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Leaving Basel for Wengen

I've previously posted 2 questions about Basel. First, whether we should extend our time in the city (answer, no). Second, asking for suggestions for a city convenient to a major airport.
When we arrive in Basel, it will be at the end of a Road Scholar Tour, and we will have been in Europe for 5 weeks (August-September), so we were looking for a location to relax for a few days before heading home.
Spending several days in Germany appealed to me, but I couldn't get excited about any of the cities I was considering.
But...after reading/following a couple of Switzerland posts, I/we made the decision to spend several days in Wengen. Not sure how relaxing that would be because high on my list is the Männlichen-Kleine Scheidegg Hike. We've been to the Lauterbrunnen valley twice, once with the RS Tour which stayed in Murren (so special) and we even had a clear day to the Schilthorn. I really wanted to see the other side of the valley.
So, just made the decision tonight to travel from Basel to Wengen for 3 or 4 nights, then 1 night in Zurich before departing for home the next day .
Questions:
1. If we are in Wengen 3 or 4 days, is it advisable to buy the Jungfrau Travel Pass? or another Pass? Do we wait to buy tickets when we are in Basel, or should we do it before we leave home?
2. Allowing for the unpredictability of weather, thinking of allowing 4 nights in Wengen...or is that too long?

3. What is high on your list of things to see or do in Wengen?

Posted by
27447 posts

I wouldn't want to spend my last night 3 hours and 3 transfers away from my departure airport. I am very risk averse when a transportation problem could cause me to miss a transatlantic flight.

Posted by
33338 posts

what time is the flight home?

The way from Wengen to the airport has a lot of built in redundancy - if for some unlikely reason the usual route is blocked there are easy and nearly as fast alternatives.

It will depend a bit on if your flight is early morning or late afternoon or evening. Hence the question.

Posted by
33338 posts

You may be different to me. With the beautiful setting and the desire to take advantage of best weather, 4 days would be the minimum I'd want. It certainly wouldn't be too long - not for me.

Posted by
650 posts

acravan: I edited my original post to be clearer. We are planning on staying in Zurich our last night prior to departure. I'm like you; I want to sleep in our departure city.
Nigel: We don't have airline reservations yet because I couldn't decide on a departure city.

Posted by
33338 posts

Luzern is only an hour from the airport, and the trains go right into the terminal. A lot of folks prefer staying in Luzern to Zürich, and the train ride over the Brünig Pass from Interlaken (down the hill from Wengen) to Luzern is one of Switzerland's best - and you don't need special tickets or a special train. Even Second Class has floor to ceiling panoramic windows. Lakes, mountains, waterfalls - what's not to like?

Posted by
650 posts

Nigel: Train. route from Wengen to Interlaken to Luzern via the Brünig Pass sounds awesome. I just love the mountains. Just purchase the ticket that day or several days prior? Would the route be the same going from Basel to Interlaken?
And...is it really a direct route from Luzern to the airport in Zurich? No transfers at Zurich city center? We will have 4 nights in Luzern prior to our tour, but to have our last night there also would be special.

Posted by
33338 posts

The train straight into the airport alternates with one requiring an easy change at Zürich main station. If I had luggage I know which I would pick. Same works for your arrival.

Posted by
33338 posts

Regarding the ride to Luzern from Interlaken (stolen from a post made previously by me some time ago:

Narrow gauge train, just panoramic floor to ceiling windows. Lots and lots to see. The train changes ends in Meiringen (Reichenbach Falls of Sherlock Holmes fame). On the rack (you might have heard of it as "cogwheel") for much of the distance between Meiringen and Luzern. Sit on the right hand side leaving Interlaken Ost - soo you will cross the bridge and the lake and waterfalls will be on your right. Stay on the same side when the train changes direction at Meiringen and the lake will be (along with you) on the left hand side, then the treasure hunt and then the mountain lakes. Not until nearly Luzern does Lake Lucerne make an appearance on your right hand side. Have fun.

So much to see, perhaps you can look out the windows and spot the (fake) animals next to the track. Treasure Hunt!!

No, that is a different route from your arrival one. You will come Basel SBB through Olten, either through Bern or change at Bern, through Thun where the Thunersee (one of Interlaken's two lakes) starts, then the views of the mountains appear ahead and to the left and right in the distance, through Spiez, then right up close with the Thunersee and into Interlaken Ost. Don't get off at Interlaken West or you can't get up the valley.

Then it is change to the BOB narrow gauge cogwheel train to Lauterbrunnen (be sure to sit in the half of the train signed Lauterbrunnen because if you sit in the half labeled Grindelwald that is where you will go when the train divides part way) where you change again in Lauterbrunnen to the train to Wengen. Same again in reverse, as far as Interlaken Ost.

Posted by
8889 posts

I would definitely stay in Luzern on the last night before flying out, not in Zürich.

"Just purchase the ticket that day or several days prior?" - either will do. Same price.
Some routes have advance purchase discounts ("Supersaver tickets") for less used trains, I doubt the Brünig Pass route does.

"Would the route be the same going from Basel to Interlaken?" - same answer for Basel - Interlaken and for Interlaken - Zürich airport. You can either go the quick route via Bern, or the slower scenic route via Luzern and the Brünig Pass line.
When you buy a ticket, the quick route is the default, you need to specify "via Luzern" to get a ticket for the other route.

"is it really a direct route from Luzern to the airport in Zurich?" - There are two departures per hour from Luzern to "Zürich Flughafen". One is direct (no change), the other requires changing trains at "Zürich HB". Both stop at Zürich HB, with one you stay seated.
Both take the same time (~1h09)

You can look up times and prices on the SBB website: https://www.sbb.ch/en/

Posted by
650 posts

Nigel: Thank you so much for your very thorough explanation/description of the route from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken to Luzern. I looked up the route and saw it is a portion of the Golden Pass route. Excited to ride on one of the special routes.
Chris: Thanks for the link to the train site. Staying in Luzern would be wonderful, but we'll leave that decision open until we book our flight back home.