Guidebook Updates for Switzerland

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on Switzerland, we post them here. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Across Switzerland

For books printed before April 2023, the following may apply:

  • The 24-hour toll phone number for the Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) is +44 848 44 66 88.
  • A new scenic train, the Golden Pass Express, runs direct between Interlaken and Montreux in just over three hours.

Appenzell

For books printed before April 2023, the following may apply:

Bern

  • Hotel Goldener Schlüssel no longer offers a discount to Rick Steves readers.

For books printed before April 2023, the following may also apply:

  • Denise O'Gorman Abersold is no longer offering walking tours.

 

Berner Oberland

  • Eurail Global Passes now cover trains between Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen, and even trains from Lauterbrunnen/Interlaken to Grindelwald (not Gimmelwald!) and up to Wengen. Unlike the more extensive Swiss Travel Pass, however, the Global Pass (still) doesn't cover travel between Lauterbrunnen and Mürren. (For more on this, see our Switzerland Rail Passes and Train Tips page.)
  • The top stretch of the Schilthornbahn cable-car line, between the Birg station and the Schilthorn summit, and the summit's Piz Gloria restaurant, are closing for five months on October 14, 2024, to allow for construction of a new cable-car line that's set to open on March 15, 2025.
  • Gimmelwald's Hotel Mittaghorn, run by Walter Mittler from 1970 until his death in 2019 and one of Rick's long-time fond favorites, is now slated to reopen under new ownership in 2025.
  • Hotel Bellevue in Mürren is now Drei Berge Hotel, and under new management ([email protected]).

For books printed before April 2023, the following may also apply:

  • Train fares for ascending all the way to the Jungfraujoch have jumped a bit since our last edition: Full-fare round-trip rides in high season (June–Aug) in 2023 cost 239 CHF from Interlaken Ost, 228 CHF from Lauterbrunnen, 214 CHF from Wengen, and 156 CHF from Kleine Scheidegg. The last train down now departs from the Jungfraujoch at 16:17 and from Kleine Scheidegg at 17:14 (still runs one hour later in July–Aug). Between Kleine Scheidegg and the top it's now a 45-minute ride, and you no longer need to change trains on this top stretch.
  • While you can indeed buy tickets on board the Lauterbrunnen–Wengen–Kleine Scheidegg–Jungfraujoch train for a 10-CHF surcharge, previous editions of our books hadn't clarified that it's important to approach the conductor to buy the ticket, rather waiting for them to find you (which could land you with a hefty fine).
  • The Lauterbrunnen Valley Folk Museum is now only open three afternoons a week (Wed and Fri 14:00–16:00, Sat 15:00–18:00, closed entirely Oct–mid-June).
  • The Airtime Café in Lauterbrunnen is now only open on weekends (Fri–Sun 9:00–17:30).
  • The Coop grocery in Lauterbrunnen now has longer summer hours (July–mid-Sept daily 8:00–19:00).
  • The Restaurant Bären in Wengen no longer serves lunch.
  • Pension Gimmelwald is no longer the only place to eat in town: The Mountain Hostel now has a restaurant that welcomes nonguests (daily in summer but only on weekends in winter). They specialize in pizza (served 12:00–21:00; bar stays open till at least 23:00) and also offer breakfast (7:30–9:30). The hostel itself, including the restaurant, is now closed not just in November but through mid-December and for about a month after Easter (and is no longer run by longtime owner Petra Brunner).
  • The Schilthorn Explore app, which had included an audio tour of Gimmelwald, is no more.
  • Expect some disruption around Mürren's cable-car station while construction is underway to replace a good share of the Schilthornbahn line. If you find the walking path blocked between the station and Hotel Alphenruh, simply look for signs to Gimmelwald, as there are several ways out of central Mürren that end you up on the paved road down to Gimmelwald.
  • Mürren's nightlife options are now a bit more limited: The Eiger Guesthouse no longer has a game room, Hotel Blumental's cellar bar has closed, and the summer folkloric performances are only held about once a month.
  • The Mürren tourist information office is now closed on weekends in the off-season (May and Nov–mid-Dec).
  • Denise Fussell's yoga classes at the Sportzentrum in Mürren are now held on Wednesdays (not Tuesdays; now €15 but discounts offered to Rick Steves readers).
  • The Pop-Up Lodge Mürren and its Sport Lodge are no longer operating (Hotel Alpin Palace is finally moving ahead with renovations).
  • Hotel Blumental in Mürren has a new phone number: +41 33 855 8856.
  • Previous editions of our books had not listed prices for the two ways to connect Interlaken with Brienz (for reaching the Swiss Open-Air Museum at Ballenberg) without a car; as of 2022 the train was 8 CHF, and the boat was 32 CHF.
  • The Interlaken tourist information office now has shorter hours, though they may change during the season (daily generally 10:00–16:00, closed Oct–May).
  • Interlaken's Flying Wheels bike rental is now open daily 9:00–19:00 (in good weather), and has a new phone number: +41 76 453 1464 (WhatsApp messages also answered at this number). Their guided e-bike tours now include a three-hour tour around Interlaken (119 CHF); their six-hour tour of the Lauterbrunnen Valley is now 219 CHF.
  • The St. Beatus Caves no longer offer guided tours to individual travelers (but you can easily follow the self-guided route, which takes about 45 minutes). In summer the caves are now open daily 9:00–18:00.
  • The Harderbahn funicular to Harder Kulm now runs until 21:40 in summer (until 17:10 in winter), and now costs 40 CHF.
  • Adventure-sports operator Outdoor Interlaken, now going as simply "Outdoor," has a new phone number: +41 224 0704. (Similar outfit Alpin Raft is no longer operating.)
  • Interlaken's K44 indoor-climbing facility has closed.
  • Most restaurants along Interlaken's Rugenparkstrasse have closed, and Jungfraustrasse now has primarily Indian restaurants. The nearby Biryani House has closed as well. In Interlaken's Unterseen neighborhood Restaurant Bären is now closed on Tuesdays (as well as Mondays), Città Vecchia is now closed on Tuesdays and Wednesday afternoons, and Benacus has closed entirely.

