Train from Lucerne to Bern & rail pass?

Train from Lucerne to Bern & rail pass?

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MrsM19
MrsM19
29 posts
active member
Mar 28, 2018 - 4:46 AM

Hello and Good Day!

We are staying 3 nights in Lucern and we would like to dedicate one day to visiting Bern. We would like to know which stop to choose as there are about 10 stops in Bern.

Also, we are confused with the different types of rail passes for Switzerland. Can someone please explain the differences? This is our itinerary for our trip this coming May. We are still deciding which places to go to in Interlaken and others as there are so much to see, but I hope this gives you an idea on where we are headed.

  • Arrive in Zurich
  • Train to Lucern for 3 days - arrives after lunch
    • Day 1 - Explore in Downtown Lucern
    • Day 2 - Mount Pilatus - will this take half a day? According to my research, most people had mentioned that they spent at least half their day. What other attractions you think we can do for the rest of the day?
    • Day 3 - Bern (which stop to get off?)
  • Train to Interlaken (rail included in the package we bought) - 4 nights
  • Day 1 - TBD
  • Day 2 - TBD
  • Day 3 - TBD
  • Day 4 - TBD
  • Take train from Interlaken to Zermatt (2 nights) - which train to take?
  • Day 1 - TBD
  • Day 2 - TBD
  • Take Train from Zermatt to Montreux (2 nights) - which train to take?
  • Day 1 - TBD
  • Day 2 - TBD
  • Take train from Montreux to Geneva (1 night) - included in the package we bought
  • Train to Paris as our last stop

My sister had mentioned that she bought Tell-Pass as advised by the concierge at the airport. She went and we are going to similar places and wondering if the Tell-Pass is the way to go. Will it be less if I buy the tickets in advance? I just don't want to buy them now and find out that these are not the right tickets in my case. Any advice you can give would be very very helpful.

Thank you so much!

Faye

rockoyster
rockoyster
3735 posts
expert
Mar 28, 2018 - 5:38 AM in reply to MrsM19

Hello Faye and Welcome to MySwissAlps

The Tell Pass(www.myswissalps.com/te llpass) is very useful if you are just spending time in Lucerne but maybe not so good considering your broader plans. Some people report getting Tell Pass as part of hotel package in Lucerne.

For a dicussion on choosing a pass see www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/permalink/g7 xWjKDW9mqS6v8AAFcRTQ but what does "rail included in the package we bought".

If you search for Lucerne to Bern using the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) it will take you to the main station. You can use the same timetable to work out how to get from anywhere to anywhere else in Switzerland.

You can search this site for pages on any of the towns you have listed in your itinerary.

When are you travelling?

Lucas
Lucas
7269 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 28, 2018 - 12:00 PM in reply to MrsM19

Hi Faye,

Yes, there is only 1 train station in Bern (downtown). It is just called "Bern" use that for the timetable. There are other smaller ones for local trains you don't need to worry about.

Other than Mt. Pilatus, other people may try a 2nd mountain like Rigi. Or look at a Lake Lucerne boat cruise.

The timetable will show you what your train options are for each trip between towns.

For ideas on what to do on your other towns check out the following links:

Last modified on Mar 30, 2018 - 6:19 AM by Arno
Peterli
Peterli
459 posts
top member
Mar 29, 2018 - 2:36 AM in reply to MrsM19

Hello Faye,

There are other stations in the Bern area but the only one you need concern yourself with is Bern Hauptbahnhof.

If I were you I would re-number all of your days in a single sequence. Thus, the four days you presently have designated for Interlaken I would number Days 4, 5, 6, 7 or am I already off on my count ? That way there will be little of no chance of losing count. The way you have it set up right now is confusing, at least it is to me. I would make it clear which days are the major moves (Train Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Interlaken, Interlaken to Zermatt, Zermatt to Montreux, and Montreux to Geneva.

Another question: Are you coming by train to Zurich ? From Paris ? I ask this because I see your last movement is taking the train from Geneva to Paris, this on day __?

It might help people to give advice if you would provide more details about the "package" that you bought. All I see so far is train from Lucerne (I think) to Interlaken, and something (train or hotel ?) for Montreux to Geneva.

Last modified on Mar 29, 2018 - 2:39 AM by Peterli
MrsM19
MrsM19
29 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 4:19 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster,

Thank you so much for sending a link on which pass to purchase and the timetable. These really help.

