Best way to get to Interlaken from Paris

Best way to get to Interlaken from Paris

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swatdila
swatdila
3 posts
new member
Sep 27, 2014 - 9:14 AM

HI there

I am flying to Paris with my family consisting of my wife and 3 kids at the end of Nov. RIght now, am looking at planning an itinerary. I have about 2 weeks there and I will definitely spend some time in Paris and some days in London. I am trying very much to include a visit to Switzerland, just to get the sights and some snow at the alps. I have been on a similar trip about 14 yrs ago and back then, I actually flew to Switzerland from London and stayed at Interlaken. That was a great experience which I don't mind to repeat, this time with my kids (eldest being 12 yrs old). The question is, I am trying to figure out the best way (and least costly too) to get to Interlaken and thought I could get some advice here.

I will be arriving in Paris at about 6am on 29 Nov. a few questions:

1) Is there a train from Paris CDG airport to Interlaken? If so, maybe I could take the train and head straight to Interlaken as my first stop. And get a trip up Junfrau before heading back to Paris (or London).

2) or since I am at the airport, should I just take a flight into Zurich?

3) Else, are there trains from within Paris to INterlaken?

4) if I am only going to spend maybe 4 days in Switzerland and only stay in Interlaken + a trip up Junfrau, would it be advisable to get any swiss rail pass? If yes, which one? or do I just get a direct train ticket from paris to Interlaken and then pay for the trip up junfrau separately.

5) Is there a train from Interlaken to London?

Thank you for any advice..

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 27, 2014 - 3:51 PM

Welcome to MySwissAlps, swatdila! It's great that you plan a few days in Switzerland during your trip to Europe.

First I'd like to give some advice on the order of your destinations. I noticed that you plan to visit Paris first, then Switzerland, then London. In terms of traveling times and distances it would make more sense to start off in Switzerland, then continue to Paris and then to Londen. Or alternatively, do London-Paris-Switzerland.

As for your further questions:

1, 2, 3) There are no direct trains between Charles de Gaulle airport and Switzerland. You should get to Gare de Lyon first (see here for details). From there, direct and comfortable trains leave for Basel. From Basel you can easily travel to Interlaken and the entire train journey from Gare de Lyon takes about 5 hours. The timetable provides all details for Gare de Lyon-Interlaken. Our page on train traveling to Switzerland may be convenient too.

5) Yes, you can get to London by train from Interlaken. The connection runs via Basel and Paris. Connections can be checked through the timetable I mentioned.

4) In most cases, a rail pass is cheaper than buying regular full-fare tickets, even for short stays. I think you should look into the Swiss Half Fare Card or (if you plan more traveling and appreciate the ease of unrestricted, ticketless traveling) a 4 day Swiss Saver Pass. Here's how to decide which pass works out best.

I hope this helps you plan for your stay in Switzerland!

Last modified on Jul 3, 2016 - 10:13 AM by Arno
LengYing
LengYing
5 posts
new member
Sep 28, 2014 - 9:11 AM

Similarly to Swatdila, I am visiting a few EU places (Paris. Switzerland and London) by end of the year from 19 Dec 2014 to 4th Jan 2015. My initial draft plan would be as below, we have visited many times to Paris and London, but it is our first time visiting Switzerland.

  • 19th - 21st Dec - Paris
  • 22nd - 30th Dec - Switzerland (Lucern, Interlaken, Zermatt, Zurich/ Bern..etc)
  • 31st Dec - 4th Jan - London

I have about 8 full days in Switzerland and would like to cover a few places. Appreciate if you could help to answer some of my queries:

