3 Days in Switzerland - cost of train travel

3 Days in Switzerland - cost of train travel

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Choobies
Choobies
7 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2016 - 3:31 PM

Hi everyone

I am planning a trip with my parents to Switzerland in August and a bit stuck with the itinerary, particularly given how expensive train travel will be. We fly into Zurich on 27 August. I know its a short time, but we just wanted a taster of the best parts for now. Places of interest are Lucerne and somewhere in/around Jungfrao i.e. Lauterbrunnen

The options are:

1. Stay in Zurich and plan day trips. Day trip 1 to Lucerne and Mt Rigi. Day trip 2 to maybe Rhine Falls or Interlaken if this is possible. What would the costs of the day trips be? This seemed an option as we found very reasonable accomodation in Zurich right by the train station.

2. 27 Aug - Explore Zurich and stay the night;

- 28 Aug - train to Lauterbrunnen via Lucerne. Spend the day in Lucerne, go across the lake and up Mt Rigi. Then take train to Lauterbrunnen and stay the night

- 29 Aug - explore Lauterbrunnen and take cable car upto Morren or Wengen. Go back to Zurich in the evening (as we have an early train on 30th - Bernina Express - and Zurich seemed to be best connection to Chur)

My preference is itinerary no. 2 but I am wondering whether it is too rushed? And I am also concerned of what the cost will be to do this.

Like everyone else, the itinerary is difficult to plan without understanding the costs of each option. I, like everyone else, am trying to understand whether it is worth getting a Swiss Pass for 3 days or whether I can manage on the itinerary above. This is proving a bit difficult to work out unfortunately - for example I can see that it is 113CHF for the Rigi Round Trip via Lake Lucerne but I am unable to ascertain how much of this I would save by having a railpass.

Any advise on itinerary and costs would be greatly appreciated!

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 14, 2016 - 3:46 PM

Hi Choobies, welcome to MySwissAlps!

Can you follow the instructions on the below page and let us know if any questions remain after that? Thanks!

myswissalps.com/ train/ticketspasses/ practical/chooserailpa ss

Choobies
Choobies
7 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2016 - 4:16 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks for this Arno - quick question. Are the prices that are in there already accurate? i.e. Riggi Majestic return I thought was 115CHF 2nd class

Choobies
Choobies
7 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2016 - 4:23 PM in reply to Choobies

From what I can see:

3 day rail pass is 210CHF but everything I want to do in both option 1 is 250CHF and option 2 the same price so I may as well get the pass.

Can you confirm that the Rigi return is included in the Swiss Pass

Also, do you think Option 2 is too rushed or will be sufficient to see the main attractions.

Unfortunatley I have booked non-refundable accomodation in Zurich which I will have to forfeit if I change plans too much

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 14, 2016 - 4:58 PM in reply to Choobies

Hi Choobies,

The prices in the Excel sheet are accurate. There are various routes with various prices, that may explain the other price you found. Yes, the Rigi is fully included in the Swiss Travel Pass (not Swiss Pass, that's something else): myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ validity.

Your option 2 is indeed more rushed (more traveling). It is doable though. A disadvantage is that there are less bad weather options in the Jungfrau region. Less than in Zurich and Lucerne. But if it's the region you want to see you can certainly do it like that. And hopefully come back for more when you have more time in the future!

How to obtain the Swiss Travel Pass is explained here: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ price.

Choobies
Choobies
7 posts
new member
Jul 15, 2016 - 9:59 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno

Thanks for all your detailed advice.

I think we will have a much more fulfilling trip travelling around than using Zurich as a base for day-trips.

As I mentioned I have 2 nights in a 2 bedroom apartment booked in Zurich which is non-refundable on 27 and 28 August. It is at Swiss Star Centre Apartments, right next to the train station and a very reasonable price. If you know anyone interested in buying this off me I would appreciate it!

