The Beauty Of Swiss Transportation | Getting From Point To Point With The Swiss Federal Railways

There’s never been an easier or more comfortable way to travel around Switzerland than with Swiss Federal Railways, otherwise known as SBB. As a recent visitor to Switzerland, my itinerary included one stop, for a very short period of time. But, that one stop was not a major city or metropolitan area. The stop was Adelboden, a small village high-up in the Bernese Alps – roughly three hours from both Geneva and Zurich airports.

Having traveled from New York for eight hours to arrive in Switzerland, there was a fear that the three hour trek to this idyllic little town could be a bit laborious, tiring and inconvenient. After all, I was only going to be staying for three evenings before returning to New York.

Planning the trip was easy. I had heard wonderful things about the completely electric railway system in Switzerland, but never experienced it firsthand. I logged-on to their website and entered my starting point, which was Zurich Airport. I then entered an end point, which was a bus stop called “Adelboden Post”. I was going to have to take two trains and a bus to get to my final destination. Not fun. Or, so I thought.

After landing, I cleared customs and followed the well-marked airport signs to the Zurich Airport train station, located right in the terminal. This station was immaculate, easy to navigate and offered a plethora of shopping, restaurants and information booths for visitors. I had a Swiss Pass, which is a train pass allowing for travel around the country for a certain period, so there was no need to purchase tickets. However, had I needed to, there were kiosks and agent-staffed desks everywhere.

I visited an information booth where the attendant nicely printed my “itinerary”. The itinerary showed each leg of my journey – departure and arrival times, transfer times between trains and projected platforms from where the trains were expected to leave. Easy breezy. I boarded train one bound for the Swiss capital of Bern. Roughly 50 minutes in my comfortable business class seat, located in carriage 1, and I arrived in Bern. The ride was comfortable, with beautiful leather seats and plenty of storage for my luggage. Refreshments and bathrooms were available on board – which was very nice.

I transferred in Bern for my next train. This one was headed further into the mountains to a town called Frutigen. Another 50 minutes and I was arriving in Frutigen. This time, i answered a few emails and handled business on my laptop during the ride, looking-up often to marvel at the scenery. Now it was time to board a bus. I’m not a bus person. But, then again, I had never ridden a Swiss bus. I was pleasantly surprised to see a large, clean and comfortable bus waiting for its passengers, just a stone’s throw from my train’s platform.

I boarded the bus and traveled through the hilly roads to finally arrive in Adelboden just 20 minutes later. The entire journey was literally seamless – it could not have gone better. I now have no fear of traveling via train or bus the next time I’m in Switzerland. It was actually very enjoyable. I recommend anyone traveling throughout the country to utilize the SBB – you just can’t ask for a better way to move throughout this fantastic country.