Travel with the Swiss Travel Pass / reservations

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Liz 103
Liz 103
5 posts
new member
Jun 2, 2018 - 9:17 PM

My family of 6 will be traveling from the US for Christmas. We will be arriving in Zurich and going onto Grindelwald for a week. Once we purchase the Swiss Travel pass (8 consecutive days), we just have to arrive from the Zurich airport, go to HB and board a train to Grindelwald, no prior reservation is required? My concern is seating availability. Do I need to worry about that, or we will have seats available to us?

1960man
1960man
593 posts
top member
Jun 2, 2018 - 11:15 PM

In terms of ticketing - yes it is as simple as that. If you already have the Pass with you just go from the Airport arrirvals to the railway platforms.

BUT the travel is not a simple as you have written, although you can avoid Zurich's main station, and also avoid changing trains at the busy Bern HB main station.

You will need to get on a route IC8 service. Route IC8 is Romanshorn - Zurich Flughafen - Bern - Spiez - Brig. Trains leave Zurich Flughafen at xx.40 past each hour (eg 11.40)

To avoid changing at Bern, continue on the IC8 service as far as SPIEZ, then change into a train going towards Interlaken Ost.

At Interlaken Ost you change onto the BOB (Berner Oberland Bahn) narrow gauge train (bright blue and yellow livery). The BOB trains run as one train which splits at Zweilutschinen. Make sure you board the portion going to Grindelwald not the portion going to Lauterbrunnen!

No advanced reservation is needed on any of the trains I have just described, although you will need to board trains promptly if there are six of you together.

Last modified on Jun 2, 2018 - 11:17 PM by 1960man
Lucas
Lucas
9215 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 3, 2018 - 5:06 AM in reply to Liz 103

Hi Liz103 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

You can find the train schedules here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable
Simply enter to/from and it shows you the quickest routes and changes required. IE Zurich airport to Grindelwald.

To see what mountains and routes are covered by the Swiss Travel Pass look here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass/ validity & to buy the Swiss Travel Pass online and get it emailed to you look here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass/ price

Reservations are not required nor often possible on 95% of Swiss trains.

Liz 103
Liz 103
5 posts
new member
Jun 3, 2018 - 2:36 PM in reply to 1960man

Thanks for your detailed response. We were planning on leaving from Zurich HB because we would like to see and walking around in the Christmas market there before we continue to Grindelwald. I was in their site yesterday about renting a locker for our luggage, but it seems that there are no lockers available on the weekends. I think I will call to verify.

Lucas
Lucas
9215 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 3, 2018 - 7:04 PM in reply to Liz 103

Yes, there is a nice Christmas market at Zurich train station - I went there frequently. :)

Luggage lockers are definitely available on the weekends.

Last modified on Jun 3, 2018 - 7:05 PM by Lucas
Tfisch
Tfisch
13 posts
new member
Jun 3, 2018 - 9:17 PM

My wife and I each purchased the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass June 1 because we are traveling from Geneva to interlaken to Innsbrick over 8 days. Cost about $410 USD each at Geneva station. It is nice to just walk onto most trains without buying a ticket.

However, except for Schilthorn, the other mountains and some in between stops at higher elevations still require payments of about $30 to $40, with Jungfrau $150. You do not say how many of your 6 are younger children which is a big cost factor. Maybe you have done all the math on the various passes and decided the Swiss Travel Pass is Best. But if not, as others have recommended, the spreadsheet may show that a half price pass and or a regional pass.

If you are staying in one area around Interlaken, might save you some money with family of 6, Maybe not. As for getting a seat on long distant trains, The Swiss run an excellent system and seem to add cars to make sure enough seats are available although there may be a few times when people have to stand for a few stops until loads balance out. If you happen to get on a train at an origination point, seats start as empty so you have a very good chance of sitting together. You may know that there are luggage racks at the end of each car and sometimes in the middle for bigger bags. If you all get on a crowded car you might have to split up and grab seats and luggage space and move closer together as the train proceeds. But chances are big crowds will not be common. Good luck in your planning and hope you enjoy your trip as much as we are! And thanks to all who helped us on this site. It makes a difference.

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