Should I purchase regular tickets or a rail pass to go from Salzburg to Innsbruck, Innsbruck to Zurich, Zurich to Interlaken & Zurich to Bern?

Hi, Im planning on traveling from salzburg -- innsbruck -- zurich, and will be going on day trips to interlaken/bern.. 1. Should i get the Austria - Swiss Pass or should i just get individual train tickets?2. Does the pass covers inner city transport as well?ThankSharon
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 27, 2017 20:21
    Hi Sharon,

    Since you're planning on making trips to Interlaken and Bern when you're in Zurich, I would recommend going with a rail pass, as opposed to regular tickets. For your itinerary, you would purchase the 2 country option of the Eurail Select Pass for Austria and Switzerland.

    For the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    Salzburg to Innsbruck (most direct option / Railjet trains through Germany)

    The most feasible/fastest way to get from Salzburg to Innsbruck is to take a direct Railjet train. The direct Railjets from Salzburg to Innsbruck actually pass through a small part of Bavaria en route; however, for these trains, you would not need to have Germany included on you rail pass. This route is scenic, running over both the Rosenheim-Salzburg and Rosenheim-Kufstein Railways.

    On the Railjets from Salzburg to Innsbruck, reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to a rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a Railjet from Salzburg to Innsbruck by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Two Country Select Pass').

    Salzburg to Innsbruck (via Bischofshofen/Schwarzach)

    Other options from Salzburg to Innsbruck, perhaps considered even a little more scenic, would involve being routed a different direction, down through Bischofshofen and Schwarzach, before cutting west to Innsbruck. The most feasible of these options take about 3.5 hours in duration and involve changing trains at least once in Schwarzach along the way.

    From Salzburg to Schwarzach, you would take either a Railjet or EC (EuroCity) train. On these trains, reservations are accepted, but not necessary.

    From Schwarzach to Innsbruck, you can then take a direct IC (InterCity) or a direct EC (EuroCity) train that goes right from Schwarzach to Innsbruck. Otherwise, following the same path, there are regional trains to Wörgl, where you would switch to a Railjet train that will take you the short distance into Innsbruck. Reservations are not necessary at all on any of these trains, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board.

    For planning purposes, schedules for the trains from Salzburg to Schwarzach are able to be viewed by doing a search on our website.

    Schedules for trains between Schwarzach and Innsbruck are not able to be viewed on our website. If you'd like to inquire about schedules for this option, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.

    Taken all together, the trains from Salzburg to Innsbruck that go via Bischofshofen and Scwarzach make up the Salzburg-Tyrol Railway.

    Innsbruck to Zurich

    From Innsbruck to Zurich, you would take a direct Railjet train. On these trains, reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to the rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a Railjet from Innsbruck to Zurich by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Two Country Select Pass').

    The Railjets from Innsbruck to Zurich follow along a famous scenic stretch of railway known as the Arlberg Railway. This stretch of railway starts right as you leave Innsbruck and goes as far as Bludenz, right before you get to the Swiss border.

    Zurich to Interlaken (via Bern)

    From Zurich to Interlaken, the shortest connections take just under 2 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Bern along the way.

    Reservations are not necessary on either of these trains, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board. For planning, you can view schedules for this route on our website by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Zurich to Bern and another search for connecting trains from Bern to Interlaken.

    Zurich to Interlaken (via Lucerne/GoldenPass)

    If you don't mind adding about an hour to your journey time, you can take a different route that involves following along a segment of the famed GoldenPass scenic route for part of the way. This option would take just under 3 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Lucerne along the way, instead of Bern. The segment from Lucerne to Interlaken is on the GoldenPass scenic route.

    On the GoldenPass segment from Lucerne to Interlaken, reservations are possible but not necessary. Trains from Zurich to Lucerne don't even accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board.

    Once again, you can still view schedules by doing a search for these routes right on the homepage of our website. For the option via the GoldenPass/Lucerne, you would just do one search for trains from Zurich to Lucerne and another search for connecting trains from Lucerne to Interlaken.

    Zurich to Bern

    From Zurich to Bern, there are direct IC (InterCity) trains and direct regional trains. The IC trains from Zurich to Bern take just under 1 hour, and the regional trains from Zurich to Bern take just under 1.5 hours. There is no need at all to book reservations on these trains, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board.

    For planning purposes, you can view schedules for the trains from Zurich to Bern by doing a search on our homepage.
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    • Hi Jeff,

      I'm now planning to get a 3-days swiss pass. So am i right to say:
      1. Transportation within zurich, zurich-bern, within bern is covered by the swiss pass?
      2. I wish to visit Mount First, Grindelwald. The Swiss pass will rover the route from Zurich - Grinderwald and im suppose to get a ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’from there on?

      Thanks
      Sharon
    • Jeff (Official Rep) August 17, 2017 20:53
      Hi Sharon,

      1.) The Swiss Travel Pass is unlike other rail passes in that it does cover public transit networks within cities. Therefore, it will cover you on public city transit in Zurich and Bern.

      2.) The Swiss Travel Pass would cover you on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’ from Interlaken to Grindelwald and then enable you to receive a discount of 25-50% on the Firstbahn cable cars. To receive the 25%-50% discount on the Firstbahn, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Gindelwald - For Use Only With Swiss Travel Pass’ option of the ‘Grindelwald-First Top of Adventure’ pass. You would purchase this here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/grindelwald-first/index.html.

      Please note, using your Swiss Travel Pass to take the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’ between Interlaken and Grindelwald does require the use of a travel day. If you do not wish to expend a day of rail travel on your Swiss Travel Pass for the travel between Interlaken and Grindelwald, you would instead purchase the full fare option (‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Interlaken’) of the ‘Grindelwald-First Top of Adventure’.
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  • Hi Jeff
    I want to book a train journey from Zurich to Salzburg. But it shows a changeover at 3 stations. One at Ziegelbrucke with switching time of 3 minutes and the other at Buchs with switching time of 7 minutes. Is it risky to take the 3 minute stopover. Since the site does suggest this journey, is it advisable?
    Regards
    Arvin

    • Hi Arvin,

      That is a way you can get from Zurich to Salzburg; however, you probably instead would want to take one of the direct trains. From Zurich to Salzburg, there are direct Railjet trains.

      The path of these Railjets will have you traveling along a renowned scenic stretch of railway called the 'Arlberg Railway'. This stretch of railway starts right after you cross over the border into Austria (around Bludenz) and goes up to Innsbruck. The ride from Zurich to Salzburg takes just under 5.5. hours.

      You would purchase tickets for a direct train from Zurich to Salzburg by searching the route under 'Find Train Tickets' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com. Generally, these trains can be booked once within 90 days of an intended departure date.
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