Need advice regarding swiss rail pass

Need advice regarding swiss rail pass

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Posts: 9. This thread is closed.
kptrip
kptrip
6 posts
new member
Feb 24, 2013 - 12:19 PM
Hello

I will be travelling with my spouse and two daughters aged ( 14 years and 8.5 years) in June beginning this year . The plan is to spend 3 nights in Luzern and 4 nights in Bernese Oberland area. From there plan to visit Lake como and then onto Venice. My queries

1) Shall we go for Swiss half fare card and swiss transfer ticket or Swiss card (since two transfers will be included in the same). Also I guess I can go for family card and in that case the daughters can travel free.

2) In order to go to Lake como via Milan shall we take a train to brig and then onto Milan /lake como or it makes more sense to go from Luzern to Milan with a train change at Arth - Goldau.

3) In both the cases for travelling in Italy part can we purchase the tckets with reservation from swiss station itself?

4) Lastly will it make more sense to stay in the shores of Lake thun or in the car free village of Murren or wengen.

Thanks /KP
Arno
Arno
7336 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 25, 2013 - 3:16 AM
Hello KP, welcome to MySwissAlps,

1) Combining a Swiss Transfer Ticket and a Swiss Half Fare Card is unnecessary (too expensive). I would recommend to choose from the Swiss Card or Swiss Half Fare Card (depending on which towns you visit in which order), versus an 8-day Swiss Pass. I think a Swiss Pass makes sense as you'll probably do day trips as well. It includes free traveling (also on buses and boats), free museums, and discounts on mountain transport. Please find all details, including a network map and purchase options, here. The children travel along for free with all mentioned passes if you order along the free Family Card you already mentioned.

2) The trip to Como is easier from Lucerne than the Bernese Oberland. Just one change, or even none at all, and the trip is shorter. So with that in mind, you could first visit the Bernese Oberland, then Lucerne, then Italy. You can best check the timetable to see what fits you best.

3) I don't know what the options are to book seats for traveling in Italy. But it makes more sense to book earlier than that, to make sure you won't be limited by fully booked trains. The earlier you book (up to 3 months in advance), the better chance you have to get the seats you prefer. Depending on where you buy your pass, you can order along the reservations with the pass.

4) That depends on your interests. Both locations are beautiful. Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are more centrally located and thus allow for easier trips in a wider area (Bernese Oberland). Wengen and Mürren are mountain villages which take more time to reach, but they're excellent to explore the Jungfrau region.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
kptrip
kptrip
6 posts
new member
Feb 25, 2013 - 11:16 AM
Hello Arno

Thanks for your reply. As advised by you , since the trip to Como is easier from Lucerne than the Bernese Oberland, I fully agree with you that it makes more sense to go to BO first and then onto Luzern.

Our itenary in Bernese Oberland is as follows:-

Day 1 => a trip to Schilthorn by the cable car
Day 2 => a day trip to Jungfraujoch
Day 3 => Relax
Day 4 => a day trip to Bern.

Keeping in mind the above itenary I guess it makes more sense to by half fare card and then point to point tickets for other travels (which will be at 50% discount I guess with half fare card)....
Please let me know your thoughts around it.

2) Also regarding point 2, when we will be travelling from luzern to como via milan till what point I can purchase discounted fares (50% off) with the half fare card ..

Thanks,
Arno
Arno
7336 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 25, 2013 - 12:53 PM
Hi KP,

1) Well, it also depends on your plans in and around Lucerne. Just from a financial point of view, you can only be 100% sure if you know all of your trips and then compare regular prices with the amounts you would pay with a particular pass, as explained here. When you start calculating you will see that in your case the Swiss Half Fare Card and Swiss Card cost about the same amount (a bit more than CHF 200 per adult) if you just take the 3 transfers into account: Zurich airport - Interlaken, Interlaken - Lucerne and Lucerne - Como. The Swiss Half Fare Card is slightly cheaper if you pick Interlaken or a town along one of the lakes. The Swiss Card will be cheaper if you pick a town south of Interlaken such as Wengen or Mürren, because that's a longer trip. Of cource the Swiss Card is more convenient as you don't have to buy tickets for the first and last transfer. The Swiss Half Fare Card does not include free traveling and requires buying tickets for all trips. Compared to the other passes, an 8-day Swiss Pass costs about CHF 120 extra per adult. For that you get free traveling (no tickets required) in trains and buses, free boat trips (great for day 3) on Lake Thun, Lake Brienz and Lake Lucerne, free entrance to many museums, free mountain trips up the Rigi near Lucerne, and discounts on most other mountain trips. I realize it's hard to choose but I hope my explanation helps anyway :-)

2) If you travel from Lucerne to the town of Como, you won't travel via Milan. Como is just across the border near the Swiss town of Chiasso, which is where the validity of all mentioned passes ends. Of course you can travel via Milan if you want to.

By the way, hotels near the Lucerne rail station and old town can be found here.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
kptrip
kptrip
6 posts
new member
Feb 26, 2013 - 10:40 AM
Hello Arno
Thanks for your response.
Can you suggest some service apartments (self catering) in Luzern
also what's the cost for Jungfraujoch, Mt Pilatus/Titlis and Schilthorn tours roundtrip in US$. Am I going to get 50% discount if I buy a swiss card.

What I understand from your response is that with swiss pass all the above mountain tours are free...
Arno
Arno
7336 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 26, 2013 - 12:13 PM

Hi KP,

Apartments and homes can be found here (click "Change search" to select Luzern and a travel duration of 3 nights). It's good to know that many apartments and homes are only rented for full weeks (usually Saturday to Saturday), so the choice may be somewhat limited. Hotels are the more popular choice for a few nights. Some hotels do offer rooms with a small kitchen. We work with booking.com and hotel.info for hotel bookings. Together they offer a very wide range of Swiss hotels. Free cancellation applies to almost all hotels, so no risks there.

Actually, what I said was that the trip up the Rigi is free with a Swiss Pass, the other mountain trips are discounted. You can best download the maps from the pass pages I linked to. That way you'll see exactly what's included for free and what's discounted.

US$ prices can be found here:

If you fly into Switzerland you may also be interested in the Fly Rail Baggage service: your luggage will be transported directly to Interlaken, so you don't have to deal with it at the airport and in the train.

Last modified on Jun 29, 2016 - 2:19 PM by Arno
kptrip
kptrip
6 posts
new member
Mar 1, 2013 - 10:41 AM
Thanks Arno...It's definitely a great help.. will come back if there is any other query
cheers.
kptrip
kptrip
6 posts
new member
Mar 1, 2013 - 1:25 PM
Hello Arno

with swiss card, when I was looking for tckets In sbb website from Luzern to Como, which pass option to choose from ? I could see there only half fare card or rail pass. Also with family card I guess the children travel free till the swiss border. So how do I buy the tickets for the rest of the journey till Como. Can I buy that frm luzern itself or we need to get down to the Swiss town of Chiasso and but tickets till como for the children there

Thanks once again
Arno
Arno
7336 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 1, 2013 - 2:29 PM
Hi KP,

Your Swiss Card includes the trip from Lucerne to Chiasso, so you don't need anything else for that leg, except for the seat reservations if your train requires them. All else you need is tickets for the short leg from Chiasso to Como. You can either order them along when you purchase your pass, or you can order them through the SBB or the Italian Railways. I suppose they sell them in Luzern as well, but I'm not sure. If the SBB site asks for a pass you can choose "GA", which is a pass for free traveling in Switzerland, just like the Swiss Card in this case.

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