Planning a trip to Switzerland

Planning a trip to Switzerland

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Navnita
Navnita
11 posts
new member
May 3, 2010 - 5:40 AM
We are a family of three, myself, my husband and a 11yrs old daughter. We are planning a 4-5 days holiday to Switzerland in the first week or third week of June. We will be travelling from Bologna, Italy. I would like suggestions on the following queries.

1. What's the cheapest way to travel to Switzerland from Italy? via train or low cost airlines?

2. How suitable is to get a 4 day Swiss Saver pass for us. Right now, we don't have any fixed itenary. We do want to try some special train journeys like the Glacier express, Golden Pass panoramic and perhaps the choclate train. How long are these train journeys? What is the starting and finishing point (town/city) of these journeys. How much extra does it cost to reserve seats on these train journeys?

3. Do Swiss pass cover overnite train journeys? Like, say Zurich to Geneva? Or, should we take a overnite train journey from Italy to Switzerland?

4. Which are the mountain trains that are NOt covered by the Swiss Saver pass?

5. What would you suggest are the "must-see" places to cover in 4-5 days long trip to Switzerland.

Sorry, too many queries perhaps....but am so confused, don't quite know how to begin planning this trip without going to a travel agency. Thanks for all your help.

Navnita
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 3, 2010 - 12:47 PM
Hello Navnita,

Planning a trip like this can be confusing indeed. I hope I'll be able to help you out a bit:

1) I'm not sure if traveling by train or plane is cheaper. I do recommend a train journey though for several reasons. The journey from Bologna to Switzerland doesn't take that long. I don't know yet what your first destination in Switzerland will be, but an example would be a trip from Bologna to Visp in southern Switzerland. This trip would only take about 3h30 to 4h00 with one change of trains in Milano and it would cost about CHF 110.00 per adult (2nd class price). You can plan such train trips and calculate the costs through the Swiss timetable.
Another reason to choose for a train trip would be that, if you have a Swiss Pass (see question #2 for this) that's valid on the day of your trip Bologna-Switzerland, the Swiss part of your train journey is for free, as this is covered by your Swiss Pass.
You should compare prices with airline companies though to find out which way is cheaper.

2) A Swiss Pass would definitely be cost effective in your case. It covers traveling by regular train, bus and boat throughout the country. As you wish to make some long train journeys, a Swiss Pass is a very good option. You could purchase a Swiss Saver Pass for the two adults. If you order a free STS Family Card with your Swiss Saver Pass, your 11 year old daughter travels along for free. The train journeys you mention are for free with a Swiss Saver Pass, except for a small reservation fee. More information on this can be found on our seat reservation page.

Some details on the rail journeys you have in mind:
- the Golden Pass route runs from Montreux to Lucerne;
- the Glacier Express route runs from Zermatt to St. Moritz;
- the Chocolate train runs from Montreux to the chocolate factory in Broc.

If you travel for 5 days, this means that a 4 day Swiss Saver Pass wouldn't be valid on either the first or last day of your schedule. So you should either pay the full price for the first or last day of your stay in Switzerland or choose a 5 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass, which would allow you to travel for free during all 5 days. This would be cheaper than purchasing an 8 day Swiss Saver Pass. Of course you can also adapt your travel scheme in order to plan only a short and cheap trip on the first or last day, so that you can use a 4 day Swiss Saver Pass for the longer journeys.
Please realize that combining all three train journeys would result in a rather tight schedule, which doesn't leave much room for exploring the towns you stay in and their surroundings. You may also decide to narrow down your choice to two out of the three train routes, so that you have a bit more time for enjoying the region you're staying in.

3) You can best consult the timetable to find out whether night trains are a good option for some of your transfers. For traveling within Switzerland, there aren't many night trains available.

4) On the Swiss Pass page you'll find a link to a map of the network on which the Swiss Pass is valid. This map shows all train, bus, boat and mountain transportation lines on which the Swiss Saver Pass is valid. Many mountain trains are covered by the Swiss Pass. Lines that are either grey or are not mentioned at all, are not included in the Swiss Pass. Do you have specific mountain trains or cable cars in mind that you wish to use?

