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Swiss Card

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kimbhiker
kimbhiker
1 post
new member
Jun 6, 2010 - 5:28 PM
I will flying into Zurich on June 10 and plan to immediately travel to Wengen for a week of hiking and possibly a scenic rail trip. I believe the Swiss Card is my best option. Is it possible to buy the card at the Zurich airport? Also, which of the scenic rail trips would you recommend from these areas? I have no reservations at this point so I am flexible. Thank you in advance!
kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:48 AM
the Swiss Card is a really good option -- it gets you "free" train travel from point of entry (Zurich) to initial destination (Wengen), then, on your departure, free travel from wherever you are leaving from (Wengen?) to country exit point (Zurich?). This also works if you are leaving from another place, like Geneva. You also get half off of all other transport during your stay, so it works like a Half Fare Card.

You can buy a Swiss Card at Zurich train station or get one sent to you ahead of time. If you buy it from this site (see "Rail Passes" link on the left) there is no shipping. You can also buy one from www.swisstravelservices.com, but the shipping is pretty expensive.

There are lots of beautiful train trips, but I must say that the ride from Zurich to Wengen is one of them, particularly the stretch where you go right by Lake Thun just before you get to Interlaken. Really breathtaking. The last bit of the journey -- the 15 minute cog train ride up from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen is likely the most spectacular of all. Many of the excursions you may want to take from a Wengen base (e.g., Rothorn, Schynigge Platte) also involve stunning train rides.

I have a 30 page document that describes hikes, excursions, transport tips, etc in the Wengen area. If you want a copy, please send me a private email through this website's mail feature (don't post your email on the public forum) and I will send it to you. This summer will be my 14th trip to Wengen in 14 years.

Best,
KimSanJose
kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:49 AM
Oh, and you don't need reservations on trains, even the long-ish trip from Zurich airport.
Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 7, 2010 - 1:47 PM
Hi kimbhiker, welcome to the forum! KimSanJose, thanks again for your helpful advice. The Swiss Card is for sale at airports and border stations. It's available online as well. Shipping rates depend on your country of residence. In some countries, shipping is for free indeed.

There are plenty of pretty train rides to be made to and from Wengen. Kim already mentioned some of them. To give some further information:
  • you might consider travelling from Zürich to Wengen via Lucerne and the Brünig Pass. You'll cross some beautiful small lakes on your way up to the Brünig Pass and then have a beautiful descent to Brienz. From there, you'll travel on to Interlaken along the northern shore of the impressive lake Brienz. The Swiss Card requires you to take the shortest or cheapest route from the airport to your destination and in fact the Lucerne-Brünig option is cheaper than the one via Bern and Spiez;
  • you'll probably want to travel to Kleine Scheidegg from Wengen. Maybe you'll be heading on to the Jungfraujoch or get down to Grindelwald as well. All are spectacular cog railway rides;
  • the cog railway up to Schynige Platte departs from Wilderswil, which is easily accessible from Wengen;
  • the Brienz Rothorn Bahn leaves from Brienz, which requires a bit of a longer journey, but this can still be easily done within one day;
  • there are of course also train rides which are a bit further away from Wengen. A ride in the beautiful Simmen valley in the direction of Gstaad would be an example. You may even travel in a Golden Pass Panoramic train, which has larger panoramic windows. Please note that this would require seat reservation. Travelling to Kandersteg and on to Brig using the old Lötschberg route (via Goppenstein) can be recommended as well. Of course these are longer (and therefore more expensive) journeys.

Train connections, routes and prices can all be found in the online timetable.

I hope this helps!

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