If I am able to sell the accomodation then I will stay in Lucerne on 27th, Lauterbrunnen on 28th and Zurich on 29th as we are taking a connection from Zurich to get to Chur in order to take the Bernina Express. From Lucerne and Interlaken there does not seem to be any direct connection to Chur that does not pass through Zurich - is that correct?

Do you think this plan is ok?

Also, are there likely to be any sales on the Swiss Travel Pass?

Annika
Annika
4424 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2016 - 5:38 PM

Hi Choobies!

You're welcome to post about your Zurich apartment in our accommodation forum, and see if anyone is interested in taking over your booking. You may even still be able to cancel your booking, but you'd best check that with the hotel and/or the company you made your booking with. If this doesn't work, don't worry about it. Yes, traveling times for August 28 and 29 will be longer if Zurich is your base town, but it's doable if you leave early. And the upside is that you don't have to switch hotels and spend time on packing and unpacking your stuff three days in a row. As you've already discovered you'll pass Zurich on your way to Chur from Interlaken/Lucerne anyway.

Current Swiss Travel Pass promotions are listed here. There are no sales for UK residents right now and we're not aware of any upcoming promotions. If promotions become available, they'll be listed in the Promotions tab I just linked to and announced in our rail forum.

Last modified on Jul 15, 2016 - 5:39 PM by Annika
Choobies
Choobies
7 posts
new member
Jul 25, 2016 - 1:51 PM

Hi Arno & Annika

As I mentioned earlier, I have booked a DB Bahn train from Zurich which includes the Bernina Express (29Euro each for 4 people) on the 30th Aug.

Under the current plan, we intend to stay in Zurich and explore on 27th August. Will there be any need for the Swiss Travel Pass for travel within Zurich? If not, I am considering buying a 3 day travel pass to commence from 28 - 30 August and obtaining a refund on the DB Bahn train I have booked. Do you think this is a good idea?

I have an Australian passport and will be buying travel passes for 4 people so will try to use the promotion you mentioned in this forum.

Anu

Annika
Annika
4424 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 25, 2016 - 4:45 PM in reply to Choobies

Hi Anu,

Whether or not an additional Swiss Travel Pass day is convenient for your stay in Zurich, depends on your exact plans. If you only need a bit of urban transportation, you're probably better off buying regular tram/bus tickets or a ZurichCard. Things may be different if you'd like to include a boat trip over Lake Zurich for example. If you're unsure, doing the math is the only way to find out. The price difference between a 2nd class 3 and 4 day Swiss Travel Pass is CHF 41, so you'll have to figure out whether your trips on August 27 are likely to exceed that amount.

A Swiss Travel Pass certainly makes sense for August 28-30, especially if you're able to cancel your previous booking. By the way, just to avoid any confusion: I don't think you've actually booked a DB train. DB stands for "Deutsche Bahn" and refers to the German federal railways. You may have booked a ticket through them, but this still means you'll be traveling in Swiss trains of the SBB (the Swiss federal railways) and the Rhb (the Rhätische Bahn, operating the Bernina Express).

As for Swiss Travel Pass purchase options: yes, there's this promotion for Australian travelers. However, you'll need an Australian billing address too. And mind to carefully compare prices through www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price. Buying through ACP for British customers is more convenient in your case and probably still cheaper, in spite of RailEurope's promotion: www.acprail.com/rail-passes/swiss-pass. ACP offers low standard GBP prices.

Choobies
Choobies
7 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2016 - 4:14 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika

I lose 17€ to cancel the booking but will still get about 100€ to put towards the travel pass.

As we land in Zurich at around 1pm city strolling may be the plan and hence no need for a travel pass.

Can I confirm if we need to secure seats on the bernina express? We will be going from zurich on a 7am train to chur in order to catch the bernina express and would hate to miss it

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 26, 2016 - 7:13 PM in reply to Choobies

Hi Anu,

You do need to book seats: myswissalps.com/ berninaexpress/tickets. There might be two carriages in the front of the train not requiring reservations, but you can't count on that.

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