The Golden Pass Line is free with your Swiss Travel Pass
They say there’s no better way to travel around Switzerland via train and here’s why. There are 2 types of trains – regular and scenic. The regular trains take you from point A to B with some scenic views along the way but the scenic trains were made specially to pass through the most picturesque views.
These scenic Switzerland trains have huge panoramic windows that let you gawk at the Swiss Alps and cows grazing on vast green meadows as you jet on by. If you’re looking for a grand train tour of Switzerland, the Golden Pass Line is the best option.
Golden Pass Line
Credit: Simon Pielow on Flickr
The Golden Pass Line connects 6 different Swiss states (or cantons), crosses 3 mountain passes and leads past 8 different lakes, offering about a million photo opportunities along the way. The ride will take you from Lucerne to Montreux and is serviced by 3 different trains. You will need to switch trains in Interlaken and Zweisimmen.
There are 3 different parts to the Golden Pass line – Lucerne to Interlaken Ost, Interlaken Ost to Zweisimmen and Zweisimmen to Montreux.
Golden Pass Line
Duration: 5 hours 8 mins
Covered by the following travel passes: Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card, Eurail Global Pass and the Eurail Multi Country Pass if it was purchased in 2018
Reservations: You do not need seat reservations, although reservations are recommended for the trains during peak travel periods.
Getting tickets to the Golden Pass Line
Credit: @revelationtheory on Instagram
If you’re planning on taking the entire route from Lucerne to Montreux, we’d suggest getting a Swiss Travel Pass as a more cost-efficient option. The best pass would be the Flexible Swiss Travel Pass that allows you to make pit stops at certain cities to stay the night and explore the local towns.
If you’re only looking to do a portion of the journey, you can consider getting a point to point ticket instead. Pre-book your tickets on Klook and be sure to look for the Golden Pass Line logo at the side when booking to ensure that you’ve got the right train! These are tickets that will be mailed to your home address for free, saving you the hassle of buying single trip tickets at the station.
Now that you’ve got your tickets settled, here’s what to expect:
Part 1: Luzern-Interlaken Express from Lucerne to Interlaken
The train ride from Lucerne to Interlaken is referred to the Luzern-Interlaken Express. These are large air-conditioned trains with panoramic windows and even a restaurant. You will be taken pass Lake Lucerne, the Sarnersee and Lungernsee lakes and the Brunig Pass. You’ll also pass by the beautiful Lake Brienz before arriving at Interlaken Ost Station.
Before heading off to Interlaken, you should definitely spend a day in Lucerne first. Start your day early with a visit up to Mt Pilatus and brave the steepest cogwheel railway ride in the world to arrive 2132 metres above sea level at the peak of the mountain. Take the Panorama Gondola and enjoy 360 views of the alpine scenery.
Pre-book your Panorama Gondola and Cogwheel ride on Klook for a hassle-free trip up the mountain. There is even a discounted fare option for all Swiss Travel Pass holders. Just flash your mobile voucher and your Swiss Travel Pass at the ticket office to redeem.
Head back into the city and catch sights like the iconic Kapellbrucke, Lion Monument and the stunning Lake Lucerne.
Upon arriving in Interlaken, we suggest staying for a night or two. Take a ferry trip on the unspoiled Lake Thun or take a short train ride to Lauterbrunnen. Take a seat on the Funicular up to Harder Kulm and climb through stunning forests and wildlife parks. Enjoy Swiss specialities at the restaurant at the top of the local mountain as your eyes feast on the views.
You’ll also see plenty of people paragliding in Interlaken because with such stunning views, you’ll definitely want zero obstructions! Pre-book your paragliding experience on Klook and it includes roundtrip transfers and all the equipment and expert pilots you’ll need.
Part 2: Interlaken to Zweisimmen
Hop aboard the train that whisks you away to Zweisimmen with beautiful scenery all along the way. You’ll pass through the Swiss Alps through Lake Thun and his shoreline is truly something beautiful to take in on a train.
Part 3: Zweisimmen to Montreux
The trains just gets better and better! From Zweisimmen to Montreux, you’ll want to make sure you time your journey for a Classic train! The Classic train has Belle Epoque coaches with a historical luxurious atmosphere, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a posh European grandma’s living room.
You can choose between Golden Pass Classic and Golden Pass Panoramic trains between Zweisimmen and Montreux. The modern Panoramic trains have panoramic windows, and some of them have 8 first-class VIP seats in the front of the train, offering the same view the driver has.
#Klook tip: Between Zweisimmen and Montreux, trains labelled IR or PE are the official Golden Pass trains. If you click on them they are specified as “MOB Belle Epoque” or “MOB Panoramic”. Be sure to time your train journeys according to the type of train you’d like to take.
Upon arriving in Montreux, don’t miss a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Lavaux Vineyards where you can enjoy some of the best wine in the city. This is the country’s largest vineyard and the hillside terraces are even more enjoyable after a glass of Chasselas.
The Chateau de Chillon is a medieval fortress on the shores of Lake Geneva and is one of the most visited historical monuments in Switzerland. This romantic castle is home to paintings from the 14th century and flower-lined promenades, no wonder it was worthy of playing residence to the Counts of Savoy.
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