Zurich to Wengen Rail Travel

Zurich to Wengen Rail Travel

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CarolineJR
CarolineJR
1 post
new member
Jan 21, 2015 - 3:00 PM

Hi

We're going to Wengen at the end of August/early September for a week and are trying to determine the best value rail option.

We'll be taking the train from Zurich to Wengen and back, and are unsure whether it is best to buy a Swiss Pass or a return ticket. Our holiday will mainly be hiking, however we're still unsure how much rail travel we'll need to do whilst in the region to get to various hikes.

How much is a return ticket versus a Swiss Pass? If we bought a Swiss Pass will it enable us to travel for free on the rail networks around Wengen? Or is there an alternative that would be better?

Thanks so much.

Caroline

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Jan 22, 2015 - 5:26 AM in reply to CarolineJR

Hello Caroline and welcome to the forum!

You are choosing a wonderful time to visit Switzerland and the Bernese Oberland. In early September the weather is usually at its finest and the summer crowds have gone home.

You will be taking lots of high mountain transports (cog trains, gondolas, lifts, etc) to get to the gorgeous scenery and hiking trailheads. And these transports are very expensive, much more expensive than the rail transports that get you from Zurich up to Wengen. Therefore you most certainly need a rail pass. My recommendation is the Half Fare Card, which is reasonably priced (about 120 CHF) and gets you a 50% discount on all forms of transportation in the entire country. You can buy the much more expensive Swiss Pass but this only gets you 50% - 25% off of the high mountain transports (e.g. above Wengen or Mürren). So you pay dearly for the "free" transport up to the high mountain areas and then get the same or worse discounts on the expensive trips. Makes no sense to me.

You don't say who the "we"are, but if you are traveling with children under 15 they will ride for free with the upon-request Family Card. It is free but you must request/order it at the time you buy your Half Fare Cards.

You can buy Half Fare Cards at the major train stations throughout the country or on-line and have them shipped to your home. This site has many good links, just click on "How To Travel" and go from there.

I have written a 45+ page document on Wengen and the area that will likely answer many of your questions. Arno and Annika have been good enough to make a link to that which you can find at myswissalps.com/forum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 22, 2015 - 7:19 AM

Hi Caroline,

Yes, a Swiss Half Fare Card would most probably be your best option. However, I recommend to combine it with a Swiss Transfer Ticket: the so-called "Swiss Transfer Ticket with Swiss Half Fare Card Combi". The Swiss Transfer Ticket gets you a free ride from Zurich to Wengen and back, and the Swiss Half Fare Card is included as an add-on product for half the regular price. All in all you save a bit more that way, than with just a Swiss Half Fare Card. Most online prices are considerably lower than in Switzerland right now, so that's where you'd best buy. In your case, as a UK resident, you can get the ticket through the Swiss Railways UK webshop here.

Just to be sure, you can also have a look at the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland. It includes many cable cars and cogwheel trains around Wengen for free, so you can simply board without buying a ticket first. Please find all about it here, download the map, and compare it to the ticket I recommended above. See here for a detailed example on how to work out which option is cheaper.

Have a wonderful time in Wengen!

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