Genève / Geneva to Interlaken by train

From western Switzerland to the gateway for the Bernese-Oberland by train

Basel has direct trains to Interlaken, but if you'll be heading to the resorts in the Bernese-Oberland, the plus of using Geneve as your gateway to Switzerland are the trains from Geneve-Aeroport on the first stage of this routing.



From Genève/Geneva-Cornavin to Interlaken Ost

Travel Information

There are no direct trains between Genève and Interlaken.
The simplest and fastest option is to make only 1 x change of train at Bern, but is not available in every hour when setting off from Genève.

Also because there are 1 or 2 x trains per hour from Bern to Interlaken; and the gap between these trains can vary from 30 mins to 90 mins, some of the connections between trains at Bern can be longer than the usual 8 - 10mins.
And when that is the case the SBB journey planner suggests an additional connection at Spiez, in order to enable a traveller to reach Interlaken faster.

Alternative Route for Rail Pass Users:

If you have a Swiss Travel Pass/Saver Day Pass or a Eurail or InterRail Pass that's valid in Switzerland, a much more spectacular option for a Genève to Interlaken journey is:

1: Take the train from Genève to Montreux
2: Take a MOB train from Montreux to Zweisimmen
3: Take a train from Zweisimmen to Spiez
4: Take a train from Spiez to Interlaken
3: Take a train from Zweisimmen to Interlaken

Or if you want to head off on a spectacular day trip from Geneve, follow those steps to Interlaken, but then continue the full length of the 'Golden Pass' Route, by taking a train on to Luzern.
There are hourly fast IR trains which will take you back to Geneve from Luzern.

10 x optimum connections per day

Change trains in: Bern


Online bookings open: up to 60 days ahead of the travel date.

Book early and save: Yes

Limited numbers of Supersaver tickets will be made available on most departures, you may need to search through the connections to find them using the ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ buttons.

In some hours the only option is to make two changes of train at both Bern and Spiez, but those more inconvenient journeys don't tend to be any cheaper on this route.
So try and be flexible with your departure and arrival times and target the cheapest journey you can find on your travel date that only has 1 x change of train in Bern.

Using Saver Day Passes:

If you will be making a day return trip to Interlaken from Geneva, be open to the possibility that Saver Day Passes are likely to be a cheaper option than booking return tickets

Seat reservations:

Seat reservations are optional on Swiss IC trains, so seats won't be assigned when booking online.

You can book reservations online for journeys by these IC trains, AFTER you have booked a ticket, by using the SBB (Swiss national railways) seat reservation service - OR request a reservation when booking at a station ticket office.

Note that seat reservations won't be an option if you take the IR service to Bern and/or the combination of trains on from Bern to Interlaken, which require a connection between trains in Speiz.

Travelling with a rail pass:

Rail pass users can jump on any train, without having to make reservations.

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.

Trainline *

Trainline Guide

Omio *

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.

Happy rail *

Happy rail Guide

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.

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.

However, a recent change is that the IR trains are now around 10 mins slower than the IC trains, as they have had additional station calls inserted into their regular timetables.

Also 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 are now 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

All trains also call at: Thun, Spiez and Interlaken West

IF your final destination is in central Interlaken, book tickets to and leave the train at Interlaken West,  this station is much closer to the town centre.

Connect at Interlaken Ost for the ZB trains towards Luzern or the BOB trains to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.

The single deck IC trains are used for these journeys, along with some ICE trains that will have commenced their journeys in Germany

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.

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