Don't be put off by having to make connections between trains, the timetable is arranged so that making the connections is as simple as possible.
And if anything out of the ordinary occurs, tickets will be available on the next train(s) to depart.
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.
1 x optimum connection every other 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.
Changing trains at Interlaken Ost station:
Interlaken is where the network of mountain railways in the Bernese-Oberland connect with SBB's national rail network.
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.
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.
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 train to Grindelwald.
Changing trains in Bern:
In the hours when no direct trains are available from Zurich to Interlaken, there will be trains from Zurich heading to Brig which will connect in Bern for trains on to Interlaken.
On arrival at Bern station the easiest means of transferring to the platform/track/gleis that the train on to Interlaken will be departing from, is to use the bridge which spans the station
If you board the train to Bern around three - six coaches back from the front of the train, you will then be adjacent to this bridge when you disembark from the train on arrival at Bern.
The alternative route via Luzern:
If you have a valid rail pass, an alternative, more scenic, but longer option is to travel to Interlaken from Zurich via Luzern.
From Zurich Flughafen/Airport
All but the first of these daily direct trains to Interlaken also departs from the station at Zurich airport.
This is a journey of four distinct parts:
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.
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 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, see our Swiss Tickets guide for more advice on how to book these tickets
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.
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 between Zurich and Grindelwald, even if you can book in advance.
They can be used on;
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.
Though 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 cheaper the further ahead that you book.
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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.