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.
An easy journey from Zurich, 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 Zurich to Bern? Does it offer scenic views? So on and so forth.
This article will answer all your questions about the train journey from Zurich to Bern.
How To Get From Zurich to Bern
As a first step, you should know about this website: www.sbb.ch. If you wish to install the app on your phone, they have one as well. Using the website, you can simply type in your arrival and departure destinations. After that, it will guide you to where you need to be and when.
Coming from Zurich Airport
If you are coming from the Zurich Airport, take one of the next trains to the Zurich main station (Zurich HB). Several trains come every hour and stop in Zurich so just hop on the next train after buying a ticket from the ticketing office or one of the ticket machines.
Coming from Zurich Train Station
As soon as you reach the Zurich Train Station (Zurich HB), check the big blue display boards in the middle. You can find the train number and platform number on the station signs. Furthermore, the trains will be marked on the front and the sides with which route they are traveling.
In order to get to Bern from Zurich, you’ll have to take the Intercity or Interregio train from Zurich (Zürich HB) to Bern.
How Long To Get From Zurich to Bern
It typically takes 52 to 96 minutes to travel by train from Zurich’s main train station toBern, depending on which train you take.
- The fastest trains are the Intercity trains (IC) traveling to Geneva Airport and Brig because those trains do not stop anywhere else before stopping in Bern.
- The second-fastest trains are the Inter-regional trains (IR) departing for Bern. These trains stop in Baden, Brugg AG, Aarau, and Olten before arriving in Bern.
- The Aare Linth trains departing for Bern are the slowest due to an 8-minute stop in Olten. These trains stop also in Zürich Altstetten, Langenthal, Herzogenbuchsee, and Burgdorf before arriving in Bern.
Is the Train From Zurich toBern Scenic?
The trains from Zurich to Bern do not have the most scenic train route. Basically, 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.
Other Scenic Trains
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.
Your other options in detail are the following:
- Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. You would take a train from Zurich to Lucerne, then change to Interlaken. This is sometimes referred to as the east end of this route. 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. Both 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 definitely 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 Zurich or 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 Zurich toBern Cost?
As of the time of writing (updated February 2023), here are the train ticket prices from Zurich to Bern:
|Route||Full Fare (CHF)||Half Fare (CHF)|
|Zurich – Bern||51.00||25.50|
|Zurich Airport – Zermatt||56.00||28.00|
As you can see, if you avail of the Half Fare Travel Card, you can definitely save on your fare for long train journeys. So this is definitely 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.