Need help deciding which rail pass to purchase

Need help deciding which rail pass to purchase

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Posts: 10. This thread is closed.
bbhollister
bbhollister
3 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2011 - 1:14 PM
I've been following your postings in the forum and your answers are so prompt and so timely -- but no question exactly matched ours and while we think the Swiss saver pass might make sense, we're not sure, so we'd like your expert help!

We are 2 adults traveling together for 2 weeks in Switzerland only, 9/7 thru 9/20.

Here is our itinerary:
9/7: arrival Zurich, train to Gimmelwald
9/8-11: exploring Gimmelwald area with trips to Jungfraujoch, Schiltorn, etc.
9/12-13: train to Interlaken, boat ride, Ballenberg open air museum, possible trip to Beatenberg
9/14: train from Interlaken to Montreaux, see Castle de Chillon; boat trip on lake
9/15: train to Brig via Spiez, Kandersteg, Goppenstein
9/16: train to Pontresina, Poschiavo; stay in Bergun area
9/17: train to Luzern
9/18: spend day in Luzern, boat trip, Mt. Pilatis
9/19: train to Zurich
9/20: day in Zurich

Which rail pass is most economical for us?

Thank you so much for your help.

Barbara
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 7, 2011 - 6:24 AM
Hello Barbara, and welcome! A 15 day Swiss Saver Pass definitely suits your needs. That's because you've planned quite some long and expensive transfers, which can be made for free with your Swiss Saver Pass. Moreover, you don't have to buy any additional tickets for your regular train and boat trips, so it's a comfortable way of traveling. An alternative would be a 6 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass, allowing free travel on 6 days (to be used for the longest and most expensive trips) and a 50% discount on all days between the first and last free travel day. However, a disadvantage of this option is that you should use your last free travel day at 9/18 or 9/19 (because it would be a waste of your money to use it for your day in Zurich on 9/20), and this would mean that you wouldn't be able to use your pass anymore once you're in Zurich. The Swiss Saver Flexi Pass also requires you to buy discounted tickets for the days with a 50% discount. There is a price difference, but looking at the trips you've planned between the longer transfers, I still think a 15 day Swiss Saver Pass may turn out to be more economical.

I hope this helps you choose the right pass!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
bbhollister
bbhollister
3 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2011 - 9:21 AM
Thank you so much for your detailed analysis! I think we'll go with the 15 day Swiss Saver Pass, as it also covers museums, right?

Just one more question: When we arrive at the Zurich Airport, do we take a train to the downtown Zurich train station and have our pass validated there or do we have it validated at the station at the Zurich Airport?

And thanks again so much for your help.

Barbara
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 7, 2011 - 9:32 AM
Hi Barbara! I think the 15 day Swiss Saver Pass is a good choice. You can have it validated the Zurich Airport railway station as well. You can best have it done there, so that all your trips from there on (including the first small part to downtown Zurich) will be for free.
bbhollister
bbhollister
3 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2011 - 9:37 AM
Thanks so much!

Barbara
manukomban
manukomban
4 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2011 - 7:35 PM
Hi,

We are a couple travelling to Switzerland from Sweden(Indians) for 6 days,
- Arriving in Basel by train from Germany on 20th July morning.
- 20th We are planning to see Basel for a day
- 21st Move to Interlaken. See inside Interlaken for a day.
- 22nd Visit Jungfrau, Grindewald and back to stay at Interlaken.
From there i have 4 more days. I dont have a specific plan for these days. We are interested in just enjoying the beauty of the place, no hiking or adventures(though a nice cable car ride is a must).
- 26th Returning by flight from Zurich in the night.

We would like to know what Pass is the best for us and what is best places to utilise the 4 days in between.

regards,

Manu
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 11, 2011 - 3:20 AM
Hi Manu, and welcome! What pass is best, depends on your plans for the remaining 4 days. You could easily stay put in the Interlaken area without getting bored. There's so much to see and do there, as the Bernese Oberland day trip overview shows. You could also choose to spend some days in or around Lucerne, which is stunning as well and rather close to Zurich. If you don't plan on making any long rail trips, a Swiss Half Fare Card may be the cheapest solution. If you do want to make a few train trips and/or profit from free traveling on some days (for example for boat trips over lake Brienz, lake Thun or lake Lucerne), you could consider a Swiss Saver Flexi Pass.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
manukomban
manukomban
4 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2011 - 7:43 PM
Hi,
My wife has some knee problems so wouldn't be able to do much hiking. Is there some place we can go in Interlaken which doesnt involve much climbing?
Also I was wondering how to use the flexi pass effectively. One day i am travelling from Basel to Interlaken, next day to Jungfrau and one day to lucerne and finally to Zurich.
cant make an itenary to use the pass effectively yet. I was considering the Swiss saver pass for 8 days but its too expensive.. Can you help me with this please.
I would love to take the boat ride you mentioned..
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 12, 2011 - 4:10 AM
Hi Manu. There are lots of cable cars and mountain trains in the Interlaken area, so you can enjoy all the views without having to climb a bit. Please take a look at the day trip overview I mentioned for tips.

As for the Swiss Flexi Pass: I think that's only economical if you would include more long/expensive train journeys in your itinerary. But if you stick to the original plan, the only longer train transfers are Basel-Interlaken, Interlaken-Lucerne and Lucerne-Zurich; they're all relatively short and cheap. So in all, the cheapest option may be the Swiss Half Fare Card.

If you do like the idea of the Swiss Flexi Pass, you should consider a 3 or 4 day pass and use your free travel days for the transfers Basel-Interlaken, Interlaken-Lucerne and Lucerne-Zurich, and maybe one for a boat trip if that's a long one. The BLS and Lake Lucerne website provide information on traveling times and prices.

By the way, if you have further questions not closely related to this original topic (started by bbhollister), you can best create a new topic rather than using this one or another older topic. Creating a new topic helps forum visitors to notice your specific question more clearly. Thanks in advance :-)!
manukomban
manukomban
4 posts
new member
Jul 15, 2011 - 10:20 AM
Hi Annika,

As suggested created a new thread. Please give your inputs there. I still need guidance to choose the right pass.

regards,

Manu

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