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Travel by train to Zermatt from London (UK)

In this blog post we look at how to travel by train to Zermatt from London (UK). We cover the routes, timings and all you need to know about how to book your train to Zermatt including:

  • Why travel by train to Zermatt?
  • How do I travel by train from London to Zermatt?
  • What time will I need to leave London St Pancras?
  • How do I get from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon?
  • How long does it take to go from London to Zermatt by train?
  • Staying overnight in Paris
  • What is the nearest station to Zermatt?
  • How do I book train travel to Zermatt?
  • Does taking the train to Zermatt cost more than flying?
  • Can I take the Eurostar direct to Zermatt?

Why travel by train to Zermatt?

Travelling by train to Zermatt from the UK is a journey we can highly recommend, for two main reasons:

  1. Travelling by train is so civilised: unlike travelling by air, the journey becomes part of the holiday itself. You have time to read, to talk and to enjoy magnificent views with no rushing from check-in to security to the gate or wondering if your luggage will arrive too.
  2. The carbon cost of travelling by train is only a fraction of flying. Campaign groups such as Protect Our Winters and Ski Flight Free have shown that travelling by train from the can reduce the environmental footprint of your journey by up to 85%, making it an easy and enjoyable way to reduce your emissions.

How do I travel by train from London to Zermatt?

All journeys from the UK to Zermatt start at London St Pancras with a Eurostar train direct to Paris.

During the winter months, there are usually up to 15 daily Eurostar departures from London to Paris. This first leg of your journey takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes.

You will arrive in Paris at Gare du Nord and will need to change to Gare du Lyon, for your onward TGV (Train Grande Vitesse). Please see our section below for more information on changing stations across Paris.

From Paris to Zermatt, there are several options. Depending on the day of the week and time of your arrival in Paris, you can travel to Switzerland via Geneva or Lausanne (Bern is also sometimes an option, although it involves more changes).

Once you reach Switzerland, you can access the incredibly efficient Swiss rail system. From either Geneva or Lausanne, a single transfer will take you to Visp, where you can take your final train direct to Zermatt.

What time will I need to leave London St Pancras?

To connect to trains in the early afternoon, and so arrive in Zermatt by the evening, you will need to leave London on a departure by 0830-0930.

The latter end of this window might be cutting it short, depending on your confidence about crossing Paris.

How do I get from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon?

It can take as little as 20 minutes to cross Paris from the Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon if you use the Metro system. However, if it is your first time crossing Paris, or you are carrying a lot of bags, we would suggest you build in more time.

The journey on the underground is only 9 minutes on the RER ‘D’ line. This video makes it really clear how to go about it:

An alternative is to travel by taxi, which typically takes 25 minutes and costs around €20. The Snowcarbon website has some excellent information on pre-booking taxis.

How long does it take to go from London to Zermatt by train?

This will change slightly depending which day or month you travel. In our example above, if you chose to take the 9.31am Eurostar to Paris and 2.18pm train from Paris to Geneva, the total journey time from London would be 12 hours 43 minutes.

More confident travellers could take a later Eurostar, with a shorter transfer time in Paris, to cut that time down.

Staying overnight in Paris

An alternative way to travel to Zermatt by train, which may be more suitable if you are starting your journey with an additional trip to London, you could take an afternoon Eurostar to Paris, then stop overnight, picking up an earlier train to Zermatt the following day, to arrive in time for lunch.

What is the nearest station to Zermatt?

This is a trick question, of course! Unlike many ski resorts Zermatt has a station right in the centre of town.

In fact, Zermatt is one of the few resorts to be car-free, so everybody arrives into resort by train, then either walking or taking an electric taxi to their accommodation.

Arriving by train to Zermatt

How do I book train travel to Zermatt?

You can book your Eurostar train on their website and your connecting trains to Zermatt on the Oui SNCF website. Metro tickets can be bought from many machines on your arrival in Paris.

Alternatively if you are going to be travelling further in Switzerland, you might want to consider buying a Swiss Travel Pass (and simply booking your train with SNCF as far as Geneva or Lausanne)

If you would prefer to book all your trains in one transaction, then we suggest Rail Europe.

Does taking the train to Zermatt cost more than flying?

The answer to this question will always be determined by when you travel. However, when we have done a direct comparison, it’s often cheaper to travel to Zermatt from the UK by train.

If you do a comparison check, make sure you include the cost of your travel to and from the airport in the UK, as well as the cost of travel on your arrival in Switzerland to Zermatt itself.

Of course, you might want to consider when you make your comparison, the carbon saving you are making by taking the train, and the pleasure of the journey itself. 

Accommodation in Zermatt

If you’d like help finding the right accommodation in Zermatt, whether you’re looking for serviced chalets, hotels or self-catered apartments, then please contact Ed or Suzanne from Matterhorn Chalets.

We are Zermatt specialists, with a love for this magnificent resort, built from many years living here.

We can book your accommodation and through our concierge service arrange everything from taxis, restaurant bookings, lift passes, ski school lessons and much more.

For more information and advice please contact us via our website or +41 79 247 15 88

Chalet Ulysse

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