If you will be heading to Grindelwald on a combination of plane + train, the fact you will need to make the transfer by bus from Basel/Mulhouse airport to Basel SBB station, is offset in terms of convenience, by the fact that Basel is the only key entry point into Switzerland, which has direct trains to Interlaken.
The train on to Grindelwald will depart from Interlaken Ost station, so this is a route with only one transfer between trains.
When travelling between most cities by train there is only one logical option, though on other journeys there is a choice between different trains or alternative routes. If different options are available you can use the info to decide which is best for you.
2hr 37min - 2hr 40min
1 x connection per hour
ShowMeTheJourney earns a small commission on Trainline ticket sales. It can be a particularly good option for: Comparing different train services; Booking international journeys with connections; Travelling between the UK to destinations beyond Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris - and for international travellers who don't reside in western Europe.
SBB is the main national rail operator in Switzerland, but tickets for journeys by the other significant operators including BLS and SOB can be be booked on the SBB website.
SBB also sells tickets for journeys to many destinations which involve a combination of SBB trains and services provided by the many independent operators who serve the Alpine resort towns.
However, if you will be making a long-distance return day trip, look out for he possibility of SaverDay passes being cheaper than tickets.
Though if you download the SBB app, booking tickets on SBB's mobile services can be simper than using the website.
Also watch out for the fact that booking international tickets can be comparatively quirky.
Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.
HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.
Interlaken Ost station is where the network of mountain railways in the Bernese-Oberland connect with SBB's national rail network.
You will often have around 8 mins to make the connection between trains at Interlaken Ost station, but again the connection is virtually guaranteed; in terms of the arrival and departure times of the trains.
You can be sure of making this connection, if you book tickets that are valid for the end-to-end journey.
Eight minutes may not be enough time to buy a ticket for the BOB train on to Grindelwald from the staffed ticket desks at Interlaken Ost station.
Optimum onward connections at Interlaken Ost:
The timetabling of the trains from Basel to Interlaken doesn't follow a set pattern.
Trains depart from Basel at either 31 or 59 mins past each hour; in some hours there are departures at both these times.
Typically it is the trains which depart Basel at 59 mins past each hour during the day have the optimum connections with the other trains on from Interlaken Ost.
So if you will be travelling on from Interlaken try to target the trains which leave Basel at 59 mins past the hour, particularly if you will be travelling with a ticket valid for the end-to-end journey.
Though if on arrival on in Interlaken, if you'll need to buy a ticket for your onward connection, you won't have to purchase it against the clock, if you can take the trains which depart Basel at 31 mins past the hour.
This is now route IC 61
The single deck IC trains are typically used for these journeys, but three late afternoon/evening departures are by ICE trains, which will have commenced their journeys in Germany.
Final Destination: Interlaken Ost
Switzerland doesn't have any high speed lines on which trains travel at more than 250 km/h, but south of Olten the train will race at 200 km/h for around 25mins on a fast railway until shortly before arrival in Bern
The train will reverse direction at Bern and then south of Thun there are some fabulous views to be enjoyed over on the left.
... though these videos were taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction, but they showcase how fine the views can be on a sunny day...
Then for the final 15 mins of the journey, after departure from Spiez, the train descends down to travel right by the shore of the Thunersee.You need to be sat on the left in a backward facing seat to make the most of these views between Spiez and Interlaken; so because of the reversal at Bern, take a forward facing seat on the right hand side when boarding the train in Basel.
Final Destination: Grindelwald
At Interlaken Ost station the train heading to Grindelwald will be joined to another train heading to Lauterbrunnen for the first part of the journey.
So take care to join the right part of the train, on the newer BOB trains, the destinations are on the outside of the coaches.
Don't be overly concerned about this as the conductor will pass through the train to check tickets and they will tell you if you need to move coaches.
All trains also call at: Wilderswill for connection into the SPB trains to Schynige Platte.
Connect in Grindelwald with three of Switzeland's most incredible cable car routes:
to the Eiger Express
Most of final part of the railway route up to Europe's highest station at Jungfraujoch tunnels through the mountain, but Eigergletscher is the final open-air station, it is the fist station on from Kleine Scheidegg.
Eigergletscher is now also the summit station of the Eiger Express cable car, which has its base station in Grindelwald.
So the faster route from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch is to connect at Grindelwald Terminal station, for the Eiger Express, where the base station for the Eiger Express is a few minutes walk away.
Though what can be a tad confusing is that Grindelwald Terminal is not the final stop on the route from Interlaken, the trains carry on to the main Grindelwald station in the centre of the village.
Berner Oberland Passes and Jungfrau Summer Passes include both the Eiger Express and the trains between Eigergletscher and Interlaken, with special tickets available for journeys between Eigergletscher and Jungfraujoch.
to the Mannlichen cable car route
Grindelwald Terminal station is also the interchange into Switzerland's longest cable car route which heads to Wengen.
It stops by Wengen station, from where you can head down the mountain to Lauterbrunnen and connect for Murren and the cable car to Schilthorn.
to the Grindelwald First gondola
The base station for the Grindelwald First Gondaola is less than a five minute walk from the final stop of the line in the main Grindelwald station in the heart of the village.
The cable car takes travellers up to the First Cliff Walk.
This is a delightful journey, particularly after the train has departed from Wilderswill - sit on the right (when facing the direction of travel) for the best of the views.
Tickets can be purchased online for end-to-end journeys which involve taking a SBB train + the BernerOberlandBahn train on to Grindelwald.
‘Point-to-Point’ tickets can be used on any train(s) on your travel date, but they tend to be comparatively expensive.
'Supersaver' tickets are cheaper, as the portion of the journey by the SBB train can be discounted by up to 50%, but these tickets are train departure specific.
So if you book a Supersaver ticket and a flight delay etc, causes you to miss a train you are booked on to, you will have to book another full-price ‘Individual Ticket(s).
You can then apply for a refund of the Supersaver ticket, but the application costs CHF 10.
Hence it’s worth comparing the ticket price of a journey with the price(s) e of Saver Day Passes (see below) they might save you money and can also allow for a less stressful journey.
Using Saver Day Passes:
Now that the Swiss Transfer tickets have been discontinued a Saver Day Pass may save you money, if you can book at least a couple of weeks ahead (usually), so that you can obtain the pass at a discounted price.
They can be cheaper than tickets for the end-to-end journey, though they are more likely to be a money saver if you will be making a day return trip; particularly as they can now be used at no extra cost on the trains between Interlaken and Grindelwald.
Another plus of the Saver Day Pass is that they are not train specific, so can still be used in the event of a journey to Switzerland being delayed.
As they’re only valid for one day’s travel, the clue is the name, you’ll need to purchase another Saver Day Pass for your return journey at the end of your stay
Though if you will be making a day return trip from Basel to Grindelwald, it's likely that that a Saver Day Pass will be cheaper than booking tickets for the outward and return journeys.
More general info is available on our GUIDE to taking the train to Swiss Ski Resorts.
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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.