5) Switzerland has so many beautiful spots that it's very hard to point out only a few which should be covered by a 4 or 5 day trip. Still, some highlights are Zermatt (surrounded by beautiful snow-capped peaks, amongst which the famous Matterhorn), Lake Geneva (Montreux is situated on its north-eastern shore), St. Moritz, Lucerne along the beautiful Lake Lucerne and the Jungfrau region, including resorts as Wengen and Lauterbrunnen. It's almost impossible to visit them all during a relatively short journey and it's inevitable that you miss out on some of them. But by composing a smart travel schedule you'll be able to visit quite some must-sees! It's all beautiful, so you don't have to worry about choosing the right highlights.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:58 PM by Arno
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
May 4, 2010 - 7:05 AM
Navnita, the one thing you really don't want to miss is the Jungfraujoch. Information can be found here and here. Of course I don't know if a trip like this will fit in your plans, but it's really beautiful and an unforgettable experience!

Have a nice trip,

Thomas
suntyi
suntyi
2 posts
new member
May 4, 2010 - 9:37 AM
Hi,
We should like to travel from Arth-Goldau to Lugano with Saver Flexi Pass. I have found several through trains there, but I see, the part of the way between Göschenen and Airolo is not a free section.
Can I buy the ticket on the train, or must I buy it before the journey on the station?
Waiting for your answer Suntyi
Wandermann
Wandermann
298 posts
top member
May 4, 2010 - 10:32 AM
ThomasDijkman said: Navnita, the one thing you really don't want to miss is the Jungfraujoch. Information can be found here and here. Of course I don't know if a trip like this will fit in your plans, but it's really beautiful and an unforgettable experience!

Have a nice trip,

Thomas

Hello Navnita,

I can only give you some suggestions concerning your question #5, not knowing which regions you are going to visit, or what you consider to be highlights.
I agree with Thomas, in the Bernese Oberland the Jungfraujoch would be my first choice.

But in the same region you could visit the Schilthorn. On a clear day there you'll have marvellous views in all directions, overviewing a large part of the Alps.
http://www.schilthorn.ch/index.php?set[page][language]=4

In Wallis you could visit the Gornergrat (leaving from Zermatt) viewing the Matterhorn. http://www.gornergrat.ch/home/index.php

In Graubünden I can recommend Diavolezza.
http://www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/en/berge/diavolezza/

To me highlights are also the famous trainrides like Glacier Express, Golden Pass or Bernina Express etc.

Good luck with your itinary!

--
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 4, 2010 - 1:35 PM
suntyi said: Hi,
We should like to travel from Arth-Goldau to Lugano with Saver Flexi Pass. I have found several through trains there, but I see, the part of the way between Göschenen and Airolo is not a free section.
Can I buy the ticket on the train, or must I buy it before the journey on the station?
Waiting for your answer Suntyi


Hello Suntyi, on the Swiss Flexi Pass page you'll find a map showing the network on which the Swiss Flexi Pass is valid. The section between Göschenen and Airolo has a dashed line. This looks a lot like the dotted line which indicates that a 50% discount applies, but it's not the same. The dashed line only shows that this part of the train route is a tunnel (in this case, the Gotthard tunnel). So your Swiss Flexi Pass allows free traveling between Göschenen and Airolo as well and you don't have to buy additional tickets.

If there are occasions on which you do need an additional ticket, you can best purchase this at a railway station before boarding the train.

I hope this answers your question. Feel free to post any other issues!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
suntyi
suntyi
2 posts
new member
May 4, 2010 - 2:12 PM
Hello, Annika, thank you for your prompt answer, I am glad to read it. Suntyi
Navnita
Navnita
11 posts
new member
Jun 5, 2010 - 7:52 AM
Hello Annika,

My sincere apologies for not acknowledging and thanking you for your and other co-travellers advice. I got caught up with a family emergency and this trip was almost dropped, so I couldn't follow up. All is well now and it looks like, we may be able to travel after all...So a big thank you for your time and advice and I guess, I should send a fresh email because now, am looking for very specific info on certain legs of the journey. Thanks.

