Luzern Interlaken Express STS

Luzern-Interlaken Express | Fares, Timetables and Info [2024]

January 17, 2024 Last Updated on May 14, 2024

The Luzern-Interlaken Express – or Lucerne to Interlaken Express – is one of Switzerland’s iconic panoramic train journeys.

Whether you follow the route as the Interlaken to Luzern Express or travel in reverse on the Luzern to Interlaken train, this panoramic express to or from Interlaken is a trip you’ll never forget. 

The Luzern-Interlaken Express route allows you to see some of the very best scenery Switzerland has to offer. En route you’ll pass five crystal clear lakes, seemingly endless mountains and several waterfalls. 

Taking a trip aboard the Luzern Interlaken Express train could quite possibly be the most memorable part of your Swiss vacation. 

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Everything you need to know about the Luzern-Interlaken Express

View from Luzern Interlaken Express
The views from the Luzern-Interlaken Express will leave you breathless.

This article covers all you need to know about the Luzern to Interlaken Express, so you can decide whether to include this incredible trip in your itinerary. 

If you’re thinking about booking a seat on this scenic train, then you’ll find all the information you need in this post.

From the Luzern – Interlaken Express ticket price for children, adults and Swiss Travel Pass holders, to whether or not you require a Luzern – Interlaken Express reservation, you can discover it all right here. 

Read on to find out all about travelling between two must-visit Swiss destinations via the Luzern – Interlaken Express. 

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

Quick Summary of Luzern-Interlaken Express Fares

Ticket1st class2nd classWhere to Buy
Regular adult fareCHF 58CHF 34BUY HERE
With Swiss Half Fare CardCHF 29CHF 17BUY PASS HERE
With Swiss Travel PassFreeFreeBUY PASS HERE
With Berner Oberland PassFreeFreeBUY PASS HERE
With Tell PassFreeFreeBUY PASS HERE
With Eurail PassFreeFreeBUY PASS HERE
The above one way prices apply in either direction of travel.

The Luzern-Interlaken Express Route

Luzern-Interlaken Express on Aare Bridge-STS
As its name suggests, the Luzern-Interlaken Express connects two popular destinations in Switzerland – Lucerne and Interlaken (pictured). Image © Travel Switzerland.

The Luzern – or Lucerne – to Interlaken Express connects two very well-known Swiss destinations.

During the two-hour trip you’ll pass a handful of glittering lakes, plus Alpine meadows, waterfalls, valleys and rivers. All this comes with a stunning Swiss mountain backdrop, of course.

Your journey will also take you over the famous Brünig mountain pass.

If you’re trying to choose between the Luzern- nterlaken Express and the GoldenPass Line, then the good news is that you don’t have to.

The Luzern-Interlaken Express forms the first sector of the GoldenPass Line. Passengers undertaking that scenic route then travel between Interlaken and Montreux, via the modern GoldenPass Express.

The Luzern-Interlaken Express also forms part of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland.

And if you want to travel from Zurich to Interlaken by train – or even Interlaken to Zurich by train – then it’s a quick and easy 45-minute trip between Zurich and Lucerne, before or after connecting with the Luzern-Interlaken Express. 

It takes under two hours to travel between Lucerne and Interlaken on this scenic train route. Look out through the oversized panoramic windows and you can spot Lakes Lucerne, Sarner, Lungern and Brienz, as well as Mount Pilatus and the Brünig Pass. 

Whether you travel from Lucerne to Interlaken or vice versa, I recommend sitting on the right-hand side of the train in the direction of travel.

This ensures the best possible views when travelling on the Brünig railway line between Lucerne and Interlaken, or vice versa. As the engine is swapped over from front to back in Meiringen, this applies for both directions of travel.

The Luzern-Interlaken Express Timetable

Swiss countryside from Luzern Interlaken Express
The train route passes by lush meadows on its journey between Lucerne and Interlaken.

The Lucerne to Interlaken Express timetable offers hourly services between Luzern and Interlaken Ost (East). Trains operate all year round.

You can board this Swiss express service as early as 6.05am when departing from Lucerne, or 7.04am from Interlaken. The last trains of the day leave Lucerne at 9.05pm, or at 8.04pm from Interlaken. Between these times, there’s one train per hour. 

