Lucerne To Interlaken Train: Everything You Need To Know

lucerne interlaken train

It’s not a secret that train travel is the best mode of transport for travelers in Switzerland. Most major cities and towns are connected by the railway, which allows travelers to get around the country quickly while enjoying panoramic views through the windows.

Switzerland might be famous for its panoramic trains, but it’s certainly not known for cheap train tickets. The journey from Lucerne to Interlaken is perfectly possible by train, but it’s part of a panoramic train ride, so the tickets are a little more expensive than most other SBB trains. Here’s everything you need to know about traveling from Lucerne to Interlaken by train!

How to Get From Lucerne to Interlaken by Train

Lucerne Train Station
Lucerne Train Station

Train travel from Lucerne to Interlaken is straightforward. Go to the central train station in Lucerne, next to the University of Lucerne. If you haven’t already bought one online, buy a ticket at the train station and board a train heading toward Interlaken. It’s worth noting that this train of the Golden Pass Line is famous for panoramic journeys and gorgeous views.

You should be able to see train times at the station, and I would encourage you to wait for a direct train. It’s easier, quicker, and more convenient than changing trains at one or two stations. Aim to board the Luzern–Interlaken Express, operated by die Zentralbahn, one of Switzerland’s several train companies. In less than two hours, you will reach the Interlaken Ost station, where you can easily explore this beautiful waterfront town.

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Is there a direct train between Lucerne and Interlaken?

Yes, there is a direct train from Lucerne to Interlaken. It’s the PE train, which runs every hour. The standard price for a one-way ticket is 33 CHF, although it’s worth noting that you can get discounts with the various Swiss travel passes.

Also, purchasing a standard ticket gives you access to any train running this route. If you purchase a ticket for a specific time slot, you can usually get a discount of 3.5 CHF.

How long does it take to travel from Lucerne to Interlaken by train?

Traveling from Lucerne to Interlaken by train will take at least an hour and 50 minutes. That’s if you take the direct train that passes through Sarnen, Brienz, etc.

The journey can also take two hours and 20 minutes or more if you choose not to take the direct train.

What is the cost of a train ticket from Lucerne to Interlaken?

The standard price for a one-way train ticket from Lucerne to Interlaken is 33 CHF. However, there are many ways you can get cheaper tickets. Select a specific timeslot for the train, and immediately save 3.5 CHF on the ticket.

You can ride this train for free with a valid Swiss Travel Pass and a 50% discount with the Swiss half-fare card. One thing to remember is that return train tickets are not cheaper than two one-way tickets. First-class tickets are an additional 25 CHF and an extra 14 CHF fee for seat reservations.

Is the train ride from Lucerne to Interlaken scenic?

lake brienz
Lake Brienz

Yes, the journey from Lucerne to Interlaken is one of the more scenic train rides in central Switzerland. Sitting on the left side of the train when traveling in this direction is recommended for the absolute best views of Lake Brienz. Sit on the opposite side of the train during the journey back to Lucerne.

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Are seat reservations required for the train from Lucerne to Interlaken?

No, seat reservations are not required for the train ride from Lucerne to Interlaken. The train is rarely filled to capacity, and you can usually sit wherever you want. However, if you want to sit in a specific seat, it is necessary to make a seat reservation, which will cost you an extra 14 CHF. Reservations are also recommended for travel during rush hour.

Just don’t sit in first class if you bought a second class ticket because you could end up paying a hefty fine if you’re caught. It’s a 70 CHF fine if you’re caught with a partially valid ticket and a 90 CHF fine if you do not have any sort of valid ticket.

Additionally, it’s important to note that you will need to present your ID and any extras upon request. Travelers who purchase discounted tickets must present proof of discount (half-fare card, Swiss Travel Pass, etc.).

How frequently do trains run between Lucerne and Interlaken?

golden pass train
Golden Pass Train

Trains between Lucerne and Interlaken run once an hour. This is for the direct train that connects the two cities in under two hours. The earliest direct train to Interlaken Ost station is at 6:06 AM, while the latest direct Interlaken train departs Lucerne at 9:06 PM.

Other trains run in the meantime, but these are not direct trains. Sometimes the journey with train changes can be just as quick as a direct train journey, but in most cases, the rides are at least two and a half hours long. Train journeys of more than six hours are also an option, and these usually include waiting for hours at a station for the trains to start running.

Also, keep in mind that you can also catch trains from Interlaken West instead of Ost.

Can you do a day trip from Lucerne to Interlaken?

Considering the train ride is less than two hours long, you can do a day trip from Lucerne to Interlaken. Remember that it will be a pricey day trip since round-trip tickets for adults are 66 CHF per person.

The last train from Interlaken to Lucerne departs at around 8 PM. There are also later trains, which include connections and usually take much longer to arrive back in Lucerne. Check the timetable on the day you plan to travel because none of these departure times are set in stone.

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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