Heidelberg, Salzburg (sidetrips to Hallstatt & Berchtesgaden), Lauterbrunnen (sidetrip to Jungfraujoch) & Zurich

Our plan is to begin in Heidleberg, then travel to Salzburg. While there, we'll make day trips to Hallstatt and Berchtesgaden. Next, travel to Lauterbrunnen and make day trips maybe to Jungfraujoch and some surrounding small towns, to be determined. The final trip will be to Zurich with possibly an overnight stop in Luzerne. Also, we prefer to travel during daylight hours. There'll only be 3 or 4 travel days between cities, but would a longer pass help with some of these shorter trips? I hear that a pass can get you discounts on some other transportation as well. As for reservations, how can I tell which trains require them and do I need to make them when I order my pass? Could I wait until just before traveling?
1 person has
this question
+1
Reply
  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 02, 2017 20:33
    Hi Fran,

    For the requested itinerary, you can purchase the 3 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. For the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    Heidelberg to Salzburg

    Due to construction, the direct train from Heidelberg to Salzburg will not be operating for the next 2 or 3 months. In the meantime, the most feasible connections from Heidelberg to Salzburg will take about 5.5 hours and involve changing trains once in Mannheim along the way. Trains from Mannheim to Salzburg are EC (EuroCity) trains on which reservations are recommended as a supplement to the rail pass.

    Generally, passholder reservations are able to be purchased through our website. However, due to an error, it is currently not possible for the trains from Mannheim to Salzburg. Until this is resolved, you would have to purchase these particular reservations and inquire about their costs by calling us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays. Generally, the trains from Mannheim to Salzburg can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Trains from Heidelberg to Mannheim depart 6 or 7 times every hour throughout the day, and the ride only takes about 15-20 minutes.

    Salzburg to Hallstatt

    A connection from Salzburg to Hallstatt takes about 2.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Attnang-Puchheim along the way.

    The train station for Hallstatt is across the lake from the actual town. To get into town, there are ferries that take arriving passengers across the lake. These ferries are timed to meet with the train arrivals and departures. The ferry ride into town only takes about 10 or 15 minutes, and there would just be a small fee that you would pay locally.

    Trains from Salzburg to Attnang-Puchheim are Railjet trains on which reservations are recommended as a supplement to the rail pass. The connecting trains from Attnang-Puchheim to Hallstatt are regional trains that don't accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    You would check schedules by doing a search for the full route from 'Salzburg' to 'Hallstatt' under 'Find Train Tickets' on our homepage, www.raileurope.com.

    If you'd like to have reservations for the first leg from Salzburg to Attnang-Puchheim, you would click on the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage and do a search for this segment by itself. To purchase passholder reservations, you would also need to click 'Yes' where it asks you, "Are you traveling with a rail pass?', and then indicate the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass'). Generally, the trains from Salzburg to Attnang-Puchheim can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    Salzburg to Berchtesgaden

    To get from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden by rail, you would take a short train from Salzburg to Freilassing and then another train from Freilassing to Berchtesgaden. This should take just under 1.5 hours. These trains do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. There are also buses that go straight from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden, but the rail pass is not valid on these buses. I believe the bus ride takes about 50 minutes.

    For planning purposes, you can view schedules from Salzburg to Freilassing by doing a search on our homepage. Schedules from Freilassing to Berchtesgaden are not able to be viewed on our website, but these trains depart once every 1 or 2 hours throughout the day, and the ride takes about 50 minutes.

    Salzburg to Lauterbrunnen

    You can travel from Salzburg to Lauterbrunnen a few different ways, but there will be construction on one of the rail lines starting in about a month or so. When do you plan on making this trip? The final segment will be a train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the Bernese Oberland Railway; however, Eurail Passes are not valid on this line. Therefore, you would need an additional ticket to take this train, for which the pass should enable you to receive a 25% discount.

    Jungfraujoch

    The gateway to Jungfraujoch is Interlaken (just before Lauterbrunnen). Between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch, there are 2 different routes you can take; one that goes via Grindelwald and the other that goes via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen. As I alluded to above, the Eurail Select Pass is only valid as far as Interlaken.

    The Grindelwald route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Grindelwald on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -Train from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg on the ‘Wengernalp Railway’
    -Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch on the ‘Jungfrau Railway’ (the highest railway in Europe)

    The Lauterbrunnen/Wengen route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -Train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg on the ‘Wengernalp Railway’ (Wengen is a stop along this rail line)
    -Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch on the ‘Jungfrau Railway’ (the highest railway in Europe)

    With the Eurail Select Pass, you would be able to receive a discount of about 25% on either of these routes between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch. To receive this discount, you would purchase the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey from Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland' option of a pass called the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/jungfraujoch/index.html.

    The 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' is only valid for 24 hours, so I would recommend purchasing this pass separate from your Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen ticket for your inbound trip to Lauterbrunnen from Salzburg and your Lauterbrunnen-Interlaken ticket for your outbound trip to Lucerne/Zurich. You can purchase the separate Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen tickets locally or by calling us.

