Is Swiss half fare card best suit our trip?

Is Swiss half fare card best suit our trip?

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Ellentan
Ellentan
24 posts
new member
Jul 25, 2015 - 4:01 PM

Hi Everyone,

We will be traveling to Switzerland in coming September for full 6 days and basically have worked out the calculation on each point to point ticket for every destination we are visiting as below. Appreciate your advice if half fare card is best option for our trip or please suggest any! thanks in advance!

  • Zurich - Lucerne CHF29
  • Lucern - Murren CHF50.60
  • Murren - JUNGFRAUJOCH (return way) CHF205.60
  • Murren - Zermatt CHF99.60
  • Zermatt - Zurich CHF129
  • Total full price CHF513.80

cheapest option for half fare card (purchase via rail-europe) euro 98

total to pay with half fare card - CHF256.90 + euro 98

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2638 posts
expert
Jul 25, 2015 - 5:10 PM in reply to Ellentan

Not sure you get half fare on the Jungfraujoch trip above Wengen with that card. It definitely is good for the first part from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen.

Arno and Annika know those details.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7696 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 25, 2015 - 5:15 PM

Hi Ellentan,

Thanks for your post and your detailed calculations! The Swiss Half Fare Card looks like a good choice. An 8-day Swiss Travel Pass would be about € 65 more expensive, also taking the higher discount on the pass into account. So if you have not planned any other (train/boat) trips, this is the cheapest option. The Swiss Half Fare Card offers a 50% discount on all trips, including Jungfraujoch.

Please see www.raileurope-world.com/pass/swiss-half-fare-card for Swiss Half Fare Card prices and www.raileurope-world.com/deals/great-deals-to-tour-Europe for the discounts currently being offered.

Last modified on Jul 25, 2015 - 5:17 PM by Arno
Ellentan
Ellentan
24 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2015 - 7:24 AM

Thanks all for the valued advice! It certainly clear our doubt!Can we buy the half fare card in advance and how shall we use it before our trip? And does any of the point to point ticket for my above plan require advance booking online to avoid fully booked if purchase it over the counter on the spot?Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7696 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 26, 2015 - 1:04 PM

Hello Ellentan,

Sure you can buy it advance. Just click the link I gave you in my previous reply.

Tickets do not sell out for your trips. You can buy them before each trip. Jungfraujoch tickets do sometimes sell out, but it's very rare and happens just in peak season (July/August). Do not buy such a ticket until you know the weather will be good enough to go up.

Ellentan
Ellentan
24 posts
new member
Aug 7, 2015 - 6:10 AM

thanks so much for all the advice,Arno!very likely we will go for the half fare card but just to confirm again that it gives us 50% off for all transport I'm taking in Switzerland right? based on the findings, it seems like buying fromraileurope is the cheapest amongst and can we buy it and print it at home?

Arno
Arno
7696 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 7, 2015 - 8:02 AM in reply to Ellentan

Hi Ellentan,

It gives you 50% off nearly all transportation. Some smaller cable cars are not included. You can download the map to see for yourself.

Since you live in Malaysia you can either buy through www.raileurope-world.com/pass/swiss-half-fare-card or www.raileurope.com.sg/ pass/swiss-half-fare-card. These are the cheapest options. They ship through regular mail, so don't wait to the last minute. The first site takes up to 8 business days to deliver. The second one should be quicker. If you qualify for the extra discount I mentioned on July 25, you need to order before August 26.

Ellentan
Ellentan
24 posts
new member
Aug 9, 2015 - 5:01 PM

Hi Arno,

after much of the rail passes research based on your earlier comments, I have came across this pass option- Swiss Travel Pass + Half Fare Card. Not sure if this gives better saving with more coverage and flexible as my earlier calculation was done based on the main destination that we are visiting only but not including the nearby places that we may be visiting.Based on my itinerary, we will have 6 full days but there's no 6 days pass option available. Thinking if 3 days pass with half fare card suits our itinerary below.

Day 1) Zurich airport to Lucerne CHF29 (travel on half fare- reaching lucerne at 14:30 thus we think with the remainder time on the day will only allow us to walk around in the old town of lucerne but not far) - appreciate your input if think otherwise.

