How To Get To Brig & the Valais

How To Get To Brig & the Valais

Where is Brig & the Valais Switzerland?

Brig is the main city & transport hub of the renown Valais in Switzerland.

Perfectly located in the upper Rhone valley, Brig provides quick access to some of the best ski resorts in Europe.

The city of Brig is only 130km north west of Milan, 140km east of Geneva & 80km south of Bern.

The Valais extends across the southwestern quarter of Switzerland from the headwaters of the Rhone via Brig, Visp, Sion & Martigny to the shores of Lac Lemon on the French border.


Gateway international airports are Milan (MXP), Geneva (GVA) & Zurich (ZRH). Geneva & Zurich airports have direct train links to Brig. We recommended flying into Zurich airport.

Search & flights to Geneva, Milan, Zurich or other European airport.

Airport Transfers to Brig

The Powderhounds recommend using the train when travelling in Switzerland, however, for those with little time & more money, the most efficient way to get to Brig from any airport of city in Europe is via a private transfer. Whilst the Powderhounds recommend taking the train from the airports to the Valais is if you simply cannot abide public transport or are in a larger group of 3+ people or just have the cash to splash, get a private transfer.

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Train Transport to Brig & the Valais

Travelling to Brig & the Valais from anywhere in Europe by train is the recommended mode of transport. Not only is it comfortable, but it is economical & efficient as well. Direct trains from the airports in Geneva or Zurich take only 2½hr & even less from Bern.

See the rail map here.

A surprise to many will be that direct trains from Milano Centrale in Milan Italy take just under 2hr to complete the journey to Brig below the Simplon Pass. Note though, that the airport is a significant distance out of central Milan, adding to any travel times by over an hour.

In front of the main train station, the Matterhorn-Gotthard Bahn trains arrive & depart from platforms 11, 12 & 13. Origins & destinations include Andermatt, Betten & Fiesch (Aletsch Arena), Sierre/Siders (Crans Montana), St Moritz, Visp (Saas Fee) & Zermatt.

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Driving to Brig & the Valais

A major city like Brig & a large important canton like the Valais should be easy to reach via the excellent European motorway system. In part that is true. From the west, the A9/E62 runs right to the city along the upper Rhone River valley via Martigny. Martigny can be reached from northern Europe (via Montreux) , France (via Chamonix) & Italy (via Aosta).

From Zurich though, Brig is around 3-3½hr away via a mandatory rail car journey from Andermatt. Similarly, the relatively short (in distance) trip from Bern extends out to nearly 2½hr due to the mandatory railway section from Kandersteg.

The 160km road journey from Milan Malpensa airport in Italy to Brig takes only 2-2½hr via the Simplon Pass, reiterating that Milan is a great alternative airport to the more expensive Swiss options.

Unlike much of Europe, Switzerland does not have ‘pay as you go’ road tolls on its highways. An annual fee of approximately 40CHF (2022 price) is valid across the country. It can be purchased at major border crossings or ask your car rental provider if already in Switzerland. Italy on the other hand IS ‘pay as you go’ so be prepared with your coinage & get into the correct lane at the toll gates! When in doubt, take the train!

Car Rental & Hire

All the major airports & cities have car hire available. Brig has one company with a wide range of vehicles available at competitive rates for Switzerland! If driving to Brig & the Valais, the cheapest rates are at Milan Malpensa airport. The airport also has the easiest pick up & drop off process but has the worst cars (non-winterised) & some questionable providers (including some of the bigger brand rental companies). We do not recommend renting a car from downtown Milan as the drive & navigation out can be hectic to say the least.

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Getting Around Brig & the Valais Ski Resorts

As a major transport hub, Brig is simple to get around & connect with ski resorts via train, tram & bus. Everything starts & finishes at the train station.

Trains to Lauchernalp, Italy & further afield leave from the main train platforms. Trains & light rail to Zermatt, Andermatt, Crans Montana & Aletsch Arena leave from outside platforms in front of the the main station.

Buses to everywhere else including Saas Fee, Belalp & Rosswald leave from the tarmac between the outside platforms and the main station building. Easy to read schedule signage is prominent in & outside the train station.

See the Brig city map here.