Which rail pass for 6-7 days in Switzerland?

Which rail pass for 6-7 days in Switzerland?

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recordtracks
recordtracks
2 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 6:01 PM

Hi I will be arriving in Switzerland in mid-June together with my family. Have some questions regarding passes, and would love to get some feedback regarding things to do. I will be travelling in a group of 6 (4 adults, 2 young adults below <26), however my sister-in-law will be 6-months pregnant then. Thus would like to know some recommendations on things to do that could include her as well as some of the mountains/hikes might not be suitable due to altitude and physical effort needed.

Day 1: Arrive in Zurich + take a train to Lucerne where we spend 2N. (tickets booked)

Day 2-3: Check out Lucerne city, head to Mount Rigi.

Day 3 evening: head to Grindelwald via Golden Pass Route (our base in the interlaken region) for 3N.

Day 4-5: Lake Thun? Jungfraujoch? Check out Murren/Wengen?

Day 6: Grindelwald-Basel

Day 7: Basel - Paris (tickets booked)

There seems to be so many options of what to do in the interlaken region, would love to have some feedback and comments on recommendations. Also, which railpass should we get and which day should it begin from?

Thanks!

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 24, 2016 - 6:45 PM

Welcome to MySwissAlps, recordtracks!

Great that you get to visit Switzerland in a few weeks. There are lots of options that won't be too tiring for your pregnant sister-in-law. Although short stays at high altitudes (e.g. Jungfraujoch) shouldn't pose a problem to pregnancy, it's always wise to consult a doctor before heading off, just to make sure.

Here are some further comments on your plans:

  • the ride up to Rigi is very pleasant and can well be combined with a relaxed boat trip over Lake Lucerne;
  • the Grindelwald area offers many alternatives to choose from, and it's a bit hard to advise as it all depends on your and your travel party's preferences. I'll give it a try though. A boat ride over one of the lakes is very pleasant indeed, and not tiring at all. Visiting one of the many mountain tops could be considered to be kind of a "must do", as the Jungfrau region is truly stunning and deserves to be admired from any of the tops. Apart from Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn, you can consider Kleine Scheidegg, Männlichen, First or Niederhorn. These all allow for rather short or at least comfortable rides up, and while you're there you can just sit down and enjoy the views. The several viewing points and activities up at Jungfraujoch may require a bit more physical effort, but I'd still think it's doable. Nostalgic cog train rides such as the ones up to Schynige Platte and Brienzer Rothorn may be less pleasant for your sister-in-law;
  • visiting Mürren and Wengen can easily be combined with mountain top visits such as Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn and Männlichen.

As for rail passes: I suggest you compare these two options:

  • 8 day Swiss Travel Passes. Cheaper Youth versions are available for those under 26. It's a convenient way of traveling, as regular train and boat rides are for free, so you can just board and travel wherever you want;
  • Swiss Half Fare Cards. These will probably turn out cheaper, but you'd have to do the math to find out. They require you to buy 50% discounted tickets for each trip.

In both cases, validity should start at day 1. Buying online in advance is the easiest option, as you won't have spend to time arranging for passes for the six of you after arrival in Zurich. Both the Swiss Travel Pass and the Swiss Half Fare Card can be bought as print at home tickets from www.swissrailways.com/ en. Do mind that ordering such online tickets too may take a couple of days for processing, so don't wait too long. All retailers are listed here and here.

recordtracks
recordtracks
2 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 8:26 PM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika!

Thank you so much for the informative response and for being so quick about it :)

I have done some research and was wondering if you think these plans might be doable and a good plan? If yes, then I could start looking for specific tickets etc to compare prices.

I have about 2.5 days in the Jungfrau region (based in Grindelwald):

Day 1: Grindelwald-Interlaken OST-Lake Thun Boat trip- Explore Thun- Train back to Interlaken

Day 2: Grindelwald-Wengen-Mannlichen-hike to KS- Train up to Jungfrau.

Day 3: Grindelwald-First-Hike to Bachsee-First- Grindelwald before we head to Basel. Or Grindelwald-Bern-Basel.

Will spend the rest of the time probably just spending time in Grindelwald town itself. Furthermore, I have a couple of other questions as well.

1) Is the above itinerary alright? Are the sites repetitive, would love to have a variation in the things to do and see.

2) How long does a round trip to Mt Rigi (including the boat trip) from Lucerne take? If I am leaving Lucerne for Grindelwald about 1500-1600h in the afternoon, will we be able to do the trip in the morning?

3) Is there a need for buses in Basel/Lucerne city to see the sites, assuming we are living in the city centre. If yes, how much are bus rides generally (assuming we do not have a rail pass).

I am trying to see if we could work with just purchasing a 4-days rail pass, as the 8-days one is rather pricey. But will have a calculate regarding the half-fare pass.

Thank you!

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
May 25, 2016 - 6:03 AM

Hi recordtracks,

1) Your plans look good to me.

2) This takes half a day to a day depending on what you want to do on Mount Rigi. The page Annika referred to has all the details. One morning is sufficient if you start early and don't plan to hike.

3) No, you can easily walk here.

The website suffers from some technical issues right now so you may not be able to immediately reply. Sorry for the inconvenience, we are working on it.

meghaswiss
meghaswiss
37 posts
active member
Jun 1, 2016 - 9:19 AM

Hello,

I am planning to buy a Swiss Travel Pass for my trip to Switzerland from June 20 till 27. Do I need to buy tickets for Jungfrau and Mt. Titlis in advance or would it risky to buy them in advance in case the weather is bad on those days?

Sorry for posting this here, but I am unable to start a new threat (have tried many times!)

Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 1, 2016 - 9:58 AM in reply to meghaswiss

Hi meghaswiss,

I'm sorry to hear you're still experiencing problems. What happens if you click the blue button "Post a new thread" in the rail forum here? Did you try that in the last 24 hours? (we had some technical issues before that, preventing everyone to post). And what happens if you click here? Does that allow you to create a new thread? If all of that does not work, please try another browser as suggested in the other thread where we discussed this.

You can buy tickets in advance but you don't need to. Jungfraujoch tickets do sell out in rare cases (see here), so you could buy the evening before. Be sure to buy the Swiss Travel Pass in time if you prefer the print at home version (see Annika's comment on May 24).

meghaswiss
meghaswiss
37 posts
active member
Jun 1, 2016 - 10:30 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

When I click on 'post a new thread' it redirects me to the correct page. However, after I type out my query and click on 'post this thread', it just doesn't get submitted.

Thanks for your response re my query. Do I need a printer attached to my laptop when i'm booking a Swiss Travel Pass online? or can I print it later from my inbox? I intend to book from the raileurope india site as suggested by you, since it is offering a discount.

Thanks

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 1, 2016 - 10:52 AM in reply to meghaswiss

Hi meghaswiss,

Note that it can take a while (up to 10 seconds or so) before a new thread gets posted after hitting that button. I'm sure how long you waited for it. But, this is most likely a problem on your computer. Certain software to block spam or popup's may cause this behavior. But it's hard to tell. You can best try on another computer, on your smart phone, or use a different browser on your current computer. If you've tried all that you know for sure, which might be handy as you may have, or get, problems with other websites as well.

The Swiss Travel Pass will be e-mailed, so you don't have to have a printer while booking. You can print it at any time later, once you've received the e-mail with the pass (within 1-3 business days). You have indeed two options from India. Just check their prices as things vary by the exchange rate. Please see the below sites, or all options here.

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