  1. Does train in Swiss stop operation during X'mas period? Eg: Golden Pass Panoramic Train. Glacier Express Panoramic Train and also some general train commuting between cities Switzerland, and also France to Switzerland Train . The current train schedule in SBB website are only up to 13 Dec 2014.
  2. If they are operating, what is the schedule like? Do they have similar schedule from what they are currently offer until 13 Dec 2014? This is crucial for us to plan our stay in the cities.
  3. Which route would you recommend? Golden or Glacier? If i am not mistaken, Glacier will cover more on Swiss Alps whereas Golden pass covers lake + some mountain view? If i have 8 days in Switzerland, can i cover Glacier Route as well (on top of visiting Luzern, Interlaken, Zermatt, Zurich/Bern) ? will it be a very rush schedule? Does it worth to take both Glacier and Golden pass? Initially Glacier express are not in our plan as it will be travelling fr/to St Moritz which is the other side of Switzerland. But after reviewing some forum, people recommended Glacier express train too, hence we are hesitating whether we should be taking this Glacier scenic train as well. Appreciate your advice. Option 1 - Not taking Glacier (France > Zermatt > Montreux > Interlaken > Lucern > Zurich/Bern [Where we will be flying to London] ) Option 2- Taking Glacier (France > St. Moritz > Zermatt (Fr St Moritz to Zermatt taking Glacier Express) > Montreux > Interlaken > Lucern > Zurich/Bern {Where we will be flying to London])
  4. By looking at point (3), which Railway pass would you recommend for us since we have 8 days travelling in Switzerland (access Swiss via France)? Eurail Select Pass? France - Switzerland Pass? Swiss Pass?
  5. Also, if we are taking Golden Pass Panoramic Train, and our direction are from Montreux–Interlaken–Lucerne, and we would like to stop by a few nights in Interlaken before proceeding to Lucerne, is that possible?

Truly appreciate your prompt reply on this. Thank you so much for your help in advance.

Cheers, Elly

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 28, 2014 - 9:29 AM

Hi Elly,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! Please post this in a new thread as requested in the forum rules, and we'll be glad to look into your query. Thanks!

swatdila
swatdila
3 posts
new member
Sep 28, 2014 - 1:33 PM in reply to Annika

Hi

Thank you for the reply.. I am flying in and out from Paris so I am thinking if I can, I will straight away go to Switzerland upon arriving in Paris and then head back to Paris then to London before going back to Paris to fly out.

1) If I were to purchase a swiss pass, meaning that I only need to purchase for 2 adults? This means that I buy a Paris - Basel rtn tickets for 2 adults + 3 kids and then use the swiss pass for the basel to interlaken leg? IN this case, how do I book the trains? Do i book a the paris - basel and then separately the basel - interlaken?

2) I also saw from the site abt this pass - Eurail France - Switzerland Pass (saver pass). Will this cover the entire paris - interlaken?

Thank you very much for your advice.

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 28, 2014 - 1:56 PM

Hi swatdila,

1) Yes, you need a pass for 2 adults, and you need to select the option for a free Swiss Family Card for the children. Just click the link of the reseller of choice in the Swiss Pass price overview to get started.

You don't need to book Basel to Interlaken. With a Swiss Pass you can just board any train. No reservations required. The Paris to Basel ticket can be ordered along with your pass. See here for tips.

2) Eurail is available for 1st class only and does not cover as much in Switzerland as a Swiss Pass. Usually ir doesn't make sense to get a Eurail Pass if you do limited trips in one of the countries (in France in your case). If you do get such a pass it would indeed cover the entire trip. All details are here: www.myswissalps.com/eurailfranceswitzerlandpass.

Kind regards,

Arno

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:54 PM by Arno
swatdila
swatdila
3 posts
new member
Oct 6, 2014 - 2:58 PM in reply to Arno

hi

thank you for your advice, finally got my mind around all these passes. Just a few more questions:

1) With a swiss pass, I only need to book a train trip from Paris to Basel. From Basel, I can just hop on any trains to Interlaken. Question is, will there be a situation where the trains will be full? 29 Nov - 2 Dec, is it a peak period?

2) similarly, with a swiss pass, to go up jungfrau, i just to to Interlaken Ost stn and purchase a ticket from there?

thanx again. Seems the price for point-to-point from paris to interlaken now is rather costly; probably worthwhile to get a swiss pass in this case.

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 6, 2014 - 3:17 PM

Hi swatdila,

1) Yes, just hop on any train. Theoretically, all seats can be taken so you need to stand until the next stop, but that's not really common and usually only happens during big events or rush hour. Late November is low season. Also, most trains start in Basel so they're empty when pulling into the station. I wouldn't worry about it, but you can book seats if you really want too.

2) Yes, you can get a ticket there. Just show your Swiss Pass and they will get you a discounted ticket for the segment that isn't free with the pass.

Enjoy your traveling in the Alps!

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