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Best way to get from Lauterbrunnen to Lausanne?

We'll have the Swiss Travel Pass, and we're staying a few nights in Lauterbrunnen. What is the best route to get to Lausanne, where we'll spend our last two nights in Switzerland? Is the Golden Pass the right choice, or just regular train travel?

Posted by
7209 posts

www.sbb.ch/en will give you all the necessary information you need about transportation in Switzerland. The trips is 2:40 with stops in Interlaken and Bern and maybe Spiez depending on your route. Your entire route is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass.

You can choose to go any direction you want on any train...as long you make the necessary connections to get to Lausanne.

Posted by
16894 posts

Train schedules will primarily return the fastest connection options, but if you specifically want to travel via the Golden Pass scenic route, then you can enter stopovers/intermediate stops to define your route preference. In this case, either through DB or through sbb.ch, search from Lauterbrunnen to Lausanne via Zweisimmen and Montreux. It takes a bit longer, but it's justifiably popular.

Posted by
106 posts

Sorry for my ignorance, but I'm confused. I know the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express are specific trains. Is the Golden Pass just a route or is it a specific train as well?

Posted by
8889 posts

Cindy,
The Bernina Express, Glacier Express and Golden Pass Express all extra tourist-orientated trains. But they all run on routes which have regular hourly trains as well. All passenger rail lines in Switzerland have at least one train per hour.
You reserve seats on these extra trains in order to get the panoramic windows. But the mountains you see out of the windows are the same no matter which train you go on.

If you look up times on www.sbb.ch it will show you which trains have the extra panoramic coaches and are branded with Bernina Express, Glacier Express or Golden Pass Express. In the case of the first two the regular trains have more stops, and you will probably have to change trains at least once to go end-to-end. In the case of the Golden Pass Express you change trains twice in all cases, the Golden Pass Express is not one through train, it is 3 connecting trains.

Edit: If maps help you, a map of the Swiss rail network is here: https://www.swisspasses.com/railpass/overviewmap_en.pdf
The Golden pass route is: Luzern - Meiringen - Interlaken (change) - Spiez (may have to change) - Zweisimmen (change) - Montreux

Posted by
106 posts

Thanks so much Chris. Do you recommend paying the extra for the panoramic view on any of those 3 routes? We have 2nd class Swiss Travel tickets already that will cover our whole visit in Switzerland. I know they cover the cost of the regular trains, but we're willing to pay the extra for all 3 routes if it's worthwhile. But if any of them are not really worth the extra cost, then obviously we won't bother paying the surcharge.

Thank you,
Cindy

Posted by
8889 posts

Pay extra for Panoramic coach? That is a difficult one. I think it is personal preference, so I won't comment. Sorry.

A photo of the inside of the panoramic coach is here: https://www.raileurope.com/cms-images/100/470/goldenpass-overview-2.jpg
Lots of info and pictures on the railway company website here: http://www.goldenpass.ch/en

But I would say, of the 3 routes, I would rank them
(1) Bernina line (Chur - St Moritz - Tirano)
(2) Glacier Express (Chur - Andermatt - Brig - Zermatt)
(3) Golden Pass (Luzern - Interlaken - Montreux). And in this case I prefer the Luzern - Interlaken part of the route.
So if you can only afford to pay the extra for one or two of theses routes, do it for Bernina or Glacier Express.

Posted by
9109 posts

When I did this route a couple years back I picked up the Golden Pass Classic train (instead of panoramic cars it uses restored vintage pullman cars) Zweissman-Montreux, then at Montreux I transferred to the lake boat to Lausanne. Took a good part of the day, but was very relaxing and scenic. One of my most memorable travel days ever!

Posted by
4600 posts

You need to choose between regular train, Golden Pass and Classic on the Interlaken-Lausanne route.

As noted, the SBB schedule (like most train schedules) has highly detailed info on what each train has and does using funky little symbols. So it's best to print out the schedule so you can delve into the details.

The train that seems to work best for most tourists is the one in the early afternoon, say 1 PM. You'll come down into Montreux around dinnertime, then transfer to a local train to Lausanne.