When staying in Interlaken, cruising on Thunersee & Brienzersee is a lot of fun and both lakes could easily be done within a single day, especially when you always stay on the cruiseships or choose the stations carefully, where you are leaving the ships, explore lovely places like Spiez, Schloss Oberhofen or Huenibach, Thun etc. and continue by the next ship.
All of the ships have a 1st class : the total upper deck, and a 2nd class in the lower decks.
Normally on mondays and at special days during the lower season day-tickets are available for both lakes for just 20 sfr / 13 Euros for both lakes.
All of the ships on Thunersee and Brienzersee are also included in the "Regionalpass Berner Oberland" - read more about it in my next tip !!
The Jungfraubahn is certainly the reason for most tourists to come to Interlaken. The trainline to Jungfraujoch will start at Kleine Scheidegg and will take you to the highest train-station in Europe: The jungfraujoch / Top of Europe. The tickets for Jungfraubahn will never be included in any Eurail-, Euro-Rail-, Interrail-tickets etc. , there will be ALWAYS be a minimum extra-charge of about 50 sfr (return-ticket). Jungfraubahnen-Pass and Regional-Pass Berner Oberland will give you a reduction of 50%.
In 1894 Adolf Guyer-Zeller had the idea of building a tunnel through the mountains in order to get from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfrau. In 1896 he started to build the Jungfraubahn and it took 16 years to build it. The final costs were 15.000.000sfr and Guyer-Zeller had the clever idea to include the 2 stations inside the mountain (Eigerwand & Eismeer) simply in order to be able to earn some money already, by taking tourists there, while the rest of the track was not finished yet. The Jungfraubahn was opened in 1912 and it is still the highest train-station in Europe.
Jungfraubahnen-pass is another great trainpass
When staing for a longer period in Interlaken it might make sense to calculate also this special offer : It will depend on the duration of your vacation and of course also on a good weather-forecast and it might make sense to buy this train-pass :
Jungfraubahnen-pass is a special pre-paid train-ticket for 6 consecutive days and it is valid for the whole area between Interlaken Ost and Grosse Scheidegg, Kleine Scheidegg,Maennlichen, Wengen,Muerren,First,Grindelwald, Busalp, Harder Kulm and Schynigge Platte.
You may use all of these trains and buses totally for free for 6 days, only for the train between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch you pay 50 sfr extra.
For the Schilthorn you have to pay the full price !! - In case that you intend to go to Schilthorn and/or Brienzer Rothorn as well , I may recommend to buy the "Regionalpass Berner Oberland" instead of Jungfraubahnen-Pass !!
The Jungfraubahnen-pass is 190 sfr for the 6 consecutive days !
Interlaken OST is the biggest train-station of Interlaken and it is situated at the east-end of Interlaken. This is, where all of the trains, coming from Luzern & Bruenig-Pass will end, because they will use another rail-system. Also all of the trains in direction to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald will start at this station. In a walking-distance of just 3 minutes you may go from this station to board the ships, cruising Brienzersee / Lake Brienz.
At the end of track #4 you will find the hall of Ballenberg-bahn, an old steamtrain !
Not far from Interlaken you may take one of the most spectacular steam-train-rides in Switzerland : Brienzer Rothorn-Bahn (BRB) dates back to the year 1891 and many of the trains of that time are still in use nowadays. In the 19th century the Rothorn-Kulm used to be the highest train-station in the world.
On top of Rothorn you may enjoy local specialities in 2 restaurants , walk up to the peak of Rothorn or hike down to Soerenberg at the north-side of Rothorn or go down to Soerenberg by cablecar. On the way to the top of Rothorn there are 3 stations with passing-places for the oncoming trains of the Rothornbahn, and at the 1st such station ( Planalp) the trains get fresh water and oil and you may get out for about 5 minutes in order to take some photographs !
Try to be at the station 20 minutes before the trains are leaving !
When going up the seats at the left will offer the best views in my opinion !
The 1st and maybe 2nd train in the morning are Diesel-trains !
Don't forget rain-gear and good walking-shoes !!
The weather may change all of a sudden on top of Rothorn !
The trains run between may 21st and October 23rd in 2005
for other years : take a look at the web-page below !
An ordinary return-ticket is 62 sfr / Halbtax: 50 sfr ! , and it is 100% included
in the "Regionalpass Berner Oberland"
First is a mountain with a hight of 2168 meters above sea-level and it is a perfect point to start various mountain-hikes, from easy to energetic. At first you will have to take the train from Interlaken to Grindelwald and walk about 300 meters to the station of the First-cablecar.
The cablecar to First starts in the centre of Grindelwald, close to the Sunstar-hotel and there are 3 stations where you may leave the cablecar:
1)BORT in a height of 1570m : from here you may walk to Wetterhorn within 1:50 h or take an easy trail back to Grindelwald - hiking or by trotti-bike - see my sporting-tips about these funny vehicles
2)SCHRECKFELD in a height of 1955m is a great place to hike to Grosse Scheidegg
3)FIRST, in a height of 2168m : the starting-point for hikes to Bachalpsee, Faulhorn, Schynigge Platte etc.
