Zürich / Zurich to Visp by train

How to take the rail journey from Zurich to Visp

Connections are available at Visp station for trains to Zermatt and buses to the Saas-Fee and Sass-Grund alpine resort areas.

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Routes

From Zürich HB / Zurich main station to Visp

Travel Information

From Zurich Hb station:

Final Destination: Brig

Connect at Visp for MGB trains to Zermatt

These trains usually depart from gleis (platforms/tracks) 31 and 32 in the lower level part of Zurich HB station.

Note that these trains should arrive in Zurich HB station around 7 mins before they are due to depart, so keep an eye on the departure time and don't rush to board by the nearest door (if you don't have to).

From Zurich Flughafen/Airport:

These trains on route IC 8 depart from Zurich Flughafen/Airport station 11 mins before they depart from the city centre station; Zurich HB.

To Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund:

Connect at Visp for the bus to Saas-Fee via Saas Grund, route 511 serves both resorts and departs from the forecourt outside the Sud (main) exit at Visp station.

Route 511 departs every 30 mins during the day and the connecting time between the arrival of the train and departure of the bus is usually around 15 mins, so it should be a stress-free transfer.

The bus journey to Saas-Grund takes 40 mins to Saas-Fee takes 52 mins - route 511 makes multiple stops in both resorts.

1 x train per hour

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes - If you book Supersaver tickets (more info is available on the the SBB ticket guide below).

You may need to search through the departures to find them using the ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ buttons, the Supersaver tickets tend to sell out particularly quickly on this route.
So try and be flexible with your departure and arrival times and book as near to 60 days ahead as possible.

The Supersaver tickets can also be more likely to still be available if you are happy to change trains.

Online bookings open: up to two months ahead of the travel date

If you will be making a day return trip to Visp from Zurich, be open to the possibility that Saver Day Passes are likely to be a cheaper option than booking return tickets

Seat reservations:

Seat reservations are optional on Swiss IC trains, so seats won't be assigned when booking online.

You can book reservations online for journeys by these IC trains, AFTER you have booked a ticket, by using the SBB (Swiss national railways) seat reservation service OR request a reservation when booking at a station ticket office.

Travelling with a rail pass:

Rail pass users can jump on any train, without having to make reservations.

To Saas-Fee and Saas-Grund:

SBB will sell tickets for the end2end journey which includes the train to Visp and the bus on to Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
SBB *

SBB Guide

SBB is the main national rail operator in Switzerland, but tickets for journeys by the other significant operators including BLS and SOB can be be booked on the SBB website.

SBB also sells tickets for journeys to many destinations which involve a combination of SBB trains and services provided by the many independent operators who serve the Alpine resort towns.
However, if you will be making a long-distance return day trip, look out for he possibility of SaverDay passes being cheaper than tickets.

Though if you download the SBB app, booking tickets on SBB's mobile services can be simper than using the website.
Also watch out for the fact that booking international tickets can be comparatively quirky.

Trainline *

Trainline Guide

Omio *

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Happyrail *

Happyrail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsMountain views

Good to Know

The train will reverse direction on departure from Bern station.

Heading south from Thun station on a grey day Heading south from Thun station on a grey day
The view over Lake Thun from the right in better weather The view over Lake Thun from the right in better weather
Departing from Spiez station Departing from Spiez station
Approaching the Lotschberg Base Tunnel Approaching the Lotschberg Base Tunnel

These trains use the 'higher' speed line between Olten and Bern and they then reverse direction on departure from Bern station
So if you want to see the views of the Thunersee, take a seat on the right when boarding in Zurich.

Now that these trains use the Lotschberg Base Tunnel this journey is not as scenic as it once was.
But from the left of the train (when facing the direction of travel) there are views over the Thunersee between Thun and Speiz.

On departure from Thun station:

And then on departure from Speiz station:

Though not only was that video captured on a different, more sunny, day, it was taken when travelling in the opposite direction.
It's been included here to showcase, what you will see from the right on this part of the journey, when heading south.

Then after exiting the Lotschberg Base Tunnel, the train will travel through a steep valley for the final part of the journey on to Brig.

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