So in summary, the Lucerne to Interlaken Express route offers hourly departures in both directions. 

Luzern-Interlaken Express Classes of Travel

View of Lake Brienz from Luzern Interlaken Express
Lake Brienz, with its turquoise water, is one of five lakes along the Luzern-Interlaken Express route.

As with most Swiss train services, you can choose between first and second class travel on the Luzern-Interlaken Express.

Whichever you go for, you can expect the sort of facilities that the clean, comfortable and efficient Swiss transport system is known for. 

The amenities include:

  • Luggage racks
  • Air conditioning
  • Comfortable seating
  • Panoramic windows in all carriages
  • An accessible toilet and 6 wheelchair spaces
  • An on-board, a la carte bistro-style restaurant

The key difference between first and second class is that the former is more spacious, and as there are fewer passengers per square foot, more peaceful. 

While another class, Prestige Class, exists on the GoldenPass Express between Interlaken and Montreux, this isn’t available on the Luzern-Interlaken Express. 

View of Stalden from Luzern Interlaken Express
You’ll pass many picturesque rural villages on your journey between Lucerne and Interlaken.

Luzern-Interlaken Express Ticket Prices 2024

Standard adult Luzern-Interlaken train prices are as follows:

Lucerne to Interlaken and vice versa

  • 2nd class – CHF 34 per adult one way
  • 1st class – CHF 58 per adult one way

However some discounts apply. Holders of the Swiss Travel Pass, selected regional passes or a Eurail Pass can travel for free on the Luzern-Interlaken Express. Half Fare Card holders and children also get discounted travel, as follows. 

Luzern-Interlaken Express Discounts

Luzern Interlaken Express Lake Lungern winter-STS
Winter or summer, the scenery from the Luzern-Interlaken Express is spectacular. Image © Travel Switzerland.

A range of generous discounts are available for travel on the Lucerne Interlaken Express. We have listed the most popular travel passes for tourists to Switzerland below with the applicable discounts.

Swiss Travel Pass: When travelling on the Luzern to Interlaken Express, Swiss Travel Pass holders travel for free.

> Read more about the Swiss Travel Pass here

Swiss Half Fare Card: Holders of a Swiss Half Fare Card can get a 50% discount on tickets for the Luzern to Interlaken Express.

> Read more about the Swiss Half Fare Card here

Berner Oberland Pass: Luzern to Interlaken Express fares are covered by the regional Berner Oberland Pass

> Read more about the Berner Oberland Pass

Tell Pass: Travel on the Luzern to Interlaken Express is included with the Tell Pass.

> Read more about the Tell Pass for central Switzerland here

Eurail Pass: If your Eurail Pass covers Switzerland, then fares for the Luzern to Interlaken Express are fully covered by this pass.

> Read more about using the Eurail Pass in Switzerland

Children: Children aged up to and including age 5 travel for free on the Luzern to Interlaken Express. Between their 6th and 16th birthdays, kids travel for free if they hold a Swiss Family Card or Junior Card when accompanied by a parent who holds a valid ticket or Swiss Travel System pass.

> Read more about the Swiss Family Card and Junior Card for children 

Luzern-Interlaken Express Reservations

Notice about seat reservations on Luzern Interlaken Express
Seats that have been reserved on the Luzern-Interlaken Express will be highlighted on digital displays above the seat.

Seat reservations are recommended for this scenic Swiss train, but in this case are not compulsory. It costs CHF 12 to reserve a seat, or CHF 16 in the summer season between early May and late October. 

You may consider this worthwhile if you do have a preference regarding where you sit – such as by one of the panoramic windows! This price is per person and per trip. Seats can be reserved up to three months before departure. 

If you don’t make a reservation, you can sit in any seat that hasn’t been reserved, subject to availability. So while seat reservations are not compulsory, they are recommended if you want to guarantee a window seat.

Reservations can be made here by following our step-by-step instructions below. Alternatively, make your seat reservation at any staffed Swiss rail station. 

How to make Luzern-Interlaken Express seat reservations

Step 1

Make your seat reservations on the Zentralbahn website by following the instructions below. You can use the drop down box on the home page to select English.

