Transportation to/from Zurich airport

Transportation to/from Zurich airport

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Posts: 18. This thread is closed.
carolynz
carolynz
3 posts
new member
Jul 28, 2016 - 9:51 PM

I am working hard to plan a trip to Europe that involves a 3-day stop in Switzerland! I am wondering what is the best way (cheapest, quickest) to get from the airport in Zurich to Interlaken, and again, back to the airport a few days later.

Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 29, 2016 - 6:55 AM in reply to carolynz

Hello carolynz, welcome to MySwissAlps!

The train is the best option. By car is the only other option, but most visits to Switzerland do not require a car. It's easier to move around by public transport. Please see myswissalps.com/train and myswissalps.com/ airports/zurich.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Jul 29, 2016 - 7:35 PM in reply to carolynz

When will you be traveling?

Slowpoke

carolynz
carolynz
3 posts
new member
Jul 29, 2016 - 10:48 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi!

I will be traveling July 2017.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Jul 29, 2016 - 11:05 PM in reply to carolynz

Hi Carolynz

Good time of year to visit the Jungfrau region.

I just wanted to make sure that you were not going during one of the seasons with limited tourist services.

Consider staying further south at Grindelwald, Mürren, Wengen.....

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

Slowpoke

Iskander
Iskander
11 posts
new member
Jul 30, 2016 - 12:12 PM

On August 10, I am going to travel from the Zurich airport to Grindelwald and back in 4 days. I have not found a pass that will be valid for 4 days. The least expensive option I found was renting a car for these 4 days. The difference was not that significant and, maybe, taking into account the cost of gas , it will breaking even. And, of course, it depends on a rate you will find. But take into account that renting a car will narrow you housing options since in that are only Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald are accessible by car.

Last modified on Jul 30, 2016 - 12:14 PM by Iskander
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Jul 30, 2016 - 12:18 PM in reply to Iskander

Hi Iskander-

For groups of people, renting one car is usually cheaper than train travel for journeys on the main lines.

On the more scenic routes, a car cannot travel in the same places, and the sightseeing is better from the trains, especially for the driver.

I am curious....have you also considered the costs of travel in and around the Jungfrau region in your calculations?

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 30, 2016 - 2:42 PM in reply to Iskander

The costs of local travel that Slowpoke mentioned is indeed crucial. Without any rail pass it quickly becomes very expensive, and you can't avoid cable cars and cogwheel trains as most of the area is car free. You may want to consider a Swiss Half Fare Card: myswissalps.com/ swisshalffarecard.

For 4 days by public transport only a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass could have worked: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass.

Iskander
Iskander
11 posts
new member
Jul 30, 2016 - 3:40 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Slowpoke, yes, I did. And bought the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland for two of us (myself and my 13 year old son). Maybe I have miscalculated but that seemed as an optimal solution. Car rental came out cheaper than railroad tickets from Zurich AP to Grindelwald and back -- even if the car will just take a space on our hotel parking for 3 nights. But it won't :) Besides we are intending to visit some additional points of interest on our way to Grindelwald.

Best, Alexander

Iskander
Iskander
11 posts
new member
Jul 30, 2016 - 3:53 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Well, I have to correct myself: the car was still somewhat more expensive : CHF 267 vs railroad CHF 252 (just checked). I have booked the car about a month ago, so maybe back then it was other way round and the change is due to the currency rates (I got the car quote in USD, SBB tickets in CHF and payed in NIS, so there is a lot of place for "play"). Still think that the added comfort and flexibility worth these CHF 15. :)

Best, Alexander

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Jul 30, 2016 - 4:20 PM in reply to Iskander

Hi Alexander-

I don't disagree at all. For a trip like yours, a car plus a regional pass makes good sense. A few CHF either way is insignificant.

Don't know what gasoline costs in Israel, but it is quite expensive in Switzerland, (compared to the USA).

These days, when I visit Switzerland for a week or two, and go to various regions to see friends, I also rent a car for part of the trip, and, it does sit in a parking lot part of the time. But, for going to trailheads, or exploring the towns around the Bielersee (for example) , it works well to have a car for that flexibility. Even though there are plenty of buses, the time saved by not waiting for them is valuable.

If your trip were based on staying in "major" cities and taking day trips, rail travel would become more desirable, even if it cost more. Parking in Luzern or Zürich ads up quickly. On the trips, there is no need for a driver to miss the scenery.

Slowpoke

Iskander
Iskander
11 posts
new member
Jul 30, 2016 - 4:36 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

No, we are staying away from the major cities: we are flying to Zurich (this night - yes-s-s-s!) and staying there overnight just to readjust after a sleepless night. Next day we are going to Kreuzlingen where we are spending another day, then we are starting a biking tour around Lake Konstanz. Afterwards we return to Zurich, getting the car and moving to Grindelwald where we spend 3 full days in the hope to make some hikes and to visit Jungfraujoch (weather permitting). On the way from Zurich I hope to make a detour (this is where the car comes in handy) to see the Reichenbach falls -- being the Sherlock Holmes stories addict from my childhood I cannot miss the opportunity... :)

Best, Alexander

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Jul 30, 2016 - 4:50 PM in reply to Iskander

<<"Next day we are going to Kreuzlingen where we are spending another day, then we are starting a biking tour around Lake Konstanz.">>

I often stay at the Frohsinn in Steckborn.

