Rail Travel vs car: 2 + 3 days within 8 days

Rail Travel vs car: 2 + 3 days within 8 days

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Posts: 7. This thread is closed.
ericz
ericz
13 posts
new member
Jun 17, 2014 - 5:20 AM

All,

I must admit that given so many options I am totally confused.

My wife and child join me on a Sunday morning at Zurich airport.My idea is to go directly to Lucerne and the Pilatus.
We overnight at an airport hotel.
On Monday we intend to travel around Zurich, including the Uetilberg.
On Monday evening we temporarily must leave Switzerland for business meetings.

We return to Switzerland Thursday evening, staying at an airport hotel.
On Friday morning we need to travel towards Davos Dorf.
Saturday we will spend in Davos, wandering around.
On Sunday we are free to travel around and return to the airport in Kloten by 20:00.

So, should we rent a car or rely on trains, boats and cable cars?
If by rail, what tickets do we need?
En route to and from Davos, what is recommended for us? We enjoy mountains, scenery and hiking/nature walks.

Many thanks, Eric


Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 17, 2014 - 11:53 AM

Hello Eric,

With a car, you best avoid the larger town centers like Zurich and Lucerne. Parking is expensive or hard to find, and driving there isn't comfortable if you're not familiar there. A car can't get you to the mountain tops (even the Uetliberg is car free), only to passes, so you need cable cars or mountain trains anyway to reach the best spots. The rail system is excellent and everything on your list can easily be done by public transport.

You can look into the Swiss Half Fare Card, the ZurichCARD and the Davos Kloster Card. This guide explains how to choose.

Since you only have a few days time after our meeting, I would suggest spending it in and around Davos only. There's plenty of nature to enjoy there if the weather is fine. The best airport hotels, with free shuttle services, are listed here: www.myswissalps.com/zurichairporthotels

Last modified on Jun 17, 2014 - 11:55 AM by Annika
ericz
ericz
13 posts
new member
Jun 18, 2014 - 5:56 AM in reply to ericz

Just to be clear, from all my research,a four-day rail ticket can be split on four different days within one calendar month? It need not be used on consecutive days?

and, it is valid on all non-special trains, boats, cable cars, buses, etc...

also, my 14 year old daughter rides for free with my wife and i?

finally, what is the difference between 1st and 2nd class, on the zurich-lucerne-zurich and zurich-davos-zurich lines? on cable cars there is no difference; on boats there is a minimal difference?

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 18, 2014 - 7:02 AM

Hi Eric,

A 4-day Swiss Flexi Pass works like that. You can use the free travel days on consecutive or non-consecutive days within one month (not necessarily a calendar month; it can be July 14 to August 13 as well).

Your daughter travels along for free with the Swiss Family Card, if the parents travel with a Swiss Flexi pass, Swiss Half Fare Card, or several other passes.

See here for 1st and 2nd class please: www.myswissalps.com/train/practical/2nd1stclass

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:58 PM by Arno
ericz
ericz
13 posts
new member
Jun 18, 2014 - 7:29 AM in reply to Annika

A rental car will cost me for three days 243 Euro.

The price of two 2nd class semi-flex rail tickets (child for free) is 490 euro.

the question is what do i get for the extra cost: boats in lucerne and zurich; cable cars to pilatus and within Davos area? the Uetilberg in Zurich?

i agree that the ease is worth money. but i need to balance that with economics too.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 19, 2014 - 9:24 AM

Hi Eric,

The pass indeed gets you free boat trips on Lake Zurich and Lake Lucerne. Many museums are free, and so is city transport (trams, buses, etc.). Many mountain trips are discounted by 50%, some are free (Uetliberg, Rigi). But you can best download the map from the Swiss Flexi Pass page and check the details yourself.

If you compare all of this to renting a car, please keep in mind that if you don't have a rail pass at all, you'll be paying the full fares for the boats and mountain trips. Your daughter would pay half the fare in most places. That adds up quickly. Also add fuel and parking costs. I would recommend the train system because it's efficient, clean and eco-friendly, but of course it's good to compare the options. The guide Annika referred to helps you do so, even if comparing train to car.

I hope this helps you decide! If not, let us know.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:59 PM by Arno
Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 14, 2014 - 9:39 AM

Hi Eric,

Were you able to make a decision? I am not sure when you will travel, or may be you're already back, but there are new rail pass promotions now you may benefit from, particularly this one. Let us know if you need help.

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