Day trip from Lauterbrennen to Montreux

Day trip from Lauterbrennen to Montreux

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Posts: 9. This thread is closed.
mshehan
mshehan
14 posts
new member
Apr 23, 2011 - 10:58 AM
Hi everyone!

I love this forum - so much information!
My family (2adults, 2 teens - 17 and 15) will be staying in Lauterbrennen for 6 nights in June. Can we travel round trip on the Golden Pass to Montreux and visit the Chateau de Chillon all in one day? What exit do we get off in Montreux? Should we be on the Panoramic train or Regular train? What train schedule should we use? We will have the Swiss Half Fare Card. Should we book the train travel now on a specific date even if we can't buy the Half Fare Card until we arrive in Switzerland?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance!

Mary
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 24, 2011 - 6:31 AM
Hello Mary, and welcome! The Swiss timetable will be of great help for planning such trips. It shows traveling times, changes of trains, stops along the way, and so on. Just fill out your departure station (Lauterbrunnen, for example - make sure that it's spelled correctly) and your arrival station (Chateau de Chillon), enter your preferred date and times of traveling, and several options will be displayed. Click 'Show all details' in the lower right corner for more information on each connection. As for your specific questions: you can get to Montreux, visit the castle and return the same day, but you would have to leave early as the quickest connections (via Spiez and Visp, or via Bern and Lausanne) take more than 3 hours for a single journey.

The most beautiful route, however, is the Golden Pass route via Zweisimmen and Gstaad. This connection takes 4 to 5 hours, so you could consider taking it only for either the outbound trip to Montreux or the return journey to Lauterbrunnen. The route can be traveled by regular train or by panoramic train. The panoramic train offers more luxurious seats and larger windows, which allow you to better enjoy the views along the way. Seat reservations are required for Golden Pass panoramic trains. You can (and should) reserve your seats in advance, even if you don't have your Swiss Half Fare Card yet. Seat reservations can be made separately from the actual tickets. So you could even buy your 50% reduction tickets right before boarding, as long as your seats are reserved.
mshehan
mshehan
14 posts
new member
Apr 24, 2011 - 3:43 PM
Hi Annika,

Wow. You gave me lots of good information. Thanks! I have now played with the timetables a bit. What trains are better when using the R, IC, IR, Bus or R, EC, IR, Bus? Also, do you recommend riding on the Golden Pass in the morning from Lauterbrunnen (sorry for the misspelling!) to Veytaux or in the afternoon back to Lauterbrunnen? How long do you think we will want to spend at Chateaux de Chillon?

Thanks again!
Mary
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 25, 2011 - 9:35 AM
Hello Mary. The type of trains doesn't matter that much. The only real difference is the one between regular trains and Golden Pass panoramic trains, as I explained above. As for the Golden Pass route: I think it would be easier to make this trip in the morning. The Golden Pass train requires seat reservations, and because of these reservations you are committed to that specific train. If you make a trip with seat reservations after your visit to the castle, that would mean that your departure time is set in advance. Instead, it's more relaxed to take your time in the castle and return without seat reservations whenever you want. I'm not sure how long you would like to spend at the castle. Did you check the website? It gives a good impression of what you can see and do there, so I hope that helps you to make some estimations.
mshehan
mshehan
14 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2011 - 11:28 AM
Hello,
I like all of your suggestions. I will make seat assignments this week for the morning Golden Pass route. With using the Swiss Half Fare card will we need to pay cash for every train/bus trip or can we use credit cards on the more expensive parts? Also, we want to do one of the boat trips in Thun or Brienz. Will the Half Fare card work on any boat trip or only specific ones? Is one boat trip more enjoyable than others? I've had trouble finding specific info about the boat trips! What could we add to the same day with the boat trip: the Ballenberg Open Air Museum, Aare Gorge or Reichenback Falls?

Sorry for so many questions but thanks for your help!
Mary
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 26, 2011 - 1:56 PM
Hi Mary. Major railway stations accept the common types of credit cards, so this shouldn't be a problem. If you have questions about paying at a specific (smaller) railway station, you could best contact the Swiss Railways (SBB).

The Swiss Half Fare Card is valid for all regular boat trips on lake Thun and Brienz. There are special cruises as well, such as dinner cruises, and different rules may apply on them. I think the BLS website will help you out here. It lists departure and traveling times, a price overview, special cruises, and so on.

In my opinion, boat trips at both lake Thun and lake Brienz are wonderful. The attractions you listed are all closer to the lake Brienz than to lake Thun. The Aare gorge is especially suitable for a rainy day (although it's beautiful in sunny weather as well), so if weather is fine you could visit either the Reichenbach falls and/or the Open Air Museum. If you're into waterfalls, you could also get out at Giessbach (a stop along the boat ride over lake Brienz) and get very close to the impressive Giessbach falls. There's a funicular leading up to a hotel/restaurant as well.
mshehan
mshehan
14 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2011 - 2:09 PM
Hi Annika,
Thanks for the quick reply! You have given me great advice and I want to find out about the Giessbach falls now! I can't wait for our trip to start!

Mary
mshehan
mshehan
14 posts
new member
Apr 29, 2011 - 2:15 PM
It's me again!

I just found out that the Raileurope Swiss Pass is 50% off until May 6. We were planning on buying the Swiss Half Fare Card once we get to Switzerland. We are a family of 2 adults, a 17 yr old, and a 15 year old staying in Lauterbrunnen for 6 nights in June. Our itinerary includes:
1 Lauterbrunnen to Jungfrau
2. Stechelberg to Schithorn,Trummelbach falls
3. Golden Pass, Chateau of Chillon
4. Ballenberg Open Air Museum, Brienz boat trip
5. Aare Gorge, Reichenbach falls, Giessbach falls

Does it make sense to now buy the Swiss Pass?

Thanks in advance!
Mary
Arno
Arno
7311 posts
expert &
moderator
May 1, 2011 - 1:21 PM
Hi Mary,

Yes, it does make much more sense to buy the Swiss Pass now that it is so much cheaper. I just wrote a post about it by the way. Whether it's better than a Swiss Half Fare Card would require you to add up all fares for both passes and see which one is cheaper. The Swiss Pass is definitely more convenient though, as you don't have to buy tickets for each trip: everything on your list can be reached for free, except for the Jungfrau and the upper section of the Schilthorn (they're discounted). You also get other privileges with this offer, as you can read in my post.

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