Rail passes for family trip Montreux & Grindelwald

Rail passes for family trip Montreux & Grindelwald

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msj258
msj258
3 posts
new member
May 6, 2016 - 5:22 PM

My family (two adults, two children ages 9 and 5) are going to Switzerland from the UK in late May for 9 days / 8 nights.

We are flying in to Geneva and plan to take the train straight away to Montreux where we will stay one night. On day 2 we want to travel part of The Golden Pass route, as far as Interlaken, from where we will take a train to Grindelwald which will be our base for the next 7 nights. On day 9 we will be travelling by train from Grindelwald to Basel airport for our flight home.

My husband is very keen on exploring by rail, but we also need to think of the needs of our children who won't enjoy lots of long days of train travel. Ideally we would cover lots of longer journeys and see more routes, but we have decided to focus on a smaller area instead with more emphasis on walks, shorter journeys on trains, boats and cable cars. We still want to get out and about as much as we can and we like to be flexible. My husband might want to head off on his own one day and do a longer journey covering more of the country.

We plan to use Grindelwald as a base for several excursions within the local region, eg Schynige Platte railway, boat trip to Thun and return by train, cable car up Männlichen and then on to Kleine Scheidegg and back to Grindelwald by train and possibly some other mountain trips by cable car too.

We would also like to compete the Golden Pass route on one of the days with a day trip from Interlaken to Lucerne which will be quite a long day with a lot of travelling for the children so we'll do this about half-way through.

I think that the best way for us to do this would be with the following tickets:

3 days Swiss Travel Pass Flex - to be used for our trips from Geneva airport to Montreux, Montreux to Grindelwald, and Grindelwald to Basel airport at the end of the trip. (I think this might also cover some local trips and museum entries in Montreux?)

6 days Berenese Oberland Travel Pass (This needs to be consecutive days so can be used for our trip to Lucerne and for all the other local trips from Grindelwald).

Would appreciate any advice on:

- whether I have selected the best combination of tickets for our needs

- what tickets I need to buy for the children (I think we need a free family card for the Travel Pass Flex, and a child ticket for 30 CHF on the BO travel pass?).

- whether we should reserve seats for the GoldPass journeys we plan to make

- the best place to buy and tickets!

Many thanks,

Msj258

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 7, 2016 - 5:47 PM in reply to msj258

Hi Msj258, thanks for posting here!

Exploring Switzerland by rail is great indeed. If you have younger children it's wise not to cram your itinerary with long train transfers, so choosing Grindelwald as your base and making local day trips is definitely a good idea. Generally, mountain trains and cable cars are true attractions for children. As for rail passes: it's good that you've been thoroughly exploring the options. In your case, I think the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland certainly makes sense as it provides excellent coverage for the Grindelwald region. I'm not so sure about the additional Swiss Travel Pass Flex though, as that's a pricey solution for just a few trips.

I think you're better off getting a 10 day Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland and no other pass. A 10 day Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland will cover quite large parts of your journeys from and to Grindelwald too. Please study the validity map here. Purchase options are listed here. This is what you'd need additionally:

  • full fare adult tickets Geneva-Montreux
  • 50% discounted adult tickets Montreux-Saanen (from Saanen onwards, your Regional-Pass will provide free traveling)
  • full fare adult tickets Bern-Basel (up to Basel, the Regional-Pass provides free traveling)
  • Junior Travelcards for both children. They're not available online in combination with the Regional-Pass yet, so you should buy them after arrival in Geneva. That way, your children travel along for free on all of your trips.

In all I think this is the cheapest solution. If you want to make sure you do the math as explained here.

msj258
msj258
3 posts
new member
May 13, 2016 - 12:11 PM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Thanks for your message. Yes, it sounds like a better plan to get the Bernese Oberland Regional Pass and just pay for the extra parts of the journey. I think I only need to get an 8 day pass though and not a 10 day pass (as our first day - Geneva to Montreux - is completely outside of the area of the pass) - unless I am misunderstanding something?

With the Junior Travelcards this will cover all journeys for children to travel for free including the Jungfraujoch?

Do I need a Junior Travelcard for my son who is 5, or is he free anyway due to his age?

Is it best to buy the Berenese Oberland travel pass before we go to Switzerland, or can we get it in a station in Switzerland?

Many thanks again,

Msj258
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 14, 2016 - 2:03 PM in reply to msj258

Hi msj258!

You're right about the 8 day Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland being the better option; I must have misinterpreted your plans and the number of days somehow. Purchase options are listed here. You can either buy your pass online in advance, or do so once you're in Switzerland. You'd need it from Montreux and I think it should be available there, as Montreux is part its validity area.

Yes, the Junior Travelcards allow your children to travel along for free on all routes, including mountain transportation such as the train to the Jungfraujoch. Your 5 year old son doesn't need one: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/discounts.

msj258
msj258
3 posts
new member
May 16, 2016 - 11:58 AM

Thanks very much for your help!

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