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How long to allow for a Golden Pass ride?

I have been researching to make certain the question I am answering has not already been answered…..but still need clarification. Husband and I want to make a day trip to Montreux from Lauterbrunnen on the Golden Pass train. How much time do we need to allow for this? Our goal is to train to Montreux, have lunch, return to Lauterbrunnen since we are staying there……will this be possible in a day or does the GP train take too long to do this in a day? Also……if we are staying in Lauterbrunnen we would love to incorporate a trip to the Callier chocolate factory or to Guyere chees tour but wonder if those can be done on a day trip from Lauterbrunnen. We have visited the chocolate factory and Guyere before but we were doing it from our base of Lausanne years ago…….could use some help here! Thank you!……..PS…….looking for day trips from Lauterbrunnen on the trains and thinking Bern might be nice………anyone done that? Thanks again!!!

Posted by
15716 posts

Have you looked at the Golden Pass website? The trip to Montreux will take over four hours each way including a change of trains.

Lauterbrunnen is not a good location for day trips by train. To go anywhere you have transfer in Interlaken.

Posted by
8657 posts

Bern is a nice enough city, with "city" sights - museums, restaurants, buildings, parks, etc. But its not in the mountains. No, if you're in Lauterbrunnen, you want to go further up the valley and mountains and there are plenty of outdoor things to do. Distances are deceiving in Switzerland because places that look close on the map can actually take a long time to get to, because there are mountains in the way.

Posted by
7083 posts

The Golden Pass is worth the slightly longer travel time if you are travelling between the Berner Oberland (or even Luzern) and Lake Geneva, but I would not make a day trip out of it. You will have significantly more impressive mountain scenery right on your doorstep in Lauterbrunnen!
As for the Caillier chocolate factory, that would make for a long day trip... Better to stay a night or two in Bern if you are interested in the factory and in the city of Bern. If you can spare those nights of course - otherwise, I would rather just maximize the time in the mountains.

Posted by
2857 posts

Disclaimer: All my comments are based on research as I have yet to get to Switzerland. 😊

Have you done a boat trip on Lake Thun or Brienze before? Those would by covered with the Swiss Travel Pass. Relaxing and gorgeous scenery with castles, caves, and waterfalls. Grandhotel Giessbach would make a great lunch spot and it's much closer.

The cable car from Wengen to Mannlichen is covered I believe 50% with the Pass. The views look amazing!! There’s an open part on top you can stand in if you are brave. And the train to Wengen is scenic too, although short.

I fell in love with Bern when I first saw it (on tv), so that’s on my list of day trips from Lauterbrunnen. Murten and Fribourg are close to Bern.

Have you or will you be in Lucerne at all? There was a chocolate class there that some the RS tour groups did. I can dig out my notes if you’re interested. That would be different and closer (with a scenic train ride) than the Cailier factory since you’ve already done that.

I really wanted to get to Montreux, but I think it seems a little long for a day trip. I’m still tempted though. Curious if anyone has done this as a day trip and their thoughts.

You’ll have a great time no matter where you end up going.

Posted by
889 posts

Thank you so much Carrie for your reply. It’s exactly what I was looking for…I had seen the Grandhotel Geissbach and lunching there looked like a great idea but had forgotten the name of the hotel so thank you! I have friends that have done the day trip from Wengen to Montreux on a train and lunched at the Fairmont Hotel Terrace restaurant and they have recommended it. I can get more details if you are interested! We have been to Bern and it is a nice city…we are planning our day excursions now on the off days when we will not be hiking and enjoying train rides. Thank you again!

Posted by
33338 posts

The Grand Hotel Gießbach (Giessbach in English) (pronounced like geese - bach like the composer, with a soft ch) is one of my favs. Watch your spelling, to get the ee sound it is "ie". If you put it "ei" you get a sound like the I in I, me. So it is Gie...

A lovely ancient funicular crawls up the cliff from the boat landing (not inexpensive unless you are a guest there in which case it is free) or you can walk up rickety stairs and rock path, the approach by boat is fabulous and wonderful, you will hear the falls which come out right by the boat landing long before you see the dock, the falls and the hotel. Lovely old grounds, stately old building and the walk behind the falls is easy as long as you are careful on wet rock paths.

There must be a video on youtoob. I love hiking in the deeply wooded hills between the car park and the falls and then the manicured lawn as you approach the hotel.


Posted by
2857 posts

Jane, the Fairmont looks great, but I have previously fallen in love with the Grand Swiss Hotel after watching this video from How to Switzerland.

I’d be curious if your friends thought it was too long of a trip for just the day, but I guess not it they are recommending it to you. I’m traveling with my sister and her husband, who are not big walkers. They might really enjoy the long scenic train ride with a nice lunch and visit to the castle. I’m already planning a second trip to Switzerland next year by myself and will make it to Montreux then if not this time

Nigel, love your description of the Hotel Gießbach!! I have seen pictures and videos and it looks fabulous!! It’s definitely on my list of possibilities. We have one day not accounted for in Lauterbrunnen. My plan is to have several options planned out and we’ll decide once there what he want to do with that day based on the weather and how we feel. This is our first trip to Europe so I have no idea how we’re going to feel. I’m used to walking a lot, but my travel companions (my sister and her husband) usually take beach vacations. I knew I was going to be in trouble when I showed my sister a video of the walk from the Lauterbrunnen train station to the Hotel Oberland and she asked, “Maybe there’s an Uber that can drive us.” It should be an interesting trip. 😊

Posted by
33338 posts

I showed my sister a video of the walk from the Lauterbrunnen train station to the Hotel Oberland and she asked, “Maybe there’s an Uber that can drive us.”

oh dear...