Zurich to Interlaken – Your Ultimate Guide

Are you wondering how to travel from Zurich to Interlaken? Interlaken is best known as the adventure capital of Switzerland. There’s so much more to see and do in this world-famous destination. 

Interlaken is my favorite places to visit in the summer, so our family makes the trip from Zurich to Interlaken regularly.

The good news is, that it’s easy to get from Zurich to Interlaken. There are several transportation options available, depending on your budget and preferences.

Here are 3 of the best ways to get from Zurich to Interlaken:

  1. Take a Train
  2. Drive
  3. Take a Tour

Find out more about how best options to travel from Zurich to Interlaken by reading on!


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How Do I Get From Zurich to Interlaken?

Option 1: By Train


Getting to Interlaken from Zurich by train is a breeze. Swiss trains are known for their reliability and efficiency. It’s no wonder the taking the train from Zurich to Interlaken a popular choice for travelers. The travel time from Zurich HB to Interlaken is approximately two hours.

To start your journey, you can depart from either Zurich Main Station (HB) or Zurich Airport. Trains from Zurich to Interlaken depart regularly, making it convenient for you to plan your trip. 

You can take an Intercity (IC) or InterRegio (IR) train. These trains provide comfortable seating options, including first class seats. During your journey, you can enjoy the scenic route and take in the beautiful Swiss countryside. 

There are two main routes you can take to travel from Zurich to Interlaken by train.

If you’re traveling from Zurich Airport you can take a direct train through Bern. Trains depart every hour from the airport, and the journey time from Zurich Airport to Interlaken is around two and a half hours.

Another route is via Lucerne, which is known for its picturesque lake and charming old town. This scenic route from Zurich to Interlaken allows you to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Swiss countryside.

If you have luggage with you, there are storage compartments available on the train to keep your belongings safe and secure. Make sure to check the luggage policy and guidelines before boarding the train.

One of the perks of traveling by train is the free wifi that you can access on all Swiss IC and IR trains. There are also power outlets so you can charge your phone or other electronics. 

Most of the trains have a bistro car so you can grab a bite to each during your trip. The trains are also wheelchair-accessible, you can check these details find all the information you need on the SBB website

Tips for families: Intercity trains have family carriages with play areas for kids. Trains also have baby changing tables and stroller storage. (We have more tips from traveling with kids in Switzerland here).

When purchasing your train ticket from Zurich to Interlaken, check for special deals or promotions. It’s a good idea to inquire about the fare at the railway station or check the Swiss rail network website for the most up-to-date information.

Remember, if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you can travel for free on many trains within Switzerland, including the journey from Zurich to Interlaken. This can be a cost-effective option if you plan to do a lot of traveling within the country.

Option 2: Drive

Driving from Zurich to Interlaken is a convenient option. Having a car allows you to have more flexibility in terms of stops and exploring different areas along the way. The distance between Zurich and Interlaken is approximately 120 kilometers or 74 miles. The travel time can vary depending on traffic conditions and your preferred route. 

It’s important to plan your route in advance and ensure you have a valid driver’s license and proper insurance coverage for your car. Additionally, be aware of parking regulations and availability in Interlaken, as it can be limited in certain areas.

Overall, traveling from Zurich to Interlaken by car offers the freedom to customize your journey and make the most of your experience in the beautiful Swiss landscape.

Option 3: Take a Tour

If you’re looking to explore Interlaken and the Jungfrau region a tour is a great option. This tour is partially guided and is a great option. 

What’s the fastest journey time between Zurich Hb and Interlaken Ost by train?

If you’re looking for the fastest journey time between Zurich HB and Interlaken Ost by train, you’re in luck! The train from Zurich HB to Interlaken Ost offers a quick and efficient journey. The IC81 train through Bern the direct and fastest route. It takes under two hours to reach Interlaken Ost from Zurich HB. 

How much does the train from Zurich Hb to Interlaken Ost cost?

Generally, a standard train ticket from Zurich HB to Interlaken Ost can range from around 35 to 140 Swiss Francs. We recommend to book your train ticket from Zurich to Interlaken in advance as it can help you secure better deals and ensure a hassle-free journey. By booking in advance, you can also have a better chance of getting seats of your choice and avoiding last-minute rush. 

