Family trip of 4 days

by Marie

My husband, myself and our children (ages 16 and 11) will be visiting Switzerland for a few days. We arrive Sunday afternoon, early June, at Zurich airport. We are staying in Murren for 3 nights and depart noon on Wednesday from Basel, taking the train from there to Paris, which I already have tickets for.

We plan to travel by train into and out of Murren. Which pass, card or tickets would be best for us? While in Murren we will mostly be hiking, biking or relaxing, with a possible trip to Schilthorn. Unfortunately we don't have more time but any advice you have about other activities or places to see in the area would be appreciated.

I would also like your advice about our train trip from Zurich to Murren. I have read the train travel via Lucerne is more scenic than through Bern. Could this be an option for us?

Thank you for your help and I really enjoy your site. I look forward to your reply.


Answer to

Family Trip for 4 days

Hello Marie,

Thank you for your compliment :)

You've chosen a wonderful spot for your short Swiss break.

And yes, the train trip from Zürich Airport to Mürren via Luzern and Brünig-Hasliberg is way more scenic than the fast track via Bern. Although the stretch between Bern and Interlaken is similarly beautiful.

If you choose to board the Golden Pass between Luzern and Interlaken Ost you would need a reservation (fees apply). But the normal train takes exactly the same route and you wouldn't have to make a reservation.

The trip via Luzern to Mürren takes about 4 hours, whereas the trip via Bern takes just a bit over 3 hours (day time - evenings just over 4 hours as well).

Do check the train schedules:
- Mürren via Luzern use "Advanced search" and add via Luzern in the first row and in the second row "Brünig-Hasliberg"

- Faster route: choose "via Bern".

It takes about an hour to clear custom in Zürich.


If you haven't already booked your accommodation in Mürren, consider staying in Lauterbrunnen since you only are in the area for 2 full days. This way, you could avoid travelling time (unless, of course, you want to stay more or less in and around your hotel in Mürren.)

Advantage of staying in Lauterbrunnen:

  • Shorter trips from and to the Airports

  • Round trip excursion from Lauterbrunnen: You could take the gondola (right behind the train station) via Grütschalp where you board the little train that takes you to Mürren. Walk through the village to the Gondola up to the Schilthorn (would be a pity to miss), then return with the Gondola all the way down to Stechelberg.

    Take the postal bus from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen and stop at the Trümmelbach Falls, then walk back to the Lauterbrunnen

  • There's a beautiful hike from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen (albeit a bit steep).

    Or go up to Männlichen by gondola from Wengen and hike to Kleine Scheidegg. Around Wengen, there are a myriad of hiking paths - all with beautiful views

  • Alternatively, go up to the Jungfraujoch by taking the roundtrip to see even more of this gorgeous area: Lauterbrunnen - Kleine Scheidegg - Jungfraujoch - Kleine Scheidegg - Grindelwald - Interlaken Ost - Lauterbrunnen.

  • On your way to Basel, leave early and board a cruise to Thun (right behind Interlaken West's train station). All tickets are valid. It takes a little longer to travel by ship than by train, but on a beautiful day it's well worth your time

  • If the weather does not cooperate, stop in Bern for a little sightseeing (luggage lockers right in the train station close to the tourist office. If you don't have much time, visit at least the Glockentrum, the Bear Pit and the viewing terrace right behind the Federal Building. Then take the train to Basel.

As for tickets or passes: If you choose my recommendations, a Swiss Card (tickets from airports to destination and back included and 50% discount on all other tickets) and a Half Fare Card almost cost the same. If you add the trip up to Jungfraujoch instead of Männlichen, buying a Half Fare Card and point-to-point tickets is less expensive.

If you only add the ticket up to Schilthorn to your trips from and to the airports, then normal prized tickets are less expensive.

Your youngest child travels free with the family card.

If your second child already celebrated the 16st birthday, then a Swiss Youth Pass for 4 days and buying the tickets from Mürren to the Schilthorn and Wengen to Männlichen/or Jungfrau would be a little cheaper than a Swiss Card or Half Fare Card.

The most economical option really depends on your itinerary. Once you have a fixed itinerary use this example to find the most cost-effective solution.

Enjoy your mini vacation!


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