    On the 'Jungfrau Railway' between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch, reservations would be highly recommended for travel between the months of May and October. The reservations are a small cost in addition to the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' and have to be made locally at the stations in Interlaken (Interlaken Ost), Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen.

    Expect stunning views throughout the entire trek between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch, whether you take the route via Grindelwald or the one via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen. To get the most of your Jungfraujoch experience, you might want to consider making your ascent one way and your descent the other. The ‘Jungfrau Railway’ itself runs mostly through a tunnel (the ‘Jungfrau Tunnel’), but there are two ‘sightseeing stops’ in the tunnel (‘Eigerwand’ and ‘Eismeer’) where passengers can exit their train and take in the views through windows built into the side of the mountain.

    At the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station, you have access to the Sphinx Observation Terrace and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier). The Jungfraujoch station (Top of Europe) is the highest rail station in Europe, the Sphinx Observation Terrace is one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier) is the longest glacier in Europe.

    Lauterbrunnen to Zurich or Lucerne

    The most feasible connections from Lauterbrunnen to Zurich take just under 2.5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Interlaken and then once in Bern. However, if you don't mind adding about 1 hour to your journey time, you can take a route that follows a segment of the famed GoldenPass scenic line through Lucerne. That way, you would also be able to stop in Lucerne if you care to. This option takes just under 3.5 hours in duration and involves 2 train changes along the way; once in Interlaken and then once in Lucerne. The segment from Interlaken to Lucerne runs along the GoldenPass scenic line.

    Once again, the Eurail Select Pass is not valid on the rail line from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken, so you would need to purchase an additional ticket, for which the pass should enable you to receive a 25% discount.

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

    Schedules between Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken are currently not able to be viewed on our website, but these trains depart once every 30 minutes throughout the day, and the ride only takes about 20 minutes.

    To view schedules for the option from Interlaken to Zurich via Lucerne, you would just have to break up your search once in Lucerne. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Interlaken to Lucerne and then another search for trains from Lucerne to Zurich.

    If you'd like to have reservations for the first leg from Interlaken to Lucerne, you would click on the 'Seat Reservations' tab when you do your search and indicate the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass'). Generally, the trains from Interlaken to Lucerne can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) May 02, 2017 21:20
      Aside from the Jungfraujoch excursion, the Eurail Select Pass would also enable you to receive discounts on the various mountain excursions in the Interlaken area.

      Schilthorn

      There are 2 different routes you can take to get from Lauterbrunnen to Mount Schilthorn; one via Grütschalp and the other via Stechelberg.

      The Grütschalp route would look like this:

      -'Grütschalpbahn' cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp
      -'Mürrenbahn' train from Grütschalp to Mürren
      -‘Schilthornbahn' cable cars from Mürren to Birg and Birg to Schilthorn

      The Stechelberg route would look like this:

      -Bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg
      -'Schilthornbahn’ cable cars from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald, Gimmelwald to Mürren, Mürren to Birg, and Birg to Schilthorn

      With the Eurail Select Pass, you would be able to receive a discount of about 25% on either of these routes to Schilthorn. To receive this discount, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey from Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’ option of a pass called the 'Schilthorn-Piz Gloria'. For the 'Schilthorn-Piz Gloria', you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/schilthorn-piz-gloria/index.html.

      With the 'Schilthorn-Piz Gloria' pass, only the bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg would not be covered. If you take the bus between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg, you would pay locally.

      'Piz Gloria’ refers to the panoramic revolving restaurant at the Schilthorn summit.

      Harder Kulm (Harderbahn)

      A Eurail Select Pass would also enable you to receive a 25% discount on the Harderbahn funicular in Interlaken. The Harderbahn takes you to a viewing platform at the ‘Two Lakes Bridge’ (Zweiseensteg) for spectacular views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz below, as well as incredible panoramas of the surrounding Alps; including Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. There is also the Harder Kulm Panorama restaurant offering more stunning views.

      To receive the 25% discount, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’ option of the ‘Harder Kulm Top of Interlaken’. For this pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/harder-kulm/index.html.

      To get from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken, you would take the 'Bernese Oberland Railway' for which the Eurail Select Pass is not valid. Therefore, you would need another ticket to travel between Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken. You can purchase the separate Lauterbrunnen-Interlaken tickets either locally or by calling us.

      Schynige Platte

      The nostalgic ‘Schynige Platte Railway’ runs from the nearby village of Wilderswil to the Schynige Platte station. Wilderswil is only a 15-minute train ride from Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’.

      The Eurail Select Pass enables you to receive a discount of about 25% to take this excursion. To receive this 25% discount, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Interlaken - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’ option of the pass for the 'Schynige Platte' here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/schynige-platte/index.html.

      From Schynige Platte, you’ll have more amazing views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, as well as Niesen, Stockhorn and Jura. By the station is also Switzerland’s only Alpine Botanical Garden and the Schynige Platte Panorama Restaurant.

      Please note, the 'Schynige Platte Railway' only runs from May 27th to October 22nd for 2017.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) May 02, 2017 21:24
      The Eurail Select Pass also enables you to receive discounts on the various mountain excursions in the area around Lucerne.

