Bern to Zurich Travel Options (Train, Bus, Car)

Bern in Autumn

Planning a trip from Bern to Zurich? You’re in for a treat! Switzerland’s efficient and well-connected transportation network presents travelers with an array of choices, making it essential to understand the pros and cons of each mode of travel.

In this post, we’ll break down the various options available, helping you navigate your way seamlessly between these two captivating Swiss cities. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • By Train: Approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, one way is CHF 17.40
  • By Car: As fast as 1 hour and 20 minutes without heavy traffic

Bern to Zurich by Train

Long-distance transport in Bern
  • Journey Time: 1 to 1.5 hours
  • Departure Intervals: Every 30 minutes
  • Cost: CHF 17.40 and upwards (check the table below)

Traveling from Bern to Zurich by train is one of the most convenient and popular options in Switzerland. The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) operates a highly efficient and extensive railway network, making train travel a smooth and comfortable experience.

The journey typically takes around 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the type of train you choose:

  • Fastest: InterCity (IC) trains – takes 56 minutes at 2 minutes past every hour
  • InterCity Tilting (ICN) trains – fast option
  • RegioExpress trains – may take a bit longer with more stops along the way

The train ride between Bern and Zurich offers picturesque views of the Swiss countryside, including rolling hills, charming villages, and the occasional glimpse of the Alps.

Train Ticket Prices

Ticket prices vary depending on factors like the type of train (e.g., regular or scenic trains) and class of service (e.g., first class or second class). It’s advisable to check the SBB website or visit the train station for up-to-date ticket prices.

Ticket Prices (CHF)
2nd Class One Way17.40
1st Class One Way30.20
2nd Class Return42.90
1st Class Return75.20
Train ticket prices from Bern to Zurich

Overall, taking the train from Bern to Zurich is a hassle-free and enjoyable way to travel, allowing you to relax and take in the scenic beauty of Switzerland while conveniently reaching your destination in Zurich.

Bern to Zurich by Bus

  • Journey Time: Takes around 2 to 2.5 hours
  • Cost: CHF 6 – 16

This is suitable for those looking for a cost-effective way to travel between these two Swiss cities.

Tickets can be purchased at the bus station or online through the respective bus company’s website. It’s a good idea to check schedules and book your ticket in advance, especially during busy travel periods. Here are the bus companies operating on this route for your reference:

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While taking the bus from Bern to Zurich may take a bit longer than the train, it can be a comfortable and scenic way to travel. It’s a good choice for budget-conscious travelers or those who prefer to take in the countryside views as they make their way between these two Swiss cities.

Departure and arrival points:

  • In Bern, buses to Zurich typically depart from the Bern Bus Station (Bern Ziegler)
  • In Zurich, buses arrive at Zurich Bus Station, which is conveniently located at the rear of Zurich HB

Bern to Zurich by Private Transfer

  • Journey Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Cost: Starts at CHF 360 for up to 3 people

Private transfer from Bern to Zurich can be a convenient and comfortable option, especially if you prefer a personalized and door-to-door service. This is especially popular among travelers seeking privacy, flexibility, and a more relaxed travel experience.

The journey duration will vary depending on factors like traffic and the specific route taken, but it generally takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to travel between Bern and Zurich by private transfer.

You can book a private car or taxi service to transport you directly from Bern to Zurich. Many companies in Switzerland offer this service, and you can often book in advance online or by phone.


Bern to Zurich by Car

car in bern
Car in Bern
  • Journey Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes, depending on the traffic situation
  • Distance: Approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles)

For this option, you can either take your own car or rent one. This is recommended for those who prefer flexibility and want to explore the Swiss countryside at their own pace.

The most direct route is to take the A1 highway eastbound from Bern to Zurich. The only challenge is that there are often traffic jams near Baden later during the day and often around Oensingen/Niederbipp even on the weekends. So, expect the trip to take 15-30 minutes longer than expected, at least in my experience.

You could also go along some of the backroads around Olten or Solothurn, which is a lot slower in any case.

Rental Cars

Here are some companies offering rental cars for this route:

Driving from Bern to Zurich by car provides you with the freedom to explore and make stops along the way. It’s a great option if you plan to visit places outside the city center. However, keep in mind the cost of the motorway vignette and the parking in Zurich’s busy areas which can also be limited especially during peak hours.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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