Train from London to Interlaken, Switzerland
Updated: Mar 11
Green Traveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Basel, Switzerland.
Between the alpine lakes Brienz and Thun, and overlooked by the mighty Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, Interlaken is a great base for exploring the region - it is now the starting point for the Jungfrau Marathon, which climbs to 5,960 feet, and is a great place to go for watersports on the lakes or hiking and cycling to the impressive waterfalls in the surrounding mountains. For more information about the city, see our Green Traveller's Guide to Interlaken.
Journey Time: from 8 hours 27 minutes
Sample timetable: Depart London 09.01am, arrive Interlaken 8.58pm
Transfer: Brussels Midi to Cologne Hbf to Basel SBB
Frequency of Departures: 19/day
Carbon emissions: 12kg (flight would be 261.6kg)*
Train tickets provided by Trainline:
What's the journey like?
You have to change stations in Brussels Midi where you then board an intercity express train (ICE) to Cologne where you change to a similar ICE train to Basel for the final leg to Interlaken Ost station.
Stopover hotels to break the journey in Brussels
If you want to break the journey and stay overnight to see a bit more of Brussels, Cologne or Basel while you're travelling through, there are lots of lovely places to stay near their stations. Here are some examples of hotels that are conveniently near these stations:
Miss your connection in Brussels or Cologne?
Don’t panic. Railteam’s ‘Hop on the Next Available Train’ service means that if you have missed your connection between high speed trains because of a delay on the preceding leg of your journey, you’ll automatically be put on the next available high-speed TGV train. NB Remember to get your ticket stamped by your Train Manager. Whenever you’re connecting, always remember to validate your onward train ticket at the machine on the platform before departing (these are often coloured yellow).
On arrival at Interlaken station (Interlaken Ost)
Bienvenue à Interlaken! The city is small enough to cover on foot. Local buses are regular and hotel guests receive a visitor's card on arrival that allows free rides within the town on buses and trains. You can also use bus No. 105 from Interlaken Ost station to Wilderswil (every half hour, journey time 9 mins) for all mountain-bound trains. The visitors card also includes discounts at various area attractions.
There are lots of hotels near the main train station, see below:
Hotels near Interlaken Ost train station
Things to do in and around Interlaken
The impressive Lake Brienz is deep blue stretch of water ringed by snowcapped mountains above and sleepy alpine villages below, and is a wonderful place to explore throughout the year. Nearlby are the Giessbach Falls, which tumble down 500m into Lake Brienz in 14 tiers – a path leading to the falls was created in the 19th century and allows you to get right under the falls. You can also take the train to the ‘Top of Europe’ – at 3454m, Jungfrau railway station is Europe’s highest, and is a definite highlight for anyone visiting the area. Alternatively, you could go hiking in the Bernese Oberland, which has a dense network of trails and routes. Tinkling cowbells, picturesque picnic spots, and myriad paths and trails that meander through wildflower meadows and valley bottoms – hiking in this corner of the Alps isn’t technical or particularly strenuous, and cable cars can take the strain if the going gets tough. There is also the Three Waterfalls Trail – a 6 km route which hugs the lake all the way from Bönigen, (a kilometre or so east of Interlaken), to Iseltwald (a picture-perfect Swiss alpine village). It’s an easy 2-hour hike, and takes in some lovely waterfalls and beautiful lake views. You can then hop on a boat back to Bönigen. For more ideas of what to do in and around Interlaken, see Green Traveller's Guide to Interlaken.