Day 2) Lucerne - Murren BLM (travel on swiss pass - Day 1) - will be visiting nearby Lauterbrunnen/Stechelberg/Wengen/*will decide when we are there)

Day 3) Murren BLM - Jungfraujoch (travel on half fare since swiss pass giving less discount on this 25% off) - Grindelwald/Kl. Scheidegg (travel on half fare)

Day 4) Murren BLM - Zermatt (travel on swiss pass - Day 2)

Day 5) Zermatt - Matterhorn in the morning /Gornergrat in the afternoon (travel on half fare)

Day 6) Zermatt - Zurich via Glacier Express (travel on swiss pass - Day 3); traveling within zurich city with swiss pass

Day 7) Depart Zurich to Italy early morning (Overnight in zurich airport hotel - airport CHF3.00)

Need some suggestions here if this option works and make more sense! much appreciate!

Arno
Arno
7696 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 9, 2015 - 5:28 PM

Hi Ellentan,

The pass you can consider is the Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi: that's how the combination of a Swiss Travel Pass Flex and Swiss Half Fare Card is called. It's rarely the cheapest option though, but you can do the math as explained here. You're probably better off with an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass or just a Swiss Half Fare Card (perhaps combined with a 1-day travelpass for day 6). Please see the links for lots of information on these passes.

Where to Italy are you flying to? It's usually more convenient, quicker and often cheaper to go to Italy by train. In your case you could ride the Glacier Express to St. Moritz, and take a bus to Lugano or train to Tirano (Bernina Express) the next day to proceed to Italy from there. That would add an extra scenic ride to your trip. Much nicer than going back to Zurich to catch a flight. If you decide to fly, you can find good airport hotels here.

As for day 1: yes, just enjoy town, and perhaps a short boat trip.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2638 posts
expert
Aug 9, 2015 - 5:43 PM in reply to Ellentan

<<"Day 1) Zurich airport to Lucerne CHF29 (travel on half fare- reaching lucerne at 14:30 thus we think with the remainder time on the day will only allow us to walk around in the old town of lucerne but not far) - appreciate your input if think otherwise.">>

Not sure about a lot of the specifics for your trip,but, in general, you can consider the Zürich airport to be a good airport for Luzern. Not that far away, frequent train service.

Because Luzern and its lakefront are so interrelated, a lot of the "walking around" activities can be combined with activities accessible by public transport, including the small lake boats or water taxis....such as the Verkehrshaus, the churches, and really nice walks along with more detailed close up inspections, ......a lot of flexibility in how much time you spend. and in what order.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 9, 2015 - 5:53 PM by Slowpoke
Ellentan
Ellentan
24 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2015 - 3:01 AM

Thanks all for the suggestions! Appreciate so much! and Yes, we are gonna include boat trip for the first day and enjoy the oldtown! Basically We already have our air tix booked for flying in to Zurich and depart from Zurich to Venice early the morning on day 7 as well as the accommodation. So our itinerary routes are more or less firmed. As for transportation, we are still indecisive given that it is not cheap and it could turn up to be much more expensive than it supposed if not wisely planned.

Arno, if traveling with swiss pass alone, we will still need to pay additional for most of the mountain rides - 25% off for jungfraujoch and 50% off for Matterhorn and grindelward. So we thought of using swiss pass for the day requires alot of traveling while for half fare card would be for mountains trip and other light traveling days like Day 1. not sure if the plan above make sense. need your help please.

Given that everything is expensive in Switzerland

Arno
Arno
7696 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 10, 2015 - 7:56 AM

Hi Ellentan,

Just to be sure we're talking about the same thing here: the Swiss Pass has been discontinued, it does not exist any more (see here). There's now the Swiss Travel Pass. This is for consecutive days. The pass you seem to have in mind is the Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi: free travel days can be used when you want, and you get discounts during non-free travel days, as long as they're in between the first and last free travel day. It's all explained here.

This pass may very well make sense in your case, but it is a relatively expensive pass. So, the only way to find out if it's cheaper than the other two passes I mentioned is to do the math. I gave you the link to the detailed instructions for that. Please let me know if it helped!

Ellentan
Ellentan
24 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2015 - 1:41 PM

Hi Arno,Yes that's the one i'm looking at the swiss travel pass flex combi. I will do the math again and compare between the other two passes that you have mentioned earlier. Will let you know soon and thanks for all the wonderful advices here yah!

Ellentan
Ellentan
24 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2015 - 7:45 AM

Hi all, just to confirm am on the right page. The price for swiss travel pass flex combi for 3 days free traveling is euro243 pp. Is this the one?

Arno
Arno
7696 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2015 - 2:47 PM

Hi Ellentan,

That's the correct price. The page can be found here: www.raileurope-world.com/pass/swiss-travel-pass-half-fare-card.

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