From First you may take a fullday-tour to Schynigge Platte and get down again by another mountain-train to Wilderswil and from there it is just 1 station to Interlaken Ost with the ordinary train.
The First-cablecar is included in most of the prepaid train-passes.
Transportations around Interlaken are quite expensive, but at least you may save some money, when you buy one of the special ticket, available in a big variety : In case that you are lucky with perfect weather and stay in the area around Brienzersee & Thunersee for at least 3 days , it really makes sense to buy the "Regionalpass Berner Oberland" :
This train-pass is valid 7 (220,-sfr) or 15 days (265,-sfr) and during 3 of these 7 or 5 of these 15 days you may use that ticket for unlimited travels, only for a tour to Jungfraujoch you pay 50 sfr extra and for Schilthorn 30 sfr extra - the Brienz Rothorn is totally included !!
The tickets are for 7/15 consecutive days, BUT you may choose any 3 (or 5) days of unlimited travels by yourself - you simply stamp your ticket at any trainstation into a machine on these days.
During the rest of the days you pay half of the ordinary prices.
This ticket includes also all trains and ships around Brienzersee and Thunersee, trains till Brig, Lenk i.S., Adelboden, Meiringen, Gstaad and halfprice all days to Zermatt, Luzern, Bern etc...
I had such a ticket with 7 days and could save a lot of money, although I had only 3 days with excellent weather-conditions !!.
See more details about that ticket on my link below !!
Driving with your own car in Interlaken and its surrounding is quite ticky, because the road along the southern bank of Brienzersee is ment to be a highway, although it does not look that way and you will have a single track for several km. For using the AUTOBAHN / highway in Switzerland - you will have to pay a " vignette " - a sticker or ticket to be attached behind your windscreen.
There are only 1-year-tickets available for the price of 40 sfr / 32 Euros and be aware, that there are high penalties, when they catch you without such a sticker on your windscreen.
Buy them at newspaper stands or directely at the border.
When arriving in Switzerland ON the Autobahn from another country, there will be an exit for all those NOT WILLING to buy a vignette...
I may highly recommend to buy this sticker, simply because many of the fast roads like the road along the southern shore of Lake Brienz are included in the highway-system, although there is only 1 track in each direction and only a very few places, where you may overtake others. And still you save 30 minutes driving-time between Brienz and Interlaken. Also in other parts of Switzerland you may get on a highway without realizing immediately !!
A unique means of transportation will be waiting for passengers, when you take the ship to Giessbach . The old funicular taking you up from the ship-station to the Grandhotel Giessbach is just 345 meters long and takes you up 90 meters in height. This lovely funicular dates back to the glorious time of 1879, when most of the noble tourists arrived by steam-ship and would never have thought a second about taking a little walk uphills....
Still today you will always have a connecting funicular going down to the ship-station 5 minutes prior to the arrival of the ships and afterwards again a funicular going up to the hotel . Such a funicular is always connected by a thick rope with the oncoming wagon and they will meet in the middle of the track. In case of Giessbach-funicular only that wagon will be accessible, that is going TO the ship or FROM the ship.
The one-way-ticket is 4,50 sfr / return is 6 sfr
For holders of a "Regionalpass berner Oberland"
the returnticket is 4,50 sfr.
the funicular will only be operated, when a ship is arriving or leaving,because the ship-station is a "cul the sac" a place with a dead end.
You may choose between 2 possibilities, in order to get on top of the Piz Gloria / Schilthorn :
1)You may take the train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen and change there to the bus taking you to Stechelberg. There you change to the Schilthorn-cablecar, that starts there with the 1st of its 4 sections in Stechelberg.
2)Take the train to Lauterbrunnen, Get out of the train at the station and walk about 3 minutes through a tunnel to the cable-car-station. You take first the cablecar from Lauterbrunnen to Gruetschalp and change there to the train going to Winteregg and Muerren. From there you take a walk of about 15-20 minutes across the village of Muerren, before you get to the cable-car-station to Schilthorn / Piz Gloria.
For both of these possibilities you should know :
Untill Muerren you may use your ordinary train-tickets, Eurotrain-, Interrail-tickets, Jungfraubahnen-Pass, Regional-Pass Berner Oberland etc.
In my opinion a visit to Schilthorn makes sense only in perfect weather-conditions !!
Even when you travel with any of the pre-paid train-passes, you still have to pay 32 sfr extra for the last 2 segments of the cablecar (Muerren-Birg and Birg-Schilthorn).
The ordinary price Muerren-Schilthorn is about 65 sfr !!
You may also get a "Muerren-Schilthorn-Ferienpass" - for 135 sfr you may use the following means of transportation without restrictions for 6 consecutive days:
the cablecars between Stechelberg & Schilthorn, betweeen Muerren & Allmendhubel, and all the trains between Lauterbrunnen & Muerren + the postbus Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg !
Lockers for your luggage are available at the station of Schilthornbahn in Muerren !
