Spiez to Interlaken by Train: A Trip on the Lake Thun Railway Line

This review covers my train journey from Spiez to Interlaken on the Lake Thun railway line, which is part of the longer Golden Pass rail route.

From Spiez to Interlaken by train

After my visit to the highly picturesque town of Spiez, it was time to continue my journey along the Golden Pass rail route from Montreux to Lucerne.

I’ve outlined the basics behind the Golden Pass in an earlier chapter, so for more information on logistics, including ticket prices and the other Swiss trains that make up this scenic rail route, make sure you read that first.

The next train ride I was scheduled to take was the short journey from Spiez to Interlaken, where I would connect to my final Golden Pass train bound for Lucerne.

spiez visit switzerland scenic town castle lake thun
View over the town of Spiez and Lake Thun. ©Paliparan

Spiez station

The railway station of Spiez is located on a hill some 10 minutes away on foot from the town centre.

Before you catch your train, make sure to walk towards the balustrade along the pavement in front of the railway station to enjoy some sweeping views over Spiez and Lake Thun.

Spiez railway station has a ticket office, a restaurant, and a small convenience store.

As I was using an Interrail pass, I could take any train I wanted, so I just checked the departures screen on which platform the next train to Interlaken was set to depart.

spiez viewpoint
The viewpoint outside the railway station. ©Paliparan
spiez train railway station
Spiez railway station. ©Paliparan
spiez train station departure board
Checking the departures screen for the platform for my train to Interlaken. ©Paliparan
spiez ticket office station
The ticket office at the station in Spiez. ©Paliparan


On board the double deck train

On the standard-gauge railway line between Spiez and Interlaken Ost, there is a variety of trains you can potentially take.

Between Spiez and Interlaken, you will find Regio Express trains (RE) operated by BLS, as well as InterCity (IC) or EuroCity (EC) trains operated by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).

In fact, even the odd InterCity Express (ICE) train from the German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) ply this route on their long journey from Germany to Interlaken and back!

If you are flexible about which train to take, there is a train departure at least every half hour.

I was travelling from Spiez to Interlaken Ost on a Regio Express service, which was operated by one of the double deck trains of BLS.

These double deck trains have both first and second class, with an identical 2+2 seat configuration, although first class offers more comfortable seats and generally provides a quieter atmosphere.

BLS double deck train spiez interlaken ost
The BLS double deck train from Spiez to Interlaken Ost. ©Paliparan
second class seats bls double deck train
Second class seats on the BLS double deck train. ©Paliparan
first class seats bls double deck train spiez interlaken railway lake thun
First class seats on the BLS double deck train. ©Paliparan

Spiez to Interlaken Ost by RegioExpress Train
Train RE 4224 – Departure: 2.05pm – Arrival: 2.26pm
Duration: 0h21m – Distance: 18 kilometres

lake thun spiez interlaken railway map
The railway line from Spiez to Interlaken Ost along the shores of Lake Thun. ©OpenStreetMap/Paliparan

Departure from Spiez

At just 19 kilometres distance, the stretch between Spiez and Interlaken Ost is the shortest leg of the Golden Pass rail route.

My Regio Express train takes 21 minutes to traverse this line, which is part of the Lake Thun Railway which links Thun with Spiez and Interlaken.

As the name implies, the railway line follows the shoreline of Lake Thun, and you have some magnificent lakeside views from the train when you travel from Spiez to Interlaken.

Do make sure you sit on the left-hand side of the train in the direction of travel when going from Spiez to Interlaken (or on the right-hand side when travelling in the opposite direction) as that’s where the views over the lake will be.

Almost immediately after departure from Spiez, you are already treated to some gorgeous views over Lake Thun.

spiez interlaken train lake thun railway
The Spiez-Interlaken train follows the shoreline of Lake Thun. ©Paliparan
lakeside village
Quaint lakeside village as seen from the train. ©Paliparan
lake thun spiez interlaken ost train
View over Lake Thun from the train between Spiez and Interlaken Ost. ©Paliparan

Lake Thun views

On the first few kilometres, the railway line is positioned slightly higher in the hills, offering sweeping views of both the countryside, some villages, and the lake itself.

As the journey progresses, the train gradually descends towards the lakeshore, eventually running parallel to the main road directly alongside the lake.

From this point, you get an even better impression of the size of Lake Thun and the impressive mountains that surround it.

lake thun railway line
After a while, the railway line joins the main road right on the shoreline of Lake Thun. ©Paliparan
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View from the train over Lake Thun. ©Paliparan

lake thun interlaken
The railway line and the adjacent road follow the lakeshore towards Interlaken. ©Paliparan
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Lake Thun view from the Spiez-Interlaken train. ©Paliparan

Lakeside church

One of the most picturesque bits of the Lake Thun railway line between Spiez and Interlaken lies near the village of Leissigen.

