Related Content
Ideas & Inspiration Holiday in Interlaken by train
How to take a rail based holiday in Interlaken

Holiday in Interlaken by train

How to make the most of a holiday in Interlaken by taking trains into the Berner Oberland and beyond!

| Last Updated: 4 days ago
Share

Interlaken is the gateway to the incredible Jungfrau Region thanks to the rail connections available at Interlaken Ost station.
The trains on the Bernese Oberland Railway give acccess through Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen to the rail route on to Europe's highest station at Jungfraujoch via Kleine Scheidegg - and to Mürren for the cable cars on to Schilthorn.
A network of cable car routes also lead off from Grindelwald:

Though the wonders of the Jungfrau Region come at a comparatively high cost, the routes beyond Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen are among the more expensive Swiss rail journeys, with the JB railway on from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch topping the price per kilometer in Switzerland list!
Though if you won't mind an early ascent, it's possible to save money with a Good Morning Ticket.

Most of the journey on from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch is in a tunnel, there are station stops carved into the mountain with windows, but the other journeys south of Interlaken are fantastic..

...between Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg...

...between Kleine Scheidegg and Lauterbrunnen...

...between Interlaken and Grindelwald.

An often-overlooked gem of a railway is the route up to lovely Schynige Platte.
Connect at Wilderswill, which is only a 4 minute ride from Interlaken on the Bernese Oberland Railway,

Interlaken is also included in multiple Swiss rail holiday packages on which ShowMeTheJourney users can obtain a 5% discount!

  • The Best Of Switzerland themed holiday
  • the Famous Mountain Peaks By Train themed holiday
  • the Classic Grand Tour Plus Jungfraujoch
  • the Golden Pass Holiday - Panoramic Round Trip
  • the Hidden Treasures Of The Grand Tour

Book Accommodation

When planning a trip, finding convenient accommodation can be trickier than working out which train to take.
Hence ShowMeTheJourney has partnered with the innovative accommodation portal, Stay 22, to offer three options for discovering your optimum accommodation:

1: Use the map above to see which hotel rooms and Vrbo rentals, with easy access to Interlaken Ost station are available.

2: Or see what's available with Stay 22's accommodation partners; which include, Expedia, Hotels.com and Trivago - by clicking here.
Stay 22 will 'shuffle' the booking services so that you can be automatically directed to its partner that currently has the optimum availability at this location.

Using rail passes

If you will be planning a holiday in Interlaken take care with your choice of rail pass, because how Swiss Travel Passes can be used in the Jungfrau Region differs from how they can be used anywhere else in Switzerland.
They only provide for a 25% discount on:

  • the WAB railway beyond Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen on to Kleine Scheidegg and Wengen.
  • the JB railway up to Jungfraujoch station from Kleine Scheidegg
  • the SPB railway to Schynige Platte

How InterRail (and Eurail) passes can be used in the Jungfrau Region is even more restrictive, they also only give a 25% discount on those three railways, plus they only give a 50% discount on the trains between Interlaken and Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and Mürren.
So if you will be panning on spending time in Switzerland on a multi-country itinerary with the 'Global' type of Eurail and InterRail pass, other locations in Switzerland will provide better value for money.
Though a somewhat odd feature of using Eurail, InterRail and Swiss Travel Passes from Interlaken is that they cover longer journeys to the likes of Luzern, Montreux and Zermatt.

Hence the three rail passes profiled below can be a better choice when holidaying in Interlaken and exploring by train.

Save by using Berner Oberland Passes

Connect between the BOB and WAB trains in Grindelwald station Connect between the BOB and WAB trains in Grindelwald station
From the right when heading UP to Kleine Scheidegg #3 From the right when heading UP to Kleine Scheidegg #3
Then connect in Lauterbrunnen for trains on the stunning route to Wengen Then connect in Lauterbrunnen for trains on the stunning route to Wengen
One of the newer WAB trains One of the newer WAB trains
Between Brig and Kandersteg Between Brig and Kandersteg
From the Luzern-Interlaken Express on a Grand Tour of Switzerland From the Luzern-Interlaken Express on a Grand Tour of Switzerland
Between Spiez and Interlaken Between Spiez and Interlaken
Arriving in Zweissimen for a simple change of train Arriving in Zweissimen for a simple change of trai

Interlaken is at the center of the area in which the Berner-Oberland Pass can be used, so it can be a great option when taking a holiday in Interlaken.
It covers the full cost of travel on many routes and services on which users of Eurail, InterRail and Swiss Travel Passes can only travel at a a discount, or by paying the full price.
These include:

  • the trains beyond Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen on to Kleine Scheidegg,
  • all of the cable car routes from Grindelwald, including the Eiger Express to Eigergletscher,
  • the trains between Eigergletscher and Kleine Scheidegg,
  • the trains between Wilderswill and Schynige Platte
  • Lauterbrunnen <> Mürren *= also fully covered by Swiss Travel Passes.
  • the Brienz Rothorn Bahn
  • the funiculars in Beatenberg and Oeschinensee
  • the cable cars in Meiringen to the Alpen Tower

The railways fully covered by the Berner-Oberland Pass, which other rail passes also include at no extra cost, include:

  • the route to Luzern
  • the Interlaken - Spiez - Thun - Bern route
  • the Lotschberger route between Spiez and Brig via Kandersteg
  • the Golden Pass route between Spiez and both Gstaad and Lenk

The Berner-Oberland Pass and the Swiss Travel Pass both give a 50% discount on the cable car between Mürren and Schilthorn.

Routes on which Berner-Oberland Pass users can travel at a 50% discount, but in contrast are fully covered by the Eurail, InterRail and Swiss Travel Passes, include:

  • Luzern <> Engelberg, (the Berner-Oberland Passes also cover 50% of the Mt Titlis cable cars)
  • Gstadd <> Montreux
  • Brig <> Andermatt

Berner Oberland Pass users can also travel between Eigergletscher and Jungfraujoch on tickets which are around 50% of the usual cost of the end-to-end journey from Interlaken.

Saving with the Jungfrau Region - Winter Hiking and Sledging Pass

To Jungfraujoch on the Best Of Switzerland holiday To Jungfraujoch on the Best Of Switzerland holiday

The Top of Europe Winter Pass for the Jungfrau region (Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfraujoch and Wengen) has been discontinued - and has in effect been replaced by the Winter Hiking and Sledging Pass.
The pass lives up to its name, as it provides access to the Jungfrau region's many hiking trails and sledging areas
However, if you don't want to hike or jump on a sledge, but do want to ride the region's trains, cable cars and funiculars, the pass can be great value for money.

The Winter Hiking and Sledging Pass is available for 1 to 7 days of consecutive travel - there isn't a flex option
There are discounted rates for Youths (aged 16 to 19) and children (aged 6 to 15) - but there doesn't seem to be an option of obtaining a discount by using a Half Fare Card.

The included routes routes / journeys with the Winter Hiking and Sledging Pass are:

Trains:

  • Interlaken ↔ Grindelwald / Lauterbrunnen
  • Grindelwald ↔ Kleine Scheidegg ↔ Wengen ↔ Lauterbrunnen
  • Kleine Scheidegg ↔ Eigergletscher
  • Lauterbrunnen ↔ Mürren (including the Luftseilbahn funicular)
    Purchasers of passes valid for 3 days or more can travel between Eigergletscher and Jungfraujoch for a special price of CHF 65.

Cable cars and Funiculars

  • Grindelwald Terminal ↔ Eigergletscher (Eiger Express)
  • Grindelwald Terminal ↔ Männlichen
  • Männlichen ↔ Wengen (Dec 9th to Apr 7th)
  • Grindelwald First (Dec 16th to Apr 1st)
  • Mürren ↔ Allmendhubel
    On the Schilthornbahn purchasers of passes valid for 3 days or more will receive a 50% discount

Buses:

  • local buses in Grindelwald (not with a 1 day pass)
  • Grindelwald ↔ Bussalp (not with a 1 day pass)
  • Orstbus Lauterbrunnen
  • Lauterbrunnen ↔ Stechelberg

Ski lifts:

  • Sesselbahn Arven (Kleine Scheidegg)
  • Sesselbahn Innerwengen (Wengen)
  • Sesselbahn Schiltgrat (Mürren)

Save with The Jungfrau Travel Pass in Summer

Travelling with a Top Of Europe rail pass Travelling with a Top Of Europe rail pass

Between Interlaken and Europe's highest station at Jungfraujoch, the Jungfrau Travel Pass is a match for how the Berner-Oberland Pass can be used between these two locations.
So the the Jungfrau Travel Pass covers;

  • the trains beyond Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen on to Kleine Scheidegg,
  • all of the cable car routes from Grindelwald, including the Eiger Express to Eigergletscher,
  • the trains between Eigergletscher and Kleine Scheidegg,
  • the trains between Wilderswill and Schynige Platte
  • Lauterbrunnen <> Mürren; and a 50% discount on the cable car on to Schilthorn

In line with the Berner-Oberland Pass, users of the Jungfrau Travel Pass can also travel between Eigergletscher and Jungfraujoch at a special price, but only during June to August.

