Hi babushka, and welcome to MySwissAlps!
>> 3rd week of April ... Planning to base in Grindelwald or Interlaken for 2 days and Lucerne for 2 days ... Jungfrau from Grindelwald/Interlaken and Pilatus from Lucerne) ... also interested in taking the Panoromic view train ride (or is it the Golden Pass)
There's no such thing called the "panoramic view train ride", so we can't be sure what you mean. The Golden Pass route would be a logical one to take, given where you will be based. See below for links to maps and travel times.
>> Is Grindelwald better option for the first 2 days or Interlaken or it doesn't matter
Interlaken itself has the least to offer of any town in the Jungfrau Region in my opinion. It's a good transport hub and has a lot of shops, restaurants and hotels, but has little charm.
I would prefer Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren or Lauterbrunnen, but the choice is yours.
>> We can also stay in Lucerne for all 4 days for that matter?
Travelling to the Jungfrau Region from Luzern will add substantially to your travel times, and limit what you can manage to do and see in one day, but is feasible. Use the Swiss Timetable to check travel times from Luzern to the places you wish to visit in the Jungfrau Region.
>> For train to the mountain top of Jungfrau, Panoramic view train, Golden Pass ride and also for all the transfers from/to airports and intercity, will it be reasonable to buy the Swiss pass for all?
There is only one way to know for sure: add up the full-fare cost of all trips you intend to do by train, bus, cable car and boat and compare the total cost of separate tickets with the cost of doing the same trips with the Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card etc.
You can find fares in the Swiss Timetable.
It is important to be aware that the fare shown for any trip in the Swiss Timetable defaults to half fare, as most Swiss residents will have a Half-Fare travelcard which entitles them to this discount. Your calculations need to be based on full fares, which are double the default fare that comes up.
There is information and a spreadsheet here to help you:
www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass
If you can't be bothered doing the calculations, a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass might suit you. You can download a map from the link below, showing what is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass.
As explained in the legend on the map, red lines are trains, yellow lines are buses, black lines are cable cars, white lines are boats. Solid lines are free, dotted lines are discounted. Discounts are mostly 50%, but only 25% for transport where you see the number "1" inside circle near the dotted line. There are a few grey lines on the map as well, which indicate transport that is not covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. Dashed red lines on the map are railway tunnels, and are on routes that are free with the Swiss Travel Pass.
>> I am a bit confused about the Panorama train rides and the Golden Pass ride. Given the base points where we will be staying, it would be really helpful if any of you can suggest which one to go for.
The Golden Pass route (Luzern-Interlaken Ost-Zweisimmen-Montreux) would be the logical one if you are staying in Luzern and Interlaken or Grindelwald. There is a map of the panoramic routes attached to the Swiss Travel Pass validity map (linked above), so you can see for yourself where they are in relation to where you plan to be.
>> I am also unable to find the time taken by these rides and what is the departure and arrival points of these. Are they round trips and can be done within a day?
Approximate travel times for the scenic routes (one way) are as follows:
- Golden Pass line (full) from Luzern to Montreux via Meiringen and Zweisimmen: 5 hours
- Golden Pass Line (part) from Luzern to Interlaken Ost: almost 2 hours
- Golden Pass line (part) from Interlaken Ost to Montreux (via Zweisimmen): 3 hours
- Gotthard Panorama Express (boat and train) from Luzern to Lugano (via Göschenen): 5.5 hours NB Not operating 3 Apr 2018-20 Apr 2018
- Palm Express (PostBus) from Lugano to St Moritz: almost 4 hours
- Voralpen-Express from Luzern to St. Gallen: 2.25 hours
- RegioExpress Lötschberger (full) from Bern to Brig: 1.75 hours
- RegioExpress Lötschberger (part) from Spiez to Brig via Kandersteg: Just over 1 hour
- Centovalli Railway from Locarno to Domodossola: 1.75 hours
If you want to calculate travel time for short sectors along these routes, you can use the Swiss Timetable:
>> Which is more scenic and must see between Titlis and Pilatus?
Opinions will vary, and neither would disappoint. Read the information and decide what's right for you.
The cogwheel train from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm will not be operating in April, but you can go up and back on the cableway from Kriens.