Enter your departure and arrival destinations from the dropdown boxes, then choose your date of travel and approximate time of departure. Click Search for connection.

Instructions for making seat reservations on Luzern-Interlaken Express

Step 2

The available services will now be listed. Choose your preferred departure time by clicking on Buy a ticket.

Instructions for making seat reservations on Luzern-Interlaken Express

You will then be directed to the following page.

Instructions for making seat reservations on Luzern-Interlaken Express

Step 3

Note: the booking page automatically assumes you are travelling in 2nd class. Should you wish to travel in 1st class you can change the class of travel by clicking Change in the dark blue section at the top of the page.

Enter the first passenger’s details – gender, first name, last name, date of birth and email address.

If you already have a ticket for this route or have/will have at the time of travel a travel pass that covers the route (Swiss Travel Pass, Berner Oberland Pass or Tell Pass), choose Only reservation in the Reduction box.

If there is more than one passenger travelling you can add additional passengers by clicking the Add Traveller button.

When all passengers have been added, click Next.

Instructions for making seat reservations on Luzern-Interlaken Express

Step 4

A summary of your reservation will then be shown, including the cost of your seat reservation/s. You can now choose your specific seat/s by clicking on any of the pale green seats on the diagram.

We recommend sitting on the right hand side of the train (in either direction of travel) for the best lake views. These seats are the ones in the lower rows of the seat map below.

After selecting your preferred seat/s, click the Add to cart button.

Instructions for making seat reservations on Luzern-Interlaken Express
Instructions for making seat reservations on Luzern-Interlaken Express

Step 5

To finalise your payment, click the Checkout as Guest button.

Instructions for making seat reservations on Luzern-Interlaken Express

Step 6

Enter your payment details and select the Buy now button.

Instructions for making seat reservations on Luzern-Interlaken Express

Step 7

After making your payment, you will receive a confirmation email from Zentralbahn and your seat reservations will be attached as a PDF. You should print out the seat reservations to show the ticket inspector onboard.

Note: seat reservations are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.

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Luggage on the Luzern-Interlaken Express

Interior of 1st class carriage on Luzern Interlaken Express
In addition to luggage racks by the entrance, carriages on the Luzern-Interlaken Express have overhead racks for storing smaller items. A 1st class carriage is pictured.

If you want to take your luggage on the Luzern-Interlaken Express service, then you’re far from alone! Many passengers will have backpacks, cases or bags with them, and of course the efficient Swiss public transport system is set up to cope accordingly. 

On Luzern-Interlaken Express trains you’ll find a couple of places where you can store luggage. There are spaces between the backs of the seats and at the end of each compartment there are luggage racks for larger items, too. 

Alternatively, Swiss Railways can arrange luggage transportation on your behalf. This can be done on a station-to-station or door-to-door basis to your accommodation. Find out more about this service here.

Where to buy Luzern – Interlaken Express Tickets

If you don’t have your fare included with a Swiss Travel Pass, Berner Oberland Pass, Tell Pass or Eurail Pass, you can buy tickets for the Luzern-Interlaken Express at any station in Switzerland or here

Luzern – Interlaken Express Highlights

With a journey time of under two hours, you’ll travel in comfort onboard the Luzern-Interlaken Express.

The highlight of any trip on the Luzern to Interlaken train has to be the stunning Swiss scenery. Your journey will last for around an hour and 50 minutes, and during that time you can expect to experience the following:

  • Sparkling, crystal clear lakes fed by clean mountain water
  • Sheer rock faces which add contrast and depth to any photo
  • Soaring, snow-capped Swiss mountain peaks
  • Numerous waterfalls and rivers
  • The charming village of Meiringen
  • Cogwheel drivetrain technology for the steep ascent
  • The legendary Brünig Pass 
  • The scenic Berner Oberland region
  • Chance to connect to the GoldenPass Express to continue from Interlaken to Montreux on the GoldenPass Line

Luzern-Interlaken Express FAQs

Lake Lungern view from Luzern Interlaken Express
Views of Lake Lungern, one of the most photographed lakes in Switzerland, are one of the highlights of the trip.