So the area of validity is smaller than the Berner-Oberland Pass, but this is reflected in the cheaper cost of a Jungfrau Travel Pass.
Summer 2023 prices;

  • 3 days; Jungfrau = CHF = 190; Berner = 230
  • 4 days; Jungfrau = CHF = 215; Berner = 270
  • 6 days; Jungfrau = CHF = 270; Berner = 340
  • 8 days; Jungfrau = CHF = 310; Berner = 380

Beyond the Jungfrau Region

Riding the Brienz Rothorn Bahn Riding the Brienz Rothorn Bahn
Looking down on the Luzernsee from the Pilatusbahn Looking down on the Luzernsee from the Pilatusbahn

There are multiple delightful railways and attractions which are strung along the the Zentralbahn which connects Interlaken with Luzern/Lucerne - which in itself a beautiful journey

They are, west to east:

to Montreux:

Interior of MOB Belle-Epoque (Classic) train Interior of MOB Belle-Epoque (Classic) train
A view from a Panoramic train operated by the MOB A view from a Panoramic train operated by the MOB
Looking down the valley after Gstaad Looking down the valley after Gstaad
Ascending from Montreux on the Golden Pass route Ascending from Montreux on the Golden Pass route

Interlaken is also on the 'Golden Pass route' taken by the new Golden Pass Express service.
If it is sold out, or if you want to avoid paying the more expensive charges to travel by it, hourly alternative connections are available by changing trains in Spiez and Zweisimmen.
The route on to Montreux from Zweisimmen by the MOB Railway is wonderful.

Also many of the trains operated by the MOB, which don't incur additional charges, are charmingly unconventional; its 'Belle-Epoque' trains resemble miniature versions of The Orient Express!

to Oeschinensee

Oeschinensee is a beautiful lake surrounding by multiple Alpine attractions including hiking trails and a mountain coaster ride.
As this guide to visiting Oeschinensee explains, it can be accessed by taking a funicular, which is around a kilometer walk from Kandersteg station.
The journey from Interlaken to Kandersteg only requires one change of train in Spiez and the journey on from Spiez happens to be rather lovely.

To Interlaken by train

One of the newer BOB trains One of the newer BOB trains

Interlaken Ost is a junction station, with two routes other than the Bernese Oberland Railway, which is why choosing accommodation in the town within easy walking distance of this station is the way to go.

Those two other railways which serve Interlaken are;

  1. the Zentralbahn which connects Interlaken with Luzern/Lucerne.
  2. the main line into the town from Spiez used by trains on the Basel → Bern → Interlaken route; some of which have commenced their journeys in Germany.
    So Interlaken typically has direct trains from Berlin and from Frankfurt (Main), Karlsruhe and Freiburg.
    There are also now direct trains from Zurich airport and the main station in Zurich to Interlaken.

Connections are available at Spiez with trains to and from:

  • Milano via Stresa and Domodossola
  • Visp - connect for Zermatt
  • Zweisimmen - connect for Montreux, though the new Golden Pass Express service offers a direct link between Interlaken and Montreux
  • Brig - taking the Lotschberger route via Kandersteg is the way to go.
Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.

hand-money

Please support ShowMeTheJourney

Help keep us advertising and paywall free!

Donate

This second version of ShowMeTheJourney is exciting and new, so we are genuinely thrilled that you are here and reading this, but we also need your help.

We’re striving not to let anything get in the way of providing the most useful service possible, hence a facility has been set up with DonorBox which can be used to support the running costs and make improvements.

Instead of advertising or paywalls, your financial support will make a positive difference to delivering an enhanced service, as there’s a lot of ideas which we want to make happen.

So if you have found the info provided here to be useful, please consider saying thank you.