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Need help planning a transportation plane or train? Pass or point to point.

Hi, I am doing a last-minute trip to see friends in Switzerland and Germany. I have the following dates 11/21-Dec. 2
Need to be in Interlaken, Biel, Dusseldorf, Mannheim, Zurich in that order. Do I purchase a train ticket from the states ahead of time? Is it best to buy at the station if my schedule needs to change?

Posted by
24842 posts

where is your flight arriving? Where are you getting to Interlaken (shame, much better in the mountains) from? Where is your outbound flight leaving from after Zürich?

Posted by
4 posts

London to Zurich on the 21st of Nov. Friend picking me up and driving to Interlaken. On the 22nd I hope to go to Biel for the night and then back to Interlaken/Wengen. Nov. 26 Interlaken to Dusseldorf for a few days then down to Mannheim and fly out of Zurich on the 2nd. With the rain and snow, I will be inside most of the time.

Posted by
1698 posts

Why rain and snow? Snow is uncommon in Zürich or even Interlaken in early December. You might well have the chance to explore the outdoors... I'm also assuming you have friends in every city listed, otherwise some of them make me wonder why you want to go there (Biel? Mannheim?).

Posted by
15751 posts

Today, you can buy print-at-home tickets from Interlaken Ost to Dusseldorf Hbf with train changes in Basel and Mannheim for 29.90 EUR. Travel time is 6 hours and 15 minutes and the quickest itinerary by train. Go to

There are a few direct trains from Mannheim to Zurich on Dec 1. The 6:33 is going for 29.90 EUR, the 10:46 costs 39.90 EUR. Takes 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 hours. Again, buy them at the Bahn website.

Duesseldorf to Mannheim trains are direct and very frequent, like every 30 minutes. Prices vary and take 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

Pretend that they are airline flights, then you don't have to worry about your schedule changing. You'll save a ton of money buying now, like 200 EUR.

If you want maximum flexibility, you could buy a 3-day German Rail Flex Pass. It is on special now for travel in your time window for 180 EUR. You will have to buy supplements for the sections in Switzerland. Then you can ride any train you want. It is more money than buy advance tickets, which should run you about 120 EUR if you buy now, but gives total flexibility.

Posted by
4 posts

I want to thank you all for your recommendations. I did buy point to point train tickets through both and It was practical, punctual and prudent as I saved some money booking ahead. My trip was a complete success and I highly recommend travel to Europe off-season to avoid the crowds. The gluhwein and Christmas markets were just what I needed for Thanksgiving abroad.

Happy Holidays to all,