Direct train route Zurich airport-Interlaken Ost?

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21 posts
new member
May 19, 2018 - 12:32 AM

Hello from the U.S.

We fly into Zurich Flughafen (ZRH) Monday, August 6. We'll have the Swiss Travel Pass. Is there a direct train route from ZRH-Interlakken Ost and if so, which train is it? I have been studying the transportation system for a few weeks now and still feel unsure of my understanding of which trains go to which destinations. Some sites say there is a direct train route while others say there is a mandatory connection in Bern to get to Interlaken. (I have taken the advice from many forums to download the SBB mobile app for utilization once we are in Switzerland).


Thank you kindly,


10496 posts
top member
May 19, 2018 - 12:50 AM in reply to Aylaclan

The Swiss railways (SBB) timetable or app (which is great) is what will show you the correct connections/schedules.

When using either, enter Zurich airport to Interlaken Ost (or any other town or mountain you are going to). In this case, it will show you that you always connect in Bern and sometimes also at Zurich main station as well. Either route is about 2 hours and 10/15 minutes.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
May 19, 2018 - 5:16 AM in reply to Aylaclan

Hi Susan,

>> Is there a direct train route from ZRH-Interlakken Ost and if so, which train is it?

You will always have at least one transfer between Zürich Flughafen (airport) and Interlaken Ost.

The fastest route involves a transfer at Bern. The most scenic route involves a transfer at Luzern, but takes about an hour longer. If you can spare the time, I would definitely recommend the route via Luzern instead of via Bern. Here is a description of it:

Sit on the right if you can. Leaving Luzern, the train soon reaches an arm of the Vierwaldstättersee/Lake Lucerne. Then it passes the Pilatus cogwheel train station at Alpnachstad (on the right), and travels along the shore of the Sarnersee (Lake Sarn) at lakeside level. If the weather is pleasant, there will likely be some hikers on the walking path which circles the lake and is about the only thing separating the train from the lake for most of the way. There are lovely views across the lake to mountains, meadows, woods and villages on the other side.

From Giswil, the train climbs steeply up to the Brünig Pass, providing elevated views over the Lungernersee (Lake Lungern) with its pretty villages, meadows and mountains.

At Brünig-Hasliberg station, the train reaches the highest point of the Golden Pass route between Luzern and Interlaken Ost (1,002 metres above sea level), having climbed over 500 metres in altitude since leaving Giswil. At some times of the year, Brünig-Hasliberg is under snow.

During the descent from Brünig-Hasliberg to Meiringen, a wide, level-floored valley with scattered buildings and a very straight river running through it is visible far below. The river is the Aare River, which here has been straightened and looks like a canal.

At Meiringen, the train changes direction, and passengers sitting on the right are now on the left. However, there's no need to move to the other side of the train, because the best views from Meiringen to Interlaken Ost are on the left.

Leaving Meiringen, the train travels alongside the straight Aare River seen earlier from high above on the Brünig Pass, and shortly reaches another lake, the Brienzersee, along which it travels to Interlaken Ost.

Here is a height profile of Golden Pass route Luzern to Interlaken Ost

Whether you choose the fast route via Bern, or the scenic route via Luzern, transfers are easy.

  • At Bern, the transfer will usually be between platforms 5 and 6, which are two sides of the same platform.
  • At Luzern, you just walk up the platform to the front of the train and along the main councourse to your next platform, which is on the same level. You can wheel your luggage onto the train through a door level with the platform - look for a door with a wheelchair logo on it.


Last modified on May 20, 2018 - 6:46 PM by Arno
21 posts
new member
May 20, 2018 - 10:45 AM in reply to Removed user

Wow! Thank you kindly for the comprehensive and quick reply!


32 posts
active member
May 20, 2018 - 8:52 PM

Can I please endorse Alpenrose's comments? When you travel from the airport to Interlaken Ost via Luzern it is not just a 'transfer to my accommodation' journey. It is your first sightseeing trip on your Swiss holiday - with lakes, alps and cog railway sections! Even in mist and rain it's a charming trip. In early August it is likely to be breathtaking!

Reading Alpenrose's description made a happy start to my day, and brought back wonderful memories. We always use this route when we travel to our annual destination of Oberried am Brienzersee. It truly is a journey you can do again and again...

Best wishes for a marvellous holiday.



12324 posts
expert &
May 21, 2018 - 8:33 AM in reply to Minnie

Good point Minnie! I did that route on my first day ever in Switzerland, just before sunset. It certainly was impressive.

21 posts
new member
May 21, 2018 - 12:00 PM in reply to Minnie

Thanks minnie!

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