Best connection to Lauterbrunnen - Zurich /Geneva?

Best connection to Lauterbrunnen - Zurich /Geneva?

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Posts: 9. This thread is closed.
Mara
Mara
9 posts
new member
Sep 13, 2017 - 1:30 PM

Hi everyone -- first time poster. I'm already starting to plan my trip next summer, and have never taken Switzerland's trains, so I'm a little anxious about it, especially given all the connections required to get to Lauterbrunnen...

If given a choice, would you say the trip from Zurich Airport, or Geneva Airport, is easier to navigate by train? I am fortune that, at this point, my inbound flight to both of these cities has identical, affordable options from my home city. However, a caveat is that I must fly out of Geneva on my outbound flight (going to a Scandinavian country after Switzerland). I am fully ready to have this be a multi-city train excursion; my priority is ease and low-stress. The last time I was in Switzerland my husband and I rented a car, and that was definitely a huge mistake.

Thank you!

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 13, 2017 - 5:43 PM in reply to Mara

Hi Mara and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Zurich airport is a faster trip by about 45 minutes over Geneva to Lauterbrunnen (both can be done with 2 connections). You can find train schedules on the Swiss railways timetable here.

Are you planning on staying in Lauterbrunnen for your trip and then exploring the Jungfrau region only?

I ask to know what might be the best rail pass for you. If that is your plan I would look at the Jungfrau Travel Pass and perhaps the Swiss Transfer Ticket to get to and from Lauterbrunnen to the airports you decide to use.

Be sure to also read our web page on how to choose the best rail pass as well.

Let us know if you have further questions!

Lucas

Mara
Mara
9 posts
new member
Sep 13, 2017 - 8:34 PM in reply to Lucas

Thank you so much for the tips! We hope to go straight from the Zurich or Geneva airport to Wengen, stay for 6 days, and use the town as our home base to explore everything within walking distance. Last July we were in Murren for 5 days as part of a longer trip to Austria and Germany too, and fell in love with the area and can't wait to go back. But this time without a car (what were we thinking?)!

Thank you for suggesting the Jungfrau Pass. It sounds right for us, since we'll be taking cable cars and shuttles/trains often (we like to hike up, then take transportation down). We'd also like to return to our old spots in Murren and get a sandwich from our favorite little deli. I am happy to see that the Swiss Transfer Ticket is round-trip! At first I thought it was 157 USD for a one-way ticket ;-)

Speaking of costs, is Wengen generally more expensive than Murren? I am a bit surprised to see rates of 200+ USD for overnights at the hotels there, while Murren's rates were quite a bit more affordable.

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 13, 2017 - 10:11 PM in reply to Mara

I hadn't heard that they are more expensive in Wengen no, but I think the town is a bit more popular - hard to say.

We have a list of hotels we can recommend for both towns noted here: Mürren & Wengen, and perhaps Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald could work as well.

Lucas

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1234 posts
top member
Sep 14, 2017 - 4:54 AM in reply to Mara

Hi Mara,

>> ... and have never taken Switzerland's trains, so I'm a little anxious about it, especially given all the connections required to get to Lauterbrunnen.

Time and time again, first-time travellers to Switzerland mention how easy it is to travel by train, and I’m sure you will be no different :-)

Regardless of which route you choose, you will be able to transfer between platforms or out onto the street without encountering any steps. Most stations will have a ramp, and some also have lifts and/or escalators. At some stations, the platforms, concourse and street are all on one level, and you don’t even need to use a ramp (e.g. Luzern). Sometimes your transfer could just be from one side of the platform to the other. The timetable will tell you in most cases on which platform your train will arrive, and from which platform your connecting train will depart. Platforms are well marked and signposted.

>> If given a choice, would you say the trip from Zurich Airport, or Geneva Airport, is easier to navigate by train? … I must fly out of Geneva on my outbound flight.

None of the options are the least bit difficult, so my suggestion is to pick the most scenic options :-)

If I were you, I would fly into Zürich and out of Geneva, and incorporate the Golden Pass scenic route into both your incoming and outgoing journeys.

Zürich Airport to Lauterbrunnen

From Zürich Airport, travel to Lauterbrunnen via Luzern. The sector between Luzern and Interlaken Ost is particularly scenic, and forms part of the Golden Pass route. You will change trains at Luzern and Interlaken Ost before arriving at Lauterbrunnen.

