Regional Berner Oberland pass or Swiss Pass?

Regional Berner Oberland pass or Swiss Pass?

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dchrisa66
dchrisa66
13 posts
new member
Mar 14, 2016 - 1:36 AM

I'll be in Switzerland with a family of 7 for 9 days, early to mid June. Only one child under 16 who qualifies for cheaper or free regional pass or swisspass.

We are renting a van because some of our travel will simply be more efficient with that many people if we all get in a van, and because we have rented an apartment in Grindelwald which is on the outskirts of town, near Hotel Wetterhorn, and a bit of a walk from the nearest railway station. But we want to focus on the Berner Oberland during our trip and I'm aware that most of what we want to do won't be auto-accessible and we will be taking a lot of train and gondola rides up to First, Kleine Scheidegg, Murren, Wengen, etc. Wondering if we should get a regional pass for the Berner Oberland, a half-price, or a swisspass. Not sure if there are any advantages to the Regional Berner Oberland pass, vs. the Swisspass, as far as where it is or is not usable in that area, although it looks like it is a bit (but not all that much) cheaper. I know if it rains a lot we'll wish we had the swiss pass to get into museums instead of mountaintops.

Our tentative itinerary looks something like this:

Day 1: Rigi on the way to driving to Berner Oberland// (or if rainy see Luzern bridges, churches, transport museum ) and then drive to Berner Oberland.

Day 2: Drive to Lauterbrunnen and take WAB to Wengen, Cable Car to Maennlichen, hike to Kleine Scheidegg, and perhaps go up to the Jungfraujoch depending on weather, or hike back down to Wengen (or if rainy weather travel to Bern oldtown / Murten) .

Day 3: Hike Grutschalp to Gimmelwald. Perhaps Schilthorn. (Or if rainy weather Trummelbach falls and/or Ballenberg and/or Beatus Caves)

Day 4 Drive to St. Gallen/Appenzellerland to attend a church where I know some people and to see some old friends in that area.

Day 5 Hike Schynigge Platte to First. Perhaps end day with First Flieger. (Or if rainy go to Bern/Murten and/or Luzern).

Day 6 Travel to Zermatt/Matterhorn. Or if rainy travel to Chillon castle.

Day 7 Oeschinsee hike and rodelbahn/ Harder Kulm (Or if rainy weather Trummelbach falls and/or Ballenberg and/or Beatus Caves)

Day 8 Roterhorn or Niesen (or if rainy Ballenbach etc.)

Day 9: Check weather and see what we did/did not get to do so far, and do something fun. Go to Zurich airport in the evening.

Keeping in mind we will have a van: Swiss pass? Regional Berner Oberland Pass? HalfPrice? No pass and just buy tickets as we go? Thoughts?

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 14, 2016 - 11:44 AM

Hi dchrisa66!

Looking at your itinerary you definitely need a pass, but I doubt whether the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland is the best match. It does provide great coverage for this region, but you'll be doing part of your trips by car and you've planned some side trips to other regions. If you need public transportation there as well (e.g. if you want to make a cable car or cogwheel trip from Zermatt), a pass covering a larger area may make more sense. For most drivers, the Swiss Half Fare Card turns out to be the cheapest option. The Swiss Travel Pass indeed is better for museums, but I don't think it's worth its money if you'll be doing car traveling too. If you want to be sure, you can do the maths as explained here.

dchrisa66
dchrisa66
13 posts
new member
Mar 14, 2016 - 7:34 PM in reply to Annika

Thank you. The Swiss pass makes me nervous because it's my understanding that when you use it on some of the mountain railways, e.g., to get 1/2 price on the Jungfraujoch or shilthorn, that that "costs" you one of your day's use. Is that true? If so maybe the halfprice would really be the best overall option, as you state. Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 15, 2016 - 10:03 AM

Hi dchrisa66,

The Swiss Pass is not an option. It's for Swiss citizens only. The Swiss Travel Pass is an option, but I agree with Annika that it does not seem to match your requirements very well. The Swiss Travel Pass offers consecutive days of traveling, so whether or not and where you'll travel is not relevant. It's simply valid for the number of days you purchase it for, and it's up to you which trips you make these days. For flexible days, there's the Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

The Swiss Half Fare Card is the better choice as you will be driving as well. You can print it at home if you go to www.swissrailways.com/ en and select the "Online Ticket" shipping option.

dchrisa66
dchrisa66
13 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2016 - 8:58 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks. How large is it if I print it at home? Something I can fit in a wallet? Allowed to laminate?

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 16, 2016 - 7:59 AM

Hello dchrisha66,

The pass should be printed on the standard paper you have in your printer. You can fold it, but if possible do not fold the bar code. Don't laminate it as that may prevent the scanner of the train crew to scan the code. Just print it, that's all you need to do. Since you'll get a PDF in the e-mail you can always print it again in your hotel should you loose or damage it.

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