When I bought our airfare and hotel package, some rail tickets are already included such as the one from Lucerne to Interlaken and the one from Montreux to Geneva. We are just not sure which rail tickets these are. I am guessing they are the single use rail tickets. I have to get more information from the Travel Agency I booked this from.

We arrive in Zurich on May 6th and will go straight to Lucerne. We hope the weather cooperates when we are there as the weather in Switzerland is unpredictable. Fingers crossed.

Thank you again!

Faye

MrsM19
MrsM19
29 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 4:24 AM

Hi Lucas,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply. We will keep the Bern station in mind that there is only one Bern and not to worry about others. :)

We will look into Mt. Rigi but we will probably do the Lake Lucerne cruise. My sister had also suggested to do a cruise of Lake Brienz in Interlaken.

Thank you for sending the links to the things to do and timetable. Really appreciate it!

Faye

Peterli
Peterli
459 posts
top member
Mar 29, 2018 - 4:31 AM in reply to MrsM19

Well, I am not Rockoyster, but you are kind of answering my question about your "package". Sounds like you have two single use tickets, but why you have these in particular and no others is certainly a good question for your travel agent. Now, I am reading that there is also a "hotel package" component to your booking. So what hotels are included in your package ?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3735 posts
expert
Mar 29, 2018 - 4:38 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli,

I beat you to it on the question abut the "package".

Peterli
Peterli
459 posts
top member
Mar 29, 2018 - 4:49 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster,

Yup, I see that, I guess I should read a bit more carefully. I also asked about the hotel component of whatever this "package" is.

Last modified on Mar 29, 2018 - 4:50 AM by Peterli
MrsM19
MrsM19
29 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:01 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli,

Appreciate your response. That is really a good idea to re-number the days in single sequence. I've redone it and it makes more sense now. :) See below.

We bought an airfare and hotel package that includes rail tickets from Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Interlaken and Montreux to Geneva. We just don't know which rail tickets they are. We are in the process of finding out.

  • Day 1 (05/06) - Arrive in Zurich via Plane
    • Take the train to Lucerne and arrives after lunch
    • Explore Downtown Lucerne
  • Day 2 (05/07) - Mount Pilatus / Lake Lucerne Cruise or Mt. Rigi
  • Day 3 (05/08) - Day Trip to Bern - Take the train to Bern
  • Day 4 (05/09) - Take the train to Interlaken (rail tickets included in trip package)
  • Day 5 (05/10) - Interlaken/Wengen/Murren/Bernese Oberland/Lauterbrunnen/Lake Brienz (as ideas for the 3 full days we have)
  • Day 6 (05/11) - TBD
  • Day 7 (05/12) - TBD
  • Day 8 (05/13) - Take the train to Zermatt (which rail pass/ticket to buy?)
  • Day 9 (05/14) - Zermatt - TBD
  • Day 10 (05/15) - Take the train to Montreux (which rail pass/ticket to buy?)
  • Day 11 (05/16) - Montreux - TBD
  • Day 12 (05/17) - Take the train to Geneva - stay for 1 night
  • Day 13 (05/18) - Take the train from Geneva to Paris
  • Day 14 (05/19) - Paris
  • Day 15 (05/20) - Depart Paris

Faye

Last modified on Mar 29, 2018 - 5:02 AM by MrsM19
MrsM19
MrsM19
29 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:11 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli,

Yes, that is a very good question that rail tickets are included for others but not for Interlaken to Zermatt and Zermatt to Montreux. We are staying at Krone Luzern Altstadt Hotel in Lucerne. Do you think they offer a Tell-Pass? We didn't book a hotel for Interlaken in this airfare/hotel package; as we booked our own in Wengen/Murren area.

Faye

rockoyster
rockoyster
3735 posts
expert
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:17 AM in reply to MrsM19

Hello Faye,

Krone looks nice. They have a Tell Pass deal until the end of March "The offer is valid for two or more nights, booked directly on our website".

Bern might be a better day trip from Interlaken (maybe less so if staying at Wengen/Mürren). If you do go from Lucerne go at least one way via Langnau for some nice rural Emmenthal scenery.

You probably need to be mindful of a few things not operation on May. See www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/gondolarail-access-to-mountains-in-aprilmay-2018

Lucerne to Interlaken take the Luzern - Interlaken Express which is part of the Golden Pass Line (www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass) for best scenery. That's assuming your packaged ticket provides for that route.

