Genève / Geneva to Grindelwald by train

Basel has easier access by train to Grindelwald than Geneve, but the plus of travelling via Geneve is the plane to train transfer available at Geneve Aeroport, as that isn't available in Basel.
The journey from Zurich Airport to Grindelwald also involves making as many connections as this routing from Geneve.



From Genève/Geneva-Cornavin to Grindelwald

Journey Summary

Travel Information

Change trains in: Bern and Interlaken

There are no direct trains between Genève and Interlaken; where you connect for trains on to Grindelwald.
The simplest and fastest option for the part of the journey between Geneve and Interlaken is to make only 1 x change of train at Bern.

In most hours the trains heading to Luzern from Geneve have good connections in Bern on to Interlaken.
Though in a few hours the optimum connection is instead available when taking the trains from Geneve that are heading to St Gallen.

In a few hours during the day both options are available; hence some hours have 2 x options available when setting off from Geneve.

Changing trains in Bern:

The optimum connection in Bern between trains is only around 8 mins, but the connection is virtually guaranteed.

Changing trains at Interlaken Ost station:

You will 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.
Though eight minutes may not be enough time to buy a ticket for the BOB train on to Grindelwald from the manned ticket desks at Interlaken Ost station.
However, 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 train to Grindelwald.

1 or 2 x connections per hour


Booking Tickets:

Tickets can be booked online for this end-to-end journey.

‘Individual tickets’ can be used on any train(s) on your travel date, but they tend to be comparatively expensive.

Supersaver tickets are cheaper, 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) of the Saver Day Passes, they might save you money and can also allow for a less stressful journey.

Using Saver Day Passes:

If you will be booking last minute tickets for a train journey to Grindelwald a Saver Day Pass may save you money.

They can be cheaper than tickets for the end-to-end journey, particularly when the discounted Supersaver tickets aren't available; and are often cheaper if you will be making a day return trip between Geneve and Grindelwald, even if you can book in advance.

They can be used on;

  • the trains between Geneve-Aeroport and Bern
  • the trains between Bern and Interlaken Ost
  • the trains between Interlaken Ost and Grindelwald

They are not train specific, so can still be used in the event of a journey to Switzerland being delayed.
Though as they’re only valid for one day’s travel, the clue is the name, so if you will be travelling back on another date, you’ll need to purchase another Saver Day Pass for your return journey.

However, they need to be booked at least a day ahead of your travel date, so won't be an option if you book tickets at the station on arrival in Switzerland.
They're also (much) cheaper the further ahead that you book.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost

SBB Guide

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.

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake views

Good to Know

These trains commence their journeys at Geneve-Aeroport station, it takes the trains around 5 mins to travel from there to the main station in Geneve before they then head off to Bern.

Final Destination:

Luzern (the IR trains on IR route 15)
St Gallen (the IC trains on IC route 1)

The train service between Geneve and Bern is split between IC trains heading to St Gallen via Zurich and IR trains heading to Luzern.
Both train services operate hourly and the timetable is arranged so that trains leave Geneve for Bern every 30 mins.

Though if you want to have a meal in a restaurant car on the train, you will need to target the IC trains.

The brand new LD/Twindexx trains should now be operating on some of the IC departures.

Journey description:

This journey showcases the fact that you don't have to travel on one of the scenic Swiss mountain railways, in order to see a spectacular vista from a Swiss train.

From the right of the train (when facing the direction) of travel there are some incredible views over Lake Geneva when the train departs from Lausanne.
It's worth travelling on the upper deck in order to see these views at their best.

This part of the journey is so fabulous that it merited a place on the list of the 15 Most Beautiful Swiss Train Journeys.

For the final part of the journey, the trains will then pass through a pleasing landscape, with mountains on the horizon.

The railway climbs up away from Lake Geneva The railway climbs up away from Lake Geneva
When the weather is right you can see across Lake Geneva When the weather is right you can see across Lake Geneva
Nearing the summit of the ascent on a greyer day Nearing the summit of the ascent on a greyer day
The sun sets over the Swiss countryside The sun sets over the Swiss countryside
Sit on the right for the best views on a Geneve to Bern journey Sit on the right for the best views on a Geneve to Bern journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake views

Good to Know

Final Destination: Interlaken Ost

Between Thun and Spiez Between Thun and Spiez
Looking down over Faulensee south of Spiez Looking down over Faulensee south of Spiez
South of Faulensee South of Faulensee
Looking over Lake Thun #1 Looking over Lake Thun #1
Looking over Lake Thun #2 Looking over Lake Thun #2
Approaching journey's end Approaching journey's end

This is a journey that saves the best until last!

There are lovely views over Lake Thun from the left of the train, when facing the direction of travel, between Thun and Spiez stations.

... this video was taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction.

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.

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLandscape (Hills / Mountains)River views

Good to Know

Final Destination: Grindelwald

At Interlaken Ost station the train heading to Grindelawld 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.

The river valley to the right after Wilderswill The river valley to the right after Wilderswill
On the left between Zweilütschinen and Lutschental On the left between Zweilütschinen and Lutschental
On the right between Lutschental and Burglauenen On the right between Lutschental and Burglauenen
From the right near Burglauenen From the right near Burglauenen
From the right after Schwendi From the right after Schwendi
Nearing Grindelwald Nearing Grindelwald
Arriving in Grindelwald Arriving in Grindelwald

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.

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