best pass to chose

best pass to chose

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Posts: 22. This thread is closed.
kbats
kbats
5 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2014 - 12:57 PM

Dear All,

Iam new to this forum.

Iam in germany. On 19th morning we will arrive (couple + a kid of 8 year old) in Basel. From Basel, we would like to go to Lauterbrunnen (Have a hotel booke din Wengen). We will spend there for 3 nights. on 19th itself we plan to visit Junfraujoch(top of europe), iam not sure how much time we will be left with, by the time we return to hotel.

So, next day, we plan to go to Lucerne to visit hall of mirrors, glacier garden...please suggest any others if we can cover...may be laussane or so...(apart from Lucerne , what to cover on this day is not planned yet)...

3rd day, we plan to visit lauterbrunnen valley, trumbelbachfalls...grindelwald...plan to getinto cable car...(please suggest if any more)...

On 4th day we will plan our return journey to Basel (swiss border) and from there we will get to Germany border .

Can you please suggest me, which pass would be better for me...I see that swiss half fare card would be fine..but please suggest.

If I have to take swiss half fare card, as not much time left..iam not sure if I can buy it online (as not sure of delivery time in germany). Can I buy this Swiss Half fare card on 19th (Saturday) morning once I reach Basel SBB. We will be reaching there before 8 AM on 19th. Your suggetsions will be much much appreciable. Thank you in advance.

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 14, 2014 - 4:27 PM

Hi kbats,

If you order a Swiss Card, that will include a free transfer from Basel to Wengen and back. You do not need further tickets for those trips, so you can quickly switch to your next train in Basel, or stay seated. On the days in between, you will get a 50% discount on tickets. You can get it from the Swiss Railways here, delivery takes 3 working days, so you're still in time. See the Swiss Card page for further details: how it works, what's covered, purchase options, etc.

You can't visit Lucerne and Lausanne in one day from Wengen, they're too far apart. See here for suggestions near Lucerne. I think a visit to the Pilatus may fit your plans. Further suggestions for attractions and hiking trails near Wengen are listed here.

Enjoy your stay in the Alps!

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 1:05 PM by Arno
kbats
kbats
5 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2014 - 9:42 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you for prompt response.

I see that if we use swiss pass, we get only 25% discount to Jungfraujoch (top of europe). But half fare card gives us 50% discount. And if I think of travels within and surroundings of wengen (lauterbrunnen valley, trummelbachfalls , cable car to murren...) are the maximum contributions. Other thing is to Lucerne (round trip from wengen)...and final day is back from wengen to basel sbb..... So, Iam seeing we will end up spending less if we use half fare card...But I might have missed something....please suggest if something else is the causes to end up in spending more than when we compare with swiss pass....

Thank you in advance

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:24 PM in reply to kbats

Arno suggested the Swiss card which gives 50% discount on mountain railways, (+ free transfer at the beginning and end of your stay by the most direct route), not the Swiss pass. It is 79 Swiss francs (2nd class) more than the Half Fare Card.

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:34 PM in reply to mikesc60

As half the return fare Basel to Wengen is 72 francs, you would be marginally (7 francs) better off with the half fare card I think!

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2014 - 7:06 AM

Hi,

Mikesc60 is right. I don't suggest getting a Swiss Pass, but a Swiss Card. Please click the link I included in my previous post for full details. That gets you the 50% discount everywhere, plus a free round trip to Wengen. A Swiss Half Fare Card is just CHF 3 cheaper overall, so I think the convenience of just boarding the next train in Basel Bad Bf (the border station) instead of spending time on getting a ticket is worth that. This assumes of course that you buy the Swiss Card in advance, which should be done no later than today in your case. If you buy it in Basel, you might as well get a Swiss Half Fare Card because you have to go to to the ticket office anyway.

Have a great trip!

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 15, 2014 - 10:10 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno, I will be using the half fare card shortly, flying into Geneva (it means I can use the Golden Pass route on our return journey from Lauterbrunnen which the Swiss card does not allow as part of the 'free' return journey). Is there any reason why I should not purchase this at Geneva airport on a Saturday early afternoon (26th July) rather than buying it in advance?

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2014 - 11:25 AM

Hi mikesc60,

In many cases it is cheaper to buy online because of the promotions that are currently available (click 'Promotions' at any of our pass pages to see what's available). However, promotions come and go and are different depending on the country of residence, because most resellers do not sell world wide. That's why we list promos like that, so that anyone can easily see what the options are at any time.

I noticed you're from the UK and there are no specials for the UK currently. However, shipping is free (see the Price section of the Swiss Half Fare Card page), so price wise there's no major difference. Online, you can pay in your own currency and may save a bit on exchange rates by doing so. Also you don't need to go to the ticket counter in Geneva if you already have a Swiss Half Fare Card (you can validate it yourself so that it can be used right away). You can simply get a discounted ticket from the machine, which is much quicker in case there's a queue at the counter.

