Zurich to Zermatt To Interlaken To Paris

Zurich Airport 26.08.2013 to Zermatt 27.08.2013 (one night stay) to Interlaken Ost (3 night stay) 30.08.2013 to Paris. Please help. I have listed my itinerary above. Wish to spend 3 days in Interlaken as our hub for day trips of Berner Oberland region including Grimmelwald, Murren, Jungfraugh Top of Europe trip. then to Paris from Interlaken Ost on early morning 30.01.2013. I am confused about which transportation tickets are best and most economical that will accommodate our needs. Two adjults traveling together at all times. I have been looking at Swiss Pass, Point to Point Tickets, transfer tickets, Berner Oberland passes and I am totally confused. Any help and guidance will be greatly appreciated. We have booked our hotels for all nights. Thank you for your kind consideration.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3069 posts

First of all, why Interlaken? All of your "day trips" (Gimmelwald, Murren, Jungfraugh Top of Europe trip) are going to involve train travel everyday from Interlaken Ost to the Lauterbrunnen Valley where you'll branch out to these various places. Every single day you'll get up and train to the Lauterbrunnen Valley...there are very nice places to stay in Lauterbrunnen with scenery that will knock your socks off. Secondly, according to the itinerary you've listed your dates of stay in Switzerland were back in January 2013. What's up with that?

Posted by De
Chicago, IL, USA
19 posts

Thank you. That is odd tha I wrote January. Actually the dates are in August, 2013. Thanks for catching that.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3069 posts

Right off the top of my head I would say get yourself a Half Fare card when you arrive in Zurich Airport. Then all of your train tickets will be half price with your card. You'll even get a bigger discount on the super expensive Jungfrau trip than you would with a Swiss Pass. Swiss Passes are convenient in that you don't have to stand in line to buy tickets for normal routes. You would, for example need to buy a ticket to the Jungfrau because the Swiss Pass will only get you as far up as Wengen. The Half Fare card will require you to purchase tickets before each journey, but when you're at the ticket counter just show them your Half Fare card and your tickets will be reduced by 50%. You can see all the schedules and even purchase tickets via the www.sbb.ch/en Swiss Train website. If you book far enough ahead you might be able to get some of the few super discounted tickets on the TGV to Paris.

Posted by De
Chicago, IL, USA
19 posts

Thank you very much Tim. As for your question about why Interlaken? First trip there and didn't know any better (?). Thank you for all of your help and I am keeping track of the first opportunity to purchase the ticket to Paris as you suggested.

Posted by Jim
Dallas, Texas, USA
495 posts

Like Tim, I would select half-fare card as well. Are there any health issues to consider (asking due to heights of Jungfrau)? I believe reviewing Rick Steves guidebook regarding the Berner Oberland area would be in your best interest. You'll love it.

Posted by De
Chicago, IL, USA
19 posts

Thank you, I did see on line a Bern Oberland 3-day pass for unlimited travel in the area with a round trip to Jungfraugh Top of Europe. Is this a possiblity based on your experience? I would still need to purchase a ticket from Zurich to Zermatt and back to Interlaken right and then the ticket to Paris. So many passes. I greatly appreciate all of your feedback. Yes, I am picking up Rick Steve's guidebook this weekend. I am thankful that I have started planning far enough in advance to get my questions answered. Again to everyone who has responded, I greatly appreciate your help.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3069 posts

Stick with the Half Fare Card. It works everywhere in Switzerland...not just the Berner Oberland.

Posted by De
Chicago, IL, USA
19 posts

Thank you. I appreciate all of your guidance.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Tim is right about the Half Fare Card being best for the Jungfrau. However, for your trip, I suggest a Swiss Card for $210. It is essentially a Transfer Ticket plus Half Fare Card. So for $210, you would get free travel from Zurich Airport to Zermatt (cost 123 CHF) and from Interlaken Ost to Basel (58 CHF). In between it is a Half Fare Card (Value 120 CHF). (Note that the price of the Half Fare Card on this website is wrong. 110 CHF is last year's price.) You can buy the Swiss Card on this website in dollars, which saves the foreign transfer fee if your credit card charges one. And it will save time when you get to Zurich, as you won't have to stand in line to buy the Half Fard Card and tickets to Zermatt.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Also-your trip is not until late August. You have plenty of time to change from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, or Mürren (assuming you can cancel your reservation in Interlaken). When you see these places, you will be glad you did change.

Posted by De
Chicago, IL, USA
19 posts

Thank you Lola, Unfortunately we booked the hotel and cannot change reservations but we will be in the areas mentioned. We will know better for our next trip and now that I have signed up here, I can ask questions before I act. I appreciate everyone's help. My husband and I are very new to traveling outside the US except for cruises. Last year we did a 1 day in London and then Eurostar for 1 day in Paris before a transatlantic cruise. I loved Paris so much that we are making that our second week on this trip. I am sure I will have questions about Paris soon. Thanks again.

Posted by Mme Eli
XXX
1170 posts

De, thank you for this post! I found out last week that we are going to Europe later in May, so some of the comments here were very helpful to me.

Posted by Marlene
Easton, Pennsylvan, United States
5 posts

Hi, Have been to all of the places you mentioned. Agree with a previous responder...don't stay in Interlaken...given the amount of time you will be spending in the Bernese Oberland. Recommend staying in a smaller town like Lauterbrunnen or Wengen...would be much easier...especially if you would like to do some walking in the Area. I would not recommend going to ZERMATT for ONE DAY! You could travel the whole way and it be overcast and you would see nothing. It is abt a two hour ride each way from where you will be staying. The Matterhorn is often covered by clouds in the afternoon... So consider spending the entire time in the Bernese Oberland and soaking in the landscape. Save Zermatt for another trip when you can spent some time in the Valais Canton...also beautiful.
The half fare card is 120 SF this year. Then every lift is half fare including Jungfrau. You need to do the math and compare what lifts you want to use and whether the Bernese Oberland Card is better. I will be in Zermatt again in June and I will think of you! Blessings on your trip.