[ASK] Advice on which pass should I get

[ASK] Advice on which pass should I get

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 9. This thread is closed.
stefanus
stefanus
4 posts
new member
Nov 7, 2013 - 8:42 AM
Hi, been reading lots of article & forum talks about swiss pass, I feel still need to ask and make myself fully understanding about how the pass works.
we (4 adults) planning to go to europe next year for 32days. and switzerland is one of our country to visit. Our itinerary in switzerland as follows:
11-Mar Milan Interlaken Lauterbrunnen
12-Mar Lauterbrunnen Jungfraujoch Lucerne
13-Mar Lucerne
14-Mar Lucerne Zurich Munich
From munich we will be going to vienna and will be going to berlin and cologne as well.

Few things I want to ask regarding my itinerary above:
1. Which pass should I get for my trip? As far as I know, swiss half fare card can be use in austrian and germany train as well, is it better to get half fare card?
2. If I decided to get half fare card, can I buy the card when I change train in spiez (from milan) but book the ticket in advance wihout actually have the card?
3. Do we literally need to book the ticket in advance to travel in switzerland? In terms of getting good/cheaper ticket price on each journey

many thanks in advance
kim11
kim11
320 posts
top member
Nov 7, 2013 - 11:33 AM
>1. Which pass should I get for my trip? As far as I know, swiss half fare card can be use in austrian and germany train as well, is it better to get half fare card?<

Swiss Half Fare card can only be used in Switzerland. As to whether thee Half Fare Card is the best you will need to add up the fares and do the math. Most likely, if you are able to go up Jungfraujoch (i.e., it is not cloudy on the one day you have allocated for this) the HFC will be a good deal for you.

>2. If I decided to get half fare card, can I buy the card when I change train in spiez (from milan) but book the ticket in advance wihout actually have the card?<

Yes to both questions.

>3. Do we literally need to book the ticket in advance to travel in switzerland? In terms of getting good/cheaper ticket price on each journey<

There is no cost advantage to booking tickets within Switzerland in advance. In fact, it is a bad idea to do so with a trip that involves Jungfraujoch. If the weather is cloudy it is a waste of time and money to go up the peak. You should only buy the ticket just before you go up.

However, you can usually get a better fare on the Zurich to Munich portion of your journey by booking in advance on the German rail site www.bahn.de. There are super saver fares that become available usually 92 days in advance that will save you a great deal of money, even less expensive than using the Half Fare Card to book your trip from Zurich to the border. There are restrictions - fares cannot be changed or cancelled without a penalty and you need to travel on the exact train/time you book. But it saves a great deal.
Arno
Arno
7311 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 7, 2013 - 12:36 PM
Hi Stefanus,

See here for details on how to do the math. Note that if you purchase the Swiss Half Fare Card in Spiez you need to pay the full fare from Domodossola (the border) to Spiez. The card can also be purchased in advance so you have it at hand from the start. Here's more info.
stefanus
stefanus
4 posts
new member
Nov 7, 2013 - 11:24 PM
Thanks for your reply kim11 and Arno.
So no matter which pass I decided to get, I have to buy full fare ticket from milan to either spiez or domodossola. And from there I buy the pass on the station.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 8, 2013 - 2:51 AM
Not quite. As Arno mentioned, you can also purchase your pass online in advance. That allows you to use it from Domodossola onwards, without having to get out the train in order to buy your pass. The entire Swiss leg will be discounted that way.
stefanus
stefanus
4 posts
new member
Nov 20, 2013 - 12:40 AM
Thx for your reply Annika.

So my plan is going to get swiss pass beforehand. And going to buy ticket from milan to domodossola. Do we have to show the pass in milan before get on the train? Or the train officer will check and validate it along the way to domodossola?
And having that pass we can stay on the train to interlaken isn't?

One other question, quite similar as above.
We will be travel from zurich to munich. So as a pass holder does it mean the swiss pass will cover the trip from zurich to St. Margrethen and then I just need to buy ticket from there to munich?
Thanks
Arno
Arno
7311 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 20, 2013 - 9:44 AM
Hello Stefanus,

If you go to the Swiss Pass page and select your country you can see all options of buying online. You don't have to show the pass to board the train. You just need to make sure it is valid before the train departs from Domodossola. You can either validate it yourself by filling out the fields on the pass, or you need a stamp from the train personnel. Which option applies depends on where you buy. Details are on the Swiss Pass page too. You do not need to get off the train because you will have your ticket and pass at hand.

Zurich to Munich: indeed you need a ticket from St. Margrethen to Munich. Your Swiss Pass will cover Zurich - St. Margrethen.

Some pass resellers also sell point to point tickets. If not you can get them locally. You may need seat reservations for the trains going in and out of Switzerland.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
stefanus
stefanus
4 posts
new member
Dec 5, 2013 - 1:22 AM
Dear Arno, again thank you for your reply. I already bought milan-domodossola and st.margrethen - munich for the trip.
Another question I want to ask, If I buy swiss pass from raileurope.com.au does it mean I actually get the pass or they will give me some sort of booking/acknowledgement paper that need to be exchange at swiss train station?
Reason why is we only have few minutes window in domodossola as our first entry point to switzerland to do it (if it's need to be exchange to the actual pass). Nad how about buying from SBB website directly? Is it same thing?
Thanks heaps.
Arno
Arno
7311 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 5, 2013 - 8:49 AM
Hi Stefanus,

You can either buy your Swiss Pass from the SBB webshop here, or from this Rail Europe page (you may want to use their promo code as well). In both cases you will get the actual pass and in both cases there is no need to get off the train in Domodossola.

There is one difference: in case of RailEurope you will need to get a stamp on the pass before using it. You can ask the personnel on board of the train from Milan to Switzerland. Just ask them before you reach Domodossola. In case of the SBB webshop you can fill out the pass yourself (name, passport number, etc.) and then it's valid.

Does this help?
Last modified on Nov 17, 2014 - 2:09 PM by Arno

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016