Navnita
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 5, 2010 - 9:14 AM
Hello Navnita! I'm glad to hear your trip to Switzerland will take place after all. It's nice to know that we've been able to help you out a bit. I'll get back to you in your other posts!
vds123
vds123
2 posts
new member
Nov 29, 2010 - 11:11 AM
suntyi said: Hi,
We should like to travel from Arth-Goldau to Lugano with Saver Flexi Pass. I have found several through trains there, but I see, the part of the way between Göschenen and Airolo is not a free section.
Can I buy the ticket on the train, or must I buy it before the journey on the station?
Waiting for your answer Suntyi


hi

* perches swiss pass when u reach at swiss from any train station
(golden pass is included only u have to confirm one day reservation for panaromic view)
1) Day-1 - Reach Interlaken.
Go to Beatenburg -
There is a bus from Interlaken to this place which is on the hills -
Half an hr ride. No need of separate tickets >> Bus at every hour past 8 min e.g. at 3:08, 4:08,.....
At the last bus stop at Beatenburg you have Cog wheels
to go down near the lake from where we can take boat ride to
Interlaken West or further to Thoon and come back by train to
Interlaken. >> Last Cog wheels to go down arround 6:00 pm
Going down the hill by Cog is free. Going up to
Neithern horn peak by cable car is charged at discount due to Swiss
Pass. We can goto Neithern horn peak by cable car . It is a good view
of mountains and Interlaken lake - Return to Interlaken by 6:30pm and roam in Interlaken itself. Last boat
rides and Cable care are at 5:30pm I guess. >> The discounted fare per person is 18 eur, there is cable car at every 10 min and the last one to come down is arround 5:30 pm or 5:40 pm. The are no boat rides presently running in interlaken now. You can get one in Luzern if needed. Last bus to interlaken west is at 06:33 pm from the station near the lake.

2) Day-2 - Trip to Titilis. Take train from Interlaken OST to
Luzernne. >> train at every hour past 4 min to luzern, consider you catch the train of 8:04 am from Interlaken Ost.
From Luzerne take a train to Engelberg to go to
Titilis. There is one intermediate station also where we can get down
and take this same train to Engelberg instead of going to
Luzerne (You can get down at Hergiswil the train from Ost will reach Hergiswil will reach at 9:53 am. Next train to engelberg is at 10.25 from hergiswil on track 2. The train will reach at engelberg at 11:12 am). From Engelberg you can buy tickets for Titlis mountain peak. >> Ticket cost with ICE flyers is arround 53 eur you must take the ice flyers a good experince, you will also get ice toys once you go down by ice flyers enquire the ice flyer operator about it.
We can complete Titlis by 3:00pm and return back to Luzerne and spent
some time in Luzerne and then back by a direct train to Interlaken.
I guess direct trains back are only till 6:00pm.
3) Day-3 - We went to Jungfru from Interlaken. We need to buy
speacial tickets for Jungfru peak. We get discount for Swiss pass
holders. We can go from Interlaken to Junfru. In all there are three
trains we need to change which are interconnected. >> Discounted tickets is 124 EUR per head go via Grindelwald route and come back via lauterbrunnen, there is waterfall near to this at Trummelbach falle. Bus to the watefall is at every hour past 33 min. The waterfall are open from 9 to 5 and ticket of 11 eur perhead.
so the route to junfraujoch will be start before 8:00 (7:52 am from Interlaken West station) there will train at 8:01 from ost to grindelwald (section B) on track 2 or 4>> Interlake Ost - Grindelwald (Change train) - Kleine Scheidegg - Jungfraujoch (approx 2.5 hrs journe, dont halt inbetween as the weather can go bad before reaching top) Back journe Jungfraujoch - Kleine Scheidegg - Lauterbrunnen - Interlaken. There is small town wengen on the way back you can rome here for 30 min or 1 hr. Be sure that you start at the latest before 8:00 from Ost.
On the way back take a different root. From Jungfru back. The first station in the
return path, take train to Grindenwald. This is another route to come
down. We can roam around in Grindenwald and return directly to
Interlaken.
4) Day -4 - Start early came to Bern, spent couple of hrs in Bern >> Dont miss the einstein house.
come to Zurich by 4:00pm and see the rhine falls.
You can enquire for the golden pass train. This goes to Montreux which is a town on french border the train is at 9:11 from Interlaken west and 9:04 from interlaken ost. This reaches at 12:13 in monterux and then from there 2 trains in an hour one past 19 min and other past 54 min. To bern it will take 1 hr so if you take 12:19 train from montreux you will be in bern by 1:19 and then roam in bern for 2 hrs and you can take a train to zurich arrount 3:30 pm from bern ( yes golden train is included in Swiss pass just u need to get the reservation and if it is not peak season then no need)
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