Swiss Pass or Bernese Oberland Pass?

Swiss Pass or Bernese Oberland Pass?

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Posts: 10. This thread is closed.
ruthe
ruthe
8 posts
new member
May 13, 2014 - 6:53 AM

Hello - We are two travelers over 60 and will be arriving by overnight train (already booked) from Austria to Zürich, where we would like to transfer directly to the series of trains that will take us to Wengen. We will be spending the next five nights in Wengen before returning to Zürich for two days and then departing from the airport there. While in Wengen, we plan to use local transportation for sightseeing, to get to hikes, to go up the Jungfrau (weather permitting), etc. (And in Zürich, we will, of course, be using the trams and buses to get around.) Does a Swiss Pass or the regional Bernese Oberland Pass make more sense? Thank you for your advice (which I have sought once before, but at a time when our plans were less fixed).

ruthe

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
May 13, 2014 - 8:22 AM

Hello ruthe,

I don't think a Swiss Pass would be the best choice in this case. You can look into the Swiss Card and the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland (follow the links for how the passes work, prices, what's covered, etc.)

The Swiss Card includes a free transfer from Zurich to Wengen and return, plus 50% discounts on trips from Wengen. This is slightly cheaper than doing the same thing with a Swiss Half Fare Card, for example.

The Regional-Pass covers a lot of free traveling in the Bernese Oberland, even on cable cars, mountain trains etc. If a trip is not discounted you would get 50% off. Free traveling already starts in Bern or Lucerne, so all you need in addition is a regular ticket from Zurich to either of these towns.

In Zurich, a Zurich Card can be worth it. Information and links to more details are here.

In the end, the choice depends on the exact day trips you plan to make and whether you like ticketless traveling (Regional-Pass) or if you don't mind buying tickets for each trip (Swiss Card). How to choose is explained here.

Hotel suggestions for Zurich can be found here, and hotels with free transfers to the airport are listed here. Tips for activities in Wengen are on the Jungfrau region page.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 1:05 PM by Arno
puneetgup
puneetgup
23 posts
new member
May 13, 2014 - 11:41 PM

Hello Ruthe, we were in a similar predicament and after detailing out the daily itinerary, are deciding to go with the Bernese Oberland pass. Though it ended up being a bit more expensive than the Half fare card (20f), the pass will save us the trouble to stand in lines to purchase the tickets. You should also look at the Jungfrau pass if you are primarily in that area. it is a bit cheaper than the BO pass

ruthe
ruthe
8 posts
new member
May 14, 2014 - 6:33 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you, Arno. I just want to confirm my impression that although the BO Pass looks like a better deal for us at first glance, it is only good for four days, and that causes a problem. I think that our trip would look like this:

Day 1 - Zürich HB-Wengen via Bern, Interlaken, and Lauterbrunnen - free w/ Swiss Card; 49 CHF p.p. for the Zürich-Bern leg w/ BO pass;

Day 2-4 - free or half price travel around the BO w/ BO pass; half price travel around the BO w/ Swiss Card;

Day 5 - full price travel around the BO w/ expired BO pass; half price travel around the BO with Swiss Card

Day 6 - Wengen-Zürich HB via Meiringen and Luzern - free w/ Swiss Card; full price (63 CHF p.p.) w/ expired BO pass

Am I missing something? I realize that what exactly we wind up doing on days 2-4 will change the equation, but it looks as if the travel within the BO on those days would have to be quite extensive to make up for the fact that we would have to pay full price for any travel on day 5 plus the 49 + 63 CHF on days 1 and 6. Do I understand correctly that both passes will cover 50% of the Jungfraujochbahn?

Thanks again for all your help.

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
May 14, 2014 - 5:28 PM in reply to ruthe

@puneetgup: Thanks for sharing your experience!

@ruthe: The Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland is available for 4, 6, 8 or 10 consecutive days. The 6-day pass would fit your plans I think. Click the links on the price page for the prices of all variants. The 6-day pass is CHF 60 extra. You can save more by traveling via Lucerne as that's closer to Zurich, so the additional tickets are cheaper. This route takes more time but it's more scenic as well (Golden Pass line). Well worth the time for at least one of the transfers.

Both the Swiss Card and the Regional-Pass offer 50% off the section Kleine Scheidegg - Jungfraujoch. The difference is in the leg before: 50% off with the Swiss Card and free with the Regional-Pass.

Puneetgup is right about convenience: just hopping on and off as you like is an advantage over getting tickets for each trip. Personally, I like that too, unless there are significant savings with another option.

ruthe
ruthe
8 posts
new member
May 15, 2014 - 6:36 AM in reply to Arno
This is very helpful, Arno; thank you. One more question, as it still looks as if the Swiss Card will wind up being quite a bit less expensive for us than the BO Pass. I notice that on the information about the Swiss Card, it says that, "The transfer to and from your holiday destination must be via the most direct route." We would like to go from Zürich to Wengen via Bern and return via Lucerne. Would that be allowed with the Swiss Card?
Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
May 15, 2014 - 8:43 AM

Sure, both routes are fine. One is the quickest and one is the shortest. It's explained on the Swiss Card page.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 1:07 PM by Arno
ruthe
ruthe
8 posts
new member
May 20, 2014 - 2:45 PM in reply to Arno
Thank you for all your great advice, Arno. I have finally bought the Swiss Cards. Am I correct in thinking that I do not need to reserve anything for the Zürich-Wengen and return trips?
Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
May 20, 2014 - 3:06 PM

Yes, that it correct!

ruthe
ruthe
8 posts
new member
May 21, 2014 - 6:27 AM in reply to Arno
Thank you, again, Arno. Your help has been invaluable.

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