If you are at Lauterbrunnen a very nice circuit to do is to Grütschalp (cable car), Mürren (cogwheel train), Gimmelwald (cable car), Stechelberg (cable car), Lauterbrunnen (bus). From Mürren you can easily visit Schiltorn and the Birg Thrill Walk. In between Stechelberg and Lauterbrunnen the bus stops at the Trummelbach Falls. Well worth a look.

Interlaken to Zermatt search the SBB timetable via Kandersteg. You will then travel on the Regio-Express Lötschberger train over the traditional, more than 100 year old mountain route between Spiez and Brig, giving you a wonderful view along the impressive peaks and down into the Rhone Valley. It add about 1 hour to the trip but you get to see much more scenery as you avoid the long Lötschberg Base Tunnel which forms part of the more direct route between Spiez and Zermatt via Visp.

Last modified on Mar 29, 2018 - 5:23 AM by rockoyster
Peterli
Peterli
459 posts
top member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:24 AM in reply to MrsM19

Hi Faye,

I must say that I like your layout better now ! So it sounds like your train "package" does not cover travel from Interlaken to Zermatt, Zermatt to Montreux, not to mention your planned day trip by rail to and from Berne and other excursions. Does your travel agent realize that you have quite a bit of other train travel planned (not to mention excursions up to mountains and on lakes) ? I would check with them to make sure exactly what they have included in your package. My thought is that they should sweeten the package so that it fits your plans or else remove it so that you can purchase a pass that is suited to your plans and the length of your stay. I know there is a Swiss Travel Pass for 15 days which might fit your needs, and if so, why pay extra for a partial train package ? Of course, maybe your travel agent got you a super deal for those three train segments. Mind you, Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Interlaken, and Montreux to Geneva are quite short trips (chck on a SBB rail map) and really not that expensive. By the way the 15 day Swiss Travel Pass is 485 CHF (second class) and there is absolutely no need to go first class. Only by checking the prices of the segments in your package and the others you want to make will you know if 485 CHF per person is worth it !

Before I leave you for now (Rockoyster is probably already beating me to it) I should ask again what nights are covered in your hotel "package" ? All of the ones in Lucerne, Interlaken, and Montreux ? Your answer to this will affect any recommendations people might make about staying longer here or there or other possible locations.

MrsM19
MrsM19
29 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:37 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster,

Thank you so much for providing all of these information, really helpful!!! I wouldn't have found out about the closures if you had not mentioned it. Really helpful information on the routes to take and which ones to do for best scenery. You are the best!! Thank you so much, rockoyster!

Faye

MrsM19
MrsM19
29 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:47 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli,

That makes me wonder as well. I customized our own trip online and for some reason it wouldn't give me any option for booking a rail from Interlaken to Zermatt and Zermatt to Montreux. I just booked what was included and from what I remember, the rail tickets from Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Interlaken and Montreux to Geneva are not that expensive, because they are short trips. I will try and see if I can cancel the tickets included (if it makes sense to) without any cancellation fees.

I have hotel packages in Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt, Montreux, and Geneva from May 6th through May 18th.

Lucerne - 3 nights

Interlaken - 4 nights

Zermatt - 2 nights

Montreux - 2 nights

Geneva - 1 night

Thank you so much again. You are also one of the best! :)

Faye

Last modified on Mar 29, 2018 - 5:47 AM by MrsM19
Peterli
Peterli
459 posts
top member
Mar 29, 2018 - 7:01 AM in reply to MrsM19

Hello again,

Earlier in this thread you stated and asked the following: << We are staying at Krone Luzern Altstadt Hotel in Lucerne. Do you think they offer a Tell-Pass? >> I am sorry that I do not know the answer to this question. Perhaps a phone call to that hotel would give you your answer.

You went on to say << We didn't book a hotel for Interlaken in this airfare/hotel package; as we booked our own in Wengen/Murren area. >> but in your last post you said << I have hotel packages in Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt, Montreux, and Geneva from May 6th through May 18th. >>

So I am not sure if you are booked in Interlaken or up in the Lauterbrunnen valley, and perhaps it doesn't really matter that much. Either way, it looks like you are pretty fixed for where you will be staying each night, and if this is the case you could consider delaying your side trip to Berne until you are over in Interlaken (or up the valley) to give you a bit more time around Lucerne and Lake Lucerne (a cruise on the lake is a must). Rockoyster (by the way, he is the best) mentioned that if you do go to Berne from Lucerne, try to work in going or returning via the Emmental. I totally agree, and I would go via Langnau in the morning. On the other hand, if you do go to Berne from Interlaken, the view all along Lake Thoune is pretty nice as well. I could suggest other routes and places but time will not allow you to see everything, not even close. You will have to plan another trip back sometime soon. (Psst: see the French and Italian regions!) By the way, check out the Harder Kulm right beside Interlaken - the view is amazing ! I do hope you are lucky with the weather.

