What to purchase for Geneva to Interlaken by way of the Golden Pass scenic train, Jungfraujoch, Zermatt, and Milan?

I am traveling with my 18 year old daughter to Switzerland. We will stay for 5 days. The plan is to fly into Geneva, then travel the scenic train Golden Pass to Interlaken. We would like to take the Jungfraujoch scenic train loop from INterlaken while in INterlaken, then head south to Zermatt. We will go to Milan by train from there, What is the best train pass to buy-Swiss travel pass, the half-fare pass or Eurorail? Or something else??! Thank you.Michelle
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) December 05, 2016 20:27
    Hi Michelle,

    For the requested itinerary, your best option would be to purchase the Swiss Travel Pass. This would cover the ticket costs for each of your trains within Switzerland and enable you to receive a discounted 'Passholder 3' rate for a train from Brig to Milan (as part of a connection from Zermatt to Milan).

    You would purchase the Swiss Travel Pass here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticke....

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase any reservations by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Swiss Travel Pass').

    For planning purposes, you can view schedules for any non-reservable trains by doing a search under 'Find Train Tickets' on our homepage. Generally, when just searching for schedules for non-reservable trains, you would have to be sure the 'No' option is checked where it asks you 'Are you traveling with a rail pass?'.

    Geneva to Montreux (with a Swiss Travel Pass)

    You would connect to the GoldenPass scenic route by taking a direct train from Geneva to Montreux. Trains from Geneva to Montreux don't accept reservations, so the Swiss Travel Pass is all you would need to board.

    Montreux to Interlaken via the GoldenPass (with a Swiss Travel Pass)

    The GoldenPass route would have you taking a train from Montreux to Zweisimmen and another train from Zweisimmen to Interlaken. On the GoldenPass trains from Montreux to Zweisimmen, reservations are highly recommended in addition to your Swiss Travel Pass. In contrast, reservations are not necessary on the GoldenPass trains from Zweisimmen to Interlaken.

    On the segment from Montreux to Zweisimmen, there are either ‘Classic’ GoldenPass trains or ‘Panorama’ GoldenPass trains for you to choose from. Coaches on the 'Classic' trains have a vintage turn-of-the-century Belle Époque look, whereas the 'Panorama' trains have a more modern look with panoramic windows. 'Classic' GoldenPass trains also have 'wine cellar' coaches, which offer a wider selection of wine than would be offered in the bar cars on the 'Panorama' trains; however, food is available for purchase on both the 'Classic' and 'Panorama' trains. The Classic trains have large windows, but the windows on the Panorama trains are more “panoramic”, as the name suggests.

    Generally, the Class and Panorama trains are labeled when you pull up the results of a passholder reservation search for this route on our website. However, I do not see that to be the case right now, possibly due to an error. If you'd prefer one or the other, you would have to call us in order to book these reservations. Otherwise, you can proceed to purchase the reservation for this segment on our site.

    To view a trip such as this, you would piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Montreux to Zweisimmen (to purchase the reservations) and another search for connecting trains from Zweisimmen to Interlaken (just to view the schedules).

    Interlaken-Jungfraujoch (with a Swiss Travel Pass)


    With a Swiss Travel Pass, a trek up to Jungfraujoch would only be covered as far as Grindelwald (via one route) or Wengen (via the other route). Past Grindelwald and Wengen, the Swiss Travel Pass would enable you to receive a 25% discount.

    The route through Grindelwald 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)

    With regard to this route, the Swiss Travel Pass would only be valid to cover you on the segment between Interlaken and Grindelwald.

    The route through Lauterbrunnen/Wengen 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 regard to this route, the Swiss Travel Pass would only be valid to cover you between Interlaken and Wengen.

    To receive the 25% discount between Grindelwald or Wengen and Jungfraujoch, you would purchase the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey from Grindelwald or Wengen - For Use Only With Swiss Travel Pass' option of a pass called the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe'. You would purchase the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities....

    On the Jungfrau Railway between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch, reservations would be highly recommended for travel between May and October. The reservations would be a small cost in addition to the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' and can be made locally at the stations in Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen, as well as the nearby station of Mürren.

    Interlaken to Zermatt (with a Swiss Travel Pass)

    A connection from Interlaken to Zermatt involves 2 train changes along the way; once in Spiez and then once in Visp. Reservations would not be necessary on any of these trains, so the Swiss Travel Pass would be all you'd need to board. To view schedules for this connection on our site, you can just break up your search in Visp. Therefore, you would do one search for the segment from Interlaken to Visp (which would reflect the train change in Spiez when you pull up the results) and another search for connecting trains from Visp to Zermatt.

    Zermatt to Milan (with a Swiss Travel Pass)

    A connection from Zermatt to Milan involves changing trains once in Brig along the way. The Swiss Travel Pass would cover trains from Zermatt to Brig and enable you to receive a discounted 'Passholder 3' rate for a train from Brig cross the border to Milan.

    To receive the 'Passholder 3' rate for a direct train from Brig to Milan, you would enter the route on our homepage and indicate that you'll be traveling with the 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    When you pull up the results of your search, you can ensure that you're being quoted the 'Passholder 3' rate by clicking on the 'View' button under the cost that displays. You would then refer to the 'Ticket Flexibility' options in the box that expands out below. For the 'Passholder 3' rate, you would just want to be sure that the 'Semi Flexible' option is checked. Underneath 'Semi Flexible', you would click 'Read More' and the name of the fare would read 'Trenitalia International Trains Passholder 3' or 'Trenitalia Pass 3'.

    Trains from Zermatt to Brig don't accept reservations, so the Swiss Travel Pass is all you'd need to board for this segment.
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  • Wow! Thanks so much, Jeff. Your responses are amazing. Very grateful for this information. Michelle.
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