I’m confused

Eurail global pass - will it cover Paris to Zermatt? Or do we do Swiss Pass

Hi there, we are trying to figure out if we purchase the Eurail Global Pass if it will get us fully to Zermatt?

We plan to do a lot of sightseeing for 10 days in Switzerland (Zermatt being our first stop). Is it better to get a TGV ticket to either Basel or Lausanne and then get the Swiss Travel Pass for the remainder of our trip?

We will probably be going back to Paris (from Geneva) to catch a flight home.

Soooo confused. :(
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 20, 2016 15:54
    Hi Jennifer,

    What to purchase for your rail travels would be dependent on your full itinerary and various other factors.

    A connection from Paris to Zermatt would take about 7 hours in duration and involves 2 train changes en route; once in Lausanne and then once in Visp.

    With a multi-country rail pass that includes both Switzerland and France (i.e. the Eurail Global Pass), you would be able to receive a discounted rate called the 'Passholder 1' on a direct train from Paris to Lausanne. The trains from Paris to Lausanne are high-speed TGV Lyria trains.

    You would reservations at the 'Passholder 1' rate on a train from Paris to Lausanne by entering the route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) and indicating that you'll be traveling with the 'Eurail Global Pass' where it prompts you.



    The Eurail Global Pass covers trains from Lausanne to Visp; however, the rail line from Visp to Zermatt is part of a privately owned portion of the 'Glacier Express scenic route' on which the Eurail Global Pass would not be valid.

    To be covered on the privately owned segment from Visp to Zermatt, you would purchase the 'Visp Zermatt' option of a special ticket called the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare'. You would purchase the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/glacier-express-eurail-passholder-fare/index.html

    You would then need another one of these 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' tickets to cover you for a trip out of Zermatt, likely the 'Zermatt Visp' option.

    The trains from Lausanne to Visp and Visp to Zermatt don't accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass and the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket are all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can still just check schedules for these trains by entering the routes on our homepage, www.raileurope.com (i.e. one search for trains from Lausanne to Visp and another search for connecting trains from Visp to Zermatt).

    Like the train from Paris to Lausanne, the train from Geneva to Paris is a high-speed TGV Lyria. However, on this particular TGV Lyria route, a Eurail Global Pass would not enable you to receive the 'Passholder 1' rate; it would instead enable you to receive a discounted 'Passholder 2' rate. With that said, the 'Passholder 2' rate on TGV Lyria trains from Geneva to Paris is currently not able to be booked on our website, due to an error. If you search the route from Geneva to Paris on our site and indicate that you'll be traveling with the Eurail Global Pass, you may be quoted a 'Passholder 1' rate, but this is in error. Please be advised that the 'Passholder 1' rate on this train would actually not be valid on the TGV Lyria route from Geneva to Paris. To purchase reservations at the 'Passholder 2' rate on this train, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) December 28, 2016 17:50
      Update:

      Starting in 2017, a Eurail Global Pass will begin covering ticket costs for the stretch of railway between Disentis/Visp and Zermatt. Therefore, the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket would no longer be necessary.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 20, 2018 15:40
      Update:

      As of April 2018:

      ‘Passholder 2’ and ‘Passholder 3’ rates on TGV Lyria trains (i.e. Geneva-Paris) are no longer valid. For a TGV Lyria to be covered, Eurail Passes must now include both countries being traveled through.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 21, 2016 16:19
    If you plan to head up to Gornergrat, you would purchase the 'Zermatt to Gornergrat Full Fare Ticket' option of a pass called the 'Gornergrat Mountain Peak'. This would cover you on the 'Gornergratbahn' cog railway from Zermatt to Gornergrat, where there is an observatory with spectacular views of the Matterhorn. You would purchase this pass here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/gornergrat/index.html
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