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Day Rail Trips from Zurich

I have purchased a Swiss Pass and am going to be based in Zurich. We are looking for the best day trips from Zurich. Is there a Scenic Train trip that would be possible to do leaving from Zurich and returning on the same day?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 03, 2012 18:36
    Hi Ruth,

    Lucerne is only a 45 to 50 minute train ride from Zurich. In Lucerne, there will be Lake Lucerne, as well as the Mount Pilatus mountaintop excursion nearby. The vast majority of trains in Switzerland don't accept reservations, including trains between Zurich and Lucerne, so the Swiss Pass is all you would need to board one of the frequently operating trains on this route..

    For planning, you can just check schedules for trains between Zurich and Lucerne under 'Check Fares and Schedules' or 'Find Fares & Schedules' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com.

    For the Mount Pilatus mountaintop excursion, you can first take a steamer from Lucerne to Alpnachstad, where you would take the cog railway up the mountain. You would then take a cable car down to Kriens. Once you have descended by cable car back down to Kriens, you would take a bus back to Lucerne. The Swiss Pass covers the steamer from Lucerne to Alpnachstad and the bus from Kriens back to Lucerne.

    To be covered on the cog from Alpnachstad up the mountain and the cable car down to Kriens, you would still have to purchase the Mount Pilatus mountaintop excursion. You can purchase this pass by clicking on the following link: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/....

    Since you'll be traveling with a Swiss Pass, you would purchase the 'Alpnachstad or Kriens-Mt Pilatus/Swiss Pass' option for this pass.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 03, 2012 18:42
    Also, Interlaken and Grindelwald are about 2 and 2.5 hours respectively by train from Zurich (Zurich to Interlaken would involve a train change in Bern en route, and Zurich to Grindelwald would involve changing trains in Bern and then Interlaken). While in the area, you can make a trek up to the peak of Jungfraujoch.

    For your trek up to Jungfraujoch, the Swiss Pass would cover you as far as Grindelwald or Wenge. Therefore, you would purchase the 'Grindelwald or Wengen-Jungfraujoch/Swiss Pass' option of the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe pass. You can purchase this by cilcking here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/....

    For planning purposes, you can just view the schedules for trains between Zurich and Grindelwald by entering the cities under 'Check Fares and Schedules' or 'Find Fares & Schedules' on the homepage of our website.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 03, 2012 18:52
    As far as scenic trains go, there is the Glacier Express, the Golden Pass, the Bernina Express, the Chocolate Train, and the William Tell Express. You can access information for these trains by clicking on their respective links under where it says 'Scenic Trains' after clicking on 'Train FAQ' from the homepage of our website. Of these scenic trains, the most accessible to Zurich would be the Golden Pass, as it starts in Lucerne.

    The Golden Pass route would have you going from Lucerne to Montreux, changing trains in Interlaken and Zweisimmen along the way.

    Some of the trains from Lucerne to Interlaken do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. There are other trains with panoramic window views from Lucerne to Interlaken that do accept reservations. Reservations on these trains would be highly recommended. On our website, you would book reservations for these reservable trains by clicking on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' or 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on the homepage of our website.

    You can book reservations for the remaining portion of the route by doing a search all the way through from Interlaken to Montreux. Even though you would be changing trains once in Zweisimmen in between Interlaken and Montreux, this train change would not be reflected in the schedule that displays on our site when you go to book the reservations.

    These trains can be booked within 90 days of an intended date of departure. Scenic trains sell out quickly, so it is recommended that the reservations be purchased as soon as possible.
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