Rail Pass- too complicated for me!

Rail Pass- too complicated for me!

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Farrowr
Farrowr
3 posts
new member
Mar 11, 2014 - 11:58 PM

Hi,

We will be travelling to Switzerland for 16 days. Here is our itinerary- Fly into Zurch (1 night), Appenzell (3 nights), Lucerne (3 nights) Oberland- Wengen (4 nights), Lausanne (3 nights), Zurich (1 night) and home. No cars- all trains. We also expect to take local trains while we are in these overnight spots. Not sure if a pass is the best way to go??, if so- what one??? Was thinking the 5 day Flexi for our longer hauls (overnight to overnight spot and because they get you discounts on local museum,boats etc) and buy local trains separately?? Or a different pass?

Also, we want to take the Golden Pass from Oberland - Lausanne, and also take the Chocolate train when in Lausanne. Will a pass cover these?

Also looking for some real culture experiences- ideas welcome!!

thanks

Arno
Arno
7342 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 12, 2014 - 5:46 AM in reply to Farrowr

Hi Farrowr,

You'll be traveling a lot so a pass is worth it. Single tickets are too expensive for such an itinerary. You have two options:

  1. The 5- or 6-day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass
  2. The 15-day Swiss Saver Pass

I am quite sure that option 2 will be better in terms of costs and convenience (no need to buy tickets anywhere except mountain excursions). But it depends on your exact day trips from the various base towns. If you want to be 100% sure you can do the math as explained here.

Both passes cover the Golden Pass route for free. The Chocolate Train needs to be booked in advance and you will get a 50-60% discount on it. Note that this goes for any Swiss Saver Pass day and for the 5 or 6 free travels days of the Swiss Saver Flexi Pass. On other days you will have to purchase discounted tickets. If you click the pass links I gave you, you can review all details about the passes, including what exactly is covered.

For hotel suggestions, also near Zurich airport, please see the hotel page. For a different experience, you could sleep in a mountain hut or on a farm. Links are here.

I am not sure when you will travel, but hiking is the way to see the real Switzerland. There will be more options in Summer.

Does this help to complete your planning?

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:58 PM by Arno
Farrowr
Farrowr
3 posts
new member
Mar 14, 2014 - 1:22 PM

Thank-you this is helpful. A few more details on our itinerary. Questions still right pass??

Arrive Zurich am, doing a local tour and stay overnight

Zurich- Appenzell by train

1-In Appenzell, we are staying 3 days, therefor get a Appenzell card that covers all our local travel in the area for the 3 days.

Appenzell- Lucerne by train

2- 2nd stop Lucerne (3 days)- walk town, do a lake cruise, Transport Museum, also will be going to Mount Pilatus for one day (was going to purchase the Golden roundtrip-is this necessary?)

Lucerne- Wengen by train

3. 3rd stop Oberland- (4 days of Mountain hiking- many lifts/trains etc)

Oberland-Lausanne on Golden Pass

4. 4th stop Lausanne (3 days)- Walk town, lake cruise, Choc train one day, explore the vineyards

Lausanne-Zurich by train for flight home

Arno
Arno
7342 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 14, 2014 - 5:54 PM

Hi Farrowr,

In that case you may be better off with a Swiss Flexi Pass, as you don't need free traveling for at least 3 days. But you best do the math as explained on the page I linked to. It all comes down to the details and whether or not convenience and flexibility is important to you.

The Pilatus Golden Round Trip is a route, as described here. The roundtrip is only possible between May and November (exact dates depend on the weather), as the cogwheel train section is closed in Winter. If you're there in that period, I would definitely recommend this round trip. Your pass will get you a discount for the sections of the trip that are included in the pass.

Last modified on Mar 14, 2014 - 5:55 PM by Arno
Farrowr
Farrowr
3 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2014 - 3:41 AM

Thank you. We will be in Switzerland June 19-July 5.

I have just read about the Oberland Regional Pass- it has extended its area and changed to 4,6 and 8 days from the original 7 and 15. Would this pass be advantageous for us? We will be there for 4 days, visiting both Jung. and Schilt., with many smaller lefts in between. I also read that the Oberland pass is cheaper if you have a Swiss Pass- does a Swiss Flexi Pass count as well? I also see it includes travel from Lucerne- Wengen (which is one of our legs) as well as from Lucerne- Montreau (another legg). Do we need both?

I wish I could give my itinerary to some one and they tell me what is best!!! I tried the "math" and its still confusing.

thank you

Arno
Arno
7342 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 15, 2014 - 8:41 AM

You're welcome Farrowr,

Picking the right pass can indeed be a bit complex. The thing is, you need to be flexible in the mountains. The weather may change and that means your plans may change. You may do day trips in a different order than planned, or you may do entirely different things. What you can do is create a detailed itinerary you feel would be realistic and pick a pass based on that. That's what's explained on the page I linked to. Whether it is the absolute best choice can only be said after your trip. In general I can say that it does usually not pay off to buy multiple passes for multiple regions. A nation wide pass is the better choice in such a case.

The Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland has indeed changed last year, and is explained in detail here. I think that answers all your questions.

Arno
Arno
7342 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 25, 2014 - 6:14 PM

Hi Farrowr,

Were you able to pick a pass, and how did you like using it? I hope you had a great time in Switzerland! If you want, you can post a trip report and possibly win a hotel voucher by doing so. Here's how to do it.

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