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Berner Oberland Area and Passes Info

Hello folks,
first time posting, been using this site to get insights on our trip to Europe. My wife and I will be traveling from Paris to Grindelwald July 2-5 and then on to Lucerne July 5-7 and head back to US from Zurich. I have a few questions about Switzerland Rails pass vs Oberland pass and Jungfrau pass.
We plan to take train from Paris to Grindelwald July 2nd via Interlaken.
- In Grindelwald one day we would like to go to Jungfraujoch via Kline Scheidegg and come back the long way through murren, Lauterbrennan.
Another day we would like to do all the adventures in Grindelwald First.
Final day maybe interlaken area or something else. I have the following questions please...
1. Travelling from paris to interlaken - get a eurail ticket and then get swiss pass?
2. If Travelling via Swiss Rail pass - will this include all the jungfrau and grindelwald trains. if not, what makes more sense to get as we will also be travelling to Lucerne and then Zurich. I am confused about swiss vs jungfrau vs bener oberland passes.
2. Are vegan accommodations for food hard in the village areas of murren, grindelwald etc.

Thank you.

Posted by
8889 posts

Dear "Berner Oberland Area" ☺, I suggest you change your user name (you can do that after logging on). I suspect you confused the entry fields.

"Paris to Grindelwald July 2nd via Interlaken." - There aint't no other way than via Interlaken
See this map (red = rail): https://i0.wp.com/journeysealsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Jungfrau-Grindelwald-region-summer-map.jpg
The Jungfrau area is a pair of dead-end valleys, mouth of the valleys by Interlaken.

"Grindelwald one day we would like to go to Jungfraujoch via Kline Scheidegg and come back the long way through murren, Lauterbrennan." Not quite. From Kleine Scheidegg the other way is descend via Wengen to Lauterbrunnen, then back down the valley to Zweilütschinen where the two valleys divide. Mürren is on the opposite side of the valley.
See map linked to above.

1) "paris to interlaken - get a eurail ticket and then get swiss pass?" - No, just buy a normal advance-purchase ticket from Paris to the first Swiss station (Basel in this case), and your Swiss pass is valid from there.

2) This map shows what the Swiss pass is valid on, and where you get reductions: https://www.sbb.ch/content/dam/sbb/de/infotexte/uebersichtskarte-sts.pdf
This map shows the same for the Berner Oberland pass: https://www.regionalpass-berneroberland.ch/assets/pass-und-infos/geltungsbereich/Geltungsbereich-2019.pdf

"will this include all the jungfrau and grindelwald trains." - both cover you to Grindelwald, but only give discounts onward to Jungfraujoch. See the maps.

Note the Berner Oberland pass covers you to/from Bern, so on your arrival day you would have to buy a normal ticket from Paris to Bern if you had a Berner Oberland Pass.
Or, start your pass (whichever) the day after and buy a ticket from Paris to Grindelwald.

3) I'm not vegan, but in general it is not difficult to find in Switzerland. Many Swiss dishes contain milk or cheese, which of course you would not want.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks Chris F.

So we are only going to London and Paris and then rest of our trip in Switzerland as I mentioned in my original post. sounds like I should get a
- Paris to Grindelwald ticket via eurail (july 2nd)?
- Swiss Rail Pass July 3-7 (4 day pass) will allow jungfraujoch with new promotion and will allow travel to lucerne and zurich?? I am not concern with cost (unless dramatic difference) more of convenience and worry free travel.

Sincerely,

Posted by
8889 posts

"head back to US from Zurich." - the station you want is "Zürich Flughafen", the one at the airport. "Zürich HB" is the station in the city centre. If you are NOT geteting a Swiss Pass, this train would be an extra ticket.

Posted by
20321 posts

Do not buy tickets through Eurail, they are a high cost reseller. Suggest you use www.loco2.com, then you will get the exact same best price as from SNCF, the company that runs the trains in France. The problem with buying direct is that they require 3-D secure credit card verification, common in Europe for on-line purchases, not so much from USA. But here is their site if you care to give it a try. https://en.oui.sncf/en/tgv

Posted by
8889 posts

"- Paris to Grindelwald ticket via eurail (july 2nd)?" - NOT Eurail.
Eurail is an agency in North America that markets a rail pass. It is NOT a train company. Best to buy tickets direct from the train companies.
SBB (Swiss Federal Railways): https://www.sbb.ch/en/
This is currently showing the following:

Paris-Gare de Lyon - Grindelwald
Via Basel SBB - Interlaken Ost
Tue, 02.07.19, 10:23 - 16:08 Hour
Duration: 05:45, 2x Change(s)
Passengers: 1 Adult, 2nd Class
special offer No exchange, no refund. CHF 118

This will be a "self-print" ticket e-mailed to you.
Prices never go down, only up as you get nearer the date. There are other earlier and later trains that day as well.

Posted by
6 posts

Hi Chris F.

Thank you for posting in the forum and clarifying info. I seem to need additional clarification regarding travel. Would Love if you could comment on the tentative itinerary I have laid out so far and share your thoughts if I can or need to be aware or be careful of something.

London - Paris (June 30) ---> Just book a TGV Lyria (Booking through https://www.eurostar.com/us-en/train/france/paris)?

Paris - Grindelwald via Basel, Interlaken (July 2nd) ---> Buy Tickets to Basel and then buy Swiss Pass 4 days which will cover basel to interlaken to Grindelwald?? Staying in Grindelwald. Maybe go to Harder Klum before reaching Grindelwald or go another day or skip.

Jungfraujoch (July 3rd) - weather permitting (I assume this is a separate ticket? https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe/) Going from Grindelwald and return through Wengen (Wengen portion This is covered with swiss pass I assume)

Schilthorn (July 4th) - weather permitting. This I believe is covered in Swiss Pass?

Grindelwald First (July 5th) - Early morning (Are these tickets separate from Swiss Pass) https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/grindelwaldfirst/

Lucerne (July 5th) - travel from Grindelwald to Lucerne. Swiss pass should cover this.

Zurich airport (July 7th) - will have to buy separate train ticket due to swiss pass running out on day 4!

Zurich to USA July 7th - 11:45 Am departure.

Posted by
11294 posts

It has been mentioned several times above, but you seem to have missed it, so I'm going to shout.

Please forget you ever heard the word "Eurail." They are a reseller that does not list all tickets, and often marks up the tickets they do sell (sometimes substantially). Unless you have a VERY specific reason to use them, avoid them.

Instead, you should always first go directly to the train operator. In this case, that's SNCF: https://en.oui.sncf/en/. Do not allow yourself to be re-directed to Rail Europe.

If you have difficulty using that site (as said, it doesn't always work well with US credit cards), you can use Loco2 https://loco2.com/ or Trainline https://www.thetrainline.com/. These sites do not add a markup.

A Swiss Travel Pass covers all rail travel at regular elevations (buses, boats, trains, and local trams and buses). For things that take you up the mountains, some are fully covered, some are 50% off, and some are 25% off. Look at the maps Chris F linked in his first post. Anything with a solid line is fully covered. Anything with a dashed line is 50% off, unless there's a circled number 1 next to it, in which case it's 25% off.

Posted by
5952 posts

For Berner Oberland area, weather can be very localized and can change frequently. I would make a list of your wishes and decide what you'd like to do daily, after consulting forecasts, the view out your window and the live cams on top of Schilthorn and Jungfrau. In general, in mountainous areas, the weather tends to be more clear in the am.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you guys

I went to loco2.com but could not find the right timing leaving paris at 12pm or later. But I appreciate all the info and clarification. All the posts have really helped to understand and plan properly.

Sincerely,