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London-Paris-Interlaken-London

  • 13 June 2024
  • 5 replies
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Hello community,

I am travelling with my family (wife and two kids aged 11 and 8) to London in September. We are also planning a trip to Paris and Interlaken (Switzerland). The likely itinerary will be:

Day 1: Leave from London to Paris; Spend the day/night in Paris

Day 2: Spend the day in Paris and in late night leave for Interlaken

Day 3: Arrive in Lausanne or Interlaken;

Day 3-5: Go around places like Lausanne, Interlaken, Montreux, Zweisimmen, Jungfrau

Day 6: Leave from Switzerland to London.

 

Can you please help with figuring out whether it will be better (and cheaper) for us to hire a car or take trains?

Which train was would be ideal for this journey (including Eurostar from london)? A 4 or 7 day Eurail or a combination of 4 days Eurail Global pass and a swiss travel pass? And what should be the ideal combination?

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Best answer by thibcabe 13 June 2024, 06:03

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Definitely don't rent a car. It would be very complicated anyway with Brexit. Take advantage of the high-speed trains.

On the other hand could you fly home from Switzerland? That way you don't lose a day crossing France again.

Eurail should be good value as Eurostar tickets tend to be expensive. With the pass you still need to pay a 30€ passholder fare (quota on Eurostar services so book early).

29€ reservations for direct TGVs from Paris to Switzerland but if you hop off before the border the price goes down to 10-20€.

The pass gives you 25-50% discount on Swiss mountain railways such as Jungfraujoch (25%). Boats on Lake Thun and Brienz are fully included!

On Day 2 I'd take the last TGV to Lausanne leaving at around 6pm. Finish with Interlaken.

So double check ticket prices for your dates, read these links and decide:

https://www.seat61.com/how-to-use-a-eurail-pass.htm

https://www.seat61.com/interrail-and-eurail-reservations.htm

Definitely don't rent a car. It would be very complicated anyway with Brexit. Take advantage of the high-speed trains.

On the other hand could you fly home from Switzerland? That way you don't lose a day crossing France again.

Eurail should be good value as Eurostar tickets tend to be expensive. With the pass you still need to pay a 30€ passholder fare (quota on Eurostar services so book early).

29€ reservations for direct TGVs from Paris to Switzerland but if you hop off before the border the price goes down to 10-20€.

The pass gives you 25-50% discount on Swiss mountain railways such as Jungfraujoch (25%). Boats on Lake Thun and Brienz are fully included!

On Day 2 I'd take the last TGV to Lausanne leaving at around 6pm. Finish with Interlaken.

So double check ticket prices for your dates, read these links and decide:

https://www.seat61.com/how-to-use-a-eurail-pass.htm

https://www.seat61.com/interrail-and-eurail-reservations.htm

Thanks for the info. Very helpful. Is the Eurail pass used (day activated) when I take any of the mountain railways? I am thinking of taking a 4 day global pass but, wondering if the 7 day pass would be required between London-Paris-Swiss-London journey?

Userlevel 7
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A pass day isn't required for a discount. However to get to Grindelwald or Wengen you'll likely use a pass day.

For any day trips in Switzerland a pass day is good value honestly.

A pass day isn't required for a discount. However to get to Grindelwald or Wengen you'll likely use a pass day.

For any day trips in Switzerland a pass day is good value honestly.

Thanks. So assuming I can take a narrow gauge to Grindelwald using a Eurail pass day.

In another question you mentioned: “Interlaken - Paris : do not take the cross-border TGV Lyria (37€ seat reservation), instead take the TGV within France in Mulhouse or Strasbourg (limited 10€, then 20€). Doesn't take much longer, max. 30 min. eurail.com”

Does that mean I will have to take a train from Interlaken to Basel SBB, another from basel SBB to Mulhouse or Strasbourg and then change to TGV from Mulhouse?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You don't have to. If you board the TGV in Basel it will cost you 29€ per person (it was 37€ last year).

However if you cross the border on a regional train and board a TGV in Mulhouse or Strasbourg it'll cost less (10-20€ pp).

Actually to get to London (journey I've done multiple times) I'd recommend doing Strasbourg - Paris. You arrive in Gare de l'Est which is a 10 min walk from Gare du Nord (departure station of Eurostar stations) -> much less of a hassle than crossing Paris by RER or subway.

There are also 2 daily Strasbourg - Lille TGVs avoiding Paris altogether but it'd mean a late arrival in London.

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