Every year thousands of people use an Interail Pass to see Europe by Train, I did this in 2018 and went to 13 countries. Out of those 13, exploring the Swiss Alps by train from Paris was by far my favorite segments! With careful planning, you can also visit the Swiss Alps by train in just one day and continue to eastern or southern Europe! Here was my journey and how it did it.
Getting to Switzerland
I left Paris at 2pm and took the TGV Lyra which zipped me across the French Countryside in just a few hours!
First Stop : Interlaken, Switzerland
You will want to overnight in Interlaken. This town is the gateway to visit the Swiss Alps and lies on the outskirts. There are a few peaks in the Alps that are accessible by rail, I decided on Jungfraujoch, it’s marketed as the Top of Europe at 11,784 ft.
Get up early as you can get a discounted “Junfraujoch Morning Ticket” (85 CHF vs 145 Regular) you will want to try to take the following trains and stop at Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg so you can see both sides of the landscape.
Take the first 2 Trains (6:02 or 6:35) to reach Grindelwald by 6:30-7am, you can spend 45-60 mins here and board the 7:47am to KS. I recommend spending more time in KS as its incredibly scenic. Then take the 8:30 or 9am Train to JungFraujoch!
(Tip : Each station has Luggage Lockers so you can explore uninhibited.)
Interlaken to Grindelwald
Wake up early, buy some groceries in the market then head to the first train to Grindelwald. Grindelwald is a nice town with a huge scenic view of the valley and some of the outer peaks. Many shops are here as well if you want to pick up snacks. Switzerland can be expensive, but the grocery chains (like Coop) are great. The chocolate and cheese are not expensive 🙂
Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg
Now you will go back to the Grindelwald station and board the next train to Kleine Scheidegg, this is an overpass with sweeping views of the Swiss Alps from the valley at its base. I recommend leaving your bags in the storage locked (3-5 CHF per Hour) and go on the walking paths up and down from the station. Remember, the trains run every 30-60 mins so you can always catch the next train. Back at the KS station, you will switch lines from the Green/Yellow train from Interlaken, to the Red Jungfraubhan. Use the restroom here as there can be a long line at the ones on the top.
Klein Scheidegg to Jungfrau
Once your on the red JungfrauBhan, you will begin a steep climb to the top of JungFrau. Unfortunately, it became overcast but I still managed to see some great views of the Swiss Alps! (Check the weather forecast before you go!) But, The experience of being able to ride up inside of a mountain is incredible. You can also come out experience what its like at the top from multiple viewpoints as well as the 3/4 point inside the tunnel from a set of windows.
Jungfrau to Wengen
You will take the train back down, you have a few options but I decided to do to Wengen since my last stop was Lauterbrunnen. The weather was clearing up and this was the most scenic part of the route. Wengen was also a really nice town to walk around for an hour. I hope you can visit the Swiss Alps and do some of the portions of my route!
To conclude my visit of the Swiss Alps, I ended in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. I will do a separate post as its a unique experience. But I’ll leave you with an image of it from the top of the valley in Wengen!