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Train / Itinerary Help: 4 days in Switzerland in June 2022

We will be traveling by train from Venice to Bern on Wed. June 1. Since we don't arrive until 2:40 in the afternoon, I thought we would spend that 1/2 day seeing Bern & spending the night there. I was then thinking Thurs. night in the Alps (Wengen?) and possibly Fri. night in Montreux. On Sat., we will travel to Basel - see the town & then board a river cruise. We mostly just enjoy the scenery, history, architecture & food/drink; not really museum/art people. We will also have a teenager with us who really only cares about the beach.

My questions:

  • Would it be better to make Bern a "homebase" and take train day trips for Wengen & Montreux to avoid hauling luggage?
  • If we should stay the night at each location (rather than homebase), does it matter from a time/travel standpoint which we do first?
  • What are the recommendations for train routes/lines for these destinations? If a scenic route is available, we would be interested, if you think it's worth it.
  • Would you rather have 2 nights in Wengen to see other towns/attractions in that area - in lieu of the night in Montreux?
  • Any other advice is welcomed!
Posted by
5019 posts

It's an hour train ride from Bern to Interlaken, and from there you can travel to Wengen and/or Murren. I would go directly to the Alps and maximize your time in the mountains. Once you're there, you'll discover that there's no experience quite like being in the Alps. Your teenager will probably be impressed with riding the gondolas and cogwheel trains. Ascending the summits is quite a thrill ride!
Safe travels and enjoy!

Posted by
11449 posts

Go from Venice directly to Wengen and stay 3 nights, then take a train to Basel for the night before your cruise. There is no scenery in Bern or Montreux that compares to the Lauterbrunnen Valley,

Posted by
2774 posts

Like pat and laurel, I’d want to spend those 3 nights in wengen. You want to enjoy Switzerland and not spend all your time changing hotels. There are so many options for riding the cable cars, walking with gorgeous scenery, walking around the little villages. The teenager might like a trip to Thun to see the castle.

Posted by
7002 posts

I agree! Actually, the fastest train connection from Venice to Bern passes through Spiez, which is close to Interlaken and Wengen. Therefore it will not take much longer to reach Wengen than to go to Bern!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you all so much for your recommendation. I definitely like the idea of not moving each night. Hopefully I can get our train ticket changed! I will get to work researching Wengen lodging! If you have suggestions for that, they are welcome. I'm finding it's a little more difficult to get rooms with beds for 3...a lot of the "family rooms" are booked. I truly appreciate you taking the time to chime in. I had posted on another site with no response - hence my less than stellar original plan. This is our 3rd attempt at this trip (Covid), so I am beyond excited!

Posted by
2774 posts

Another option is hotel oberland in lauterbrunnen. It looks like they have some family rooms available early June.

Posted by
5 posts

Are there different train routes that I will need? I know part of my trip is outside of Switzerland, so you may not be able to help. When I enter Venice to Wengen in Rail Europe, it says "We can't find a route for this journey". Also - when I enter Wengen, it says "Wengiboden" - Is that correct for my final destination? I had already purchased a ticket from Venice to Bern on Rail Europe - so I'm assuming I will need to use them for at least part of the journey since I don't believe it's refundable.

Posted by
8594 posts

The answer is - don't use RailEurope. Its not an operator of railroads, just one of many third-party sellers of tickets. They dont show all routes and all trains. You can use the German rail site bahn.com to look at trains all over Europe. But for Switzerland, use the Swiss railroad site sbb.ch/en and you'll find all the trains in Switzerland. Some of the trains in the mountains (like the last bit up to Wengen) are on privately owned lines so maybe thats why RailEurope cant show you a route. Note that ticket prices on sbb are based on assuming you have a half-price card, so you have to double the price to see what you'll pay.

Posted by
2774 posts

Here’s a thought. Keep your current ticket venice to bern. But instead of going all the way to bern, get off at spiez and from spiez you just need a ticket to wengen. You can just buy that ticket at the train station. No need to buy ahead of time. Or contact rail Europe and see if you can change your ticket to venice to Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen. Then, you just need a ticket from there to wengen. No need to buy ahead of time.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you, Carrie! It appears my ticket from Venice-Milan is refundable - but not the ticket from Milan to Bern. I double-checked, and we are on the EuroCity #52, and it definitely stops in Spiez. This is such a helpful tip!!

Posted by
33130 posts

the difference in price would have been slight Milan-Bern vs. Milan Spiez. Spiez all the way to Wengen is CHF25 pp; as far as Lauterbrunnen is CHF19 pp... Those are walk up prices. With a certainty of connection a Supersaver will knock of CHF2.20 pp but I think the flexibility is worth more...

It isn't like airlines where you must travel to your destination. With trains you just get off at the earlier stop and there is no issue. No money back on a non changeable ticket but no hassle. Just be ready - the train only stops at Spiez for a couple of minutes. As you come out of the long tunnel after Visp be ready with your luggage nearish the door ready to get off when the train stops.

Posted by
33130 posts

your IC52 is due to leave Visp (the last station before the long tunnel before Spiez) at 13:27 (1:27pm) and depart Spiez at 13:53 on platform 3.

A train will leave Spiez to Interlaken Ost (the last stop) at 14:05 from platform 2. Platforms 2 and 3 share an island so all you have to do is walk across maybe 5 or 10 steps. If your incoming is late the next is from platform 1 (escalator or lift unless you want stairs) at 14:34.

In Interlaken Ost go down the ramp or stairs to beyond platform 1 for the narrow gauge cogwheel BOB blue train (usually blue). Half will be marked to Grindelwald, half will be clearly marked to Lauterbrunnen. Get on the correct half. Otherwise when the train divides part way you will go to the wrong place....

Posted by
33130 posts

To Wengen, once the train reaches Lauterbrunnen station (end of the line) just follow the crowds to the yellow/green train and go one stop. Really easy.

Posted by
5 posts

I can not thank you all enough. The very detailed help on the train connections is so appreciated. That part is very intimidating when you're not used to that type of travel.

  • Should I go ahead and buy our train tickets from Wengen to Basel now? Or upon arrival in June?
  • Hotels: Any thoughts on Silberhorn, Sunstar, or Shonegg? I like that Silberhorn is right across from train station, but it's the most expensive. Is it worth it?
  • We are definitely planning to stay in Wengen Wed. & Thurs. night. Would you also stay Fri. night -- and travel to Basel early Sat. morning (cruise)? Or head into Basel Fri. night?