Help buying train passes for Interlaken area

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Leona
Leona
3 posts
Jan 22, 2011 - 10:47 AM
I am planning a trip to Interlaken for July 2011 for my family(2 adults and 2 senior citizens). We are flying into Zurich so these are the train journeys I have planned (all round trip):
  • Zurich to Interlaken
  • Interlaken to Lucerne
  • Boat excursion on Lake Thun
  • Interlaken to Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg
  • Interlaken to Gimmelwald or Murren (train + cable car)
Weather-permitting:
  • Interlaken to Jungfraujoch
  • Interlaken to Shilthorn
Here are my questions:
Which Swiss train pass should I buy?
Should I buy the passes in the US or when I arrive in Zurich (at train station)?
What is the price difference between 1st and 2nd class?

I appreciate any help you can provide! Thank You!
Dev
Leona
Leona
3 posts
Jan 22, 2011 - 2:38 PM
Another detail: We will be in Switzerland for 6 full days. One more question:
  • Which train pass will allow us unlimited city travel (train, bus, tram) in Interlaken and Lucerne and Zurich?
Thank you!
Dev
Arno (moderator)
Arno
2806 posts
Jan 23, 2011 - 3:43 AM
Hi Leona,

Welcome to the forum! I'm leaning towards the Swiss Card when looking at your itinerary. In order to calculate the exact prices of all your trips, you can enter them into the timetable and see the costs. Prices not listed there can be found at the Jungfrau Railways website. The Swiss Card would give you a free round trip Zurich airport - Interlaken and 50% discounts on the other trips you mentioned. In general, 1st class is about 60% more expensive than 2nd class.

Passes can be purchased by clicking your country on the pass page of your choice, e.g. the Swiss Card page. In most cases, such an online purchase from the US is cheaper than buying in Switzerland. For example: a Swiss Card costs CHF 186 ($ 194) in Switzerland and $ 186 online.

If you're interested in unlimited traveling, an 8-day Swiss Pass would be worth your consideration. It allows free unlimited traveling on (non-mountain) railways and urban transportation in many towns including Interlaken, Zurich and Lucerne. Mountain transportation is discounted by 50% or sometimes 25% (see the map we link to on the Swiss Pass page). The boat trip is free as well.

I hope this helps!
crozza
crozza
3 posts
Jan 25, 2011 - 3:42 AM
hi,
about the swiss card
Am I correct it applies for roundtrip to from resort?
so would not work for entry geneva- to resort - exit basel ?
Arno (moderator)
Arno
2806 posts
Jan 25, 2011 - 11:29 AM
Hi crozza,
Yes, that's correct. And additionally, you get discounts on trips you make from your resort. As the entry point and exit point do not need to be the same, you can indeed use it for a free trip Geneva - resort - Basel.
Enjoy your trip!
Leona
Leona
3 posts
Jun 3, 2011 - 4:39 PM
Hello MySwissAlps team,

Thank you for your first answer to my question!!

My trip is less than one month away and I am still confused about how to buy the train passes.

1. It seems that I can purchase the train pass with a US passport when I reach Zurich (at the train station)? It may be slightly expensive but since there is no shipping costs the total price seems lower - is that correct?

2. Even if I have the train pass, I still have to book a seat reservation when I I want to make a specific train trip, is that correct?

My itinerary is still same (as I listed above in Jan). So the Swiss Card is the best option because it includes the initial round trip trip from Zurich to Interlaken (and return to Zurich). My only concern is not to pay too much for a pass in case the weather is not good for mountain train trips - meaning, I would prefer to have the pass include the Zurich to Interlaken trip and the Interlaken to Lucern round trip but keep everything else unstructured, Is the Swiss Card still the best pass option for us??

thank you so much,
Dev
Arno (moderator)
Arno
2806 posts
Jun 4, 2011 - 1:55 AM
Hi Dev,

The Swiss Card is a good choice as it includes the transfer to and from Interlaken, and everything else is discounted. So you can travel less or more depending on the weather.

Most passes are more expensive if you buy them locally. We've listed all local and online prices, including shipping, on the right side of our pass pages. The Swiss Card page shows you that buying 4 Swiss Cards online saves you almost $60.

99% of all trains do not require seat reservations. The timetable indicates whether you need them. If so, you have to arrange for them separately. But I don't see anything in your itinerary that requires reservation.

Does this answer your questions?

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