Swiss Pass Flex in Switzerland and Italy

Swiss Pass Flex in Switzerland and Italy

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blackdahlia
blackdahlia
3 posts
new member
Sep 6, 2015 - 4:20 PM

Hello,

I will be spending a few days in Switzerland before heading down to Lake Maggiore and Lake Como in Italy for another few days. I am comparing between a 3-day Swiss Pass Flex and a one-month Half Fare Card. I read somewhere that for the Swiss Pass Flex, you will get 50% off discount on train, bus, cable car, etc. even on the days you don't use the Pass, is that true?

I will be taking a train from Montreux to Stresa and from Como back to Zurich. Both of these trips will cross the Switzerland/Italy border. How will I be able to use the Swiss Pass or the Half Fare Card for those rides (perhaps only the part of the trip in Switzerland?)? Also, can I buy the ticket for the entire trip at one station, e.g. at Montreux or Como?

I am flying out in 1.5 weeks so any advice will be much appreciated! Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 6, 2015 - 4:43 PM

Hi blackdahlia,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! This pass is called the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. A variant of it is the Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi, which indeed includes discounts on non-travel days. You can best read our page about the pass as all the details are explained there: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpassflex. The Swiss Half Fare Card is fully explained here: myswissalps.com/ swisshalffarecard.

Montreux to Stresa requires a ticket for the Italian leg from Domodossola to Stresa. The rest is covered by the pass so you don't need a ticket (assuming the Swiss Travel Pass Flex). The Italian ticket can best be purchased along with your pass, as the trains require seat reservations and can be pretty busy. Please see myswissalps.com/ traintickets/ italy. Como to the border is just a short leg and you can choose to use a local train which does not require reservations, and buy the ticket on the spot. Of course you can also book a seat.

I would recommend to buy your pass/tickets asap in order to enjoy the lower online prices (there is some shipping time). Please see here for all the options, and click to the sites listed there for prices and further details.

Let us know if any questions remain after the above information.

Last modified on Sep 6, 2015 - 4:46 PM by Arno
blackdahlia
blackdahlia
3 posts
new member
Sep 7, 2015 - 10:30 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks for the quick reply! Some follow-up questions:

Based on our itinerary, it might be more worthwhile to get the Half Fare Card instead. Will I be able to use it for the Swiss leg for both Montreux to Stresa and Como to Zurich? On the SBB website, the only option for Half Fare Card fare reduction is 1/2/3-year Half Fare Card but I will be getting a 1-month Half Fare Card.

If discounts are available for Half Fare Card, should I buy only the Swiss leg online and the Italian leg from the train station?

Is there any difference between buying these cross-border tickets on SBB or Trenitalia?

Would you recommend buying in advance tickets for cross-border tickets only or for domestic trips in Switzerland and Italy as well? It seems that domestic tickets are less busy and can generally be purchased on the spot?

Many thanks!

Last modified on Sep 7, 2015 - 10:33 AM by blackdahlia
Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 7, 2015 - 11:52 AM in reply to blackdahlia

Hi blackdahlia,

Sure it's valid for the Swiss leg. Please see the Swiss Half Fare Card page I linked to in my previous post and click "Where it's valid". For trips to Italy, you can select the 1/2/3-year option. I don't know the exact Trenitalia options.

If you order quickly you can still buy the Swiss Half Fare Card online and save money: myswissalps.com/ swisshalffarecard/ price.

You don't need to buy tickets in advance for domestic trips, but most trains crossing the border and long distance trains in Italy require seat reservations, so tickets must be purchased in advance.

Last modified on Sep 7, 2015 - 11:54 AM by Arno
blackdahlia
blackdahlia
3 posts
new member
Sep 7, 2015 - 3:52 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks. Given that I am getting a 1-MONTH Half Fare Card, can I still select the option HALF FARE CARD 1/2/3 YEAR on the SBB website?

Or should I:

for Montreux to Stresa - buy a ticket from Montreux to Domodossola using the 1-Month Half Fare Card on SBB website, and then a regular ticket from Domodossola to Stresa

for Como to Zurich - buy a regular ticket from Como to Chiasso and then use the Half Fare Card to buy a ticket for Chiasso to Zurich?

If the above alternative is recommended, is there anything I should look out for when booking? Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 7, 2015 - 5:12 PM

Hi blackdahlia,

Yes, you can select that option, see my previous post. The alternative you suggested can be used too, it results in the same thing: you pay the full fare in Italy and 50% off in Switzerland.

Last modified on Sep 7, 2015 - 5:12 PM by Arno

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