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Golden Pass train journey late June

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1 post
new member
Mar 10, 2020 - 2:38 PM

Hey everyone

I am visiting Switzerland in late June. This is my itinerary with a few questions, would be really grateful of some help because I have spent hours and hours doing research and am still stuck on a few things.

Day 1 - Land in Zurich. Explore a little of Zurich and get the train to Lucerne. Explore a little of Lucerne in the evening.

Day 2 - Mount Pilatus. Either Golden or Silver Round Trip - does this need to be booked in advance? Or can it be booked on the day? Does anyone recommend which route to take for this? ie boat to or from Alpnachstad and cogwheel up or down?

Day 3 - Golden Pass Journey from Lucerne - Montreux. I have done so much research on this and I am still unsure. Would it be best to book in advance? If so, which site to use? I have tried a few which don't seem to work and the cost varies dramatically (For instance on happyrail through this website they're quoting CHF70+ for just the Zweisimmen to Montreux leg). Also, would it be worth making the short trip to somewhere like Grindelwald from Interlaken on the way? Would a Saver Day Pass be worthwhile for this journey?

Day 4 - Train from Montreux to Geneva, fly home from Geneva.

Any advice / suggestions would be really appreciated.



154 posts
active member
Mar 10, 2020 - 5:25 PM

Day 2 - We've been to Pilatus twice, one time via train to Alpnachstad, cogwheel up & back down to Alpnachstad and the boat back to Lucerne. The second time we took the gondolas up from Kriens, then the cogwheel down to Alpnachstad and train back to Lucerne. Both were enjoyable, but cutting out the boat ride part is faster, saving you about one hour of travel time. Since we were there in October both times, we never considered booking in advance, just showed up at Alpnachstad and Kriens and bought tickets to go to the top. We also had a Swiss Travel Pass, so the train to Alpnachstad and boat back to Lucerne were already covered, as was the bus to Kriens. However, since you'll be there in prime tourist season, you should consider booking it before you arrive at Alpnachstad, Tickets for the cogwheel departures do sell out, in which case you'd need to wait for the next cogwheel up; you could probably book your ticket the day you plan on going rather than weeks in advance. But check the mountaintop weather cams first. The first time we took the trip it was cloudy & drizzly in Lucerne but brilliant sunshine at Pilatus.

If I had to choose one, I'd pick the Silver route simply to save transit time to Alpnachstad but still get to see both sides of the mountain.

Day 3 - Taking a side trip to Grindelwald changes your train rides from a 4h 13m journey to a 7h 7 m journey, not including any time you may spend exploring Grindelwald. That is a lot of time riding and changing trains. The extra three hours may be better spent exploring Montreux. Up to you.

2673 posts
top member
Mar 11, 2020 - 12:12 AM in reply to ChrisVits

Seat reservations are not obligatory on the so called Golden Pass route (actually three separate railways). The 'tourist trap' section is the MOB railway from Zweisimmen to Montreux (only this section is the true 'Golden Pass' although that name itself isn't 'real' but was coined for early British tourists). On this section, the MOB officially calls the trains 'reservation recommended' to cover themselves if it is busy. (Personally even in peak season I've never reserved a train anywhere in Switzerland in 60 years)

Therefore, yes the Saver Day Pass would be ideal as it means you are free to get on any train that suits you on all the railways between Luzern and Montreux via Interlaken. And an SDP would also make a side trip to Grindelwald easy to do. It would take about an extra 2 hours to fit this in.The journey time Interlaken Ost - Grindelwald on the BOB railway (Blue and yellow trains) is 33 minutes.

949 posts
top member &
Mar 11, 2020 - 5:37 AM in reply to ChrisVits

Hi ChrisVits and welcome to MySwissAlps,

Although seat reservations are not compulsory on the Golden Pass we recommend it on the Zweisimmen to Montreux leg, you can do that at www.myswissalps.com/goldenpass/tickets.

Read about how to get to Pilatus here: www.myswissalps.com/pilatus/gettingthere and www.myswissalps.com/pilatus. You can buy your tickets at www.myswissalps.com/pilatus/tickets, although wait at least until you see the weather forecast, so book a maximum 1-2 days prior to your trip to Pilatus if you want to book in advance. I, personally would not book it in advance, I like to wait to see the weather and the webcams in the morning. I like the app of MeteoSwiss, it has great animation for clouds too (also for rain and temperature).

Saver Day Pass can be cheaper if you buy it in advance, it can also run out, read about the Saver Day Pass at www.myswissalps.com/saverdaypass, and you can buy your Saver Day Pass at www.myswissalps.com/saverdaypass/price.


Last modified on Mar 11, 2020 - 5:38 AM by Ildiko

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