Train plans for Zurich-Zermatt-Grindelwald-Paris

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16 posts
new member
Jun 12, 2018 - 11:50 AM

Hi Friends,

I have finalized and will purchase the Swiss Travel Pass for my 8 day visit in Switzerland. For my travel from Basel to Paris and Paris to London, I will purchase a Point to Point ticket. Perhaps this would be the best way to do it and most cost efficient. Since I am travelling in a Group of 6 (myself, wife, 2 small kids and my parents), I will be mostly responsible for overseeing all the luggage and etc. Need some feedback on the following matters.

June 22nd = Zurich Flughafen to Zermatt

1. My flight lands Zurich Airport at 6:30am on June 22nd. I hope to be able to collect my luggage and clear customs by 1 hour. Is this a practical target time. ?

2. After I am out I will proceed to the SBB Luggage services counter where I will provide some of my luggage (which I intend to use in Paris/London and not for use during my time in Switzerland) to be sent to either Interlaken OST or Basel. Now I am considering to send it to Interlaken instead of Basel as I feel that that would be more comfortable and perhaps easier place for me to collect the luggage and transfer to the train in Interlaken. And once I get off the train in Basel, I would hence then have to push the Luggage to the platform where the TGV train to paris departs. Please advise any concerns on either having my luggage sent and picked up later on July 29th in either Basel or Interlaken or any other inputs

3. I intend to take the 8:40am train from Zurich Airport to Zermatt via Visp. Now on the Zurich to Visp sector with the IC810 direction Brig, it says that reservation is possible and it shows very high occupancy on the train. Do you suggest I reserve the seats ? Is it enough time for me to get to this train. It is 2 hours after my flight arrival. I also need to buy Sim Cards once I am out at the airport. Or perhaps could I get Sim Cards from Zermatt for my entire Europe trip ??

June 25th = Zermatt to Grindelwald

I intend to take the either the regular or the Glacier Express from Zermatt. The Glacier Express is slightly a longer route. The Gex train operates from Zermatt to Brig which is a 20mins ride and after which I will change to the Lotschberger train from Brig to Spiez and then from Spiez to Interlaken. This route takes approximately 1 hour 16mins longer than the regular trians. Please kindly suggest if you think it is worthwhile to take this longer route or perhaps I shoudl arrive Grindelwald earlier and make most of my time there.

June 29th = Grindelwald to Paris ( Now this is the most crucial train journey of my entire trip)

10:49am = Depart Grindelwald for Interlaken Ost. Arrive Interlaken Ost at 11:23am. I have 37mins to collect my luggage that I sent from Zurich Airport. Is 37mins enough time to make collect the luggage and transfer to the train. Are there luggage carts in Interlaken ??

12:00am = Depart from Interlaken Ost ot Basel. Arrive Basel at 13:59. Transit time 35mins to transfer to the platform for the TGV lyra Train. Is the transit time enough ?

2:34pm = Depart from Basel for Paris

Look forward for your inputs.

Thanking you, Avish

10496 posts
top member
Jun 12, 2018 - 7:51 PM in reply to Avish

Hi Avish,

  1. 1 hour at the airport is probably about right yes

  2. I would think sending the luggage to Basel makes more sense. The less you have to deal with the luggage on trains the better?

  3. Yes, you could reserve this train to be safe. I would think you can make this without issue. Have a look at our SimCard suggestions (or WiFi hotspot if that works for you as well) here: https://www.myswissalp

  4. Do note that there are mandatory reservations for the Glacier Express. https://www.myswissalp ackages & yes I'd take the longer train via Kandersteg - much more scenic. :)

  5. You should be fine collecting your luggage in 37 minutes. But why not leave Grindelwald earlier to be safe?

  6. Yes. Lots of time. The timetable can tell you what platform you arrive and depart on so you know where to go before getting off the train.
16 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2018 - 4:47 AM

Hi Lucas,

Thanks for your feedback. I will consider to send the luggage to Basel and perhaps leave Grindelwald on the earlier train to be safe.

I have also bought the 5 day Eurorail pass for my trip as it worked out cheaper when travelling in a group even after making the reservations and allows me to travel from Basel to Paris, Paris to London, Zurich to Zermatt, Zermatt to Interlaken. I also will buy the Swiss Half Fare Card as it will allow me discounts to Matterhorn/Gornegrat while in Zermatt and also discount in Jungfrau region or the 3 or 4 Jungfrau Travel pass while in Grindelwald.

Since I got the First Class Eurail pass, and on SBB website it shows low occupancy for all of my internal switzerland train trips, do you think I should still reserve seats as that would be 5 chf per person per person per train

Will also consider to take the GEX from Zermatt to Brig but that also costs Chf33 per person for reservations and the train ride is approximately 1 hour 20 mins.

Thanks, Avish

10496 posts
top member
Jun 14, 2018 - 12:49 PM in reply to Avish

I doubt reservations are need on those trains in first class. But if you want to play it safe, 5chf isn't too much.

Yes, I agree the short trip from Zermatt to Brig is expensive with the reservation fee needed for the Glacier Express. https://www.myswissalp ackages.

Regional trains on the same route are also an option.

Last modified on Jun 14, 2018 - 12:49 PM by Lucas
1581 posts
top member
Jun 14, 2018 - 11:24 PM

3. IC810 is a route IC train (Romanshorn - Brig). It is a 9 coach double deck train plenty of capacity. These can get busy but I have never found the need to reserve seats on such trains.

Don't worry about the time - the same service runs every hour - so you could just get the next one if necessary

Don't bother with the Glacier Express for Zermatt - Brig, it would be pointless. Just take the regional train (they have panoramic windows now anyway!) The Glacier Express was invented for Belle Epoque tourists to take all day travelling between the two fashionable resorts of Zermatt and St Moritz.

Last modified on Jun 14, 2018 - 11:28 PM by 1960man
16 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2018 - 4:34 AM

Hi Lucas & 1960man,

Thanks for your insights. Perhaps I will not get the reservations for the First Class as it will allow some flexibility depending on the pace of my family during the travel. And will also consider to take the regular trains between Zermatt to Grindelwald. I will take the R226 train from Zermatt to Visp, change at Visp to the IC8 815 direction Romanshorn for Spiez, and Change at Spiez to the IC61 963 for Interlaken Ost. I hope this route provides a good scenic alternative to the Glaceir Express from Zermatt to Brig. Or do you suggest I still take the route through Brig but on the regional trains (direction Fiesch)

Look forward for your reply.

10496 posts
top member
Jun 15, 2018 - 6:35 AM in reply to Avish

Both options work fine.

I'd take a regular train to Brig, then another train to Spiez via Kandersteg (to avoid the long tunnel).

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