Looked and didn't see anything on this topic more recent that 2 years ago. Will hopefully be starting a Switzerland tour in Lausanne Sep 2021 and considering taking this train before our tour starts. Would appreciate any recent experience of it and how one might get from Lausanne to Montreux (train?).
Lausanne to Montreaux is 20 min by train. But it is almost walking distance between the towns.
Wasn't planning on walking. To clarify, can you take the sbb train from Lausanne to the train station in Montreux where the chocolate train leaves or do you need to transfer to a different station in Montreux? Also, Lausanne provides tourists with a free Transport Card, but it looks like that might not include Montreux.
My understanding is: if you have a valid Swiss Travel Pass for that day, local transportation should be covered. Hopefully I'm correct.
Have a great trip.
Different cities and regions in Switzerland give guests free local transport of various distances. For example Basel, Bern, Luzern. Luzern is only the central area, Bern and Basel is anywhere in the city, on all types of transport. I don't know directly but Lausanne is unlikely to cover Montreux and certainly not Geneva.
That is different to the Swiss Pass which is country-wide.
Yes, Nigel it's the free pass that hotels give tourists I was talking about not the ones SBB sells. It covers metro, bus and train within a narrow area around Lausanne. It looks like from the Lausanne Tourism website that the Transport card only goes out towards Montreux as far as Epesses.
I also thought about just taking the train to Lutry to see the vineyards and maybe have a meal. Pictures look lovely.
In 2017 we drove between Montreux and Gruyere and it was an easy drive. Didn't make it over to Lausanne but did drive around Switzerland for 10 days and would be surprised if you have any problems if you drive.
Regarding the chocolate train, in Sept, looks like it’s available Monday, Wednesday and Thursday for CHF 99. It’s a train part way (Montreux and Montbovon) and then I believe a bus to Gruyères and Broc. You can do this same route on your own just using the regular SBB trains/buses. Would be cheaper, but minus the breakfast.
This site has a map that details the route. It looks like it starts from the main train station in Montreux (the one you would depart on your trip from Lausanne).
I lost interest in the chocolate factory tour after watching this video.
If the link doesn’t work, you can find the video on YouTube under Growing up Without Borders. They have many videos on Switzerland that I have found helpful. To me, it helps to actually see the places. Some places I thought sounded great on my research until I watched some videos and decided probably not for me.
I would rank the chocolate tour below the Chillon Castle and Lavaux vineyards. Of course, I have not been to Switzerland yet, so my info. is based strictly on my own trip research. 😊
Here’s hoping we can all go to Switzerland next year.
Carrie, thanks for attempting to answer what I asked --- though is sounds like you're as big a novice as I am. When I wrote the original post I was forgetting that the part of our time when we could take the chocolate train was actually going to be in Aug vs Sep. We were supposed to start this tour 4 Sep this year, but it has been canceled and we'll be starting it 29 Aug next year (finger crossed). That was the closest the tour company had to our original date. The plan is to arrive Lausanne 2 nights early vs our original plan of 1 so I've been exploring other options besides what I looked at in Lausanne itself.
The first full day of the tour includes a tour of Chillon, then arrive at Gruyere for lunch then on to Zermatt. It's hard to tell how much time we'll have just to wander around Gruyere.
Doing it on your own isn't actually that easy. You can get to Gruyere by SBB but it takes about 1 1/2 hours, 1 or more changes and about 23 swiss francs each direction. Assuming the chocolate train costs include entrance fees, it's not that out of line. Here's another link that I found https://www.la-gruyere.ch/en/P5993/chocolate-train
One of the big drawbacks to it is the train leaves at 8:44 am so we'd need to get a train from Lausanne by 8am or earlier. I have the SBB app on my phone which is very helpful in researching. To figure out the distance between where the SBB trains come into Montreux and the chocolate train leaves, I did what I should have done originally and googled Montreux, blew up the map and looked. Seems quite easy.
Still researching Lavaux options. There is a small train like thing called the Lavaux Express that has several routes in the area. Here's a good link. https://www.lavauxexpress.ch/en/ For Lutry, you have to walk about 10 minutes from the train station to the port where the train leaves, but it has several routes so that's a maybe.
Since I have plenty of time to research this I'll just keep plugging away. Thanx again.
The Chocolate train is nowadays not a separate train anymore. You take a regular MOB train to Montbovon and are bussed from there. Unless you are staying in Montreux there really is no point to bother with it. Its'a detour, and it is more expensive.
Just travel Lausanne - Broc Fabrique by regular service trains. Takes 1:16. (See www.sbb.ch for times. Next years timetable is already on line). Then go to Gruyeres via Bulle, and afterwards back to Lausanne. Tickets you just buy at the station.
Switzerland's transportation network is well integrated so there's not going to be anything to surprise you when you're trying to get from one place to another. Look on the SBB app - it'll tell you every single step you need to make. You can even put in your hotel's address as starting point and SBB will tell you every step to take.
I would highly recommend making time to see the Lavaux Vineyards which are a Unesco World Heritage site. The views from Lutry and the vineyards are spectacular. We went to Domaine de la Crausaz in Grandvaux and had lunch on the terrace there and a winery tour with a small corporate group. I will always remember the stunning views of Lake Geneva and the 1000 year old vineyards.
I just want to emphasize Tim's point. On the SBB app or website, you can put in addresses and get complete door-to-door directions, whether it involves train, bus, tram, or walking. Makes it much easier, particularly when arriving in an unfamiliar city - no fumbling to find out where to get a tram or which one to take.
Another tip: to get to the SBB website quickly on a browser, just type rail.ch and hit enter.
And a third tip: having found a route on SBB while on your phone, you can put it in your phone's calendar (scroll down on the page for this option). This way, you can access it even without data. If I was taking a day trip and wasn't sure which time I would be using (particularly on the return), I would put several into my calendar (for instance, the 4:32, the 5:02, and the 5:32).
We took the Chocolate Train tour May 2019. We were in the middle of a 2 week do-it-ourselves tour. It may have cost us more, but we enjoyed having this one day where we just followed the tour. We were staying in Montreux, but we went to Lausanne another day, and it was an easy train ride.
Thanks Harold and Tim for all your SBB tips.
Fyi, I had thought we might include this on our visit next year but now not arriving in Lausanne with enough time to do it. Will just have to make do with the visit to Gruyere included in our tour.
But thanks for the additional info and I hope this proves useful to others interested in the Chocolate train.