Yes the journey from Basel to Wengen requires taking three different trains, but the two connections are as simple as can be, and the second half of the end-to-end trip is astonishingly beautiful.
If you will be heading to Wengen 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 next stage of the ride to Wengen involves taking a train on from Interlaken Ost station.
Interlaken is where the network of mountain railways in the Bernese-Oberland connects with SBB's national rail network.
You will have around 8 mins to make the connection into the train on to Lauterbrunnen at Interlaken Ost station, but the connection is virtually guaranteed, in terms of the arrival and departure times of the trains.
So 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 journey on to Wengen (via Lauterbrunnen) from the ticket desks at Interlaken Ost station.
Though if you will be travelling with any type of rail pass, including Swiss Day Passes, you'll need to go into the ticket office, to buy a discounted ticket for the journey on from Interlaken to Wengen.
Then the connection at Lauterbrunen into the train on Wengen is a simple as can be.
1 x connection per hour
Change trains in: Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen
Tickets can be purchased online for end-to-end journeys which involve taking a SBB train + the BernerOberlandBahn train on to Lauterbrunnen + the WAB train on to Wengen
‘Individual 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.
But this journey to Wengen can be an exception.
That's because Saver Day Passes can be used for free travel on the trains between Basel and Lauterbrunnen, but unless they have purchased with a Half-Fare card , they can't be used for the part of the journey between Lauterbrunen and Wengen
So tickets for the final section of the journey will need to be booked prior to boarding the trains, in the ticket offices at Interlaken Ost or Lauterbrunnen stations.
Though a 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 Wengen it is likely that that a Saver Day Pass will be cheaper than booking tickets for the outward and return journeys; despite the need to buy separate tickets for the part of the journey between Lauterbrunnen and Wengen.
More general info is available on our GUIDE to taking the train to Swiss Ski Resorts.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
This is now route IC 61
The single deck IC trains are 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
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.
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: Lauterbrunnen
At Interlaken Ost station the train heading to Lauterbrunnen will be joined to another train heading to Grindelwald 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.
On this route the best views are on the right as the train passes through the valley after Wilderswill station, but this is a pleasant rather than particularly special journey.
For most of the journey from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen the best of the views are on the left; the train runs along the side of a valley wall, so the views over the valley are on that side.
However, we were sat on the right as SMTJ was travelling down to Lauterbrunnen in the opposite dirction , so the images are from that side of the train; and as can be seen the views down the valley towards the beginning and end of the trip are rather fabulous, regardless of which side of the train your seated!
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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.