How to use Swiss Travel Pass - Milan to Geneva

How to use Swiss Travel Pass - Milan to Geneva

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wanderlass
wanderlass
11 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2016 - 10:59 AM

Hi, Arno / Annika -

I will be traveling from Milan to Geneva on Sept 5. I will be purchasing a swiss travel pass and i would like to ask the following questions:

1. if this will be valid for the train from Milan to Geneva? if valid, will this provide me with a free ride or just a discount on the ticket? or will only certain legs of the trip be valid for a swiss travel pass which would mean i would have to buy separate tickets from italy to switzerland, then another for a swiss domestic train ticket? The route that i saw was Milan - Brig - Geneva. Let me know please how to go about it.

2. Is it possible to reserve a seat from Milan to Geneva online thru sbb.ch? or can i only do this at the station? the same goes for all other train travel within switzerland - can i reserve seats online as well?

Thank you so much in advance!

Kate

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 13, 2016 - 7:22 PM

Welcome to MySwissAlps Kate!

You don't need reserved seats within Switzerland, please see here.

As for your trip from Milan: all you need is a Swiss Travel Pass (to be printed at home) and a ticket from Milan to Domodossola. Domodossola is the border (just stay seated), where validity of the pass starts (see the map). Please see:

In your case, both the pass and the ticket can be purchased from www.raileurope.com.sg/ pass/swiss-travel-pass-82. But there are other options as well, as you can see on the above pages.

wanderlass
wanderlass
11 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2016 - 3:44 AM in reply to Arno

Hi, Arno -

Thanks so much for this. I checked both the SG website of raileurope and SBB as well as the map, for the train from Milan to Geneva and both produced results with a change in Brig. If i may squeeze in two more questions please:

1. Will i need to purchase the ticket from Milan to Domodossala separately since the Swiss Travel Pass will not be valid yet during the leg of this trip? or if i purchase the train ticket from Milan to Geneva online, is there an option online that i can choose wherein the leg from Domodossola to Geneva will be free due to the Swiss Travel Pass? I checked the Reduction option, but there's no choice for a Swiss Travel Pass.

2. On the map, there's a broken line running between Iselle di Trasquera to Brig. Does that mean that this only merits a 50% discount on the ticket?

Hope you don't mind the additional questions. The use of the Swiss Travel Pass is still quite unclear for me - at least for the international/ border crossing from Italy and how i can use this to purchase train tickets from Italy. Your website has been really helpful in planning our trip :)

Thanks,

Kate

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 14, 2016 - 10:54 AM

Hi Kate,

Additional questions are welcome!

1. Indeed a change in Brig is quite common. There are not many direct trains. Normally you'd buy the Milan to Domodossola ticket separately as you do not need any tickets within Switzerland if you have a Swiss Travel Pass. Also you'll be more flexible without a ticket for the whole journey as you can just take any train in Brig with a Swiss Travel Pass. Note that the SBB site is mainly for Swiss residents so it does not list any of the tourist passes. In your case you could select "GA" as that basically gives you the same "discount" (Swiss leg for free) as a Swiss Travel Pass, but this is not required. You can simply buy a ticket for the Italian leg only. The Swiss Travel Pass can be printed at home (see the links in my previous post), so all travel documents will be ready to use when you board in Milan.

2. That's a tunnel. It's fully covered.

wanderlass
wanderlass
11 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2016 - 2:05 PM in reply to Arno

Hi, Arno!

Super thanks for the reply...and i just have two additional (possibly stupid) questions - the Domodossola station that the Milan train arrives at is the same station that the SBB train will depart from bound for Geneva?

and not sure if this is still within the parameters of questioning - but it would be better to purchase the ticket from Milan to Domodossola from any of the Italian train sites right?

Again really appreciate your help! - kate

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 14, 2016 - 3:10 PM in reply to wanderlass

Hi Kate,

You just stay seated in Domodossola (see my first reply). It's just the town where you ticket ends and pass starts. No need to get off the train there since you've paid for the whole ride.

Basically it does not matter where you buy your ticket for the Italian part of the trip. All retailers issue the same tickets. In your case it could make sense to buy through the site I mentioned earlier as they sell the ticket and the pass, so just one party to deal with. But any website we have listed is credible.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Aug 15, 2016 - 7:39 AM in reply to wanderlass

Hi Kate-

Amplifying what Arno said -

If you spend some time with the timetable:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

You can select a train from Milano Centrale to Geneva that makes the entire trip with no change of train. The 1223 train is an example.

Other routes change at Brig, or, if you uses a regional train in Italy, you might change at Domodossola and also at Brig.

I recall stairs at Domodossola, although it has been a few years. I had to work hard with a heavy suitcase once. Maybe that was to transfer to the Centovalli branch line to Locarno....

For clarity, I mentally separate the act of picking the trains from that act of buying the tickets.

First, I pick my route and trains. Then, I look at what country or countries I will be travelling in.

Then I cover the Swiss part.

Once you are inside Switzerland ( or beyond Domodossola in this case) you need a Swiss ticket or Swiss rail pass of some kind. The Swiss Travel Pass gives free transport on all mainline and public transport inside Switzerland. The Pass is all that you need. You just show it if asked for your ticket. No need to buy a separate ticket .(The exception - some mountain railways in the Jungfrau region, for one example, only have discounts...they are privately run "excursion services.")

Then, I figure out how to get from my starting point, such as Milano Centrale, to the Swiss border. I buy a ticket for that. generally, the Swiss rail passes have no influence on the process of getting an Italian ticket.

Arno has pointed out ways to buy tickets, etc.

Hope that helps. it is confusing when you cross borders, may not have to get off the train, but need tickets for each country. The conductors will likely have different uniforms. ;-)

Slowpoke.

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