Dining on Switzerland’s Glacier Express Train

After years of talking about it, I finally rode Switzerland’s Glacier Express train route from St. Moritz to Zermatt. Clocking in at approximately 8 hours, the journey takes you through some of Switzerland’s most beautiful landscapes. Along the way, you can enjoy a 3- or 4-course meal from the comfort of your seat. To help you plan your trip, here are my quick tips.

Zermatt, where you can either start or end your journey on the Glacier Express.

Buy your train tickets and make seat reservations in advance

Unlike a typical train ride in Switzerland, the Glacier Express requires you to not only buy train tickets, but also to reserve your seat in advance. To do both at the same time, I booked them via the Glacier Express website. Please note: You can make seat reservations for the train months in advance, but you can only buy your train ticket starting from two months before your departure date.

Glacier Express train in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

When you purchase your tickets, you can choose from different types of seating areas: Excellence Class or the Classic Glacier Express categories of First Class or Second Class.

Reserve the 3- or 4-course meal ahead of time

At the same time you make your train reservations (and buy your train ticket, if it’s within two months or less of your departure date), you also have the option to purchase your meal. Your meal will be served to you in the same seat you reserved for the train journey. For better organization and to help reduce food waste, I recommend ordering your meal in advance.

You can choose from a 3-course set meal (soup or salad, main course and dessert) or 4-course set meal (the 3-course meal with a cheese course). Vegetarian options are also available. If you don’t reserve your meal ahead of time, you still have the option of ordering from the menu. For the Classic Glacier Express cars, drinks are not included in these menus, and you will purchase them directly from your server on the train.

The cheese course with a local specialty, a slice of Birnbrot (dried pear bread).

Where to stay in Zermatt and St. Moritz

You have the option of beginning the Glacier Express in either Zermatt or St. Moritz. If you plan to overnight in either one of these mountain resort towns, here are some options for where to stay. I have personally stayed at all the following hotels, except for the St. Moritz Youth Hostel.


St. Moritz

  • St. Moritz Youth Hostel: A budget-friendly option for St. Moritz, the youth hostel is located about 10 minutes by bus from the train station.
  • Hotel Hauser: Located conveniently in the center of St. Moritz, the 3-star Hotel Hauser has a cozy restaurant, bakery and chocolate shop.
  • Suvretta House: A special historic hotel with five stars, Suvretta House has its own private ski lift.

For more information

If you have additional questions about the Glacier Express, visit the Travel Planning section of its website. Or, you can contact Railservice Glacier Express directly at +41 (0)81 288 65 65 or info@glacierexpress.ch.

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