The platforms under the concrete roof at Bern station

Frankfurt to Bern by train

How to take the rail journey from central Germany to the Swiss capital

Some of the ICE trains on the route to Basel very conveniently travel on to central Switzerland



From Frankfurt Main Hbf to Bern

Travel Information

Final Destination: Interlaken

All trains also call at: Basel and Olten

Connect in Basel for Biel, Brugg and Delemont

Connect in Olten for Geneve, Lausanne, Lugano, Luzern and Neuchatel,

Connect in Bern for Visp (for Zermatt) and Brig

3 or 4x trains per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings usually open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

When making an online booking, check that you’re looking at booking info for the direct trains.
On the DB Bahn booking site look for journeys that have:

  • 0 in the Chg. column
  • ICE (and only ICE) in the Products column.

Use the earlier/later buttons to search for the cheapest ticket prices.

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.
You're more likely to find the cheapest fare on the morning train that departs at around 08:50.

The cheapest tickets tend to sell out particularly quickly on this route.

Seat Reservations:

Book 1st class ticket journey tickets on and your seat reservation is included - but they're optional when booking 2nd class tickets, or if you will be travelling with a 1st or 2nd class rail pass.

Opting to reserve is particularly recommended if you will be travelling at business hours and/or during the day on Fridays and Sundays.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB Bahn from €35.90

DB Bahn Guide

DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.

It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.

A key feature of DB website worth keeping mind is that it offers 1st class ticket purchasers complimentary seat reservations on journeys both within and to/from Germany.

Seat reservations for daytime in both 1st and 2nd class can also be booked separately from tickets.

Omio from €35.90

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Trainline from €39

Trainline Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

High Speed (partial journey)

Good to Know

From April 1st to December 9th maintenance work on the high-speed line to the north of Frankfurt (Main) is altering the routes of many ICE trains.
During this term the trains heading on to Interlaken will be originating in Hamburg instead of Berlin, so won't be departing at their usual times.
The trains on the route from Hamburg will have been diverted on to a non high-speed route, which may affect their timekeeping.

It's a pleasant, but not especially beautiful train journey from Frankfurt (Main) to Bern

These trains will spend around 30 mins travelling on two sections of high speed line between Mannheim and Offenburg.

The trains will reverse direction on departure from Basel SBB.

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