Zurich, Rhine Falls, Stein am Rhein, Lucerne, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Bern, and Paris

We Arrive in Zurich Switzerland in early September. We want to stay in Zurich 2days but travel to Rhine Falls and Stein an Rein. From Zurich we plan on heading to Lucerne. Lucerne to Interlaken. Interlaken to Grindewald. Interlaken to Bern. Spending around 4 -5 days in these locations Bern to Paris France.around 4 days We are there the first two weeks of September. We are new to all this. Can we purchase tickets ahead of time? Can we purchase a pass that would cover both countries for this period of time? Do passes cover all trains? Any info would be helpful
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 28, 2018 16:34
    Hi Judy,

    For the requested itinerary, your most economical option would be the 2 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include Switzerland and France. For this pass, you would click here: www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-select....

    Zurich to Rhine Falls

    The closest station to Rhine Falls is 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall', located on the 'Rheinfall Railway' between Schaffhausen and Winterthur.

    A connection from Zurich to 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall' only takes about 45 to 50 minutes in duration and involves changing trains once in Schaffhausen en route.

    These trains do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can just view schedules from Zurich to Schaffhausen by doing a search under the 'Tickets & Reservations' tab on our homepage, www.raileurope.com.

    Trains from Schaffhausen to 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall' are not able to be viewed on our website, but these trains depart twice every hour throughout the day, and it's only a 5 minute ride (note: the trains between Schaffhausen and Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall only operate between April and October.)

    The 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall' station is located at the southern banks of the falls and is just a short walk from the visitor center.

    From Schaffhausen, you would also have the option of taking a bus to 'Neuhausen am Rheinfall' and exiting at the 'Zentrum' stop, which is a 10 minute walk from the northern banks of the falls (note: this walk is down a very steep hill and would not be recommended for those who have difficulty walking.) However, this bus (between Schaffhausen and Neuhausen am Rheinfall/Zentrum) would not be covered by the rail pass.

    Rhine Falls to Stein am Rhein

    If you want to hop over to Stein am Rhein, a connection from 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall' would again involve changing trains in Schaffhausen along the way.

    These trains also do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. Schedules from 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall' to Stein am Rhein are not able to be viewed on our website, but the connections depart every half hour throughout the day. The trip takes about 50-55 minutes.

    Zurich to Lucerne

    Trains from Zurich to Lucerne do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can just view schedules from Zurich to Lucerne by doing a search under the 'Tickets & Reservations' tab on our homepage, www.raileurope.com.

    Lucerne to Interlaken

    Trains from Lucerne to Interlaken represent one segment of the famed GoldenPass scenic route. All the trains from Lucerne to Interlaken have panoramic windows for taking in all the scenery. On the trains from Lucerne to Interlaken, reservations are possible but not necessary. The rail pass is all you would need to board.

    Interlaken to Grindelwald

    Multi-country rail passes are not valid on the rail line from Interlaken to Grindelwald (the 'Bernese Oberland Railway'). Therefore, for this short trip, you would need to purchase regular tickets. You can do so by doing a route search right on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com.

    Interlaken to Bern

    Reservations are again not necessary on trains from Interlaken to Bern, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can just view schedules from Interlaken to Bern by doing a route search right from our homepage, www.raileurope.com.

    Bern to Paris

    For your Eurail Select Pass to be valid, the connection you'd need to take from Bern to Paris would have to involve changing trains once in Lausanne and taking the TGV Lyria high-speed train right up to Paris (as of just this week, Eurail Select Passes are no longer valid to receive passholder rates on the TGV Lyria trains from Geneva to Paris and Basel to Paris). The connections from Bern to Paris via Lausanne only take about 30-45 minutes longer than the connections that go via Basel.

    Reservations are not necessary on trains from Bern to Lausanne, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can just view schedules from Bern to Lausanne by doing a route search right on our homepage, www.raileurope.com.

    TGV Lyria trains do require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a TGV Lyria from Lausanne to Paris by searching a route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Select Pass 2 Countries’). Generally, these trains can only be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date. Since your intended travel falls outside of this time frame, you can just use an earlier date to get an idea of the reservation costs and schedules in the meantime.
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    • Sorry we are new to all this......When we purchase a eurail select pass online, do we just have to provide our pass when boarding the train or do we have to get tickets at each location before boarding the train?
    • Jeff (Official Rep) March 29, 2018 14:45
      On some trains, you would need to purchase reservations to go with your rail pass. On other trains, reservations are not even accepted, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. In my initial response above, I went through and advised the trains for which you would need to purchase reservations and the trains for which you would not purchase reservations. I presented it segment-by-segment, so you can just go through one by one.

      When you're in Europe, you would then just have to validate your pass at the station before boarding your first train. You would do this right at the ticket counter in the station of your first departure, so just be sure to allow yourself a little extra time that day. After your pass is validated, you would just show it to the conductor when he walks up and down your aisle. On the trains for which you purchase reservations, you would show your rail pass and the reservation.
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