Swiss Flexi pass or Half fare card

Swiss Flexi pass or Half fare card

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Posts: 7. This thread is closed.
knswiss
knswiss
4 posts
new member
Aug 28, 2010 - 9:17 PM
Hi,
we are 4 of us travelling in Sept. we arrive in Zurich and head off to Luzerne same day.
Stay in Luzerne for 3 nights and then 3 more nights in Interlaken.

Day1 luzern : zurich to luzern by train
day 2 luzern: mount Pilatus (golden round trip) and Luzern city sightseeing.
day 3 luzern: PreAlpine express to lake Constance.
day 4 Interlaken: Luzern to Interlaken via Bern. City tour in Bern, Interlaken and nearby areas.
is it possible to do Grindelwald and surrounding are the same day?
day 5 Interlaken: Golden pass line to Montreux. Boating in Lake Geneva.
day 6 Interlaken: Junfrau and boating in Lake Brienz.
day 7: Interlaken to Salzburg

Will it be cheaper to use Swiss flexi pass for 3 days and get discount for the rest of the days or buy half fare cards?
With individual trips Day 1: 25, Day 2: ? Day 3: ? Day 4: 55 CHF, Day 5: 96 CHF excluding boating, bus etc.

please advise on the itinerary and also which rail pass should I opt for.

thanks
Kun

P.S: I know this topic has been raised several times on this forum but I am visiting for first time and so not sure about non rail transportation means.
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 29, 2010 - 1:23 PM
Hello Kun, and welcome to the forum. I've calculated your travel plans and the regular full fare prices (in 2nd class) are CHF 639.20 in total. The last trip from Interlaken Ost to Salzburg is calculated up to Buchs, the last Swiss railway station for which a Swiss rail pass is valid on this route.
  • A Swiss Half Fare Card, which costs CHF 99.00, grants a 50% discount on all trips you want to make. The total costs with a Swiss Half Fare Card would therefore be CHF 418.60.
  • A 3 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass costs CHF 212.00. You should use the 3 free travel days for the first trip from Zurich to Lucerne (as the validity of the pass starts with the first day of free travel), for the long and expensive return trip from Interlaken Ost to Montreux, and for the outbound journey to Salzburg. The remaining trips would receive a 50% discount and you'd pay CHF 467.10 for the Swiss Saver Flexi Pass plus the other discounted trips.

So the Swiss Half Fare Card is your most economical solution. The pass can be ordered through the Swiss Half Fare Card page, by clicking your country under the header 'Order your Swiss Half Fare Card here'.

Another option would be to purchase an 8 day Swiss Saver Pass. Although it's not the most economical solution (the total costs would be CHF 487.40), the ease of use may be a reason to opt for this pass, as you can get on and off trains, buses and boats whenever you like without having to purchase discounted tickets for each trip (which is required with the Swiss Half Fare Card). More information on the Swiss Pass, including purchase options, is available through the Swiss Pass page.

As for your itinerary: it sounds good, although you'll have some long travel days. After having made a city trip in both Bern and Interlaken, it would be too much to explore Grindelwald and its surroundings as well. Grindelwald is embedded in a stunning landscape, which would deserve a bit more time for exploration. A visit to Grindelwald can perfectly be combined with the visit to the Jungfraujoch, but you've planned a boat trip on this day as well. It depends on how full you want your travel days to be. The boat trip on lake Brienz takes about 3 hours (assuming that you'll take the boat from Interlaken Ost to Brienz and back). Another option would be to spend more time in Grindelwald than in Interlaken on day 4. Interlaken is a nice town, but the scenery around Grindelwald is definitely more impressive. Your other trips can be planned with the Swiss timetable and they seem to be do-able to me.

If you plan to travel from Interlaken to Montreux by a special Golden Pass Panoramic train, please note that seat reservations should be made in advance.

I hope this helps a bit! Kind regards,
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
knswiss
knswiss
4 posts
new member
Aug 29, 2010 - 1:57 PM
Hi Annika,
thank you for your prompt reply!.

As per your suggestions we will combine Grindelwald and Junfrauch. Also, do you recommend taking Golden Pass Line all the way upto Montreux or should we just do the scenic part of it?

As for the Swiss saver pass I see that the price shows up as $297. Was the price you indicated (CHF 487.40) counting other trip prices like Pilatus?
Also, do you receommend taking PreAlpine on day 3 or is there other option which might be better?

Since we are leaving very soon do we have the option of buying passes now and picking them up at the train station?

thanks again
Kun
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 30, 2010 - 12:23 PM
Hello Kun. The Golden Pass Line is beautiful all the way up to Montreux. If you want to take a boat trip on lake Geneva, you should get to Montreux anyhow, as it's at the shore of the lake. This would be a full day though, as the train trip from Interlaken Ost to Montreux takes about 3 hours, and you'll also have to get back. Taking the trip up to Gstaad would be beautiful as well, but then you'd miss out on the pretty leg down to Montreux. You could also opt for a short stay in Montreux. Just visit the town, maybe visit Chillon castle, stroll along the shore of lake Geneva, and then get back again. You could also make a round trip out of this day, by travelling back via either Lausanne and Bern or via Visp and Spiez. Both routes are shorter than the Golden Pass route via Gstaad and Zweisimmen.

Yes, I calculated the total price for each option. So the price of CHF 487.40 per person, which I mentioned, includes both the purchase price of a Swiss Saver Pass and the discounted tickets for mountain trips, such as the Pilatus round trip and the return trip from Grindelwald to the Jungfraujoch.

I have no personal experience with the PreAlpine Express. It will get you to the Boden lake. This route crosses a nice part of Switzerland, but not the most spectacular part, as the territory is relatively flat. My personal preference would be to spend another day in or around Lucerne and (in good weather) visit Rigi (which is a spectacular viewing point) or Mt. Titlis, which requires a nice cog railway ride to Engelberg. If weather circumstances aren't that good, you could make a relaxing boat trip over the lake.

I'm not sure when exactly you're leaving, but in most countries quick and even overnight delivery is possible. You'll see delivery options if you click your country under the header 'Order your... here' at the pages I referred to in my previous post. Delivery in your first hotel or appartment in Switzerland could be an option as well. Purchasing the passes at larger railway stations during opening hours is possible too.

Good luck and have a great trip!
knswiss
knswiss
4 posts
new member
Aug 30, 2010 - 1:12 PM
Awesome! Thanks for the detailed reply and all your suggestions!
we will take Golden rail all the way to Montreux and take route via Lausanne coming back.
In case we take the same route back do we need to reserve seats both ways?

We will go for the 8 day Swiss saver pass as it is more convenient. I will also take a look at the overnight shipping option right now.

thanks

-Kun
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 31, 2010 - 2:00 PM
Hi Kun! Whether you have to reserve seats, depends on the type of train you wish to use. If you want to travel by one of the special panoramic Golden Pass trains, you should reserve seats. Regular trains run on this route as well, and they don't require seat reservations. All connections can be found through the Swiss timetable. More information on seat reservation is available in the rail FAQ as well.

Good luck!
knswiss
knswiss
4 posts
new member
Aug 31, 2010 - 2:14 PM
Thanks a lot Annika! I will take a look.

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