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Wengen 101

Hey folks:
My family (me, wife, two young teen sons) are headed to Switzerland to finish off our first European vacation in August, and looking for some insight.
We have a place in Wengen booked (looks stunning), but we're thoroughly unfamiliar with how to finagle public transportation, what all is can't-miss, etc.
So, any insight folks could offer on:
- how best to get from Innsbruck to Wengen?
- how far out we should book said transportation to get the best seats together as a family?
- what are some can't miss sights to wrap up what'll likely be our one European vacation as a family?
Thanks in advance for whatever insight you can pass along.

Posted by
20032 posts

How many days in Wengen? And where to after that?

Posted by
8 posts

5 nights in Wengen. Then to Zurich hotel before early flight back to the states.
my son mentioned something about a valley of a thousand waterfalls that's a must do on his list. and cable cars and gondolas and god knows what else. but we should have time to do all sorts of stuff (I'm hoping(

Posted by
7253 posts

I really recommend buying & thoroughly reading the Rick Steves Switzerland book. He explains all of the options, the train system, etc. in an expensive country like Switzerland, it’s worth it to know the answers to questions we didn’t even know to ask during our first trip!

Wengen is in a gorgeous area! We’ve been there twice and enjoyed it so much!

Posted by
4675 posts

You are in luck as Wengen is discussed here on the Forum several times a week. Just review the threads under the Switzerland section.
You are in for a treat in this beautiful country!

Posted by
20032 posts

If you each get a Half Fare Card for 120 CHF, you can get a a 6-day Berner Oberland Pass for 220 CHF each. That will cover trains and lifts up to Eigergletcher and half fare for the train to the Jungfraujoch from there. It will also cover the train from Bern to Wengen coming from Innsbruck, and the train to Luzern on the way to Zurich (highly recommend going that way for the scenic train ride). The Half fare Card gives you discount on the train from the Swiss border at Buchs to Bern, then discount on the train from Luzern to Zurich.
https://www.berneseoberlandpass.ch/
https://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/inspiration/international-guests/swiss-halffare-card.html

Posted by
2303 posts

Most Swiss trains don’t have reserved seats. You just get on and find a seat. If it’s very crowded, you may have to split up until seats become available.

Download the SBB app for train info.

Here are a couple sites that I found helpful in researching our upcoming trip:

https://www.earthtrekkers.com/mannlichen-to-kleine-scheidegg-panorama-trail/

https://swissfamilyfun.com/schynige-platte-panorama-trail/

Sylvia Michel Photography has an amazing YouTube channel of walks through the region. Just google Wengen hikes and check out the scenery.

Posted by
318 posts

rome2rio.com is also a big help when getting ideas about how to travel from one place to another. Definitely check the details on specific train sites after you understand the big picture, though.

Posted by
1625 posts

You can easily get from Innsbruck to Wengen by train. There are normally direct trains from Innsbruck to Zurich, where you then change for either a direct train to Interlaken, or one with a change in Bern. Then in Interlaken you change for Lauterbrunnen, and then Wengen. May sound complicated, but isn't. Changing trains is a normal and expected feature of train travel.

Regarding tickets: Book this with the Austrian Railways, as this will be a lot cheaper. The Austrian Railways cannot book you all the way to Wengen though. But they can book you to Lauterbrunnen. Currently I see for August a price of 66,20 for two adults and two children. That is tremendously good value. Reservations will cost extra (as they are not compulsory), but I would recommend them. You can for example pick four places around a table.

It is a nice ride, and the best way to get here.

What pass you buy when you get here will depend on what you want to do. A half fare card, or a pass, or something. You can wait for that till you are here, as you can get everything at the station in Lauterbrunnen.

Lauterbrunnen is often tauted as the valley of the 72 waterfalls. A local here however made in inventory and came to about 300. I have a project to put them all on a map.

However to see them you have to hike. The best ones are actually all the way in the back of the Valley. Take the bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg and walk to Trachsellauenen, Obersteinberg or Tschingelhorn. That is an all day hike, and requires good shoes and the right clothes, but it is amazing.

Posted by
20032 posts

two young teen sons

Note that "children" are 15 and younger. 16 and up are adults.

Posted by
11302 posts

I concur that you really need to get your hands on Rick Steves’ Switzerland guidebook. It was how we figured out our first trip to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, a place we now visit annually for hiking. The book explains Swiss transportation thoroughly as well as passes. Come back here with specific questions, but let the whole family read the chapter on the area soon!

Posted by
4385 posts

Youtube is also full of travel videos about Wengen, you'll get tons of info. In my case I decided that it didn't look as appealing as my (all too brief) visit to Murren so that is where I'm aiming for next time.