Nothing special as a hotel, unless you get a room with a lake view.

The food is good, and the views of the lake from the terrace and the dining room are pleasant.

Will you vist Mainau?

The Zeppelin Museum at Friedrichshafen fascinated me.

Slowpoke

Iskander
Iskander
11 posts
new member
Jul 30, 2016 - 4:52 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Absolutely. I believe the museum tickets are included into the tour. Any other recommendations around Konstanz?

Best, Alexander

Last modified on Jul 30, 2016 - 4:53 PM by Iskander
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Jul 30, 2016 - 8:51 PM in reply to Iskander

Not really.

Hotel See und Park Feldbach, Steckborn, has a beautiful location, but our room was showing wear and tear, and the restaurant was overpriced, even for Switzerland. A hotel for seminars and groups.

Slowpoke

carolynz
carolynz
3 posts
new member
Aug 2, 2016 - 3:48 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks for the suggestion! We're don't have confirmed accommodations yet, so I will definitely check out the places you mentioned. We are very dependent on public transit, as we will not be renting a car, so areas that are easily accessible by train or bus are very important. What can I expect to pay (USD, per person) for taking a train from the airport in Zurich to the Interlaken area?

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 2, 2016 - 7:28 AM in reply to carolynz

Hi Carolynz,

You can find prices as explained here: myswissalps.com/ timetable. A single ticket to Interlaken costs CHF 73. But most probably you don't need to pay that much. You'd better look into rail passes for ticketless free traveling or discounted traveling:

You're better off with public transport. It gets you everywhere in the area, a car does not.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Aug 2, 2016 - 8:13 AM in reply to carolynz

<<"What can I expect to pay (USD, per person) for taking a train from the airport in Zurich to the Interlaken area?">>

<<" best way (cheapest, quickest) to get from the airport in Zurich to Interlaken, and again, back to the airport a few days later.

Thanks!">>

H i Carolyn -

I am reminded of the project manager's slogan - "Good, fast, cheap....pick any two."

In this case, the only rational answer is to use the railroads. Good, fast, cheap?...Not sure about cheap. See below. ;-(

Not that it makes a difference for your costs, but, just out of curiosity are you from New Zealand? Or, am I misreading your screen name?

Not much passenger rail service in NZ last time I was there.

Switzerland has a lot.

it is time to introduce you to the SBB timetable. ;-)

The link from this My Swiss Alps web site has some quite valuable explanatory material:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

or, you may access it sans explanations, directly from the SBB web site:

www.sbb.ch/en/home.htm l

To use it properly requires approximately 6 months of intensive training, so you have time. (Just joking.) But,there is a lot of useful information buried in the menus, and I am still finding some of it after 30+ years of using it.

I've attached a screen grab for you from the timetable. I used July 2016, since the 2017 data will not be available until December of this year. Any changes will be minor.

However, all is not simple.

The fare shown at first (at the right) has a 50% reduction on a second class ticket (good quality, no reason to avoid second class), because it assumes that you carry a 50% fare reduction card. Essentially all Swiss have such a "Halbtax" or "HalbAbo." If you want to price with no special fare reductions, you have to work your way partially along the ticket buying process on the web site. Or, simply, on all public transport (but not special excursion/mountain railways) just double the number that first appears. That would be true for the fare from Zürich Airport. So about 73 CHF with no fare reduction.

However (there is always a "however" ;-0) there exists a huge variety of reduced fare passes. It is likely that you will want one, but not certain for a 3-day stopover. Depends on how much you travel, in the Berner Oberland region or on mainline transportation.

Look here:

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses

Another "however." Trains and cableways and buses southward into the Lauterbrunnen Valley beyond Interlaken Ost are public transport as far as Lauterbrunnen and beyond Luterbrunnen to either Wengen, Stechelberg ( bus) and Mürren ( two possible routes), or, on the the other branch of the route, as far as Grindelwald.

Some of that is on private transportation equipment, but subsidized as "public transport" because it goes to population centers.

All of the other transport in the region )onward and upward) is a on privately owned equipment, and can be considered "excursions" with "excursion fares." The timetable covers those as well, and various rail passes offer different discounts. Probably, the most expensive trip would be to go up to Jungfraujoch.

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfraujoch

Interlaken by itself has little to offer the tourist.

See this link and follow the links included. It will start you on an understanding of the region.:

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

I've attached a few images to whet your appetite. ( By the way, the Hotel Eiger from which one picture was taken, near the station in Wengen, is now an apartment building.)

This map (looking toward the south) will help you understand the region:

www.swissholidayco.com /Public/Assets/User/fi les/Map-of-Jungfrauregion1.jpg

and this map is very good for Switzerland:

map.search.ch/?pos=637152,168000&z=16

Zoom in and you can see the rail lines, etc.

Under the menu item "Points of interest/traffic", you can turn on an overlay that shows all transport stations.

Once you have started on this material that i have given so far, there is a little bit more useful information here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Kim likes to stay in Wengen. So do I.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 2, 2016 - 8:27 AM by Slowpoke
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