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Zurich to Interlaken Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Admin

Interlaken, which has a good infrastructure for tourists, can be reached easily by train from Zurich. You will find all the information you need about getting from Zurich to Interlaken by train in this article.

Image of Harder Kulm that you can reach from Interlaken
Image of Harder Kulm, Interlaken by TouringSwitzerland.com

Many tourists visit Interlaken, Switzerland because it is an excellent starting point for exploring the Bernese Oberland region. Because of its convenient location for hiking, adventure, and trips, tourists usually stay here for several days or longer. This is an excellent choice.

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 Zurich Airport to Interlaken? 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 Zurich to Interlaken.

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

Are There Direct Trains From Zurich to Interlaken?

Zurich Train Station
Image of Zurich Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

Based on the latest information from sbb.ch on December 2023, there are several direct trains from Zurich to Interlaken.

The following trains go directly from Zurich Train Station to Interlaken Ost and Interlaken West:

TrainDeparture Time
Intercity 816:02 AM
Intercity 818:02 AM
Intercity 8111:02 AM
Intercity 811:02 PM
Intercity 813:02 PM
Intercity 815:02 PM
Intercity 817:02 PM
Direct Trains from Zurich to Interlaken (updated December 2023)

Aside from the direct train connections listed above, there are two other easy options to go from Zurich to Interlaken. These are the following:

  • Zurich (or Zurich Airport) – Bern – Interlaken West / Interlaken Ost
  • Zurich (or Zurich Airport) – Lucerne – Interlaken West / Interlaken Ost

How to Get From Zurich to Interlaken

Image of the mountains around Interlaken
Image of the mountains around Harder Kulm, Interlaken by TouringSwitzerland.com

There are several ways to go from Zurich to Interlaken. The easiest way is to go on the direct train. There are around seven direct trains per day. In case you cannot catch one of the direct trains, you can take the fast trains to Bern. If you want to take the scenic route, you can go via Lucerne.

Train Route: Zurich – Bern – Interlaken Ost

  1. Take the train from Zurich (or Zurich Airport) to Bern.
  2. In Bern, take the Intercity train going to either Interlaken West or Interlaken Ost.

Train Route: Zurich – Lucerne – Interlaken Ost

The other alternative from Zurich to Interlaken is going via Lucerne. From Zurich, you can take the slower route to Interlaken via Lucerne. Using the Lucerne-Interlaken Express train will add around 50 minutes to your train journey. 

  1. Take the train from Zurich (or Zurich Airport) to Lucerne.
  2. In Lucerne, take the Lucerne-Interlaken Express to Interlaken Ost.
  3. In Interlaken Ost, take the connecting train to Interlaken West (optional).

How Long Is the Train Ride From Zurich to Interlaken?

Travelling from Zurich to Interlaken leads you to the Interlaken Ost Train Station
Image of the Interlaken Ost Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

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

RouteDuration (Fastest Connection)
Zurich – Bern – Interlaken Ost1 hour 56 minutes
Zurich Airport – Bern – Interlaken Ost2 hours 13 minutes
Zurich – Lucerne – Interlaken Ost2 hours 45 minutes
Zurich Airport – Lucerne – Interlaken Ost3 hours 7 minutes
Zurich to Interlaken Ost Travel Time
Image of Interlaken West Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

The following table shows the train ride duration from Zurich to Interlaken West:

RouteDuration (Fastest Connection)
Zurich – Bern – InterlakenWest1 hour 49 minutes
Zurich Airport – Bern – Interlaken West2 hours 6 minutes
Zurich –Lucerne – Interlaken Ost – InterlakenWest2 hours 54 minutes
Zurich Airport – Lucerne – Interlaken Ost – Interlaken West3 hours 16 minutes
Zurich to Interlaken West Travel Time

Intercity trains passing through Bern are the fastest and most straightforward way to go from Zurich to Interlaken. Traveling via Lucerne can be done, but it will add one hour or less to your journey.


Is the Train Route From Zurich to Interlaken Scenic?

Train Route: Zurich – Bern – Interlaken Ost

Image of Bern by TouringSwitzerland.com

Intercity trains from Zurich Airport to Bern are not scenic trains. There are fast trains that travel from one big city to another, whose main purpose is to transport passengers as quickly as possible. These trains can reach high speeds, particularly while traversing the Zurich to Bern section.  You can still see the scenery during the ride, but it won’t be slow and steady like other scenic trains.

Train Route: Zurich – Lucerne – Interlaken Ost

If you want a scenic train, you can check out the Lucerne-Interlaken train
Image of Lucerne by TouringSwitzerland.com

In contrast, the trains that run from Zurich to Interlaken Ost via Lucerne are scenic. While the first leg is not necessarily the most scenic part of the journey, the second leg from Lucerne to Interlaken is part of the GoldenPass Train line. Trains take off once an hour. Even though this train ride is almost one hour longer than the ones that go via Bern, it is a more scenic and enjoyable trip compared to the Intercity train.

Taking the Lucerne to the Interlaken train, you can see many sparkling lakes in Central Switzerland, as well as the Brünig mountain pass. You can enjoy the scenery through the large panoramic windows. Those preferring this route will find it very comfortable.


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

Here are the train ticket prices from Zurich to Interlaken (updated December 2023):

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich Airport – Bern – Interlaken West / Interlaken Ost77.0038.50
Zurich – Bern –Interlaken West / Interlaken Ost73.0036.50
Zurich Airport – Lucerne –Interlaken West / Interlaken Ost59.0029.50
Zurich – Lucerne –Interlaken West56.0028.00
Zurich – Lucerne – Interlaken Ost53.0026.50
Train Ticket Prices From Zurich to Interlaken

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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Recommended Hotels in Interlaken

Image of Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa in Interlaken
Image of Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa by TouringSwitzerland.com

Should you decide to stay for a night or more in Interlaken, here are some hotel suggestions:

  • Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa (5-star) – A luxurious and elegant hotel with distinctive design and decor, marble bathrooms, and views of the Jungfrau mountain.
  • Swiss Hotel Apartments (5-star apartments) – With spacious rooms equipped with a kitchen, balcony, dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker, it’s the most affordable and convenient place to stay in Interlaken. It’s also just 80 meters from Interlaken Ost train station, so you can easily get there from Zurich and Geneva airports. 
  • Hotel Interlaken (4-star) – This 4-star hotel, conveniently located next to the Japanese Garden, offers good value for money in pricey Interlaken. It’s just a short walk from Interlaken Ost train station, and the staff is friendly and helpful.
  • Hotel Bellevue (4-star) – This boutique hotel is near Interlaken West train station. Each room has a balcony with a view of the mountains. 
  • Hotel Bernerhof (3-star) – The Hotel Bernerhof is an affordable, central hotel right opposite Interlaken West train station. It has modern rooms and a restaurant that serves Swiss food. 
  • Interlaken Youth Hostel (Hostel) – A convenient hostel located near the Interlaken Ost train station. They have clean and basic accommodations, plus breakfast is included.

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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.