How long is the Luzern-Interlaken Express?

The Lucerne to Interlaken Express train takes one hour and 50 minutes to travel between Lucerne and Interlaken, or vice versa. This journey covers a distance of around 98 kilometres, or 61 miles. It’s not really an express train as such, but more of a scenic route like other Swiss panoramic trains. 

Is the Lucerne-Interlaken Express included with the Swiss Pass?

Holders of the Swiss Travel Pass can travel on the Luzern – Interlaken Express service for free. This also applies to holders of a Tell Pass, Berner Oberland Pass or Eurail Pass. Swiss Half Fare card holders, meanwhile, get a 50% discount on their ticket. 

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Children aged 5 or under travel for free, and kids who are between their 6th and 16th birthdays also travel for free when accompanied by a parent.

The child must hold a Swiss Family Card (issued for free when an adult purchases a Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card), or a Junior Card which costs CHF 30 and is valid for one year. 

How much is the train ticket from Lucerne to Interlaken?

Without a discount, one way 2nd class tickets for the Luzern-Interlaken Express cost CHF 34 per adult, or CHF 58 per adult in 1st class. 

Do you need a reservation for the Luzern-Interlaken Express?

Unlike some Swiss scenic trains, you don’t require a seat reservation to ride on the Luzern-Interlaken service. With hourly services operating in both directions throughout the day, there is plenty of scope for snapping up a seat. 

However the carriages do have panoramic windows, so for the best views it’s well worth booking and paying for a window seat. You can reserve your spot up to three months before travel. This costs approximately CHF 16 in the summer season, or CHF 12 during the rest of the year. 

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How do I reserve a seat on the Lucerne to Interlaken Express?

You can reserve a seat at any staffed Swiss rail station, or via the Zentralbahn page on the Luzern website

Is the train from Luzern to Interlaken scenic?

The Luzern-Interlaken Express is a scenic train service connecting the two Swiss destinations. A trip takes under two hours, and en route you can enjoy spectacular views.

Sights to see include five glimmering lakes, waterfalls, snow-capped mountain peaks, rivers, sheer rock faces, Alpine meadows and valleys. 

The city of Luzern – or Lucerne – and the resort of Interlaken also have lots to offer. The former counts a mediaeval old town and the famous Chapel Bridge amongst its attractions.

Interlaken, meanwhile, is a sporty Swiss resort situated between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The surrounding area offers hiking trails, mountains, glaciers, meadows and forests. 

Which side to sit on for the Luzern – Interlaken Express?

Sit on the right hand side in the direction of travel for the best views. This applies from Lucerne to Interlaken and vice versa, as the engine is swapped over part way through the journey. 

Is the Luzern – Interlaken Express the same as the GoldenPass Line?

The GoldenPass Line comprises both the Luzern to Interlaken Express and the GoldenPass Express service between Interlaken and Montreux. So the Luzern-Interlaken Express forms the first part of the GoldenPass Line route. 

How far is Lucerne from Interlaken?

There are 68 kilometres – or 42 miles – between Lucerne and Interlaken. When driving, it takes around an hour and five minutes to complete the journey. You can travel via the A8.

Alternatively, take a seat on the Luzern-Interlaken Express for the most scenic way to travel between these two Swiss destinations. 

Luzern-Interlaken Express | Final Thoughts

Luzern Interlaken Express Bruenigpass Winter-STS
The Luzern-Interlaken Express operates year round with services every hour from early morning until the evening. Image © Travel Switzerland.

The Luzern – Interlaken Express provides passengers with an incredibly scenic way to travel between the city of Lucerne and the resort of Interlaken.

While it’s not really an express route, it is a panoramic Swiss train offering stunning views of lakes, mountains, rivers, meadows, valleys and waterfalls. The route also connects two very appealing Swiss destinations. 

With affordable fares for travel on the comfortable, clean and efficient Swiss rail system, this is a journey well worth adding to your Swiss itinerary.

You can even get free travel if you hold certain Swiss, regional and Eurail passes, or a 50% discount with the Swiss Half Fare Card (get your rail pass here).

If you do take a window seat on the Luzern-Interlaken Express, I hope you enjoy the panoramic journey!

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