Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Flex Combi?

Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Flex Combi?

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ETOSY
ETOSY
10 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2015 - 2:33 PM

Hi

I would like to start off by saying how amazing this website is! It is a fantastic site for first timer to Switzerland like me, with the rich yet concise content. Keep up the good work!

My husband and I would be travelling to Switzerland this December. We would be grateful if you could give us some advice on the questions below, based on this itinerary.

Day 1: Zurich to Zermatt

Day 2: Zermatt to Gornergrat (return trip)

Day 3: Zermatt to Interlaken Ost; Lake Thun boat ride; Thun to Interlaken Ost

Day 4: Interlaken to Jungraujoch (return trip)

Day 5: Interlaken Ost to Lucerne

Day 6: Lucerne to Mt Titlis (return trip)

Day 7: Lucerne to Mt Rigi Kulm (return trip)

Day 8: Lucerne to Zurich; Zurich to Bern (return trip)

  1. Is Swiss Travel Flex, Swiss Travel Flex Combi or Half Fare Card most suitable?
  2. Are we still entitled to discounts for the scenic trains/cable cars/boat rides (eg Gornergrat, Jungfraujoch/Lake Thun boat ride) on non-validated days, if I buy Swiss Travel Flex?
  3. Does Half Fare card entitle us to discounted scenic trains/cable car rides/boat rides?
  4. Is there any way to check the train timing for dates past 12 December 2015, from sbb.ch?
  5. For the Lake Thun boat ride, can we board the boat from Interlaken West station? What's the difference between Interlaken West and Interlaken West ThS? Is the pier near Interlaken West station?
  6. During the Lake Thun boat ride, can we stop at Oberhofen am Thunersee to go visit the castle? Is there any train from there back to Interlaken Ost?
  7. Do I have to purchase the boat ticket in advance?
  8. For the boat ride from Lucerne to Weggis, does the cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm operate in winter?
  9. In your opinion, is the bear park in Bern worth going in December?

Apologies for the multiple questions. Look forward to your advice.

Thanks!

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2015 - 3:07 PM

Welcome to MySwissAlps.com, ETOSY! Glad to hear our website has been a useful resource so far.

Now, as for your questions:

1. All three passes you mention are suitable for your plans. Which one is cheapest, can be calculated as explained at www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass. Also, consider your own preferences when it comes to convenience. I'd personally prefer to use an 8 day Swiss Travel Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price) for this trip, as it's very by far the easiest option and allows boarding without having to buy additional tickets on most days. In the itinerary you've mentioned, you'll only need additional (discounted) tickets for the Gornergrat, Jungfraujoch (up from Wengen/Grindelwald) and Titlis. The rest of your trips will be for free. But as mentioned, you'll have to decide for yourself whether this is an important issue.

2. No, the Swiss Travel Pass Flex (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpassflex) is only valid on the free travel days you select. On the remaining days, there are no discounts. If you do need discounts on the other days too, you should choose the Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpassflex/pric e) instead.

3. Yes, the Swiss Half Fard includes nearly all trips, including scenic trains and mountain transportation. Please refer to www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard/validi ty for details.

4. No, the schedules will change as of December 12 and as far as I can see they're are not available yet. In most cases there will only be minor adaptations, so searching connections for another date will give you a pretty reliable idea of what the trip will look like after December 12.

5. The boat dock is right nex to the Interlaken West station. In the timetable, "Interlaken West" is used for the rail station, and "Interlaken West ThS" (an abbreviation of Thunersee, "Lake Thun" in German) for the pier. Further information can be found at www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakethun

6. Sure, you can get off in Oberhofen. There's no direct train back to Interlaken West, but you can either take a bus to Interlaken or a bus to Thun, where you can change to the train heading for Interlaken. Details can be found in the timetable: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable.

7. You don't have to pre-order a boat ticket. Just buy it before boarding; there will be a ticket desk at the pier. Mind that you only need to do so if your rail pass doesn't offer a free ride over the lake. If your pass covers the ride, you can simply board and show your pass when asked for by the officer. Please see www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakethun/tickets as well.

8. There's no cog rail between Weggis and Rigi Kulm, but a cable car. It will run in December, and so will the cog railway from Arth-Goldau to Rigi Kulm. A link to the official timetables is included at www.myswissalps.com/ri gi.

9. If you plan to spend some time in Bern, you can simply combine a visit to the bear park with a stroll through the old town centre: www.myswissalps.com/be rn.

ETOSY
ETOSY
10 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2015 - 1:35 AM

Hi Annika

Thanks for the very useful advice. For travelling within city, eg from Zurich airport to Zurich HB or within Zurich city itself, is Swiss Travel Pass required? Or would it be relatively cheap to buy a point to point ticket? (we haven't planned where to go in Zurich yet)

This is because after Day 8, we will be heading out of Switzerland for 5 days, before returning to Zurich on Day 14 and 15. A 8-day Swiss Travel Pass would have expired and a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass might not be worth it.

Appreciate your advice as before.

Thanks

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 12, 2015 - 6:41 AM

Hi ETOSY!

If you don't have a valid Swiss Travel Pass in Zurich, you can either buy regular full-fare tickets or a ZurichCard: www.myswissalps.com/zu rich/travel. Fares for regular tickets can be found by entering your trip in the timetable and clicking 'Fare/Buy'. A 15 day Swiss Travel Pass won't be worth the extra costs if you only want to do some local traveling on day 14 and 15. Tips for sightseeing in Zurich can be found at www.myswissalps.com/zu rich.

ETOSY
ETOSY
10 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2015 - 12:49 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika

And for days when I have the Swiss Travel Pass (ie within the 1st 8 days), I can use the pass for local traveling? For eg within Zermatt or Lucerne.

Also, where can I buy the tickets for Gornergrat, Jungfraujoch (up from Wengen/Grindelwald) and Titlis? Is it at Zermatt GGB station for Gornergrat, Interlaken Ost station for Jungfraujoch and Lucerne station for Mt Titlis?

Thanks for your advice!

ETOSY
ETOSY
10 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2015 - 1:33 AM in reply to ETOSY

Apologies, I forgot to ask:

  1. Is reservation required for any of the scenic train rides i'm taking? I suspect not, but would appreciate your expertise
  2. Are there any restaurants up at Mt Titlis and Rigi Kulm?

Thanks

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 13, 2015 - 8:03 AM

Hello ETOSY!

Urban transportation is included for the larger towns, like Lucerne. These towns are indicated by a white circle with a red line and a red dot at the validity map: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity. The electric buses in Zermatt are not covered, but if you don't mind some easy hiking, you'll also get by on foot in there. If you only plan to go up to the Gornergrat, it's very easy: the cog trains leave right next to the railway station where you'll be arriving, so there's no need for any urban transportation.

Tickets to mountain tops can indeed by purchased at the valley stations. Please refer to http://www.myswissalps .com/gornergrat/ticket s, http://www.myswissalps .com/jungfraujoch/tick ets and http://www.myswissalps .com/titlis/tickets for details.

No, there's no need to make seat reservations for the trips you've listed: http://www.myswissalps .com/train/reservation s.

Restaurants are at pretty much all viewing points up in the mountains, at Titlis and Rigi too. It's great to have lunch up there and enjoy the views at the same time.

Last modified on Aug 13, 2015 - 8:04 AM by Annika
ETOSY
ETOSY
10 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2015 - 3:28 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika! This website made planning my itinerary so much easier! I'll definitely refer this website to anyone who is planning on visiting Switzerland.

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