8 Days Lucerne/Appenzell - A Defined Scenic Rail Itinerary

Explore the highlights of Eastern Switzerland and scenic Lake Lucerne

Lucerne's lakefront
Gondola ride to Pilatus
Aescher hostelry, Appenzellerland

This is a 'defined scenic rail itinerary' holiday which offers great value for money. It can be adapted in various ways to suit you, however, we cannot change the resorts shown in the itinerary. The holiday includes a Half Fare Card which gives you up to 50% reductions on excursions. 

Please call 0800 619 1200 for help with planning or email us at info@swissholidayco.com


"The Pre-Alpine Express connects vibrant Lucerne with the tranquillity of Appenzell; a perfect two centre holiday. As part of your journey, you can cruise along the river from Stein am Rhein to Schaffhausen."

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Contact us to book your holiday

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at info@swissholidayco.com

Day 1 - Arrive and start to explore Lucerne for 4 nights
Flight from the UK to Zurich airport with rail travel to Lucerne.Check in to your hotel and enjoy your first look around Lucerne.
Day 2-4 - Lucerne and Central Switzerland
Lucerne, with its beautiful Old Town and lake is the perfect spot from which to explore the dramatic scenery of Central Switzerland. You should make time to cruise the lake and for the famous old cog railways to the stunning peak of Mount Rigi. Other recommendations include Mount Pilatus and the Stanserhorn.
Day 5 - Pre-Alpine Express from Lucerne to St. Gallen and on to Appenzell for 3 nights
Leave the delights of Lucerne on this appealing journey on board Pre-Alpine Express (also known as Voralpen Express). You’ll cross Lake Zurich to Rapperswil and enjoy the rolling hills, pristine villages and the Sitter Viaduct en route to St. Gallen. Change here to the charming local line to Appenzell for the last 30 minutes of your journey.
Day 6-7 - Appenzell and its fabulous landscapes
This delightful small town has a beautiful old centre with many buildings which are ornately decorated with frescoes and date back to the 16th century. You benefit from the Appenzeller Card, allowing you to explore the countryside around Appenzell for free. This walker's paradise has a number of local cable cars taking you to stunning alpine beauty spots. An option on one of your free days in Appenzell would be rail (09.15) to the delightful village of Stein am Rhein where you can join a cruise on the Rhine to Schaffhausen with rail back to Appenzell (17.30). An alternative day visit would be to the Rhine Falls - Europe’s largest waterfall situated close to Schaffhausen.
Day 8 - Last day
A choice of routes are available back to Zurich for your flight to the UK. There is a simple journey in 1hr 40 minutes or if you have the time return via local trains along Lake Konstanz to Schaffhausen in 3hrs 40 mins.


4 nights Lucerne and 3 nights in Appenzell

Available all year

Prices from £1,008 per person staying in 3 star hotels
Prices from £1,298 per person staying in 4 star hotels

1st class rail supplement £39. Half board prices: add £276 per person in 3 star hotels; £381 in 4 star hotels.

Switch to a Swiss Travel Pass to include excursions by rail, boat and bus, with up to 50% discount on cable cars for £199 2nd class or £399 1st class.


Your holiday price includes

Booking Conditions
  • Scheduled return flights from London to Zurich (flights available from around the UK)
  • 2nd class rail travel from Zurich airport to Lucerne and Appenzell to Zurich airport
  • 7 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation as described based on two people sharing
  • 2nd class rail travel between your resorts as described
  • Appenzeller Card with free local and mountain travel
  • Half Fare Card which entitles you to half or reduced price travel on all the excursions mentioned
  • Fully detailed itinerary sent with all tickets
  • Financial protection ATOL 3148
The Half Fare Card is valid on trains, scenic trains, PostBuses and most boats, mountain railways and cable cars. Optional excursions may not operate year round, please check before booking. Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at info@swissholidayco.com

Request your holiday quotation

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at info@swissholidayco.com

Sitter Viaduct, Pre-Alpine Express

Your scenic train journey

You can discover more about the scenic route by clicking below


Enjoy a short video of this itinerary

Build your own scenic itinerary

Glacier Express on the Landwasser Viaduct
Not quite the perfect holiday? We can tailor make it to suit you:
  • Change the direction of travel
  • Add extra nights along the way
  • Add on lakes & mountains excursions
  • Include dinner on a half board basis
  • Upgrade to superior hotel rooms
  • Upgrade to 1st class rail for extra comfort
Request a scenic holiday quote