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Rail passes for Bernese Oberland

4 of us are staying in Wengen from September 9 - 12. We would like to go to Jungfraujoch and also to other places like Murren and Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland. Which rail pass should we purchase? Do we need to purchase the passes before we leave the US? Thank you.

Posted by
13 posts

Ken,
Thank you so much for your prompt response. I looked at the link and am having difficulty with all the options. I was considering the 3-day Jungfrau VIP pass. Does this cover round trip from Wengen to Jungfraujoch? Do I need a Rail Pass to purchase this? Thanks for your help.

Posted by
16894 posts

The Jungfrau VIP pass is sold in Switzerland (as are all of the Swiss products, different from Eurail-brand passes). That link spells out the Jungfraujoch coverage - it's route specific and you only get one trip to the top. If you're looking at this limited region, then I assume that you're driving in and don't need other Swiss train coverage. I have not given this pass much thought because it's expensive at 245 CHF per adult and most of our customers need other travel beyond this region. By buying it there, you have a chance to first check the weather and mountain visibility and make definite travel plans.

Posted by
7209 posts

If you really want to buy a pass then just buy the Half Fare Card and be done with it. It does what it says it does - gives you 1/2 price on all of your travels. AND it doesn't confine you to any particular region of Switzerland.

Posted by
32268 posts

binav,

As you're visiting both sides of the valley, I'm not sure the Jungfrau VIP Pass will be the best option for your circumstances. As Laura mentioned, that pass allows one "free" trip to the Jungfraujoch and you'll be somewhat limited on the day that you make that trip. Once the Pass is activated, the pass is valid for the next three days and you'll have to make your trip to the top on one of those days. It's important to choose a day when the weather is good at the top, as you won't see much if the weather is miserable. That pass also doesn't provide many benefits on the other side of the valley (ie: Schilthorn), although as I recall it will get you to Mürren. There's also a Berner Oberland Pass which covers more on the other side of the valley, but again I'm not sure that's a good choice in your situation.

The "weather aspect" is an important consideration. The last time I was there, the weather in the valley and in Kleine Scheidegg was nice and sunny but there was a fierce blizzard with high winds at the top. It wasn't possible to venture outside, although I did manage a few minutes on the platform at the Sphinx Observatory. If wasn't any better the following day when rail service from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg was suspended due to high winds (seriously!).

The half-fare or one of the Swiss Passes will provide discounts on both sides of the valley. If you're having trouble with the RS Swiss pass website that I linked, I'm sure Laura will be able to help you sort out the options.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you for your helpful suggestions. I think the Half Fare Card sounds like the best option.