Have a great time in Switzerland! A trip report is very welcome!

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 15, 2014 - 12:11 PM in reply to Arno
Thank you Arno that's really helpful! I was going to wait until I got to Geneva to save on the delivery charge but you have given me a free delivery option that I had't noticed. Some excursions can be prebooked when ordering the card (e.g. Schilthorn) and you have to enter a 'start date' for the excursion. Does the excursion have to be taken on the actual date you enter or within one month of that date when the half fare card runs out?
mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 15, 2014 - 12:45 PM in reply to mikesc60

Also, will I get a refund if, worst case scenario, my ticket does not arrive before I leave (even though this is very unlikely)??

kbats
kbats
5 posts
new member
Jul 15, 2014 - 2:20 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno and Mikes60,

Thank you for your suggestions.

I did mis understood it as swiss pass. Thank you very much for information.

Iam ordering Swiss card...let us see...I hope that we will have nice time...

Just one more question....Is the swiss card valid till Grindelwald..or only till Wengen?

Thank you very much, your information is being very very helpful...

kbats
kbats
5 posts
new member
Jul 15, 2014 - 2:36 PM in reply to kbats

Sorry to trouble with one more question...

I need not buy swiss card again for my son (8yr old)...right?..

If myself and my spouse gets swiss cards for us , our son can travel along with us for free...right?..I should take swiss family card, which looks free of charge...Please correct me if Iam wrong??..

I just got confused, as rates of swiss card ar ementioned for childeren (6 to 16 yrs) also specifically.

Thank you in advance

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2014 - 2:39 PM in reply to mikesc60

Hello mikesc60,

Tickets normally do arrive within the number of days displayed while ordering. In the rare occasions I've heard of a delivery issue, they issued a 100% refund. If the customer cancels I think there's a 85% refund, although travel insurance should cover that if there's a legitimate reason. But, we're not a reseller, so don't take my word for it and check the conditions on the reseller website. In your case it's the Swiss Railways webshop for the UK.

As far as I know the excursion tickets are only valid for the day you order them for. I will double check and post here if I find out otherwise.

Last modified on Nov 17, 2014 - 5:27 PM by Arno
Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2014 - 2:45 PM in reply to kbats

Hi kbats,

The Swiss Card is valid for a trip to any Swiss town, so that could be Wengen OR Grindelwald. After arrival, further trips are 50% off, until you go back to the border again: that trip is free.

You only need a Swiss Card for each adult. Children under 16 travel for free if they are accompanied by at least one of their parents. Assuming you'll get the cards from this page of the Swiss railways shop, you need to select "Family Card" for the children. That will get you a free Swiss Family Card which allows the free traveling for children. Children's fares are just listed for children who travel without their parents.

Last modified on Jul 15, 2014 - 2:46 PM by Arno
mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 15, 2014 - 3:45 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno, thanks again. To book a day trip, one is asked for the start date, not the date. This is misleading if the trip can only be taken on the 'start date'. It's another of those annoying occasions on Swiss information sites where you are given just about all the information that you need but you are left with one minor but nagging query that could make all the difference, but for which you can't find an answer 'for love nor money'!

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 15, 2014 - 3:49 PM in reply to mikesc60

And I think it is very risky to plan a mountain top experience as part of a fixed itinerary...what if there is a lot of cloud cover and poor visibility on the day you planned to go? One needs flexibility to choose the best viewing day.

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 15, 2014 - 3:53 PM in reply to mikesc60

Also, can I purchase a half fare ticket on the train, if I board without one but with my half fare card?

Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2014 - 5:05 PM

Hi mikesc60,

Yes, they do ask for a start date and I see how that's confusing. We have no control over that website, but Arno will let you know if such tickets do happen to be more flexible than we think. You're right about the weather. If one has alternative dates for a mountain excursion it's best to wait and see which of those dates turns out to be the most beautiful day, and only buy the ticket then. It's all about the great views!

Tickets can be purchased on the train but they're more expensive because a "service fee" will be added. So you better get it from the machine. The SBB site also offers e-tickets for smartphones and print at home options.

By the way, if you have questions to add to your post, you can edit it through the Edit Post button. Not sure if you've seen that.

Kind regards,

Annika

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2014 - 5:43 PM

Great news! Excursion tickets purchased online through the Swiss Railways shop (or the UK shop) are valid from the chosen date until the end of the season for that particular cable car. So you can safely order that along with your pass and still be flexible.

As said, the site is not ours, but I have asked them to consider making this more clear, as this is actually a great advantage.

Last modified on Nov 17, 2014 - 5:27 PM by Arno
mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Jul 15, 2014 - 7:21 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you both Arno and Annika for your very helpful comments and advice! It might be worth noting that the offer prices are hardly any cheaper than the half fare prices, from what I have seen (Schilthorn visit).

Last modified on Jul 15, 2014 - 7:22 PM by mikesc60

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