Interlaken WEST is a lot smaller that the Ost-station, just 5 or 6 rail-tracks and all of the international trains arriving via Spiez or Bern will arrive here and might also go on to Interlaken Ost and end there. Around the station of Interlaken West you will find the centre of the village, most of the shops, a giant MIGROS-supermarket and restaurant. In a walking-distance of just 3 minutes you may change from the train to the ships, cruising Thunersee / Lake Thun.
The train to Interlaken Ost takes about 3 minutes, the ordinary fare would be 2,20 sfr !
The train to Kleine Scheidegg is an easy and for holders of most train-passes also quite cheap opportunity to see the alpine peaks of Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau from a short distance. The cog-wheel-train to Kleine Scheidegg existed already a long time before the first plans for the train to Jungfraujoch were made. Trains to Kl.Scheidegg will leave from Lauterbrunnen via Wengen and also from the other side from Grindelwald. You may easily distinguish all of the different trains in that area by their colors and the trains to Kleine Scheidegg will always be yellow on top and have green stripes at the bottom.
At Kleine Scheidegg you will have to change the train on a big platform. The changing-time is long enough in order to be able to buy the ticket to Jungfraujoch, BUT of course you may buy this ticket already at any train-station in Switzerland, where you start your journey.
I came with a "Regional Pass Berner Oberland" and had the tickets untill Kl.Scheidegg included and needed to buy a seperate ticket to Jungfrau.
All stations of the train to Kleine Scheidegg will provide automatic lockers for your luggage !
The train to Schynige Platte starts in Wilderswil, just about 3 km from Interlaken Ost. At first you take the ordinary train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen and change to the cog-wheel-train to Schynige Platte in Wilderswil.The train to Schynige Platte dates back to the year 1893 and was electrified in 1914. The track of the cog-wheel-train is 7500 meters long and the difference in height is more than 1400 meters.
Schynige Platte is in a height of 1967 meters above sea-level and offers various attractions like
1)Teddyland - an attaraction for the whole family
2)the Alpengarten / alpine garden with 500 different alpine flowers
3)the Schynige Platte-restaurant and alpine-hotel:
Hotel Schynige Platte, CH-3800 Interlaken
Tel. +41 (0)33 822 34 31, Fax +41 (0)33 822 34 56
The train runs ONLY IN SUMMER:
between may 27th and October 15th in 2006
for other years please check at the link below !
The last train is leaving Schynige Platte at 06.00p.m. !
The ordinary return-ticket is 52 sfr from Wilderswil
It is included in the "Regionalpass Berner Oberland"
and in the Jungfraubahnen-Pass
At the end of track #4 at the station Interlaken Ost you will find an interesting shed with an old steam-train : Ballenberg-Bahn is a museum-steam-train that used to go east of Brienz on a regular schedule many years ago. When you are lucky, there will be someone there to let you inside the shed, otherwise you may see at least the old wagons in front of the shed or you return on any friday at 02.00p.m., because every friday afternoon the shed is open for visitors !!
In summer the steam-train will make special tours according to these timetables :
http://www.dampfbahnen.ch - you may use the link below !
for prices click on "Preise" - it is a pity that everything is just in german, but I guess you may understand most of these infos anyway.
Several train-rides are done each year in July, September and October between Interlaken Ost and Giswil ( that is halfway between Brienz and Luzern - with a scenic ride going through Brienz and over the Bruenig-Pass)
Be careful, I spoiled one of my jackets , when I touched the steam-train in order to make the picture of the driver's place - coal-dust is everywhere and it will be hard to clean your clothes again !!
Choose the right regional pass and save on your excursions by boats, buses, trains, cogwheel trains or cable cars...
- Jungfrau region
(Interlaken, Harder Kulm, Schynige Platte, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald...)
***JUNGFRAU RAILWAYS PASS offers unlimited travel on 6 consecutive days in the Jungfrau region and 50% discount on Eigergletscher–Jungfraujoch section.
Prices CHF 145 with Swiss Pass/Swiss Card, Half-fare Card or CHF 195 at full fare.
On sale from 1 May – 31 October at all stations of Jungfrau Railways, stations of the Wengen-Männlichen (LWM) and Firstbahn (BGF) Aerial Cableways and the Grindelwald-Männlichen (GGM) Aerial Gondola.
Website JUNGFRAU PASS
- Berner Oberland
***REGIOPASS-BERNEROBERLAND 7 Days for Adults CHF 224/EUR 150 include: 3 days' unlimited travel, other days you'll receive a reduction of 50%, pick your days within a period of 7 days
***REGIOPASS-BERNEROBERLAND 15 DAYS for Adults CHF 280/EUR 180 include: 5 days' unlimited travel, the other days you'll receive a reduction of 50%, pick the days within a period of 15 days
- Central Switzerland
(Lucerne, Rigi, Pilatus, Titlis, Interlaken,...)
***TELL PASS 7 Days for Adults CHF 148/EUR 98 include: 2 days' unlimited travel, other days you'll receive a reduction of 50%, pick your days within a period of 7 days
***TELL PASS 15 DAYS for Adults CHF 198/EUR 132 include: 5 days' unlimited travel, the other days you'll receive a reduction of 50%, pick the days within a period of 15 days
Website TELL PASS