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Interlaken to Lucerne Train: All You Need To Know 

Last Updated on December 12, 2023 by Darla Uhl

In this article, we will explore the train journey options from Interlaken to Lucerne, providing essential information for those who are contemplating a visit to this enchanting destination.

Image of Lucerne by TouringSwitzerland.com

Opting to visit Lucerne from Interlaken is a great idea, as it offers not only stunning scenery but also convenience, thanks to the availability of a scenic train that connects the two destinations. If you’re planning to travel from Interlaken to Lucerne by train and want to relish the breathtaking views en route, this article will serve as your comprehensive guide.

If you’re looking for detailed information on how to travel from Interlaken to Lucerne via the scenic train route, this article has got you covered.

Image of the Lucerne – Interlaken Express Train by TouringSwitzerland.com

Lucerne, nestled in the heart of Switzerland, is renowned for its stunning beauty and charm. Its idyllic location on a crystal-clear, fjord-like lake and the surrounding majestic mountains make it one of the country’s most picturesque destinations. Many tourists also flock to nearby Interlaken due to its convenient location in Bernese Oberland, and some of them choose to venture to Lucerne.

Inevitably, logistics are a concern. In particular, train travel in Switzerland has a few specifics for those who plan to use it. How can I get from Interlaken to Lucerne? Do the trains offer scenic views? How much are the tickets?

On this page, you can find all the information you need regarding the train journey from Interlaken to Lucerne.

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

You can start by visiting the SBB website: www.sbb.ch. Using the website, you can type in your departure and arrival destinations. It will then guide you to where and when you need to be. An app is also available for iOS and Android devices.

If you wish to pay half the fare for all your train rides in Switzerland, a Half Fare Discount Card (1-month validity) is available on www.sbb.ch. This allows you to travel for half the price on all SBB routes and most other railways during the duration of your discount card.

Using the Swiss Pass, you get unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat in Switzerland. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.

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Getting tickets from RailEurope is convenient while traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. Having been in operation since the 1930s, RailEurope‘s extensive history, user-friendly website and mobile apps, flexible currency payment options, commitment to customer satisfaction, and strategic partnerships with leading rail operators, collectively establish it as a reliable and trustworthy platform for booking European train travel.

You can obtain from RailEurope the following travel passes:

  • Swiss Travel Pass – choose between continuous or flexible Swiss train passes for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days. The perks? unlimited use in over 90 Swiss cities, free admission to more than 500 museums, and discounts on mountain railways and cable cars. You also get discounts on high-speed Lyria trains between France and Switzerland as well as Nightjet trains that go through Switzerland. See RailEurope for more information.
  • Eurail Global Pass – unlimited train travel to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for non-EU residents
  • Interrail Global Pass – access to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for citizens and permanent residents of the EU

How to Get From Interlaken to Lucerne

Image of the Brünig Railway Line by Wikimedia

TIP: If you’re going from Interlaken to Lucerne, take the direct train in the morning or afternoon (until the last direct train leaves). Check sbb.ch for train schedules to make sure the trains are running as planned.

The Brünig railway line takes you from Interlaken to Lucerne. This is a railway line that links Interlaken with Lucerne. It runs through Brienz, Meiringen, Brünig-Hasliberg, Lungern, Kaiserstuhl OW, Giswil, Sachseln, and Sarnen.

As the train goes over the Brünig Pass, rack railway sections are used to overcome gradients. The route from Meiringen to Brünig Pass is the steepest rack-worked section. 

Interlaken Ost to Lucerne Train Station

Image of Lucerne Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

Lucerne is best reached by taking the direct train from Interlaken Ost to Lucerne. After Interlaken Ost, there will be stops in Brienz, Meiringen, Brünig-Hasliberg, Lungern, Kaiserstuhl OW, Giswil, Sachseln, and Sarnen.

Direct trains operating between Interlaken Ost and Lucerne are available only during specific hours, from 7:04 AM to 8:04 PM. If you’re traveling beyond these hours, you’ll need to switch to a connecting train in Bern. For more precise and up-to-date information, we suggest visiting SBB.ch.

If there are no longer any direct trains from Interlaken Ost to Lucerne running, you can do the following route:

  1. Take the Regional train from Interlaken Ost to Bern. The last train leaves at 9:00 PM.
  2. From Bern, take the Interregio train to Lucerne.

Unfortunately, the train route via Bern is no longer the scenic route that passes through Brünig. If you miss the last train in the evening, the subsequent trains will require multiple changes. In such a scenario, it might be better to consider taking the Interlaken to Lucerne scenic train the next day instead.

Are There Direct Trains From Interlaken to Lucerne?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), there is one direct train per hour from Interlaken Ost to Lucerne. These trains run from 7:04 AM to 8:04 PM. If you miss the last direct train, you’ll need to switch trains in Bern or wait until the following day to catch the next available train.

To get to Lucerne from Interlaken West, you will have to change to a connecting train in Interlaken Ost.


How Long Is the Train Ride From Interlaken to Lucerne?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Interlaken to Lucerne (updated December 2023):

RouteDuration (Fastest Connection)
Interlaken Ost – Lucerne1 hour 51 minutes
Interlaken West – Lucerne1 hour 55 minutes
Lucerne – Interlaken Ost1 hour 49 minutes
Lucerne – Interlaken West1 hour 58 minutes
Estimated Travel Time from Interlaken to Lucerne

Is the Train Route From Interlaken to Lucerne Scenic?

Yes, the train from Interlaken to Lucerne via Brünig Pass is a scenic train called Golden Pass. It’s also called the Lucerne – Interlaken Express.

On a two-hour train ride, passengers marvel at five crystal-clear mountain lakes that collect water from rivers and waterfalls. Unique photo motifs are formed by the steep mountain faces surrounding the lake.

To show how it looks from the train, I took some pictures. The first photo shows the Brienzersee (Lake Brienz) as seen from Brienz, and the next one is the countryside after traversing the Brünigpass.

The next two pictures are of Lungerersee (Lake Lungern) and Sarnersee (Lake Sarnen), the second and third lakes you will see coming from Interlaken.

Among all the five lakes, Lungerernsee was the most scenic (for me) with its pretty color and beautiful mountain backdrop.

If you would like to learn more about Lake Lungern, check out Lake Lungern: A Beautiful Lake in Obwalden, Switzerland.

The next two pictures are of Lungerersee (Lake Lungern) and Sarnersee (Lake Sarnen), the second and third lakes you will see coming from Interlaken.


How Much Will the Train Ticket From Interlaken to Lucerne Cost?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), here are the train ticket prices from Interlaken to Lucerne:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Interlaken Ost – Lucerne34.0017.00
Interlaken West – Lucerne36.0018.00
Train Ticket Prices from Interlaken to Lucerne

As you can see, if you avail of the Half Fare Travel Card, you can save on your fare for long train journeys. So this is something to consider during your travel to Switzerland. You can do simple calculations and decide from there if it will be worth it for you.


Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

No, there is no need to reserve a spot on the train. But you can always add this option if that is your wish.


Recommended Hotels in Lucerne

Image of Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne by TouringSwitzerland.com

Looking for a hotel in Lucerne? We’ve got some great options below:

  • Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern (5-star) – Directly on the lake, this refined hotel is located in the old town of Lucerne. You’ll also find a gym, a spa, and modern furniture amid elegant interiors. A 10-minute walk gets you to the train station.
  • Grand Hotel National Luzern (5-star) – A luxurious hotel built in the 1870s. Close to the train station and the historic old town, this hotel has elegant interiors, fantastic lake views, and a swimming pool.
  • Hermitage Lake Lucerne (4-star) – Set on the shores of Lake Lucerne, this tranquil hotel is a great place to relax. While it’s a little outside of the city, it has stunning views and refined restaurants. There’s also a beach club with daybeds, lounges, drinks, snacks, and cool music. Party boats are available to rent or you can take public boats that stop right outside the hotel. My family has stayed here and has loved it. I highly recommend it. 
  • AMERON Luzern Hotel Flora (4-star) – Near the train station and the Chapel Bridge, this hotel has chic rooms and a great breakfast.  
  • Hotel Rebstock (4-star) – A historic, half-timbered hotel dating from the late Middle Ages, Hotel Rebstock is one of the 16 Unique and Historical Hotels in Switzerland. It is ideally located near the Hof Church, the Lion Monument, and the Glacier Garden.
  • Hotel Central Luzern (3-star) – In a central location near the train station, the chapel bridge, the old town, and the Rosengart Collection, Hotel Central Luzern offers bright, clean, recently renovated rooms, as well as a delicious breakfast. The rooms are reasonably priced. As a result of the hotel’s central location, you might hear some noise at night.
  • Backpackers Luzern (Hostel) – The Backpackers Luzern is on the shores of Lake Lucerne, in a quiet area. Besides free kitchen facilities and WiFi, this charming hostel has a common lounge area with table tennis and table soccer. Each room has comfortable beds and a balcony. Walking to Lucerne’s train station takes less than 15 minutes.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.