      Mount Pilatus

      For a stay in Lucerne, you would also want to keep in mind that the Eurail Select Pass enables you to receive a 50% discount on the trek up nearby Mount Pilatus.

      The excursion to the Mount Pilatus summit starts with a steamer across Lake Lucerne from Lucerne to Alpnachstad. Once you get to Alpnachstad, you would make your ascent by taking the cog railway up to Mt Pilatus itself (Pilatus Kulm). After reaching Mt Pilatus (Pilatus Kulm), you would make your descent by taking a cable car to Fräkmüntegg and then a gondola from Fräkmüntegg to Kriens. To get back to Lucerne, you would take a bus from Kriens.

      With the Eurail Select Pass, you would be able to receive a 50% discount on this journey between Lucerne and Mount Pilatus (Pilatus Kulm). To receive this discount, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Alpnachstad or Kriens - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’ option of the pass for 'Mount Pilatus' here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/mount-pilatus/index.html.

      Mount Rigi

      For a stay in Lucerne, you would also want to keep in mind that the Eurail Select Pass enables you to receive a 50% discount on the trek up nearby Mount Rigi.

      There are 2 different routes between Lucerne and nearby Mount Rigi.

      The route via Arth Goldau involves taking a train from Lucerne to Arth Goldau and the 'Arth-Rigi Bahn' cog railway from Arth Goldau to Rigi Kulm. For this first route, the Eurail Select Pass is only valid to cover you on the train from Lucerne to Arth Goldau, but it would enable you to receive a 50% discount on the 'Arth-Rigi Bahn' cog railway from Arth Goldau to Rigi Kulm. Tickets for the 'Arth-Rigi Bahn' can only be purchased locally. Just be sure to mention the Eurail Select Pass, so you can receive the 50% discount.

      The route via Vitznau involves taking a boat on Lake Lucerne from Lucerne to Vitznau, and the 'Vitznau-Rigi Bahn' cog railway from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm. The Eurail Select Pass would enable you to receive a 50% discount on both the Lake Lucerne boat and the 'Vitznau-Rigi Bahn' cog railway from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm. Tickets for the Lake Lucerne boat and the 'Vitznau-Rigi Bahn' both can only be purchased locally. Just be sure to mention the Eurail Select Pass, so you can receive the 50% discount. The boats on Lake Lucerne are operated by SGV.

      Mount Titlis

      The excursion from Lucerne to nearby Mount Titlis consists of a train from Lucerne to Engelberg, a cable car from Engelberg to Trübsee, a second cable car from Trübsee to Stand, and then the famous 'Titlis Rotair' gondola from Stand to Klein Titlis. The 'Titlis Rotair' is the world's first 360 degree revolving gondola, offering spectacular panoramic views. Off the Klein Titlis station, you have access to the 'Titlis Cliff Walk', the 'Ice Flyer' chairlift, the Titlis Glacier Park, and a wondrous illuminated cave known as the 'Glacier Grotto'. The 'Titlis Cliff Walk' is a pedestrian suspension bridge (the highest suspension bridge in Europe) from where you can enjoy more incredible views. There is also a panorama restaurant.

      The Eurail Select Pass is valid on the train between Lucerne and Engelberg. For the remaining part of the excursion (cable cars between Engelberg and Titlis), however, the Eurail Select Pass would enable you to receive a discount of about 20-25%. To receive this discount, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Engelberg - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’ option of the pass for 'Mount Titlis' here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/mount-titlis/index.html. This pass also includes a ride on the 'Ice Flyer' and entrance to the 'Glacier Grotto'.

      Off the Trübsee stop, there are hiking and flower trails, as well as horse-drawn carriages around the lake. Here there are also additional cable cars ('Trübsee-Jochpass' and 'Trübsee-Engstlenalp' cable cars). At the foot of Mount Titlis in Engelberg, there is also the 'Engelberg-Gerschnialp Funicular Railway' to Gerschnialp and the 'Fürenalpbahn' cable car to Fürenalp. You would pay to board these additional cable cars locally when you're there. Just be sure to mention that you have the Eurail Select Pass, because they might be able to offer you a discount.

      Mount Stanserhorn

      From April 8th to November 12th of this year, you would also have the option of making the ascent to nearby Mount Stanserhorn. From Lucerne, you would take a short train to the nearby village of Stans. In Stans, you would board an 1893 vintage funicular to the intermediate station of Kälti. In Kälti, you would board the CabriO cable car to the Stanserhorn summit. The CabriO cable car is the world’s first double decker open-air cable car. From the summit, you would experience incredible views of the surrounding Alps and 10 different lakes. There is also a revolving restaurant called the Rondorama and a marmot park.

      The Eurail Select Pass is valid on the train between Lucerne and Stans. For the remaining part of the excursion (funicular from Stans to Kälti and the CabriO cable car from Kälti to Stanserhorn), however, the Eurail Select Pass would enable you to receive a discount of about 25%. To receive this discount, you would purchase the ‘1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Stans - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland’ option of the pass for 'Mount Stanserhorn' here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/mount-stanserhorn/index.html.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited