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Lucerne to Bern Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on December 12, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Switzerland’s de facto capital, Bern, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland. Bern is the seat of the Swiss Federal Government.

Image of Bern by TouringSwitzerland.com

An easy journey from Lucerne, Bern is in the heart of Switzerland. Across the Aare River in Bern is its Old Town, a perfectly preserved historic city center with cobblestone streets and arched sandstone buildings. Welcoming guests is the Zytglogge, a 13th-century clock tower, and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. In these covered arcades, you will find lots of shops and restaurants. The Old Town of Bern is definitely one worth visiting and one that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Logistical concerns come up inevitably. Particularly for those who want to travel by rail in Switzerland, there are several specifics concerning train travel. What is the best way to get from Lucerne to Bern? Does it offer scenic views? So on and so forth.

This article will answer all your questions about the train journey from Lucerne to Bern.

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 Lucerne to Bern

Image of Lucerne’s Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

You can get from Lucerne to Bern easily by taking the direct Interregio train (IR 15) that goes every hour. The direct Interregio trains depart from Platform 8 in Lucerne at the following times (updated December 2023):

6:00 AM11:00 AM4:00 PM9:00 PM
7:00 AM12:00 PM5:00 PM10:00 PM
8:00 AM1:00 PM6:00 PM11:00 PM
9:00 AM2:00 PM7:00 PM
10:00 AM3:00 PM8:00 PM
IR 15 Train Schedule from Lucerne to Bern

Platform 8 is typically the departure point for the IR 15 trains. However, it is always advisable to check the correct platform in the train station, as it may have changed.

In addition, you can take a direct regional express train (RE7) or change trains via Olten. However, you are better off taking the direct Interregio trains as these are the fastest.

How To Get From Bern to Lucerne

Zurich to Bern - Image of Bern Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Bern’s Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

You can get from Bern to Lucerne easily by taking the direct Interregio train (IR 15) that goes every hour. The direct Interregio trains depart from Platform 10 in Bern at the following times (updated December 2023):

6:00 AM11:00 AM4:00 PM9:00 PM
7:00 AM12:00 PM5:00 PM10:00 PM
8:00 AM1:00 PM6:00 PM11:00 PM
9:00 AM2:00 PM7:00 PM
10:00 AM3:00 PM8:00 PM
IR 15 Train Schedule from Bern to Lucerne

Platform 10 is typically the departure point for trains, except the 11:00 PM train that leaves from Platform 6. However, it is always advisable to check the correct platform in the train station, as it may have changed.

In addition, you can take a direct regional express train (RE7) or change trains via Olten. However, you are better off taking the direct Interregio trains as these are the fastest.


How Long To Get From Lucerne to Bern

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

Train RouteEstimated Travel Time
Lucerne – Bern (IR 15)1 hour
Lucerne – Bern (RE7)1 hour 29 minutes
Bern – Lucerne (IR 15)1 hour 1 minute
Bern – Lucerne (RE7)1 hour 27 minutes

Is the Train From Lucerne to Bern Scenic?

The trains from Lucerne to Bern do not have the most scenic train route. These are commuter trains designed to get passengers from one city to another quickly. The trains go at high speed like TGV trains to Paris. 

In case you would like to check out other scenic trains, then there are more scenic trains recommended below. These are the Golden Pass Line, the Glacier Express, and the Bernina Express. Another interesting train is the Historical Train that goes from Davos to Filisur.

Image of Bernina Express by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Bernina Express by TouringSwitzerland.com

Your other options in detail are the following:

  • Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. The Golden Pass has panorama coaches and is scenic.
  • Glacier Express – Glacier Express is a long journey that starts from Zermatt, home of Matterhorn. It then traverses 291 bridges and 91 tunnels before stopping in St. Moritz. Zermatt and St. Moritz are beautiful mountain resorts worthy of a longer stay. The Glacier Express passes by several idyllic mountain villages.
  • Bernina Express – Bernina Express is another train route that begins in Chur. Chur is the oldest alpine city in Switzerland and is worth visiting. This train route spans 196 bridges. It goes through 55 tunnels and passes 20 beautiful villages in Switzerland. For you to go on this scenic train, you will have to go from Lucerne or Bern to Chur first.
  • Historical Train Davos to Filisur – May through October, vintage carriages are pulled by the century-old crocodile locomotive from Davos Platz to Filisur. The train line covers a total length of 4,200 meters through 14 tunnels and 28 bridges. Its scenic highlights include the Wiesen Viaduct and the Zügen Gorge.

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

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

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Lucerne – Bern41.0020.50
Ticket Prices from Lucerne to Bern

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.

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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.

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