For books printed before January 2023, the following may also apply:

  • The Schilthornbahn cable car no longer runs later in the day in July and August.
  • The Lauterbrunnen tourist information office now closes at 17:00 in season and on Tuesdays (as well as Mondays) in Oct–May (otherwise open daily 8:30–12:00 & 13:15–17:00).
  • It's now a little more expensive to reach Mürren from Lauterbrunnen via the valley-floor bus and Schilthornbahn cable car (15.60 CHF total) than via Grütschalp cable car and clifftop train (11.20 CHF total). From Lauterbrunnen to Gimmelwald, however, it's cheaper via the valley floor (10.40 CHF total) than via Grütschalp and Mürren (17.20 CHF).
  • Mürren no longer has an ATM.
  • Stäger Sport in Mürren is now a branch of Intersport, and now closes for an hour at midday (12:00–13:00).
  • The via ferrata in Mürren now costs 149 CHF, and should be booked either online or through Outdoor's new phone number (see above).
  • Bus #151 between Brienz and the Swiss Open-Air Museum at Ballenberg (now slightly more frequent at 1–2/hour) now stops running from the Ballenberg Ost (east) entrance at 17:15 (after that, buses only run from the Ballenberg West entrance).

 

Gruyères and Diablerets Region

For books printed before May 2020, the following may apply:

Lausanne

For books printed before May 2020, the following may apply:

Lugano

For books printed before April 2023, the following may apply:

  • Shuttle buses no longer run between Lugano to Milan's Malpensa or Linate airports, but a handy train now connects Lugano with Malpensa (hourly, 1.5 hours), and Linate is easily reached via train to/from Milano Centrale and a shuttle bus between Centrale station and the airport.

Luzern

For books printed before May 2020, the following may apply:

Murten

For books printed before April 2023, the following may apply:

  • The Roman amphitheater in Avenches is undergoing a major renovation through 2028.

Zermatt

For books printed before April 2023, the following may apply:

Upper Engadine

  • Grond Café has changed ownership and is now Bun Di Café and Restaurant, serving pastry, sandwiches, salads, and beer and wine (long hours daily, +41 81 842 8040,).

Zürich

For books printed before April 2023, the following may apply: