Need to pick travel pass Paris-Switzerland-Milan

Need to pick travel pass Paris-Switzerland-Milan

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hisjsam
hisjsam
11 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2016 - 7:18 AM

Dear All,

I know I am repeating a very silly and commonly asked question.

However, i will appreciate if someone can help clear my query.

I will be travelling to Paris -> Switzerland -> Milan in June (3rd-6th).

I will be reaching Lucerne by morning train and going for Mt. Rigi trip on Day 1. There will be a stopover in Lucerne for the night.

Then I will head to Lauterbrunnen the next day where I will be staying for 2 nights and leaving for Milan on the Day 4 (morning).

With the choice of excursions and ease of usage, I am inclined to go for the 3 day or 4 day travel pass instead of half day pass (although this might be cheaper).

My confusion is whether to pick the pass for 3 days or 4 days.I will be required to book a train from Spiez to Milan or Brig to Milan based on the best saving. However, if I book direct from Spiez I can not understand how much will I save.

Since I had thought of buying the pass only on arrival in Switzerland. So I am unable to make my plan and understand in case there can be some problem if I do not book for part of journey early (use pass).

I apologize for such complex travel query. But, hope someone can help me with a suitable response.

Thanks

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 4, 2016 - 8:13 AM

Hi hisjsam,

Thanks for your post, it's no problem to ask! You'll save a bit more if you buy a 3-day Swiss Travel Pass for day 1 to 3 (a regular ticket for just the Swiss leg of day 4 would cost CHF 62.60). This is what you need:

  1. A ticket from Paris to Basel (Swiss border) for day 1. Your Swiss Travel Pass covers the rest of the day. Please see here for where to buy. As you're from India I'd recommend to first check www.raileurope.co.in/t rain/tgv-lyria, and also captaintrain.com/train s/paris/zurich-hb.
  2. A 3-day Swiss Travel Pass. You'd best buy this online too. That's more comfortable as you prevent spending time at a ticket office in Basel and you can quickly change to the next train. Please see here for the options. An easy option is www.swissrailways.com/ en as they e-mail the pass. You can print it at home and it's ready to use without further validation. Be sure to pick "Online Ticket" when asked for delivery options.
  3. A ticket from Lauterbrunnen to Spiez. You can buy that in Lauterbrunnen at any time.
  4. A ticket from Spiez to Milan. Please see here for the options. The sites mentioned under 1) sell these tickets as well. They start at about € 30 if you book early.
Last modified on Mar 4, 2016 - 8:15 AM by Arno
hisjsam
hisjsam
11 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2016 - 9:11 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno. You are very helpful and kind. You mentioned so much personalized details with so little time.

I checked that the Swizz pass costs 210 CHF for 3 day and 251 CHF for 4 days.

If Swizz leg is costing 62 CHF, then shouldn't I buy the 4 days pass?

Additionally I wanted your expert opinion with below option I am getting.

The suitable journey for me was leaving Lauterbrunnen at around 7:30 morning

Outward journeyLauterbrunnen - Milano Centrale Via Interlaken Ost - Spiez - Brig Mon, 06.06.16, 07:33 - 11:37 Hour Duration: 04:04, 3x Change(s)

This shows estimate cost as 92 CHF and breakup is 50 CHF for Lauterbrunnen to Brig + Brig to Milan 42 CHF via www.sbb.ch.

The other option, which works out cheaper is leaving around 7:00

Lauterbrunnen - Milano Centrale
Via Interlaken Ost - Spiez
Mon, 06.06.16, 07:03 - 10:37 Hour
Duration: 03:34, 2x Change(s)

This is having a cheaper ticket CHF 51.00 as non refundable. Refundable ticket cost is similar to one mentioned earlier.

Since, the trip is scheduled months ahead, I was reluctant in buying non refundable ticket so much in advance. Are you aware till when I can block this saving?

If you have any other opinion, please help to comment.Thanks again for your help.

Saurabh

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 4, 2016 - 12:26 PM in reply to hisjsam

Hi Saurabh,

You're welcome! You might indeed be right about day 4. My thought was that a ticket might be a little cheaper if you book early and manage to get one of the cheapest tickets (cheaper than the regular CHF 62). But the savings, if any, won't be much. So a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass is not a bad deal. You do need an additional ticket Domodossola to Milan, but these are usually inexpensive. I think I've seen them for € 10 once; please check the mentioned sites. You don't need to book anything on the SBB site as everything in Switzerland is covered in the Swiss Travel Pass. In this scenario you will at most have a non-refundable ticket for Domodossola - Milan, but that one won't be expensive.

Last modified on Mar 4, 2016 - 12:27 PM by Arno
hisjsam
hisjsam
11 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2016 - 2:00 PM

Thanks Arno.

You have been a great help.

You are right about the cheaper ticket. The price of 32 CHF is available as non refundable ticket for Spiez-Milan as part of the second option that I mentioned i.e.

Lauterbrunnen - Milano Centrale
Via Interlaken Ost - Spiez
Mon, 06.06.16, 07:03 - 10:37 Hour

So, you were very much correct in pointing that.

However, since it is a bit early for my planning, I will need to check if I should pre book as non refundable or not.

Thanks again for the advice

hisjsam
hisjsam
11 posts
new member
Mar 5, 2016 - 10:43 AM in reply to hisjsam

Hi Arno,

As you mentioned I checked Domodossola - Milan ticket at captaintrain.com.

This is available at 21.5 euro or 24 CHF at captaintrain for train EC37. Adding this with the 4 day pass difference amount of 41 CHF (251-210); the effective cost becomes 65 CHF.

This although expensive than the 51 CHF non refundable ticket; is still less risky option.

But, my concern now is that how the train ticket will work out if I use the pass for rest of the journey.

The EC37 will actually be coming from Brig. But, I will only be holding a valid reservation from Domodossala-MIlan and not from Brig-Domodossala. This part is confusing me.

Should I need to be concerned ?

Also, would you advice me to use captaintrain for reservation or sbb.ch or trainitalia?

Can I reserve full Lauterbrunnen-Milan journey by selecting GA2 card option on sbb.ch?

Note: I only read about GA2 in this forum and I am not aware what is GA2. But this is giving the similar saving as the Swizz travel pass.

Thanks again.

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 5, 2016 - 2:00 PM in reply to hisjsam

Hi Saurabh,

No need to be concerned. The EC train does not require reservations while in Switzerland, but only from Domodossola. As you will have a ticket with a reservation from Domodossola, this is all fine and you can board in Brig. Theoretically someone could sit in your seat for the 30 minutes between Brig and Domodossola because that leg is not reserved, but that's not really an issue as people can see on the display that the seat is reserved for you from Domodossola onwards. And ticket-wise, this is the easier and most flexible option.

SBB is the main train operator in Switzerland and the authority on train schedules, station information, etc. But it is basically for Swiss citizens, so that's why you don't see the tourist passes and do see things like GA, which is like an annual Swiss Travel Pass for Swiss citizens. Personally I use the SBB site for schedules but I have never booked anything there yet. The sites we recommend for Switzerland to Italy trips are listed here, but if you prefer SBB you can of course do so. Selecting GA while you have a Swiss Travel Pass should theoretically work although these are not the same products. I would simply book as discussed above from one of the mentioned websites. They offer good prices and they're all credible and trusted (or we would not list them).

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