travel days for our flights from the US.

You have me a little bit worried about splitting up the time, it all makes sense. definitely after touring Paris in the big city we would like something more leisurely for the second half of our trip. Which is why I was thinking mostly going to Switzerland for the purpose of staying on the train. Not too much adventuring but trying to be still.

United States
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143 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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You might need to be more specific about timing and days. The math doesn't add up. Five nights in Paris and four nights in Switzerland is nine nights but you say you have 14 days plus "an" additional travel "days" from US. It could make a big difference because four nights in Switzerland is going to be tight with most of your time checking in and out of lodging and sitting on trains (don't get me wrong I love trains but that's a long way to travel just to be on trains for the better part of four days). But if you do have 15 total days it could work.

Examples (five nights plus four nights):

Arrive Paris morning of day 1 (leave US on day 0)

Days 1-5 Paris

Day 6 travel to Zermatt

Day 8 Zermatt

Day 9 Glacier Express to St. Moritz

Day 10 Some day activities and travel to Zurich

Day 11 back to USA

Alternatively:

Day 0 travel overnight to Paris

Days 1-5 Paris (including nights)

Day 6 travel by train to Zermatt

Days 7-9 in Zermatt

Day 10 travel Glacier Express to St. Moritz

Days 11-12 in St. Moritz area

Day 13 travel to Zurich

Day 14 flight home

Schindellegi...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Kyiv (Kiev)
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7,263 posts
36 reviews
12 helpful votes
6. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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If Glacier Express is what you want to travel, then an option is Paris to Lausanne (TGV), Lausanne to Zermatt, Zermatt to St.Moritz (Glacier Express). I would consider adding Bernina Express train to Tirano, bus to Lugano and then Zurich. Consider using luggage transfer service to send part of your luggage for instance from Zermatt to Zurich (or Lugano).

Interrupting Glacier Express train trip means an additional seat reservation, or you can travel a part on regular trains on Glacier Express line (more stops, no seat reservation possible). There are not many Glacier Express intermediate stops I would spend a night - consider rather St.Moritz region for at least an overnight. And Zermatt, with maybe on the way to Zermatt Montreux area.

See zoomable map and map and Bernina Express map at https://maps.trafimage.ch/ch.sbb.netzkarte?baselayers=ch.sbb.netzkarte,ch.sbb.netzkarte.dark,ch.sbb.netzkarte.luftbild.group,ch.sbb.netzkarte.landeskarte,ch.sbb.netzkarte.landeskarte.grau&lang=en https://www.rhb.ch/en/panoramic-trains/bernina-express

Edited: 29 August 2021, 14:25
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
44 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
7. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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Zurich looks so expensive to fly out of!!! Any cheaper options??

Schindellegi...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Kyiv (Kiev)
Level Contributor
7,263 posts
36 reviews
12 helpful votes
8. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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Milano Malpensa?

Or return to Paris with TGV from Basel (a few from Zurich via Basel)

Canton of Valais...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
54,685 posts
230 reviews
370 helpful votes
9. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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How about this -

Paris

Zermatt

Glacier Express to St Moritz

Engadin (around but not IN St Moritz and it is absolutely gorgeous with plenty to see and do)

Bernina Express to Tirano - most scenic train ride I have ever done anywhere

Train to Milano C.

Fly from Milan MXP

Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
44 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
10. Re: Paris to the Glacier Express
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Wonderful and helpful! Thank you! Would you recommend stay one night at each place listed, or are there parts you’d do in a day?

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