Train travel

Hello! 3 of us (ages 62,56 and 22) will be traveling from Konstanz to Lauterbrunnen in July. 2 questions: should we purchase train tickets early (before we leave the states), a few days early or day of departure? Do they continue to go up in price like airline tickets? We also want to stop in Interlaken for about an hour and have lunch and pick up groceries before we head into Lauterbrunnen. Do we need separate tickets (one from Konstanz to Interlacken and one from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen?) Also trying to decide on half fare card...since we only need Konstanz to Lauterbrunn and Lauterbrunnen to Zurich plus a couple of rides up to Murren and Wengen over 5 days, it does not reach the $240 threshold advised here. If we decide to do the EXPENSIVE ride to Shilthorn or Grindelwals/First then it would likely pay off. Any advice on this?
This forum is so wonderful-thanks to everyone who helps!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11276 posts

Standard (Full Fare) ticket are set. They are the same price whenever you buy them. Discount ticket, at least the German Rail Sparpreis tickets are tiered; when the lowest priced tickets sell out, the next tickets are more. You can purchase some tickets from Konstanz to Interlaken Ost on the German Rail (Bahn) website. Then, in Interlaken, you can buy local tickets to Lauterbrunnen (7,40 CHF). However, these are full fare tickets, no discounts for advance purchase. You can also purchase tickets from Konstanz all the way to Lauterbrunnen from Swiss Rail (www.sbb.ch). No idea about discounts.

Posted by Suzanne
sacramento, ca
6 posts

Thank you! I cannot get prices on the German web site but can on the Swiss. It appears that it costs more to interrupt the journey with a stop in Interlaken.
I think I will just get the tickets a few days early!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11276 posts

Not quite sure why you can't get prices on the Bahn website for Konstanz to Lauterbrunnen, because you could get prices if you were coming from Stuttgart. In fact, you could get advance purchase tickets if you were coming from Stuttgart using an express train (ICE/IC/EC). I don't know how Swiss Rail does it (maybe Lola knows), but in Germany, if you have a ticket from pt A to pt C going through pt B, and B to C is by regional train, you can take any regional train from pt B to C, as long as it is on the same route. You could spend any amount of time in B, as long as you finished your trip by a certain time (sometimes midnight). You can get a ticket all the way to Lauterbrunnen from the Bahn, and even a discount (39€/P) ticket, if you use the "stopover" function. Use Offenburg as the first stopover. This route would take a lot longer, including a trip on the scenic Schwartzwaldbahn, but would give you the advance purchase discount option. If you use Interlaken Ost as the second stopover, you can even specify the time in Interlaken.