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Which rail options are best forSalzburg to Interlaken, then 6 days in Switzerland?

My friends and I are traveling from Salzburg to Interaken for 3 days, with a day trip to Zermatt during that time. We then head to Lucerne for 2 nights, then 1 night in Zurich for our flight home the next day. We need advice as to the best rail pass option. Are we best to buy a point to point ticket from Salzburg to Interlaken and then a Swiss Rail pass, or should we buy a 2 country Eurail pass? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
16165 posts

When are you going and how many friends?
I'd skip Zurich and just go to the airport from Luzern in the morning. It is only a 1 hour direct train.
Your best deal in Switzerland is the Half Fare card. And a Eurail pass only gives a 25% discount on the trains between Interlaken and Layterbrunnen, Muerren, Wengen, and Grindelwald.

Posted by
8889 posts

The best deal for this is a probably the Swiss half price card. CHF 120 for one month, you can buy it from the SBB (Swiss Railways) website:
You press the "1/2 price/child" button on the ticket machine to get half price fares.
You then need a full fare ticket from Salzburg to the Swiss border (Buchs), and half fare from there to Interelaken. The SBB website will sell you this.

I agree, skip Zürich, stay the last night in Luzern and go direct from there to Zürich airport by train.
Are you actually staying in Interlaken? Most people prefer somewhere in the side valleys, higher up (Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren).
A day trip to Zermatt is a long way. Are you palanning to see the Matterhorn? Check the weather before starting out.

Posted by
12 posts

Hello again,

Is it best to buy our Salzburg to Interlaken train ticket ahead of time before we leave the States?

Posted by
16165 posts

Again, what is you travel date? There may only be full fare tickets at this point. Its a popular route in the summer. At any rate, only buy the ticket as far as Zurich. You can travel with your travel pass or use your Half Fare Card for the trains from Zurich to Interlaken.

Posted by
16165 posts

There is a snag on your travel date. The train tracks between Feldkirch, Austria and Sargans, Switzerland are shut down for construction. OEBB will sell you a train ticket as far as Feldkirch for a nice price of 24 EUR per person nonrefundable if you buy today, but then you will have to pay for the replacement bus from Feldkirch to Sargans and the continuing train to Zurich. Of course, if you do get a Swiss Travel Pass, you only have to pay for the portion of the bus in Austria, it will be free after you cross into Switzerland, and the continuing trains from Sargans to Zurich to Interlaken will be covered by the pass.

The tickets are sold at The website will take a little getting used to. It is designed to be smart-phone ready, but not so much with a PC. I am looking at the 8:56 Railjet departure from Salzburg. I hope you have an American Express card, as that is the only card that seems to be working now, or call them during their business hours and maybe you can use your regular card over the phone.