Help deciding which Rail Pass to purchase

Help deciding which Rail Pass to purchase

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Posts: 4. This thread is closed.
jettafan2006
jettafan2006
2 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2011 - 11:24 AM
First off I would like to say thank you for the wonderful advice that is posted on this forum. It has been extremely helpful in getting me to this point in my research. I'm having a difficult time determining which Swiss Pass would be the best for our travel plans. Below is our itinerary:

April 28th - Arrive in Zurich early AM, train to Luzern
April 29th - Free day in Luzern
April 30th - Train to Lauterbrunnen
May 1st - Free day in Lauterbrunnen
May 2nd - Free day in Lauterbrunnen
May 3rd - Train to Zurich in afternoon

As you can see our bases will be Luzern and Lauterbrunnen. In Luzern we plan to take the Lake Luzern Cruise and travel to Mount Rigi depending on the weather. I understand both of these are covered by the Swiss Pass.
In Lauterbrunnen we are planning to do a variation of trips via cable cars, buses and walking. We would like to go to Schlithorn or Jungraujoch depending on the weather. We also have side trips planned to Thun and perhaps the Aare Gorge depending on weather.
Based on your expertise, what type of pass would you recommend that we purchase? If only they had a 6 day Swiss Pass! :-)

Thank you in advance for your help. Please let me know if you need any additional information.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 30, 2011 - 3:09 PM
Hi jettafan! I'm glad to hear that the forum has been helpful for your preparations. As for your question: a 6 day Swiss Pass would be ideal for your itinerary indeed. Although a regular 6 day Swiss Pass doesn't exist, a 6 day Swiss Flexi Pass does exist. The flexi formula allows you to divide 6 free travel days over one month, but you may also use them on 6 consecutive days. However, an 8 day Swiss Pass is still cheaper than a 6 day Swiss Flexi Pass. If unlimited travelling is important to you, the 8 day Swiss Pass may be an option, but it's not the most economical solution.

Instead, I think your best options are either a 3 day Swiss Flexi Pass or a Swiss Half Fare Card. With a 3 day Swiss Flexi Pass, you could use free travel days on April 28th, April 29th (this would include a free boat trip over lake Lucerne and a free ride up to Mt. Rigi as well, just as with the Swiss Pass) and May 3rd. On all remaining days (between your first and last free travel day), a 50% discount is granted (except for the leg Wengen/Grindelwald-Jungfraujoch: a 25% discount applies here).

The Swiss Half Fare Card offers a 50% discount on nearly all trips and on all days of your stay. An advantage is that the Swiss Half Fare Card offers a 50% discount on the entire Jungfraujoch trip, including the leg Wengen/Grindelwald-Jungfraujoch.

If you know for sure which trips you'd like to make, you can try to make calculations in order to find out which pass is cheapest. As long as you don't have an exact list of travel plans, picking the right pass is alway a matter of making a reasonable guess. I still hope this advice helps you out a bit.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
jettafan2006
jettafan2006
2 posts
new member
Mar 31, 2011 - 10:20 AM
Thank you Annika! I had not even considered your idea, so more food for thought. One of the things that is discouraging to me about the 3 day Swiss Flexi Pass is that we would need to purchase individual tickets before each of our rail journeys. Is this difficult and time consuming or is it an easy process? Is there any post that explains purchasing tickets? Sorry for all the questions, but thank you again for your help.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 31, 2011 - 2:58 PM
Hello jettafan. Don't mind asking your questions! Generally, buying (discounted) tickets is quite easy. Ticketing machines with clear instructions in English are available at nearly all railway stations, allowing you to easily choose the 50% discounted rate. Railway personnel at larger stations can help you out as well. If you show your Swiss Saver Flexi Pass and mention that you don't want to use a free travel day, but want to profit from the 50% discount, they'll print the right tickets for you. Of course this takes more time than simply hopping on and off board, but that's a matter of personal preference. Please note that with all passes (even the Swiss Pass and the Swiss Flexi Pass on free travel days) discounted tickets have to be purchased for mountain lifts and mountain trains (such as the Jungfraujoch trip), so you can't really avoid it. I don't think you have to worry about this, and if you're not sure what to do, railway personnel will help you out. Does this provide some reassurance?

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