Point to Point ticket or any rail pass ? Confused

Point to Point ticket or any rail pass ? Confused

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adrian
adrian
3 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2015 - 2:02 AM

Hello,

I have been trying to decide, which option should I choose to go with more economically way and not able to decide. Trying to gather it since past many hours and still failing to understand it. We (2 adults) are giving very short visit to Paris and Switzerland and I would really oblige, if somebody can give some pointer and suggestion about, if we should take point to point or any pass (EURAIL Pass for France/Switzerland or Half Fare Swiss Pass, etc). My itinerary is like this :-

Day-1: Reach Paris in noon, at CDG. Leave for Lauterbrunner for night stay.

Day-2: Murren, Grutchalp, Schilthorn, Trümmelbach Fall and back to Lauterbrunnen (includes train, bus and cable car)

Day-3: Boating at Lake Brienz, Lucern city, Engelberg and come back to Lauterbrunnen by night (includes train, boat and may be cable car)

Day-4: Lake Thun, Oberhofen Castle, Bern, Basel and head back to Paris in evening.

Day-5:Full day in Paris city.

Day-6: Hotel to CDG Airport and fly out.

Here my confusion starts. We are getting cheap tickets from Paris to Geneva and back by Basel to Paris in $230 for both of us. In this case, we would not require TGV. For other days in Switzerland, larger stretches will be - (a) Geneva to Lauterbrunnen (b) Lauterbrunnen to Lucerne (c) Lucerne to Lauterbrunnen (d) Lauterbrunnen to Basel. On rest of days, out commute tickets will not be expensive. For Paris part, we will go with some single-day pass.

Should I go with point to point tickets, because our expensive most (TGV) part is already covered by flight ?

Should I go with any rail pass, only for Switzerland ?

Should I take trains only and go with two-country rail pass (France-Switzerland Eurail pass), which will give me discount in TGV trains and cover our rest of travel in Switzerland also ?

Really need help here.

Regards

Arno
Arno
7721 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 8, 2015 - 10:29 AM

Hi Adrian,

Thanks for your post! The process of selecting a pass is explained here. Did you already go through that? Point to point tickets are too expensive in your case. Eurail is too expensive as well, although you can get a $75 discount which may make a difference. That's only for 1st class though, and I don't think you want that, right?

I would recommend to consider the 4-day Swiss Travel Pass. You can compare it to the Swiss Half Fare Card, and then pick one of them. Additionally you need tickets from Paris to Geneva and Basel to Paris as you already planned. Information about that can be found on myswissalps.com/ traintickets/ france.

Why are you traveling via Geneva? If you do so to travel along the Golden Pass line, it makes sense, but you'd better depart from Paris in the early morning as this takes 8 to 10 hours. If you're looking for the quickest way to reach Lauterbrunnen, you can travel via Basel.

I hope this helps you decide!

adrian
adrian
3 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2015 - 4:06 PM in reply to Arno

Yes, I compares Swiss Travel Pass and Half Fare, Swiss Travel Pass comes as cheaper.As I mentioned in my itinerary, I will reach Paris in noon and will be able to leave only after few hours. As of now, Paris to Geneva flight is cheapest ($45 per person), that is the reason I thought of flying to Geneva instead of taking train to Geneva or Basel, unless any pass can cover this and make overall travel cheaper.

Arno
Arno
7721 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 8, 2015 - 7:34 PM

Hi Adrian,

Ok, I see. When is this trip? Train tickets from Paris to Basel are available from $35 if you book early (I just did a quick check for a random date). It's the quickest way to get there, and there are no extra fees for luggage. You can check yourself at the page I provided in my last post.

If you buy a Swiss Travel Pass, trains from either Geneva or Basel to Lauterbrunnen are included, so there's no difference price wise. Geneva to Lauterbrunnen takes one more hour though.

adrian
adrian
3 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2015 - 8:51 PM in reply to Arno

This is planned in October, so I can not see ticket prices. Moreover, I will need train from Paris only after 3 PM, which can not guarantee cheapest train fare. I checked random dates and it shows me $46, which is almost equal to flight. My flight will reach around 12. After custom clearance, I am assuming, it should be free to go by 2 or 2:30. Benefits I can see from flight are, (a) I will get it from CDG only (where I will arrive), so no need to go to Paris Gare de Lyon. (b) Faster. If I take 16:00 flight, I can reach Geneva at 17:10.I am in impression that if there is some pass (or any discounted alternate) for train, which will cover TGV+Switzerland and comes cheaper than flight+Swiss Travel pass, then it is worth to go with train. Please correct me, I may be wrong.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 9, 2015 - 4:33 AM

Hi Adrian,

You can book train tickets 4 months in advance, so they'll be available for October soon. They already are for early October. As for the mode of transport: it's a matter of personal preferences I guess. It will indeed take time to reach the rail station in Paris. It also takes time to travel via Geneva. There won't be much of a difference I think, and it probably depends on how quickly you can change flights in Paris, get your luggage in Geneva and reach the train station there.

A pass for France and Switzerland combined won't be worth it as you only do two single trips in France and regular tickets are not that expensive. Both these tickets and the Swiss Travel Pass can be purchased from the same website. Either www.raileurope.com or www.raileurope-world.com in your case.

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