Luzern is a very easy change, most likely from Platform 4 or 6 to Platform 12, all on the same level, so no stairs or ramps. You will be able to roll your luggage onto the train at Luzern, as at least some doorways of the train are level with the platform (look for the wheelchair graphic on doors). Sit on the right for the best views.

Then at Interlaken Ost you will need to change again. This applies regardless of which route you choose. You will be able to roll your luggage off the train at Interlaken Ost, and transfer to your next platform via ramps.

At Interlaken Ost, you will board your next train on Platform 2. The timetable will tell you that your train to Lauterbrunnen departs from Platform 2A. (If you were going to Grindelwald, it would tell you that your train is departing from Platform 2B.) It is all the same train, but the carriages will be split at Zweilütschinen. The carriages that started out on Sector A of Platform 2 at Interlaken Ost will continue to Lauterbrunnen. Those that started out on Sector B of Platform 2 at Interlaken Ost will continue to Grindelwald. It is very easy to find the right section of the train, as the platform sectors are shown on blue-and-white signs above each platform. You can also double-check the destination as you board the train, as it is displayed on the side of the carriages near the entrance doors.

Lauterbrunnen to Geneva

You can travel from Lauterbrunnen to Geneva by incorporating the Golden Pass route from Interlaken Ost to Montreux via Zweisimmen, then get normal trains to Geneva. This takes longer, but is by far more scenic than going via Bern.

Depending on the connections you choose, you may need to change trains at Spiez. This is a very easy change on the same platform – either Platform 2 (the same side you arrive on) or Platform 3 (the other side of the same platform).

At Montreux, it will usually be a platform change from platform 6 to platform 1. There are escalators and lifts in Sector B of the platforms.

It would be a good idea to reserve seats for the sector Zweisimmen to Montreux, as this can get busy with large tour groups.

There is more information about the Golden Pass route here:

www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass

Alpenrose

Last modified on Sep 14, 2017 - 4:55 AM by Alpenrose666
Marki
Marki
74 posts
active member
Sep 14, 2017 - 11:14 AM

My wife and I were first time travelers from Zurich to Wengen 3 years ago and were surprised how easy it was. You may already know this but we didn't, if you miss a connection on your timetable, usually you can get the same connection 30 minutes later often on the same track. Your ticket will likely be good for the whole day so no hurry. We really enjoyed The Beausite Park Hotel in Wengen. Breakfast and dinner may be included at a reasonable price. The hotel was highly rated on trip advisor and the food was excellent. Mark

Mara
Mara
9 posts
new member
Sep 14, 2017 - 1:32 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

This is a tremendous help Alpenrose -- thank you! I am relieved to not only hear that traveling by train is simple,but also that we shouldn't have to worry about carrying our heavy suitcases and backpacks up staircases to a platform, as we've encountered in many other countries!

Mara
Mara
9 posts
new member
Sep 14, 2017 - 1:35 PM in reply to Marki

Marki, thank you for providing yet another point of relief for us, that if we miss a train, another will soon follow! That is sure to diminish any stress by quite a bit. I also look forward to checking out the Beausite Park Hotel once reservations open for next June. I suppose I'm a bit early in the game by trying to reserve now ;-)

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1234 posts
top member
Sep 15, 2017 - 3:18 AM in reply to Mara

>> I am relieved to not only hear that traveling by train is simple,but also that we shouldn't have to worry about carrying our heavy suitcases and backpacks up staircases to a platform

Yes, ramps are a definite advantage when travelling with luggage!

Whenever you need to use an underpass to transfer between platforms, there are usually both stairs and a ramp leading down to the underpass. If you first come across the stairs when walking along the platform, keep walking a little further and you will see the ramp. At Interlaken Ost, the ramps are at Sector B of the platforms (see attached station plan).

You can check step-free access for any station on the following site:

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/railway-stations.html

On the page for your chosen station, look under Equipment and mobility at the station and it will provide information about Step-free access to platforms (lift/ramp). (For some stations, there is more than one Equipment and mobility at the station section on the page, as it is a bit of a mess since they redesigned the site!)

Alpenrose

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