Swiss Pass? Or Not?

Swiss Pass? Or Not?

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 6. This thread is closed.
Sytonomy193
Sytonomy193
3 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2011 - 4:23 AM
Hi

I have an itinerary pretty much set out right now, though nothing in concrete. Have a family coming to Switzerland in August for a few days (2 parents, and two youths at 22 and 17 years). We have already booked a train from Berlin --> Basel --> Interlaken. However, it seems the Basel --> Interlaken trip is quite expensive. We then plan on staying in Interlaken that night (with trip to Grindewald in the day), then train to Chur to take the Glacier Express to Zermatt. Then we plan to stay in Zermatt for the night, the next morning train to Geneva to fly out.

What would be the best way to go for us? I understand the Swiss Pass offers unlimited travel for all these routes? And since there are two youths, would we be buying two adult Swiss Passes at 15% off and two Youth Passes at 25% off? And if that's the case, do we have to buy it first, have it shipped to me (in Canada) and then book train tickets on the SBB website?

Thanks
Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2011 - 5:51 AM
Hi Sytonomy193.

Welcome here! The passes you mentioned sound good to me (I guess the 4-day passes right?). I would recommend to buy the passes in advance. That's cheaper than a local purchase, as you can see on the Swiss Pass page. Also, it allows you to just stay seated in Basel if you have a direct train. You don't need further tickets, as nearly all trips are indeed included (a map of what's covered is on the Swiss Pass page as well). What's not included is Berlin - Basel and the Glacier Express seat reservations. Both can be ordered along with your pass.

Enjoy your stay in the Alps!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
Sytonomy193
Sytonomy193
3 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2011 - 11:43 AM
Hi Arno

Thanks for the reply. Yes I am talking about the 4-day pass as I'll only be there for around 3 days. One question I have is regarding the seat reservations. Is it just to guarantee that I will get onto that train?

After buying the Swiss Pass and having it shipped here, do I just show up to the train station and board the trains without having to buy any tickets online or beforehand?

Are there any other suggestions as to where a more efficient trip will be? I need to make my way to Barcelona afterwards, sadly there doesn't seem to be any trains running from Zermatt to Barcelona. I would need to travel from Zermatt --> Geneva --> Barcelona, the latter part by plane. Is there any other way that I would be able to save as much as possible?

Thanks
Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2011 - 12:54 PM
Hi Sytonomy193,

You don't need seat reservations within Switzerland, except for some scenic trains. Just take your pass and board any train you like. You don't need anything else. The Glacier Express is one of those scenic trains. If you have booked a seat, it will be guaranteed.

The timetable shows which trains need seat reservations. It's also the best way to plan your trips, e.g. to Barcelona. There are definitely trains from Zermatt to Barcelona, but it's a long trip (12 hours or more).

If you're traveling just 3 days, the 3-day Swiss Flexi Pass is a bit cheaper for the adults.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
Sytonomy193
Sytonomy193
3 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2011 - 8:22 PM
Thanks for the reply. I believe I will just fly out of Geneva for that part.

For the seat reservations for Glacier Express, do I HAVE to do that? If I do not have reservations, what happens? Am I just not guaranteed for that train, but since there seem to be like 5 in a day, I can just take another? I can't just show up to the Chur station and "buy" a free ticket (with my Swiss Saver) to Zermatt? And same for the other trains, are they all first come first serve? If I was going from say Basel to Interlaken, or Interlaken to Chur, I'll be able to show up at the station and it won't sell out?

Thanks again.
Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 6, 2011 - 1:31 AM
Hello Sytonomy193,

You're welcome! You will find three types of train in the timetable:
- No reservations needed
- Reservations adviced
- Reservations necessary

99% of the trains falls into the first category. You can just board the train with a valid pass. You don't need a ticket, not even a free one. These trains cannot sell out.

You must have a seat reservation for the last category. You can buy it at the station, even as late as an hour before departure. However, seats may be sold out buy then. So if you absolutely need to travel on a specific train that requires seat reservations, you better book them well in advance. A reservation is for one particular train only.

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016