Journey TypeFull Price (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)First Class (CHF)First Class with Half Fare (CHF)
Single Journey7035+53+26.50
Please note that the table provides the prices for different journey types and ticket options. The values represent the cost in Swiss Francs (CHF). Table updated June 2023. 

Is there a direct train from Zurich Hb to Interlaken Ost?

Yes, there is a direct train from Zurich HB to Interlaken Ost. It’s possible to travel from Zurich to Interlaken without any transfers or changing trains.

The intercity train IC81 through Bern goes directly from Zurich HB to Interlaken Ost. The IC81 runs from Zurich to Interlaken run every two hours, providing easy access between these two cities.

Check the platform at the train station as for most connections the train does not depart from the main platform. You may need to go downstairs to platform 31.

But if you can’t find a direct route don’t worry. Changing platforms in Switzerland is super easy. Train stations are well-organized and well-signposted. The Swiss organization makes changing trains hassle-free.

How many trips per day are there between Zurich and Interlaken?

There are multiple trips per day between Zurich and Interlaken. The direct train through Bern IC81 offers 7 trains that run each day. This is a convenient option for travelers looking for a shorter travel time.

However, for those who are flexible and have more time to spare, the IR70 is another option to consider. It has a higher frequency of 21 trains throughout the day. However, it takes about an hour longer to arrive at Interlaken Ost compared to the IC81.

Both options provide travelers with convenient and reliable transportation from Zurich to Interlaken.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Interlaken from ZUrich?

Lauterbrunnen near Interlaken

When you visit Interlaken, there are plenty of exciting things to do and explore. Interlaken, located in the Jungfrau region, offers a wide range of activities for all ages.

One of the highlights is visiting Lauterbrunnen, a picturesque village known for its stunning waterfalls and hiking trails. You can take a leisurely stroll or go on a thrilling adventure amidst the natural beauty.

Another must-visit spot is Harder Kulm, a mountain peak that offers breathtaking panoramic views of Interlaken and the surrounding mountains. You can reach the summit by a funicular and enjoy the spectacular scenery.

For a unique experience, consider taking a scenic boat tour on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz. These boat tours allow you to appreciate the crystal-clear waters and admire the surrounding landscapes.

Grindelwald, another nearby town, is worth exploring. It offers outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and snowboarding, making it a paradise for adventure enthusiasts.

These are just a few examples of the many activities and attractions available in Interlaken. Whether you prefer outdoor adventures, scenic beauty, or cultural experiences, Interlaken has something for everyone.

Is there a direct bus from ZUrich to Interlaken?

There is no direct bus from Zürich Hauptbahnhof (HB) or Zurich Airport to Interlaken. However, there are other transportation options available to travel between these two popular Swiss destinations. The most convenient way to reach Interlaken from Zürich is by train. 

Is the Train Route From Zurich to Interlaken Scenic?

Interlaken Ost from Zurich HB via Bern


If you’re wondering whether the train route from Zurich to Interlaken via Bern is scenic, the answer is no. The journey on the Intercity train from Zurich to Interlaken Ost via Bern is not particularly known for its scenic views. While the route may still offer glimpses of the Swiss countryside, it is not considered one of the most picturesque train routes in the country. However, it’s important to note that Switzerland is renowned for its stunning landscapes, and even non-scenic train routes can still showcase the country’s natural beauty to some extent.

Interlaken Ost from Zurich HB via Lucerne


If you’re looking for a scenic train route from Zurich to Interlaken, you should travel via Lucerne is a great choice. The route from Zurich to Interlaken via Lucerne offers breathtaking views and allows you to enjoy the stunning Swiss scenery.

As you travel from Zurich to Interlaken via Lucerne, you’ll have the opportunity to witness panoramic vistas of mountains, lakes, and charming Swiss towns along the way. The train journey takes you through picturesque landscapes, making it a delightful experience for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. Make sure you have extra time because this route can take a little longer.

The route from Zurich to Interlaken via Lucerne takes you through some of the most scenic areas in Switzerland. You’ll pass by Lake Lucerne, surrounded by majestic mountains, and catch glimpses of quaint villages nestled in the valleys. The train journey allows you to soak in the beauty of the Swiss countryside, with its rolling green hills and pristine lakes.

If you need inspiration on what to do in Interlaken check out our Interlaken Itinerary for Families.

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