Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zurich to Frankfurt by Train: the Technicalities

Last week, the husband was in Frankfort for work and I took the kids up to meet him and look around Frankfurt. That is in Germany, just in case you forgot. :) I will post about the trip but I am too tired to do more than post the technical details of how to get there by train.

To go by train, start at Zurich's hauptbahnhof and take one of the trains to Basel SBB. We took the TGV whose end destination was Paris and then disembarked in Basel at the main station. From there, we took an ICE (Germany's high speed line) to Frankfurt. The total trip was 4 hours - 1 hour to get to Basel and 3 to travel from Basel to Frankfurt.

A few details. We didn't reserve seats - big mistake. On the way to Frankfurt, it wasn't an issue. I was a little confused about where we could sit so I asked a guy who was checking tickets and he said that in Switzerland you could sit anywhere. Fine, dandy, fantastic.

The ride to Basel was in the middle of the day on Friday and the train wasn't crowded. We sat at a table and played Uno. The ride from Basel to Frankfurt started getting crowded but not uncomfortably so. On the way back was a different matter. The train from Frankfurt to Basel was packed. There were people sitting on the floor. We didn't reserve seats but we found enough for 3 people with baby riding in arms. But then someone had reserved S's seat. That made her cry but we found her another one. An hour or so later someone had reserved mine but that person saw me with the baby and let me sit there for one stop. Pity seat, but I'll take it. We did sit for the entire ride but I think the three of us sat in a total of 7 different seats.

Lesson learned: if it is a busy time, spend the 5 CHF and reserve a seat.

To find out about long distance trains within Switzerland or its neighboring countries, visit I conveniently linked to the English portion of the site. :)