MrsM19
MrsM19
29 posts
active member
Mar 30, 2018 - 4:47 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli,

No worries about the question if our hotel in Lucerne offers a Tell-Pass. I will reach out to them.

On the hotel packages, apology as I was half awake while responding last night. I did book our own in Interlaken. :)

Appreciate the advice on our day trip to Bern. Our itinerary is still tentative and may consider that, with all of your and rockoyster's advice, sounds like a great idea! So many beautiful places to see in Switzerland, we cannot wait! Thank you again for all the advice. This thread is really really helpful. Please don't get tired with other questions I may have as I work on our itinerary.

By the way, when you say "see the French and Italian regions" what places are you referring to? I see photos of Switzerland all the time, and I am just mesmerized by them. I don't think a month is enough to visit.

We will for sure update you guys after our vacation in May. We do hope we get good weather in then. We normally get lucky with weather during our vacation. My husband I usually go off peak and I would say that the weather was great 95% of the time. Fingers crossed!

P.S. Please do not close this thread yet. :)

Thank you!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3735 posts
expert
Mar 30, 2018 - 5:38 AM in reply to MrsM19

Hello Faye,

Geneva is in the "French side" Lugano in the "Italian part". See www.worldatlas.com/art icles/languages-spoken-in-switzerland.html Peterli will have a more thorough explanation.

Last modified on Mar 30, 2018 - 5:39 AM by rockoyster
Peterli
Peterli
459 posts
top member
Mar 30, 2018 - 6:18 AM in reply to MrsM19

Hi Faye,

I do hope that you manage to fit Berne (I have a tendancy to spell it with an added e, the French spelling) into your plans. Its old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has about 6 kilometres of arcades, with wonderful shopping and eating and, of course, opportunities for photography. I just sent this link to somebody on another thread and it's worth a look ! www.myswitzerland.com/ en-ca/six-kilometres-of-arcades.html

Now, about the French and Italian regions. It's easier to describe the Italian one, as it basically consists of the Canton of Ticino, and includes cities such as Bellinzona (the capital), Locarno, and Lugano, and a number of lakes. See attached map where these cities are shown with blue. You can also see Lago Maggiore and the smaller lake at Lugano which is called Lago di Lugano. In the southern Ticino it is nice to get away to smaller places such as Gandria www.ticino.ch/en/commo ns/details/Gandria/132 400.html (east of Lugano), Morcote www.ticino.ch/en/commo ns/details/The-village-of-Morcote/2713.html (south of Lugano), and also small hamlets in some of the valleys north of Locarno where it looks like time has stood still. You will have to look at a larger scale map of the Ticino to see Gandria and Morcote. I'll attach that as well. At Melide you can visit the Swiss Miniatur www.swissminiatur.ch/s wissminiatur/en/ and I have also indicated in brown Monte San Salvatore, www.montesansalvatore. ch/en/ which I walked up with my students. There is also a funiculaire that goes up from Lugano Paradiso. From the top you can see down to the Lago di Lugano and across to Campione d'Italia which is an enclave of Italy. As for the valleys north of Locarno, I will give you one link, to the Verscasca Valley and you can do your own exploring after that. www.myswitzerland.com/ en-ca/cool-green-water.html Check out the photo of the lovely bridge at Lavertezzo.

I have gone into this detail because it is my belief that this area is largely neglected on this site. I read that Lucas is planning a trip to the Ticino and will look forward to hearing his report.

I said that I would also mention the places I am referring to in the French region, but figure it best to do this in a new post on this same thread. This post is long enough. I will focus mainly on places that are largely neglected but which I feel should be visited, along with the Ticino, if one really wants to know Switzerland.

Last modified on Mar 30, 2018 - 6:54 AM by Peterli
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Arno
Arno
10765 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 30, 2018 - 6:26 AM

Hello Faye,

I have only heard of hotels providing free Tell Passes in winter, if booked through a local tourist site, and even then supplies were limited. You can ask though :-)

Hotels in Montreux will give you the rather useful Riviera Card: www.myswissalps.com/mo ntreux/hotels

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