Need assistance with Golden Pass & Bernina Express

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2 posts
new member
May 25, 2017 - 1:42 PM

Hi All,

There are two of us travelling through Switzerland from Paris on our way to Milan. We are staying for 4 nights and staying Lausanne on the first night which is 1st July.

1. I am having a great deal of difficulty understanding if we can book a trip to Interlaken Oust from Montreaux via the cheese and chocolate towns. The issue we are having is if we book a seat on the golden pass line, then we weren't sure how we can get off at Gruyeres and then Broc -Fabrique (apologies for spelling errors)on our way to Interlaken Oust if we have a reservation. do we just book seperate legs of the trip or do we just chance it and not book tickets?

2. We are also contemplating buying a half-fare swiss pass or if we just purchase standard tickets as we aren't sure which is the most economical in the long run.

3. We are also looking at traveling along the Bernina express route from Chur to Tirano and then from there to Milan. I'm not sure if we need to book official Bernina Express reservations as on the sbb rail site it looks like we can catch the Bernina express from chur at a substantially cheeper price?

Very confused and trying to travel wisely with limited funds. Would appreciate ANY assistance. thank you :)

12143 posts
expert &
May 25, 2017 - 1:58 PM

Hi liisabaus,

Welcome to MySwissAlps!

1. Yes, you can travel from Lausanne to Montreux, take the Golden Pass line to Montbovon, switch for Gruyères for the cheese factory and continue to Broc-Fabrique for the chocolate factory. Finally you can return to Montbovon and continue on the Golden Pass line to Interlaken Ost, or take the quicker route via Bulle and Bern. I wouldn't bother with reservations and rather be flexible on such a long full day.

2. If you've also planned the Bernina Express at the other side of the country you will do a fair amount of traveling. Regular tickets are likely the most expensive option. I'd recommend to do the math and compare the Swiss Half Fare Card and 4-day Swiss Travel Pass (July 2 - 5). Additionally you need tickets from Paris to Lausanne and Tirano to Milan.

3. I'm not sure what you meant by the cheaper price. With a Swiss Travel Pass this train would be free, apart from the seat reservations. If you choose to travel on regular trains on the same route you won't need seat reservations either.

The above links should help you to figure it all out. If not, just let us know.

2 posts
new member
May 26, 2017 - 6:04 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you Arno

I appreciate your response. I just have a couple of further questions:

1. a) Given that we are travelling in an apparently busy time of the year, we were told that we would need to book. It would be great if you don't think we need to as we would prefer to have more flexibility on our trip from Lausanne to Interlaken ost with stops on the way to Cheese and Chocolate heaven :) It would be much easier if we can just purchase a ticket at each station rather than pre-booking and reserving seats. Do you think we can risk it?

1 b). Can we see the cheese and chocolate stops without going on the chocolate train? it looks like we can just take the Golden Pass line there too? or then whether we do book the chocolate train and then rather than travelling back to Montreux we would just purchase a ticket from Broc-Fabrique to Montbovon and then get back on to the Golden Pass line to Interlaken from Montbovon. Would this be possible?

2.) We were looking at a swiss half fare card a the travel pass as the possible best option. We've booked our travel from Paris to Lausanne already, however we were told that we couldn't book the regional train from Tirano to Milan, it was just a case of turn up and purchase a ticket at the station.

3.a) If we decide to not purchase a Bernina Express ticket, someone mentioned that there are carts at the back of the Bernina express train that are not as scenic with big windows etc, however still give you great views at a more affordable price. Is this really a possibility?

3 b) If it is a possibility, would we need to reserve these via sbb rail site or can we just get a ticket at the station without reservation? we are just worried due to it being the beginning of July and possibly being busy.

4) finally, I saw on the Swiss rail website that we can transfer our luggage from Lausanne to Interlaken on the day we are travelling the golden pass, just wanted to check if that is the case as it would make it so much easier than carrying our luggage everywhere on the day.

Thank you so much, sorry for the long questions....

10408 posts
expert &
May 26, 2017 - 9:34 AM in reply to liisabaus

Hi Liisabaus,

  1. Reservations are not required and for your schedule that day, I agree with Arno - better to not reserve and buy tickets as you go - but there is a chance on the MOB panoramic train that the seats are full in July and you may have to stand. Just FYI.
    1b. You don't have to be on the chocolate train no. Yes, you can take the train from Broc-Fabrique to Montbovon. you can check all train routes/schedules on the timetable here.
  2. To pick the best pass have a look at Arno's link to 'do the math' to be sure. Buying your ticket in Tirano for the train to Milan is fine but you should be able to book the ticket via Arno's link above as well.
  3. There is 1st class and 2nd class on the Bernina Express and there are differences like you mentioned above - you can buy a 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass and travel free on the Bernina Express (plus seat reservations). You can also travel on a regular regional train with no extra reservation costs that travel the same route (as Arno mentioned).
    3b. See above
  4. Yes, you can send luggage ahead with Swiss railways. If you need it on the same day you must book express luggage and drop at the station before 9am - more details can be found here.


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