Here, you have some great view over the beautiful lakeside church of Leissigen with its Swiss-style clock tower.

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View from the train over Lake Thun. ©Paliparan
Leissigen
The lakeside village of Leissigen. ©Paliparan
lake thun railway line golden pass train spiez interlaken montreux
Lakeside church in Leissigen as seen from the train between Spiez and Interlaken. ©Paliparan
leissigen church
Leissigen church. ©Paliparan
lake view
Lake view from the train. ©Paliparan
lake thun marina
Lake Thun marina. ©Paliparan

Interlaken West

After a while, the railway line reaches the eastern end of Lake Thun, and shortly thereafter, it enters the outskirts of Interlaken.

All trains, whether they are Regio Express (RE), InterCity (IC), EuroCity (EC), or InterCity Express (ICE) services, make stops at both Interlaken West and Interlaken Ost stations.

Interlaken West is the more centrally located of the two railway stations in town, while Interlaken Ost is the main station and the point where you connect to onward trains towards Lucerne (Luzern).

landscape
Leaving Lake Thun behind for the final stretch towards Interlaken. ©Paliparan
interlaken west station
Stop at the station of Interlaken West. ©Paliparan

Riding through Interlaken

The short, final stretch from Interlaken West to Interlaken Ost is certainly not boring, as the train will ride straight through Interlaken.

From the train window, you can catch sight of some of the iconic grand hotels in Interlaken, which is an important tourist centre.

On the short stretch through Interlaken, the train will also cross the River Aare twice.

The River Aare connects Lake Brienz with Lake Thun, from where it will eventually stream towards the Swiss capital of Bern and its eventual convergence with the River Rhine near the small town of Koblenz in the Swiss canton of Aargau.

Soon after the second crossing of the Aare, my regional express train pulled into the station of Interlaken Ost bang on time.

interlaken grand hotel
One of the grand hotels in Interlaken as seen from the train. ©Paliparan
aare river interlaken railway lake thun
Crossing the Aare River in Interlaken. ©Paliparan
aare river view
Riding alongside the Aare River through Interlaken. ©Paliparan
interlaken road
View over Interlaken. ©Paliparan
interlaken railway line spiez
Crossing the River Aare a second time on our way between Interlaken West and Interlaken Ost. ©Paliparan
interlaken ost railway station
The BLS double deck train has arrived at its terminus of Interlaken Ost. ©Paliparan

Interlaken Ost

Interlaken Ost serves as the terminus of the standard gauge Lake Thun railway line.

At Interlaken Ost, you can however change to several narrow-gauge railway lines, including the Brünig Railway, which connects Interlaken with Lucerne, and which I would be taking next.

interlaken ost railway station lake thun spiez train
The main station building of Interlaken Ost. ©Paliparan
sbb train interlaken
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) train at Interlaken Ost. ©Paliparan
sbb intercity train interlaken ost
SBB InterCity train at Interlaken Ost. ©Paliparan

Conclusion

The train journey from Spiez to Interlaken might be short, but it provides some fabulous views over Lake Thun and the surrounding mountains.

The stretch between Spiez and Interlaken forms part of the Lake Thun railway line, which connects Thun with Spiez and Interlaken.

If you travel along the scenic Golden Pass rail route, you will also partially traverse the Lake Thun railway on the stretch between Spiez and Interlaken.

Whether you are travelling on board one of the Regio Express services or an InterCity train, you will be treated to some amazing lake views.

Trip report index

This article is part of the ‘Scenic Trains Around Switzerland and the Italian Lakes‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. Bergamo: A Visit to Lombardy’s Beautiful Hilltop Town
2. Travelling From Bergamo to Milan by Train
3. From Milan to Varenna and Tirano By Trenord Regional Train
4. A Varenna Visit: A Day Trip to Lake Como’s Most Beautiful Town
5. Tirano: The Italian Gateway to the Bernina Railway
6. Bernina Express Train: Guide to Switzerland’s Most Scenic Railway
7. Review: Swiss InterCity (IC) Train Chur to Zurich and Basel
8. From Zurich to Geneva on a Swiss ICN Tilting Train
9. Cheap Geneva Hotel: Stay Across the Border in Annemasse!
10. Around Lake Geneva by Train: From Geneva to Montreux
11. A Visit to Montreux and the Freddie Mercury Statue
12. Golden Pass: Guide to a Scenic Railway Route Across Switzerland
13. Swiss Chique: The MOB GoldenPass Belle Époque Train
14. From the Mountains to the Lake: Zweisimmen to Spiez by Train
15. Spectacular Spiez: A Visit to a Scenic Swiss Town
16. Spiez to Interlaken by Train: A Trip on the Lake Thun Railway Line (current chapter)

** rest of the chapters to follow soon **

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Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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