Zurich -Interlaken - Jungfrau, Montreux, Bad Ischl, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Vienna, Prague and Back to Vienna

Hi,
I am planning 10 day trip (two adults, two youths) in early June typically about 3 days in Switzerland, six days in Austria and one day in Prague.
I am planning to go from Zurich to Interlaken, take tour of Jugfrau, take a scenic train ride from Interlaken to either Montreux or Lucern and back.
Then take a train from Interlaken to Bad Isch in Austria. From Bad Isch planning to go to Salzburg and back.
Bad Isch to Hallstatt and back
Bad Isch to Vienna, 2 days stay in Vienna
Travel Vienna to Prague and return the next day back to Vienna.
I am planning to use railway for transportation.
Based on my journey days at all these place, what would you recommend, half price card or 3 country pass? Also, get flexipass or the other? Especially for Austria, would the same pass work for salzburg and Hallstatt going by Railjet?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 25, 2017 15:12
    Hi,

    For the requested itinerary, your best option would be the 3 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

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

    Zurich to Interlaken

    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.

    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 Lucerne and the GoldenPass, you would just do one search for trains from Zurich to Lucerne and another search for connecting trains from Lucerne to Interlaken.

    Interlaken / Jungfraujoch

    To get from Interlaken to the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station, there are 2 different routes you can take; one that goes via Grindelwald and the other that goes via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen.

    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% for either of these routes between Interlaken and the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe. 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.

    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.

    Interlaken to Montreux

    Since you would have already done the Lucerne-Interlaken segment of the GoldenPass, I would recommend completing this scenic journey by taking the GoldenPass trains from Interlaken to Zweisimmen and Zweisimmen to Montreux. The GoldenPass connection from Interlaken to Montreux via Zweisimmen takes about 3 hours.

    Of the trains comprising of the GoldenPass route, reservations would only be recommended on the segment from Zweisimmen to Montreux. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a train from Zweisimmen to Montreux by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the cities, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. the 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass').

    On the Interlaken-Zweisimmen segment of the GoldenPass route, reservations are possible but not necessary. If you also would like to have reservations for this segment, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Interlaken to Zweisimmen and another search for connecting trains from Zweisimmen to Montreux.

    Generally, GoldenPass trains can only be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Montreux to Interlaken

    For your return to Interlaken from Montreux, you can either backtrack along the GoldenPass route through Zweisimmen, or else you can follow along a different route that takes less time and is still scenic. This option from Montreux to Interlaken would take just over 2 hours in duration and involves 2 train changes along the way; once in Visp and then once in Spiez. On these trains, reservations are not at all necessary. Therefore, the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board.

    Due to an error, schedules for trains from Montreux to Visp and Spiez to Interlaken are currently not able to be viewed on our website. Trains from Montreux to Visp depart twice every hour throughout the day and the ride takes about 70-75 minutes. Trains from Spiez to Interlaken depart 2-3 times every hour and the ride takes about 25 minutes. If you'd like to inquire about specific schedules for these segments, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.

    Schedules for the segment from Visp to Spiez are able to be viewed from a search on our website.

    Interlaken to Bad Ischl

    The shortest connections from Interlaken to Bad Ischl take just under 10 hours in duration and involve 4 train changes along the way; once in Bern, once in Zurich, once in Salzburg, and then once in Attnang Puchheim.

    On trains from Interlaken to Bern and Bern to Zurich, reservations are not at all necessary, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board. For planning, you can still view schedules for these trains on our website by doing one search from Interlaken to Bern and another search for connecting trains from Bern to Zurich.

    Trains from Zurich to Salzburg are Railjet trains on which reservations would be highly recommended as a supplement to the rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a train from Zurich to Salzburg by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the cities, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. the 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass'). These Railjet trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure.

    The path of the Railjet from Zurich to Salzburg will have you traveling along a renowned scenic stretch of railway known as the 'Arlberg Railway'. This stretch of railway starts in Bludenz right after you cross the border into Austria and goes until Innsbruck, although the rail lines beyond Innsbruck (the Rosenheim-Kufstein Railway and the Rosenheim-Salzburg Railway) are also very scenic. You'll pass through a small part of Bavaria, but rest assured it will not be necessary for you to have Germany included on your pass. The Railjets run direct over all of these rail lines all the way from Zurich to Salzburg.

    Trains from Salzburg to Attnang Puchheim are Railjet trains on which reservations are possible but not necessary. Therefore, the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board.

    Trains from Attnang Puchheim to Bad Ischl are regional trains that don't even accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you'll need to board. Schedules for the trains from Attnang Puchheim to Bad Ischl are not able to be viewed on our website. However, these trains will depart once every hour throughout the day and ride takes about 1 hour.

    Bad Ischl to Salzburg

    If you still wish to backtrack to Salzburg, you can do so by following the same route you took into Bad Ischl via Attnang Puchheim. Therefore, you would take a regional train from Bad Ischl to Attnang Puchheim and then a Railjet train from Attnang Puchheim to Salzburg. Once again, the regional trains from Bad Ischl to Attnang Puchheim don't accept reservations, and reservations are not necessary on the Railjet trains from Attnang Puchheim to Salzburg. The full one-way from Bad Ischl to Salzburg takes about 2 hours.

    Bad Ischl to Hallstatt

    The ride from Bad Ischl to Hallstatt only takes about 20-30 minutes on a direct regional train. These trains don't accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you'll need to board. 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.

    Bad Ischl to Vienna

    A connection from Bad Ischl to Vienna takes 3 to 3.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Attnang Puchheim along the way. Once again, the trains from Bad Ischl to Attnang Puchheim are regional trains that don't accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you'll need to board. However, trains from Attnang Puchheim to Vienna are Railjet trains on which reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to the rail pass.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a train from Attnang Puchheim to Vienna by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the cities, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. the 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass'). These Railjet trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure.

    Once again, schedules for the trains from Bad Ischl to Attnang Puchheim are not able to be viewed on our website; however, these trains will depart once every hour throughout the day and ride takes about 1 hour.

    Vienna to Prague & Prague to Vienna

    To get from Vienna to Prague, you would take another Railjet train. The ride takes just under 4 hours in duration. On the Railjet trains from Vienna to Prague, 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 Vienna to Prague by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the cities, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. the 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass').

    Generally, the Railjet trains from Vienna to Prague can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure, while the Railjet trains going in the direction from Prague to Vienna can only be reserved once within 60 days of an intended departure date.
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